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  • Their Service Is Undead

    , | San Antonio, TX, USA | Awesome Customers, Geeks Rule, Technology

    (The customer is calling us to let her know her services are out.)

    Me: “Aha. It looks like the network box for the house just lost contact with us. There isn’t anything in its logs showing us the power went out, so I think we should be all right.”

    Caller: “Oh, okay. What causes that, anyway?”

    Me: “It could be any number of things. Short-term loss of power, the box gets a quick enough surge of power to confuse it—”

    Caller: “Aliens?”

    Me: “I’m not ruling that out either. That reminds me. I need to pick up some foil on the way home. Thanks.”

    (The caller and everyone on her end of the call burst out laughing at that. We continue on, and we’re setting the ticket up.)

    Me: “Okay, I’ve got the green light to send the tech out tomorrow morning.”

    Caller: “Hang on a second. I’ll put my friend on. She’ll be here tomorrow to meet the tech.”

    (The caller puts her friend on the line. I get her contact info and add it to the ticket.)

    Me: “Are there any access restrictions like dogs on the property, a locked fence, anything like that?”

    Friend: “I think there might be zombies in the yard. Is that going to be a problem? I think she’s also got a vampire stalking her that might be in her yard.”

    Me: “Don’t worry. Our techs have everything they need on their truck to handle anything. About the vampires: they should have some stakes and garlic on the truck, unless it’s a Twilight-type vampire in which case they have whiskey and a Motorhead CD just in case.”

    (The caller and her friend start laughing even harder. I submit the appointment.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I want to thank you both for choosing [Provider]. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow. On a side note, this call just made my night. Thanks, you two.”

    They Have Incompatible Operating Systems

    | England, UK | Rude & Risque, Spouses & Partners, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I own a small computer store that specializes in repairs and does a large number of home and work visits to repair machines on site. I am a gay man. My partner is an employee, and we often go on call-outs together. This particular call-out is to a young woman’s home. She seems quite pleasant.)

    Me: “This seems straight forward enough, but it will take some time to complete. [Partner] will head back to the shop to get some parts whilst I work on that, if that’s all right?”

    Customer: “That’s fine, thanks.”

    (I continue working on the machine whilst my partner heads back. Whilst he’s gone the customer heads out of the room for a moment and comes back without her sweater on, and only the shirt beneath it. I don’t think anything of it.)

    Customer: “Can I get you a cup of tea or some biscuits?”

    Me: “That’d be great. Two sugars, thanks very much.”

    (She leaves for a couple of minutes and comes back with some tea and biscuits, now wearing only a tank top instead of the shirt. I’m getting a little suspicious.)

    Customer: “There you go. You don’t mind me watching you work, right?”

    Me: “Of course not. I prefer to have the owners with me. It avoids me getting accused of anything.”

    Customer: “Ah, you don’t have to worry about that, hun.”

    (She sits a little close for comfort whilst I work. I don’t say anything, but I can guess what’s going on here. A few more minutes pass before the phone rings and she leaves the room to answer it. Shortly, she returns wearing only a bra on her top half. I’m speechless.)

    Customer: “That was my husband. He said he won’t be home for some time, I’m afraid.”

    (Seconds later my partner walks in through the front door and straight into the room I’m working in and is also stood there speechless.)

    Me: “Uhh… Hey, love, did you get the parts?”

    (Even though he’s holding them, I want her to see I’m gay. He nods.)

    Customer: “Oh, I’m sorry. You’re gay?”

    (Silence for a moment.)

    Customer: “Even better.”

    Me: “I’m afraid we have to go now.”

    (I and my partner practically run out the door, leaving the computer case open but functional.)

    Wishes He Could Back Up The Conversation

    , | Denver, CO, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work in our airline’s IT dept. One of our guys is finishing his shift and passes a task on to me to delete a user’s Windows profile when the user is not busy. I noticed this user has an assigned network drive with a shortcut to it on his desktop so I figure he knows how to use it.)

    Me: “So, I’m gonna remove your profile from the registry and then delete your profile folder. This will delete everything you have. Do you have all of your important documents backed up?”

    User: “Yeah, it’s all good. Go ahead and delete it.”

    Me: “Okay.”

    (I delete his profile’s registry entry and then go to delete his folder. I notice he has about 3GB of data as it builds its list to delete.)

    Me: “It seems you have three gigs of data in your profile. Just want to make sure everything that you need is backed up, because it will all be gone.”

    User: “Yeah. It’s good, man. Do what you gotta do.”

    Me: “Okay.”

    (I let the delete finish and then restart the computer.)

    User: “So, the files that were on my desktop, where do I go to get those back?”

    Me: “The files on your desktop? You told me you backed everything up, so they have been deleted.”

    User: “I’m not very savvy with computers. I don’t know what ‘backup’ means.”

    The Final Word On Passwords

    | OH, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work in an internal technical support where we have just recently change password systems that have strict requirements for new passwords. A customer is having trouble with creating a new password. It should be noted that this customer speaks perfect English.)

    Customer: “It won’t accept any of the new passwords I make up.”

    Me: “Well. keep in mind that the passwords have to be at least eight characters long, and have letters and numbers.”

    Customer: “What does that mean?”

    Me: “It means that you have to have letters and number and all of the letters and numbers add up to eight. Like four letters and four numbers. Or six letters and two numbers. It can be more than eight characters too, so anything that adds up to eight or more.”

    Customer: “No one can come up with that many letters… This is too hard.”

    Me: “Um… Some people like to pick a word and then put some numbers at the end of the word. So long as you don’t use the word ‘password’ it will accept it.”

    Customer: “A word? Like what? What words? Can’t you just make one up for me?”

    Me: *feeling very uncomfortable and frustrated now but still wanting to help* “Well, what’s your favorite color?”

    Customer: “Green! I love green.”

    Me: “Okay… So, make your password ‘green’ and then add the year you were born to the end.”

    Customer: “But… green isn’t a word.”

    Me: “Wait… What?”

    Customer: “You said pick a word.”

    Me: “… Just type in ‘greenXXXX.”

    Customer: “Oh that worked! Thank you! But you should be more clear with your directions next time.”

    Me: “Yes, I’ll do that. I’m sorry for the confusion.”

    That’s Common Sense Out Of The Window

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

    (I am doing a new PC rollout for a very prominent technical engineering company. This conversation occurs one day after giving them a brand new PC.)

    Me: “I understand your new computer won’t boot up.”

    Client: “Yes. It worked fine yesterday, but this morning it won’t load.”

    (I look at the start up and find that the entire Windows Folder has been removed.)

    Me: “Did you edit anything yesterday before shutting down?”

    Client: “Yes, I went through and deleted everything that I didn’t recognize.”

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