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  • Casting The First Stone Cold Glare
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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…

    Vacation Crime

    | ME, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Technology

    (I work for a computer repair shop which gets a lot of work orders from a big company because we’re nearby and are known for how fast we repair units. We also use receipts for orders that are being picked up by others.)

    Customer: “Hey, I’m here to pick up a computer for [Supervisor].”

    Me: “Do you have the repair receipt for their computer?”

    Customer: “No, just use my ID.” *shows me work ID*

    Me: “Unfortunately, sir, I’m not allowed to give you any computer without a receipt due to security reasons.”

    Customer: *suddenly very angry* “Look! I’m an executive at [Big Company]. I can pick up as many computer orders as I want! Just shut up and do your **** job and give me [Supervisor]‘s computer!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir. But regardless of who you are, I cannot give you any computer without a receipt.”

    (The door jingle goes off, meaning another customer has come into the shop.)

    Customer: “That’s it! I’m gonna have your a** fired, you incompetent f***! I’ve never been treated so rudely!”

    Me: “Well, I hate to repeat myself but again, we’re not allo—”.”

    (At this point I notice a police officer and security guard from [Big Company] standing behind the man.)

    Customer: *practically yelling at this point* “What?! Not allowed to give me [Supervisor]‘s computer?! Well, I’ll –”

    Police Officer: “Mr. [Customer]. You’re under arrest for attempted robbery.”

    (The customer turns around to see the two men, and makes a break for the door only to be tackled in seconds and taken away by the police officer.)

    Security Guard: “Can you believe that guy? He quit and threatened to steal [Supervisor]‘s computer all because he didn’t get the vacation time he wanted.”

    Muddling Through

    | USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (Our company helps as an outsource development company, building games with other companies that don’t have enough manpower to complete them. These particular clients have never made a game before, have no art or gaming experience, and therefore have been incredibly difficult to work with. We have been revising a single icon for the interface for two days now, and both sides are becoming frustrated.)

    Client: “It’s still MUDDY. The concept wasn’t muddy! Why do you have so much brown in there?! I can’t read any of it.”

    Me: “The concept was clearer because it’s in black and white. You asked us to incorporate every color we’ve used in this so far. I don’t feel it’s muddy. We’ve reduced the only browns, the shields, down by almost 50%. I don’t understand what is reading as ‘muddy’ to you.”

    Client: “The brown of everything! The brown clothes and brown hair and brown skin and brown shield—”

    Me: “Wait. Are you telling me the hair and clothes read as brown to you?”

    Client: “YES. I don’t understand why this is so difficult!”

    Me: “The hair is bright red and the clothes are dark green. They are nowhere near brown. They are the exact colors as used by the character in the game.”

    Client: “Ugh, whatever. I can’t see that! I’m COLORBLIND.”

    Me: “So… let me get this straight. You are complaining about overuse of brown, when you can’t see colors properly?”

    Client: “Right. Look. Just make it read better. Make the swords bigger.”

    Me: “… I need a drink.”

    Wifitis

    | Overland Park, KS, USA | Extra Stupid, Liars & Scammers, Spouses & Partners, Technology

    (I work at a busy computer and electronics store. A customer approaches me in the printer section.)

    Customer: “I’d like to buy a wifi disabled printer.”

    Me: “Ah, do you mean a wifi enabled printer?”

    Customer: “No. I want to buy a printer but it can’t have wifi.”

    (I acquiesce and spend some time showing her a few different lines, explaining what each can do. None of them are satisfactory, since any modern consumer-level printer with decent features has built in wifi. Sensing her frustration, I show her a newer model. She’s pretty much sold but I tell her wifi is built in but that she can disable it if she’s worried about security.)

    Customer: “No no. It’s not about security. It doesn’t matter if it can be disabled. We can’t risk having wifi in the printer at all.”

    Me: “Not to pry, but why is it so important that the printer doesn’t have built-in wifi?”

    Customer: “My husband is very sensitive to wireless electronic signals. He gets extreme headaches when exposed to them even for a short period of time. That’s why he’s standing over there.” *points to a smiling man standing about twenty feet away*

    Me: *sarcastically* “Oh, no!”

    Customer: “What?!”

    Me: “You might want to inform your husband that he’s been standing under the store’s main wireless access point for the past 20 minutes, being blasted with wifi signals 50 times stronger than any of these printers.”

    (She ran to her husband, said something, and pointed up to the access point on the ceiling. I tried not to have a smug look on my face as the man suddenly feigned illness and they left abruptly.)

