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    Detached From (Digital) Reality

    , | Beltsville, MD, USA | Technology, Top

    (I work for an online retail store. When customers send orders to addresses different from their card, we e-mail them a Word document form. This form requires they fill it out and e-mail it back to us.)

    Customer: “I don’t understand. I’ve sent this form to you several times now.”

    Me: “Sir, I saw your e-mail, but the form wasn’t attached to it.”

    Customer: “Attached? How do you do that?”

    Me: “What program or e-mail provider do you use?”

    Customer: “I don’t know. I just write e-mails.”

    Me: “Well, is your e-mail through Outlook, or is it something in a browser, like AOL, Yahoo, or Gmail?

    Customer: “Yahoo.”

    Me: “Okay. Well, you need to look for—”

    Customer: “Hold up! I don’t even have my e-mail open. Why do I need to do this? I used your program and sent you the file.”

    Me: “What program, sir?”

    Customer: “Microsoft Office. And now it’s opening a bunch of files! 1, 2, 3, 4…20!”

    Me: “Did you click on our file a bunch of times?”

    Customer: “No! I just clicked on what you sent me! Your program is really stupid.”

    Me: “Sir, that’s not our program. We sent you a document. The program to open it is someone else’s.”

    Customer: “Well, your ‘document’ has a virus! There are 20 things on my screen now!”

    Me: “It’s not a virus, sir. Just close those windows down, and we’ll start from scratch…”

    Customer: *a few minutes later* “There. I filled out the form. You should have it.”

    Me: “Sir, did you save it and attach it to the e-mail?”

    Customer: “What do you mean? I filled it out! You should have it.”

    Me: “You have to save it and attach it to the e-mail.”

    Customer: “That’s stupid! Your program should just send it to you!”

    Me: “Sir, again, that’s not our program. That is just a Word document that you save your information in.”

    Customer: “You should use a program that just lets you fill it out and it sends the information.”

    Me: “Sorry, our documents don’t do that.”

    Customer: “This is ridiculously complicated. I’m about to cancel my order!”

    Me: “If you wish to do that sir, it’s up to you.”

    Customer: “I mean, how do you run your business? I have a Master’s in Computer Science! If I can’t figure this out, who could?!”