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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…

    Should Keep Better Account Of Their Account, Part 2

    | AR, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work as a library clerk in a large computer lab available for patrons. An older lady walks in and needs some assistance with creating an email account.)

    Me: Ma’am, it seems that this username is being used by someone else. You’ll have to choose another.”

    Patron: “Of course it is; it’s my username.”

    Me: “You already have an account with [email site]?”

    Patron: “Yes. Why can’t I use my own username?”

    Me: “Well if you have an email account, and you forgot your password, I can help you retrieve it.”

    Patron: “No, I’ve tried and it wont give me my password.”

    Me: “… Okay… Well, if you want to create a new account you’ll have to use a different username.”

    Patron: “Why? It’s my username.”

    Me: “It’s already taken. You can only use that username once.”

    Patron: “Why?”

    Me: “Because that’s the way they set it up.”

    Patron: “Well, that’s dumb.”

    Should Keep Better Account Of Their Account

    A Seedy CD

    | CT, USA | Crazy Requests, Rude & Risque, Technology

    (Part of the territory of working in a copy and print shop is you are going to see some ‘private’ photos sometimes. While you are allowed to refuse to print something you are uncomfortable with, most of us don’t care and just turn the print upside-down once done to avoid offending other customers. On this particular day, a regular customer comes in, who we all know manages a ‘gentleman’s club’ in town.)

    Customer: “Okay, the image is on this CD, it should be the only one there.”

    Me: “Okay. Let me just look at it on the computer before you go, so I know it’s the right one and it copied to the disk properly.”

    Customer: “Okay.”

    Me: *realizing immediately that I can’t describe this image in front of other customers* “Er… sir, do you want to come around the counter and look to make sure the image is correct?”

    Customer: *very loudly* “IS IT A MIDGET STRIPPING?”

    Me: “…  Yes. Yes, in fact, it is…”

    His Brain Is Out Of Gas

    | Nanaimo, BC, Canada | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I am working at a rental outlet – construction, landscaping equipment, etc. I am in the ‘back shop,’ where we receive and send out items. Part of our job on sending an item out is to ‘train’ the renter, as many are first time users and have little if any tool using experience. All gas-powered tools are started up in front of the customer with the exception of pressure washers (which needed to be hooked up to water before starting). I’m dealing with a customer renting a pressure washer. I’ve given him the printed instructions and gone through the demonstration about five times.)

    Me: “So, you’re clear on it now?”

    Customer: “Yeah, I’ve got it. Hook up the water and turn it on, turn the ignition switch to on, turn the fuel switch on, choke on, pull the cord and when the engine starts turn the choke off, then put the throttle to high.”

    Me: “Yep, you’re good to go. Let’s get you loaded up.”

    Customer: “One last question. Do I need a heavy duty extension cord for this?”

    Me: “…”

    Customer: “Oh, I guess this runs on gas, doesn’t it?”

    (Sadly, this was not the dumbest customer moment I had there by far.)

    The Warranty Comes Warranted, Part 2

    , | AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Technology

    (I’m selling a customer an iPad and introducing a new warranty which covers accidental damage, meaning you can replace your iPad for $50 rather than buying a whole new one. It’s a fantastic deal and, as the customer in question is buying the iPad for his eight-year-old daughter and wants the most expensive model, I am trying to convince him that the extra $99 for it is really worth it.)

    Me: “Sir, just to check, you’re getting this for your daughter, you said?”

    Customer: “Yeah. I mean, we’ll use it too, but it’s mostly for her.”

    Me: “I see. In that case, you really want to consider getting the extra warranty.”

    Customer: “But it comes with one that covers it for a year, right?”

    Me: “Yes, but it doesn’t cover accidental damage. If she accidentally drops it and cracks the screen, it’ll cost full price to replace without the warranty. With the warranty, it’s only $50 to replace it.”

    Customer: *considers it for a moment, then shakes his head* “Nah, we’ll be okay. I’ll tell her to be real careful.”

    Me: *gesturing to a nearby table where we have iPads set up for kids to play with* “Sir, I’m sure your daughter is really careful with her toys, but iPads are really fragile and kids sometimes forget they’re not as hardy as their other things.”

    (In perfect timing, a kid at the table then starts banging the iPad on the table hard. I grimace and the customer cringes slightly.)

    Customer: “Err, no, no. It’s okay. We’ll be careful.”

    (I get him to at least buy a screen cover and ring him up. He’s excited and happy at the end, so I figure everything’s all right and hopefully his daughter is as careful as he says she is. The next day, however, I see him come in with the iPad, case, and several small glass shards from the broken screen in a Ziploc bag. He sees me on his way to the tech counter and sheepishly holds up the bag.)

    Customer: “I guess you were right. I’ll get the warranty this time…”

    The Warranty Comes Warranted

    Laptop Flop, Part 6

    | USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work as a computer tech for a major university that has a contract with a government agency. The laptops issued to the government agents are standard except for the software. We try to diagnose and repair everything over the phone, and when we can’t resolve the problem, the customers are required to ship the laptops to us.)

    Me: “[Organization]. This is [My Name].”

    Customer: “Yeah, I accidentally spilled some soda into my laptop keyboard.”

    Me: “Okay.”

    Customer: “So I shut it off immediately, but the keys were all sticky.”

    Me: “Okay, so we—”

    Customer: “So I decided that I would run it through the dishwasher.”

    Me: “You what?”

    Customer: “So yeah, I figured it wouldn’t hurt anything if I didn’t turn it on right away, while it was still wet.”

    Me: “So, your laptop is—”

    Customer: “Well, I didn’t want to wait for it to dry. So I figured I could use a blow dryer on it.”

    (A blow dryer typically heats up to less than 160 degrees F or about 71 degrees C.)

    Me: “So the laptop needs—”

    Customer: “But I didn’t actually have a blow dryer, I only had a heat gun.”

    (Heat guns are shop and industrial tools used to melt plastics, solder, and a host of other things, often generating heat in the 1100 degrees F [about 600 C] range. Keyboards can melt at temperatures as low as 200 degrees F/93 degrees C.)

    Me: “So, you need to—”

    Customer: “So, the whole middle of the laptop is melted. Do you think I need to send it in?”

    Me: *sigh* “Yes, just ship it to us, we will ship a replacement.”

    Laptop Flop, Part 5
    Laptop Flop, Part 4
    Laptop Flop, Part 3