I recently got electronically put in time-out.

After numerous failed attempts to log into a secure message from an email link, I was locked out and directed to call the National Help Desk.

I don’t even understand why such an email — which requests the information be printed in the newspaper — needs to be sent in such a secure fashion.

If I had known the hassle I would go through, I wouldn’t have dialed the phone. After I provided my name and company information, Mrs. Help Desk asked how she could assist me.

After describing what led to the call, it’s apparent she had no clue what I was talking about. I repeated my dilemma with extra details. Mrs. Help Desk then asked if she could access my computer remotely.

I said, “No.”

But it probably sounded more like, “Nooooooooo!!!” (Similar to John Belushi in the old “Saturday Night Live” sketches). Realizing I sounded a bit annoyed, I added that she didn’t have the ability to do that.

Mrs. Help Desk asked if she could put me on hold for up to three minutes. I‘m not sure why she stressed the three minutes — maybe she was hoping I would just hang up.

I should have. The thing is, I had gotten locked out an account that’s primarily used by our records editor. I didn’t want this to become Renee’s headache after she returned from vacation.

When Mrs. Help Desk returned from her more-than-three-minute break, she said since I wouldn’t let her remotely access my computer, she couldn’t help me.

I replied, “It’s not that I won’t let you — not that I would — but you can’t because you don’t have access to my system.”

Luckily, all Renee had to do was change the password when she returned — how secure is that?!?

Dealing with technical glitches gives me a headache. I think the writer of error messages could help in lowering people’s blood pressure by the way they word the messages that end up popping up on computer screens — like this “connection trouble” one that I received in December:

“Apologies, we’re having some trouble with your web socket connection. We’ve seen this problem clear up with a restart of your browser, a solution which we suggest to you now only with great regret and self-loathing.”

Error messages that make no sense are most irritating to me. After experiencing a glitch in an old news system, the message box asked, “Do you really wish to quit Newsedit?” I detested that message because I had no choice. I had to quit. And I prayed my work would still be there when I logged on again.

One of the most baffling messages I received on several occasions was, “Your computer woke from sleep or hibernation. Your connection to the server has been lost.”

Seriously, I could be typing away and that message would pop up on my screen. I think my computer had narcolepsy. Instead of technical support, I think it needed to see a doctor who specialized in sleep disorders.

Growing up in an analog world, I’m an old dog trying to learn new tricks when it comes to all things digital.


Tammy Malgesini is the community editor. Her column, Inside my Shoes, includes general musings about life. Contact her at tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4539.

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