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    Higher Education, Not So High Common Sense

    | Florida, USA |

    (This was a few years ago, when I worked for tech support at my college.)

    Me: “***** College tech support, this is *****. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “Yes, I’m having trouble with my e-mail client. I can’t figure out how to set up my account.”

    Me: “No problem, let me walk you through it.”

    (I talk her through the account set up screens. Finally, when we’re done…)

    Me: “All right, click on ‘OK’ and you should be all set.”

    Caller: “What ‘OK’? I don’t see anything that says ‘OK’.”

    Me: “There’s a button to the lower right of the window that says ‘OK’, next to the ‘Cancel’ button.”

    Caller: “I don’t see it.”

    (This exchange goes on for about 5 minutes. I have the program open on my computer and describe the window to make sure she’s in the right spot, and she is. I make sure she’s running the same version, she is.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I have the program open right now, and there should be an ‘OK’ button to the right of a ‘”Cancel’ button…at the bottom right of the screen.”

    Caller: “That’s so strange…I just don’t see one.”

    Me: “Hmm. Well, what building are you in? Maybe I could help you better in person.”

    Caller: “I’m in the–oh, wait! You mean THAT ‘OK’ button?”

    Me: “The one at the bottom right, next to a ‘Cancel’ button?”

    Caller: “Yes!”

    Me: “…yes. Click on that.”

    Caller: “Thank you!”

    (The other IT techs were laughing throughout this whole conversation… then one informed me that the caller was actually head of the college’s financial aid department. I suddenly understood why half of my friends were having problems with their financial aid.)

    Complaining Incognito

    | United Kingdom |

    Me: “You’re through to ****** tech support, can I take your telephone number?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “Okay, can I take your post code instead?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “Okay sir, I’m trying to help but I need to bring your account details up in my system.”

    Customer, rather angrily: “What the **** do you want my details for? I can’t connect to the internet, you need to sort it out!”

    Me: “I will do my best, sir, but like I explained I need to bring up your account details to verify what the problem seems to be.”

    Customer, screaming: “That’s it, I’m calling your complaints department. This is ***** ridiculous. I also want to speak to your manager NOW!”

    Me: “Sorry sir, I cant do that as you haven’t verified any of your account details.”

    Customer: “That’s it, I’m leaving your provider for somebody else!”

    Me: “Thanks for calling ***** technical support. Have a nice day!”

    (Two minutes later my manager comes over and just bursts out laughing.)

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    The Shock And Thaw Strategy

    | Plainfield, IN, USA |

    Customer: “I need a fan.”

    Me: “What kind of fan?”

    Customer: “A fan for where I plug my modem in.”

    Me: “Do you have it with you?”

    Customer: “Yeah.”

    (Customer leaves and returns with the computer. A hair dryer is duct-taped to the power supply, nozzle pointing into where the fan normally sits.)

    Me, dumbfounded: “Why is there a hairdryer taped to your computer?”

    Customer: “Well, I have to keep it warm, or it will freeze up.”

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    Fonts Gone Wild

    | San Francisco, CA, USA |

    Me: “Thank you for calling *****, how may I assist you today?”

    Customer: “Hi, I need a new computer.”

    Me: “I’m sorry? You need a new computer?”

    Customer: “Yeah, I just bought this one and it’s no good, it’s been hacked!”

    Me: “This is software support. We can’t replace your hardware, but if you describe the problems you’re having I can try to help you fix them.”

    Customer: *irritated and sighing* “Some f***ing hacker broke into my computer and put dirty words everywhere! Now I can’t even let my kids use the computer for their homework, because of the obscene language that randomly pops up on the screen!”

    Me: “Sounds like a virus, do you have an anti-virus installed?”

    Customer: “I have McAfee and I already tried that 10 TIMES! It didn’t even find anything! Everything on this computer is just worthless and I’m sick of–”

    Me: “OK sir, please calm down so I can help you. Can you tell me where you are seeing dirty words?”

    Customer: “In AOL instant messenger and WordPad. Every time I open one of them it says “ASSHOLE” on the screen!”

    Me: “Where?”

    Customer: “I don’t know, why does that matter?”

    Me: “I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong with your machine, sir. Can you please open WordPad or AIM and tell me where you see that word?”

    Customer: *grumbling* “I’m opening instant messenger- there it is! It’s not ‘asshole’ though, it’s ‘anal’- same thing! How do I get rid of this?!”

    Me: “Where does it say ‘anal’?”

    Customer: “When I click on my friend’s name and the box pops up, it says ‘anal’ right above where you type!”

    Me: “Are you sure it says ‘anal’ and not ‘arial’?

    Customer: “What the hell is ‘arial’?”

    Me: “It’s a font sir; it’s spelled A-R-I-A-L.”

    (At this point the customer went silent for about 15 seconds, and then hung up the phone.)

    Dubya Dubya Dubya Dot Duh

    | Provo, UT, USA |

    Me: “Can I get your domain name please?”

    Customer: “something@yahoo.com”

    Me: “That’s actually an email address. What I’m looking for is something similar to www.website.com.”

    Customer: “www.something@yahoo.com.”

    Me: *sigh* “Can I get your name?”


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