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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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Beware The Cable Guy

| USA | Bad Behavior, Movies & TV, Technology

(I work at a well-known electronics retailer, and have just finished my shift with another coworker. I clock out as two men come in to the store. One is an elderly man looking to get a TV antenna so he can drop his cable provider, and the other is the man’s middle-aged neighbor. The neighbor has no concept of an “inside voice,” and this whole exchange is done in an aggressive, vaguely Australian shout. Taken aback by the intensity of the neighbor’s voice, I wind up staying past my shift.)

Neighbor: “We’re looking for TV antennas. Do you have those here?”

Coworker: “Yes, sir. What kind were you looking for—”

Neighbor: “Good, good! We want one of those boxes you put on the TV. See, my neighbor here just got a $190 bill from his provider and he wants to drop them.”

Coworker: “Well, we do have indoor antennas, but they may not work well depending on your location. This area is bad for FM TV reception because of the landscape—”

Neighbor: “Yeah, his cable provider charged him $190 and he wants to drop them, but he only watches a few channels.”

(He proceeds to rattle off several cable-only channels.)

Coworker: “Well, those channels are only through cable, so he will not receive those through an antenna.”

Neighbor: “What channels will he get? See, he only watches [repeats list of cable-only channels].”

Coworker: “How many channels he gets really depends on his location, what kind of antenna he has, and where he—”

Neighbor: “Do you have any of the big outdoor antennas?”

Coworker: “Not in-store, but I can check online.”

(At this point I have drawn the old man aside and made him aware of streaming media devices and companies that stream shows over the internet for a small fee. He seems content with that solution, but the neighbor is not.)

Neighbor: “Now wait a minute. How many channels will he get?”

Coworker: “Like I said before, it depends on where you are. These large antennas can pull stations from forty miles away and—”

Neighbor: “What about those things you use to rotate them? And do you have someone to install it?”

Coworker: “We do sell the rotating mounts separately, but we do not have our own installers. You will have to—”

Neighbor: “Why don’t you have your own installers? Will he be able to watch his shows from [Cable TV Network]?”

(This went on for twenty minutes, with the neighbor repeatedly asking how many channels his elderly friend would get, interrupting and misunderstanding our explanations, more comments about the cable bill, giving us unprofitable business advice, and making off-color jokes about a recently deceased comedian that were in very poor taste. They ultimately left without buying anything, leaving us bobbing awkwardly in the eddies left by the man’s strange intensity.)

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Her Brain Is Out Of Batteries

| Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Extra Stupid, Popular, Technology

(A woman approaches the jewelry counter with a watch that was a gift from her husband at Christmas.)

Customer: “Excuse me, I’d like to return this watch. It never worked and this is supposed to be a reliable brand.”

(Without a word, I remove the little tab of plastic on the watch dial that prevents the battery from running while on display.)

Customer: “Oh, my god… I drove 45 minutes to get here. I’m so stupid. If you ever see me again here with my husband, you are not to say a word.”

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Read Write Error

, | Eindhoven, The Netherlands | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work in IT in the Netherlands. An end-user files a complaint.)

End-User: “My PC won’t start. Just gives me an error message.”

Me: “Okay, which one of the 100,000 errors do you get?”

End-User: “I don’t know.”

Me: “It isn’t written in Arabic or old-Mesopotamian, so what does the error message say?”

End-User: “It’s a bunch of white characters on a black background.”

Me: “And what does it say?”

End-User: “I don’t know. I don’t know how to read this.”

Me: “So you’re telling me that you don’t know how to read?”

End-User: “YES. Come and fix it.”

(The end-user is a teacher.)

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The Solution Is Not The Solution

| Oklahoma City, OK, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

Customer: “My phone got some contact solution on it and the touch screen quit working.”

Me: “Oh, no, that’s no good. Does the phone still power on?”

Customer: “Yes, it still turns on and gets calls and texts but I can’t answer them.”

Me: “Okay, well, you can try putting the device in a bag of rice for a day or so and that may pull the moisture out of the phone.”

Customer: “I’ve had it in rice for a couple hours already and seems to have helped already but I was reading online that I can clean the contact solution out with fresh water or by taking the phone apart and trying the parts off.”

Me: ” I wouldn’t advise either of those things.”

Customer: “Oh… I already started pulling the phone apart…”

Me: *face palm*

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Just Bladerun With It

| AZ, USA | Geeks Rule, Movies & TV, Popular, Technology

(I am working the reception desk. I am often told that I should be a radio announcer or a voice actor, because my ‘phone voice’ is so nice. I am also known as the office nerd, able to recite lines from a plethora of geeky films and shows.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Oh, is this a machine? Or are you a person?”

Me: “No, ma’am. I am a Nexus-series Replicant made by the Tyrell corporation. More human than human is our motto.”

(Fortunately, the caller had seen Blade Runner and got a good laugh from it. My normal coworkers rolled their eyes so hard their retinas detached.)

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