Funny and Humorous Technical Support Tales and Stories

Submitted Tales From Technical Support

Tales From Technical Support Content

I don't know Jack!
Posted 01/01/1999 by Heike Ewing

I work in the service department of a small Apple

computer store. We don't have a separate support

dept, so we have to take the support calls also.

We often get calls from people who expect us to

help them with their Mac problems even though

they bought their equipment mail order and have

never set foot in our store...

One day a lady called and asked me to help her

troubleshoot her internet connection. When she

tried to connect, she got an error message that

said "the modem could not detect a dial tone..."

Since I was fairly sure that she didn't have a

separate phone line for the computer, I went

through all the TCP/IP, Modem, and PPP settings

with her, advised her to turn the modem off and

back on, and restart the computer if that didn't

work, and then call me back if she still couldn't


A few minutes later she called back to tell me

that none of my suggestions had helped. I had

already wasted a good 20 minutes on this

person who was not even a customer of ours,

but I had taken it this far so I decided to see

it through, and asked her if she could plug a

telephone into the computer's line and make

sure that there is a dial tone and the line is

working properly.

She replied, "No, I can't do that."

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because," she answered, "there isn't a

phone jack in this room."

Maybe she thought it was a cellular modem??

If it doesn't work, delete it!
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I am not a tech, this happened to me at home.

One day I came home from work to find my boyfriend messing around with my computer (my baby!).

Me: Whatcha doin'?

Him: Just deleting some files.

Me: (!!!!) Why?!

Him: Well, you know how you sometimes go through this

Explorer thing and delete stuff you don't need?

Me: Yeah...

Him: Well, I thought I'd do it for you and save you the


Me: do you know what I want and what I don't want?

Him: Oh, I'm not deleting anything that works.

Me: What?

Him: Well some of these things don't do anything when you

click on them, and some of them ask you what you want

to open it with or something like that...

Yes, he deleted a good deal of my system files and dll's, etc. I had to reformat and reinstall. We weren't together for very long after that!

Broken cursor
Posted 01/01/1999 by Pedro

I work on an IT HelpDesk at a largish bank - one of my staff took the following call....

Caller: Hi its ******* here - there's a problem with my PC.

IT: Hi *******, what sort of problem?

Caller: Well, I've just been setup on this windows thing....

IT: Yes?

Caller: I think I've broken the pointer.

IT: How do you mean broken?

Caller: Well I clicked on the little picture and now the pointer is broken.

IT: Hmmmm... What is it doing?

Caller: It's tuned into two little triangles stuck together.

IT: Like an houglass?

Caller: Yeah, I guess. Can you fix it?

IT (with phone on mute):........ (sorry, this was not recordable... ;-))

Gene Police - You, outta the Pool !!!
Posted 01/01/1999 by Gil

I work for a large Online Service as a Windows Tech Support Rep. One day I received a call from a Gentleman regarding his Conectivity Problems to us. I also heard a LOT of static on the phone, so I thought it might be a line noise issue and since cordless phones can make a lot of static noises when close to the Computer I wanted to make sure:

Me: "Sir, are you on a Cordless Phone or a Regular Phone?"

Twit: "I don't know. How can I tell?"

Virtual Shenanigans
Posted 01/01/1999 by will

I work in cable modem support for a TV/telco provider...

Me: Welcome to _____, how may I help you?

Caller 1: I can't download my mail.

Me: Why not?

Caller 1: It says the hard drive is full.

Me: Do you know how big it is?

Caller 1: 1 Gig

Me: Go to Find, and do a search for files over 10 Meg.

(Pause as caller performs find)

Caller 1: There is this "VM Storage" file, it is 600 Meg.

Me: Oh, I guess you don't need quite that much Virtual Memory.

However it doesn't beat the school teacher who rang me...

Me: Welcome to _____, how may I help you?

Caller 2: I can't see anything on the screen.

Me: OK, do you have the computer turned on?

Caller 2: Yes, there is just fuzz on the screen, we pack it up at the end of every school term.

Me: Does the modem have any green lights on it?

Caller 2: No, just the one red one and the time.

Me: THE TIME??? Are we talking about the box next to or on the computer???

Caller 2: Yes.

(The penny drops)...

Me: OK, could I ask you to pick up the TV remote control, there should be a tuning function contained in the onscreen menu system....

(Colleagues snicker and then proceed to berate me)

Posted 01/01/1999 by Jason

One day a long time ago a freind of mine (the genius) and another (Mr. X) were over at my house putting the finishing touches on a 486slc2/66. It was mostly me and the genius. Mr. X had to leave, so he finished his Nes game and I take him home leaving The genius to put some final touches. When I get back I decide to put away the Nes while the genius puts away the computer. I notice a missing controller and The genius is missing a sound card. Now Mr X doesnt steal but hes not too bright so we decide to search for our property, and ironically find it in the same place, The Nes controller was somehow attached to the sound card.

No wonder his scores were low!

Another Mr X story...

The Genius had been showing Mr X some of the ropes and Mr X felt confident that he could upgrade his motherboard all by himself.

He did the usual removal of old motherboard and the such and was ready to show me the semi finished product. (Case open for easy access, etc...

He flipped the switch and I saw with my own eyes a blue lightning bolt (real small) travel accross the motherboard from one end to the other.

And nothing else.

So I said, "Mr X, did you put the feet on?"


I guess we should have taught him how electricity and "short circuts" work.

Motherboard was fried

Never assume anything!!
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

the background:

I work for the government agency that is setup in a federal

building. All electrical outlets have the circuit number

stamped on the faceplate. The LAN drop faceplates also have

a number on them that corresponds with the same number on

the patch panel in the server room.

the story:

I was advised of a staff member being moved from one location

to another in the same building, computer and all. I wasn't

that concerned as I thought the person would be ok in setting

up the pc in the new location. (never again)

Once he had moved to the new location and booted the pc, he

sought me out and told me he couldn't log onto the network.

I told him that the reason was probally because the patch

cable between the patch panel and repeater was not plugged

in for that particular LAN drop. I was setting up a new

staff member, (yes the person who took his old spot --

low person on the totem pole effect) and told him to get

me after lunch.

When he finally came around to "remind" me of the problem,

I told him (actual quote) "to go to his office and follow

the network cable from his pc back to the wall and look at

the number on the faceplate and come back to the server

room." (I remembered that the wall jack was on an open wall

where he enters the office.)

He toddled off and came back stating the number was 28. With

patch cable in hand I looked for patch panel 28. It already

had a patch cable in it. The cable was a color that we use

to identify online printers.

I told him to look again as he misread the number. Off he

toddled again and came back with "its 28"

Whispering "why me" under my breath i said," that can't be

because that port number is used for a laser printer."

I then did what I should have done in the first place and

went to his new workplace and looked at the faceplate. It

was number 25. Upon pointing that out the wall port number

was 28, he said "oh........I was looking at the other

receptacle beside that one."

You guessed it. He was looking at one of the unused

electrical outlets in his office stamped with the circuit

number on the fuse box.

Umm, walk before you run...
Posted 01/01/1999 by Reba Pate

This is taken from an IRC HTML help channel:

I would like to make a interactive "Wall" on my personal

homepage. The viewer can surfe onto the subpage (Wall),

where he/she can use all kinds of drawingtoools

(line, fill, square, circle, text, color) to make a

whiteboard-alike drawing, witch is to be saved on the

webserver for the next user to see. The next user can now

edit the picture and so forth.. How do I do that? ;)


Oh, right that's the (ETCHASCETCH)(/ETCHASCETCH) tag!

Saving Disk Space
Posted 01/01/1999 by Randy Ribarchak

I was a freshman in college this fall, and much like in high school the few people who were good at computers in the hall were soon singled out by all the computer illiterates on the floor and became involuntary tech support. One of the guys in the room next door was a true example of someone who should be sequestered from any computer equipment. He asked the guy across the hall for some help.

1: My computer stopped working, can you fix it?

2: What did you do to it?

1: I didn't do anything.

2: Then why isn't it working?

1: It just stopped working.

2: Why does this say these drivers are missing?

1: I deleted them.

2: What? Why?

1: I didn't need them.

Later while we tried to fix his computer he installed some program on his roommate's computer without even asking him that crashed the hard drive, we fixed that and he did it again a few days later...

Not a Science Teacher (We Hope)
Posted 01/01/1999 by Darron Spohn

While working tech support for a major computer vendor a few years ago I got a call from a puzzled teacher. Seems that one of her students (third grader) put a magnet on the monitor to see what would happen. Of course the monitor now had a large discolored area in the middle.

Teacher: "I figured it must be some kind of magnetism on the monitor, so I tried removing it but nothing I tried worked."

Me: " Well, this one is actually pretty simple. You just need to degauss the monitor."

Teacher: "I know. I tried that, but like I said it didn't work."

Me: "How did you try to degauss the monitor?"

Teacher: "I got a vacuum cleaner and tried to vacuum off the magnetism."

A couple of minutes later, after catching my breath and wiping tears of laughter out of my eyes, I explained she should just take the monitor to a service provider and have them use a degaussing wand.

No Title
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Overheard from a nearby tech:

"No, don't punch it into the phone...type it into the computer."

Baywatch running in the background?
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

This happened in Germany:


TechRep: Sie haben vermutlich störende Programme im Hintergrund laufen...

Anrufer: Kann gar nicht sein!

TechRep: Wie das?

Anrufer: Der Fernseher ist aus.


I hope the translation still makes (non)sense:


TechRep: You probably have some program running in the

background that interferes?

Caller: No way! That's impossible!

TechRep: How come?

Caller: The TV is not turned on.


Please feel free to adjust the translation.



No Title
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work on a pay per minute line where we help customers add and configure new hardware for their computer. the cusotmer called in wanting to install a 56k modem. I looked at his system specs, and he already had a 56k modem installed from the factory. It took me 10 minutes to explain to him that he probably didn't need the new modem. He kept on about installing the new modem, so we did.

Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Well, here is another one for your collection:

I work for an Internet Service Provider, and as most of the

other companies, we too have our own software.

Well, one day I received a call and it went something like this:

Me: Thank you for calling tech support (ME) speaking how

may I help you.

Customer: Hello, hello, what kind of God damn programmers do

you have, that program this stupid software???

Me: I'm sorry sir, but if you could please explain what the

problem is I am sure we will come to a solution.

Customer: The problem is your program I tell you.

Me: Is it giving you any errors, are you trying to install

it what's happening sir.

Customer: Every God damn time I try to install your CD, my

lights turn off!

Me: I'm sorry I did not understand your answer sir, could

you repeat it again please?

Customer: What are you? F*****G deaf? I said My lights go

off every time I install your CD. What kind of a

company are you?

( The customer was not joking, he was I.R.A.T.E. big time.

I asked him to install the CD in the drive, and sure thing the customer's lights went off.

He put the phone down for a second, and then grabbed it again. and said:"See???"

Okay, I was starting to get worried now, why oh why would it do this. How???

Me: Sir, are you sure no one is playing with the lights?

Customer: What do you think, I'm F*****g stupid?

Me: No sir, standard procedure we have to ask.

(We restarted the computer, installing it about three more times, and every time this CD would start, his lights would shut off, and he would put the phone down

I asked him why do you put the phone down?

Customer: I have to turn the lights on.

Me: How?

Customer: Well I got this neat thing called the clapper!!

At this point I cut the customer off, and asked him to turn the speakers off and try installing it again

Installation successful, and no lights turned off!

The start of the music of our software sounded just like the clapper so it would trigger the lights off every time it was started.

Customer could not stop appologising to me.

"All in a Day's work", I told him.

True story

Where is windows 98?
Posted 01/01/1999 by Meat

I work for a computer company who makes their own operating system on their computer systems. I got a call from a user who wanted to know (and was very serious) where windows 98 was installed. I had to explain that carrot made their own os and that you get a 3rd party product to run win 98. Needless to say the customer just wanted to install AOL which came bundled on the icarrot.

From Techie to Lawyer
Posted 01/01/1999 by Stucco Riechers

I have had to wear many diffrent hats in this computer biz, but this one took the cake.

