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    Category: Technology

    The realm of Technical Support is there to provide expert assistance to those who are not so tech-savvy. Although they still expect you to know what a computer is, and how to turn it on, and to know that you can’t ‘fix the internet’ because it isn’t pretty enough. You have been warned…

    Taxing Faxing, Part 12

    | NH, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in a small public library with a self-service fax machine. The machine walks you through sending a fax with an automated verbal prompt. A coworker comes to find me at my desk.)

    Coworker: “Can you lift the fax machine up?”

    Me: “What? Why?”

    Coworker: “She got her card stuck in it.”

    (Our fax machine does not have a credit card reader. Now confused, I approach the patron.)

    Me: “What seems to be the problem here?”

    Patron: “My card is stuck in the fax machine.”

    Me: “Can you show me where?”

    (She points to the paper feed.)

    Me: *digging the card from the machine* “How did this happen?”

    Patron: “The voice said, ‘put in the card number,’ so I put the card in the machine.”

    Me: “Miss, it doesn’t scan the card. It scans the pages you want to fax. You have to manually type the card number using the number keys on the pad.”

    (The patron gives me a dumbfounded look.)

    Me: *pointing to the numbers* “The numbers on the front of your credit card are the actual account number. That’s how the machine knows to charge your account.”

    (Same dumbfounded look.)

    Me: *sigh* “Here, let me help you…”

    Related:
    Taxing Faxing, Part 11
    Taxing Faxing, Part 10
    Taxing Faxing, Part 9
    Taxing Faxing, Part 8
    Taxing Faxing, Part 7
    Taxing Faxing, Part 6
    Taxing Faxing, Part 5
    Taxing Faxing, Part 4
    Taxing Faxing, Part 3
    Taxing Faxing, Part 2
    Taxing Faxing

    A License To Kill Hope For Humanity

    | Rochester Hills, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I work customer service desk at a local retail store. Sometimes I cashier when we’re busy.)

    Me: “Okay, your total is [total].”

    Customer: “Okay.”

    (The customer starts swiping her card, but it won’t read)

    Me: “Go ahead and swipe the card again. It didn’t catch it the first time.”

    (The customer swipes the card again, but it still won’t read. She keeps swiping it, and on one of these swipes I catch a glimpse of the card she’s using. She is getting increasingly frustrated.)

    Customer: “WHY. WON’T. THIS. SWIPE!?”

    Me: *trying not to laugh* “Ma’am, take a look at your card for me, please?”

    (The customer looks at her card. It’s her driver’s license.)

    Customer: “Oh…”

    Not Getting Closer To The Solution

    | AL, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (The library does faxes for patrons.)

    Librarian: “Okay, what’s the number, sir?”

    Patron: “One. Eight.. Oh-oh. Five… Five. … Five… Two… Two.”

    Librarian: “I’m sorry, sir, we seem to be missing a digit.”

    Patron: “That’s okay. Just write them all together. Closer together, baby.”

    Librarian: *staring at sheet of paper* “Write them.closer together?”

    Patron: “Uh-huh, like she told me to. 1800552. No spaces or nothin’.”

    Librarian: “They’ll all be together when I dial out—”

    Patron: “Just try it that way!”

    (The librarian, baffled, copies the number on his pad without any spaces at all.)

    Patron: “Exactly! It should work now.”

    (It didn’t.)

    Understanding Of The Technology Is Backwards

    | York, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (It’s a crazy busy day in the library, with queues of around 10 customers per member of staff, and everyone is run off their feet. A lady comes in on a mobility scooter who is known to staff as a bit of a deliberate time waster. She starts shouting for a member of the staff to come and assist her.)

    Me: “Can I help you?”

    Customer: “Yes. I want something photocopied.”

    (Normally photocopying would be self-operated by the user, but I can see why it would be difficult to do from a mobility scooter.)

    Me: “Okay, no problem. Let me give you a hand. What do you need copying?”

    Customer: “This!”

    (She pulls an artist’s pad from her bag, which has a picture of a bird on it.)

    Me: “Thanks. Let me get that copied for you.”

    Customer: “Hang on. I need to finish the leg. Do you have a fine liner?”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry. I can get you a biro though?”

    Customer: *grumbling* “I suppose that will do.”

    (I hand her the biro and she starts painstakingly drawing in the leg of the bird. I glance over at the desk and see the queue has become even longer.)

    Me: “I’ll pop back when you’ve had a chance to finish that.”

    Customer: *shouting* “DON’T YOU DARE! STAY HERE! YOU HAVE TO HELP ME. I’M DISABLED. I TAKE PRIORITY!”

    Me: “I understand, but if you aren’t ready for me to help you, I can come back later—”

    Customer: “Write on this in mirror writing for me.”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “I need you to write on it backwards. Put my name and the date and the title, but backwards.”

    Me: “Um, I’m really sorry but I don’t think I can do that. Why does it need to be backwards?”

    Customer: “So it will be the right way round when you have photocopied it.”

    Me: “That… is not how photocopiers work. It will be fine written normally. I promise.”

    Customer: “You are so stupid! It’s the same as when you take a photo… That comes out backwards, too.”

    Me: “… I’m pretty sure that doesn’t work like that either.”

    That’s Common Sense Out Of The Window

    | MD, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I am doing a new PC rollout for a very prominent technical engineering company. This conversation occurs one day after giving them a brand new PC.)

    Me: “I understand your new computer won’t boot up.”

    Client: “Yes. It worked fine yesterday, but this morning it won’t load.”

    (I look at the start up and find that the entire Windows Folder has been removed.)

    Me: “Did you edit anything yesterday before shutting down?”

    Client: “Yes, I went through and deleted everything that I didn’t recognize.”

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