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    No Time Lie The Present

    | AK, USA | Extra Stupid, Liars & Scammers, Technology

    (Our company gets hit with spam that asks people to go to an external website and enter your username & password. We block the email but the damage is done, so you pull up a log of people who went to the website and cold call all 50 of them as fast as possible. Five minutes in I get this guy:)

    Me: “Hey, you apparently clicked the email and entered your—”

    Him: “No, I didn’t.”

    Me: “I just need you to change your password; I have a record of you going to the spammy website—”

    Him: “No, I didn’t.”

    Me: “I literally have a list in front of me. Not only did you put in your username and password, you did it twice when it didn’t work!”

    Him: “I didn’t click that—”

    Me: “I don’t have time for you to lie to me right now; I’m forcing a password reset and logging you off. Enjoy your week.”

    (My boss gave me a slow clap for dealing with this man…)

    How To Get Yourself Fired

    | London, England, UK | Extra Stupid

    (I work for an IT company that, among other things, provides technical support for IT equipment to customers. On company I take calls for has hundreds of small restaurants dotted across the UK. I receive a call from a site in London around the time of the riots.)

    Me: “Welcome to the [Company] support desk. You’re speaking to [My Name]. How can I help?”

    Customer: “Hi, this is [Store]. The building next to us has been set fire and the smoke and flames are coming into our building. What do we do?”

    Me: *in a slightly panicked voice* “Silly question, but have you contacted the fire department and evacuated the building?”

    Customer: “errr… No, what’s their number?”

    Me: “999.” *the number for emergency services in the UK*

    Customer: “Okay, I’ll call them now.”

    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.”

    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…”

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