Finding Help in a Helpless World

How does the “Help” Center* get so helpful? I called because my keyboard stopped working in Epoch* (for the second time this week) and I’d like to see the problem resolved instead of it just randomly occurring for the rest of my life. The keyboard still works for Excel and Outlook, but not Epoch. This information I give to the nice lady at the other end of the phone.

Nice Lady: “Let me ask you a question…have you unplugged your keyboard lately?”

Me: “No. If I did that, it wouldn’t work at all in any program.”

Nice Lady: “How do you know this, have you done it recently?”

Me: “No, I’ve done it before in the past.” What I’m not saying to the nice lady at this moment is that this is not my first day on a computer….

I’m not sure exactly what was said next, but I reiterated to her that it only happened in Epoch. I also let her know that the general fix for problems in Epoch is “log off and log back on.” I do not find this an acceptable fix. Do you have any idea how inconvenient it is to log off and log back on? If you’re in the middle of updating a patient, you lose all the information you’ve updated on them to that point. Then the patient has to wait, doing nothing, while you log off and log back on. This is not a quick process considering all the programs we use. Then you have to bring the patient’s account back up in front of you, unlock their account because you didn’t exit out of it (Note: if one person is in the account it locks so two people can’t edit info at the same time), and ask the patient the same questions you’ve already covered. PLUS…if you’re like me, you like your programs in a specific order on your taskbar. My Epoch programs go first on my taskbar. So, if I close them out, that moves my Excel and Outlook and MedicaidCheck* (and IE) to the first slots. So, to get everything the way I want it, I have to close out of every single program I’m in and re-open every single program.

Needless to say, I didn’t tell her all this, I just told her that I don’t think restarting Epoch is really an acceptable solution every time it decides to freeze on me. She was confused why this would happen in just this one program and not all of them, so she put me on hold to consult with another rep (whose name, unfittingly enough, is Gandalf*…turns out he’s not exactly a wizard).

As I am on hold, I return to Epoch just for the fun of it. My keyboard now works. I’ll hold off mentioning this when she gets back on the phone because my point is that I want the issue resolved for the future, too, not just for the present episode.

She comes back on the phone, “Have you tried logging out and logging back in to Epoch?”

Oh. My. I want to reach out and touch her about now…”No. I don’t think that is really an acceptable answer.” Since she didn’t come back on the phone and immediately instill a sense of confidence in me about her abilities, I add, “Just to muddle things further, it started working while I was on hold.” I wonder what she’ll say about that.

Doesn’t change her line of reasoning in the least. “How often do you shut down your computer? Do you shut it down nightly?”

“I shut it down weekly or whenever I receive an auto-reboot notice.”

“Oh, that should be often enough. Well why don’t you try logging off and logging back onto Epoch? If that doesn’t work and you get this problem again today, then try rebooting your computer.”

At this point I give up, “OK great. Thank you very much.” Why did I call, again? I received no help at all.

*Names changed to protect…well…myself. Forget the so-called ‘innocent’.

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