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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…

    Shaping Up To Be A Typical Day

    | West Virginia, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (At my ISP, we offer rental modems for wireless connections that come pre-encrypted with a 26 character long password. Many customers mistake zeros for O’s; I’m speaking to one such customer after correcting it for him.)

    Customer: “I just couldn’t figure it out. I tried several times, but it didn’t want to work.”

    Me: “Well, it looks like we found the problem. Just remember that there are no O’s in that password—only zeros.”

    Customer: “That’s gotta be it. I know the first time I tried it I used O’s, and then I tried circles. Guess I didn’t think to try zeros!”

    Laptop Flop, Part 2

    | Tampa, FL, USA | Technology

    (I work in a technology help desk fixing computers. A preteen girl brings in her laptop. The entire left side is damaged, and quite badly.)

    Girl: “My laptop isn’t working and I don’t know why.”

    Me: “Well, it may have to do with the damage on the side.”

    Girl: “What damage?”

    Me: “The entire left side of your laptop is smashed up.”

    Girl: *surprised* “Oh! When did that happen?”

    Me: “Have you dropped it recently?”

    Girl: “Well, yeah, I’m really klutzy, so I tend to drop it out of my car when I go to school.”

    Me: “Okay. Well, we can take a look at it and try to fix it for you so your laptop works again. In the future, try not to drop your laptop so much.”

    Girl: “Oh, is it bad to drop it a lot?”

    Related:
    Laptop Flop

    Those Who Can’t, iTeach

    | GA, USA | Technology

    Customer: “I want to see the new iPods. I am interested in one because I don’t want to buy an iPhone and be locked into a data plan.”

    Me: “Yeah, that’s the great thing about the iPod! With the addition of FaceTime, you can video chat people over wifi.”

    Customer: “FaceTime, hmm? What is FaceTime?”

    Me: “That’s a great question. It’s actually a brand new app that’s included with iOS 5 that allows you to video chat, like Skype.”

    Customer: “Well, how does it work?”

    Me: “Easy! You just open the app, tap the person you want to contact, and your device will attempt to connect to the person’s device for a video chat.”

    (At this point in the conversation, I think I am doing a great job explaining FaceTime. Then, the tone completely changes.)

    Customer: “Right, but how does it work?”

    Me: “Like I said, you just tap the—”

    Customer: “Stop, stop, stop! You already explained that. You’re avoiding the question now. How does FaceTime actually work!?”

    Me: “…Like, the technology behind it?”

    Customer: “Yes! What’s the technology behind it?”

    Me: “Oh, okay. Well when you’re connected to wifi, it allows you to—”

    Customer: “No! That’s not what I am asking. You know, I was a teacher for 20 years and if you were in my class, you would be given detention for having a smart mouth!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I am not sure how else to explain it.”

    Customer: “Is there someone else I could talk to who knows anything!?”

    (I ended up getting my manager; they had just as tough of a time pleasing her!)

    PEBCAK & Episode V

    | Vancouver Island, BC, Canada | Technology

    (Note: I provide desktop support for a division of the Canadian government.)

    Caller: “My computer is frozen. I’ve tried everything and it just doesn’t respond…” *describes what’s on the screen*

    Me: “Okay, we can fix that.”

    (A bit of troubleshooting transpires.)

    Caller: “No, it’s still not doing anything.”

    Me: “Okay, we will try a hard power off. Hold down the power button on the tower until the computer turns off, and then press it again to turn it back on.”

    (The caller answers almost immediately, which is a tad fast as it takes about 5 seconds for the tower to power off usually.)

    Caller: “Okay, I did that. It’s still the same.”

    Me: “What do you mean it’s still the same?”

    Caller: “Nothing has changed. It’s just like it was before I turned it off. I know what I’m doing; I’m good with computers. I use one at home all the time, too.”

    Me: “…So, you completely turned the computer off by holding down the power button and when you turned it back on you didn’t have to log on or enter a password, and all your applications showed up still frozen?”

    Caller: “Yes, that’s it exactly. I don’t understand what’s going on! I’m good with computers. I use one at home all the time, too.”

    (I ask a couple more questions before giving up fixing it over the phone. As she works in the same building as I do, I tell her that I’ll be up to see her in a few minutes. I walk in to see her holding down the power button and a blank screen.)

    Caller: “I thought that if I held it down for longer it might be better.”

    Me: *bites tongue* “Okay, well what we need to do—”

    Caller: “See?!” *the screen lights up* “Exactly the same as before I shut it all down!”

    Me: “Okay, but that is the monitor. We need to shut down the computer…”

    Related:
    PEBCAK & Episode IV

    Supportive Of Technical Support

    | USA | Awesome Customers, Technology, Top

    Technician: “Hello, how may I be of service?”

    Customer: “You’re a technician?”

    Technician: “Yes, sir. I’ve worked here for 3 years. I assure you that I’m qualified to help you with any problems you might have.”

    Customer: “You’re the first female tech I’ve spoken to. You must really be good.”

    Technician: “Thank you.”

    Customer: “Do you ever get nasty comments?”

    Technician: “Unfortunately, yes I do sometimes. I’ve learnt to deal with them.”

    Customer: “Well, they can all stick it where it don’t shine! And if you’re seriously having trouble with a particular guy, let me know and I’ll make sure they’ll regret it!”

    (From then on, this customer always asked for our female technician.)

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