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    You Can See Where This Is Going

    | Toronto, ON, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (A big part of my job involves helping users log on to the company website.)

    Me: “Remember, the new password that you create must contain at least one letter and at least one number.”

    Customer: *becoming irate* “What? One number? How am I supposed to remember that?”

    Me: “I would suggest just choosing a word and then putting the number one at the end of it.”

    Customer: “I’m never going to remember that! Can I use two numbers?”

    Me: “Yes, as long as you have at least one number.”

    Customer: “But, wait just a minute. I have another question. Can I use three numbers?”

    Me: “…yes.”

    Following Blind Orders

    | Los Angeles, CA, USA | Bizarre, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work in internal computer support. One afternoon I get a call from an older gentleman.)

    Me: “[Company] help desk. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “Make the information available. Do it.”

    Me: “What information do you need?”

    Caller: “Just do it!”

    Me: “I’m sorry; I need a little more context here. What are you calling about?”

    Caller: “The email said to call you and make the information available so I am calling you!”

    Me: “The information about what? What email are you referring to? What is the topic?”

    Caller: “I have no idea. I was just following orders!” *hangs up*

    De-Engineering Stereotypes

    | San Francisco, CA, USA | Bigotry, Technology, Top

    (I am an engineer working the tech support line. I should also add that I’m the only female engineer in a department of all male engineers. I answer a support call:)

    Me: “Thank you for calling the engineering support line. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “I need to talk to an engineer.”

    Me: “Sure, what’s your question?”

    Customer: “Well, I’d like to tell it to an engineer.”

    Me: “No problem, what can I help you with?”

    Customer: “No, you don’t understand. I want to speak directly to the engineer.”

    Me: “Sir, I’m an engineer.”

    Customer: “You are?!”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Customer: “But… you’re a girl!”

    Me:  *in a Valley Girl voice* “‘Ohmygosh, I know! Isn’t that amazing?”

    (Trans)Late To Understanding

    | Virum, Denmark | Language & Words, Technology

    (We run a tech support channel. Unlike traditional channels, we allow anybody and everybody to ask and receive answers. The popularity of the channel forced us to bring in a bot which tells the user to speak English in their own language if they are speaking a non-English language. The user is from Colombia.)

    User: *in Spanish* “Hi, my game is broken. Can you help?”

    Bot: *in Spanish* “This is an English-only channel. Try Google Translate if you need translations to English.”

    User: *in German* “Hi, my game is broken. Can you help?”

    Bot: *in German* “This is an English-only channel. Try Google Translate if you need translations to English.”

    (The user disconnects.)

    Another User: “I wonder which part of “this channel is English only” doesn’t he get?”

    Email Fail

    | IN, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (The customer is the CEO of a graphics design company that has hosted email with us. He calls in late one night to report that he is unable to get any email, and that he has important business to attend to and must have his email. I’ve almost exhausted all troubleshooting with this customer. I verified settings on his email client, verified settings on our server and mail flow to his inbox. In a last resort, I have the customer attempt to set up the email account again as a new account.)

    Customer: “It says it can’t connect to the server. Are you having server issues?”

    Me: “No, sir. If we were, we’d have a lot more callers about this issue. Try [alternative incoming server address and port] and see if you get a different response.”

    (Typing and a pause…)

    Customer: “Nope, still says can’t connect to server.”

    Me: “Hmm…” *thinking there’s no way this can be possible* “Are you having any Internet issues? Are you able to load any web pages?”

    Customer: “No, our ISP is having an outage right now.”

    Me: “… Well, there’s your problem. Unfortunately without Internet you won’t be able to get email.”

    Customer: “Why? What does Internet have to do with email?”

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