I took a call from a certain pleasant lady. Ok, actually she was something that rhymed with witch. She immediately started screaming about how she was planning on suing me and suing the company whose software I was supporting. (Rhymes with wicrosoft) She had called in on our 900 line. Now they have 30 seconds before the charging starts, but she never allowed me even to tell her about that. She screamed at me for a couple of minutes about how a manager was supposed to call her. I checked her record, and it just so happened that that manager was at my location. I told her that I could have him call her, and she started another swearing streak. All the while, the 30 second charge tones are going off in my headset. Finally she gets a call on call waiting so she jumps over to that. Normally I would cancel the charges but I really did not feel like it for this customer. She came back and told me that the manager was on the other line and that she was going to talk to him later. I went to cancel the charges but she hung up on me.

This is when it gets funny.

I went to the manager that was supposed to call her back and asked him what happened. He told me that she had been on the phone with her lawyer when he called, and that her lawyer said she had an airtight case.

I then introduced myself as Stucco Riechers, attorney at law. I never have seen a manager laugh until he cried before this. And it is a great feeling for the lower techs. What a surprise that we didn't give a rats *** (rhymes with gas) about what her problems were.

But prozac sure would fix a lot of everyone's customer problems.

3 disks in the floppy drive!!!
Posted 01/01/1999 by Teddy Scott

I did Tech support in large software support firm..

Thank you for callin__________ my I have your name please?

caller gives me her name and info, and says she is gettin a invalid system disk error message...

So, whats the first thing ya ask techs?

"is there any floppy disks in the floppy drive?"

customer says no.. so I scratch my head, sys the harddrive, reset bios, and a few other things.. still no go..

I ask the lady again, " ma am, are you sure you dont have a floppy diskette in your floppy drive? again she responded "No".. call times are adding up, didnt really want to fdisk at this point, so i call mentor.. they say "well, its your case, so fix her up"... So i get back with her, and just knowing in my own mind she might have a floppy in the drive i said, "ma am, would you please hit your eject button on your floppy drive? a few seconds pause.......

"Oh my gosh!! There are three there!!!!

rebooted, fixed issue.. case closed........

A *VERY* Careful Customer!
Posted 01/01/1999 by Joshua

It seems that some customers who get computers are too cautious for their own good! I got this-my first call of the day-shortly after Christmas:

Me: Thank you for calling [BIG ISP] Service, my name is Josh. May I have the telephone number you registered with, area code first please?

[after verifying the account]

...and how may I help you?

He: I can't get my e-mail.

Me: [re-stating issue] You aren't able to get your e-mail?

He: Yes.

Me: Well, let's check some system information--could you tell me whether you have Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 3.1, Macintosh, or something else?

He: Oh, when I got that the email couldn't be found, I packed up my computer in the manufacture's boxes. Did you need me to unpack it?

Me: [somehow not bursting into laughter immediately] Yes sir, one of the requirements for [ISP Name] internet technical support is to have your computer up and running. Why don't you give us a call back when your computer is put back together and running.

He: Oh, OK.

Me: And Thank you for calling [ISP name] and do have a nice day. Goodbye.

After THAT call, I needed a personal break to just stop laughing.

Head Tech
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I get numerous calls for this:

When a person calls and asks for support and you say "Click on 'My Computer'" They say, "I Can't click on your computer, Im not at your desk"


The world's full of 'em
Posted 01/01/1999 by Mike

I used to work at a computer store for a smaller University.

In the store, we sold a variety of items, including the

standard 10/100 nic that we sold to every student who wanted

internet access in their dorm room.

Well, one day this girl walks in and tells us that she lives

in the dorms and wants to get on the internet. So, we

proceed to sell her a network card. We explain that all

she needs to do is call the University maintainance people

and they would install a jack in her room that would allow

her to interface with the card we were selling her.

Happily, she walks out of the store. A couple of weeks

later, she storms back into the store, slams the nic back

onto the counter, and yells (and I am paraphrasing)

"At no time in our conversation, when you guys sold me this

card, did you ever mention that I would have to have a


How does he know!?
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Hello, Russia is on line!

Actually I'm not a tech but can tell you smth.

An introductory lecture on Internet. A lecturer tells

the students about rules and regulations of working in

a lab, Internet in general and WWW in particular.

Browsers, web-pages and all that...

In the end: "OK, have you got any questions?"

One girl raises her hand.

Lecturer: "Yes?"

Girl: "Everything is clear, but I can't understand only one

thing - how does one who sits on server knows that I've

read a page through and need it to be turned over?"

Its Going to Be one of those weeks
Posted 01/01/1999 by Tom

This how my weeks been going so far:


Sales Guy drops into support, saying that the screen is flickering on his pc. Hmm. Switch Pc on. ... We have Life!

Client Suffering from a power cut would like to know If I can dial into their system and send a message out saying that their system is down (This is along the same lines as using a microwave which isnt plugged in)

Today (Cut n Paste from the log)

32x Cd rom will be arriving with 3.5 drive stuck in it....

It makes me laugh!...

No Title
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for a Software development Company. Our programs are database programs that keep and manage data, most of the users of the system are HIGHLY dependent upon the data that the system contains. Our users are typically entry-level and not always computer literate.

Me: Tech Service how can I help you:

Customer: They told me at the home office that you would help me get my program running on my new computer.

Me: Sure, Do you have the old computer running.

Customer: No I don't have the old computer, I sold it two weeks ago.

Me: Did you do a backup of the program before you sold it?

Customer: No but I did take it to the computer store and had their technician erase everything on the computer before I sold it.

Me: Why did you do that?

Customer: I did'nt want the person who bought my computer to see my customers.

Me: How can I restore your program if you did'nt do any backups of the data?

Customer: Can't you just send me a new program?

Me: Sure I can send you a new program but all of your data is gone, it will be a blank program.

Customer: Are you sure? Maybe I could talk to another technician, may be he can retrieve my data!

Me: Sure thing let me give you his number, maybe he can fix it, have a nice day.

And I did give him to another tech, I gave him to the Marketing Manager that trained him on the program.

From the Island of DUH!
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I've got two stories. I used to work as a technician for a

PC and peripheral distributor in my area. Here is my tale..

"DUH!" #1:


A customer comes in with a 5.25" floppy disk drive for

repair. He claimed that he installed the drive on one

of his client's PC systems. It was a PC belonging to the

secretary of the client. (Who wasn't running on all 8

pistons at the time as you will see.)

I asked what was wrong with the drive.

He replied that the drive no longer worked because the

secretary inserted a 3.5" floppy disk into the drive.

So I took the drive and examined it.. sure enough, the 3.5"

floppy was in there.

"No problem," I said. So with a pair of trusty pliers, I

yanked at the stuck disk.. and yanked.. and yanked..

and yanked. The disk was so wedged into the drive, that it

essentially became a "part" of the drive.

I asked the customer, "how the heck did it become so stuck?"

With a sheepish grin, he said that when the secretary wasn't

able to fit the disk into the drive.. (here it comes).. she

took off her shoe.. (subtlety, intelligence, and common

sense out the window).. and proceeded to HAMMER the disk

into the drive with her shoe.

Well, the drive was chalked up as a casualty and the

customer purchased a new floppy drive. (Along with

instructions on drive usage for the secretary.)

"DUH!" #2:


This second story is the reason why I warn many prospective

PC buyers to know there computer.. inside and out.

A PC retailer opened up a new account with my company. They

wanted PC components to build PCs for their clients. When

all the necessary paperwork was filed, my company began

shipping them the parts they ordered.

About 1 month of business passed when this retailer began

returning components left and right labeling them as simply

defective. (What was strange is that many of components

returned had some of its surface-mounted circuitry blown


After enough hassling from this retailer's techncian

calling me up and saying that the product was junk, I asked

to see one of the machines they built for the customers.

They agreed, and brought one machine over.

What I saw when I opened that cover horrified me. Each and

every component inside the PC was duct taped to the case.

Hard drive, mother board, floppy drive.. you name it. Not

a single thing was screwed into place save for the cover

of the case.

But that wasn't the worst of it. The worst is that these

guys saw nothing wrong with it. They claimed it saved them

lots of time and effort doing it this way. (There was a

total of 110 PC that were sold with its components duct

taped. All of them were returned. 'nuff said.)

No Title
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work as a PC technician in a company supporting 150 some-odd

computers. One morning I recieved a call from the help desk to

check out a manager in the shipping area in the warehouse.

After getting the name, and brief description of the problem

(The machine runs out of memory when loading windows 95) I

went to the office of the complainer.

I fired up the PC and recieved a few error messages that the machine

couldnt find such unimportant things like himem.sys, and the


Since the machines had been updated with a new virus-scanner

the day before, I first tried to check the autoexec.bat for a corrupted PATH statement.

When I checked I discovered the L-user had decided that on Saturday (when he wandered in to work on the weekend) that

he didnt like the directory structure, and had placed ALL of the files in a sub-directory called USERSNAME_FILES ...including the

C:\WINDOWS directory!

It took 3 hours to format and restore all of his programs...

More trouble ticket codes
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I used to work in the IT department of an aerospace company where we had a full-blown trouble ticket tracking system. We got a new manager who started reviewing the last few months of work to see how the system was running, and he finally came over wanting to know what a couple acronyms he was seeing meant; UBD, BDU, and TSTL.

He had enough experience that he just laughed when he found out they stood for: User Brain Damage, Brain Damaged User (we used them both), and, for the exceptional bit of stupidity from a frequent flyer, To Stupid To Live.

The last was reserved for users that continued to do the same thing over and over again that screwed up their system....

They're not THAT sophisticated yet
Posted 01/01/1999 by Igor

My boss, the sharp looking, happening induhvidual with a flair

for technical equipment, sat at his desk, managing his

department with style and zest.

The workflow is high, the pressure is on, the big bosses

are looking over his shoulder, this is his big moment,

a good impression can be made : look at me, I can speak

two languages at the same time, I can give orders to one man,

work my computer and make a phone call in one fluent motion.

Can you see it, do you feel the dynamics of the situation,

don't you just love the energy ?

One phonecall handled, he punches in the next number faster

than a Gatling gun. 'Hello ?... Hello ?... Huh ???'.

Another try does not yield the desired connection. As the

rest of us go limp with laughter he realises his mistake :

he's punching in his phonenumber on the numeric keypad of

his computer keyboard.

The Shrinking CD-ROM
Posted 01/01/1999 by John

A less-than-computer-literate Senior Designer in my office burst into my cube

the other day. He was, as usual, in a lather.

"My CD-ROM drive is too small!" he exclaimed. "This vendor gave me a disk

with all kinds of neat catalog information on it, but when I try to stick

it in the drive, it won't fit!"

A word of explanation: For the most part, my company doles out technology

the way a company should. That is, new computers go to those who use them

most, and so the Senior Designer (who prefers to work with paper and crayon)

had a two generation old hand-me-down (suitable for light word processing and

filling out his timesheet) that did NOT, to my knowledge, have a CD-ROM.

An idea of what was going on formed in my head, and I said, "Show me."

He led me back to his office and triumphantly demonstrated that a CD will

not fit in a 5 1/4" floppy drive.

I did manage to calmly direct him to a computer that did have a more suitable


No Title
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Overheard in a store:

A man is in the store talking to the salesman about buying a customized computer. The salesman went through the motions of getting the man the kind of computer he wants

Salesman: Okay, now how fast do you want to go?

Buyer: Umm...what's the fastest you got?

Salesman: Well, we've got this computer here that's a P2-450mhz.

Buyer: And that's fast?

Salesman: Yes, it's the fastest one we sell.

Buyer: Great!

Salesman: Okay, how much RAM you want?

Buyer: I don't know too much about RAM, what's a good amount?

Salesman: Well, 32 is good, but if you want to go faster, 64 would be better.

Buyer: Give me 64, then!

Salesman: Alrighty. Now, about hard drive space, I recommend the 4.2 gig drive.

Buyer: (nods)

Salesman: Okay, that comes to $2295.

Buyer: Will you take VISA?

Salesman: Yes, we do.

Buyer: Great! I really want to get on AOL to talk with my son in Tennessee!

Modem problems.
Posted 01/01/1999 by Larry spencer

I was having problems connecting remotely to one of our company sites so I called the remote computer room.

