“It Doesn’t Work” Doesn’t Work As A Descriptor

, , , , , | | Right | June 18, 2019

(I work in a small call center providing technical support to retirement homes. I have the utmost respect for nurses. However, they are some of the worst when it comes to technical support. There is a very common documentation software we deal with.)

Caller: “My computer doesn’t work.”

Me: “Okay, we’ll take a look and see what’s going on. What’s happening on the screen?”

Caller: “It doesn’t work.”

Me: “So, it’s not coming on?”

Caller: “Well, no, it doesn’t work.”

Me: “So, no lights at all?”

Caller: “Well, no, the lights are on.”

Me: “So, it has power.”

Caller: “I guess. But it doesn’t work.”

Me: “Is there anything on the screen?”

Caller: “No, it doesn’t work.”

Me: “So, you have a completely black screen?”

Caller: “Well, no, but it doesn’t work.”

(My patience fading…)

Me: “What, exactly, does the screen look like?”

Caller: “Well, it’s white.”

Me: “So, you have a blank, white screen?”

Caller: “Yes, it doesn’t work.”

Me: “So, there is a blank, white screen, nothing on it?”

Caller: “Yes, because it doesn’t work.”

Me: “Did this happen when you turned the computer on? Or were you working on something?”

Caller: “No, I wasn’t doing anything. It just stopped working.”

Me: “So, you logged in and got a blank, white screen.”

Caller: “Well, no. I put my name thing in and password.”

Me: “So, you could log in.”

Caller: “I guess, but it doesn’t work.”

Me: “So, you logged in and the screen went white.”

Caller: “Well, no. I had the blue screen first.”

Me: “Okay. You went to the desktop? Where you saw icons?”

Caller: “Well, yes. But it’s not working.”

(But is it working?)

Me: “So, you were on the desktop, and then everything went white?”

Caller: “Well, no, I was doing documentation.”

Me: “So, you were in [Documentation Software] and the program stopped working?”

Caller: “Well, it doesn’t work.”

Me: “So, you were able to log in and start using [Documentation Software], and now the screen is blank and white?”

Caller: “Well, no.”

Me: “So, is there something on the screen?

Caller: “Well, no. Not really.”

Me: “Not really?”

Caller: “Well, it’s not working.”

Me: “I understand that it’s not working. But is there something on the screen?”

Caller: “Well, yes, but not my documentation.”

Me: “Okay, can you describe it for me? Tell me everything on the screen from top to bottom.”

Caller: “But it’s not working.”

Me: “Yes, I know. But I need to know exactly what’s not working.”

Caller: “Well, it’s my computer. It’s not working.”

Me: “Are there words on your screen?”

Caller: “Well, yes, but not [Documentation Software].”

Me: “Okay. What are the words on your screen? Read it to me.”

Caller: “It says, ‘Login Expired.”’”

Me: “So, you need a password update?”

Caller: “Well, yes. Because it’s not working.”

Me: “Okay. Your new password is [password]. You can log back in.”

Caller: “Oh! It’s working again! I guess it fixed itself!” *click*

(Cue my coworkers’ screams of laughter. Luckily, most of our calls are not this bad!)

Tech Support Retort

, , , , , | | Working | June 17, 2019

(A minor note before I go into this story. I work in tech support. We’re not talking the “have you rebooted it,” outsourced type, but serious tech support — the kind that deals with digging through code to fix issues, patching, and some hardware support. Recently, I found myself thinking about upgrading my graphics card, not because I really needed one, but I thought it’d be just a nice change compared to what I had. So, with that in mind, I head down to the local big-box tech store on my way home after work. I head inside, wander back to the parts department, and start looking through the shelves for the specific card I’ve had my eye on. It’s about this time that one of the salesmen approaches.)

Sales: “Finding everything you need?”

Me: “Not entirely sure.”

Sales: “Well, what do you need help with?”

Me: “I’m looking at getting a new graphics card, but…”

Sales: *cutting me off* “Well, it depends what you’re doing with it. Take this—“ *grabs a cheap card* “—It’s good for most things, but you don’t want that. Nah, you need this.” *grabs the most expensive card*

Me: “You think so, huh?”

Sales: “Oh, yeah. I’m an expert!”

Me: *muttering* “Sure, you are.” *aloud* “I get that you’re trained in these things to some degree, but you didn’t let me finish explaining the issue.”

Sales: *rolling his eyes* “Oh, go on, then.”

Me: “As I was about to say, I’m looking for a graphics card, but I’m not sure what kind of connector this type has, or if it’s for a laptop or tower. It doesn’t say it on the box, and I need a specific type to fit my system.”

Sales: “They’re all the same thing! I don’t know what gives you the idea they’re different.”

Me: “Education, training, experience…”

Sales: “What?”

Me: “Ever hear of [Well-Known Tech Support Company]?”

Sales: “Yes. And?”

Me: *producing badge* “I’m a technical support agent for them. So, yeah, the connections are different. I don’t need the upsell into something more expensive than what I want, and I don’t need the condescending ‘I know everything’ attitude. I just need to know what kind of connection this is, or if it’s for a laptop or tower.”

Sales: “Whatever. They’re the same [censored] thing! Here.” *grabbing a box off the shelf* “That’s the one you want.”

