The Next Big Thing: "Clairvoyant Consultants"
Fake News written by on Saturday, August 19, 2000
Nobody likes to deal with tech support or customer service reps. A growing number of people are getting sick of being put on hold for three hours and then paying ridiculous "per incident" fees so some Microserf can tell them to "reinstall the operating system!"
Desperate users are turning to an unlikely source to diagnose and fix software problems: psychics. Palm[Pilot] readers, 1-900 number operators, and clairvoyant consultants are quickly becoming the hottest careers in the tech sector.
Explained Madam Cosmos, owner of the Main Street Mysticism Temple in Keokuk, Iowa, "With my special powers, I can track down the source of any problem. Got a rogue Registry entry that's causing Bluescreens? I'll find it. Missing a curly bracket in your Perl program but can't locate it because the error messages are so unhelpful? I'll know where it is even before you walk in my door."
There's defintely no shortage of success stories. Said one Madam Cosmos client, "I was having trouble setting up PPP on my new Linux box. I spent hours searching for the damn text file where I'm supposed to configure the IPs of my ISP's DNS servers... boy do I hate acronyms. Madam Cosmos took out some tea leaves, did her thing, and "/etc/resolv.conf" appeared before her eyes. That was exactly what I needed to know. But what the hell is "resolv.conf" supposed to mean anyways?"
Ms. Clair V. Oyent of San Jose, California has seen her business quadruple during the past year. "Two years ago I made all of my money on the usual fare: predicting winning lottery numbers, giving stock tips, reading Tarot cards. But not anymore. These days, all of my clients are geeks."
"The strangest request I had," she continued, "came last week. The client, who looked suspiciously like a fairy penguin, wanted to know the source of all of the 'Benchmark Toner Supply' spams he kept getting every 3.2 minutes. It only took a few seconds of work to bring the address into focus on my crystal ball: BENCHMARK SUPPLY, 5334 LAKE VIEW CLUB, ATLANTA GA 30338. Upon hearing this information, the client grinned wryly and said, 'Mr. Benchmark will never send another spam to the Linux Kernel Mailing List ever again. Mwahahahaha!'"
[Editor's Note: Just as this story went to press, we received a rumor that a certain building in Atlanta had been destroyed by fire. Investigators, according to this unreliable source, suspected arson. One eyewitness reported seeing "a strange tuxedo-wearing creature carrying a bottle of lighter fluid while munching on what appeared to be fish" just before the building burst into flames. We can only hope that this rumor is true.]
The number of psychics offering tech-related services is expected to increase 1,000% during the next year. Said Mrs. Dee Viner, chairperson for the Southern California Association of Mystics, "It's like a gold rush out here. With all of the dotcoms downsizing or folding, many psychics have been able to lease office space for pennies on the dollar. For instance, when HotOnlineLivestockAuctions.com shut down its company bowling alley in order to save precious Venture Capital, they leased it to a soothsayer for just peanuts. Now Colina's Clairvoyant Consultant Company & Bowling Alley is raking in money, while the dotcom next door has about $15 worth of assets."
Companies are starting to rely on psychics, as well. One company recently replaced its system administrator with a clairvoyant consultant. "Our C.C. can track down a problem using her crystal ball much faster than our old tech could," said the President of Bob's Used Appliance Company. "Plus, our employees can get their fortunes told while on their coffee break. It's great."
He added, "We're at the cusp of the next great trend in the company industry. Or at least, that's the future that my C.C. predicts."