Me: Hi can you check the modem on the computer for me?

Operator: Sure.

Me: I can't get connected. Does the modem have three lights on or or only two?

Operator: I only see two lights lit up.

Me: Which two are on.

Operator: Caps Lock and Num Lock.

Me: Arggghhhh!

I confess myself to you.....
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Ok, i'm one of the guys on the other side of the helpdesk. One of the trouble makers. Well since i rater enjoy your site (tough there are many tales of the same kind) i decided to add a few of the problems i produced, and other stories that i've been accumulating in the last 15 years of computer use.

I started with a vic-20 about 15 years ago, now, after 5 years i just wanted to get a new computer, and i bought one of those mighty (and ec$pen$ive) 286, but -before- doing it, i wanted to take a computer class in order to understand what i was going to mess up with.

teacher: (explaining the difference between AT & XT processors)

me: Ehi i have an AT computer at home!

(actually all i had was the 8088 computer used by may dad, whose trademark was AT&T....)

Another day i was messing up with my 1year old 486, in order to add a new 8x Cd-Rom i just bought. after installing the software fron the disks, it came to installing the software from the Cd. As i put the CD inside, the reader, i got a squeacky noise and an error of "drive not ready" appeared as soon as i tried to switch to the "D:" driver....

i started looking inside, managin to reattach the 2x Cd-rom i had before.... everything fine... put the 8x as a slave, everything fine, up to the point of reading the CD, i dunno how many times i messed up with the inside thinking it was some cable, or how many time i reinstalled the dos drivers (Win95 had yet to come).

All of a sudden my hardisk stopped working and th Bios could not find it! I panicked!

The tech that checked it out found it after working on it for a few days.

Somehow the IDE cable slipped off from the motherboard controller while i was doing all those things.... as he told me this... i just wanted to reach the first gun and shoot my useless head off.

This other one is about one friend of mine:

Trainee tech: "Are you sure this cable is going to cbe connected this way here?"

Chief tech: "Yes!"

Trainee: "You did not look at me!"

Chief (looking at the trainee): "Yes ok! I 've seen you it's exactly there, don't worry, i can work in "multi-tasking" "

*motherboard fried out as a result trainee with a very thin net on his hands, all the circuits had detatched from their support.*

chief tech: "Ugh... well... maybe it didn't go there... well, put that fried motherboard on that computer which had to be sent to the company anyway, they'll fix it since that one is still on guarantee...."

(seems to me that he handled this too much like a "common" problem.... "Multi-tasking" huh? Evidently he was programmed by micro$oft)

World Wide Wait
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Me: Hello this is ___ how may I help you?

Cust: I try to connect but then it just sits there, is

something wrong with my setup?

Me: Ok, you are at the box where your username and password

go and you hit connect right?

Cust: Yes

Me: And then what happens?

Cust: It dials and I hear the modems connect and then it

just sits there and this timer starts counting up

and the web pages never load in.

Me: You need to start your browser after you connect.

Cust: I do ?!?

Me: Yes sir you need to start Netscape or Explorer to get

on the web.

Cust: Oh ok I'll try that.

I can't seem to read my files...
Posted 01/01/1999 by Andy

Back when I was in school I worked for the campus computer department. My job at the time was to monitor one of the Mac labs on campus. One day I checked someone in to use a Mac and about 10 minutes later she came out with a frustrated look on her face.

"I can't seem to read my files. Could you help me?"

I said sure, got up, and walked over to the Mac where she was trying to work. Seems she had an Apple II at home and brought her 5.25" disk into the lab to print her AppleWorks files. The disk was folded in half and sticking out of the 3.5" disk opening.

I did all I could to keep from laughing. To this day I still can't believe that ANYONE would think; "As long as I can get it to fit in the opening it should work!" *sigh*

Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Some of the most exasperating tech calls I take

are from teachers... the typical conversations go like this:

(The snappy answers we wish we had said are in parentheses.)

"I just got this computer so I could get I onto the internet,

but I'm not sure how to make it work... "

(Oh great, what did you do with that Apple II you got in

school in 1982?)

"Do you think you can help me? I really don't know much about

these things..."

(#1. Have you thought about taking a night course?)

(#2. Have you thought about reading the manual?)

I set up my computer for AOL for the 100 free hours, but I got

a big bill from my phone company for long distance calls. Do

you have an educational account and a local number?

(Does AOL? We're really not sure we want you for a customer...)

How many free hours will I get from you?

(None, they all cost something... either it costs me or it costs you!)

And these are the people that are teaching our kids???!

Service\Tech Support
Posted 01/01/1999 by Andrew

This is a very true story

Well one day we had a lady bring in her monitor and she was complaining that it was beeping. I took it in and tested it and she then realized she had a stopwatch under it that was beeping. A stopwatch under her monitor!

Lisa, O' wonderful Lisa
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for a small local computer store as a computer tech,

And last week this computer comes in the store for repair

With a ton of software, and a sheet explaining the problems

She was having, simple enough, until I read the letter that follows:


Lisa blabla's computer updating

555-5555 home

555-5555 work

Not sure of the proper terminology, therefore, I will describe my confusions as best I

can. Please call me if you have any questions. Possibly I can pick up computer

Friday, after 3:30 and if need be, you could explain a few things that I may be doing

Incorrectly. Here goes:

I wanted to delete all things typed before Jan. 1999, with the exception of file, that I

titled Resume. I believe I did this wrong as the computer (which I will refer to as it),

Now frequently shows a screen that tells me the file no longer exists and I must create

a new one. Can I create a 4 new files titled, dmp, lam, rmm and jim? Can you clean

out the trash and save any "resumes" that may be out there. They can be saved under

the lam file.

(No idea what all this means)

I would like the tool bar located under the File, Edit, etc. area. (normal placing).

(what program is she talking about?)

Can the CD's, I have enclosed, be installed and be able to be located easily? If not,

what steps would I (my children) need to take to play the discs, particularly the larger

amount of game discs?

(they were already installed, she just does not understand the concept of clicking start,

programs, ect, ect to run them, should be easy to teach)

I thought my computer had a type of bill paying system on it? Where might that be? If

there is one, what kind of checks do I need? I would like to be able to print a year end

statement as to what my expenses are.

(quicken & money under start, programs, quicken you get the idea)

How do I set up a mailing list for frequently sent envelopes (i.e. monthly expenses)?

(Buy my advanced mailing list or something of that nature)

Many times I need to restart my computer in order to get things to print, it then gives me

the option to print otherwise it will be deleted.

(she had her printer unplugged, she plugged it in after she pressed print)

How do I get the time adjusted correctly?

(double click on the clock in the corner and change it)

When my computer first starts up there is such a long list of options (section that has

finance and productivity in, games, etc. can any of these be deleted or simply put

somewhere else?

(As near as I can tell she is talking about the programs menu)

(step one)

In reading this letter, and firing up the computer, I came to the conclusion that there was nothing

wrong with the computer, she just needed a couple lessons on how to use it no problem.

So I gave her a call, It went something like this:

(me)Hi, Lisa this is small town computers calling about your computer you brung in, I've determined

there is nothing wrong with it, We just need to educate you about its features. Can we set up an

appointment with you some time for a couple hour lesson?

(Lisa) Sure, how about next Thursday from 4 to 6?

(me) That's great see you then, click

Next Thursday comes around and I go to her house, setup her computer, and get ready for her lesson

(me) OK Lisa, Lets start from the top of your problems, When you tried to delete your files it is not necessary to recycle the recycle bin (what she did) You click on it to open it, then select EMPTY RECYCLE BIN

(Lisa) OK great now I know how to do that.

(me) On to step two

(Lisa) OK

(me) (figuring she was using word perfect and that's where she was having trouble

with the tool bar she was talking about, I fired it up)Lisa, the tool bar "docks" and "undocks" from

underneath the file, edit, ect menu by dragging it there and letting go.

(Lisa) OK fine, But you changed everything else in here!

(me) Changed everything? what do you mean?

(Lisa)I know you might think I'm nuts, but are you sure you brung me the right computer back?

(me)(thinking she is nuts) Assured her that it was hers, and only hers, and the only thing I

changed was the toolbar that she wanted me to do.

(that's when all hell broke loose!)

(Lisa) NO! you changed it, nothing looks the same!!!

(me) No, I didn't change a thing.

(Lisa) Well, where is this? (pulling out a print shop CD)

(me) Its right here under start, programs, print shop.

(Lisa) That's NOT where it was before!

(me) OK, Show me where it was.

(Lisa) She goes to start, programs, print shop

(me) So, what moved?

(Lisa) It used to be on the bottom of the first pop

up menu, now it's on the top of the second menu!

(me) I explained to her that after you install a program

the menu changes, and things move up and down under the programs menu.

(Lisa) Well you changed, it wasn't there when I brung it in so fix it!

(me) No I didn't change anything.

(all the time her ten year old son was agreeing with me and arguing with her)

(Lisa) And you changed my word perfect program too!

the sub menu (under start, programs, word perfect) used to pop up on the right

side, now it pops up on the left!

(me) So what's the problem?

(Lisa) Well now I have to go over there instead of where it should be!


(me) I cant! Trying to explain that Windows 95 arranges the menu so the sub menu

pops up any where it wants to!

(Lisa) That's like saying that when put a Garth Brooks CD in my CD player

one time and it plays Garth Brooks, and the next time I put it in it plays

Allen Jackson!

(me) Totally amazed she could even operate a CD player!! And thinking

this lady has totally lost it, explain to her that I am a computer technician

and I work with computers and Windows 95 every day, and it cannot be changed!

(Lisa)Well if you are so smart than fix it!

(me) There is nothing to fix! that is the way it is!

(Lisa) Well someone in your firm changed it and I want it fixed!!!!!!

(me) OK fine (As I end the session by walking out on her because there is no hope)


Two minutes later she's on the phone with my boss having a fit about the same scenario.

My boss tells her the same thing I did, and the conversation ends in IF YOU DONT


(What the hell, we'll send it anyway) : P


Maybe someday she will find someone to put up with her $#!+ but I doubt it,

I feel sorry for her husband & kids if they ever move anything in the house,

It could be the catastrophe of the century!!!

Ya mean that's not my email address??
Posted 01/01/1999 by Jason

I work for a small ISP doing tech support work. One of the

things that gets me are these people that have been on the

Internet for a while and still don't know what their email

address is.

I get a call one day:

Me: Hi, (ISP) tech support, how can I help you?

User: Uhh, I don't know what my email address is. People

are trying to send me email but I never get it. Can you

look it up for me.

Me: Um sir, your email address should be in the form of your


User: OK, how do I go about checking my settings for it.

Me: (Guiding user to the email address setting.) OK, what

do you have in the email address box right now?

User: Um, http://www.(username)@(isp).net

Me: (Trying not to laugh, hehe.) That's not a valid email

address, sir. Your email address is in the form of

(username)@(isp).net. You need to put that in the email

address box.

User: Aw man, I got 500 business cards printed with the

other address I had in that box!!!!

Me: I'm sorry about that sir, but put (username)@(isp).net

in the email settings box AND on some new business cards and

you'll be set.

User: Thank you very much. (click!)

Poor fella.

Beyond Hope
Posted 01/01/1999 by Tanya Mensinger

I am not in tech support, but I do know the most about computers, which isn't really saying much, but it is still true. My epertise is especially obvious when my mom attempts to run the computer. The only reason that she uses the computer is when she wants to play pinball. Since it is her computer she doesn't want any of the settings changed, this includes the passwords settings. We have our computer set so that you have to put in a username and password to run windows.

She doesn't have a username or password, and I didn't want to confuse her or anything, so I let her use my password and login name. I did this cause I am usually the person that runs it, and my name is still in the password box most of the time. Things went well for a couple weeks, until the day after my sister used the computer.

My mom had woken up early and wanted to play pinball, but wasn't able to, cause she didn't know what to do. She was literally freaking out because "we had mesed up the computer" She woke all of us up, and I went in to "fix" the computer. This is when I decided that I should show her how to pick her own username and password, but she just stared at the screen, and then looked at me, with this dazed and confused look, that said "I am totally stupid" :-) so I helped her pick out a username and told her to type in a password. She still didn't know what to do. She ended up picking the same password that I use, but a different login name. i thought all was well, so I left the room to go and get ready for work. I get upstairs when I here my name being yelled at the top of her voice.

