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  • August Theme Of The Month: Best. Customer. Ever!

    Should Keep Better Account Of Her Account

    | SD, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in a library that offers computer services to patrons. We get a lot of people who don’t know anything about computers.)

    Patron: “Can you help me out? The computer won’t let me check my email.”

    Me: “Sure. Let’s see what’s wrong.”

    (We walk over to her computer.)

    Patron: “Now see, I put in my email address and hit enter and it doesn’t sign me in!”

    Me: “Well, first of all, you’re on the Google search engine, not an email site. If you have Gmail, then you click on that little button right there that says ‘Gmail’ and then you can enter your email address and password.”

    Patron: “I don’t have Gmail. I have Yahoo!”

    Me: “So you’re trying to access your Yahoo email through the Google search bar by typing in your email address and hitting enter?”

    Patron: “Yes! It won’t let me on! Fix it!”

    Me: “Okay, one second.” *types in Yahoo mail into the address bar* “There. Now put in your email address and password and it will sign you in. You need to be on the Yahoo mail site to access your yahoo mail.”

    Patron: “Password? I don’t have a password!”

    Should Keep Better Account Of His Account

    Taxing Faxing, Part 12

    | NH, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in a small public library with a self-service fax machine. The machine walks you through sending a fax with an automated verbal prompt. A coworker comes to find me at my desk.)

    Coworker: “Can you lift the fax machine up?”

    Me: “What? Why?”

    Coworker: “She got her card stuck in it.”

    (Our fax machine does not have a credit card reader. Now confused, I approach the patron.)

    Me: “What seems to be the problem here?”

    Patron: “My card is stuck in the fax machine.”

    Me: “Can you show me where?”

    (She points to the paper feed.)

    Me: *digging the card from the machine* “How did this happen?”

    Patron: “The voice said, ‘put in the card number,’ so I put the card in the machine.”

    Me: “Miss, it doesn’t scan the card. It scans the pages you want to fax. You have to manually type the card number using the number keys on the pad.”

    (The patron gives me a dumbfounded look.)

    Me: *pointing to the numbers* “The numbers on the front of your credit card are the actual account number. That’s how the machine knows to charge your account.”

    (Same dumbfounded look.)

    Me: *sigh* “Here, let me help you…”

    Taxing Faxing, Part 11
    Taxing Faxing, Part 10
    Taxing Faxing, Part 9
    Taxing Faxing, Part 8
    Taxing Faxing, Part 7
    Taxing Faxing, Part 6
    Taxing Faxing, Part 5
    Taxing Faxing, Part 4
    Taxing Faxing, Part 3
    Taxing Faxing, Part 2
    Taxing Faxing

    Not Getting Closer To The Solution

    | AL, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (The library does faxes for patrons.)

    Librarian: “Okay, what’s the number, sir?”

    Patron: “One. Eight.. Oh-oh. Five… Five. … Five… Two… Two.”

    Librarian: “I’m sorry, sir, we seem to be missing a digit.”

    Patron: “That’s okay. Just write them all together. Closer together, baby.”

    Librarian: *staring at sheet of paper* “Write them.closer together?”

    Patron: “Uh-huh, like she told me to. 1800552. No spaces or nothin’.”

    Librarian: “They’ll all be together when I dial out—”

    Patron: “Just try it that way!”

    (The librarian, baffled, copies the number on his pad without any spaces at all.)

    Patron: “Exactly! It should work now.”

    (It didn’t.)

    Understanding Of The Technology Is Backwards

    | York, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (It’s a crazy busy day in the library, with queues of around 10 customers per member of staff, and everyone is run off their feet. A lady comes in on a mobility scooter who is known to staff as a bit of a deliberate time waster. She starts shouting for a member of the staff to come and assist her.)

    Me: “Can I help you?”

    Customer: “Yes. I want something photocopied.”

    (Normally photocopying would be self-operated by the user, but I can see why it would be difficult to do from a mobility scooter.)

    Me: “Okay, no problem. Let me give you a hand. What do you need copying?”

    Customer: “This!”

    (She pulls an artist’s pad from her bag, which has a picture of a bird on it.)

    Me: “Thanks. Let me get that copied for you.”

    Customer: “Hang on. I need to finish the leg. Do you have a fine liner?”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry. I can get you a biro though?”

    Customer: *grumbling* “I suppose that will do.”

    (I hand her the biro and she starts painstakingly drawing in the leg of the bird. I glance over at the desk and see the queue has become even longer.)

    Me: “I’ll pop back when you’ve had a chance to finish that.”


    Me: “I understand, but if you aren’t ready for me to help you, I can come back later—”

    Customer: “Write on this in mirror writing for me.”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “I need you to write on it backwards. Put my name and the date and the title, but backwards.”

    Me: “Um, I’m really sorry but I don’t think I can do that. Why does it need to be backwards?”

    Customer: “So it will be the right way round when you have photocopied it.”

    Me: “That… is not how photocopiers work. It will be fine written normally. I promise.”

    Customer: “You are so stupid! It’s the same as when you take a photo… That comes out backwards, too.”

    Me: “… I’m pretty sure that doesn’t work like that either.”

    Walking A Very Fine Line

    | ID, USA | Books & Reading, Money

    (My husband and I have just walked into the library, when we hear another patron berating one of the employees.)

    Patron: “Nobody told me I had library fines! Now I can’t even use the library computer cause of that and it is an EMERGENCY!”

    Employee: “Most people know to check when their books are due, to prevent having fines.”

    Patron: “I can’t be bothered with that! I’ve told all you employees multiple times! I expect you to personally CALL me the night before I have a book due. EVERY TIME.”

    (At this point, the employee, my husband, and I are biting our lips to not laugh out loud at her ridiculous request.)

    Employee: “Well, I’m sorry about that, but due to the number of people on file, we can’t personally keep track of your books. That’s why we print out receipts with due dates.”

    Patron: “USELESS! THOSE ARE USELESS TO ME! Oh, and don’t you DARE try emailing me either! My email is only for certain uses and getting emails from this library is not one of them! I will get extremely angry if you email me! I’ll just ignore it!”

    (She continues to berate the employee for her own mistakes, and finally leaves after paying her ridiculous amount of fines. My husband and I go up to the employee.)

    Me: “You handled her so well! I’ve worked in customer service before, and you were definitely a lot nicer than I would have been. I just paid off my library fine, and it’s really not that hard to keep track of when things are due and what I owe.”

    Employee: *sighs* “Oh gosh, thanks. Sometimes… people… ugh… just people. Sometimes people suck.”

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