If By Chance We Meet Again

Webcomic Storyline: 

Help Desk, by Christopher B. Wright

Comic Transcript: 

VIKTOR SCHRECK: Now Alice, please explain how our social network's privacy policy has actually proven useful to our customers.

ALICE: Sure. In once incident, a Help Desk technician received a call from a member who was trying to track down another member. She and her husband had met the other member at a social event, and they discovered they had a lot in common: taste in movies, books, political views. So they all tentatively agreed to do something social later that week... but nobody remembered to exchange contact information.

ALICE: Other than their common tastes, the couple only had three pieces of information: a name, a place of employment, and that the person used this network. Based on that, the Help Desk tech was able to search through our information database and return a number of tentative profiles, which the couple used to identify the member's profile picture.

ALICE: After that, the Help Desk tech was able to find a list of other places on the Internet where the member spent time, so the couple could claim to have tracked the member down at a place where it was plausible they'd run into each other instead of having to admit they'd gone to such lengths to procure the information.

JUDGE: Why did your Help Desk tech do that?

ALICE: To make it appear less disturbing.

JUDGE: You realize that the extra effort that went into making that appear less disturbing actually made the entire affair more disturbing.

ALICE: The Internet is like that sometimes.


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Question spawned from not enough coffee yet....

Chris, in your mind's eye when you picture Alice, do you envision her as being cute under the glasses?

Oooh... I like the updated posting controls. Something slightly different and nice about them.

... odd question.

I sort of modeled her after a few of the female characters in Bloom County (Bobbi Harlow, Lola Granola) so I guess it depends on how you feel about them.

Writer, former musician, occasional cartoonist, and noted authority on his own opinions.

Hold on

Aside from the fact that it is inadmissable hearsay, the story contradicts what we already know. The Help Dask NEVER hslps the customer.

Never let the facts...

... get in the way of your punchline.

Writer, former musician, occasional cartoonist, and noted authority on his own opinions.


She simply left out the part where Ubersoft data mining (and the Boss's eldritch arts) determined that the couple actually finding the member had a 99% chance of leading to an affair, divorce and heartbreak, followed by the new couple finding out at their wedding reception that their respective mothers had sworn undying enmity to each other (and their offspring, heirs and assigns forever) in high school. So it would ultimately all work out badly in the end!

(I didn't start reading Bloom until after Bobbi had left, but Lola was definitely as cute as Breathed could accomplish. Thanks.)