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    Just Wanted To Be Extra Extra Sure

    , | Pittsburgh, PA, USA |

    (The power went out on campus. We have generator power in some parts of the school, particularly where I am. Then, an admin assistant calls…)

    Me: “Help Desk, this is ***, how can I help you?”

    Admin Assistant: “How can I shut my computer off?”

    Me: “Okay. The beeping you hear in your room is a UPS. It’s going to keep your computer powered on for only about 19 minutes at best, so it’s good you called. Go into your Start menu and shut your computer down through the shut down option.

    Admin Assistant: “Okay, where?”

    Me: *explains how to shut down a computer*

    Admin Assistant: “I don’t see where you’re talking about.”

    Me: “Okay, do you see your computer screen?”

    Admin Assistant: “No, it’s dark in here. It’s dark everywhere. The power went out.”

    Me: “Yes, I know. It’s out all over campus. ”

    Admin Assistant: “Yeah, so I can’t see anything in here. My computer is off.”

    Me: “Okay… your computer is off? Then why did you call? What do you need?”

    Admin Assistant: “I don’t know. I just wanted to know how to shut my computer down.”

    (I’m not kidding. This really happened. I’ve read similar stories on other web sites. But this is actually what happened to me when I was working a university help desk. Computer Science department, no less.)

    Procrastinology, B.S.

    | Bloomington, IN, USA |

    Dorm resident: “Hi. What’s the policy on moving out? When do we have to be out by?”

    Me: “Saturday morning by 10 AM, at the latest. We’d really prefer if you could make arrangements to be out sooner, though.”

    Dorm resident: “Well…what about later than that?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, that’s not possible. We’re starting a rather large remodeling project that’s on a very tight schedule. They need to get started that morning. If you are here past 10, you’ll be charged the improper checkout fee.”

    Dorm resident: “So…what about, like, 10:30?”

    Me: “Uhh…that’s later than 10, isn’t it? If you want to get very technical about it, you’d be guilty of trespassing at that point, and the police would be helping you move out.”

    (For the record, that’s not entirely true, but we’ve been encouraged to say that to convince the little darlings to get out.)

    Dorm resident: “Well, that’s just not fair! What if it’s an emergency?”

    Me: “You’re planning to have an emergency over a week in advance?”

    Dorm resident: “F**k you.”

    Fortunately, Stupidity Is Not Tax Deductible

    | Houston, TX, USA |

    (During a heated debate in my Sociology class about the pros and cons of immigration, the discussion turned to illegal immigration.)

    Student: “I pay my taxes. If I have to pay sales tax, I think they should too!”

    Tampax, Kayaks, Same Thing

    | Hill Country, TX, USA |

    (I work at a place that provides kayaks, hiking/climbing gear, canoes, and inner tubes for students at our university.)

    Young Woman: “Hi, I need deodorant and a tampon.”

    Me: “Um, we don’t have those here.”

    Young Woman: “What do you mean?”

    Me: “This is the Outdoor Center. We provide outdoor recreational equipment for students.”

    Young Woman: “Well I’m a student, I’m outside, and I need deodorant and a tampon!”

    (About this time my co worker looks up with a look on her face of WTF?!)

    Me: “Yeah…those don’t come with kayaks or canoes.”

    Young Woman: “They should!”

    (I walk off to let my female coworker take over this one.)

    Time To Moooove To Another Cowllege

    | Missouri | Top

    (For three years, my job was to deal with angry parents. I was very good at it. Most of the time.)

    Parent: *angrily* “I need to speak to someone about my daughter’s roommates!”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, what seems to be the problem?”

    Parent: “Her roommates are awful to her! ”

    Me: “Okay. Can you detail the problems for me? The more specific you can be, the better we can help your daughter and her roommates settle their problems.”

    Parent: “They curse, and they play loud music, and they’re, well, they’re just not *like* us.”

    Me: “In what way are they not *like* you, ma’am?”

    Parent: “Well, they’re…farm people.”

    (Twenty seconds of absolute silence as I am, for once, thrown off my game. I’ve heard racial B.S. and religious B.S., but never *farm* B.S.)

    Parent: “Not that there’s anything wrong with farm people. It’s just that we’re not farm people.”

    (I’m still in shock. She keeps going.)

    Parent: I mean, farms are useful, but we’re from the city. My daughter grew up going to the theater and to museums.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I can assure you, as a kid from a farm myself, I’ve been to the theater and to museums. What we probably have here is a personality clash.”

    (There’s about a 10 second pause that just drips with uncomfortable.)

    Parent: “Perhaps I should speak to someone else.”


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