An Unforgettable Technical Support Phone Call

@Runmin ZHAO  January 26, 2018

"Sir, are you still there?"

I stopped gazing at the screen, a white apple put on a dark curtain and a silver bar crawling slowly, as if it was intentionally pushing the phone call to the late night.
"Yes, it stopped at ... 95% of the whole length, I think."
"Then wait for another minute. Don't worry."
I was thinking of something else. Actually, I was looking back on the last phone call.

She had a sweet voice.

Yes, without a trace of any impatience. Or I could even say, she seemed to be increasingly interested in helping me solve this annoying problem, at which I had been sitting for a whole afternoon.
My laptop was not functioning well since last weekend when I found my trackpad and my keyboard were not responding to my fingertips. Only by using external mouse and keyboard could I make the pointer shake and the cursor move. They may come back to life after several reboots, but then send me another resignation when I was in my best state.
I called for technical support and then I had this one-hour chat with this gentle yet convincing voice, which I could not get out of my quick-access memory for a long while.
"Then, please hold the 'command' key, the 'option' key, the 'P' key as in 'purple', and the 'R' key as in 'red'. Do not let go, then press the power button. "
It was really a test for me to hold the phone with one hand and press five keys at the same time with another.
"The bar is pacing rather slowly."
"Yes, I think we have to wait a bit longer. Let's wait and see where it leads us to."
Uncertainty is what I hate most. I didn't know how much time this process would take. So I could not find a suitable topic to delicately fill the blank. The silence was the most I could expect.
"Can I release my fingers now?" I grabbed the first sentence jumped out of my mind, when, actually, I had already let go of these well-distributed buttons because of my protesting muscle half a minute ago.
"Yes, please. Sorry, I forgot to remind you. Must be tiring."
"It is OK. Speaking of tiredness, how many phone calls do you have to pick up every day?" I tried to keep the conversation floating.
"Well, it depends."
"Must be bored, telling people which keys to press, day after day."
"Hah, sort of. But I am here to help. Anyway, it is my job."
"Yes, your job it is. But your help was a huge relief to me, regardless of whether it would work in the end. You know this problem was really irritating. This afternoon, when I was in class, the professor asked a question, and I pulled my laptop out of my bag to search for proof, swiftly as usual. I opened the laptop and found I could not even make the pointer move. I knew this thing came again, so I could only put it back to my bag, tail between my legs. It was really embarrassing."
"Yes. I can almost see you in class. It's kind of hilarious. You remind me of something. Last time when I was..."
Her voice stopped abruptly. After several hellos, I looked at my cell phone. The phone call had been terminated, because of unknown reason.
Suddenly, it felt like something was robbed out of my body. At the same time, the silver bar came to its end and welcomed the familiar desktop. I tried the keyboard, functioning again, and the mouse, functioning also. But I was not pleased by this. It is done, technically, but not to me, just like a bus surpassing the bus stop and stopped way before it.
I waited for an hour, expecting she would call back and keep her story going, only to find an auto email in my inbox thanking me for my calling.
I called back, hoping the same voice would greet me. But another, also gentle and soft, yet not as intimate.
I told her my problem again, a solved one, and she asked me to restart my laptop.

"Sir, are you still there?"

"Yes, it stopped at ... 95% of the whole length, I think."
"Then wait for another minute. Don't worry."
"Now its shut down again."
"OK. Now, please hold the 'command' key, the 'option' key, the 'P' key as in 'peace', the 'R' ..."
"Purple."
"What?"
"Purple. 'P' as in 'purple'."


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