Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Trouble Ticket

A tech support guy (last name: Bundy) sent me an email that started with "Hi Orangutang, Are you able to reboot..."

The Trouble Ticket

Arrgh, broken office phone
Let's file a service request
You prefer the old designation:
A trouble ticket
Ah: musical notification
Open the unread mail
"Hi Orangutang,
Are you able to reboot... ?"

Oh, hell no.

Memories of childhood taunts
Visions of lynch mobs
His last name: Bundy!
You briefly saw red
At this monkey business
Clicked that Reply button
Far harder than it deserved
The sinews loosened
Keyboard avenger:

Believe me Sir,
I would never have opened
A service request
Had I not tried
I am curious however
About your rendering
Of my name (below)
Am I to assume
Slips of the Freudian sort? ...


That furious reply
A firing offense
For you, right after that guy
Don't click Send
Take a deep breath
And a moment to reflect:

"Words are like bullets. When you release them, you can't call them back"
The boy who cried wolf, they didn't cut him any slack
You might well be criticized for a hair trigger tendency
Or unjustly fired for writing the word niggardly


Just a few minutes later
Chimes sound again
The inbox darkens
Message quoted below
"My spell checker
fouled up your name!
Sorry about that!"
Great catch, I'll say
The mood lightens


That's clearly better
Don't hold back the nervous laughter
For indeed, would you really rather
Prefer Freud to an errant spell-checker?
Better the benefit of the doubt
Than yet another racial bout

So. Like your three year old daughter has began to say
In that amusing and delightful way
With that high-pitched, nasally voice
It's really the obvious choice:

You remember incidentally
That you once wrote
That self-same case study
In that note
Titled Cultural Sensitivity in Technology
About this curious artifact of software modernity:
The occasional regret
of auto-correct

You are truly your father's son
You never, ever, jump the gun
"Remember: anger and the African man."
Pragmatism born of painful experience
There's even continuing historical evidence
That lesson of the United States of America
Always defuse tense moods with quiet laughter
And, above all, maintain that calm, level-headed posture

Still, it's really a curious situation
How one responds to real, and potential, provocation
The option is denied of righteous indignation
The fallback civility, a source of frustration.
Your tribe's peculiar daily dilemma:
Better neutered than six feet under.
Or, perhaps, with a little less drama,
In the twilight of this, the age of Obama:
The poorhouse, or staring at ceilinged glass.
Best not to prompt a human resource activity
To be followed undoubtedly with notoriety.
You're a Harvard man, don't be so crass
You don't want to be like that famous professor
A cause célèbre, but branded by some as the aggressor
And even requiring a presidential beer summit.
After all, it's merely a trouble ticket.

Your strategy for the incident report
Never mention it, simply avoid the court.
So. Delete your impertinent second sentence
That premature act of literary vengeance.
But keep the Sir designation
Your passive aggressive intimation
Or, should I say, capitalized rejoinder.
Also, delete the offensive text,
That implied reminder.
You don't want to hear later:
"He's not a team player".

This treacherous modern world to which you belong
The bewilderment in determining right from wrong
But do look him straight in the eye
If, and when, he deigns to come by.
The two of you might well have a laugh one of these days
Replace the veil, return to your mild-mannered ways

The reverse of the coin termed white privilege
That undercurrent, or rather subtext, of repressed rage
It's ugly, and surprisingly close to the surface
Even for you, there's a hint of coiled menace
You think of yourself as above the fray, literally mid-Atlantic
Yet for a moment there, you were about to get very frantic.

While you wait for your replacement phone
You'll navel-gaze and write a short poem
Choosing a typically idiosyncratic meter
And rhyming scheme, that occasionally peters
And turns to, let's call it, doggerel.
But, hey, that's alright because well:

The resolution to this new trouble ticket:
Incident closed: operator error
A case of an errant spell checker.

"Just because a lizard nods its head, doesn't mean it's happy"
You smile at your rejected naming choice: Mister Bundy

Soundtrack for this note

Also: reboot a phone?

masks from Maame

Steps to reproduce
- Clean install of Mozilla Thunderbird (English)
- Compose an email with the name of the chief toli monger in the body
- Check Spelling
Result: Orangutang is suggested as a replacement
Workaround: add said name to the user dictionary
Proposed fix: add said name to the standard dictionary

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WildoParks said...

Could it be carelessness? Years ago I used to reread letters before I mailed them. Has the undestanding that we are dealing with other people dimmed in our modern hurry?
Thank you for the toil you have put into this toli.
My spell checker worked in the preceeding line, so I added a few words and overrode it.

Ainsaa Nuno said...

Koranteng, "Grandma" 's son indeed! And let no spellchecker correct my use of the quote marks and the possessive apostrophe together!! I know you will understand the juxtaposition! Auntie Sarah.

rr said...

Lovely post, thank you (and so good to hear your voice).