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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…

    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.”

    Not Even Remotely Close, Part 2

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

    (I work in a TV shop. We take calls for sales and tech support.)

    Caller: “No. It still won’t work”

    Me: “Okay. Try pressing menu.”

    Caller: “There is no menu button.”

    Me: “Try going to channel 123 and tell me what the screen looks like. You should see the numbers appear in the top right corner.”

    Caller: *beep* *beep* *beep*

    Caller: “No, still nothing.”

    Me: “Just try pressing ’1.’”

    Caller: *beep*

    Me: “Um… you’re pressing the numbers on your telephone. You need to press them on your TV remote.”

    Related:
    Not Even Remotely Close

    Now Has Self-Scanning Under Their Belt

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I am working the self-scans when I see a customer put some grapes on the electronic scale and enter the produce number.)

    Self-Scan: “Place your item on the belt.”

    (The customer leaves the grapes on the scale.)

    Self Scan: “If you wish to purchase this item, please place it on the belt.”

    (The customer still keeps the grapes on the scale.)

    Self-Scan: “Please remove all items and try again.”

    (After the self-scan says this, the customer takes the grapes off the scale and places it on the belt. The customer then tries to scan another item but nothing happens.)

    Self-Scan: “Please remove all items from the front belt.”

    (The customer takes the grapes off the belt, places them on the scale and re-enters the produce. Once again, when the customer is told to move her item to the belt, she leaves it on the scale. She then takes the grapes from the scale and places it on the belt. Confused about what is happening, she calls me over.)

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. How may I help you?”

    Customer: “I keep trying to purchase these grapes but every time I put them on the belt, it tells me to take it off.”

    (I put the customer’s grapes on the scale, enter the produce number, and place them on the belt when I’m told.)

    Customer: “What did you do?”

    Me: “I entered your grapes, weighed them, and placed them on the belt when told to.”

    Customer: “But that’s what I did.”

    Me: “Actually, what you did was put them on the belt after the self-scan told you to remove them.”

    Customer: “So when do I put them on the belt?”

    Me: “The first time it tells you to.”

    Customer: “So when the self-scan tells me to put something on the belt, that’s when I do it?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: “You learn something new every day!”

    Not Game For The Games

    | Canberra, ACT, Australia | Bizarre, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (A lovely, little old lady is wandering around the game store where I work. She picks up a copy of ‘Empires’ and turns to me.)

    Customer: “What is this?”

    Me: “It is a turn based strategy game. You control an army, the opponent controls an army, and you take turns to—”

    Customer: “Yes, but what is it?”

    Me: “Well, it’s kind of like the game ‘Risk.’ There are some games that happen in ‘real time,’ where you and the opponent move at the same time, but this one—”

    Customer: “Yes, but is it a book, a CD, a board game?”

    Me: “It’s a computer game, madam. This is a computer game shop.”

    Customer: “Oh…”

    (She wanders off, picks up another game, and asks another sales associate.)

    Customer: “What is this?”

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