Funny and Humorous Technical Support Tales and Stories

Submitted Tales From Technical Support

Tales From Technical Support Content

2 Modems?!?!?
Posted 09/01/2001 by Moleman
 

I work for a major British ISP, and I'm constantly surprised by the number of stories here I can relate to - even though the stories are mainly US-based....computer stupidity is obviously a global disease!!

Anyway, this one just made me chuckle: somebody's trying to register with our ISP online and keeps getting a no dial tone error. After a few minutes of searching, turns out the guy has 2 modems, one internal, one external.

He was using the first modem to get a connection, then goes into Internet Explorer. The Internet Connection Wizard appears, so he starts making a new connection using the second modem. Of course, it comes up saying no dial tone since he's connected with the other modem!!

Well, at least somebody's having fun!
Posted 09/01/2001 by Niq Walker
 

I'm not a Tech Support guy myself, but here are two stories I enjoy.

The first was when I was having a problem with an application regarding the internet. This was a genuine problem, and myself and the tech were working through it, when suddenly there is a burst of laughter on the tech's end of the line. I asked him what happened, and he said that someone on one of the other lines just spoke to guy who put a heavy object in his CD tray and was swearing them out. The other tech had put this foul-mouthed man on speakerphone, and the techs were having a grand old time laughing.

The other story is my English asked me to help her speed up her 486. She had it on this nifty little cart she whipped around the school with. She used to yell out "Make way, children!" Well, anyway, I sit down, and I open up a defragmentation program to organize her files. Meanwhile, I open up MineSweeper and minimize the defrag. She comes in a half-hour later and pulls my walkman out of my ear and asks me how it's going. I say it's going fine, then I hit a mine and the game ends. She sees the screen full of numbers and flags and bombs and goes NUTS! She starts by just screaming for like 15 seconds. She thought I had just destroyed her computer :)

I'm a tech too
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I just love it when the customer says hey I do tech support to. Here is a short version on one of those calls I have had.

Me:thank you for calling tech support blah. blah. blah...

Customer: Yeah I do tech support too, Im a network administrator. I have gone throught all the settings and there is nothing wrong with my pc this one is on you end. Its something on you server.

Me: Ok than than this should be easy we will just go throught this real quick and see what we can find.

Can you go ahead and reset the modem and pc?

Customer: I have allready done that it does not do anything.

Me: Even If it doesnt I'm just required to do that, so can you reset the pc then unplug the power to the modem.

Customer: I cant belive this, ok I reset the modem and pc!

.....time goes by

Customer:Ok I reset the modem and pc and look it did nothing what did you expect?

Me:(getting kinda angry now so its my turn) Ok sir what is you ip address.

Customer: what, what are you talking outbout

Me: your IP ? what is it ?

Customer: I forgot how do you get there again?

Me:(trying not to ask where your degree?) you go to start run and type in winipcfg then hit enter

Customer: (he is silent, most likely embarased)

Me: what do you you have for a IP address here?

Customer: 44.45.

Me:(interupting) no the IP, not the addapter address.

Customer: 24.125.***.*** ( you know I cant put the ip in there so thats what the *s are)

Me: ok hit release than renew

Customer: release all ?

Me: no just release then renew.

Customer: its the same.

Me: ok thats a valid ip address hit ok and try to log on the interent

Customer: Its up!

Me: try yahoo.com

Customer: That came up too, yahho is up ok thats all I need thank you

Me: yeah it was most likely something to do with reseting the routeing tables

Me: are you there, anyone there ......(customer disconnected)

Me: network administrator yeah right......

:click:

The Usual Cable Modem Complications..
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

As a fairly technology-friendly household, we thought we'd go for an upgrade from 56k to the economical but much more effective 64k cable-modem that was on offer by a company called LTN (or similar..)

To cut a long, frustrating and generally quite-drawn out story a little shorter, a server failure, lightning strike and general technical idiocy meant that we couldn't sign up for a user account (to send and receive emails and claim webspace.) This was because when we'd first attempted to subscribe, it failed (and told us so), but marked us as having successfully created an account. Several stressed-out phonecalls later (including over 3 hours of hold music, all told) I finally managed to talk to someone who could help me. But the cable network was down.

Tech Support: "Here's my number.. call back when it comes back up and I'll sort it out."

