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    Does Not Compute

    | The Netherlands | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (An old couple walks up to me:)

    Couple: “Hello, where can we find modems?”

    Me: “Modems? We don’t sell those; you need to get one from an ISP.”

    Couple: “Yes, you do. We bought one over ten years ago in a store like this.”

    Me: “Well, yes, we may have sold them back then, but you can’t just buy modems these days.”

    Couple: “Yes, you can. My neighbours just bought a new one here last week!”

    Me: *thinking they’re looking for a new router* “What would you like to use it for?”

    Couple: “For going on the Internet! What do you think we mean?”

    Me: “Well, we have many routers here, like this one with 802.11ac and this one—”

    Couple: “—How the h*** are those things so small? Where do you need to plug your keyboard in? Where does your screen go? How does that work, sonny boy? Tell me, HOW DOES THAT WORK?!”

    Me: “Oh. I think you’re looking for a desktop. One of those big boxy COMPUTERS?”

    Couple: “Yes, yes, that!”

    (In the end, they bought a laptop – “All that stuff in such a small box? Wow!”)

    Playing Hardball On Software

    , | Victorville, CA, USA | Criminal/Illegal, Technology

    Customer: “So how much is the hard drive?”

    Me: “For that size, $99.95”

    Customer: “And how much is Windows?”

    Me: “For Vista Home Premium, $99.95.”

    Customer: “And how much do you charge to install it?”

    Me: “$99.95, which would be the drive in the machine, full Windows install, with drivers.”

    Customer: “Okay, so how much is the total.”

    Me: “Well, it is roughly $300 but there will be some tax.”

    Customer: “That’s wrong!”

    Me: “What?”

    Customer: “You can’t even add!”

    Me: “Um, well, I rounded to $100 and 3 times $100 is $300. Like I said, it is roughly that.”

    Customer: “No, no, no. It is ROUGHLY $200!”

    Me: “What?”

    Customer: “Windows is free!”

    Me: “No, sir. It is not. If we sell you a license it is $99.95 plus tax.”

    Customer: “I don’t need a license for Windows!”

    Me: “Oh! You have a license with the sticker?”

    Customer: “Sticker?”

    Me: “Yes, like this one,” showed the Windows packaging with the license tag to the customer.

    Customer: “No, mine is not like that.”

    Me: “Well, it might be a little different color, but all the new tags for Vista look like this.”

    Customer: “Mine is for XP.”

    Me: “Oh. OK, well, I can install the XP if you have the sticker. Then it would be the $199.90 plus tax.”

    Customer: “It is not a sticker.”

    Me: “You don’t have a sticker?”

    Customer: “No! Nobody has a sticker. Windows is free.”

    Me: “No, sir. It is not. We buy Windows and resell it. Trust me, it is not free.”

    Customer: “Yes, it is!”

    Me: “No, sir. Even when you buy a computer with Windows, you are paying for it.”

    Customer: “You don’t have a clue what you are talking about. I have Windows and I got it for free!”

    Me: “Sir, I know of no legal way to do that.

    Customer: “My friend gave it to me.”

    Me: “What?”

    Customer: “My friend, he works for the county. He gave me Windows XP Pro for free. He told me you can install it as many times as you want.”

    Me: “Um, that is a crime.”

    Customer: “No, it isn’t!”

    Me: “Sir, we are an authorized Microsoft reseller. We deal with the company all the time. We know what their corporate licenses cost and say. Distributing them for free outside the corporation is illegal.”

    Customer: “You must be a real idiot!”

    Me: “For what, sir? Knowing the law?”

    Customer: “No! I told you, it is not illegal so you don’t know law. And! My friend does not work for a corporation! He works for the county!”

    Me: “Sir, the license the county bought is still the corporate license.”

    Customer: “No, it isn’t!”

    Me: “Then why does it say Pro Edition and not Government Edition?”

    Customer: “Well, that doesn’t matter.”

    Me: “Sir, either way, I can not legally install a version you do not have a valid license tag for.”

    Customer: “Yes, you can.”

    Me: “OK, yes, if I wanted to risk prison, fines, and losing [Company] its reseller agreement with Microsoft, I could do it. But I am not going to risk any of those things. It is simply not worth it.”

    Customer: “Well then, how much is Windows.”

    Me: “$99.95.”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “No what?”

    Customer: “$99.95 was the price of the drive.”

    Me: “They are both $99.95.”

    Customer: “So it is $99.95 for a drive with Windows? Why didn’t you say that before!”

    Me: “No, no. You misunderstood. I mean that they are each $99.95. If you bought the drive it would be $99.95. If you bought Windows it would be $99.95. If you buy both it is $199.90.”

    Customer: “That does not make any sense!”

    Me: “It is like parts for a car. They are separate parts but they happen to have the same price.”

    Customer: “What? What the hell does that mean?”

    Me: “Sir? It is an analogy. I am trying to make this clearer for you.”

    Customer: “Well, you don’t know how to explain f*****g anything! Of course parts for a car can have the same price. But this is not parts for a car! It is a drive and Windows, and Windows does not exist! So it is FREE!”

    Me: “No, sir. It does exist. It is not like a battery or a tire. It is more like the gas that makes it all go!”

    Customer: “What the f*** are you saying now?!”

    Me: “Windows powers a computer.”

    Customer: “Idiot! Electricity powers a computer!”

