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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 12

    | MD, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I provide a replacement business cell phone for a user who misplaced hers. During the delivery process of the new phone I ask:)

    Me: “Have you been able to find the original phone?”

    Caller: “I’ve looked in every room except the one I think it’s actually in.”


    Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 11
    Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 10 
    Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 9 

    My Name Is The Law(rence)

    | Kent, England, UK | Funny Names

    (I’ve always had trouble with people mishearing my name “Lawrence” on the phone, even getting mistaken with my dad’s one-syllable name when I was at home. In my job, fewer than half of our callers get it right the first time. I try to politely correct them where I can as we are a small company and I’ll likely deal with them frequently by phone and email.)

    Me: “Good morning, [Company]. Lawrence speaking. How may I help?”

    Customer: “Hi, Aaron, I—”

    Me: “Sorry, it’s ‘Lawrence.'”

    Customer: “Sorry, Florence—”

    Me: “Lawrence.”

    Customer: “…Warren?”

    Me: “LLLaaaawrrreeeennnnsss”

    Customer: “Terrence, I’m so sorry—”

    Me:Lawrence of Arabia.”

    Customer: *laughing* “Lawrence! Got it. I’ll remember that. You must think I’m so thick.”

    Me: “Well, you didn’t try ‘Tony’ like the last guy…”

    Should Have Tried That Second Line First

    | UK | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid

    (I’m second-line support and for most of the day, I’m calling customers back to deal with things first-line can’t. After 5 pm, if it’s busy we help first-line out and take incoming calls, partly because our calls are often long, partly because most of our customers close at 5 pm and are unlikely to be there. I am taking a troublesome call that goes past 5:30, and my boss is standing behind me, wanting to close up so he can collect his kids.)

    Caller: “Look, I know how this works. Nobody on first-line knows anything. Tou’re just trying to get rid of me because it’s past 5:30!”

    Me: “Well, the most senior of the 2nd-line technicians are still here. Would you like to talk to them?”

    Caller: “Yes! Finally. Put him on.”

    Me: “Okay her name’s [My Name]. I’ll just get her.”

    (I put him on hold for two seconds, pick up again, repeat what I’d told him to do without even asking about the problem, and he goes away happy.)

    Boss: “I wish I could be surprised that worked.”

    Logged Too Many Logins

    | England, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (This happens far too regularly.)

    Me: “Hello, [Company]. How may I help?”

    Customer: “Hello I would like to know how to [generic query].”

    Me: “Okay, from [screen], open [other screen], and select [option].”

    Customer: “Oh, hang on. Let me get to a computer and log in.”

    An Unhappy Meal

    | NV, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (The majority of my calls tend to come from the technologically deficient users attempting to access our online banking site.)

    Caller: “I can’t get into your website. Are you having problems?”

    Me: *verifies website is working normally* “No, ma’am, our website appears to be working just fine. There might be an issue with your computer. What web browser are you using?”

    Caller: “McDonald’s.”

    Me: “Pardon me, but did you say McDonald’s?”

    Caller: “Yes.”

    Me: “Are you using the Internet at McDonald’s?”

    Caller: “Of course, that is what I just told you.”

    Me: “Okay, but I need to know what program you are using to get onto our website.”

    Caller: “I already told you. I’m using McDonald’s.”

    Me: “I understand you are using their Internet access, but I need to know what program you are using. Could it be Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, or Opera?”

    Caller: *in a rather desperate tone* “I already told you. I’m using McDonald’s.”

    Me: “I understand. What does the icon that you clicked on look like? Is it a blue ‘E’ with a gold halo?”

    Caller: “How would I know that?”

    Me: “Look on your desktop and…”

    Caller: “How many times do I have to tell you that I’m at McDonald’s?”

    Me: “Ma’am, the desktop is what you see when you turn the computer on.”

    (This conversation went on for 20 minutes before we finally figured out she was using Internet Explorer. The issue was that her Java was out of date. Way out of date. Talking her through updating Java took an additional 15 minutes. After the conversation, I walked into my boss’s office and informed him that I qualified for hazard pay.)

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