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…
(Note: I’m doing tech support for a college professor.)
Me: “Can I have you look at the lights on the modem?”
Professor: “Yep, looking now.”
(There’s a lengthy pause while I wait for him to look. After he doesn’t say anything for awhile, I decide to ask.)
Me: “So, what are they doing?”
Professor: “Oh! Let me go look…”
(This goes on for another 15 minutes, where he doesn’t answer a single question I ask. I eventually manage to get him to plug a ethernet cable in, but it is still saying a cable is unplugged. He still will not not listen to me and goes on doing his own thing. Five minutes later…)
Me: “What port is the ethernet cable plugged into?”
Professor: “The only one it goes into.”
Me: “And what is the other end plugged into?”
Professor: “The computer…”
Me: “And the other end?”
Professor: “Well, it’s not plugged into anything.”
(I try to keep my calm, despite being exasperated.)
Me: “Can you plug that into the modem please?”
Professor: “Well, now it works. So what did we do?”
Me: “We plugged it in…”
Introducing Weekend Roundups: each week, we’ll be featuring some of our favorite stories from the Not Always Right archives.
Tech Support Classics! This week, we share five stories that reveal the trials, tribulations, and terrors that technical support employees endure daily.
- DE TING, DE TING!!!:
Problem: Video is blue and blue on “the thing.” You know…DE TING!!!
- Accountants And Their Blue Tape:
That’s right, kids! You too can click “Next” to discover the not-so-savory nether regions of your hard drive!
- Quantity Does Not Equal Quality:
When in doubt, just keep inserting.
- Guardian Of The Tubes And Protector Of The Google:
I CAN HAZ LORD LOLCATS NAO!
- His Repair Method Doesn’t Hold Water:
For this customer, DIY stands for “Drown It Yourself.”
(I’m on the phone with an irate customer who feels like she has been cheated by my company after purchasing a PVR (aka a DVR, or digital video recorder). Apparently, she misunderstood the previous rep who sold it to her. We have been arguing for quite some time.)
Customer: “I can’t get my money back? Why not? I was told that this PVR unit would let me watch shows that normally come on at 9pm whenever I wanted.”
Me: “I’m sorry ma’am, but we can’t refund the item as it is past 30 days since you purchased it. Furthermore, there is no technology available that functions as you describe.”
Customer: “This is ridiculous! What’s the point of buying this PVR if I can’t watch shows earlier?”
Me: “Ma’am, the unit is called a PVR. It’s a personal video recorder, and it allows you to record programs to watch at a later time. It is not a time machine.”
Patron: “Do you have a typewriter?”
Me: “No, sorry. We haven’t had one in a while, but I can show you how to use Word.”
Patron: “No, I need a typewriter. I want to put an address on an envelope.”
Me: “Well you can do that in—”
Patron: “I can’t believe you don’t have a typewriter. What kind of library doesn’t have a typewriter?! Where can I find one?”
Me: “I really don’t know. You could try [office supply store], I suppose.”
(The man leaves, grumbling. The next woman in line comes up.)
Patron #2: “I don’t suppose your computers can take floppies?”
Me: “I see the problem. You entered a zero in a field where you were supposed to enter an O, for ‘Other.’”
Caller: “The letter zero?”
Me: “No, the letter O. You have to enter the letter O in that field, not zero.”
Caller: “The number zero or the letter zero?”
Me: “The letter O.”
Caller: “Okay, the letter zero…”