The Wi-Fi Isn’t The Issue

, , , , | Right | March 30, 2020

(A woman comes into the library with her own laptop to use our Wi-Fi. As she’s signing in, she calls me over and points to a line in our user agreement.)

Woman: “What’s this mean?”

Me: “That’s just a notification that our Wi-Fi network is public and we can’t guarantee that it’s 100% secure.”

Woman: “Not secure? What’s that mean? They can steal my identity?!”

Me: “Any information sent over Wi-Fi is potentially vulnerable. So, if you send personal information or financial information, it could possibly be compromised.”

Woman: “That’s insane! Why don’t you have secure Wi-Fi? I’ve had my identity stolen twice, and this is unacceptable. I need to work online!”

Me: “To be clear, we’re no less secure than any standard Wi-Fi network in your house or another public place. We just need to let you know we can’t guarantee security.”

Woman: “That’s crazy! I’ve had my identity stolen twice. I need to be careful!”

Me: “I understand. If you absolutely need to send information online, why don’t you use one of our public terminals? Wired networks are a little more secure than wireless.”

Woman: “Are they secure, though? I had my identity stolen twice! I need them to be secure!”

Me: “They are about as secure as you are going to find. As I say, we can’t 100 % guarantee it, but it’s fairly unlikely anyone would be pulling your information from a wired library network.” 

Woman: “But I need to be careful! I don’t want my identity stolen again…”

(I finally manage to explain to her that if she absolutely needs to send personal information online, there is going to be some risk, but she can minimize it. She gets on a library terminal and works for a while. Then, I see her get up, fish a pack of cigarettes out of her purse, and begin to walk out — leaving her email account logged in and her purse, phone, and laptop on the table.) 

Me: “Ma’am! We don’t recommend that you leave your personal items—”

Woman: “Don’t be silly; this is a library! What’s going to happen?”

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When “Not Available” Means Exactly What It Should

, , | Right | March 30, 2020

(I work for an equipment rental facility that also offers online bookings. Sadly, I have some variation of this conversation more than I like to admit.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Rental Facility]; how may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi. I was on your website and I tried to book a reservation. I kept trying but it just kept giving an error message that you don’t have that equipment available for some reason. So, I figured I would give you a call and book it that way.”

Me: “All right, what was it you wanted?”

(They then proceed to give me all of the details about what they want and when.)

Me: “So, the reason why it was telling you it’s not available is that it’s not available for that time that you wanted.”

Customer: “Really? I just figured your website was not working or something.”

(What is worse is that they often tell me that they went through and tried to get it at another location or another time and it worked just fine, but not at the specific day/location they wanted. How do you figure it’s a website problem, then?)

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His Common Sense Blew Away Ages Ago

, , , | Right | March 30, 2020

Me: “Good morning, you are speaking with [Housing Company], [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Client: “Yes, I am calling you because the window in my roof is missing.”

Me: *pause* “Missing?”

Client: “Yes, last night I went to bed and the window was still there, but now it’s gone.”

Me: “All right, a missing window… Did you see it on the roof or ground?”

Client: “No, it’s gone. Now what do I do?”

Me: “Well, since you now have a big hole in your roof, I’ll send a mechanic to close the hole and then we’ll have to order a new window.”

Client: “Could it have blown away? I mean, it was kind of windy last night.”

Me: “Sir, there was a storm last night. Was your window open?”

Client: “Yes, I thought it was a great way to get some fresh air in the house.”

Me: “Right… I think I know what happened to your window, sir.”

Client: “Really?”

(He received a bill for this stupidity.)

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If That’s What You Want, Soviet

, , , , | Working | March 30, 2020

(In the 1980s, there was an effort to assist Jews in the USSR who wanted to emigrate but were denied. Really, all a US citizen could do was write to them and tell them we were working for their release. It also served to annoy the Soviets. My mother joined the campaign and was given a family to write to. Part of the instructions were to mail the letter with a “return receipt postcard” attached. This was to be mailed back by the recipients so that she would know that they received her original letter. I’m not sure who paid for this return postage. One time, after a suitable waiting period, the return postcard did not arrive. My mother went to the local post office to register a complaint. This was not a complaint against the US Postal Service but a way of letting the Soviets know we were watching.)

Mom: “I wish to register a complaint that a letter I sent to the USSR was not received. I know this because I never received the return receipt postcard.”

Clerk: “We would need a letter from them telling us they didn’t receive your letter.”

Mom: “Wait, what? You want them to send me a letter telling me they didn’t get the letter I sent them?”

Clerk: “Yes.”

(Mom stares at the clerk and asks for a manager, please. A manager comes over.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Clerk: “I was just telling her I can’t open a complaint form until she receives a letter telling her they didn’t receive her letter.”

(The manager stared at the clerk and told them to go work on [something]. The manager then filled out the complaint form for my mother.)

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Bye-Bye, Boo-Boo

, , , , | Related | March 30, 2020

I’m video-chatting with my sister and almost-three-year-old nephew while he’s in the bath. Obviously, there’s been lots of fun and too much splashing, but he quiets down for a minute and then says:

Nephew: *Looking at his finger* “Mama, can’t find boo-boo.”

Sister: “You can’t find your boo-boo?”

Nephew: “No.”

He starts looking around in the tub.

Sister: “What are you doing?”

Nephew: “Looking for boo-boo!”

Sister: “You’re looking for your boo-boo in the water?”

My sister and I are already laughing, but since she’s sitting there with him she has to keep it together. I, on the other hand, do not!

Nephew: “Yeah! Swim away!”

Sister: “Your boo-boo is swimming away?”

Nephew: “On the wall!”

Sister: “It’s on the wall now?”

Nephew: “Yeah!”

Sister: “Well, what is it doing on the wall?”

Nephew: “Alligator got!” 

Sister: “Oh, an alligator ate your boo-boo? That’s too bad.”

I’m basically dying of laughter. My nephew is suddenly sad and looking at his finger again.

Nephew: “Yeah…”

Sister: “Buddy, don’t worry. It’s actually better to not have a boo-boo, okay?”

My nephew thinks for a second.

Nephew: “Okay.”

Of course, he then immediately went back to playing! Family is fun, even from far away.

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