If Medicine was like Tech Support....

rgray@sumter.awod.com (Rebecca 'the Rogue' Gray)

I'm in the process of trying to explain a typical sysadmin/tech support day to a friend of mine. She's a nurse, so I translated a typical support call into something she'd understand. I just finished writing it, and decided to share it with all of you... I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it:
(Quick disclaimer. The patient in this little piece is actually more helpful to the nurse than most lusers are to sysadmins/tech support...)
Nurse (on phone): "Good morning, how may I help you?"
Luser Patient from Hell: "Hi, I have a problem."
N: "Ok, sir, what's your problem?"
LPFH: "I can't seem to pick things up with my left hand."
N: "All right, sir, do you know why you can't pick anything up?"
LPFH: "No! That's your job to figure it out!"
N: "Well, sir, I'll need a little bit more information if I'm to help you over the phone. We could hang up and you could come into the hospital."
LPFH: "NO! I don't have time for that right now. I need to have my hand fixed immediately."
N: "Ok, let's see what we can do for you, then. When did you first notice the trouble in handling objects?"
LPFH: "Earlier today."
N: "Uh-huh..."
LPFH: "I think it was when I was making lunch."
N: "Ok. You couldn't pick things up while making lunch?"
LPFH: "Well, I could at first, but then I couldn't."
N: "What were you doing right before you noticed the problem?"
LPFH: "I don't remember! Look, this is a waste of time! You're supposed to be able to fix this! Why aren't you doing your job?"
N: "Sir, I really need more information than what you've given me before I can figure out what's wrong. Please try to remember what you were doing."
LPFH: "Um... I think I was cutting up some vegetables."
N: "Ok. Did you manage to cut yourself while you were cutting the vegetables?"
LPFH: "Yeah. Do you think that's the problem?"
N: "It could be, sir. How badly did you cut yourself."
LPFH: "Well, there was a lot of blood."
N: "Right..."
LPFH: "And I noticed right after that that my thumb was missing."
N: "Your thumb was missing?"
LPFH: "Right. But I really don't think that's it."
N: "Sir, you need your thumb if you want to pick certain things up!"
LPFH: "I do?"
N: "*sigh* Yes."
LPFH: "Oh. So I probably shouldn't have cut it off then..."
N: "No, probably not."
LPFH: "So what are you going to do about it?"
N: "Well, sir, the best thing that we can do is try to reattach the thumb. You'll have to bring it into the hospital and have someone sew it back on."
LPFH: "But I don't have time for that! Isn't there anything else you can do?"
N: "No, sir. You're just going to have to hope that's it's not too late to reattach it."
LPFH: "It might be too late!?!"
N: "Correct."
LPFH: "Oh, hell."
N: "Sorry, sir. There's nothing else we can do. Put the thumb in a bag of ice and bring it in to the hospital. We'll try to reattach it when you show up."
LPFH: "But I can't do that!"
N: "Why not, sir?"
LPFH: "Well, after I cut it off, I didn't know I needed it anymore... so I threw it away."
N: "You what?"
LPFH: "And the trash has already been collected..."

Last Modified : Sept. 17, 1996

Heather Garvey / raven@xnet.com