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Uh… It Computes Things?

, , , , | Right | November 13, 2018

Customer: *slams item on my counter* “So, what can you tell me about this product?”

Me: *slightly confused* “What would you like to know?”

Customer: *in clear disbelief* “I don’t know! You tell me!”

A Bad Sign(ature)

, , , , | Legal | September 28, 2018

In the late 1990s to early 2000s, I was a tech at a small computer store. A woman brought in her malfunctioning computer and paid a rush charge to have it looked at right away. While I was checking her machine in, she was going on and on about being an attorney and needing the computer fixed quickly to be able to serve her clients. I handed her our standard disclaimer about data loss, etc., and asked her to sign.

Before I could finish explaining what it was, she grabbed my pen, signed the form without looking at it, and walked off.

I made note of her name in case I ever needed an attorney, so I could remember not to use her.


What A Complete Di(s)c

, , , , | Right | September 12, 2018

(I work at a computer store in Newcastle around 1983 or ‘84. A customer comes in with an IBM compatible computer complete with monitor and keyboard.)

Customer: “Fix this piece of g**d*** s**t! It won’t read my floppy disks!”

Me: “Okay… and what exactly is it doing?”

Customer: “I put the disk in and turn it on, but it says, ‘Drive A is not ready.’”

(What was the problem, you may ask? The idiot didn’t take out the protective thingy for the disk drive! He angrily says to me:)

Customer: “Why didn’t I think of that?! F*** you and your misconceptions!”

(He left without his computer. Long story short, I got my first real computer for free, and I still have it!)

Webcam Versus Scam

, , , , | Legal | July 6, 2018

I was working in a computer shop, when after a busy morning, we discovered one of our display machines missing. Tracing through the morning’s sales we narrowed down the culprits to two men who’d come in together – one had occupied the salesperson with questions, while the other searched the store for something valuable and portable, before carrying it off.

They were very smooth, but they made two main mistakes. The first: our store dealt in used equipment, so they thought the perfect way to case the joint would be to come in a day early with an old motherboard. We still had this in our back room -– along with a detailed form containing the name, address, phone number, and other identifying information about one of them. City regulations treated this aspect of our business as if we were a pawn shop; he’d had to show picture ID to get us to look at the potential sale.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, his partner had been screwing around with the display computers while they were in the store, and managed to take several pictures of himself with the webcam on it, saving them to the desktop.

When the police arrived that afternoon we were able to give them everything they needed, gift-wrapped.

Later on, we found that the culprits denied ever having been in our store… Then, when confronted with proof, they tried to claim individual innocence, blaming each other for the crime.

I don’t think we ever got our stolen property back, but the police were apparently able to charge them based on the provable falsehoods of their stories.

The Golden Age Of Gaming

, , , , , , | Working | December 21, 2017

(I go into the electronics store a few times a month and get to know most of the staff. I’m wheelchair-bound, and my beard is iron grey and white, so I’m pretty distinctive. A few days ago they hired a bunch of new people for the holidays. Since I’ve been looking for a new PC game, I am going through their display when one of these very young employees approaches:)

Employee: “Looking for a game for your grandson?”

Me: “I’m sorry?” *just blown away by the question*

Employee: “You know, video games? Computer games?”

Me: “Oh!” *catching on that due to my age he was under the impression that I was too old to know video games* “No, I don’t know much about them things. Can you explain them?”

Employee: “Well, people play these games on these machines.”

Me: “Oh! Like the ones with the typewriters hooked up to the TVs?”

Employee: “Yes! Exactly! They use the computer and these things called programs.”

(This actually goes on for a good five minutes, with him explaining to an old cripple all about these new-fangled contraptions called PCs. Unfortunately for me, but fortunate for the employee, a manager starts overhearing the conversation and comes over to investigate. I see her walk up behind this clueless employee, silently dying with laughter, and she has to wipe away tears before she lets her be presence known.)

Manager: “Um, why are you talking to him like he is clueless as to what computers and games are? He makes half the backgrounds, screensavers, and custom content for most of the games we carry. He is the last person you ever want to treat like that.”

Employee: “You can’t be serious. I mean isn’t he a little too… you know… to know much about games?”

Me: “You mean, I’m too old to know much about games?” *I fill in the blanks for him* “I’m too old to know much about skins, meshes, animations, and the like?”

Employee: “Um, well, I just saw you looking there, and I didn’t know.”

Manager: “Maybe you’ve learned a bit of a lesson in preconceived notions and jumping to conclusions, and hopefully a little about discrimination of age.”

Employee: “Well… I’ve got to take care of something…”

(And away he ran! The second he was far enough away the manager burst out laughing again and asked how long I was going to keep the kid on the hook. I told her just a couple of more minutes because I was having too much fun with him. That kid will never hear the end of his gaffe and I may immortalize it in my next DLC. I’ll just leave his name out of it.)