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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…

    A Feint Complaint

    | London, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (We’ve been really busy lately. Senior management won’t approve any extra staff, so we’ve been getting a lot of abuse from customers. Because most of them want to complain about the wait before letting us get on with fixing the problem, this just puts our wait times up further.)

    Me: “I understand completely, sir. You’re right. I don’t think this is at all acceptable. I’ve been quite happy working here for the last few years, but I’m now looking for other jobs. I would, frankly, be delighted if you would put in a formal complaint to our senior management about this, because I assure you, all we want to do is fix our users issues, and instead we’re wasting a lot of our time trying to calm people down about the wait. None of us are being allowed holiday requests, we often don’t get our breaks, most of us are coming in when we’re ill, and we’re all doing overtime,. The management won’t approve any extra staff because while customers are quite happy to yell at us about it – people who, let’s be realistic, can do NOTHING about the situation – nobody seems to want to complain officially so that something might be done. About the only thing I can think of to say that might improve how you feel about the wait times is that at least you don’t work here.”

    (After a brief silence, the caller outlines the problem.)

    Me: “Right, so you’re having the issue mentioned on our recorded message which tells you to download the patch from our web site. I take it you’ve done so and it hasn’t resolved the issue?”

    Caller: “No. They just put those messages on to get people off the phones. They never change. It’s always ‘download the patch’!”

    Me: “Well, you’re right about that in a way, yes. We put those messages on so that people who have the issue mentioned don’t have to wait in a queue to be told they need to install the patch, and thereby increase the wait time for our other customers with issues that take more investigation. I assure you, the messages are changed regularly to reflect the current situation.”

    Caller: “What do you know about the messages? You don’t have to listen to them!”

    Me: “Actually, I do. I call every line to ensure that the message is clear right after I record them, which, incidentally, was on my lunch break yesterday. I’m surprised you don’t recognise my voice, as you’ve been listening to me for the last hour.”

    (Unfortunately, the caller still didn’t put in a complaint, and we still don’t have any more staff.)

    In Need Of Some Self-Consolation

    | MI, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I own a hobby game and used video game store wherein discussion of games, systems, merits, and issues is common. A pair of guys, each with their girlfriends, are in. The girls aren’t gamers but are having fun. The guys are acting like they know what they’re talking about but clearly don’t. I tolerate it for a bit before one of them is an a** toward the young woman he’s with.)

    Woman: *looking at display boxes* “Which one’s better? Xbox or Playstation?”

    Guy: *over-dramatically, condescendingly, with zero sarcasm* “WELL! THE PLAYSTATION OBVIOUSLY!”

    Me: *less than thrilled with the condescending tone toward a legitimate question from a non-gamer* “Well, each of them have their merits.”

    Guy: “Yeah, well, the Playstation is the best one! It kicks the XBox’s a**!”

    Me: “It’s technically the more powerful, but people are pretty happy with the XBox’s network, especially after the Playstation network was hacked.”

    Guy: “Oh yeah? Well, nobody can hack me! Someone hacks me, know what I’d do to them?”

    Me: “No, they’d didn’t hack the users. They got into the network, credit cards, and accounts. Stuff like that.”

    Guy: “No. You know what I’d do to them? I’d hack them back! I’d send them a Trojan horse virus!”

    Me: “O…kay?”

    Guy: “Yeah, I’d send them a Trojan horse virus that’ll set their computer on fire!”

    Me: “O…kay?”

    Guy: “Yeah. I got these two Trojan horse viruses, see. One that’ll totally wipe them out and if that doesn’t work, the other one will set their computer on fire! You know something? That virus is illegal in all 50 states except one. Michigan. And you know who wrote it? I did.”

    Me: “O…kay. Right then.” *goes back to working counter*

    Guy: *a little while later* “You know what I hate? People who act like they’re better than you. Like they know more than they think you do. I know stuff. I got a nursing degree from Washington State Community College!”

    Me: “Yup. Sure thing…”

    A Sign Of Things To Come

    | New Zealand | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I’m on my very first day of in-store training, going over the basics of what is done. My boss mentions that no matter how big or how close to your heads the signs are, customers will always ask us something that’s written on the signs.)

    Me: “They can’t really be that dense. Can they?”

    Boss: “You’d be surprised.”

    (A customer comes up to the counter just then and my boss takes over, as I don’t know my job well enough to serve yet.)

    Customer: “Hi. Can I put down a deposit for [game]?”

    Boss: “Sure thing!”

    Customer: “Great! When does it come out?”

    (There is a poster for this game literally ten centimeters to the right of his head hanging from the ceiling with the release date on it in emboldened letters, just like each of the ten posters for this game hung throughout the store.)

    Boss: “[Date].”

    Customer: “Oh, cool. Also, how much is [upcoming major console]?”

    (There is a very large wall poster for this console directly behind him, amidst a display of boxes for this console that also has the price in very large numbers.)

    Boss: “Console will be [price], though we’ve pre-sold out of the first two shipments.”

    Customer: “Okay, thanks a bunch!” *leaves*

    Me: “… That did not just happen.”

    Boss: “Get used to it. It happens.”

    Managed To Serve Them With No Charge

    | Hilleroed, Denmark | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work at the service desk at a local electronics store. A customer walks up to the desk and lays his cellphone, complete with box, on the table.)

    Customer: “There’s a problem with this phone. I bought it yesterday and started charging it as soon as I got home.”

    Me: “Yes?”

    Customer: “Even after about four hours of charging, the phone still can’t switch on.”

    (I quickly grab the phone, plug in the charger and, sure enough, nothing happens. I remove the back of the phone and a light dawns on me. I open the box, grab the battery, place it in the phone and hands everything to the customer.)

    Me: “There you go. It should work now.”

    Customer: “Oh… uhm… Promise me you won’t tell anyone.”

    Me: “I honestly can’t promise that. You just made my entire week.”

    Putting The Ink Into Think

    | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (We are the IT support for the British Army. Units not in our immediate area have to bring the equipment into our workshops for us to look at it. One day, we get a laptop printer brought in from a town quite a distance away. My workshop manager decides to look at it himself as it’s a slow day. The printer is picking paper up but not actually printing anything on it.)

    Manager: “Easiest job I think we’ve ever had. Would you contact the unit to send someone to pick it up?”

    Me: “What was the problem with it?”

    Manager: “The owner forgot to remove the plastic strip from the bottom of his new ink cartridge!”

    (The printer was returned with half a ream of test printouts which all read: ‘I must remove all packaging from the printer cartridges.’ The soldier who had to make two round trips of over 60 miles was not best pleased!)

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