Thursday, January 27, 2005

I Want This Guy's Job

My mother is a professional photographer. Not one of those that takes pictures for National Geographic or Playboy (although if she did photograph for either, it'd probably be pretty sweet), but one of those that does family portraits, senior pictures, and weddings. When she gets her film developed, traditionally the lab would send back proofs that she would look at and work with, doing manual cropping and whatnot, but in the last year or two the lab has switched to using a computer program for all of the cropping and detail work. Instead of sending her proofs, she simply has to download digital proofs, manipulate them within their proprietary program, and then digitally submit her order. Simple as that... except for the software upgrade that had to be installed on my mom's computer. Now it should be noted that this story is being told from what I overheard while talking with my mom during this ordeal and what she told me when I got home.

Anyways, my mom is relatively computer dumb, as are most people in her age group, so a lot of the time I end up having to show her how to do things and help her with computer tasks. Well, I wasn't around to help her install the latest version of her photography software so a rep from the company who makes the software came down to install it, as well as look at some other photography related stuff.

As he tried to install the program, he noticed it wasn't working. He tried and tried again, but it would't install right. Well, since the program uses java, he thought that maybe the computer didn't have java on it (which, of course, it did). So our genius tech goes out onto the magical thing that is the internet and tries to find java. So he goes to and finds the downloads section. At this point, my mother calls me at work.

She informs of what they're doing and what they've tried to do and asks me what to do when the tech clicks on the link for java and it pops up an error that says to "Save as" or "Open". I tell her simply to save it and then install it. So he clicks the "Save as" button. Now I tell them where to save it and to run it. They do so, and I figure my job is done.

Later, when I get home, I ask my mom if everything worked out ok. She told me that it didn't. They installed java and tried running the installer again, but it just kept going through the install process without putting the icon on the desktop for it, which I'm assuming the tech thought was the program since he was a pretty brain dead tech. I looked things over and there was definitely something installed for the program, but it wouldn't run and didn't have the icon on the desktop that it wasn't supposed to.

She told me that before the tech left that he'd never ran into this problem before. As he was trying to figure out what was different about her computer, he noticed that they were using Mozilla to go on the internet. He resoundingly decided he then knew why the program wouldn't install right--my mom had Mozilla on her computer. It wasn't IE and was obviously what was causing the problem. My bet is he thought that the evil dinosaur browser must have hijacked the computer and not allowed any other programs to be installed or something.

A few days later, we find out that the reason the program wouldn't work is that it isn't java jre 1.5 compliant and since I keep my parents' computers up to date, I had the latest java on there. Once they sent a new compliant version of the software out, it worked fine.

What I want to know is how this tech got his job. Honestly, I know sixth graders with 10 times as much computer knowledge as this guy, yet he's hired to help out customers with his company's software. Un-frickin-believable. I wonder how much he's getting paid for doing what he does. If I were to find out it's more than I make, I might seriously consider applying for his job and quitting mine because I can easily handle going to people's houses and acting like an idiot for 8 hours a day. Heck, I do that when I'm not working!

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