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When A Computer Is Not A Computer

| Right | June 12, 2011

Me: “Thank you for calling [electronics store]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “I came into the store a few hours ago and bought a computer, but I think something is wrong with it.”

Me: “What seems to be the problem, sir?”

Caller: “Well, it seems to turn on. The little light goes on and everything, but nothing comes up except ‘no signal’.”

Me: “Is this a desktop computer, or a notebook?”

Caller: “It’s one of the big screen ones. Not a laptop.”

Me: “Alright, it’s a desktop. Are you positive you followed all the directions in the manual and connected everything properly?”

Caller: “Huh? Why would I need to use the manual? It was pretty simple.”

Me: “Well, just to be sure, could you please check the manual and make sure everything is plugged in properly?”

Caller: “Well, there is one cord sitting there but I figured that it was the internet cable. We don’t have internet yet.”

Me: “Is the cord coming out of the monitor or the tower?”

Caller: “It’s not plugged into anything. The only thing I have plugged in is the computer into the wall.”

Me: “What about the monitor?”

Caller: “The what?”

Me: “The monitor, as in, the screen.”

Caller: “Right, the computer. Like I said, it’s plugged into the wall.”

Me: “Sir, let me get this straight. You have the screen plugged into the wall and nothing else?

Caller: “Right.”

Me: “And you didn’t buy anything else, right?”

Caller: “Right.”

Me: “Sir, you just bought the monitor. That isn’t the computer. That’s just the screen.”

Caller: “What are you talking about? Of course this is the computer! I’ve seen a whole bunch of computers before and they look just like this!”

Me: “Did all those computer have a big piece of machinery sitting near them?”

Caller: “Yeah, I guess. Why?

Me: “That would be the computer.”

Caller: “You’re joking, right?”

Me: “Nope. Sorry, sir.”

Caller: “Well d***. How much more does the rest cost?”

Me: “It depends how powerful you want it to be. You could get a low-end computer for about $300 to $400.”

Caller: “But, I already spent $150 on this thing!”

Me: “Sorry, sir. But if you want a computer you’ll, uh, need to buy the computer.”

Caller: “To h*** with all this! I’m not spending that kind of money! I’m never buying a computer again!”

Me: “Well, sir. You didn’t buy one in the first place.”

Caller: *click*