Dealing With A Magic Bean Counter

| MN, USA | Right | March 20, 2013

(One of my tech staff gets off the phone with a loud client. He is visibly frustrated.)

Me: “Next time he calls, put him through to me.”

Tech Staff: “Okay!”

(Minutes later, the call is escalated to me.)

Caller: “This is unacceptable! I demand you fix my issue!”

Me: “Well, unfortunately, you are using an unsupported email client. When you called us to set it up, we explained to you what would happen if you used this client. It appears that you did it anyway. We cannot fix it for you.”

Caller: “That’s unacceptable! We pay you good money to host this for us! I expect you to resolve this for me!”

Me: “Okay, sir. You are a financial advisor to your clients, right?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “So, imagine a customer came to you, and told you they wanted to move all of their investments into magic beans. What would you tell them?”

Caller: “Well, that’s just stupid. I—”

Me: “EXACTLY! So, imagine they did it anyway, and came back to you a few weeks later complaining that they’d lost all of their money. Would you accept liability?”

Caller: “No, but—”

Me: “Well, that’s where I am right now.”

(We never heard from the caller again.)

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So Slow It Hertz

| North Carolina, USA | Learning | March 12, 2013

Caller: “Hi, I think there’s a bug on your website. I can’t log into my account.”

Me: “Okay, that may be a bug. Let me get some basic information from you. What internet browser are you using?”

Caller: “What’s a browser?”

Me: “That’s what you use to surf the Internet. Popular browsers are Internet Explorer and Firefox.”

Caller: “Oh. I think I’m using Yahoo.”

Me: “That’s a search engine.

Caller: “Ask.com?”

Me: “That’s another search engine. I need to know what browser you use to get to that website.”

Caller: “Oh, I think I know what you mean. I’m using Hotmail.”

(This goes on for about 10 minutes. Eventually, we locate the bug. While I’m writing up the report, I’m making small-talk with the customer.)

Me: “You said you’re in college? What do you study?”

Caller: “Computer science. I’m really good at it!”

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PEBCAK, Episode VI

| MO, USA | Learning | March 11, 2013

(I am a student worker at a college IT department. Most of our calls come from older professors who often have trouble with their machines. This call comes from a student.)

Me: “Hello, this is [school] IT department. What can I do for you today?”

Student: “Hello, yes, I’m trying to give a presentation in [classroom] but the projector won’t connect! It won’t show any image, you have to come right now!”

Me: “Thank you for calling, I’ll be right over.”

(I go to the classroom, and indeed, the projector says it can’t find any source. I check all the wiring, double check the projector, all while the class is waiting and the student is ranting.)

Student: “I can’t believe this! IT never gets anything right! I’m going to send out an email to the whole school about this! Why can’t you get it to work? I have to give this presentation!”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry, but everything is hooked up correctly, it should be working.”

Professor: “Well, I guess we’ll just have to push all the presentations back.”

(I suddenly realized I just assumed that someone my own age would know how to operate a computer, so I fall back on what I would do if this were a professor problem and go to open the cabinet where the computer tower is. I start to laugh as I realize the computer isn’t even turned on! I press the power button, and sure enough, the projector shows the start-up screen.)

Student: “You got it to work! What did you do? What was wrong with it?”

Me: “You didn’t turn on the computer.”

(The rest of the class laughs and the student sheepishly thanks me and logs on to the computer as I leave.)

Related:
PEBCAK, Episode V

How To Make Them As Silent As A Mouse, Part 3

| Roanoke, VA, USA | Learning | March 11, 2013

(I work at an IT help desk during college, helping both students and faculty. We have a call from a Computer Science professor; he is in the middle of teaching a classroom and wants a new mouse.)

Me: *entering classroom* “You asked for a new mouse, right?”

Professor: “It took you long enough! We’ve been waiting to start class for 15 minutes now!”

Me: “Well, here you go.”

(I put his mouse on the desk and start to walk out.)

Professor: “Wait, aren’t you going to install it?”

Me: “…It’s a USB mouse.”

Professor: “So? I don’t know how to install these things!”

Me: “It’s a plug-and-play mouse. Sir, you just—”

Professor: “Just install the d*** mouse!”

(At this point, I realize what I’m dealing with. I walk over, plug the mouse into the port labelled “USB” on the front of the tower, and walk out. The class erupts into laughter. The next day, he filed a complaint against the IT department for ‘Defamation and Public Humiliation’.)

Related:
How To Make Them As Silent As A Mouse, Part 2
How To Make Them As Silent As A Mouse

A Username By Any Other Name

| Chattanooga, TN, USA | Working | March 8, 2013

(The following takes place via email.)

(Day 1…)

User: “I need a laptop for a project, and I need it ASAP!”

Me: “I have one imaging for you and I will get it to you as quickly as I can.”

User: “Okay, but it is super important, so please hurry.”

(Day 2…)

Me: “I have your laptop ready. I just need your Windows log-in information so I can configure your Outlook, Lotus Notes, and NetMeeting.”

User: *no reply*

(Day 3…)

Me: “I am still waiting for your log-in information. Once I have it, I can have the laptop to you in 15 minutes.”

User: *no reply*

(Day 4…)

User: “Why is my laptop taking so long?!?!?!?!”

Me: “I sent you an email asking for your log-in information two days ago.”

User: “I don’t know what my log-in is. I never use it.”

Me: “Then how to do you log-in to your PC everyday?”

User: “Oh, you mean my username… you should have asked me for my username. I don’t know what a log-in is.”

Me: *facepalm*

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