Taxing Faxing, Part 12

| NH, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

(I work in a small public library with a self-service fax machine. The machine walks you through sending a fax with an automated verbal prompt. A coworker comes to find me at my desk.)

Coworker: “Can you lift the fax machine up?”

Me: “What? Why?”

Coworker: “She got her card stuck in it.”

(Our fax machine does not have a credit card reader. Now confused, I approach the patron.)

Me: “What seems to be the problem here?”

Patron: “My card is stuck in the fax machine.”

Me: “Can you show me where?”

(She points to the paper feed.)

Me: *digging the card from the machine* “How did this happen?”

Patron: “The voice said, ‘put in the card number,’ so I put the card in the machine.”

Me: “Miss, it doesn’t scan the card. It scans the pages you want to fax. You have to manually type the card number using the number keys on the pad.”

(The patron gives me a dumbfounded look.)

Me: *pointing to the numbers* “The numbers on the front of your credit card are the actual account number. That’s how the machine knows to charge your account.”

(Same dumbfounded look.)

Me: *sigh* “Here, let me help you…”

Related:
Taxing Faxing, Part 11
Taxing Faxing, Part 10
Taxing Faxing, Part 9
Taxing Faxing, Part 8
Taxing Faxing, Part 7
Taxing Faxing, Part 6
Taxing Faxing, Part 5
Taxing Faxing, Part 4
Taxing Faxing, Part 3
Taxing Faxing, Part 2
Taxing Faxing

Not Getting Closer To The Solution

| AL, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

(The library does faxes for patrons.)

Librarian: “Okay, what’s the number, sir?”

Patron: “One. Eight.. Oh-oh. Five… Five. … Five… Two… Two.”

Librarian: “I’m sorry, sir, we seem to be missing a digit.”

Patron: “That’s okay. Just write them all together. Closer together, baby.”

Librarian: *staring at sheet of paper* “Write them.closer together?”

Patron: “Uh-huh, like she told me to. 1800552. No spaces or nothin’.”

Librarian: “They’ll all be together when I dial out—”

Patron: “Just try it that way!”

(The librarian, baffled, copies the number on his pad without any spaces at all.)

Patron: “Exactly! It should work now.”

(It didn’t.)

Understanding Of The Technology Is Backwards

| York, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

(It’s a crazy busy day in the library, with queues of around 10 customers per member of staff, and everyone is run off their feet. A lady comes in on a mobility scooter who is known to staff as a bit of a deliberate time waster. She starts shouting for a member of the staff to come and assist her.)

Me: “Can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes. I want something photocopied.”

(Normally photocopying would be self-operated by the user, but I can see why it would be difficult to do from a mobility scooter.)

Me: “Okay, no problem. Let me give you a hand. What do you need copying?”

Customer: “This!”

(She pulls an artist’s pad from her bag, which has a picture of a bird on it.)

Me: “Thanks. Let me get that copied for you.”

Customer: “Hang on. I need to finish the leg. Do you have a fine liner?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry. I can get you a biro though?”

Customer: *grumbling* “I suppose that will do.”

(I hand her the biro and she starts painstakingly drawing in the leg of the bird. I glance over at the desk and see the queue has become even longer.)

Me: “I’ll pop back when you’ve had a chance to finish that.”

Customer: *shouting* “DON’T YOU DARE! STAY HERE! YOU HAVE TO HELP ME. I’M DISABLED. I TAKE PRIORITY!”

Me: “I understand, but if you aren’t ready for me to help you, I can come back later—”

Customer: “Write on this in mirror writing for me.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “I need you to write on it backwards. Put my name and the date and the title, but backwards.”

Me: “Um, I’m really sorry but I don’t think I can do that. Why does it need to be backwards?”

Customer: “So it will be the right way round when you have photocopied it.”

Me: “That… is not how photocopiers work. It will be fine written normally. I promise.”

Customer: “You are so stupid! It’s the same as when you take a photo… That comes out backwards, too.”

Me: “… I’m pretty sure that doesn’t work like that either.”