Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Diagnosing the problem

A library patron comes to me with a problem. It's his second visit in a short period of time so we are now on familiar terms. In the first visit he could not log onto the computer because the pin number written on his card did not work. That pin number belonged to a different library system, but it was simple enough to change the pin he chose for us to match up with the one on his card. But now he was back. It still wouldn't work.

There wasn't much for it but to follow him out to his computer. He said he tried it twice and his wife tried it twice. His wife logged on just fine with her card, but they couldn't get him logged on no how. So I typed in his barcode to the appropriate box. I entered his pin, and he was all set. The couple were gobsmacked.

"How did you do it?" They asked. I demurred. What could I say. I hadn't even gotten to the tricks, the diagnosis, or the clever fiddles. I just typed in the barcode number and the pin, like they supposedly did, four times before me. That was enough to log the man in.

They seemed a tad outraged, but struggled towards grace. I was a bit suspicious of their typing and their account of their efforts, but I also struggled towards grace. They wanted to know what happened.

I don't know, never will. It worked. Usually we hope that will be good enough.

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