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    Fashion Over Function Keys

    | Glasgow, Scotland, UK | Technology, Top

    (I’m working as a trainer in a Internet service provider tech support team and I’m taking a call to show the new people how it’s done. One of my assistants is recording the call so we can replay it later.)

    Me: “Welcome to [ISP] tech support. How can I help you today?”

    Caller: “I’m having problems writing an email. I just can’t seem to do it.”

    (This ISP is known for its less tech savvy customers, so this is rather common.)

    Me: “That’s okay. Do you see a icon like an envelope at the top of the screen?”

    Caller: “Erm, yes!”

    Me: “Okay, click on that.”

    Caller: “Oh, a big box with 2 smaller boxes above it has opened up.”

    Me: “Okay, one of those smaller boxes will say ‘To:’. Can you click on that, please?”

    Caller: “Okay, done that. There’s a little flashing line!”

    Me: “Good, now in that box, we’re going to type an email address. We’ll use mine as a test. It’s C-G-E–”

    Caller: “Wait, wait! How do I put that in?”

    (At this point, I’m wondering if the user can be this stupid.)

    Me: “Well, on your keyboard, hit the letters C-G–”

    Caller: “I can’t.”

    Me: “Why?”

    Caller: “I don’t have a keyboard!”

    Me: “What?”

    Caller: “Well, I threw it away.”

    Me: “Wait. What? Why?!”

    Caller: “It didn’t match the furniture!”