May. 30th, 2012

I used to work for a computer company, and one of our customers in Jacksonville called to say our computer couldn't communicate with any of the other computers on base. The company dutifully flew me down there to troubleshoot in person. I did some tests on our computer, and everything checked out, but sure enough, it couldn't talk to any of the other computers. I asked the folks there if the other computers could talk to each other. Nope, nobody was talking to anybody. Was it possible the other computers were all broken? I asked if I could get access to the other computers. They said it was okay, and I logged in to one of them to investigate. It was misconfigured, so I reconfigured it. Sure enough, it could then talk to our computer.

I proceeded to go through the rest of the other vendors' computers, fixing them one at a time. When I was done, all of the computers could talk to all of the other computers, which caused the customer to believe that I had been right all along and the other computers had indeed been the broken ones - the ones whose own vendors had been unable to fix. Our company came off looking really good, fixing all the other vendors' computers after the other vendors had been there and simply blamed everybody else (as I too had, originally - but I had been right!).

The customer said to let them know any time I felt like a trip to Jacksonville, they'd be glad to invent a problem and request to have me come down to "fix" it.

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