(she sounded like someone was seriously injured)

Hurriedly I ran downstairs to find that she didn't understand the concept of "retype password", which she needed to do to confirm that it was what she wanted. I hurriedly explained things to her, and she was finally able to play her pinball game.

(and to think that I thought I was computer illiterate... sheesh)

Posted 01/01/1999 by M Taylor

I work for an ISP that has a promotion going on where if you

sign up for a certain amount of time, then you receive a free

modem. The marketing dept. packaged the modem and software

into one small box with various "soon you will be surfing

the net" fun-symbols. It's colorful and I think a nice enough


One morning while working, a woman calls and the conversation

went kind of like this:

Me: Thanks for calling tech support, this is me, how may I help you?

Woman: Yes, I ordered your service and the modem and software

have arrived.

I'm thinking to myself, OK she's got the new kit and now I'm

going to have to show her everything that she has to do to get

up and running, no big deal.

Me: Yes ma'ma, how can I help you today?

Woman: Well, I've actually had the box here for about two days

and I've been looking at it and I've never opened it up but

I think that I've decided not to use the service.

Me: Oh? And why is that, ma'am?

Woman: I've been staring at it for almost two days and I've

decided that I'm afraid of the box.

Me: I beg your pardon?

Woman: Yes, I've decided I'm definately afraid of the box and

I'd like to make arrangments to send it back.

Me: OK, here's what you do.....

"I'm not going to jail for this!"
Posted 01/01/1999 by Jessica

I do tech support for an ISP, and I have gotten weird calls before, but this tops it all.

Customer is audibly irate from the beginning of the call. I got his account information and asked the customer to explain to me what was happening.

Customer started by saying the error said: "Illegal Operation, this program will be shut down"

Customer went on to say (swearing not included) "Illegal Operation? I didn't do anything Illegal! You guys did something illegal and I am not going to be blamed for it. I don't want to go to jail for something you guys did. I am NOT going to jail for this. Illegal Operation? I did not do anything illegal, I didn't!"

I explained to the customer that it was a software error that he did not do anything illegal and no one was going to jail. 5 minutes later I finally got the customer to understand that the "Illegal Operation" error did not and would not involve police or the authorities. Customer went on to say "OK, but if they come to get me, I am going to turn you guys in."

Finally we created a new browser profile and the customer was able to browse without the illegal operations errors.

I was left with two thoughts after this call... 1. It should be illegal for some people to even OWN computers. and 2. Why was this guy so paranoid... Hmmmm...


Bad Floppy
Posted 01/01/1999 by Robert Depew

I was working tech support for a midwest utility company covering 30 sites around town. I was paged with a call about a user with a bad floppy drive, so I headed over to her office since I was already close and on the road anyway.

When I arrived I found that she had just received a new Compaq PC with an autoloading CD-ROM drive. Apparently she hadn't noticed the real floppy drive and shoved a floppy in the CD-ROM and couldn't get it to work. She was completely embarassed and apologized. As I was removing her CD-ROM drive to get the jammed floppy out her co-workers would come by and tease her. I found it very hard not to laugh, but I hurriedly finished and laughed till I cried when I got back to my car.

"Lets re-install TCP/IP again"
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for an ISP

Customer had been having problems loading web pages in his browser. They had been having the customer uninstall and re-install TCP/IP every week or two. Knowing that the average browser *.hst file should be deleted when it hits 150-300kb, we did a search for his Browser History file (*.hst). What did we find? A history file of 9MB!!

OK, let's delete that, empty your recycling bin, reboot, and happy trails.


No Title
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

A lady called in one day with a problem connecting to the internet service provider I was working for.

She told me she could not get her computer connected. I asked her exactly what she was doing.

She she siad "Well, I turn on my computer, I dial into the server and I hear a this noise."

I asked her what the noise sounded like.

"Well you wouldn't like me very much if I tried to make it she said, it jsut screams at me and then I hear this high pitch tone that won't stop."

The problem she described was one as if the modem were hanging, instead of conecting to the server. She heard the handshake but it never got any further.

I went through severasl suggestions and told her to reboot try again and call me back if it didn't help.

Sure enough 5minutes later she called back. By this point I was determined to solve the problem. I spent another 45 minutes on the phone with her,

going through every last possible configuration setting.

Finally I decided she was lieing to me somehwere along the way.

"start from the beggining," I said "EXACTLLY what do you do to connect?"

"Well, I dial in"

I cut her off, What do you to do dial in mam?"

"what do you mean what do I do, I just dial in?"

What program do you use mam?"

"Program?" she said "I jsut pick up the phone and dial the dman number."

I responded "Can I put you on hold for a minute mam."

"Alright," she said.

After nearly five minutes of compulsive laughing I turned to one of the girls I wokred with and told them to take the call.

I breifly described the problem and said I refused to continue speaking with the person.

After my co-worker stopped laughing she picked up the phone to help the user.

And she even managed to conclude the support call without insulting the old lady.

Much more professional than I would have been.

I'm going to SUE!
Posted 01/01/1999 by Chris de Vidal

I overheard one of my co-workers talking about one of his calls today. He was saying that the customer had just got done talking to his lawyer and he had grounds for a class-action lawsuit because he couldn't sign on. Turns out all he had to do was reset his modem and he signed on perfectly. I hoped he got his money back from that scam artist 8-)


No Title
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

One of our customers just bought a new high-end server

from us, as an emergency backup in case their old one

died. We did all the necessary configuration in our

lab, tested the various components, and shipped it to

the customer via FedEx.

Once the customer received the system, I got a phone

call from their network admin, saying that the server

refused to boot.

ME: Did you get a specific error message?

CUSTOMER: Yes, "Operating System Not Found."

ME: That's odd. It sounds like the hard drive is blank,

but I'm sure we installed everything before we

shipped it. Try turning it off and back on again.

CUSTOMER: I did that already, and it didn't change


ME: It's part of our procedure. Please humor me, and

cycle power on the system.

CUSTOMER: All right then, here goes.

(time passes)

Nope, no help there. Operating System Not Found.

(At this point I wanted to have him check and make sure

none of the disk cables had come loose, but I needed my

supervisor's approval before instructing him to open

the case. So I put the customer on hold and went into

the boss's office.)

ME: The new JoeCo system is not finding its operating

system. I want to tell their admin to crack the case

and check for loose disk cables.

BOSS: First tell him to reboot it.

ME: I did already. It didn't help.

BOSS: Have him do it again.

ME: Why? He's already rebooted twice and the problem

is still there.

BOSS: Just tell him to reboot it again. Then if it

still doesn't work, have him open the case.

ME: Okay, fine.

(I went back to my office and picked the phone back up.)

ME: Before my boss will authorize your opening the case,

I'll need you to power-cycle the system again.

CUSTOMER: What good will that do?

ME: None at all.

CUSTOMER: Then why should I bother?

ME: Because these calls are recorded, and if you open

the case before being authorized, I'll lose my job

and your service agreement will be voided.

CUSTOMER: Well, if you put it that way, fine. Power's

off... and power's on again.

(time passes)

Hey, it worked! I've got the startup screen! You're

a genius! Thanks!

I am now convinced that my boss has magic powers. We are

all lucky that he uses them for good instead of evil.

What's the big red button do?
Posted 01/01/1999 by Andi

I work for a fairly large East Coast ISP, and one evening I got a call from a gentleman who was using Internet Exploiter (sic) when it froze up on him. Since he said the pointer was working fine, I had him hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete to see if we could just close the miscreant program. No luck -- Windows was thoroughly dead, and finally ended up blue-screening.

So I asked him to hit the power button on his machine and turn it off altogether.

"Where'd the power button? I'm no good with this."

"It's the big button marked "POWER" on the front of the box, sir."

"I don't see one of those."

"Okay, sir." (This was possible, some of the newest cases don't have a power button on the front, it's on the back.) "Unplug the computer from the wall."

"I don't know which plug it is."

"Can you trace the cord from the back of the computer to the power socket in the wall?"

"I don't know which one it is."

I ended up having him unplug every appliance in the room to get him to unplug and reboot the machine. Sheesh.

Keyboard Gymnastics
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I have a friend who works tech support for a small software

development company. Some time ago he got a call from a

customer that went like this:

Tech: _______, How may I help you?

Customer: I was using your program and my computer locked


Tech: Okay, what were you doing when it locked up?

Customer: I was using ALT+TAB to switch between your program

and program manager like you showed me to the other day,

but when I switched back to your program everything locked


Tech: Okay, hit Escape.

Customer: That didn't do anything.

Tech: Try holding down control and then pressing "C"

Customer: That didn't work either.

Tech: Okay, we are going to have to reboot. Hit ALT-CTRL-


Customer: Oh, wait, it works now.

Tech: What did you do?

Customer: I just let up off ALT!

How did she manage to hold onto the ALT key all that time?

Where Do I Start?
Posted 01/01/1999 by Joe Del Rosso

I work for a resort in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania as their PC support person. One day I got a cal from a user who was responsible for transfer files from one of our locations to another 20 miles away via modem. This user was using a machine we had just upgraded to Windows95, but she assured us it was no problem as she has 95 at home. We have our taskbars set on "Autohide" on all 95 machines to leave more of a viewable area available. The call from her went something like this:

Me:Joe speaking may I help you?

Luser:Joe, it's _____ I'm doing the file transfer and have a problem.

Me: What's wrong?

Luser:My start button is missing.

Me: What do you mean it's missing!!??

Luser:The step by step instructions you gave me say to click on the start button and it's not there! It's missing!

(Knowing this person is a TRUE LUSER in the purest sense of the word realized the autohide was confusing her)

Me:Just bring your pointer to the bottom of the screen, what do you see?

Luser:OH! There it is your a genius thanks!!

(She hangs up the phone)

(Knowing the Luser I keep my hand on the phone, sure enough 10 seconds later the Phone rings)

Me: Joe speaking may I help you?

Luser: IT'S GONE AGAIN!!!!!!!

Me:Bring your pointer to the bottom of the screen...

Luser:Whew! There it is!! Thanks (click)

(10 more seconds)

Me: Joe speaking


Me:Just bring your Darn pointer to the bottom of the screen and then slide it to the left then click start!!!!

Luser:Well gee don't get snippy! Afterall that wasn't in the instructions!!!!


Right Click?
Posted 01/01/1999 by Mike MacDonald

Tech Support: Hello, thank you for calling Tech Support.

Customer: Yes, I want to know how to put a link in my email.

Tech Support: Okay ma'am what I want you to is open up your Netscape.

Customer: Okay

Tech Support: Now go to your email

Customer: Okay Im there

Tech Support: Now I want you to click on "New Message"

Customer: Okay Im done

Tech Support: Now ma'am do you see where the white area is to type your message?

Customer: Yes I see that.

Tech Support: Okay what I want you to do is right click in that window and tell me what you see

Customer: Okay..........

Tech Support: What do you see?

Customer: Nothing...

Tech Support: alright, lets try this again

Customer: I dont see anything

Tech Support: Okay, one more time


Customer: Im not seeing anything

Ma'am are you typing the word "click" in the window?

Customer: Yes, why?

Broken Keyboard
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

This happened in #irchelp, where I have the (mis)fortune of being a helper.

All names have been changed to protect the innocent. (soniq is me .. helper is another helper duh! and user is the person with a broken keyboard)

[14:20] (user) My-spacebar-doesn't-work.How-do-I-fix-it?

[14:20] (soniq) get-a-new-keyboard

[14:20] (user) yeah?

[14:20] (soniq) u may have netbus

[14:21] (user) what-is-that?

[14:21] (helper) user type this

[14:21] (user) usertypethis

[14:21] (soniq) type //say $findfile(c:\,keyhook.dll,n)

[14:21] (user) but-Can't-space!

[14:21] (Marshell) heh

[14:22] (Marshell) type alt 0160

[14:23] (user) nothinghappened!

[14:23] (soniq) cut and paste it

[14:23] (user) huh?

