A year ago, me and my colleague taught an old man something that changed his world.

About a year ago I worked in a call centre for technical support for a rather famous brand of smartphones, tablets and computers. I started as a support advisor, before moving into Quality Assurance. This story happened once while I was listening to another advisor for evaluation.

C: customer

A: advisor

C: whenever I take a photo with my [tablet], the photos stay for a while and then disappear. Is there anyway to save them somehow?

Me and the advisor looked at each other with WTF-faces; this should not be happening, and we had never heard of this being an issue before.

The advisor probed a bit about how the customer usually used the device. We quickly determined that the customer was an older gentleman with less than stellar technical skills.

C: well, there are 3 things you can do with a [tablet] right? You swipe left for camera, right for calendar and down to see the date and time.

At this point I had a sinking feeling that I knew exactly what the issue was, though I must admit I had never had this come up before in a call. While the advisor (who was fairly new and didn’t quite understand what the issue was just yet) asked for clarifying questions, I was hastily typing down a script for them on my laptop. Well, I say script. It was mainly “ASK THEM ABOUT THE BUTTON!”

A: … “sir, what happens if you press the rounded button on the front on the device?”

We heard a gasp.

Turns out the customer didn’t know that you could unlock a [tablet], and had only ever used what could be accessed through the lock-screen. This is why he thought images disappeared after a while.

We swiftly guided him to the photo-app, and all the hundreds of photos he had taken and thought he had lost was there, just waiting for him to unlock the device.

I like to think that we blew his mind.

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