The sweater didn't hide the bright orange shorts with the owl logo that so many fans of a particular restaurant immediately recognize. So she hands me her laptop, and says "it is a piece of crap, fix it". Well, having graduated high school with a GPA in the high 3's, I immediately recognized the difference between fecal matter and a laptop PC, so I gently corrected her..."Ma'am, this is a pretty expensive laptop computer, sort of a Mercedes among Yugos...what exactly is the problem with the computer?"
She composed herself enough to say, "Well, every time I turn it on, there's this voice coming out of the speakers and it is driving me nuts! And it is slowing everything down too! I can't even use this for my schoolwork!"
Immediately recognizing the initial problem as the Microsoft Narrator, I assured her that I could "shut the computer's voice up" in no time at all! I clicked on the EASE OF ACCESS CENTER, selected MAKE THE COMPUTER EASIER TO SEE, and unchecked the little box next to RUN NARRATOR AT STARTUP. I said "OK, that should silence your little problem. Is there..."
"Can you restart it just to make sure? I paid a lot of money for this computer and just haven't been able to use it!"
"Why, most certainly!" I responded, selecting RESTART from the start menu options. The computer restarted quickly and with no annoying narrator giving a play-by-play of each active window.
"Oh, wow, that is AWESOME!" she said. "I've spent hours on the phone with someone who I couldn't understand, and have sent this thing in for service twice and nobody could fix it! You are AMAZING!" She slid me a coupon for a free order of hot wings, grabbed her PC and practically bounced out of the store, exclaiming how she couldn't wait to get back home and start using her expensive computer. I reminded her that we were there for her at anytime in the future, should the need arise.
Amazing? $40 and a plate of wings for 5 minutes of work...I guess you could call it that. :) Oh, and I foresee more visits from this particular customer in the future.
I guess the moral of the story goes something like this: If you try to use a tube of caulk to pound in a nail, you're probably going to think that hammers are pieces of crap and the salesman who sold it to you is a moron.