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Whistle While You Work It Out

, , , , , , , | Right | January 7, 2022

I work in a call center for a major bank. I help with anything from balance to lost/stolen cards to online banking. I get a call from an older gentleman who sounds like he went riding with King Richard in the Crusades.

Me: “How can I help you today?”

Customer: “I want to add someone to my bill pay.”

Me: “I can help you with that. Can you please log in to your account?”

Customer: “Where?”

Me: “Are you on our home page?” 

Customer: “What is a home page? 

Me: “Do you have your computer on?”

Customer: “I need to be in front of the computer? Hold on…”

I hold on.

Customer: “Do I need to turn it on?”

Me: “Yes, please. Let me know when it’s up and running.”

Customer: “I’m on the home screen. Where do I go now?”

Me: “You said you wanted to add someone to your bill pay, correct?”

Customer: “Yes, how do I do that?”

Me: “Log into your checking account on our website.”

Customer: “How do I do that?”

Me: “Double-checking: who are you going to be adding to your bill pay?”

Customer: “My mortgage company says they will accept electronic payments through bill pay. I want to do that.”

Me: “Okay, I can help you, but I need you to log into your checking account.”

Customer: “How do I do that?”

Me: “By chance is there anyone else at home that uses your computer that can help us?”

Customer: “My five-year-old grandson is here. Do you want to speak with him?”

Me: “I’m willing to give it a shot if you are.”

Customer: “Let me get him.”

It sounds like he is missing his front teeth, so he whistles a bit when he talks.

Kid: “Hello?”

Me: “Hi. I was hoping you would be able to help your grandfather with something on the computer. Do you know how to pull up a website?”

Kid: “I go on Grandpa’s computer all the time; Mom doesn’t let me go on the one at home.”

Me: “Well, I can keep that secret if you can help your grandfather with something.”

Kid: “Okay.”

I then spend the next thirty minutes walking a five-year-old and a very old man through how to set up bill pay. The kid was a wiz on the computer and was showing his grandfather where to go and what to push. He didn’t know how to read but knew all his letters, so I could spell things to him and he found them quickly.

It was the longest call I ever had, but still, ten years later, it makes me smile as the kid was so excited helping his grandfather with the little whistle when he spoke.

The Old Familiar Game: Stupid Or Scammer?

, , , , , | Right | January 7, 2022

Client: “We’re a startup game company, and we need one character with thirty different eyes, thirty different mouths, thirty different hairstyles, and thirty different bodies for our game where the character can be customized.”

Me: “Okay, that’s technically thirty characters with each element drawn separately and/or in separate layers.”

I then give my rate for thirty characters.

Client: “Your profile says you charge [amount] for only one character. Please give us that rate since it’s only one character but he has thirty different mouths, eyes, hair, and bodies. So the price should be just for one character.”

Makes You Want To Throw The Book At Him. Literally.

, , , , | Working | January 4, 2022

My boss is a seventy-something-year-old man with barely a clue on how to get a computer to boot. He gave me an old book and wanted me to convert it into an ebook to sell. And mind, this was a thick, large-format book chock-full of maps and other illustrations with tiny blackletter script.

Me: “Sure, I can do it, but I’d have to scan it in a massive resolution so the detail isn’t lost. The final file would be massive; it wouldn’t be practical to download it, and a normal ebook reader wouldn’t be able to display it correctly.”

Boss: “So, we’d have to make it less detailed.”

Me: “How do you mean?”

Boss: “It wouldn’t be possible with the illustrations; you’ll just have to make the writing bigger on all the pages.”

Me: “…”

Boss: “As for the pages with only text on them, you will just convert them into a Word document.”

Me: “That’s not how that works.”

Boss: “Why not?”

Me: “It’s just straight-up not possible, at least not with the software we have.”

Boss: “Can you do it on the Internet?”

Me: “No.”

Boss: “How do you know?”

Me: “I know.”

Boss: “Show me.”

I showed him that it’s not possible to convert a scanned book page into a text document on some random converter found on page one on Google.

Boss: “Okay, so you will instead cut the text out in Photoshop, make it larger, and arrange it on a new Photoshop file the same size, with less of a rim around it so the number of pages doesn’t get much higher.”

I flat-out refused, telling him it would be months of absolutely pointless work. He didn’t believe any of my claims, anyway, so I just converted the whole d*** thing into an ebook, which, in the end, was like 8GB in size. Since our server had 10TB, he also didn’t believe me when I tried to tell him that it was an absurdly massive file that few people would want to buy on that account.

Ah, well. At least I didn’t have to rearrange like 300 pages of text.

So Not Worth It

, , | Friendly | January 3, 2022

A family friend asked me to work on her home computer.

Friend: “If you can’t fix it, I assume you messed it up beyond repair and will owe me a new computer.”

I stopped then and there.

Learning How To Internet Is A Beast Of A Task

, , | Right | CREDIT: Dradonus | December 28, 2021

I currently work in a call center, and the call center contracts me with other businesses that need help. I get a call and go through the spiel I usually do.

Caller: “Oh, I don’t have an account with you guys.”

That’s fine. I set him up with one, and as I am asking probing questions about his issue today and creating a case, he says:

Caller: “Yeah, I don’t know why you guys started to need an Internet connection to use your software, but I don’t have an Internet connection, so I need you to give me a code or some magic jumbo to get the program to work for me.”

I’m confused, as I was not aware that there were people out there without an Internet connection. I explain how he needs to use the Internet for various functions of the product. He gets upset and annoyed.

Caller: “Well, I guess I will get a new computer with the Internet on it.”

I don’t catch that at first.

Caller: “Is this going to be something that always happens with the company?”

Me: “With everything moving to the cloud — aka the Internet — a lot of your programs and products are going to be using that for various features.”

He reluctantly agrees and then asks what he needs for a new computer, so I gave him minimum requirements: Windows 8.1 or newer, 2 bg of RAM1GB for the program, 5 GB for Microsoft, .net 5.4.2 or something like that, 1 mbs for Internet. The program needs admin rights, especially when printing off documents.

He sighs.

Caller: “So, not only do I have to purchase a computer with the Internet—”

I catch it that time. I blink.

Caller: “—but I also have to get this beast of a computer.”

I looked at my gaming rig next to me, which five years ago cost $800 to $1000, thinking to myself, “Yeah… a real beast.” I tried to explain to him he would need to call his Internet service provider and get the basic Internet, and he should be fine, but he probably didn’t understand that, either.