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  • In CyberSpace, No One Can Hear You Scream

    | Oshawa, ON, Canada | Bizarre, Technology

    Me: “Thank you for calling [internet company], you have reached [name]. How can I help?”

    Customer: “The internet isn’t working again!”

    Me: “I’m very sorry to hear that, how long has it not been working?”

    Customer: “Since all the weird lights last night!”

    Me: “Oh okay, well what are the lights on the modem doming now?”

    Customer: “How am I supposed to know, its covered in tinfoil!”

    Me: “Ma’am that a terrible fire hazard! You need to unwrap that now!”

    Customer: “Absolutely not! Its the only way to keep the aliens out! I would rather burn the house down than allow them into my computer!”

    Me: “I’m sorry…aliens?”

    Customer: “Yes, aliens! And those weird lights outside, I told you! That’s why it’s not working!”

    (I hear her handling aluminum foil and a dog barking in the background.)

    Customer: “So are you going to get me a new modem or not?”

    Me: “Certainly, just a moment.”

    Customer: “That’s what I thought! Now hurry up! I need to go rewrap the dog!”

    Tangled Web

    | The Netherlands | Technology

    (I used to work at a call center that sells PC remote control software.)

    Me: “Good evening, you’re speaking with [name], from [company], would you be interested in our software?”

    (I explain what the software is about, it’s monthly fee and what its requirements are, which is basically internet.)

    Caller: “Yes, I’ll take one for two years.”

    Me: “So you’ve got all the requirements, even internet?”

    Caller: “I’ve got internet, I just take the cable out of the phone and stick it in my computer, right?”

    Me: “Sir, do you have some kind of modem or router?”

    Caller: “No, but I’ve got my phone cable. That’s how internet gets in, right?”

    Me: “Sir, since the program is not going to work unless you have internet, I’m not going to sell you a two year prescription.”

    Caller: “But I want it!”

    Staring Into Space Bar

    | Piteå, Sweden | Technology

    (A customer calls in because her computer has been hijacked by malware. After some troubleshooting it is clear that there are no repair options available due to system corruption. We decide on a reinstallation of the operating system.)

    Me: “Before we press the restart button I will explain what will happen. During the reboot a line of white text on a black background will appear stating ‘Press any key’ – the moment you see this line you press space. The most common mistake made by customers is that they feel insecure and ask before pressing which takes too long and we have to restart the computer again. The moment you see ‘Press any key’ I want you to press space. Any questions?”

    Customer: “No, I understand.”

    Me: “Okay, go ahead and press restart then.”

    Customer: “Okay.”

    (The customer goes silent for a while.)

    Customer: “So, press any key. Does that mean I can press any key on the keyboard?”

    Me: “Yes, but press the space bar just to be sure since some keys might not register.”

    Customer: “Oh. So that’s the any key! Is that the long button?”

    Me: *pause* “That is correct.”

    Customer: “Ok. Now it says Windows XP and the bars are moving.”

    Me: “So you didn’t press the space bar?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “Did you see the text?”

    Customer: “I don’t know. You were talking to me and I panicked!”

    (Screen) Save My Internet

    | Oshawa, ON, Canada | Technology

    Me: “Hi my name is [name] from [company] internet tech support how can I help you today?”

    Customer: “My internet is down.”

    Me: “Alright what happens when you try to browse?”

    Customer: “Nothing, the screen goes black every time I leave the computer for a few minutes. And I have to hold down the power button for it to come back but that restarts everything!”

    Me: “Okay can you move the mouse?”

    Customer: “I tried that it doesn’t work!”

    Me: “Try pressing any key on the keyboard.”

    Customer: “Okay, the screen isn’t black anymore, but my internet is still down.”

    Me: “What does it say?”

    Customer: “Owner logged in.”

    Me: “Click on owner.”

    Customer: “Okay internet is working now.”

    Me: “Sir, that was your screen saver.”

    Customer: “I don’t know what that is, but thanks for fixing the internet. Bye!”

    PEBCAK, Episode IV

    | Connecticut, USA | Technology

    (The head of a department wants her word processor upgraded to the latest version.)

    Manager: *on phone* “Okay, I’ll send Jeff over to upgrade you. Please back up all your documents, because he’s going to delete the existing version and install the new one.”

    (I go to her office.)

    Me: “Hi, I’m here to upgrade [word processor] for you. Have you backed up your documents?”

    Customer: “Of course I have.”

    Me: “Great!”

    (I wipe out the existing directory and install the new version. A few minutes before I get back to the faculty computing center, the phone rings.)

    Customer: on phone “Where are all my letters and papers? They’re all gone!”

    Manager: “Jeff says you backed up your documents.”

    Customer: “Well, I didn’t know what you guys meant by that. I didn’t want to look stupid, so I said yes.”

    Related:
    PEBCAK, Episode III
    PEBCAK, Episode II
    Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard

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