[14:23] (soniq) highlight what we typed then let go of the mouse button and press control + v

[14:24] (soniq) did u try that?

[14:24] (user) yes

[14:24] (soniq) did it work?

[14:25] (user) no

[14:25] (soniq) this is what u have to paste .. //say $findfile(c:\,keyhook.dll,n) .... after u paste it then press enter

[14:26] (soniq) do u understand?

[14:26] (user) nothinghappened!!

[14:27] (soniq) ok

[14:27] (user) itsaid-it-was-an-unknown-command

[14:27] (soniq) was it EXACTLY what i typed

[14:28] (user) withthe//say?

[14:28] (soniq) yes

[14:28] (user) yes

[14:29] (soniq) highlight and paste again and press control + enter

[14:30] (soniq) did u do that?

[14:30] (user) Ican'thighlightandpaste!!

[14:31] (soniq) ok I will teach u how to highlight ok?

[14:31] (user) ok

[14:31] (helper) //say $findfile(c:\,keyhook.dll,n)

[14:31] (helper) user

[14:31] (soniq) first left click with ur mouse and drag it across the text u want to highlight

[14:31] (helper) type that

[14:31] (helper) and where the space is

14:32] (helper) press alt + 0160

[14:32] (user) andthen?

[14:32] (soniq) let go of the mouse and click in the part where u usually type

[14:32] (soniq) then press control and v at the same time

[14:33] (soniq) what u highlighted should come up there

[14:33] (soniq) press enter at the end

[14:33] (soniq) tell me what happened

[14:34] (user) nothing!!

[14:34] (user) Ididit!

[14:34] (helper) your keyboard is stuffed :P

[14:34] (user) nothinghappened

[14:34] (user) soIhavetogetanewone?

[14:34] (helper) yeah

[14:34] (soniq) yeah thats probly the best thing to do

[14:34] (user) crap

[14:35] (user) would-spilling-drink-on-it-have-anything-to-do-with-this-problem?

[14:35] (soniq) hehe

[14:35] (soniq) HAHAHAHHA yep!!!!!!!!

[14:35] (user) Damn!

[14:35] (user) My-mum-did-it!!

[14:35] (soniq) lol

[14:35] (soniq) well tell her to buy a new one :P

[14:35] (user) ok!!

[14:35] (user) thanks!

[14:35] (user) bye

[14:35] (soniq) bye

Whats the moral to the story? Find out if anything happened to it before the problem started .. All that effort and to find that out!

The funniest bit is that I was reading tech tales at the time!

I'm only humoring you...
Posted 01/01/1999 by Alex

Ok, here we go,

I'm a tech, doing phone support for a mid-size out source company. I've work on many "big' name computers. Oh, the cow one for example.

Well One Day I got a call from a man, who having just bought his system the monitor would not work. no light No nothing.

Well, be being a tech, and having had calls from newbees before, asked

Me - "Ok, I need you to check the power cable."

Caller - " I All ready did that, it fine."

Me - "Please check it again, I need to make sure."

Caller - Cussing up a storm. "#$%#$%#$%#$% Oh, alright I'll Humor you."

Me - " Humor me, just check it."

Caller - "Ok, i'm un screwing it from the Back of the system"

Me - "Hum, I mean the Power cable, the one that runs from the monitor to the Wall?"

Caller - "Hum........"long wait"...... Hum, I hope you get people who are stupider than me calling.."

Me - "Yes, sir, no problem.. Yes.. Yes.. We do.."


Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

This really isn't a technical support issue,

but QVC® was advertising a Northgate® 350MHz Pentium®

system today, (1-21-1999) and when they read the

specifications for their 56k Modem, that stated that it ran

at 56MHz, How the F*** can a 56k Modem run at 56MHz???

hell, if modems ran on Megahertz, wouldn't we rather have a

500MHz modem than a 56MHz modem???

Ponder that for a while, these "techies" who sell computers

for a LIVING, should at least get their terminology right!!

shesh!, I'm only 17 and these f****** idiots, who do this

for a living couldn't get right!

Have fun with this

kids know more than

the "experts"

My CD drive isn't working
Posted 01/01/1999 by Melanie

OK I have a rather cute and funny little tale....

This involves one of our more techno-savvy users, and usually he never has any issues except for the major things that we techies have to handle....

I receive an email stating "My CD drive isn't working...could you please help me with it?" So considering he knows what he's talking about as a general I figured the drive had truly stopped working and would probably have to be sent in for repair...

So I stop by, and ask exactly what happened....he was trying to play a music CD and no sound was coming out at all. I ask the usual, if he rebooted, if the CD had scratches, etc etc....everything was fine CD looked OK and he had rebooted several times.....I stick in the CD myself, the windows CD player pops up and acts like it's playing, but sure enough no sound....

so I'm thinking hmmm....something is wrong here...I start playing around a bit....check some settings, that sort of thing...then I double click on volume properties in the taskbar--and lo and behold he had muted CD volume :) Well needless to say he was very red in the face and took a lot of ribbing from me for several days after that one..

Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work on a helpdesk that takes, among others, software support calls for a large, well known computer manufacturer who use Plug-n-Play BIOS, soundcards, etc. . .

I had a call once from a guy (let's call him joe) who could no longer dial his ISP. He kept getting an error message telling him the modem port was already in use by another application whenever he tried. So I did the usual, end all tasks, try-it-again, remove the modem driver, let the OS reinstall it etc, etc. Nothing worked. So I decided to start from scratch and get this guy to restart his computer one last time and I hear "right, now I'll just press CTRL+ALT+DEL again and. . ." I immediately jumped in with "What!?!" He says, "Yeah, this is how I restart isn't it?"

Turns out our resident genius had been shutting his computer down by hitting the power switch (from inside whatever app he happened to be in at the time), and whenver he wanted to restart it he just hit the magic three-key combination twice! AND the last time he shut his computer down he did it whilst still connected to the internet, which due to the joys of PnP hardware meant that his modem was logged at a BIOS level as being permanently in use.

Sooooooo, we reset his BIOS, fixed the problem, gave him a stern lecture on how to shut down his computer correctly, and sent him on his way.

End of story, right?


I got another call from this guy (why do I have all the luck??) four hours later:

"I just took the cd for my game out of the drive while I was playing it, and it crashed. Is that bad?"


Fidget fidget fidget
Posted 01/01/1999 by Ryan Dawson

I'm not an official tech supporter, but I do some minor

tech help for the people in an accounting office who are all

twice my age.

One lady today came to me asking for help with Excel. It

seems one particular spreadsheet wouldn't move, but the rest

would. I had no idea, not being particularly familiar, but

figured I could take a look. The cursor would move around,

but the data ON SCREEN wouldn't change, though the cursor

was pointing to the next box. Eventually I tracked down

the 'freeze pane' or some such option that had been checked

in one of the menus. She then told me this:

"Well, I know how that happened! I was talking on the phone,

and sometimes when I'm talking I just play with the mouse

and click around and stuff."

I gently explained the foolishness of randomly clicking,

trying not to imagine her dragging the hard disk icon to the

trash, or hitting 'format' and wondering what happened...

Just Keep It Clean.....
Posted 01/01/1999 by Bob Berne

This tale came to me from a friend who worked for the Navy

during the '60s & 70's. As a Computer Specialist, he often

got called out to repair the computer systems onboard ships.

One such call came in from a Captain that had been unable

to keep his system up & running for more than a few days at

a time. This computer, used those big "packs" of 12"

changable hard disks. My friend was flown out to the ship

where he spent the next few days doing PM's & file

maintanence. When the system was restored to operation, the

greatful Captain asked what he needed to do to keep it

running. "Just keep things clean & you should be alright"

my friend replied.

Several weeks later, a frantic call came in: There was a

BIG inspection comming up and the ship's system had crashed

completely. Upon arrival, the Captain explained that he

tried to keep things clean and didn't understand what went

wrong. They had just been " things up for the

inspection when it crashed. " When they reached the

computer room, there was a Seaman still dilligently cleaning

everything in sight with brass wool - gauges, handrails,

knobs, buttons, switches, panels, Everything! Including all

all the hard disk platters!!!! Needs no further I should


Make sure everything is connected
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

About 4 months ago a co-worker and I were setting up the company president's brand spanking new desktop. A P350, 256 MB RAM, 12 GB HDD...just a great system. We got everything hooked up and flicked the switch. The monitor came on and nothing else.

Called over the IT guys. They played with connections, making snide comments about our technical experience and expertise. Nothing. And again.

Check the outlets, powercords. Everything is fine. Everything is connected. Now the IT guys give up, saying "It's busted. Motherboard is totally fried. Send it back."

I suggest opening the case, which they do. Immediately the problem is obvious...except, only to me. After a cursory examination, they say "Nothing out of the ordinary here. Send it back."

I silently point to the power supply, the cable, and the end that is not connected to the motherboard. No power was getting to the motherboard, obviously. We connected and all was well. I felt much return for me not teasing the IT guys about this, they stopped teasing me for freaking out about not connecting to the LAN when the problem was that I had unplugged my network cable and forgotten to plug it back in...even when I insisted I had.

We are even now, but I am sure that I will do something to upset that balance...wait, that didn't come out right...

Busted Monitor Story
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

My friend and I work together as LAN/PC support for a large

company. He told me this story about an experience he had

when he was teaching a course on the side for extra cash.

Anyway, he expected when he took on this course teaching

thing, that his students would be a little more experienced

with PCs than they turned out to be. After one class, he

held a Q and A, and one lady said that her computer monitor

at home was broken.

Friend: What kind of problem?

Lady: There's funny lines going through the picture.

(Meanwhile, friend is thinking burnout, synch problems,

incorrect refresh rates, etc)

He continues speaking on another topic with someone else,

unable to offer suggestions about the lady's monitor, when

all of a sudden she points to a PC running behind him.. and

says "THERE! That's what it does!"

Friend turns around to see the Windows95 "Mystify" screen

saver running.

The Cop's are going to haul me away!
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

This is one I got from a family member when they called

me for support. (While I was on vacation, and not doing

this for a living for 2 short weeks!)

Aunt: Can you help me with my computer? There's an error

on it. I have Windows95 on there.

Me: Ok, what does the error message say?

Aunt: It's telling me I've done something illegal.

(You do the math!)

Short & Sweet
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

A while back my friend wanted a PC. He asked his mother if

they could get one, and she said "No".

He says "Why not? Everybody has one except us!"

She Says "Because. If we buy the computer, then we need

that special TV that goes with it, and we got enough TV's

in this place. Forget it!"

No Title
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

When the Information Technology side of my job was still in its infancy, myself and one other colleague used to provide all support for all users.

One day the Chief Executive's Assistant calls up and asks for Bill Gates address. A little taken aback (and trying not to laugh) I asked why she would be looking for such a thing. She replied that the Chief executive was unhappy with DOS and wanted to write to Mr Gates to get him to change it !!!!!


This one will only make sense if you know anything about Scottish Football.

I was on my colleagues PC playing around and discovered a file in the DOS directory called IBROX.COM. Not understanding what this file was I asked him and he replied that, as he supported Rangers, he was not having a file on his HDD called PARKHEAD.COM.......


A lot of stries, all in dutch....
Posted 01/01/1999 by dead eye

PS: If you rerally want I'll translkate them... you can always put them up under 'in dutch' or so..)


C = Customer

S = Support

A = Achtergrond (familie, collega's,…)

DEEL I (First Blood )

C : en wat nu ?

S : Nu klik je met de rechter-muisknop op het icoontje 'uunet-dial'

C : Hoe ?

S : Op de muis, éénmaal de rechter-muisknop drukken terwijl je op dat icoontje staat…

C : Is die knop langst mijne kan van de muis ?

S : …slik ….

Een klant belt , en legt uit dat hij steeds maar andere usernamen krijgt. Hij zegt ook dat de service veel te duur is.

S : Dus u logt telkens u internet wil gebruiken terug aan met de cd-rom ?

C : Ja, ik kies telkens een abonnement dat ik heb , voor 2995 fr, en betaal met VISA, maar wanneer ik dan een paar uren later opnieuw tracht in te loggen vraagt hij opnieuw een visa kaart nummer… da's wel duur hé…

S : U hoeft net telkens me de cd-rom een neiuwe account aan te maken wanneer u wil surfen mijnheer, met 1 hebt u genoeg.

