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    USB = Universally Stupid Backups

    | SC, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I have just solved a customer’s virus problem.)

    Me: “That should do it. I got it all before it was able to do any major damage. Do you keep good backups?”

    Customer: “Backups?”

    Me: “Yes, copies of your important files for when—and I do mean when, not if—something happens to your computer. For instance if this virus had not been kept in check.”

    Customer: “So I could have lost all my music and wedding photos, and pictures of my grandma who passed away?!”

    Me: “It’s possible, if you do not have copies somewhere else, yes.”

    Customer: “Oh my God! Can you show me how to back them up?!”

    (I spend another 30 minutes showing her how to backup to a USB thumb-drive I have with me, as she does not own one.)

    Me: “You will need to get your own USB drive. You should be able to get one of adequate size for around $10 to $20.”

    (Three months later, I am at the same customer’s house.)

    Me: “Sorry, but it looks like your hard drive has crashed.”

    Customer: “What does that mean?!”

    Me: “The part where all your information is stored has gone bad. Anything on it that was not backed up may very well be gone for good, unless you wanted to send it away for costly data recovery.”

    Customer: “Oh yeah… I remember you telling me to backup the last time you were here so I went and got one of those things… let me get it.”

    (She leaves the room. I hear some rummaging and she soon returns holding the UNOPENED USB drive.)

    Customer: “Sure am glad I got this!”

    Not Just The Computer Making A Loud Noise

    | Mooresville, IN, USA | Bad Behavior, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (A very angry customer walks into our office.)

    Me: “Hi! What can I help you with today?”

    Customer: “My computer’s broken! Fix it!”

    Me: “I see you didn’t bring it in with you today. What seems to be the problem?”

    Customer: “It doesn’t work!”

    Me: “How is it not working? Can you turn it on, or does nothing happen when you hit the power button? Does it power up, but it might just be slow from a virus?”

    Customer: “You should know this! My monitor doesn’t work! I bought a new monitor, but it doesn’t work! Oh, and my computer is making a loud noise!”

    Me: “I’m thinking it sounds like there may be one of three things wrong with your computer. If you could bring it in, I’ll take a look at it.”

    (From this point on, she screams at me every time she speaks to me.)

    Customer: “YOU SHOULD KNOW WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY COMPUTER! TELL ME WHAT’S WRONG!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I honestly don’t know what’s wrong until you bring it in and let me look at it. Until then, I’m not going to be able to give you the answers you need.”

    Customer: “TELL ME WHAT’S WRONG!”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, I think the most likely case is that your motherboard has failed. If that’s true, you’ll need to buy a new computer. It also sounds like your power supply may have failed or you might need a new video card. If either of those two are the case, they’re fixable problems.”

    Customer: “TELL ME HOW MUCH A VIDEO CARD COSTS!”

    Me: “How old is your computer?”

    Customer: “IT’S AN ACER!”

    Me: “Ma’am, first things first. I’m going to have to ask you to keep this conversation at a reasonable volume. Secondly, you yelling at me the brand of your computer when I ask for the age doesn’t help me. If you could just bring it in to me—”

    Customer: “YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT! I’M NEVER DOING BUSINESS WITH YOU AGAIN!”

    (The woman storms out of the office. I yell back before the door closes.)

    Me: “You never did business with us in the first place!”

    Tai-Want It Now

    | Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Geography, Technology

    (I am a customer waiting in line when I hear this exchange between the repair person and a customer.)

    Repair Person: “Alright, ma’am, we’re going to have to order some parts from the factory to get this fixed. They should be here in about 10 days.”

    Customer: *very angry* “10 days?! Are you serious? Why the h*** is it so long? What is wrong with you people?! In Taiwan, they could get parts the same day!”

    Repair Person: “Ma’am, in Taiwan, the factory is right next door.”

    Customer: *leaves, defeated*

    Spyware Is Strength

    | South Carolina, USA | Technology

    (I run my own computer repair business out of my home. A customer has just arrived to pick up their computer, and I am explaining what I have done.)

    Customer: “That didn’t take long. I expected you to have my computer for a few more days.”

    Me: “I didn’t have to do much. You had two nasty viruses and some spyware to remove, but everything is good as new now.”

    Customer: “What? You removed my spyware? No!”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “But my computer can’t run without spyware! It keeps Big Brother from watching!”

    (She storms out without paying, and I decide to them her go. Not surprisingly, they come back a few weeks later after gunking up their computer again!)

    Forget-PC-Not

    | Chicago, IL, USA | Technology

    (I’m working as operator for a computer repair shop.)

    Customer: “I’d like to check on the status of my repair, please.”

    (I look her up in our system and her computer has been ready for 48 days.)

    Me: “Ma’am, your computer has been ready for 48 days.”

    Customer: “I know! I forgot all about it. Today, my daughter asked about the computer. I was all, ‘What computer?’”

    Me: “Well, if you could pick it up before the 21st, that would be great. Otherwise, we have to recycle it.”

    Customer: “Don’t do that! I need my computer!”

    Me: “Don’t worry, ma’am. Today’s the 8th. You have some time.”

    Customer: “But what if I forget?”

    Me: “Please don’t!”

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