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    Bad Data, Good Outcome

    | Seattle, WA, USA | Top

    Client: “My printer keeps printing junk.”

    Me: “You have to turn off the computer and the printer, then turn on the computer first.”

    Client: “Okay.”

    *pause*

    Client: “It’s still wrong.”

    Me: “Did you restart the computer first?”

    Client: “No.”

    Me: “Why not?”

    Client: “The computer is too far away. It saves time if I just turn the printer off and on.”

    Me: “That won’t fix the problem.”

    Client: “I don’t see why not. I don’t have time to go back and forth.”

    (We go through the procedure several times, with the client short cutting the directions each time.)

    Me: “Okay, I think I know what to do. There is bad data in your cable.”

    Client: “Oh. How do I get it out?”

    Me: “First, turn everything off. Then disconnect the cable.”

    Client: “Okay.”

    Me: “Lay the cable out in the hall. Then pick up one end and shake the cable two or three times. Shake it very hard.”

    Client: “Just a minute.”

    (Time passes with strange noises coming through the phone. The client comes back on out of breath.)

    Client: “OK, I did it.”

    Me: “Good. Now reconnect the cable to the printer and then connect it to the computer. Then turn everything on.”

    Client: “That did it! Thanks!”

    (About a year later, one of our trainers called to tell a funny story about the client who insisted on shaking the cable whenever the printer messed up. She said it was, ‘To get rid of the bad data’. I kept my mouth shut.)

    Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 4

    | USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I am working remote control to reinstall and configure a laptop. The customer asks if I am going to install a printer.)

    Me: “Ma’am, what kind of printer is it?”

    Customer: “It’s a [printer model].”

    Me: “Let me look in the driver folder. Ah yes, here it is. I will start up the install program.”

    (The program is running, the drivers are being installed. The program now changes screen with the message, ‘PLEASE PLUG IN THE PRINTER AND POWER IT UP’.)

    Me: “Please plug in the printer and turn it on.”

    Customer: “Do you send the printer over remote control?”

    Related:
    Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 3
    Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 2
    Not Remotely Intelligent

    Getting To The Out Source Of The Matter

    | Tempe, AZ, USA | Language & Words, Technology

    Me: “Hello, you have reached [business name]. This is [name]. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “Oh, thank God! I was just talking to some mush mouth who couldn’t speak English right at all. You shouldn’t outsource; do your employers outsource? People can’t understand you when you outsource.”

    Me: “Well, I am sorry for that. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “I want my password. That mush mouth changed it, and now I can’t log in.”

    Me: “I am sorry, ma’am. May I have your ID and what you want your password to be?”

    Caller: “Just change it back to what it was.”

    Me: “Well, I apologize, but I can not do that. For security reasons we can not see a password, only set it to something else. I can set it to a default or anything you request.”

    Caller: “Well, I am requesting the old password. Just fix it.”

    Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but it’s impossible for me to know.”

    Caller: “Well, my internet knows. It tries to use the password. Just take it from that.”

    Me: “I can not take a password from your browser. If your login was working, why did you call to change your password?”

    Caller: “The news told me people can take that information and steal all your files, so I was worried.”

    Me: “Ma’am, your information is safe, I assure you.”

    Caller: “Then why can’t you just change my password back to ‘Password’?”

    Me: “Your old password was ‘Password’?”

    Caller: “Yes.”

    Lieutenant Dan’s Fruit Company

    | Vejle, Denmark | Spouses & Partners, Technology

    Caller: “It won’t stop loading! I’ve been waiting for twenty minutes and it hasn’t stopped loading yet! Help me!”

    Me: “Alright, ma’am. Let’s start by refreshing the page.”

    Caller: “Re… what?”

    Me: “Refreshing, ma’am.”

    Caller: “How do I do so?”

    Me: “Which kind if computer do you have?”

    Caller: “Why?”

    Me: “Which button you have to push depends on your computer. Is it a normal PC or an Apple?”

    Caller, to husband: “Honey, she’s rambling! Now she thinks we’re selling apples! How stupid does she think I am!?” *click*

    It’s Gonna Be A Long Call, Part 5

    | Louisiana, USA |

    (I work as a tech support agent at a university. I receive a call from a woman working in another office, asking if she can direct a student to me to assist with setting up his email account. A minute later, I receive a call from a young man.)

    Me: “[University] Computing Call Center.”

    Caller: “Hi, I’m trying to get my password.”

    Me: “Yes, sir. Did someone just call me about you?”

    Caller, to people in his office: “Did somebody just call about me?”

    Caller, to me: “Yes.”

    Me: “Alright, sir, in order to determine your username and password, you’ll need to be in front of a computer. Are you at a computer now?”

    Caller, to people in his office: “Am I at a computer?”

    Related:
    It’s Gonna Be A Long Call, Part 4
    It’s Gonna Be A Long Call, Part 3
    It’s Gonna Be A Long Call, Part 2
    It’s Gonna Be A Long Call

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