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The Power To Point Out Stupidity

, , , , , | Right | July 2, 2021

I work as a level-two help desk tech at a major university under contract with a government agency to provide computer support. We aren’t bound by any agreement that we can’t point out someone’s stupidity to them when deserved.

This was in the day when everyone was getting laptops but not everyone knew how they worked (so it really could have been yesterday).

Me: “[Agency Help Desk], this is [My Name].”

Client: “I can’t get my laptop to turn off.”

Me: “Okay, did you try holding the power button for five seconds?”

Client: “Yes, but it wouldn’t turn off.”

Me: “Try unplugging it from the power outlet.”

Client: “I did, but it still won’t turn off.”

Me: “So, let’s remove the battery and see what happens.”

Client: “It’s still powered on.”

Me: “So, send it to me, and I will split the money with you.”

Client: “Money? What are you talking about?”

Me: “Well, we’ve found the only laptop in the world that doesn’t require any source of power, and we are going to be rich.”

Client: “Umm, I’ll call back later.”

Me: “Okay, but I was hoping to buy a yacht.”

Client: *Click!*

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The Username Blame Game

, , , , | Right | June 24, 2021

I have just had a caller transferred to me from one of our Order Processing phone representatives. The caller is not able to log in to our website.

Me: “Hello, [Caller], this is [My Name]. I understand from [Phone Representative] that you are not able to log in?”

Caller: “Yes. This happens every time that I try to log in; I have to reset the password. So, I reset it again today, and then I couldn’t log in with the new password.”

On our website, after you reset the password, it logs you in, so she would have had to log out and then log back in, so she was clearly testing to make sure the password would work.

Me: “I apologize that the website is not letting you log in. I show that your username is [Caller’s Full Name] with no spaces. Is that the username you are trying to log in with?”

Caller: “No, my username is [email address].”

Me: “I apologize for any confusion. That is the email address we have on record for you, but your username is [Caller’s Full Name]. Can you check and see if you can log in with that username and your password?”

Caller: “No. It doesn’t work.”

Me: “Okay, I’m going to resend the password reset email to you and have to try to reset it with me. Let me know when you receive it.”

Caller: “I have it.”

Me: “Now, click the ‘reset password’ link in the email just like you did before, and then type in the new password and click ‘continue’.”

Caller: “Okay, I reset it and I’m in. I’m going to log out and back in again to make sure it works.”

Me: “Okay. Let me know if it works.”

Caller: *Sounding a bit disappointed* “It worked this time. I’m back.”

Me: “I’m glad we were able to get this straightened out for you. Just remember for next time that the username is [Caller’s Full Name].”

The perplexing part of this incident is that in the password reset email, right above the previously mentioned “reset password” link, is a line that says, “Username,” and lists the person’s username.

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Well, Hellooooo, Honolulu!

, , , , , , , | Working | June 22, 2021

I have been sent on business to Honolulu. I’m staying in a big hotel with multiple towers. After waiting in the outdoor atrium for my turn at the concierge, I get to the counter only to have the computer system go down. Ah, well, it happens. We wait patiently in the lovely Hawaiian weather, and when the system comes back, the concierge finds that the company has booked me into the business tower and, for once, instead of being on the second or third floor facing a parking lot, the concierge has upgraded me to be on the eighteenth floor, ocean view, for my patience in having waited as long as I have. Happiness!

Concierge: “Here’s your key, your pass to the workout room, and a map of the property. Just go down this path to the business tower.”

So, I go down the path to the business tower and up the elevator, put my key in the room door… and walk in on someone who clearly was not expecting anyone to be walking in on them given their state of clothing — or lack thereof!

Me: “Excuse me!” *Turning away* “Is this your room? They just booked it to me!”

Stranger: *Covering up* “Yes, this is my room. I’m booked in here for the week!”

Me: “Let me go back and find out what’s going on.”

I go back down to the concierge and ask what’s going on. From what I can gather, when the computers came back, they didn’t quite sync up completely with the occupancy database and she booked me into a room that the system thought was empty but apparently wasn’t. Ah, well.

But alas, there were no more similar rooms they could move me into, so I was back in the original booking: sixth floor, garden view.

And the air conditioner wasn’t working in the room.

I told this story to a friend who works in the hotel industry and he said that, given the way electronic keys work, it’s likely that when I opened the door, it canceled the previous occupant’s keys. The keycard gets paired with the lock when you put it into the lock and cancels any previous cards that might exist. That way, you can’t just keep your key and go back into the room after you’ve checked out. So, the guy probably had to talk to the concierge, too, about getting his key reprogrammed.

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The Ghost In The Kitchen…

, , , , | Right | June 22, 2021

I take nanny jobs to earn extra cash. It’s my first day at a new client’s home and their children are three and five. We are playing with Legos in the living room, just me and the kids.

All of a sudden, I hear a deep male voice yelling, “Hello? Hello?!” I start to freak out and tell the kids to get behind me to protect them.

Kids: *Exclaiming* “Grandpa!”

Me: “Your parents said no one is home.”

Five-Year-Old: “Grandpa is in the kitchen.”

Me: “There’s nobody in there. You just had lunch. I can see the kitchen from here.”

Male Voice: *Yelling* “Hello? Hello, is anyone home?!”

The kids grab my hands and pull me to the kitchen.

Kids: “Hey, Grandpa!”

I started laughing hysterically when I saw that it was Google Home with video chat! Their parents had it connected so their grandparents could pop in anytime. Would have been nice if they’d warned me!

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They Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore

, , , | Working | June 19, 2021

I am in charge of all things IT, including a huge dot-matrix printer. This printer is very convenient for the company, as we often print stacks of reports which we can do on the dot-matrix, saving big on using the fancy CMYK color printer we also had.

Every so often, we need to use the service contract, which has an oddity in it; it is unlimited and free to have it serviced as long as the printer lives.

When the tech comes by for another service to keep this antique beast alive, he starts his spiel about a new printer and a new contract, as he always does. He’s an older gentleman, techie old-school.

Me: “You always do the sales pitch, but tell me, wouldn’t we be crazy to give this sweet deal up?”

Tech: “I understand, but the company has to keep me employed just for you folks.”

Me: “When do you retire?”

Tech: “In four years.”

Me: “I think in four years, we might be swayed.”

He grinned widely.

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