things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #21

Visibly anxious and upset customer: Can you please help me? Something is wrong with this computer!

I go over to take a look. The public computer is still starting up, and Internet Explorer (sadly, the default browser) is slowly opening.

Me (pointing to the Chrome icon on the taskbar): Let's try this browser instead. You'll find it's better than Internet Explorer.

Visibly anxious customer: No! I can't! I have to use the internet!

Me: I understand. This is also the internet. It's a different browser - a different tool for accessing the internet. Most people find it works better.

I help her open Chrome, and show her where to start, and return to the information desk. A few minutes later...

VAC: I can't use this computer! It's broken! I can't use this computer!

Me: All right, you're free to use any available computer. Why don't you log in to this one?

I stick around while she gets started, then return to the information desk. Fortunately, she is only steps away.

VAC: Can you help me?! Something is wrong! This isn't working! Can you help me?!

Me: What are you trying to do?

VAC: I always go to Sears.ca and I see my paystub. It's not working!

Me: Right now you're at Sears.ca, which is a public website, where people can buy products from Sears. The site where you see your paystub must have more to it. Perhaps Sears.ca slash... something?

VAC: No! No! Sears.ca! I go to Sears.ca and see my paystub! I do it all the time! It is Sears.ca!

Me: Here we are at Sears.ca. It's a website for shopping at Sears. There must be more to the address than that.

VAC: No! Look! Here it is on this paper! Look! My-dot-Sears-dot-CA.

Me: So what you need is my.Sears.ca. Let's do that.

We do. The site she is expecting loads.

Me: Do you know how to log in here?

VAC: Yes, of course I do! I do it all the time! Go away! Go away!

Me: Uh... ok. I'm at the desk if you need me.

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