Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Password is 'IMARETARD'

My very first 'real' payroll job (not counting newspaper delivery or door-to-door surveys) was working at Compucentre in the Eaton Centre as a Sales Associate. Basically my job was to dress well, greet customers and pretend that I understood what they were asking me. Then I directed them to someone who actually understood. Nice and simple.

Keep in mind, this was way back in 1990. The 386 was the hot PC with the new blazing fast 486's on the way at a spectacular 33 MHz! Word Perfect for DOS 4.01 was the number one word processing software. The biggest hard drive we sold was 20 Megabytes and it cost more than I made in three months. We're talking the Dark Ages of computer history.

So this guy comes in. All attitude, no brains. Typical customer. Thank God the manager was present and was the one to greet this winner. "Yeah this piece of **** software you sold me doesn't work!" he exclaimed, throwing the package down on the counter like a piece of spoiled meat. The manager calmly asked the gentleman what was wrong with the software. "It won't ******* run!", screamed Mr. Personality.

The manager took the disks over to his computer and suggested that they try it out so he could see exactly what was wrong. Customer Number One calmed down a bit and said that was s good idea. The manager got the software started and was stopped when the program asked for a password.

He stepped aside and asked Mr. Happy to please enter his password to access the program. The guy said, "I don't have a password, this is what I was talking about, it won't run!" The manager thought for a minute and asked, "Tell me what happened the first time you ran the program, did it start?" The guy said yes and explained that it had started fine the first time but wouldn't start again after that.

The manager explained that in order for it to have worked the first time, the customer would have had to enter a password first. He asked the customer if he had entered a password. He said, "I don't know I just pressed keys until it started." The manager asked if he had any idea what keys he'd pressed and the brilliant customer explained that he'd typed in something obscene, thinking it wouldn't matter and he could come up with a real password later. The manager asked what he'd typed. The guy couldn't remember.

So they sat there, trying every obscene word or phrase the guy could think of. Nothing worked. Eventually the manager told the customer that we couldn't refund his money if he'd failed to follow the instructions when using the software and that there was no way to reset the software once a password had been entered. The guy threw a fit. The manager handed the package back to him and said, "Have a nice day, sir."

We waited until he'd left the store before we started laughing. The manager didn't laugh. He said, "I'm not giving the guy a refund just because he's a ******* retard."

Ahh, the good old days.
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