    Me: “Sir, I mean it makes all the parts work together so you can use them.”

    Customer: “You don’t know how to explain s***. You don’t know s***! How the f*** can you get away with ripping people off and charging $100 to install Windows, which does NOT exist, and stealing another $100 for the Windows! Explain that to me!”

    Me: “Sir, it takes a several hours to install Windows, the updates, drivers, and so on. The labor charge is actually cheaper than it would be if we charged hourly. We discount the install because about half of it is waiting time. As for the Windows itself, I already explained that we buy those licenses from Microsoft and resell them to customers. It would be a bad business practice for us to sell it for less than the price.”

    Customer: “Well, f*** this!”

    Me: “Thank you, sir!”

    (A few weeks later he comes back and my manager is there. We have almost the same argument. But this time some new information comes out:)

    Me: “Sir, I said last time that we can’t install your illegal copy!”

    Customer: “It isn’t illegal! My friend works for the county and he gave it to me!”

    Me: “Try asking your friend’s boss about it.”

    Manager: “Sir, if he installed an illegal copy, which yours is, I would fire him.”

    Customer: “Well, then, if I buy just a drive, will it install properly on it?”

    Me: “What do you mean?”

    Customer: “Well, I installed the copy my friend gave me and now the computer is all messed up. It won’t get on the Internet, the icons are huge, and the colors are all messed up.”

    Me: “You need to install the drivers, sir.”

    Customer: “What the h*** are drivers?”

    Me: “Software.”

    Manager: “So they don’t exist. Like Windows.”

    Customer: “What the h***?!”

    Manager: “If you don’t know what you are doing, you won’t be able to do it. That is what we charge the $99.95 for.”

    Customer: “Well then, will you install drivers on mine?”

    Me: “Sure.”

    Manager: “But…”

    Me: “Bring in a machine with a legal Windows license and we will gladly install drivers on it.”

    Customer: “What?!”

    Me: “Sir, we are risking our business license, our Microsoft contract, and more if we work on stolen merchandise. We just don’t do it!”

    Customer: “It is not stolen!”

    Manager: “Your friend stole it. They gave it to you, but they stole it.”

    Customer: “They would never do that! My friend is not a thief!”

    Manager: “Yes, they are! Don’t believe me? Give me their name and what county department they work for.”

    Customer: “F*** you! I’m leaving!”

    Me: “Good luck with your computer.”

    Customer: “F*** you, too! I’m going to get my computer working and get my Office running again, which is what I needed in the first place so I can finish this document!”

    Me: *to manager as guy storms out* “Wait… did he trash his system to fix Office?”

    Manager: “I hope so.”

    I’m Just Not That Kind Of Program!

    | ON, Canada | Rude & Risque, Technology

    (A customer has come in and noticed that we are now using Windows 10. He asks about Cortana, the voice activated assistant, so I give him a brief demo.)

    Me: “So you can just say ‘Hey, Cortana,’ and then tell her what you want her to do. Give it a try!”

    Customer: “Hey, ‘Cantina!’ Drop Your Dress!”

    Me: “Maybe you should try it when you get home…”

    Convicted Of Stupidity

    | Finland | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Extra Stupid

    (A customer walks in the store and proceeds to the counter.)

    Customer: “I’m so glad they arrange you folk some proper jobs.”

    (She then walks into the store, leaving me puzzled with her comment. She returns in a bit with a product.)

    Me: “That’ll be €25.99. Cash or card?”

    Customer: “Don’t take this wrong, but I don’t want to give my credit card to a convict.”

    Me: “A convict? I assure you I’ve never had any problem with the law.”

    Customer: “Why do you have bars in the windows, then?”

    Me: “Our insurance company insists on having them so you can’t get in by just breaking a window.”

    Customer: “Oh…”

    (I’ve never seen anyone with such a bright red face before!)


    | Overland Park, KS, USA | Extra Stupid, Liars & Scammers, Spouses & Partners, Technology

    (I work at a busy computer and electronics store. A customer approaches me in the printer section.)

    Customer: “I’d like to buy a wifi disabled printer.”

    Me: “Ah, do you mean a wifi enabled printer?”

    Customer: “No. I want to buy a printer but it can’t have wifi.”

    (I acquiesce and spend some time showing her a few different lines, explaining what each can do. None of them are satisfactory, since any modern consumer-level printer with decent features has built in wifi. Sensing her frustration, I show her a newer model. She’s pretty much sold but I tell her wifi is built in but that she can disable it if she’s worried about security.)

    Customer: “No no. It’s not about security. It doesn’t matter if it can be disabled. We can’t risk having wifi in the printer at all.”

    Me: “Not to pry, but why is it so important that the printer doesn’t have built-in wifi?”

    Customer: “My husband is very sensitive to wireless electronic signals. He gets extreme headaches when exposed to them even for a short period of time. That’s why he’s standing over there.” *points to a smiling man standing about twenty feet away*

    Me: *sarcastically* “Oh, no!”

    Customer: “What?!”

    Me: “You might want to inform your husband that he’s been standing under the store’s main wireless access point for the past 20 minutes, being blasted with wifi signals 50 times stronger than any of these printers.”

    (She ran to her husband, said something, and pointed up to the access point on the ceiling. I tried not to have a smug look on my face as the man suddenly feigned illness and they left abruptly.)

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