(With that he left. I ended up having to go back a second time, returning the one he picked up when I found out that yes, it was a laptop card. I also had a long talk with the department’s manager and the store manager about my experience. They ended up trading me the PC version — which was fifty bucks more — even for the laptop card I’d picked up, and assured me that they were going to have a long sitdown with that employee. I got the impression that this wasn’t the first time something like that had happened.)

Sounds Like They’re Playing A Gaming With You

, , , , | | Working | May 28, 2019

(I enjoy occasional online gaming. During the course of a couple of weeks, my connection’s latency has steadily raised to the point that makes gaming impossible; other than that, though, the Internet works fine. After eliminating the possibility of hardware issues on my side, I call the ISP’s tech support. After a series of tests, the support rep says that there doesn’t seem to be an issue on their end, either. Then, he drops this gem:)

Support Rep: “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more I can do. The only thing I can offer is to transfer you to our sales department, where they can upgrade you to a gaming plan.”

(This immediately raises a red flag for me. I tend to be VERY short-tempered when I get the feeling that I’m being screwed over; however, they are the best ISP we have, so I don’t want to switch to another. I start recording the call at this point.)

Me: “Hold up. A ‘gaming plan’? How long have you been offering this new ‘plan’?”

Support Rep: “About a month. You should really consider it; it should eliminate this latency issue you’re having, and it would only cost [amount that would significantly raise my Internet bill].”

Me: “Sounds awfully like extortion to me, you know. My Internet connection magically develops issues just as you start offering a new, expensive plan designed to remedy those exact issues? Do you think your customers are morons?”

Support Rep: “What?! Are you suggesting that we purposely slow you down?!”

Me: “I don’t know. Do you?”

Support Rep: “No! We’d never do that! I can assure you, sir, that we did not alter your connection in any way. All we did was to add plans with high-priority routing, for customers who need that.”

Me: “So, before those new plans came about, everyone simply had ‘normal’ priority routing, and now some of your customers have ‘high’ priority?”

Support Rep: *sounding relieved* “Yes, that’s it.”

Me: “But doesn’t this make the rest of your customers ‘low’ priority now?”

Support Rep: “Um…”

Me: “So, basically, you’ve downgraded my service, without my consent or even notifying me, while charging me the same price you used to. I’ll tell you what: clue in one of your supervisors — one who knows what a class-action lawsuit is — on this conversation. I’ll wait.”

(I get hold music for a while. Then I hear a different voice, who I assume to be a supervisor:)

Supervisor: “After reviewing the issues you were having, we’ve decided to offer you a free upgrade to a gaming plan.”

Me: “And a refund for the last two weeks, because I paid you for a service which you weren’t providing properly?”

Supervisor: *after a brief silence* “Yes.”

Me: “I thought so. Thank you and have a good day.”

(I didn’t have any issues for the rest of the years I was with them, until better ISPs emerged and I switched to one of those.)

Unfiltered Story #151781

, , | | Unfiltered | May 25, 2019

Agent: I’m extremely sorry but due to unforeseen circumstances any data not stored in your H:/ drive or the share drives has been lost and is irrecoverable.

User: Well, why wasn’t that relayed to us.

Agent: It was unexpected..

User: Well how do I get that back I need it. It was important.

Agent: You can’t. It’s irrecoverable.

User: That’s just unacceptable. I want to speak to someone else.

Should Have Downloaded Some Common Sense First

, , , , , | Working | May 15, 2019

(I work in a pharmacy. We have to install an updated digital certificate into our dispensing software so that we can connect with the government’s healthcare software. My boss has provided me with a manilla folder with a set of instructions, the PIC — Personal Identification Code — code, and other related documents, and left me to it. The back end of our dispensing software is rather fiddly and complicated, so we’ve organised for our dispensing software’s tech support to call us and install the certificate remotely. This entire conversation takes place by phone.)

Tech: “Okay, you’ll need the PIC and the CD.”

Me: “What do you mean, CD?”

Tech: “As in the physical CD.”

Me: “I wasn’t told about a CD. Wouldn’t it be [file] that [Boss] downloaded and told me about?”

Tech: “No, it’s a physical CD. They should have sent you a CD with the letter with your PIC.”

(I shuffle through the manilla folder of documents that [Boss] gave me and pull out a CD labelled with the name of the government’s software.)

Me: “Okay, let’s try this.”

Tech: “Does it say [ACRONYM] on it?”

Me: “Yep.”

Tech: “That should be it, then.”

(I put the CD in and give the tech the PIC code.)

Tech: “It didn’t work. Are you sure it’s the right code?”

Me: *after double checking* “Well, that’s the code I was given.”

(Nevertheless, I hunt through the file and find two more CDs and two more codes, and we try them all, but none of them work. During all this, I notice that the tech is trying to open a file on the discs with the same unusual extension as the file my boss had downloaded.)

Me: “Are you sure it’s not [file] we’re supposed to be using rather than the CD?”

Tech: “No, there should be a CD.”

Me: “Why don’t we try it anyway, just in case?”

(We tried it, and, lo and behold, it worked! Cue my epic facepalm and fervent wish that I could get back the twenty minutes we’d wasted!)

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