Trying to get people to think
Agent: "Hi there, I'm having a problem with my computer."
Me: "What seems to be the trouble?"
Agent: "My password doesn't work."
Me: "Ok, I can reset that, which password?"
Agent: "The database password."
Me: "Oh? Did you have to restart your computer or something?" (Normally they're logged into the database all day.)
Agent: "No, I came back from break, and now my password doesn't work."
Me: "That sounds like it's your Windows password, not your database password."
Agent: [blank look]
Me: "You know, when you start the computer, it asks you for a login and password that's different than the database and the other systems."
Agent: "So, in other words, I need help so I can take calls. I need the database."
Me: "...well, I'm just trying to figure out which password reset you need."
Agent: "The database."
Me: "See, the database doesn't require a password when returning from break. However, Windows does. It's the password you use first. Do you know what I mean?"
Agent: "I need help! I need my database password reset!"
Me: "Look, password resets cost the company money. All I want to do is make sure we're resetting the right password, okay? Now, which user ID is it showing?"
Agent: "[Name of database program]"
Me: "No, what I mean is, your user ID will automatically be filled in. If it it's Windows, it's going to appear with your initials and last name, and if it's the database, it won't. What does it look like?"
Agent: "I don't know."
Me: "I tell you what. Go back and try entering the first password you use every day, and see if it works. If it doesn't, come back here, and I'll get the password reset. Okay?"
Agent: [frustrated] "FINE, I'll try it, but it won't work."
They didn't come back.