C : Ah zo ! Ik betaalde telkens opnieuw….

C : Ik heb hier een diskette en kan net verder…

S : Wat is er juist gebeurt waardoor u niet verder kan ?

C : Ik stak die diskette van jullie er in en dan heb ik die setup gedaan zoals daar stond, maar daar kwam ineens « Please insert disk 2 for completing the installation »

S : En hebt u dat gedaan ?

C : Wat. ?

S : Hebt u de tweede diskette erin getoken ?

C : Ah neen, ik heb er 4 !

S : Is er een diskette bij met een label 2 / 4 ?

C : Ja, is ze dat ?

C : Ik wil een advertentie op internet zetten !

S : Had u gedacht aan een homepage, een e-mail list of reclame ofzo ?

C : Ik wil een advertentie op het internet ! Kent u dat niet ?

S : Ja, mijnheer, maar hebt u een idee van wat u precies wil en waar u precies wil adverteren.. ; dat kan in de vorm van reclame, een eigen pagina…

C : Mijnheer, u bent echt een slechte firma, ik wil een advertentie en ik word hier zo slecht behandeld,… ! ! !

S, Mijnheer, er zijn bij ons voldoende mogenijkheden maar…


C : Hallo, met interet ? Ik zou graag eens ale sites hebben waarop iets staat over wijn….

S : U kan dat zelf opzoeken bij de search -engines, als u wil geef ik er een paar waar u daarnaar kan zoeken …

C : Gaan die over wijn ?

Een oudere vrouw belt naar de 0902 lijn en begint haar probleem uit te leggen, de support antwoord en begleid haar daar de setup.

S : En dan klikt u op OK.

C : Ja, dat is… oh, mijn soep !

S : Mevr….

User is 5 min. weg, waarna de connectie verbroken werd….

Er loopt een fax binnen op de helpdesk, waarop bovenaan geen afzender staat, noch een telefoonnummer van de fax waarvan het verstuurd werd. Met de tekst :

Geachte helpdesk, ik wil zo snel mogenlijk geholpen worden, want de connectie werkt net meer.

Getekend : Willy

Geen referentie, tel nr. Adress, username of wat dan ook…

S : Wat voor modem gebruikt u ?

C : Een Quad…

S : Quad ? Is dat het merk ? Welke snelheid heeft die ?

C : Quad hé… een quad speed modem hé.. ken je dat niet…

S : Ik denk dat u de CD-rom drive bedoeld mijnheer….

S : Wat voor modem gebruikt u ?

C : Dat is ene van 56 Kilo.

Deel II (The revenge of the village people)

S : Welke modem gebruikt u ?

C : Eh, awel, eh, dat weet ik nu net zie, ik denk.. nee wacht…

S : Nee wacht, ik zal…

C : Wacht, ik denk… (gerommel op achtergrond, iemand roept iets…) een doos en… ; ja ik ….

« Waar is die doos ! « Geroep en getier… voor 5 min. daarna

C : Allo ? Ja, ik vind de doos niet….

C : Ik krijg geen dial tone van de telefoonlijn, ik heb een plug hier uitgerokken om te kunnen bellen en sindsdien belt de modem niet meer.

Na een kwartier met veel moeite (uitleggen wat een apenkrul en ene dot is..) uitleg geven heeft men eindelijk netscape mail juist ingesteld.

S : Goed, kan u me nu eens een test mail sturen ? U bent geconnecteerd zie ik, dus als u dat nu doet, met deze instellingen zal het lukken.

C : Ok (C verzend de mail.) « Hij komt meteen terug. »

S : (alles ettings staan 100% zeker juist) « Wat doet u precies. »

C : Ik klik op de mail hé.. en ik verstur er ene

S : Ok, sluit u even alles af van netscape en start u netscape opnieuw. Dan klikt u beneden rechts het 2e icoonthje van links aan. Dat is uw mail. Dan clickt u op…

C : Ahahaa, daar zit m'n mail, ik klik altijd op « Eudora » Da's toch ook van netscape hé ?

C : Kan ik een abonnement laten terugbetalen ?

S : Wat is de usernaam ? .. even kijken… Aha, u hebt al voor 10 maanden uw jaaraccount gebruikt…

C : Ja inderdaad, maar ik wil het laten terugbetalen dan kan ik een andere account nemen.

S : Mijnheer, we kunnen moeilijk een account terugbetalen die bijna afgelopen is, maar we kunnen w el…

C : « Droplul ! »

Haakt in

Er komt een fax binnen met in het groot erop dat hij EINDELIJK wel eens z'n account wil geactiveerd zien. We bellen hem op.

C : Ah onnozelaarke, … ge belt dan toch …. Ik… (sheldpartij van 2 min. ) ..gedaan…

S : Mijnheer, ik wil u echt helpen, daarom heb ik u nu opgebeld, maar daarvoor wil ik wel van u uw username hebben….

C : user name ? wat is dat ? Ik heb gewoon 3000 fr op jullie rekening gestort, want mijne maat had ook een account bijjullie, en ik heb die rekening nummer genomen…maak maar dat ik een abonnement heb hé… kl*********

S : U hebt nog geen abonnement aangemaakt ?

C : Doen jullie dat maar ik heb betaald hé mannen…. KLIK

C : Allo ? Je suis connecter avac un modem 14 400, est-ce que c'est possible ?

S : Eh…oui

C : Je suis connecté ! C'est possibleeee…KLIK

C : Ja… maar die dingen daar hou ik me iet zo allemaal mee bezig, dat moeten ze maar eens nazien he die TCP/IP enzo…

S : Misschien wanneer u de win95 CD-Rom hebt kunnen we…

C : Ja, neen, da's niks voor mij…ik ga dat wel regelen…

S : Als er misschien iemand bij u van de technische dienst ofzo kan…

C : Ik BEN de technische dienst mijnheer…


S : Kan u om de versie van uw IE eens te bepalen naar Internet explorer gaan ?

C : Daar ben ik in

S : Dan klikt u op de help knop ind e menubalk en neemt 'about internet explorer'

C : Waar ?

S : In de menubalk

C : Waar dan ?

S : In die menubalk ziet u die ?

C : Ja, maar dat gaat allemaal niet hé… och, da's allemaal zooo moeilijk !

C : Hallo mijn abonnement verloopt in januari 99, en wat dan ?….

C : Ik heb in mijn PC een aantal rAM's laten bijsteken, nu steken er 32 in… jullie kunnen dat toch aan hé daar bij jullie ?

DEEL III (Helpdesk in the temple of Doom )

Iemand van een manège belt en is vreselijk domme vragen aan het stellen…

S : Ja mijnheer, klikt u er maar op met de rechter muisknop (denkt : « zelfs een paard kan dat ! »)

C : Ok,…. Ah hier…

C : Hebt u een POP in de 012 zone ?

S : We hebben een POP tegen lokaal tarief voor u in de 04 zone…

C : Dat is toch niet lokaal dan ?

S : Dat is inderdaad een andere telefoonzone, maar sinds de zone-vergoting bij Belgacom belt u daar ook tegen lokaal tarief in.

C : Ah, want iemand heeft mij gezegd dat jullie met belgacom samenwerken om mensen in andere zones te laten inbellen om meer telefoonkosten te hebben…

Versprekingen :

Internet Explosion Internet explorere

Landings-gestellen (in controle pannel) Land- instellingen

Netshape Netscape

Netscape explorer

Lookout express Outlook express

Outllok Excess » »

Eurodora eudora

Macinsoft ? ? ?

S : Hallo, UUNET Helpdesk, goedemiddag…

C : ….

S : Hallo,…. ?

C : (klant begint op de telefoon toetsen in te drukken als een gek)

S : Hallo ?

C : Ja ? Ah, … t'is dat antwoordapparraat niet meer… Ja, u hebt m'n klantnummer nu, kan je er even voor zorgen. Dat ik terug online kan aub ?

C : Mijnheer, jullie CD werken niet, als ik signup doe en dan op GO klik enzo… dan kom ik in een scherm en dan stopt alles

S : Wat doet u dan precies… Dus u kiest 'neem u internet access… »

C : Ja, inderdaad, en dan klik ik op QUIT…

S : Ja, maar dan stopt alles hé, u mag tijdens de procedure niet op QUIT klikken, anders stopt de procedure…

C : Ah,… maar wat moet ikdan volgende keer kiezen ?

S : Next… of Logon

C : (schrijft op..) dank u wel…

C : Het e-mail adress dat u gebruikt is ongeldig zegt de computer hier…

S : En wat staat er precies ?

C :

S : Dat is wat lang hoor… we gaan het even wijzigen…

C : Daar moest toch mijn adress staan hé ?

C : Ik heb vandaag een Twin-stopcontact laten steken…

S : Eh…

C : Kan jij dat dan veranderen dat ik mijn mails daarop krijg ?

S : U duid daar dus uw modem aan…

C : Hoe ?

S : U klikt op het vakje waarin de naam staat van uw modem…

C : Aha, een 33.6 staat hier… moet ik daar dan iets invullen ?

S : Neen, daar duid u uw modem aan…

C : ah ! UUmodem ? ? ?

S : aaaargh !

C : dus heel uw scherm is tijdens de signup procedure blauw geworden?

S: Ja, met een beetje wit in't midden...

C : Kan u de muis nog bewegen?

S: Neen,

C: Druk eens Ctrl, Alt Del

S: Waar?

C : Op uw keyboard de drie knoppen Control, Alt Delete indrukken tegelijk...

S: Waar staan die juist... ? Ik ken er niet zoveel van

C: (legt de plaatsen uit aan de klant)

S: Ok, Ok,... er verschijnt een kaderke... wat moet ik nu doen?

C: Ga met uw pijltjestoetsen naar Sighnup UUNET by Internet explorer. Er moet een lijntje zijn waar Internet explorer staat, dat duid u aan ... zodat het blauw wordt...

S: Ik zie dat ni..eej, 't is allemaal weg nu...

C: Wat is er weg?

S: M'n scherm en ik kan die toetsen ook niet meer gebruiken... zucht

C: Ok, herstert u de PC maar, anders komen we er niet uit denk ik...

S: Hoe doe ik dat?

C: Wanneer u gedaan hebt met werken met de PC, hoe zet u hem dan uit? Die zelfde knop moet u nu ook gebruiken...

S: Ah, is dat den 'Enter ' toets gelijk ze zeggen?


S: Kan ik iemand spreken die wat van facturen weet?

C: Ja, daar spreekt u mee. Wat is juist het probleem.?

S: Ben jij van de boekhouding?

C: Ja, ik kan uw facturen nakijken inderdaad.

S: Ik geloof u niet! Verbind me met iemand anders door snel!

Een e-mail komt binnen op de support:

"Geachte UUNET, zou ik een lijst kunnen krijgen van al jullie leden om naar te mailen, met e-mail adress en eventueel telefoon nummer? Dank u"

C wordt doorverbonden naar iemand van een IT dep. In een bedrijf.

C: Hallo met bedrijf X? Ik ben X en ik bel u in verband met de fax die we u gisteren stuurden over de technische informatie over jullie leased line.

S: En met wie spreek ik?

C: Met X van UUNET Worldcom. Spreek ik met contactpersoon Y ?

S: Nee, die werkt hier ni meer...

S: (schrijft op: UUNE Wirlcom?) En waarover ging die fax?

C: Over technische informatie die in onze support database moet komen over de leased line die jullie hebben bij UUNET. Weet u daar iets van?

S: Leased line? (roept nar achtergrond... "hij moet iets van een list lijn hebben ofzo... ik weet het niet... wat... nee, van UUUner ofzoiets...)

S: Seg meneer is dat over de computers?

C: Ja meneer, ik ben toch op het IT departement, men had me doorverbonden naar u. Het gaat over de Leased line, voor internet, met UUNET

S: (weer tegen achtergrond/ Ah ja) Ah, ja, hebbne wij dan internet, dat is 't eerste da'k darvan hoor, da's wel ineteressant, kunt ge die fax nog eens sturen aub?

