The process usually eats up only a few minutes, but not at one workstation. I went to the user's desk and told her why I was there and what I needed to do. She asked me to come back in an hour or two because she wasn't done saving all her stuff to the network drive.
That struck me as odd, since it only takes a couple of minutes to save any opened documents and power off the machines. I looked at her screen and saw that she was transferring about 2GB of data -- her entire My Documents folder -- to the network drive.
I asked her why she was doing that; I was just going to replace her monitor and leave her computer as is. She said she wanted to save her stuff before I took her computer away. I told her again I was taking the monitor, not the tower, and her stuff would not go anywhere.
She didn't know what I was talking about, so I pointed to her tower and said, "That's your computer, and all your stuff is in there. I just need to take the monitor." She was still confused, so I backed up and explained that all computers consist of basically two parts, the display and the tower, and what each was used for.
After further explanation, assurances, and questions, she was satisfied and let me proceed. I set up her new monitor and showed her that her files were still there. She was relieved and grateful to understand which piece of hardware housed her files.
The never-ending setup
But our jobs are never done, and technology changes. As a result, users have to learn to think through technology in a different way than they're used to. In turn, we have to find new ways to explain.
Months later the lease for the towers had expired and our manager decided to fit some users with all-in-one PCs where, of course, the monitor and computer are combined into one unit. Yes, my lectured user was one of the people assigned a new machine.
I'm just glad I didn't have to do the setup. I'm sure the unfortunate tech had a lot of explaining to do to this poor user on why she'd received only half a computer.
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This story, "Plea to IT: Don't mess with my monitor," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more crazy-but-true stories in the anonymous Off the Record blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.