    Not A Green Machine

    | Aurora, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (At my store our pin-pad works a bit differently if you want credit instead of debit. You slide your card and then are prompted to enter your PIN. If you want credit you hit the green button – labeled CREDIT – as the red button cancels the transaction.)

    Customer: *slides card and hits cancel* “Oh, I’m sorry I think I canceled it.”

    Me: “That’s okay. Just slide your card again and hit the green button for credit.”

    Customer: “Okay, thanks.” *does so*

    (I finish the transaction and hand her the receipt, then start ringing out her boyfriend who was in line behind her and watching the whole thing.)

    Customer’s Boyfriend: *slides card* “I want credit.”

    Me: “Okay, sir, just hit the green button.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: *hits the red button*

    Me: “Sorry sir, you canceled it. Slide it one more time and hit the green button for me.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: *slides again and hits the red button again* “I want to do it as credit!”

    Me: “Yes, sir, just slide your card again and press the green button.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: “… But I want credit.”

    Me: “Yes, sir, the green button for credit.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: “To run it as credit? I don’t want to use my PIN.”

    Me: “Yes sir, just hit the green button for credit.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: “But I want to run it as credit! I don’t want to enter my PIN!”

    Me: “I understand that, sir. Just slide your card for me and then press the green button for credit.”

    Customer’s Boyfriend: *narrows eyes and hits the red button again* “I WANT TO DO IT AS CREDIT!”

    (The first customer sighs and does it for him.)

    Customer’s Boyfriend: “But I wanted credit!”

    Me: *smiles* “It ran as credit, sir. See it shows it here on your receipt. Thank you and have a nice day.”

    Next Customer: *slides card and hits the red button*

    Me: *sighs*

    Some Customers Are Thicker Than Others

    , | Wichita, KS, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Technology

    (It is my third shift at my first job. I have been mostly getting complicated/difficult orders, and I’ve had no real training; they threw me into the chaos and expected me to figure it out as I went. So far I had been managing, but only barely. An elderly customer  approaches the counter.)

    Me: *smiling brightly* “Hi there, ma’am. What can I get for you?”

    Customer: “I’d like a half pound of [specific cheese] sliced as thick as your slicer will go.”

    Me: “That’s half a pound of [specific cheese] on the thickest setting, right? Coming right up!”

    (I am incredibly relieved as I get the cheese she wanted and get it on the slicer. This is the easiest order I’ve had all day and I can’t see how it could possibly go wrong. I bag the cheese and hand it over the counter to her.)

    Customer: “No, this is wrong.” *hands it back*

    Me: “I’m sorry. What’s wrong with it?”

    Customer: “That’s not how thick I wanted it. That’s not thick enough!”

    Me: *bewildered* “I’m sorry, ma’am. You asked for the thickest setting on the slicer, and that’s as thick as it will cut things.”

    Customer: “No, it isn’t! I get it cut thicker all the time! It should be one block. ONE. BLOCK.”

    Me: “Uh, I’m terribly sorry about that. I’ll fix this.”

    (I go get one of the knives and proceed to cut about half a pound off the block of cheese and bag that for her.)

    Me: “Here you are. I’m really sorry about—”

    Customer: “NO! NO! YOU HAVE TO CUT IT ON THE SLICER!” *throws the block back over the counter*

    Me: “I…I…Ma’am, I’m really sorry, but the slicer won’t—”

    Customer: “Don’t lie to me! Don’t you lie to me! I want my cheese cut that thick on the SLICER!”

    (I begin looking around frantically for a coworker, but my shift supervisor, who had been there only moments ago, has conveniently disappeared, and my only other coworker is dealing with a long line of customers at the hot bar.)

    Coworker: *calling across the deli to me* “[My Name], go cut it on the ‘special slicer’ in the back. I guess [Shift Supervisor] forgot to show it to you. It’s by the prep table back there.”

    (I’m confused but take the cheese back. The only thing by the prep table are the sinks, but then I see clean knives on it and realize that I just need to cut the block with a knife where the customer can’t see me doing it, so I hurriedly do so and rush back to the front.)

    Me: *handing the new block over* “I’m really sorry about that, ma’am. I just started and no one told me about that slicer.”

    Customer: *snatching the cheese* “Hmph. Well, you should have known. Next time don’t be so stupid.” *storms off*

    (This coworker saved me on several other occasions when customers were being exceedingly difficult, though the ‘special slicer’ remains the most amusing to me.)


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