C: Zucht

S: En waar moet ik die webspace dan activeren mijnheer?

C: Dat doet u op onze customization wizard, adress is http://signup...

S: wacht wacht, ATPP en dan?

C: Neen, H, van Hendrik, T, van Tango, T van Tango, P van pappa...


C: Neen HTTP, 4 letters hoor, de ene T mag weg...


C: Neen Mijnheer, H, van Hendrik, T, van Tango, ...

S Onderbreekt... T van tango ja, en dan?

C; T van tango, P van Pappa, dan ene dubbele punt, en twee slashen...

S: Ja, ja... dan signup...

(gaat zo door, het hele adress wordt met zeer veel moeite 8 ! keer gespeld. Omdat mijnheer zogezegd "niet zo voor ald at Engels was")

S: Ok, nu zie ik een pagina,... en nu ?

C: U geeft daar opCW uw clientnr in en password

S: Ja, ok, en nu 'vraag uw webspace aan zeker,"

C: Inderdaad...

S: "Deze webspace werd reeds aangevraagd staat er..."

C: WHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

C: Mijnheer, dus als ik naar jullie bel heb ik een clientnummer nodig hé?

S: Bedoeld Voor de internettoegang of voor de helpdesk?

C: Neen, als ik bel naar jullie helpdesk hé… dan vraagt er zo'n stem of ik m'n klantnummer wil geven…

S: Ja ….

C: Waar moet ik die dan ingeven?

S: Eh… op uw telefoon..; intoetsen… (bijna lachend)

C: Ah,… ik deed dat altijd op mijne PC.. eh heh u vind dat waarschijnlijk belachelijk dat ik dat vroeg hé?

S: Neen, ik was even verward of u het over de internetdiensten had of over gewoon bellen met de telefoon…

C: Ja, ik vind dat nogal moeilijk met al die computers bellen…

To: UUNET BE helpdesk

Subject: Fw: Gepruts met de internet options

Graag had ik van jullie de nodige hulp ontvangen voor mijn kinderen mij

wurgen. Dank u bij voorbaat.


-----Original Message-----


To: UUNET BE helpdesk (

Date: mardi 22 décembre 1998 23:11

Subject: Gepruts met de internet options

Blijkbaar heb ik geprutst met de internet options.

Wanneer ik nu wil chatten in de chat corner van village.uunet, komt de

onderste knop "chat button" NIET meer te voorschijn.

Gelieve mij te helpen om opnieuw te kunnen chatten, dank u


How do you spell <space>???
Posted 01/01/1999 by Lynden Garrett

I work in field support..

One morning a gentleman called who couldn't log in to the network..

I went through the usual routine:

Is all the cables plugged in??? A: yes.

Is the Cap lock key on??? A: wheres that??

Is your username the one showing?? A: i dont know?, what is my username??

I said,"Typically in this company it is Lastname (space) Firstname (space) and Initials".

He then asked me, "How do you spell SPACE????"


My modem fuc*ed the phone line!
Posted 01/01/1999 by Gil Disatnik

Now, this one is fresh from the oven...

I get a call two min' ago at the helpdesk I am working in:

Support good evening, Gil is talking, how may I help you?

(The normal licking sentecnce... ;)

He: "Hi. somehow my phone line is not working from the

moment I have logged off the internet."

Me: "Ummm... have you called the phones company?"

He: "Yes, I have, they told me that the line is working

properly, and that there must be something that

shorting the lines".

Me: "No one came to your place to check it out?"

He: "No".

Me: "Ok, have you tried to take out the modem's cable from

the phone lines and checked if the phone is still


He: "Yes, the phone is still dead, can you please check,

maybe something is wrong with my user information on

your server?"

Me: (Amazed, starting to feel the endless laugh on its

way... :) "Sir, are you teasing me or what?"

He: "Oh... never mind, thanks anyway".

Dangerous mistakes
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for an ISP in South Africa and had a call from a secretary one day. Her boss was unable to dialup, but after finding nothing wrong we tried again and the problem seemed to have sorted itself out. I explained this to her but she was insisting that something must have been wrong and she needed to know. Eventually she tells me that she will have to go switch the modem and computer off and back on and tell her boss that I reset everything on our side. Without a grim she said "otherwise he'll take out a gun and either shoot the pc or me." She assured me that she was DEAD serious and this is how she knows him to be.

I think she deserves danger pay!

All sorts
Posted 01/01/1999 by Danny

Typical day @ Work.


Tech: What operating system are you using sir?

Customer: A PII350 with..............

Tech: No sir, are you running Windows 95 or 98?

Customer: Im running Windows

The tale goes on for several minutes before I suggest the customer speaks to a friend or someone more "UP" on pc's


Tech: Good morning ______, can i have you customer account number please?

Customer (9 times out of 10): Is that the one that says Order number?

Tech: No sir, its the one that says Customer Account Number.


Customer has just finished telling me their problem.

Tech: Ok, are you in front of your PC sir?

Customer (all the time): No, but I can be!

Now let me think, Im calling with a problem with my PC it would be too sensible to call in front of the machine.

not too bright
Posted 01/01/1999 by Jorge Handl

I used to work at a computer store as tech support.

One day a customer, instead of calling, decided to

walk into our store with a heavy monitor in her hands,

telling us that it wouldn't turn on. I pluged it in,

turned it on, and sure enough, the screen was black.

I looked at it for a second, then turned the brightness

control, and voila! The poor lady stood there wishing

for a quick way to dissapear.

Networked Kitchen Appliances?
Posted 01/01/1999 by Bucky C.

We recently installed a new generator and UPS in our network

and server center. To do the final electrical hookup and

testing, we had to bring everything down, including the


We sent out a warning email to the IT contacts in each

department stating that while the entire network would be

down from 5 to 8 AM on Saturday, the power outage was limited

to the server room in our building and would not affect their

desktops otherwise.

I soon received the following call from another

building at the other end of our campus:

Me: Hello, IT, this is Eric. How can I help you?

Client: Hi this is Jane Doe in the North Building. I was

worried about the power outage this weekend; will

it affect the refrigerators in our building?

Me: Um, only if they're on the network, ma'am.

Client: Oh, good! I don't think they are but I'll ask!

Thank you! (click)

They don't do warp speed.
Posted 01/01/1999 by DJ

Me: Welcome to printer support. How can I help you?

Cus: My printer seems to be printing slow.

Me: Ok let's try a self test from the printer.

Cus: Ok

One minute later

Me: How long did it take?

Cus: 45 seconds.

Me: Let me check a printer here to see how long it should take.

90 seconds later.

Me: The printer here did the test in 45 seconds too.

Cus: Well, can it go faster?

Me: (coughing) Excuse me?

Cus: Can it go faster?

Me: It does two pages in 45 seconds and you need it to go faster.

Cus: (Small pause) Yes.

Busy signal?
Posted 01/01/1999 by Denis Gomes Franco

This is not certainly a tech support story, but it is a

very fun one. My friend was wanting to have Internet access

so I was with him to look for a good provider. So we went

to xxx provider and asked for info about how many lines,

the link size, etc. Then someone (i think it was the ISP's

owner) suddely said to us:

Well, I guarantee you that you can access us at any time. If

you receive a busy signal, then there should be something

wrong with your computer!

Ugh, i thinked that the internet access equipment was with

them, not us :))

Where did they learn that?
Posted 01/01/1999 by Denis Gomes Franco

I work doing tech support here in my small city. So one day

I went to a customer house, he asked me to install some

things on his computer, including Internet. But for the

Internet part, he decided to take the isp's technician

to do that. Then I proceeded to install what he asked me.

When I finished, the ISP's technician started to install

the internet software. Here is what they have done:

1. The Internet access software was ALREADY installed - dial

up, internet explorer, etc. But they wanted to install it

anyways - and in another language!

2. They were not able to find the Win95 installation folder

in the CD - because when Windows was asking for the CD, they

were typing C: instead of D:

3. They spent almost 3 hours to do something that can be

done in less than 20 minutes

4. When they have finished, the CD drive have suddenly

disappeared, and some apps have disappeared too.

Since then, he never more called the ISP people.... :)

New type of Hardisk !!
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

This Tale is not realy a Tech tale but can be clasified as "stupid Salesman"

I was looking over an old Home PC for someone at work.

She wanted it to update it with windows 95 and Office 97.

But found out that she only had 260 MB harddisk in it.

So i recomended that she got a bigger one.

We found a disk and she called her contact person on a Computer company that had sold her some ram eariler.

They did not have the disk but the salesperson asks "why not buy a CD-rom Recorder ??? "

We neded more space not an "Backup" option

Colour of files
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Our file server was getting low on space so we decided to compress all the user files. The next day a user called asking how to change the colour of his files back. Sorry ? I ask, can you repeat that ? I just could not understand the users problem. The thing was that he was running Windoze NT which displayed all his now compressed files in blue. That day 10-15 people called in complaining about the colour of their files :)

Off switch
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

An older PC user called in and complained that there was a problem with Windows. I asked what the problem was and he replyed that the computer just said: It is now safe to turn off your computer. He claimed to have done so several times, but each time the text came back. At first I didn't think he could be that stupid, but he was: He was turning his monitor on and off, not the computer :)

No Title
Posted 01/01/1999 by Eric E. Klos

I once had a rather computer-illerterate neighbor decide to upgrade his own computer by installing a Pentium chip. Being that he had a 486, I had assumed that he bought an Evergreen 486 to Pentium upgrade chip. He called me saying that he couldn't things to work right. When I arrived, I had one of the biggest laughs ever-he, being the rather "creative" type, had bought a regular Pentium chip, cut off all the extra pins, and smashed it down into the 486 socket telling me that he thought all those pins were for different sockets, and that he thought he should just cut off all the ones he didn't need.

Posted 01/01/1999 by clark

I work in tech support for a major printer manufacturer.

One night, getting close to the end of my shift, a gentleman

called in.

I start the normal opening script and we really have to struggle

to get all the required information. Through out the guy keeps

telling me he is having a hard time gathering the info because

he is legally blind.

We finally get through the opening and I ask what i can do

for him.

His answer. "Well my print quality is really bad"

No Title
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

"I can't stay connected to the service"

What happens when you try to connect?

"It says "connecting" and I hear the modem making noises,

but then I can't get my email."

Do you get an error message?

"It says "disconnected" in a little box."

(go through modem diagnostics, no help)

Finally, I ask her to go through every thing she does, step

by step.

"Well, I click on "connect" then I type in my password.

Then it says I have new mail, and I click on that.

Then I unplug the phone line from the back of the computer

and plug it back in to the phone in case I get a call."

April Fool=<me>
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I had the honor of working for a brilliant man who also had

quite a reputation as a practical joker. In fact, he'd gone

down in company history for managing to fill a VP's glove

compartment with lime jello!

Needless to say, April 1st that year was awaited with a good

deal of trepidation. In preparation, I carefully secured my

PC: checking my keys, and being sure to lock the case tight.

I walked in on the fateful day, checked my PC...nope, no

signs of invasion...booted up...only (in our NT shop) to

find myself staring at an OS/2 bootup screen. Shaking my

head--I rebooted...nope, still OS/2.

Went off in search for a cup of coffee, came back...rebooted

again...Red Hat Linux(?). Now, it had been a "rough" weekend,

but I'm too old to tolerate getting that hung over...hmmm...

shut it down...reboot...Linux again...check the caselock...

nope...hasn't been touched. Carefully check over system unit.'s mine. I recognize the scratches and dings. Wander

off...reboot...I'm looking at Windows 3.11...get smart...

check out "file manager"...hmmmm...Ooooohhhh!

Boss finally ambles past my cube while I'm ostentatiously

scratching my head and says..."Oh by the way...I worked my

way thru college as a locksmith..." He'd done a dandy job

of picking the lock on my case,repeatedly swapping out

hard drives. I got his butt back when he realized that I

was in the process of "FDISK-ing" the "latest" hard drive,

which was 3x the size of my original one. "WHADDYA DOING??!!"

"Oh...seems to be some operating system corruption here...

figured I'd reload my system..."

What have you learned?!?!
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I used to do tech support for an ISP. We hired this promising new employee who was in her third year of a computer type degree. I had to train her and found that he was supposed to getting a degree in computers, software, hardware, and technology management. I thought this should be a piece of cake, somebody who will be easy to train.

