That’s It, I Fold

, , , , | | Right | July 3, 2019

(I am trying to help a customer find out what she backed up onto her external hard drive.)

Me: “Go ahead and open any folder.”

Customer: “I opened an Internet browser. What now?”

Me: “No, we need to open a folder, not a program.”

Customer: “What’s a folder?”

A Different Kind Of Data Leak

, , , , , | | Right | July 2, 2019

(Many moons ago, working tech support, someone calls in with a problem with their printer. After working on it for over an hour, because he questions and argues every step of the way, I finally get him to tell me step by step what exactly he is doing.)

Customer: “I open a document, file, print, wait for it to finish loading, then unplug the printer cable and carry it across the room to the printer while holding the ends up so the data doesn’t spill out, and I plug it into the printer and it prints. And it worked like that yesterday.”

Me: *stunned pause for several seconds* “No, it didn’t.”

News Flash: Lasers Get Hot

, , , , , | | Right | July 2, 2019

(Sitting next to a coworker, I hear him take this call.)

Coworker: “It’s doing what? Okay, turn it off and unplug it. No, you need to turn it off. Yes, turn it off. No, turn it off now. Yes, right now. No, you really need to turn it off right now.”

(I get a call and miss the rest, but I ask him about it afterward.)

Coworker: “His laser printer had six-inch flames coming out of the output slot. He didn’t want to turn it off because it was still printing. And once he’d turned it off and the fire was out, he wanted to know if he could turn it back on and use it.”

Just Phoning This Return In

, , , | | Right | July 2, 2019

(I work for a major cell phone company. One of our customers comes in having bought a phone from our store several months earlier.)

Customer: “I need help with understanding this phone; it won’t work at all for me!”

Me: “Sure, let me take a look for you.”

(The customer has a flip phone box. I open the box, only to see that the actual phone that’s in the box is a much older phone from another cell phone company. I check the SIM card and the SIM is also from another cell phone company.)

Me: “Sir, this isn’t our phone. This belongs to [Cell Phone Provider]; it isn’t compatible with our network. Do you have the phone that actually came in this box?”

Customer: “No, you guys sold me this phone!”

Me: “Sir, I can’t do anything; this isn’t our phone.”


(My manager comes over.)

Manager: “Sir, this is not the phone that came in the box. There’s nothing we can do about this phone.


(While my manager is trying to calm the man down, I decide to take a look at the flip phone and I notice that it was last used back in late 2016. We also take a look into his account and notice that the actual correct flip phone that was sold to him was showing usage very recently, as well.)

Me: “Sir, this phone that you have right now was last used in 2016 it looks like. Here, it even shows the call logs.”

(The customer looks through the phone and his eyes start to widen.)

Me: “Also, it shows that the actual device that we sold to you has been used pretty recently. Are you sure you didn’t just misplace it?”

Customer: *gives us an awkward look with his eyes still very wide* “O-oh… Oh, my God… I must have grabbed the wrong phone at my house… I have to eat my own words…” *walks out of the store with all of his stuff very awkwardly, not giving us any apology*

(My manager, my coworkers, and I all burst out laughing in disbelief after he left.)

An Email Many People Would Strive For

, , , , , | | Working | June 24, 2019

We have a program that generates user logins and a company email after someone who needs to access it fills out a form on our account creation site. Normally, it will use your initials, then your department acronym or the acronym of the department that has contracted you to work for our company, and if you’re an outside contractor, then the initials of the company you work for.

I’m sitting at my desk with my coworker at her desk next to me, only half paying attention when a young woman walks in behind one of our HR reps. I hear the HR rep tell my coworker we need to change the young woman’s email. This happens occasionally, normally because some mashup of the characters adds up to a swear word, or the person will be using the company email to email non-personnel and needs to be more “professional” than our seemingly random jumble of letters. I don’t look up until my coworker starts cracking up, as do the HR rep and the young woman. I scoot over to see why.

The young woman’s name — changed for privacy, but initials kept the same — was Donna Olivette Nguyen-Orson.

The department she had been contracted by was the newly-created Reservations and Event Planning department; this woman was an events planner and was coming on board to streamline our company’s corporate events and travel for the next few months while they hired out a full department of staff, since they’d just given these things their own department. She was the first to get the email address containing the REP acronym.

Her company’s initials? L and Y.

Using our usual protocols, our automatic generator had happily pinged out the email address:

[email protected][website].com

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