Monday, November 29, 2010
Printing a ticket
I had a 5 PM bus out of Chennai, so I checked out of the hotel at 1, left my bags at the reception, and headed out to lunch with Billy. When we returned at 4 to take the luggage, I remembered I hadn’t yet printed my ticket, so asked the hotel manager if I could take a print.
“No problem,” he said, and handed me a business card. “Email it to me.”
Umm, from where? Maybe I could unpack my laptop, plugin a data card, go online, and send him the file. Or wait, the ticket was in Dropbox. I have a Dropbox app on my phone. Maybe I could email from the phone? Then I had to shake myself out of being a geek. This was going to take many precious minutes and I was in a rush. I simply asked him, “from where?”
He pointed at a computer meant for guests to check email. It was already powered on (minutes saved!) so I logged into Dropbox, opened the PDF file and hit Print. No printers configured. Then I saved it to Desktop, asked if he could open it over the network. Nope, he didn’t know what that was. Logged into Gmail, mailed him the file, logged out, and asked him to check.
“Not arrived,” he said.
He had Outlook on his desktop. I found his Refresh button and hit it, but no mail showed up. I was losing precious minutes, so I asked if I couldn’t just download it to his computer. He agreed. I logged into Dropbox again and located the file. It opened in Word and showed a lot of gibberish. Why was a PDF file opening in Word? I closed the window, downloaded it again, located it on the desktop, right clicked, and selected “Open With…”. The only available option was “Microsoft Word”. Didn’t he have Acrobat Reader? He had no idea what that was.
What kind of hotel has never had to deal with a PDF file before?
“What do I do now?”
“Email it to me.”
“But you don’t have Acrobat Reader.”
“Then you talk to my office manager.”
And he pointed me to a third computer with a chap sitting at it. I explained to him that I needed to print a PDF file and one computer didn’t have a printer while the other didn’t have a PDF reader. He said “no problem, email it to me.” I said the file was already on two computers, couldn’t he just take it off the LAN? “No, that’s not configured.”
Then he suggested I download it again to his computer. This time, finally, he had both a printer and a PDF reader.