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    That Darned Cat

    | Texas, USA |

    (I work as a computer tech and do in house calls, I got a call one day and went to the customers house to assist with her computer not coming on.)

    Customer: “Thank god you’re here!”

    Me: “What’s wrong with the computer?”

    Customer: “It wont turn on at all, not even the monitor.”

    Me: “Okay…”

    (I begin to look at it, and it won’t come on at all, the tower or the monitor, so I check the easy things first. I find her power strip unplugged from the wall and plugged into itself. So I plug it into the wall and the computer magically comes on.)

    Me: “Okay, your problem was that your power strip was plugged into itself, and therefore did not have any power to the computer.”

    Customer: “How do you think that happened?”

    Me: “Well, I’m sure your foot got caught up in it and accidentally unplugged it from the wall, and then you saw a plug hanging there later and plugged it into the power strip.”

    Customer: “No, I don’t think that happened.”

    Me: “Well, I’m not sure as to what really happened, but that is what I think happened.”

    Customer: “I think my cat did it.”

    Me: “I’m sorry.”

    Customer: “I think my cat got back there and got caught up in it and unplugged it.”

    Me: “That’s possible…”

    Customer: “But how did it get plugged into itself?”

    Me: “I’m sure you saw it hanging there and plugged it into the power strip.”

    Customer: “No, I’m pretty sure the cat did that too.”

    Me: “I don’t think the cat can or did do that.”

    Customer: “Yeah he did…he does all kinds of stuff like that. One day I came home and he had turned the thermostat up.”

    (She was pointing at the thermostat which was on a wall with no way for the cat to get to it…and it was digital, so the cat would of had to push the button several times.)

    (That was just too funny, when I got back to the office and turned the work order in all the coworkers laughed because under problem description it said, “Cat unplugged power strip and plugged it into itself.”)

    (Since that day, every time we get a simple call we joke with each other and ask if the customer has a cat.)

    Love Thy (Unwittingly Generous) Neighbor

    | Adelaide, Australia |

    Customer: My wireless network’s down. The modem says it’s connected but none of us can browse.

    Me: “Can you ping the modem? … No? Ok, I’ll need you to connect to the modem with a cable, and log into the configuration page. Great. Now click on the ‘wireless’ tab.”

    Customer: “There’s no wireless tab.”

    Me: “What model of modem do you have?”

    Customer: “An Open 624.”

    Me: “Not the 624W?”

    Customer: “No, I told you, the 624.”

    Me: “Um…that is not a wireless capable modem.”

    Customer: *exploding* “Don’t bulls**t me! You sold me this piece of crap! It had wireless until yesterday and now it doesn’t!”

    Me: “Did any of your neighbours move out?”

    Customer: “What the h–…Oh.”

    Me: “Shall I put you through to the Modem Sales department?”

    My Neighbor Broke, Can You Fix It


    | Oregon, USA | Technology, Top

    (I worked tech support for a major software company, specifically with their digital media products. This call was about their video editing software.)

    Me: “Thanks for calling ***** tech support.

    (The customer gives me her info and has a thick accent I can’t place.)

    Me: “Great! What can I do for you?”

    Her: “Yes. I am trying to edit dees beedio, and eet’s blue and blue on de ting.”

    Me: “So…it’s blue, and blue…on the thing?”

    Her: “Yes.”

    Me: “Where is it blue?”

    Her: “On de ting.”

    Me: “By ‘thing,’ do you mean the Computer screen or your camera?”

    Her: “Yes…de ting.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I can’t see what you are looking at so you’ll have to tell me the name of the thing that is blue.”

    Her: *getting angry* “DE TING!!! Eeet’s BLUUUUE AN BLUUUEE ON DE TING!!!!”

    Me: “What exactly is blue? The video on your monitor? Are you outputting to TV? The viewfinder on your camera?”

    Her: “Yes.”

    Me: “Yes…which one?”

    Her: *yelling* “DE TING!!!!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry but I don’t understand where you are having a problem.”


    Me: “Ma’am, I agree. You speak english very very well. The problem I am having is you are not telling me where you are seeing blue video.”

    Her: “ON DE TIIIING!!!”

    (This exchange went on for a while before she got frustrated and hung up. The best part is, my call was being listened to by some higher level support guys. They created an internal troubleshooting document that appeared as follows:)







    (And so on and so on…)

    If By “Everyone”, You Mean Morons Like Yourself

    | Breda, The Netherlands |

    Customer: “I got just back from my vacation and all of a sudden my internet connection isn’t working anymore. Have you got a technical problem in my area or something.”

    Me: “No ma’am, as far as I know there aren’t any problems at this moment. Can you check which status lights are burning on your modem?”

    (Now this is a standard check we do to troubleshoot; it’s very easy to tackle when something’s going wrong.)

    Customer: “Alright, well, all lights are off. Are you sure there couldn’t be a problem on your side?”

    Me: “No miss, there aren’t any problems. I checked it when you were checking the status lights. But they were all off, you said?”

    Customer: “Yeah, there wasn’t a light burning on my modem. What could that mean?”

    Me: “Well, that could mean two things: Either the modem is broken or…”

    Customer: “No, it can’t be broken, it’s almost brand new! You just want me to buy a new one so that it’s not your problem anymore, am I right?”

    Me: “Well, to be honest: You’re not. I didn’t even finish my sentence yet. I said the modem COULD be broken, and if it’s broken and still brand new you’ll get a new one. The problem could also be that the power plug isn’t connected to the outlet properly. Maybe you’ve forgotten to plug it in after you came home from your holiday?”

    Customer: “Are you implying that I’m so dumb that I’d forget that? It’s just broken so send me a new one!”

    Me: “No, I’m not. But could you please check it, just to be sure?”

    Customer: “Alright then…”

    (After a minute.)

    Customer: “Yeah, you were right, it wasn’t connected. But I’m sure this could happen to everyone!”

    Me: “I suppose so. Have a nice day!”

    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.)

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