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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…

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Screened For Bad Language

| Edinburgh, Scotland, UK | Language & Words, Popular, Technology

(I’m the bad guy here. This happens in a science museum in Edinburgh that’s quite interactive and popular for young children, which I visit with my fiancée. We approach a large screen with an animated palaeontologist character standing idly. I look up and see a small sensor above the screen, and a marked floor area, and realise it’s an interactive display. It’s the middle of the week and we are the only ones in the exhibit.)

Display: “Hi there, are you having fun today?”

Me: “F*** off, witch.”

(I turn to walk on.)

Display: “Well, that was unexpected.”

(We stop and look back.)

Me: “What?”

Display: “I’ve never had anyone swear at me before!”

(Actually panicking now.)

Me: “Wait, you’re REAL?”

Display: “Yep, and quite surprised!”

(Turned out there was a staff member assigned to the screen and the sensor was a camera. She was quite forgiving and informative, but it was quite funny watching as people behind us ignored the screen and she started throwing sarcastic comments out to try and get their attention!)

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A Worthless Use Of Time

| USA | Bad Behavior, Money, Technology, Time

(I run IT services for a small company that assists with management of independent businesses. As the only person in the organization who is highly computer-literate, I also run an email-based helpdesk to answer IT-related questions for clients but have to charge a flat fee for phone support so as to keep the phone from ringing all the time. A known-to-be-difficult business owner pays the fee electronically without even opening an email support ticket first, and then calls in seconds after the payment comes through.)

Me: “Hi, thanks for calling [Company] IT Services. How can I help you?”

Client: “First of all, I think it’s ridiculous that I have to pay just to talk to a live person.”

Me: “I understand your frustration. What can I do for you?”

Client: “I don’t know. I just have some questions about my web presence.”

(We provide basic homepages for our clients so as to boost the profile of their brick-and-mortar locations, with a portal they can use to do things like update their hours, address, and ‘About Me’ on their own.)

Me: “Great, I can definitely help with that. Just to let you know, this sounds like the sort of thing that I could easily handle over email and then could refund your money and not have to charge you anything.”

Client: “No, no. I only want to talk to a real person. I’ll pay the d*** fee. So… umm… uh… let’s see… Can you go look at my About Me page? I don’t know if I like the wording I put on there last year. Can you re-type something for me?”

Me: “Sure, what would you like it changed to?”

Client: “Um… let’s see… can you change [word] to [synonym]. And take out that next sentence. No, on second thought, put that sentence back.” *long pause* “I changed my mind. Can you go back to the first line and put in what I originally had but then add something that makes me sound better, like that says I’m the best in my town?”

Me: “Sir, wouldn’t it be easier if you just emailed me the corrected paragraph when you know what you want it to say?”

Client: “No, your stupid fee is the same whether I have you for one minute or fifty-nine minutes so I’m gonna get my money’s worth. Just hang on. I’m waiting for my inspiration.”

(He proceeds to surf the Internet, even watch some YouTube videos, while keeping me on the line for 20 more minutes listening to him click, mutter to himself, and watch videos.)

Client: “Okay, I got it. I’m going to dictate word for word and I want you to type what I say.”

(I do this; four paragraphs worth across three separate sub-pages of his basic website.)

Client: “Now save it so I can look at it.” *pause while I do this and he refreshes* “Oh, this is much too informal. You just typed what I said without doing your part to make me sound better? What am I paying for? This won’t do. Hold on.”

(A few more minutes of silence pass.)

Client: “All right. Since I’m having to do everything, I don’t know what I’m paying for, but I’m sure gonna get my money’s worth.”

(His basic website is supposed to be self-managed, so he’s clearly not “having to do everything”!)

Client: “So, here goes. Go back to that first page and I’m gonna dictate again. This time we’ll get it just so.”

Me: *after we get to the last page* “Great, your website has been fully updated. We’ve added or revised content on every page and it’s fresh and new. Do you have any other questions?”

Client: “Nope. I still don’t see why I had to pay for this, but I need to get on with my day. Have a good day.”

(He’s taken up 52 minutes on the phone, not counting my time logging all of this in his consulting file. A couple minutes later, he calls back.)

Me: “Hi again. Is there something else I can do for you?”

Client: “Yeah… I was watching something else on YouTube and I want to get it added to my site.” *starts reading off the YouTube URL, not clearly enunciating any of the letters*

Me: “Sir, could you email that to me instead?”

Client: “I don’t like using email since I just want to talk to a real person, but I guess I can email you just this once.”

(I receive the link and embed it in his site and let him look at it.)

Client: “Umm… I guess I just wanted to see what it would look like having a video on my website. I don’t really need it there. Take it off. But I got my money’s worth, didn’t I? You have a good day now.” *hangs up with a chuckle*

(He spent a total of 59 minutes and 40 seconds on the phone. He must have had a timer or something running on his end to “make sure he got his money’s worth.” I ended up working almost an hour late that day trying to catch up on the things I actually needed to be doing in order to keep the company’s computer systems maintained.)

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You Can’t Be Siri-ous

| Eilat, Israel | Funny Names, Hotels & Lodging, Technology

(I work reception. One day a guest awaiting his turn stares at me and my name tag with a bemused look on his face.)

Guest: “Is your name really “’Siri’?!”

Me: *smiling* “Only for the last 60 years.”

Guest: “The email confirmation was so polite… I was SURE it was the program!”