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…


Throw The Google Book At Them

| PA, USA | Geography, Technology, Wild & Unruly

(I’m working the Reference Desk at my local library. We often get questions from people asking for local phone numbers, addresses, etc., along with the general library questions. Calls like this one, where an elderly patron can’t find a number in their phone book, are very common.)

Me: “[Library], Information Services. This is [My Name].”

Patron: “Uh, I couldn’t find a local business in the phone book. Do you by chance have it in your Google book?”

(The patron is audible, but is slightly hard to hear because her television is so loud that I can clearly hear everything and identify the game show she is watching.)

Me: “I can definitely see if I can find it online for you. What business are you looking for?”

Patron: “Oh, dear… Uh… It was a local discount store…” *incoherent mumbling while [Game Show] is coming through more clearly than she is* “Oh! It’s [Dollar Store #1]! I want the one on [Boulevard I’m unfamiliar with].”

Me: “Sure thing! Let me check if it’s listed.” *pulls up all the listings for [Dollar Store #1]* “Ma’am, I don’t see one on [Boulevard], and I’m also not too familiar with it. Do any of these locations sound nearby?” *lists the locations*

Patron: *suddenly turns mean* “YOU’RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT! It’s on [Boulevard]! You’re supposed to know it and have it in your Google!” *continues ranting*

Me: *trying to avoid just hanging up on her, I suddenly realize there are two different dollar store chains in the city* “Uh, ma’am? Ma’am? Did you by chance mean [Dollar Store #2]? I just looked it up and there’s one on [Boulevard].”

Patron: *another mood flip* “Oh? Maybe. I forgot there were two of them. I’m sorry… Is it by [Department Store]?” *clearly very embarrassed*

Me: “Yes. That’s coming up on the map. Is this what you needed the phone number for?”

Patron: “Yes, and would you mind speaking up? I can’t hear you over my television. What’s the phone number?”

Me: *can’t really speak up, or else I would be shouting* “The number is…” *starts slowly giving the phone number*

(I end up having to repeat the phone number at least ten times. She keeps making up numbers and thinking that some are doubled up. Eventually:)

Me: “Ma’am? I’m just going to start over and give you the number slowly. That way we know that no one is losing their place. All right?”

Patron: “All right. What is it?”

(I slowly give the number, pausing a second between numbers. Right after the area code and first three digits…)

Patron: “Oh, hold on, honey. Would you mind waiting while I go find a pen and paper? I’m not going to remember this whole thing. That’s why I kept getting mixed up!”


Getting A Red Flag Here

| Doncaster, England, UK | Bizarre, Technology

(Less than a week ago my store had a new till opening system installed. After years of cashiers having to call out to customers which tills were opening, we now have a panel of buttons to press that makes the opening till’s number light up green instead of red. This is accompanied by an overly-polite automated message for customers over a P.A. system.)

Customer: *gesturing to the green, lit-up till number at the end of his transaction* “This is all very modern isn’t it?”

(I agree and say how it’ll hopefully make things a bit easier for the customers when we’re opening and closing tills.)

Customer: “So what does it mean then? Red and green?”

Me: *deadpan* “Red means closed and green means open.”

Customer: “Oh, right. Thank you.” *walks away from till to leave store*

Colleague On Till Behind Mine: “I REALLY hope he didn’t drive here today!”


It’s Madden-ing

| OH, USA | Technology, Time

(I’m talking with my friend over the Internet. He works at a video game store, and at the time of the conversation it is exactly one day before the latest Madden NFL game is released.)

Friend: “You know, the week before Madden is always a fun time for the phone. Every five minutes, the phone rings, we say ‘[Store]. Madden comes out tomorrow. How can I help you?’ and they ask, ‘Do you have Madden?’ Every f***in’ time.”

Me: “Hah.”

(He pauses for a while.)

Friend: “Either that, or they just hang up.”


Locked On Numbers

| UAE | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work in a gaming centre in the Middle East. Each of our customers has a username and a password. One day a customer comes in and sits in front of a computer and, after about five seconds, he calls me in a very urgent tone.)

Customer: “[My Name]!”

Me: “Yes, sir, do you have any problems?”

Customer: “I can’t login. I am not able to type my password. Your keyboard is broken. Change it.”

(I type some alphabets in the password field and it seems to work fine.)

Customer: “My password is a number. I am not able to type numbers. Your keyboard is broken. Change it.”

(I type the numbers that are above the alphabets in the keyboard and again it works fine.)

Customer: *points to the number pad in the keyboard* “I am not able to type numbers from here. Your keyboard is broken. Change it.”

(I notice the number lock is off. I switch it on and start typing using the number pad.)

Customer: *blank stare*


Email Fail, Part 8

| HI, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

Me: “All right, Mr. [Customer]. Your flight date change has been confirmed and issued a new ticket for. All I need to do is to send you an email, so let me verify the email address on file.” *reads back his Gmail address*

Customer: “No, no, no! That one is in Maui. I’m in Honolulu right now; I’ll give you another one.”

Email Fail, Part 7
Email Fail, Part 6
Email Fail, Part 5

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