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…

Please Pay To Make Them Stop

| ON, Canada | Money, Technology

Customer: “I’m done doing my copies over there.”

Me: “Oh, great. Did they turn out okay?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Good.”

Customer: “Where do I pay?”

Me: “You paid already.”

Customer: “No, I didn’t; the machine told me to take my card out.”

Me: “Yes, the new machine doesn’t require your card to stay in the whole time. The good thing about that is people won’t forget their cards anymore!”

Customer: “Okay, but I still haven’t paid.”

Me: “Yes, you have.”

Customer: “No! I put my card in and then it told me to take it out!”

Me: “Yes, because it remembers your card. You hit “end session” on the screen when you were finished, right?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Did it ask you if you wanted a receipt?”

Customer: “Yes. It’s right here. But I want you to print me a new one so you can prove that I’ve paid.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “I have a receipt here, but I don’t think it’s true because I didn’t leave my card in.”

Me: “You don’t have to leave your card in. That receipt will be correct. And the next person’s job will not be charged to your card, because you hit “end session”.”

Customer: “Okay, but how do I know that this receipt isn’t lying?”

Me: “Why would it be lying?”

Customer: “Because my card wasn’t in the machine while I did my copies!”

Me: “But it’s not supposed to be. That’s how the new machine works. I can print you another receipt over here if you want.”

(The customer gives me her card, and I print her receipt, which is identical to the one that came out of the copier.)

Me: “See? It’s the same.”

Customer: “But how does it know?”

Me: “I don’t know; it’s just smart I guess!”

Customer: “No! HOW does it know!? HOW does it work!?”

Me: “You mean how does the technology work?”

Customer: “Yes! It’s blowing my mind!”

Me: “Um, I don’t know how it works; I’m sorry. It will just have to continue to blow your mind.”

Snapping A Customer Who Snaps

| Wigston, England, UK | At The Checkout, Technology, Theme Of The Month, Wild & Unruly

(I am in line at my local supermarket. The customer ahead of me is complaining. I am a cyclist, wearing a helmet with a camera.)

Customer: “What the f*** is taking so long!?”

Employee: “I’m sorry, sir, I will try to get this done as quickly as possible.”

Customer: “I haven’t got time for this; do you know what this is?”

(The customer backs off into a karate position.)

Me: “Excuse me.”

(I turn on the camera on my helmet.)

Me: “You do know that you’re being video recorded from multiple places. Being nice to the staff is voluntary, but threatening them will get the police.”

Customer: “F*** off, or you’ll get dead!”

(The customer pulls out a knife, still in the wrapper. I kick it out of his hand, and he runs off. Between the supermarket and me, we have everything needed for a prosecution. My shopping was free!)

Playstation Meets Playboy

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, Rude & Risque, Technology, Underaged

(It is just after the release of the video game ‘Playboy Mansion’. In Australia, there is surprisingly no required age limit for the game; it comes with a recommendation only for 18+. A customer approaches the counter with a small boy beside her. She is carrying a copy of the game.)

Me: “Good morning, just that today is it?”

(I indicate the game, and the customer nods.)

Customer: “Yup!”

Me: “I just have to check that you are purchasing this either for yourself, or someone who is over 18. Though there is no legal requirement to be over 18, I must warn it has graphic content and adult themes.”

Customer: “No, it’s for him, but it’ll be alright. He’s eight, but I’ve said it’s okay.”

Me: “I must warn you this game is entirely inappropriate for someone so young.”

(I detail the contents of the game. However, the customer doesn’t bat an eyelid.)

Customer: “It’s still okay. I’d like to buy it for him.”

(I cannot bring myself to cater to this customer, so the manager sells the game to her instead. The customer is about to leave, and I approach her.)

Me: “If you view the game and you’re unhappy, you can return it to us within 30 days for an exchange.”

(The customer is reasonably pleasant about this but keeps dismissing my concerns. The boy skips off happily with her. Two days later, she returns with the boy in tow again.)

