Category: Technology

The realm of Technical Support is there to provide expert assistance to those who are not so tech-savvy. Although they still expect you to know what a computer is, and how to turn it on, and to know that you can’t ‘fix the internet’ because it isn’t pretty enough. You have been warned…


Needs More Self-Help Than Self-Checkout, Part 2

| CT, USA | At The Checkout, Technology

(It’s 6:30 in the morning and our store has been open for about a half hour. I am the only cashier at the moment, so I am taking care of a cash register, as well as two self scan registers. A lady with a carriage full of items walks past my cash register down to the self scan registers. After she tries to find her first item, she calls me over.)

Lady: “I can’t seem to find these bananas in the computer; can you find them for me?”

Me: “Sure, you just click right here—” *clicks PRODUCE button* “—and click on the banana picture. All the produce is listed in here and is in alphabetical order.”

Lady: “Oh, thank you!”

(I start to head back to my cash register and not two seconds later, she calls me again.)

Lady: “I can’t seem to find the zucchini. Can you help me again?”

(I help her find her zucchini as well as about fifteen other produce items. After the produce, she proceeds to have me scan every other item in her shopping cart, because she can’t seem to get them to scan. Finally, after about ten minutes, she finishes and starts to pay.)

Lady: “Gosh, I just wish these things didn’t take so long.”

Me: “I know the self scans can be tricky sometimes, so if you’d like, the next time you come in, I can ring you out at my cash register. The cash registers are a lot quicker than the self scans; I could have your order done in less than two minutes.”

Lady: “Oh, no, it’s okay, honey. I like doing it myself!”

Needs More Self-Help Than Self-Checkout


Polluting The Ether

| Tulsa, OK, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology


Customer: “We need to get a shorter ethernet cable so we can get faster internet.”


PDF = Pretty Dumb Fail

, | Sacramento, CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Technology, Wild & Unruly

(My copy center normally just prints things for customers, but we also offer a word processing service for those without the equipment or ability to type many pages of text. One of my regulars, an elderly gentleman who barely knows how to access email from his PC, has asked me to type up several pages of text for a legal document. For this particular project, he asked that we create an editable PDF form so that he can reuse it for multiple different projects. His work is completed, emailed to him with instructions on how to save the file and use it, and he goes home. About an hour later, the phone rings.)

Customer: “Hello, [My Name]? This is [Customer] and the files you sent to me don’t work!”

Me: “Err, that’s strange, sir. We tested them while you were still here and they worked fine. What is it that’s happening, or not happening?”

Customer: “I don’t know! It just doesn’t work!”

Me: “Err… Is it that the blue boxes aren’t showing up for you to type in?”

Customer: “I don’t care about that; my tech guy says you can’t edit PDFs!”

Me: *sighs* “Sir, I assure you that the document allows you to type in custom information in the blue boxes. Do you see blue boxes?”

Customer: “I don’t care about blue boxes! I want you to fix this!”

Me: “Well, since I can’t see what’s going on with your document, and you are unable to tell me, I’m not sure what you want me to fix, sir. If your ‘tech guy’ is still there, maybe he can help you?”

Customer: “No, YOU made this document, so YOU need to fix the problem!”

Me: “Sir, it’s sounding to me like the problem is with your computer, or perhaps the version of Acrobat you’re using. Maybe if you could have your tech guy update Acrobat…”

Customer: “This is [Popular Email Client]!”

(From this, I surmise that he’s previewing the document from his email and hadn’t actually saved it to his PC. If that’s the case, it explains why the document isn’t editable. I try to explain this to the customer, and tell him we’re going to walk through the steps to save it to his desktop so that he can edit it. I go slowly, making sure to wait for him to confirm what I asked him to do before going on to the next step. Finally….)

Me: “All right, good. Once you save it, we can open it and see if th—”


Me: “Sir, this WILL fix the problem. Did you do ANY of the steps I just told you?”

Customer: “NO! I didn’t! I said you need to tell me how to fix the problem! I don’t want to hear any of that s***!”

Me: *sighs* “Well, then, sir, looks like you’re going to have to call your ‘tech guy’ over and have him figure it out for you. There’s nothing else I can do for you, since you don’t want to follow my instructions to fix the problem. Have a nice day.”

(The customer grumbled some threats about “If I have to come back down there…!” but hung up. Since I never heard back from him on that subject, I’m assuming his ‘tech guy’ got him all squared away!)


Has Confidence In Your Network

| USA | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Technology

Customer: “I cannot get on VPN.”

Me: “Okay, do you have any error message?”

Customer: “Hang on a second. First I have to connect to Wi-Fi right?”

Me: “Yes, that would help for sure.”

Customer: “How do I do that? Shall I click on that bars icon?”

Me: “Yes, go ahead.”

Customer: “Now I have a list of possibilities. Which is correct, [his, not very common, last name]’s network?”

Me: “That sounds like the one.”

Customer: “Now it says ‘connected’. What is next? Internet Explorer?”

Me: “Yes, and then go to VPN landing page.”

Customer: “Oh, is it [exactly correct URL]?”

Me: “Yes, that is the one.”

Customer: “Now what? It is asking for user name and password. Is it [correct ID] and [correct type of password]?”

Me: “Yes, go ahead.”

Customer: “Oh, it says that I’m connected to VPN. Thank you very much for your help.”

Me: “No problem, sir. I just do not know what should I put in your ticket.”

Customer: “Oh, put there that I just needed some confidence.”


Did The Magic Smoke Come Out, Too?

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Extra Stupid, Technology

Customer In Front Of Me: *to computer guy* “Hi, my computer made a bang noise, stopped working, then there was weird smell… Is that a bad thing?”

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