A Sudden Surge In Enquiries

, , , , , | Right | June 22, 2017

(I am the technical support supervisor for a game company that was the first to allow multiple players to play games like Diablo. To use the service you have to download the executable, then run it; the server checks the executable to make sure it’s okay (to avoid viruses, etc.) and then you are taken online to match up with someone to play a game. We get a lot of trash talking from people who don’t know we have their home addresses, but this is about a very special customer unfamiliar with weather systems.)

Me: “Hello, you’ve reached [Company]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “My download stopped and I don’t know how to restart it.”

Me: “Okay, that’s a very common issue.” *explains how to restart the download*

Customer: “Thanks!”

(The customer hangs up. Two minutes later:)

Me: “Hello—”

Customer: “I’m so glad it’s you! It stopped again.”

Me: “So you need me to tell you how to start it again?”

Customer: “Yes, please.”

(I repeat my earlier instructions. We sign off. Five minutes later:)

Customer: “Hi, its me again!”

Me: “Ma’am, if I might ask, what keeps causing you to stop downloading?”

Customer: “The power keeps going out.”

Me: “You should really talk to your electric company; you could be getting surges on the line that are harmful to your computer or other electronic devices with the power flickering on and off.”

Customer: “Oh, the power company can’t help me. We’re in the middle of a severe tropical storm.”

Me: “You’re trying to download a game client in your house in the middle of a hurricane?”

(At this point my coworkers hear me, and all start laughing. Loudly.)

Customer: “Yes. Are people laughing at me?”

Me: “No, someone just said something funny.” *technically true* “Ma’am, you need to get off the phone and turn off your computer. You could be getting surges from the storm down your phone line or in your electrical system—”

Customer: “I’m fine! I have a surge protector. Oh. There go the lights again. Maybe I should write down how to restart the download?”

Me: “Ma’am. Get. Off. The. Phone. Turn off all your powered electronics. Huddle in the dark with a flashlight and read.”

Customer: “But I have a—”

Me: “Yes, surge protector. I know. Won’t help.”

Customer: “Can you please just give me the directions so when the lights come back on I can try again?”

Me: *trying hard not to sigh heavily* “Yes, ma’am.”

(I gave her the instructions, having to pause briefly because she couldn’t see well in the dark, and then finished and hung up the phone. My coworkers continued to repeat “In a hurricane?!” throughout the rest of the day.)

Signing Off On That Action

, , , | Working | June 2, 2017

(I work at a company that specializes in property management software, and I help answer calls and emails regarding issues specifically with the software.)

Customer: “Hey, I have a question for you.”

Me: “Okay, what’s going on?”

Customer: “The UPS guy is here right now in the office, and he brought in a bunch of sodas. Like, a bunch. Should I sign for them?”

Me: “Did you order the sodas?”

Customer: “Nope.”

Me: “Do you know if someone else did?”

Customer: “I’m not sure. He is waiting for me to sign for them. Should I?”

Me: “…sure.”

Customer: “Okay, great. Thank you.”

(I’ve talked to this manager before and I still think he has no idea that I am tech support for the software they use. Not sure who he thought he was calling.)

What The World Needs Now…

| VA, USA | Working | December 19, 2016

(I’m male and married, and I’m on the phone with a male customer whom I know well. He’s recently remarried, and told me about his wife and how very much he is in love with her. While on the call, I’m thinking about how nice that is and how happy I am for him.)

Customer: “Thanks, bye!”

Me: “Bye! Love ya!” *click*

(Then I realized what I said. I sat there for a few minutes, and then sheepishly called him back. The funniest part was, he was so used to hearing it from his wife that it didn’t even register! We had a good laugh over it.)

Microsoft Doesn’t Works

| Portland, OR, USA | Right | September 29, 2016

I work at a software company doing tech support for specialized software used by county mental health clinics to do their client and accounting tracking.

We have a client call us, asking for help installing MS Word. I explained that we didn’t support it, that they didn’t pay us to support it, and that she should call a PC support company.

She whined that she didn’t know any, and we should do it. We ended up sending one of our programmers, at $90 an hour (in 1992) to feed 30 diskettes into ONE machine whenever it asked for one.

Enough To Give You A Fit

, , , , , , , | Working | July 1, 2016

(Owing to a number of disabilities, including epilepsy, I’m not permitted to be in the office on my own in the early morning for health and safety reasons. When I’ve got systems to check or restart/fix early morning I arrange with another member of staff to be in at the same time as me. I’ve got admin rights to the systems; that guy doesn’t. We both get to go home early when this happens and we’ve done this for years. This morning I turn up and nobody else is in, so I wait in reception. And wait. It gets to 8:45 am, when I’d got in at 6 am, and finally someone shows up but not the staff member I’d arranged with; it’s our IT director. I mention about my coworker not showing up.)

IT Director: “Yeah, I heard about that and told him not to show up.”

Me: “Oh, did the system restart not need doing at 6:30 am today? Would have been nice to be told but these things happen, I guess.”

IT Director: “No, it needed doing… Does this mean you didn’t do it?”

Me: “Well, no, I couldn’t. I’m not allowed in the office on my own. That’s why [Coworker] comes in when I need to do this.”

IT Director: “Yeah, I heard about that. It’s a stupid rule.”

Me: “Under health and safety I’m not allowed in the building on my own. Stupid rule or not, that’s how things are.”

IT Director: “Why not? Because you’re a woman? So much for feminism.”

Me: “No, because I’m an epileptic.”

IT Director: “Well, that’s two faults against you, then. Not doing the restart and not telling us you’re a [very rude term for the mentally disabled]. I’ll be speaking to your boss.”

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