Was I wrong. After several weeks on the phones, she still did not realize that Netscape could be opened WITHOUT having to be connected. There were several calls that myself and another tech took from customers who could not remember the instructions given by our firedn on how to look at the settings of the browser once they got connected. We had to tell these people that we could indeed make the changes to the settings offline.

I thought that was the hardest to believe, but again, was I wrong. After several more weeks, and remember she was going to school for all kinds of computer related things, we were talking about a new beta release of software. And she asked "What's beta mean?"

And to think someday she will be a position of leaderhship.....

AOL mice?
Posted 01/01/1999 by Sierra

A little background: I work for an internet provider. It's a fairly large internet provider but it isn't fully national.

I got this call today:

"Can I get your username?"


"We don't have a user by that name."

"This is AOL, right?"

"No, this isn't."

"Oh, who is this then?"

"This is xxxxx."

"Well I'm having a problem with my mouse."

I spent the next ten minutes explaining to her that we can't help her with her mouse and she wouldn't leave until I told her three times that maybe a computer store could help.

Hard drive crash
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Please do not use my name. I like my job and work for a very large corporation. We have 6 other hardware personnal on site and often visit your site for laughs. My story follows:

I am employed as a computer hardware tech and while at a large company I had the opportunity to witness hights of stupidity on the part of Client Services personnal who provide software support to users in our business. My favorite follows.

I was in the process of assembling several new PCs when my phone rang. I enjoy this aspect of the work and don't particularly enjoy being interrupted. Putting aside my screwdriver I reached over and picked up the phone.

Me - Hardware, this is (ME), how can I help you?

Client Services Specialist - (User's) hard drive has crashed. You need to come down and change it.

Me - Her hard drive has crashed. Are you sure?

CSS - Yes, I'm sure. It's crashed.

Me - What is her machine doing?

CSS - It isn't doing anything.

Me - What does it say on her screen?

CSS - Nothing. It's black.

Me - Is the PC turned on?

CSS - Yes, it's on, I turned it on myself and it doesn't do anything. I told you her hard drive has crashed and you need to come take care of it.

Me - All right. Give me a minute and I'll be down to check it out.

I proceeded to put aside my work and make my way down to the 2nd floor where the user's PC was located. There she sat at her desk with the CSS standing next to her chair.

Me - Ok, let's see what's going on here. Can I sit down here for a bit?

I proceeded to sit down at the desk to see what was going on with the PC. It was just like the CSS had said. The monitor was completely black even though the power light was on.

I checked around a bit and noticed there were no fan noises coming from the box sitting under the user's desk. I then began checking the buttons on the surge-protector/power-supply unit on which her monitor was sitting. Right there, plain as day, the button labled "Computer" was turned off. I calmly reached up and flipped it back on and the PC began going through the boot process. At the "Windows was not properly shut down..." prompt, I hit enter and then exited from the scandisk utility to watch the machine come up just fine.

I was rewarded to see a User Support Specialist turn very red with embarrasment. This woman had done the same thing to me several times before, but had never stayed around for me to get to the user's desk and "fix" the crashed hard drive. Needless to say, this was the last time she decided to diagnose hardware problems.

ASCII and ye shall receive
Posted 01/01/1999 by Chris Kerr

This is a story of how convincing your boss you're a

computing wizard who can do anything at a keyboard can

work against you.

Last year I was working for a fundraising company owned by

a family of complete computer illiterates. They raised

funds by telemarketing tickets to childrens' stage shows,

and in order to squeeze the maximum amount of money out of

people, they kept detailed personal records on their

customers from the previous fundraising campaign. I was in

charge of maintaining the database holding these records,

and since over the years they managed to suck in thousands

and thousands of people, it was a huge database.

It wasn't particularly well-designed, though. When they

decided they needed a database instead of their old paper

records, they bought the night manager's wife a textbook

and let her put together a semi-usable system as an

exercise in learning Access Basic. When I inherited it, I

was told that I could add as much window dressing as I

liked, but the basic structure had to stay the same.

This was a problem, because some elements of the database

which probably seemed like a good idea when it was being

put together were utterly inadequate when it was put to

use, and one morning I was faced with the dilemma of making

a simple little change to a field which was too short, or

LOSING DATA, both of which were unacceptable to the

computer-fearing information packrats I worked for.

The usual procedure in that situation was to wait for the

night manager, the man who put the office network together

in the first place, to arrive for work and okay the changes

I wanted to make. Only in this case, that would have meant

me doing nothing for a couple of hours and then trying to

explain why to the 'day manager' -- the owner's wicked

witch of a wife, an option that was unacceptable to me.

The only good thing I have to say about her is that she

will die before I do.

So, fearfully, I approached her and explained the need to

make the tiniest, most insignificant change to a field that

wasn't long enough.

Her solution? Use lower-case characters, they don't take

up as much room.

As far as she was concerned, the problem was solved, and I

was just wasting her time. I confess, I did something

stupid then: I tried to explain ASCII code to her, and how

each character was represented by a three-digit code, so

upper case and lower case take up the same amount of space

in a database field.

Bless her, she found another simple solution: my job for

the rest of the day was to take out of the computer all

the characters and punctuation we never used, so we

wouldn't NEED three-digit codes anymore.

I hid in my office until the night manager arrived.

accessibility software specialist
Posted 01/01/1999 by John O'Rourke

At a help desk I received a call from a customer attempting to get his printer working. We told him to shut down and restart his computer to check his settings. Oh, he explained. I have to have a computer.

Marking your Territory
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for a major retailer, which also services several major brands of computers.

Recently, a customer brought in his Compaq, complaining that it didn't boot.

When asked if he ran his Quickrestore, he told us that he did but that it didn't run.

He also informed us that he called Compaq and they told him it was a CMOS problem.

So, in to the shop we checked his system. After diagnosis of his system, I

concluded that windows was merely corrupt and needed restoration. Popped in the customer's

restore CD and sure enough, it locked up. I proceeded to eject the cd from the

drive. I noticed an odd black smudge on the label side of the CD, and on closer examination

discovered that the customer's initials had been carved into the face of the CD with a ball-

point pen. I flipped over the CD, and to my horror, the pressure from the pen had caused

his initials to be permanently scratched into the surface of the CD. I then proceeded to use

a shop copy of the same CD, and amazingly enough it worked.

This harkens back to the days of writing on 5.25" floppies with ball point pens, scratching the mylar.

I guess the technology changes, but the brainiacs stay the same.

Fearing for the Future
Posted 01/01/1999 by Brad

First off, I readily admit I'm not a tech, nor am I a computer guru. I'm right in the middle: not a beginner, not an expert, just enough to be dangerous. But I think these particular beginners are something to be feared.

I was in the public library in a neighboring city, surfing the net and chatting, wasting time. But I was paying attention to other users. An elderly man came in, signed up, and sat down at a terminal. And he just sat there. Maybe a minute later, he moved the mouse, and sat there another minute. And then he said "I can't get this damned thing to work." He got up and just left. I couldn't believe it! That was not the last time either: at least once every time I'm in that library, it happens again, different people every time, all over, say, 50.

The scary thing is, this is Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The site of the building of the atom bomb, and home of many scientists. Here's hoping they know physics better than pc skills....

It's All In The Way You Say It
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Just a quick note for anyone thinking of emigrating from England to America or vice versa - we do NOT speak the same language.

This was proven to me one day working a tech line in the good ol' US of A when a customer called in reporting a severe problem with their pc, which was causing various error messages to be displayed and programs to crash.

Trying to find out what the customer saw on screen at the moment I asked "So... what state is the pc in at the moment"

"Virginia," came the reply...

Its growling again
Posted 01/01/1999 by Jessica

ME: Thanks you for calling tech support, how may I help you?

CUSTOMER: Well, I'm having problems connecting and I think it is because my modem is mad at me.

ME: Because your modem is mad at you? ((uh oh, nutcase...)) Why don't you tell me what happens when you try to connect.

CUST: Well, I click on that icon and I click on connect.

ME: And whats the error message you are getting.

CUST: Well, it doesn't tell me why it's mad.

ME: What's mad?

CUST: The modem.

ME: What do you mean Sir?

CUST: Well, it keeps growling at me when I try to connect.

ME: Growling?

CUST: Yes, it does this... ((customer proceded to growl at me for about 2 minutes))

ME: Let's send the modem back, shall we?

Guess there is a first for everything.

Just holding, myself.
Posted 01/01/1999 by Jessica

This is something that a friend told me that he overheard...


you pretty much have to say this out loud to make it sound


Tech had the customer on hold while calling up to the next

level of support on a different line. When the wait time

went a little bit over what was expected, the tech went

back on the line to give the customer an update.

Tech: Ok, I am holding, myself, so it will be a few more


holding myself...

Later a supervisor was handing out some papers and the same

tech asked if the supervisor needed and help... supervisor

said, "that's OK, I can HOLD THESE, myself."

No Title
Posted 01/01/1999 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

a friend of mine was taking a call for an isp.

the customer was getting error 691, password varification.

the conversation went as follows.

Call handler: good evening XXXXXXXXXX how may i help you?

Cust: The computer says that my user name or password is wrong!

Call handler: okay sir, could you tell me what case you are using

for your password

Cust: what do you mean?

Call handler: how are you entering the password?

Cust: I'M USING MY KEY BOARD!!!!!!!!!?

Tales From Technical Support Index

Tales from the Techs
January 1999
  1. I don't know Jack!

  2. If it doesn't work, delete it!

  3. Broken cursor

  4. Gene Police - You, outta the Pool !!!

  5. Virtual Shenanigans

  6. Controllers...

  7. Never assume anything!!

  8. Umm, walk before you run...

  9. Saving Disk Space

  10. Not a Science Teacher (We Hope)

  11. No Title

  12. Baywatch running in the background?

  13. No Title

  14. Rob

  15. Where is windows 98?

  16. From Techie to Lawyer

  17. 3 disks in the floppy drive!!!

  18. A *VERY* Careful Customer!

  19. Head Tech

  20. The world's full of 'em

  21. How does he know!?

  22. Its Going to Be one of those weeks

  23. No Title

  24. From the Island of DUH!

  25. No Title

  26. More trouble ticket codes

  27. They're not THAT sophisticated yet

  28. The Shrinking CD-ROM

  29. No Title

  30. Modem problems.

  31. I confess myself to you.....

  32. World Wide Wait

  33. I can't seem to read my files...

  34. teechurs

  35. Service\Tech Support

  36. Lisa, O' wonderful Lisa

  37. Ya mean that's not my email address??

  38. Beyond Hope

  39. Boxphobia

  40. "I'm not going to jail for this!"

  41. Bad Floppy

  42. "Lets re-install TCP/IP again"

  43. No Title

  44. I'm going to SUE!

  45. No Title

  46. What's the big red button do?

  47. Keyboard Gymnastics

  48. Where Do I Start?

  49. Right Click?

  50. Broken Keyboard

  51. I'm only humoring you...

  52. Techie®

  53. My CD drive isn't working

  54. Shutdown

  55. Fidget fidget fidget

  56. Just Keep It Clean.....

  57. Make sure everything is connected

  58. Busted Monitor Story

  59. The Cop's are going to haul me away!

  60. Short & Sweet

  61. No Title

  62. A lot of stries, all in dutch....

  63. How do you spell <space>???

  64. My modem fuc*ed the phone line!

  65. Dangerous mistakes

  66. All sorts

  67. not too bright

  68. Networked Kitchen Appliances?

  69. They don't do warp speed.

  70. Busy signal?

  71. Where did they learn that?

  72. New type of Hardisk !!

  73. Colour of files

  74. Off switch

  75. No Title

  76. wysiwyg

  77. No Title

  78. April Fool=<me>

  79. What have you learned?!?!

  80. AOL mice?

  81. Hard drive crash

  82. ASCII and ye shall receive

  83. accessibility software specialist

  84. Marking your Territory

  85. Fearing for the Future

  86. It's All In The Way You Say It

  87. Its growling again

  88. Just holding, myself.

  89. No Title

Past Tales from the Techs:
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