Customer: “I’ve come to return this game; I need to get something better for him. It’s not right for him at all.”

Me: “Sure thing. I had a feeling you wouldn’t be happy with it once you saw the content of the game. Sometimes it’s hard to explain just how graphic some of these games can be.”

Customer: “Nah, the game was fine, but you should have warned us about how much reading he’d have to do. There’s far too much to read, and he’s only eight. His reading’s not that good yet. There really ought to be warning stickers for this sort of thing. Have you got anything easier?”

A Bit Light On Being Polite

| Yonkers, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Technology, Theme Of The Month, Wild & Unruly

(I’m buying an item that offers certain customization options, and I’ve requested that mine have quite a bit of work done. I’ve made a few mistakes explaining what I want, and each one means the employee has to start from the very beginning.)

Employee: “Okay, I think it’s finally right. Can you take a look and confirm that all this is what you want?”

(The employee shows me the screen.)

Me: “Yeah, yeah, whoops. Sorry, this is wrong.”

Employee: “I’m sorry, my mistake. Let me see if I can void that one item—”

(The terminal goes black.)

Employee: “MOTHERF—whoops! Sorry, shouldn’t have said that.”

Me: “I’m sorry that my order is causing so much trouble.”

Employee: “Dude, you have no freaking idea. I don’t care if your order takes an hour, you’re actually being patient. I’m going to do what it takes to make sure you get everything the way you want it.”

Me: “I hope being minimally polite isn’t something that stands out so much from the—”

(There’s a crash from the next checkout counter.)

Other Employee: “But, sir, I ran the card four times, and it got rejected each time—”

Customer: *holding an item and smashing it into the counter* “RUN THE F****** CARD! IT’S MINE!”

Other Employee: “I never said it wasn’t yours!”

Employee: “What was that about being polite?”

History Is Never Old News

| Barrington, RI, USA | History, Technology, Top

(I am working in the print department of an office-supply store. An older customer comes in with a folder of very old newspaper articles.)

Customer: “Hello, young lady. I was just wondering if you could make some copies of these articles for me. They are getting old and I would like to preserve them.”

Me: “Of course!”

Customer: “Thank you very much. If you don’t mind, I’m going to go look around while you do this.”

(I agree, and he hands me the articles. I can see that it is an article about a man who was killed during World War Two. In one of the articles, it shows a picture of the deceased man holding a baby. As the customer has requested, I make copies of the articles that are beginning to fray, rip, and yellow. After making the copies, I quickly laminate them in order to keep them really preserved. The customer comes back.)

Me: “So you know, sir, I noticed that the articles you had were starting to rip, and I assumed that was why you were making the copies. When I finished the copies, I laminated them for you.”

Customer: “I appreciate that young lady, but I can’t afford the lamination.”

Me: “I like history, and I think historical documents are very important to keep. The lamination is free of charge!”

(The customer begins to cry.)

Me: “Sir, are you alright?”

Customer: “Yes, yes. Do you see this baby in this picture? This was me when I was just a few days old. This was the only time my father ever held me before he died. This is all I have to remember him by, and you just helped me to keep them preserved so I can keep his memory alive. Miss, please… can I give you a hug?”

Me: “Of course!”

(He gives me the warmest hug I have ever experienced.)

Customer: “Thank you, miss. You have no idea how happy you just made an old man.”

(I am also crying, due to the joy I gave this customer by taking two seconds to laminate his articles. After pulling away from him, I notice that my manager is also beginning to cry.)

Manager: “Sir, these copies are on the store. Have a nice day, and come see us if you ever need anything else.”

(The customer leaves with a huge smile on his face, and my manager and I are both cheery for the rest of the day. When I arrive at work the next day, I find a small bouquet of flowers sitting on my desk with a note from the customer.)

Note From The Customer: “I picked these flowers for you from my garden. They aren’t much, but I was hoping I could brighten your day as much as you brightened mine.”

(I still have that note, along with one of the flowers that I kept and pressed in a scrap book. I will never forget that man, and the father he never knew.)

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