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Reroute To The Mother For Best Results

, , , , , , | Right | April 9, 2022

It is during the early stages of the transition between analog house phones and digital models, so this is the first time a router has been installed at this caller’s mom’s house. She’d never needed a router before, so the process is a little more complicated than it is nowadays.

But the problem isn’t the router, it’s the caller.

While I try to navigate him through the process of initiating the basic setup, he gets angrier and angrier, yelling at me that I don’t know what to do while skipping most of the necessary steps, insisting on doing unnecessary things, or using his preferred software even if it doesn’t work. I don’t even get him to log into the router software to enter the needed data.

Finally, he rage-screams something about women taking men’s jobs and I hear the mobile clattering on a surface and him slamming a door.

The next thing I hear is rustling and a shy voice calling, “Hello?” It’s his mom, who begs me to get her phone online.

Her son has left his laptop up and running, so I lead this sixty-plus-year-old woman who has never touched a computer before through every little step — explaining to her how to use the mouse, explaining how to type, and explaining where to put the address of the router — and lead her step by step through the setup assistant, and we get her phone up and running.

The most time is spent on finding a sufficient browser since her son had insisted on one with which our router software doesn’t agree with. She needs a lot of descriptions and I have to explain literally everything on screen just using my tech dummies as reference, but she does that active listening trick where she repeats everything I say back to me before doing it and asks really good questions when she encounters something she doesn’t understand, so it goes slowly, but I never have to repeat myself and she does exactly as told.

To her son’s credit, he was well prepared and everything she needed was there — the passwords, the data, etc.

The whole call takes me far too long and my team leader is not happy, but the lady is so proud of herself, so it’s totally worth it! She even writes me some great feedback, mentioning my name! I find out about this when the company sends me a lovely letter with a copy of her letter attached.

I’ve helped countless people, but this sweet lady stood out. I’ll always remember that call.

Our Poor Old Folks Don’t Stand A Chance With These Scams

, , , , | Legal Right | April 8, 2022

I was working at our store’s online order pickup counter when a very elderly man came to pick up $300 of iTunes gift cards. I thought it was odd, as the phone in his hand wasn’t even an iPhone, but I figured maybe it was a gift for his grandkids and let it go. He came back the next day to pick up $300 more in iTunes gift cards, so I went ahead and asked some more questions.

Customer: “I need these gift cards to unlock my computer! It has some kind of bug!”

Me: “Okay. I’m going to cancel this order and get your $300 back, and then you’re going to go get your computer and bring it to [Tech Team] to fix it.”

The poor dude was so grateful that he brought us all cookies when it was said and done.

That Depends On Your Definition Of “Big”

, , , , | Romantic | March 25, 2022

My grandparents are having a party celebrating their sixtieth wedding anniversary. My grandfather is giving a speech talking about how they made it work.

Grandfather: “Sixty years ago, we decided on how we would handle decisions. We decided that she would handle all of the day-to-day decisions, and then when something big came up, she would tell me and I would make all of the big decisions. Can you believe that after sixty years, two houses, three kids, eight grandkids, job changes, and everything else… no big decisions ever came up?”

Grandma’s Going Wireless!

, , , , | Related | March 18, 2022

My grandmother asks for help setting up her Wi-Fi and computer. She bought a new computer months ago but can’t get the Internet to work. The Internet provider set up her system, but now it’s not working anymore.

I am not an expert, but I try my best. I spend several hours setting up the system and figuring out where all the cables go between the router and Wi-Fi enhancer and a mysterious “extra” box. I get the computer going, update her software, and show her how to connect and how to use the browser. My grandma is smart, but old, and I think she gets it.

The next day, she calls and says the Internet isn’t working. After some troubleshooting, this happens.

Grandma: “I turned it off for the night to save electricity.”

Me: “Turned it off? How?”

Grandma: “Well, I pulled out the cable.”

Me: “Which cable?”

I’m starting to get a really bad feeling.

Grandma: “All of them.”

Me:All of them? Not just the one in the wall?”

Grandma: “Yes, all of them. It looks tidier now.”

Me: *Pauses* “I’ll see when I can come out again to look at it.”

Turns out she pulled every cable she could find, including her mouse and keyboard. At least it was easier to set it up the second time around.

Whistle While You Work It Out

, , , , , , , | Right | January 7, 2022

I work in a call center for a major bank. I help with anything from balance to lost/stolen cards to online banking. I get a call from an older gentleman who sounds like he went riding with King Richard in the Crusades.

Me: “How can I help you today?”

Customer: “I want to add someone to my bill pay.”

Me: “I can help you with that. Can you please log in to your account?”

Customer: “Where?”

Me: “Are you on our home page?” 

Customer: “What is a home page? 

Me: “Do you have your computer on?”

Customer: “I need to be in front of the computer? Hold on…”

I hold on.

Customer: “Do I need to turn it on?”

Me: “Yes, please. Let me know when it’s up and running.”

Customer: “I’m on the home screen. Where do I go now?”

Me: “You said you wanted to add someone to your bill pay, correct?”

Customer: “Yes, how do I do that?”

Me: “Log into your checking account on our website.”

Customer: “How do I do that?”

Me: “Double-checking: who are you going to be adding to your bill pay?”

Customer: “My mortgage company says they will accept electronic payments through bill pay. I want to do that.”

Me: “Okay, I can help you, but I need you to log into your checking account.”

Customer: “How do I do that?”

Me: “By chance is there anyone else at home that uses your computer that can help us?”

Customer: “My five-year-old grandson is here. Do you want to speak with him?”

Me: “I’m willing to give it a shot if you are.”

Customer: “Let me get him.”

It sounds like he is missing his front teeth, so he whistles a bit when he talks.

Kid: “Hello?”

Me: “Hi. I was hoping you would be able to help your grandfather with something on the computer. Do you know how to pull up a website?”

Kid: “I go on Grandpa’s computer all the time; Mom doesn’t let me go on the one at home.”

Me: “Well, I can keep that secret if you can help your grandfather with something.”

Kid: “Okay.”

I then spend the next thirty minutes walking a five-year-old and a very old man through how to set up bill pay. The kid was a wiz on the computer and was showing his grandfather where to go and what to push. He didn’t know how to read but knew all his letters, so I could spell things to him and he found them quickly.

It was the longest call I ever had, but still, ten years later, it makes me smile as the kid was so excited helping his grandfather with the little whistle when he spoke.