No One In This Restaurant Is Being Server’d

, , , | Right | September 19, 2019

(My company sells and supports restaurant computer systems — hardware, software, and maintenance. I’m on the software-support side programming, taking client calls, and remoting in to fix things. We have everything from fast food to fine dining. The level of experience is random with every caller. We have a site where the system server is around ten years old and it starts crashing daily. This means the rest of the system goes down for about fifteen minutes. Everyone hates when the restaurant has to use pen, paper, and calculators. This keeps happening for about two weeks but the owner wants the server repaired, so he won’t have to pay the thousands of dollars to replace it. The owner calls about fifty minutes before they open.)

Me: “Good morning, tech support.”

Owner: “Hi, this [Owner of Restaurant]. I need someone to log in and reload all the software and stuff that runs our computers.”

Me: “Wait, what happened to [the main products that we sold you that has to be loaded in our office before the system leaves our office]?!” 

Owner: “We got a new machine.”

(Dumbfounded, I hit mute to talk to the team.)

Me: “Did we send [site] a new server?!”  

Team: “No.” *team’s interest is peaked*

Me: *unmute* “Where… did… it come from?”

Owner: “Oh, picked it up! I just need someone from your company to do that thing where they take over the computer and make [Vital Program] work. I just switched out the old with the new one; it’s all hooked up and ready to be worked on.”

Me: “But where did it come from?!

Owner: “I picked up from [Membership Warehouse Store]. It was $2000 cheaper than the one [My Company] tried to sell me.”

Me: *double dumbstruck, putting the pieces together* “Hold on a minute, okay?” *relays details to the team because I’m not fully believing it*

Team: *wide-eyed* “PUT. IT. BACK!”

Me: *back on the line* “[Owner]… this won’t work. You have to put it back. Put the old server back. All the things you want done to that PC you bought are impossible. We have to have a system server built with special specs, transfer data from the old server, and program it before they are installed in restaurants. There isn’t time to explain. Just put back and call back. We have forty minutes to fix this.”

Owner: “But, but… that one is broken!”

Me: “[Warehouse Store] does not sell plug and play servers. That’s just a personal computer. Put the server back or your site is running on pen and paper all day, not just part of it.”

(Later that day, they were finally convinced to buy a new server from our company. But what a go-getter, albeit a very misguided go-getter!)

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Contest-ing The Facts

, , , | Right | September 13, 2019

(I just started working at a library, where it’s not uncommon to get patrons who have never used a computer and want help. We also are in a fairly poor area with majority non-English speakers, making communication sometimes difficult.)

Patron: “Hello. I won a contest and want to get my money from it. I need to email them.”

(He holds up a bottle cap, which I assume has some sort of contest rules on it.)

Me: “Sure! Our computers are just over there, or you can connect your laptop to our Wi-Fi.”

(The patron walks over to the computers and sits down, and I continue my work. He comes back after a few minutes.)

Patron: “I need help with my email.”

(I follow him to his computer, which has not been logged in. It turns out he doesn’t have an email account, nor does he even really know how a computer works. I walk him through the entire process, which takes longer than usual because of slow Internet. Finally, I get him set up and write his information on a piece of paper so he can access his email later.)

Me: “Okay, you’re all set to write the email. Good luck!”

(I leave him to it and get on with my work. After a few minutes, he returns to the circulation desk.)

Patron: “I need to go. I’ll come back another time.” *leaves*

(Part of me feels bad for not helping him more, but his skill level was so low that he needed an intro computer class to really make a difference. With the hurried way he left, I don’t expect him to see him again. However, the next day, the same patron comes in.)

Patron: “I need help with my email. I need to see if I won the contest.” *holds up the bottle cap again*

Me: “Okay, do you have that paper I gave you? With your email login?”

Patron: “No.”

Me: *face-palming, because I remember the email, but not the password he chose* “Okay, let me show you how to reset your password.”

(I go through the process with him only to learn that because it is a new account, it needs to be connected to a phone number to reset the password. I explain this.)

Patron: “But I don’t have a phone.”

Me: “Do you know anyone with a phone? It doesn’t have to be yours; you just need to bring the phone here and give the computer your number so it can text you.”

Patron: “My mom has a phone. I can use that.”

Me: “Great! Okay, you need to go get the phone and bring it here so we can access your email.”

(He leaves and comes back in a few hours.)

Patron: “I got the phone.”

(He holds up a piece of paper with a phone NUMBER on it, not an actual phone.)

Me: “I’m sorry, maybe I wasn’t clear. The computer is going to send the phone a text, so we need the phone here. You need to come back with the phone.”

(I know I explained extremely clearly earlier, because I know this guy doesn’t know anything about technology. Obviously, I wasn’t clear enough. The patron leaves, and the next day is my day off. When I come back two days later, I’m on desk with a coworker, who has been here for years. Guess who comes in and hightails it to me?)

