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Helpdesk? I have a software problem. And a GRIZZLY BEAR problem

What's worse: Text editors? Or a colossal carnivore outside the office?

By Simon Sharwood, 19 Feb 2016

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our Friday frolic through readers' recollections of romps through the delights of help desk and on-site work.

This week, welcome reader Frank who's shared a story from back when he did the 12 hour graveyard shift on a help desk.

One night, Frank took a call in the wee small hours. Around 02:00 or 03:00.

The user was “worked in a plant located in the Canadian Rockies. The closest civilization from that plant that is not the local worker village is a five hour drive in the summer.”

Frank's call was in the middle of winter and the middle of the night, so once he fixed the “simple, at least for me, problem in a popular text editor” the two got to talking to while away the time.

The conversation was genial until “Right in the middle of a sentence, he stops dead and goes completely silent.”

Frank says that in the background to the call he heard “a strange noise I can't quite identify.”

After a moment Frank asked “Are you okay? I will always remember exactly what he told me at that moment.”

"A grizzly just walked past my office window".

Come dawn, Frank told the story to the chap who came in to replace him. Said chap refused to believe Frank's story, but Frank made a bet.

“When I arrived the next night for my shift, I had my winnings next to a printout of the local plant newspaper for the day with a front page picture of the bear taken from the cafeteria camera as it made a feast of the store.”

Have you been disturbed by beasts or had other adventures on the job? Write to me and you might find yourself in these very pages! ®

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