So, had a late start to the morning the other day (or early, depending on how you look at it) and was setting at breakfast with Mrs Dr ThinkingEngineer, and I got a call on support. Since my headset was giving me fits, I took the call on speaker (had the phone forwarded to my cell) and had the following conversation.

Me: “Hyperdyne Systems, how can we help you?”

Person of Interest: “I have a problem with a power supply.”

Me: “Ok, what type of power supply?” Here I am looking for a type code or family so I know what I am dealing with.

Person of Interest: “I don’t know”

Mrs Dr ThinkingEnginner: “Raised Eyebrow” (I should note that after teaching ChemEng Students both Thermodynamics and Lab Classes, she is relatively immune to “the dog ate my homework”, but some of my calls are still surprising to her).

Me: Ok, what sort of problem are you having? What sort of drives are attached to the power supply?” An Error code will narrow down the family of Power Supplies he might have, as will knowing what drive is attached to it.

Person of Interest: “I don’t know”

At this point Mrs Dr ThinkingEngineer managed to get a napkin up to keep from cupspraying her morning coffee all over me. I am at a severe loss, he doesn’t know what kind of unit he has, and he doesn’t know what code is on the front of it. Despite the fact this call is going down in flames, I try one more time before yanking the ejection handle…

Me: “What does the display on the front of either the drive or Power supply read?”

Person of Interest: “They are both blank”

Me: “Ok, I don’t think I can help you…”

I can do many things, I have been handling this product line for over 30 years now, and I have been doing troubleshooting (both in the field and on the phone) all that time. But you gotta give me something I can use…