Soon after arriving to work this morning, I sent an email off to my pal over in IT upon realizing that my workstation wasn't fully functional. We both like to solve puzzles in our spare time, so rather than reveal precisely what I was expecting from him, I let him work it out for himself.

Hey, Mike!

Quick question -- is there any chance you've got a certain piece of equipment sitting on a shelf somewhere? Mine is no longer working correctly, even after a thorough cleaning of the components. If you can't locate one, I guess you'll just have to requisition a new one. You can ask my manager to sign off. Shoot me an email to let me know what to expect.

- C

P.S. I know my request is puzzling to say the least, but that's the point! I guarantee that this email contains all the information necessary for you to figure it out. Have fun!

What am I expecting Mike to get for me & why?

Folks who were there for the original version of this (you know who you are)... shhhh!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Should we assume the email came from your workstation, and not a secondary device (phone, someone else's computer, etc.)? $\endgroup$
    – APrough
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it came from my personal (semi-functional) workstation. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 17:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please tell me you didn't really do this. $\endgroup$
    – jpmc26
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 1:21

3 Answers 3


Could you be asking for a

new keyboard ?


the letter 'd' no longer works

Which explains why

you had to make a puzzle of it, not being able to ask for a keyboar(d)


keyboard is really the most dust/dirt prone piece of equipment in a workstation, and the one that needs to be cleaned regularly

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Good analysis! Though before the advent of optical mice, I found myself constantly scraping the gunk off of mouse balls from common use computers. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ you mean... with a Q tip? :) $\endgroup$
    – sousben
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ No, by popping them out and using my fingernails. :) $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ I used to do it with a Q tip or a toothpick $\endgroup$
    – sousben
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ @feelinferrety: "Relevant" (not relevant). $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 21:14

This is based on the assumption that the email was sent from your workstation, in which case, you are looking for

a mouse/trackball


The computer has to be turned on and functional to send the email. You also need a keyboard to input the email, as well as select the email application, generate the new email, and choose the recipients, all of which can be done from a keyboard. You also need a functioning monitor to make sure that you are making the correct choices. A mouse, however, is an input that some people can do without, but is nice to have.

Why do I think this?

I work in IT and have seen requests like this before.

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, but this is not correct! $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 17:49

A camera, because unlike a keyboard and mouse you don't need it on your desk, which explains it being on a shelf, and you could have tried cleaning the lens because you thought that it was dirty but after that it still didn't work

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ C asks whether Mike, the IT guy, has the item in question stinning somewhere on a storage shelf. This doesn't tell you anything how or where the item is supposed to be used. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 19:09

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