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    And The Nerds Shall Uninstall The Earth

    | Wisconsin, USA | Technology

    (I am on the phone answering a customer’s pre-sales questions about our media production software. She has seemed like an ordinary middle-aged woman so far.)

    Me: “I just looked up the camera model you gave me, and our software should work with it just fine.”

    Customer: “…Should?”

    Me: “Yes. The file type that camera uses is supported by our software.”

    Customer: “Whatever. Will it run on my computer?”

    Me: “Are you running Windows XP?”

    Customer: “No. Windows 7.”

    Me: “Then there shouldn’t be a problem. With Windows 7, you should be fine.”

    Customer: “There’s that ‘should’ again! You need to tell me for sure if this will work or not!”

    Me: “Unfortunately, I don’t know enough detail about your system to say anything for sure. That said, everything I’ve heard so far seems fine. You shouldn’t have any trouble.”

    Customer: “No! Don’t say ‘should!’ Why can’t you just tell me if it will work or not? It’s a simple question!”

    Me: “Every computer is different. Even if two people bought identical models off a shelf, just choosing different programs to install would change how each computer runs. You and I can walk through the technical specifications page, compare all the details to your setup, and have a very very good idea if our software will work. But the only way to know for sure is to actually install it and see. That’s why we offer a free trial.”

    Customer: “No! You’re lying! Why would computers be like that? That makes no sense! You should know for sure!”

    Me: “I’m sorry for the confusion. Computers are very flexible tools, which is what makes them so hard to predict over the phone. Let’s download the free trial then, to see if—”

    Customer: “That’s not it! I’ll tell you why! It’s revenge! The nerds got so fed up with everything they made computers impossible to use just to spite us! IT’S REVENGE!”

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