• A Pain In The Nugget
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    Instruction Deconstruction

    | Cleveland, OH, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work tech support for a large corporation that services 50,000+ employees. It is not uncommon, when there are new upgrades or software, for our users to receive instructions on how to perform the installs themselves. We usually got a good number of calls from people who don’t read the instructions and just call into the help desk.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Company] corporate help desk. My name is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

    Customer: “Hi, I just got the email that I’m supposed to install [newest upgrade] and need some help with it.”

    Me: “Okay, I can help you with that. Did you get the instructions?”

    Customer: “Yes, I have it right in front of me.”

    Me: “Okay, at what point are you having the issues.”

    Customer: “I scrolled to the bottom to get your number and called in.”

    Me: “Okay, let me get my copy of the instructions opened up and we’ll see if we can get this done.”

    (I open the PDF file and bring up my instructions.)

    Me: “Okay, now what does it say for step #1.”

    Customer: *reads instructions to me for step #1*

    Me: “Okay, do that. Now what does it say for step #2.”

    Customer: *reads instructions to me for step #2*

    Me: “Okay, do that.”

    Customer: “Wait a minute, are you just going to have me read the instructions and do it step by step?”

    Me: “Yes, that’s exactly what we are going to do. My instructions are no different than yours.”

    Customer: “Well, that’s not much help. I could do that by myself!” *click*

    The Power (Button) To Make A Difference

    | Canton, NY, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work in a call center supporting multiple ISP’s, when a very flustered, middle aged woman calls in.)

    Me: “Hi, and thank you for calling [ISP].”

    Customer: “My Internet is broken! I was on my computer and now all I see is a big yellow triangle, and I can’t even move my mouse!”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, have you tried restarting the computer?”

    Customer: *starting to get angry* “How am I supposed to do that?! I told you, I can’t move my mouse!”

    Me: *trying very hard to keep the sarcasm out of my voice* “By holding the power button.”

    Customer: *very sincerely* “Oh… you can do that?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Oh, my god, it worked! You’re a genius! I am having a party this weekend. Come have a beer with us!”

    Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 19

    | Baton Rouge, LA, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (My company issues computers to all of its field employees. I work in the corporate office, troubleshooting various issues. All users have one of several model laptops and all have the same operating system.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Company] IT support. How may I help you?”

    User: “Yes, I can’t get my emails. The Internet just says it can’t display the webpage.”

    Me: “Okay, well, let’s see what we can do about that. Are you connected to the Internet?”

    User: “How would I know?”

    (I walk her through finding the list of connections next to the date and time.)

    User: “It says no connections.”

    Me: “Oh, okay, well, we need to get on one before the Internet will work. Do you have service bars showing on your broadband card to connect there?”

    User: “No, I live in the country and can’t get a signal.”

    Me: “Okay, do you have home wifi?”

    User: “Yes.”

    Me: “Can you connect to that?”

    User: “I don’t know; what is my home wifi?”

    Me: “It’ll show up on that list of possible connections.”

    User: “There are [names off the three networks showing]. Which one is mine?”

    Me: “I don’t know, ma’am… You or your Internet provider would have set it up.”

    (She manages to find it written down on some papers nearby.)

    User: “Okay, it wants a password. What’s my password?”

    Me: “Ma’am, that is something you set up with your Internet provider. You don’t have it written down?”

    User: “No, can you reset it for me?”

    Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 18
    Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 17
    Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 16

    Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 18

    | AZ, USA | Extra Stupid, Language & Words, Math & Science

    (A sorority full of girls calls in with one girl as the primary contact, unable to connect to their wireless router. First, as I’m verifying the address:)

    Customer: *…[digit], [digit], [digit], one slash two.”

    Me: “So that’s [full number] and a half.”

    Customer: “NO, one slash two.”

    (Later on while troubleshooting:)

    Me: “So how many devices are you trying to connect wirelessly?”

    Customer: “Well, we have seven or eight devices total, but only two are ‘wirelessly.’ The rest use the wifi.”

    Me: “…”


    Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 17

    Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 16

    Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 15

    Wireless, Clueless And Hopeless, Part 16

    | NM, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    Me: “You will need to be connected to Wi-Fi in order for this to work properly.”

    Customer: “Okay, I’m connected. What next?”

    Me: “Once connected, you will need to go to the settings options and click on ‘Back Up’ now.”

    Customer: “Okay, I pressed it and now I see a progress bar at the bottom.”

    Me: “That’s great! That means it is backing up. Please let me know once it is done.”

    (15 minutes later:)

    Customer: “Sorry it is taking so long. It seems to be stuck in the middle.”

    Me: “It’s fine! It can take a while sometimes.”

    Customer: “Should I be connect to Wi-Fi for this?”

    Me: “Yes, I had mentioned at the very beginning that you would need to be connected to Wi-Fi for this to work correctly. Do you know if you have it on?”

    Customer: “Not sure how to turn it on.”

    (I instruct the customer on how to turn it on.)

    Me: “Do you see the name of your home Wi-Fi Network listed?”

    Customer: “How do I know what the name of my network is?”

    Me: “You would need to contact your Internet Service provider for that information.”

    Customer: “Will they be able to tell me if I have Wi-Fi?”

    (I’m literally about to lose my s*** at this point.)

    Me: “So you are not even sure if you have Wi-Fi?”

    Customer: “No… I’m sorry, but I’m not very tech savvy…”

    Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 15
    Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 14
    Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 13

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