Up And Down Is Not Right

| Thornton, CO, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I do tech support for a satellite TV company. Often, troubleshooting requires that we walk customers through various menus to reset or fix certain settings. All of these are navigated by the remote, and the agents would walk the customer through each and every screen with detailed directions. I have been on the phone with a caller for an hour and a half.)

Me: “…and so, sir, I need you to push the left arrow on your remote until the dial all the way on the left of your screen is highlighted.”

Caller: “It’s not working.”

Me: “Well, that’s strange. Let’s back out one step and try it again. Go ahead and select the third option on the list. Now, once you’re in this next screen, press the left arrow button four times.”

(This continues for some time, with the customer telling me various and strange results that he should not have gotten following the directions.)

Me: “Okay, sir. Now, select the third option. Push the left arrow button once. What do you see highlighted in yellow?”

Caller: “It says ‘satellite feed’.”

Me: “That’s the button above the default. Sir, which button are you pushing? We need to go to the left of the screen.”

Caller: “Wait, did you mean left as in ‘left and right’, or left as in ‘up and down’?”

Me: *pause* “Left as in ‘left and right’, sir.”

Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 7

| KY, USA | Technology

(I am taking tech support calls for a satellite TV company.)

Me: “Thank you, sir. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “My remote isn’t working.”

Me: “I apologize for that trouble, but I am happy to help. Lets reprogram the remote, okay?”

Customer: “Okay, how do I do that?”

Me: *I proceed to explain the steps to program the remote* “Now, use the number buttons on the remote to put in the code 02258.”

(The next thing I hear are loud tones coming from the buttons on the phone in my ear. I can hear the customer is not talking into the phone, which leads me to believe he is talking into the remote.)

Customer: “Okay, I did that.”

(He asks if I am there a few times, before realizing he isn’t talking into the phone.)

Customer: *into the phone this time* “Okay, I did that.”

Me: “Thank you, sir. That was good practice. Now let’s do that again, but this time with the remote control…”

Related:
Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 6
Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 5
Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 4
Not Remotely Intelligent, Part 3

A Birthday Fit For A King

| Belgium | Language & Words, Top

(This call takes place during pre-Internet times, back when I was a student working a holiday job at a call center for a national telecom operator. My job was to look up international phone and fax numbers for our customers.)

Me: “International inquiries, how can I help you?”

Elderly Male Caller: “Hello? I need the number of The King of Morocco’s direct line.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that type of information would be classified. I can give you the number of our embassy in Morocco if you like. Maybe someone over there can further assist you? ”

Elderly Male Caller: “No, no, that won’t do. Your colleague already told me to dial [embassy’s number], but that’s no good. I want the direct line of The King. He lives in Casablanca.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I’m afraid we cannot help you.”

Elderly Male Caller: “Are you quite sure? It’s The King I’m looking for, he lives in Casablanca, which is in Morocco, and I’m quite sure there is only one of them in the whole country. Surely you can look up his number?”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t, sir, as I’ve explained before—”

Elderly Male Caller: *sadly* “I used to have his number, you know, but I’ve lost the notebook it was in. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait for him to call me then. Goodbye…”

(The caller hangs up. However, over the next hour, several of my coworkers get the same call, with the elderly man sounding more desperate, and repeating over and over he needs to speak to The King in Casablanca. Eventually, I get him on my line again.)

Me: “Sir, I’m really sorry, but there’s nothing more me or my colleagues can do for you. The King’s direct number is private. We simply cannot access that kind of information.”

Elderly Male Caller: “But it’s his 68th birthday! I ALWAYS call him on his birthday! Ever since he moved to Casablanca, over 25 years ago! My brother, The King!”

(At this point, it finally dawned on me that “The King” he was trying to call was simply the elderly caller’s brother, Mr. De Koning (“The King”, literally), who had indeed moved to Casablanca, and who indeed turned out to be the only “De Koning”/”The King” in the Casablanca telephone directory. When I finally gave our customer the number of “The King” of Casablanca, he was extremely grateful!)