, , , , | Working | November 15, 2018

(I work as a network specialist for a large manufacturing company. One day my supervisor receives a call from a very irate secretary saying that a certain VIP’s computer is not turning on and he is furious. He is in his office that he uses once a year; he is an overseas executive for the company. My supervisor sees that I am the only person in the office at the moment and asks me to take care of it. Naturally, I want to know exactly what the problem is before I drive across the manufacturing plant, so I call the secretary back.)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] from the IT department. I was told that [VIP]’s computer is not working; what exactly seems to be the problem?”

Secretary: “Yes, he is furious. He came in and the computer would not turn on. He wants his computer working by the time he comes back. You’d better come out here immediately; he has the power to fire everyone in your entire department.”

Me: “Um, okay. Well, before I come out there, I need to know exactly what is not working. Are you in front of the computer right now?”

Secretary: “Just come fix it, right now!”

Me: “Ma’am, I will gladly come out there to work on it, but I need to know exactly what the problem is, so I know what I might need to bring with me. Are you in front of the computer right now?”

(She sighs, and I can hear her get up and walk around.)

Secretary: “Fine. Now what?”

Me: “What happens when you press the power button on the computer?”

Secretary: “Nothing!”

Me: “Can you please press it now for me?”

Secretary: “Nothing happened. Just come fix it.”

Me: “Nothing? Did any lights come on? Did the button flash amber, or white, or blue, or anything?”

Secretary: “No, nothing.”

Me: “Will you press it again and watch the button for me?”

Secretary: “Okay, it flashed yellow and turned off.”

Me: “Okay, keep watching.”

Secretary: “Okay, it flashed white… Now it’s steady white.”

Me: “Okay, please look at the monitor.”

Secretary: “Oh, it’s on. What did you do?”

Me: “Don’t worry, ma’am; it was just a PEBCAK error. It should be fine now.”

(My supervisor literally face-palmed when I told him. He laughed when he read my report, in which I actually used “PEBCAK error.”)

PEBCAK, Episode VI
PEBCAK, Episode V

Giving The Internet A Place To Roost

, , | Right | November 15, 2018

(I’m working for a small IT company. We’re in Germany, and most people we provide service to have little to no idea about computers, or the English language.)

Me: “[Company], [My Name] speaking. How can I help?”

Customer: “This is [Customer]. My Gockel does not work.”

(Note: she pronounces it gock-l. “Gockel” is a South German word for “rooster.”)

Me: “Excuse me. I believe I misheard. Your what?”

Customer: “My Gockel!”

Me: “Um… Does it not crow?”

Customer: “What?! I’m not talking about a rooster! I mean my Internet Gockel!”

Me: “Um… Could you give me an exact walkthrough what you’re trying to do when the error occurs?”

Customer: “I open my Internet, and then there should be Gockel. But instead, there’s a dinosaur.”

Me: “You open your browser, but you get a dinosaur instead of a rooster? Wait…”

(It turns out her Internet provider had a problem, so their Internet didn’t work. She was confused because when she opened her browser, Chrome, the page indicating a connection error with the little dinosaur game showed instead of the usual Google startpage. She just completely mispronounced “Google.”)

Just Trouble-Shoot Me

, , , , | Right | November 8, 2018

(I work in a tech support call center for a television and phone service. I get a call in around 6:50 pm.)

Caller: “I have a giant red cross in the middle of my screen.”

Me: “That means the set top box has lost its connection and probably just needs to be power-cycled.”

Caller: “I am legally blind and can only see my television because it is very large.”

(This means I can’t do any troubleshooting with her.)

Caller: “I also have congestive heart failure and need to put my feet up, and I only do that in front of the television.”

Me: “Since we are unable to do any troubleshooting, I will need to dispatch someone to help you. I can get someone out in the morning to help you get back up and running.”

(She starts screaming.)


Me: “I’m sorry, but by 17:00, the technicians’ schedules are full, and they can’t take on any additional workload unless it’s life-threatening or a medical emergency.”

Caller: “It is a medical emergency because I have congestive heart failure and need to keep my legs up!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but not having television for a night is not life-threatening.”


(I know I am just going in circles with her, and I don’t want her to have a heart attack out of television-related rage, so I get a manager on the line. He answers and I explain the situation to him.)

Manager: “Well, no, we can’t send someone out after hours just to unplug her TV and plug it back in.” *sigh* “Bring her on to my line… I’ll talk to her.”

(I transferred the call, but listened in. The manager introduced himself and she then responded like the sweetest old lady ever explaining how she was “crippled,” and how “TV is her only joy now that her children are all moved away.” When told about the next-day repair, she immediately began berating him and refusing the early morning dispatch. He was eventually able to convince her to accept the next-day dispatch after getting verbally assaulted by the old woman. Upon further research, it turns out the woman DID have a tech out later one time, but that was because she had no dial tone and needed it fixed in case she needed to call 911. Long story short, if one of your three televisions is not working, it is not an emergency, no matter how much you want to watch “The Simpsons.”)

Unfiltered Story #124850

, , | Unfiltered | November 8, 2018

(I do over the phone tech support for internet and cable issues.  A customer has called in because he’s painted his room, and hooked his tv back up to the cable box, but it isn’t working.)

Me: “Sir, just to verify, when you hooked your box back up you have the screw in coaxial cable coming from the wall to ‘Cable IN’ on the cable box, correct?”

Customer: “Let me double check.” [a few seconds later] “Correct.”

Me: “Ok, and how do you have the box hooked to the tv, the coaxial cable from cable out, the 5 different colored component cables, or an HDMI cord?”

Customer: “Let me check.
[a few seconds later] “It says 1WCH.”

Me: *trying not to chuckle.* “Sir, I think that’s upside down.”

Customer: “Huh…it won’t go in the other way.”

Me: *Trying desperately not to laugh at this point* “uh…sir, what I mean to say is that I think you’re reading it upside down.”

Customer: “huh? OH!” *customer chuckles.*

(This customer made my night.)

Getting Extra Defensive About It

, , | Right | November 6, 2018

(This customer calls in a lot with these kind of calls.)

Me: “Hello. Welcome to [Company] technical. My name is [My Name]; how can I help?”

Customer: “Where’s my laptop?”

(This is in for repair and has only been away two days.)

Me: *took his details* “It says that it is still in repair and is well along the process; currently they are trying to recover all the data for you.”

Customer: “But I need it.”

Me: “I understand that, but I can’t get it done faster.”

Customer: “I work for the Ministry of Defense, and there are military secrets on that laptop.”

Me: *knowing this guy is trying to pull my leg* “I’m afraid that doesn’t change the fact I cannot get it back.”


Me: “Well, surely the Ministry of Defense wouldn’t come to us for a laptop repair.” *click*

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