[Fiction Practice] Beginning of Turn

[Story 1 of 3]

“IT, this is Sam!”
“This is Brenda in Accounting. My computer keeps failing on me!”
During their phone call, Sam couldn’t determine the root cause of the issue with the ailing computer. She would need assistance from her team and dedicated time to troubleshoot the issue at the workbench.
“I’ll get a loaner laptop over to you in the meantime.”
“Great! Just haul this piece of junk away! I don’t wanna see it ever again!”

Sammohini swapped out the devices and set up the problem computer for testing.

Her coworker, an almost old-timer technician with insomnia-stained eyes, wandered by the workbench room on his way to the storage room. “Hey, Hank, are you busy with anything?” “Just lookin’ busy. What’s up and lemme take a look.”

He shuffled over, sat down, and clicked away, while she explained the situation:

“Brenda in Accounting says her computer here isn’t working, and everything I tried over the phone didn’t work, but I gathered enough information to tell it wasn’t something simple, so I lent her a loaner laptop in the meantime…”

Hank continued clicking away, reading through the logs, while listening for clues.

“…, while I did some more extensive troubleshooting on her computer, but what’s weird about it is that there’s nothing really in the logs there saying anything’s wrong. Thanks for showing me this area, I did check the logs over the phone.”

“No, I believe you, Sammohini. It is weird. The logs say nothing’s wrong at all.”

“Yeah, so because she kept complaining about her computer failing, acting slow-” “-Sorry to interrupt.” “-and crashing, no, no, go ahead.” “Yeah. Umm. She doesn’t like the computer. She’s not due for an upgrade yet for, what, another year at least?”


“Yeah, she’s gonna keep complaining about her computer until she gets a new one. This computer is crappy, sure. We need to replace it. The budget’s in the refresh project with older and crappier computers. She can’t cut in line.”

“I understand.”

“I was just letting you know. Sorry that I was too direct…” Hank stopped slouching in the chair he was seated in and put his hands together. “No, no, it’s all good! You’re right. It’s too bad we don’t have the money to replace this thing.”

Hank leaned back and stared at the ceiling.

Sammohini was about to interrupt with a question, or an anecdotal conversation starter, when she remembered that Hank would usually drift off into thought for a minute before returning with a decent idea – if not the right one.

“Do we do the right thing or get it done quick?”

“My parents taught me to always do the right thing!” Hank jumped up from the chair and looked at the computer once more. “OK, it’s a Wilesware W6000K. Let’s see if we can find another one or two in the storage room or surplus bin.”

“I’ll get the cart!”

“Cool, yeah. Brenda’s not gonna be happy with this fix, but Linda will support us completely this way.”

Quotes: None
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: I had a random memory of a terrible customer, and through exploring that memory, this story developed from a simple conflict-resolution punch in 500 short words to a nuanced 3-part story.
Related: Somewhere in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.” First of three stories: 1, 2, 3
Photo: Random workbench b-roll taken at somewhere random.
Written On: May 10th, 27th
Last Edited: May 27th
My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)