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…


Question Their Need For A Ticket

| NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Movies & TV, Technology

(I’m working box office. A woman chatting on her cell-phone approaches me, chatting away.)

Woman: *on phone* “…yeah, uh-huh. That’s what I told him! I know, he won’t listen.”

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Theater]. How can I help you?”

Woman: *on phone* “He’s just being stubborn. You know him. He’s always like this.”

(She continues on for almost ten seconds before looking over to me.)

Woman: *quickly* “Two tickets.” *she immediately goes back to talking*

Me: *awkwardly trying to find my way in* “Two tickets to what, ma’am?”

Woman: *on phone* “Hold up one sec, okay?” *to me* “What?”

Me: “What would you like two tickets to?”

Woman: *scoffing/frustrated* “[Movie].”

Me: *gesturing to our assigned seating chart* “And where would you like to sit?”

Woman: *back on phone* “Yeah, sorry, I’m at the movies. Oh, I know. I haven’t been here in so long. But I’m seeing [Movie] later. I heard it’s pretty good. You should come!”

(She continues talking for almost a full minute while I repeatedly re-ask her where she’d like to sit. Eventually, she puts her phone down for one second and turns to me, and instantly her eyes are fuming with anger.)

Woman: *shouting* “I do NOT like to be ASKED so many f****** QUESTIONS! SHUT IT!”

(It takes almost another full two minutes for the transaction to continue when she finally ends the call.)

Woman: *glaring* “What the h*** did you need so badly to interrupt me?!”

Me: “I need to know where you’d like to sit. Which seats would you like?”

Woman: “Didn’t I f****** ALREADY SAY that I don’t like to be ASKED f****** questions? This is f****** ridiculous!”

(She stormed off without buying her tickets. I’m still confused as to how she expected to get through life without being asked questions, or how she managed when her phone needed to be plugged in to charge for an hour or two, given how important it evidently was to her.)


The PIN-nacle Of Annoying Customers

| GA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money, Technology

(A little bit of background: I work in a small fuel center attached to a grocery store, the kind that’s open air, with the fuel clerk in a small box, using an intercom speaker. We accept debit and credit cards, but our number pad is timed, for whatever reason, so that a dawdling customer will occasionally have to run their debit card again if they take too long. An elderly woman comes up to the window.)

Customer: “Yes, I’d like to put $10 on pump eight.”

Me: “All righty.” *opening the drawer and seeing that she’s given me a card* “And will that be credit or debit?”

Customer: “Debit.”

Me: *I nod and run her card, putting it back into the drawer, with the number pad* “Okay, ma’am, if you could just enter your PIN for me please.”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “Y-your PIN, please?”

Customer: “What is that?”

Me: “You’re running this as a debit card, right?”

Customer: “Yes, this is a debit card. It says right here.”

Me: “Well, if you’re running debit, I need you to enter your PIN on that little number pad right there.”

Customer: “Oh, okay”

(She starts to enter it and as she does the number pad times out, requiring me to run the debit card again, normally either not a problem or at worst a minor annoyance.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am. It looks like the number pad timed out. I just need to run your card again, please.”

Customer: “What? I just did it.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I just need to run your card so you can re-enter your PIN.”

Customer: “But I already put it in.”

Me: “I understand that, ma’am, but it didn’t go through correctly. I need to run the card again.”

Customer: *starting to get pissy* “Now, look, I already put my number in. Can I pump my gas yet or not?”

Me: *I’m starting to lose my patience at this point* “Not yet. I need to run your card again, ma’am. Please, I’m trying to help you.”

Customer: “I already put it in.”

Me: *I decide to leave the ‘box’ figuring she must be having trouble hearing me* “Ma’am, this–” *I open the drawer and point the number pad out* “–is set on a timer, if you don’t enter your number it times out.”

Customer: “So I need to put it in again?”

Me: “Yes, once I’ve run the debit card again.”

Customer: “You know, I would have left already if I wasn’t on empty.”

(She then proceeds to put in her PIN, ignoring that I need to scan the card first.)

Me: *sighing* “Ma’am, I need to run your card fir—”

Customer: “Again?” *types in her PIN, which, once again, does nothing*

Me: *giving up, holding out my hand* “Just… Just give me your card.”

Customer: *hands it over and I go run it, instructing her to enter her PIN, which she, of course, complains about* “I won’t be coming back here again.”

Me: *to myself* “Good riddance.”

Customer #2: “Don’t worry, I’m paying with cash.”


Rage Against The Machine, Part 4

| WA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Technology

(We have just gotten in self-checkout units at our store, much to the delight, and apparent misunderstanding of our customers.)

Customer: “So we no longer have to rely on you guys to check out our stuff?”

Me: “Oh, no, the normal checkout lanes are still open, but if you’re in a rush, you now have the alternative of doing it yourself.”

Customer: “Guess this means you’ll be out of a job soon!” *laughs*

Me: “No… not at all.”

Customer: “Eh?”

Me: “The SCO still requires a staff member to key in birthdates if you’re buying restricted items like alcohol, and if there’s a price query or you accidentally scan something more than once, we need to be here to override it. SCO is a tool for us to help make your shopping experience more pleasant, not a replacement.”

Customer: “Oh, well…”

Me: “And if I may just ask, sir, how is us losing our jobs meant to be funny? Would you still laugh if you got replaced at your job by a machine? Or one of your family members did?”

(The customer turned red and grumbled something to himself as he grabbed his groceries and left.)


Rage Against The Machine, Part 3

Rage Against The Machine, Part 2

Rage Against The Machine


Roaming Ever Closer

| OH, USA | Technology

(This is a call from a regular customer.)

Caller: “Hi there, I need to add international calling to my plan.”

Me: “That’s great. What country will you be going to?”

Caller: “Canada.”

Me: “Okay, what you need to do is call customer care and they can add a small international roaming package on, and they can also get you the best rates.”

Caller: “Oh, okay, I’ll do that.”

(Not even five minutes later, I get a call from a different number, out of state.)

Caller: “Hey, I tried to call them, but my phone told me I was roaming and it wouldn’t connect the call.”

Me: “That’s odd. Well, I can try to call Customer Care for you and see if they can add it on or at the very least, try and give you a call. When exactly will you be needing this package added on?”

Caller: “Well, we are about two hours from the Canadian border, so as soon as possible.”

Me: “…”


Microsoft Doesn’t Works

| Portland, OR, USA | Non-Dialogue, Technology

I work at a software company doing tech support for specialized software used by county mental health clinics to do their client and accounting tracking.

We have a client call us, asking for help installing MS Word. I explained that we didn’t support it, that they didn’t pay us to support it, and that she should call a PC support company.

She whined that she didn’t know any, and we should do it. We ended up sending one of our programmers, at $90 an hour (in 1992) to feed 30 diskettes into ONE machine whenever it asked for one.

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