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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.)

Needs To Shift Their Understanding Of The Issue

, , , , | Working | November 15, 2017

(My keyboard has some keys that don’t work, and my computer is running slow. I take it into the store so their tech crew can fix it. Keep in mind that I specifically say the SHIFT key does not work. Only CAPS LOCK works.)

Employee: “I think I’ve got all your details down! I just need your password.”

Me: “It’s ‘HELLO’ in all caps, then ‘world’ in all lowercase. ‘HELLOworld.’”

(I tell him again about the SHIFT key.)

Employee: “Got it! Well, we should have the problem diagnosed by tonight.”

(I cross my fingers that it’s a software issue, as a new keyboard is $150, and head home. Not 30 minutes later I receive this call:)

Employee #2: “Hello, I think we have the wrong password. Can you please repeat it?”

Me: “’HELLO’ in all caps, ‘world’ in all lowercase.”

Employee #2: “I’m sorry, but your computer isn’t accepting that. Could it be a different password?”

Me: “Are you using the SHIFT key?”

Employee #2: “Yes?”

Me: “It doesn’t work. Use the CAPS LOCK key.”

Employee #2: “That worked. I’ll look at your—” *pauses* “—keyboard… issue… now.” *click*

H2-Woah, Part 4

, , , , , | Right | November 15, 2017

(I run a private computer store associated with a larger company. We see a lot of customers each day with issues using their cell phones. Many have changed something on the device that they were not aware of, and it requires us to scroll through a number of different settings on the device to troubleshoot. This happens while I am helping a lady who appears to be in her 60s.)

Customer: “Do you by chance have a water fountain?”

Me: “No, but will a bottle of water do?”

(I keep water in our refrigerator for personal use; I usually buy bulk packs of mini bottles. I get a bottle of water from the back room, hand it to her, and bend over to the counter to look closely at the phone settings once again. She starts drinking from the bottle, standing directly opposite me, and basically right on top of me as I check her phone. She then gets some water down the wrong pipe, and does the biggest cough and spit take you have ever seen, showering me, the counter, and her phone. I take it all in stride, clean up what I can with a roll of paper towels we keep behind the counter, and get her taken care of the best I can, and she leaves.)

Coworker: “You have got the be the most composed person I have ever seen! She was shooting water out her nose, even! If it would have been me, I would have told her I had to go home and take a shower after that!”

(I didn’t really need to hear that part. Bonus points: she never said she was sorry!)

H2-Woah, Part 3
H2-Woah, Part 2

His Lack Of Computation Is Astounding

, , , | Right | June 1, 2017

(My first job in IT, around 1993, was in a small PC shop that did not have any field support for our clients but I did help out clients over the phone in order for me to decide whether or not they should bring in their equipment.)

Me: “Good day. Thank you for calling [Shop]. My name is [My Name]. How may I assist you?”

Client: “I just bought this game and the music sounds extremely garbled.”

(It is one of the early Command and Conquer games.)

Me: “It should not sound like that. Have you tried reconnecting the speakers?”

Client: “Yes, I have done that and it still sounds like s***. But my other discs all sound fine.”

Me: “Would you be able to bring in your computer so that we can diagnose it on site?”

Client: “Unfortunately, I cannot as I don’t have a car and only ride bikes.”

(I remember that the client has signed up for our monthly newsletter.)

Me: “I see that you have signed up for our monthly newsletter and notice that your home address is on my way home as I live nearby. I am knocking off in about 15 minutes and can be at your home in another 10 minutes, so I can be there in 25 minutes. How does that sound?”

Client: “That sounds good.”

(I then knock off and get to the client’s house. He shows me to his study and he reproduces the steps that he had followed earlier. But the ‘device’ that he is playing the ‘computer game’ on is definitely not a computer. It is a hi-fi with a CD player.)

Client: “I heard from a friend that the music on the disc was awesome. Not scratchy and irritating like this.”

Me: “Well, sir, what you are actually listening to is actual computer data. Your hi-fi won’t be able to read the data properly and it is therefore spewing out this rubbish.”

Client: “Well, how do we then fix it?”

Me: “You would need to get a computer to play this disc.”

Client: “What the heck is a computer?”