Patron: “You! I need help with the contest again.”

Coworker: “[Patron], I told you, it’s not a contest! It’s just a bottle cap.”

Patron: “No! This girl helped me with a contest!”

Me: “What? Can I see the bottle cap please?”

(He gave me the bottle cap, which was an ordinary bottle cap with a joke printed on the inside. I was absolutely dumbfounded, considering I spent probably a full hour with this guy over the past few days trying to win this contest for him. I guess he didn’t read English well — I don’t know how he planned to write this email — saw writing on the cap, and made the logical leap to a contest win? Unluckily for me, since I helped him, the patron was convinced that the contest was real and it took a while for him to realize the truth. This was one of my first difficult customer experiences and from then on out, I was careful to check into whatever a customer said and ask more questions.)

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Wireless, Clueless, Hopeless, Part 34  

, , , , , | Right | September 13, 2019

(Overheard in the next aisle:)

Customer: “Honey, get a shorter cable so we get faster Internet.”

Wireless, Clueless, Hopeless, Part 33
Wireless, Clueless, Hopeless, Part 32
Wireless, Clueless, Hopeless, Part 31

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Helping The Disabled

, , , , , , | Right | September 7, 2019

(I work at a call center doing tech support for a big company.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company] support. My name is [My Name]. How may I help you today?”

Customer: “Yeah… my phone’s locked.”

Me: “I’d be more than happy to assist you with that. Now, when you say, ‘locked,’ what do you mean?”

Customer: “It’s just locked.”

Me: “There are different kinds of locks that can happen on your phone and each lock has a different way to fix it. What does the screen say?”

Customer: “It’s locked. What don’t you get?”

Me: *still trying to maintain my customer service voice* “Sir, what does the screen say?”

Customer: “It says it’s disabled.”

Me: “Okay! And is there a timer, or does it just say its disabled?”

Customer: “It just says it’s disabled and to connect to [Company Media Player].”

(I explain to the customer how he ended up in the predicament.)

Me: “It seems the only way to get your phone working again is to connect to [Company Media Player] and restore the phone to factory settings.”

Customer: “What?! Are you f****** kidding me? Don’t you all have some button you can push to fix this?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. We don’t have that ability. The only way to fix it is as I described.”

Customer: “But won’t I lose everything if I set it back to default?”

Me: “Do you know if your phone has been backing up to the cloud wirelessly?”

Customer: “That thing where the government and random people can see all my s***? H*** no!”

Me: “Then, yes, there is a very real possibility of data loss here.”

Customer: “F*** you. I’m just going to get a new phone and have them import everything over.”

Me: “That’s always an option if that’s what you want to do, but I do advise that you won’t be able to transport your data over because your device is disabled.”

(We went back and forth like this for a few minutes more before the customer became belligerent and I warned him twice before disconnecting the call. I logged everything that happened in the case notes and advised if the customer calls back to get him to a supervisor. I checked back on the case before the end of my shift and the customer did indeed call back. The advisor who got him next wrote in their notes that he was calling to get a refund on a phone he bought because he wasn’t able to transfer over data and his carrier said they couldn’t help. They also noted that when they tried to get him to a supervisor for assistance he became very angry and disconnected the call himself.)

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Wi-Fi Bye Bye

, , , | Right | September 5, 2019

(Our office shares a building with a “Social Café.” The Café only hires people with minor mental disabilities or behaviour issues, to train them so they can work in “normal” workplaces. Most trainees flourish in this setting and our office is quite proud to help this café. One of the ways we help them is by sharing our Internet with them, so they don’t have to pay for it. One day, the Wi-Fi is down. We don’t have LAN-ports — or cables — to our guest network, only Wi-Fi. It turns out the problem is not only with us, but various places in the Netherlands. A guest shows up at my reception desk.)

Woman: “The Wi-Fi is not working.”

Me: “Yes, I heard. They are doing their best to fix it.”

Woman: “But the Wi-Fi is not working.”

Me: “Yes, the provider has some issues. We haven’t heard yet when it will be up again.”

Woman: “But I need Wi-Fi to work.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, but there is a technical issue. We’re doing the best we can. If you need Internet, you could go to the public library. It’s about 200 meters away. Maybe they have a different provider.”

(The woman stares at me in a way that makes me wonder if I insulted her.)

Woman: “I came here to work.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do.”

Woman: “If you don’t give me Wi-Fi, I will go to a different cafe and get my business elsewhere.”

(The cafe doesn’t require a drink or snack; you can sit there and do your thing, free of charge. So, if she leaves, we might miss out on a cup of coffee, or less.)

Me: “You could do that. But you’re welcome to stay. We hope the Wi-Fi will be up again as soon as possible.”

(The lady turned away, walking away while tapping on her phone. She stayed for another hour, while the downtime wasn’t resolved until six hours later. I guess she could work without Wi-Fi?)

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