So I called back when the service was resumed, only to speak to one of the friendlier, but equally knuckle-headed representatives on the front line:

----------------------------------------

Me: Harassed customer

TS: Friendly but useless tech support person.

()s - my comments..

Me: Hi, I've got a problem with subscribing to your email service, and haven't been able to send any emails for over two weeks. (..and, to stop him from trudging down the "have you tried turning your cable modem off and on again" route) I was given the number of one of your colleagues in third line support who said he could sort it out - could you put me through to Xxxxx on extension YYYY, please?

TS: I can, but there's a long delay because of the service problems we've been having.

Me: Well, could you try, please?

TS: OK

(Five minutes of hold music. I've pretty much got used to it now, and I believe I could play it almost perfectly, what with the number of times I've heard it..)

TS: I'm sorry, but I can only recommend that you go on hold with them.

Me: (Knowing that I could waste the rest of my afternoon on hold with these people..) Is there any way I can get some help quicker? I know exactly what I want them to do, but I don't want to waste any more time.

TS: Well, our quietest time is between 2am and 4am (FANTASTIC!)

Me: Er.. OK. Is there nothing you can do now? (I'm starting to get a bit frustrated now..)

TS: Well, I can give you the email address of the technical support team..

(The conversation quickly came to an end..)

----------------------------------------

Anyone want to buy a cable modem?

jim

TWO TALES FROM WAY OUT THERE...
Posted 09/01/2001 by Dewayne
 

These two tales happened to me within the last week and both are some of the weirdest I've ever had while working for a cable internet access company(think beep beep).

The first tale was is a call I handled four days ago...

(ME) = talking

(ME) = thinking

(CUST) = well...

(ME)Thank you for calling ....technical support(opening)BLAH BLAH BLAH...

(CUST) HELLO!!! My husband works for your ?@#$% company and he knows what what hes doing and we still can't connect to the internet!!! (ME)this is going to be a long call...

(ME) How can I help you today?

(CUST) Well I know our house was hit by lightning and everything was fried.(ME)great....(CUST) The PC works though and he's tested it and its fine and we want our internet NOW!!!!

(ME) Well lightning storms can do more than just fry computers they can also fry the line throughout the house. Have you checked the lines going to you cable modem?

(CUST) OF COURSE WE HAVE!!!! (the cust was fuming mad by this point)...MY HUSBAND...(ME)really great...(CUST)HAS CHANGED ALL THE CABLEING AND EVEN REPLACED THE NETWORK CARD IN THE MACHINE!!!

(ME)Yes ma'am....of course....well let's start with our normal trouble shooting....look at the lights on the cable modem...which ones are on right now?

(CUST)hold on....(some moving around sounds)....oh he must...he must have taken it with him...CLICK

Some people need to try and do a few things on there own BEFORE calling tech support.

The second tale

The call started off like a normal slow browsing call but...

(ME) opening stuff...BLAH BLAH BLAH...how can I help you?

(CUST2)Well my connection has been slow for a month and this is the first time I've gotten through to anyone to talk about it.

(ME) I'm very sorry about that...what OS are we using..

(CUST2) MAC OS 6...7...no...hats not it

(ME) Could that be 8.6

(CUST2) yeah thats it

(ME) ok lets check some settings then try some speed tests...(while we were checking his ip and rebuilding a few file the song Hi Ho Hi Ho its off to work we go starts playing and getting louder and louder then just goes away)

(CUST2 after a couple of second of listening)What are you listening to?

(ME)Nothing I though that was you t.v....

(CUST2) No, I'm in my room by myself...

(We continue and we get to our first speed test at dslreports and another song comes on....It's a small world but this time the song starts out really loud then fades away slowly...)

(CUST2) well it says I can run this test ...I dont have enough virtual memory...(he starts laughing and so do I because the song is still playing)

(ME)We can go try another...(the song seems to have gone away then it's so loud we can barley hear each other so I turn up the volume on my mic so the cust can still hear me)

(ME) Are we at the other site?

(CUST2) yeah....are you sure your not playing that stuff(song still playing and both of us were laughing)

(ME) NO! I swear, are you sure theres' no one else on the phone?

(CUST2) Yeah, I'm the only one here...

(the speed test shows he only getting 21k downloads so I get ready to send him to our network guys to figure out were the bottleneck is by running some trace routes and...)

(LITTLE GIRL VOICE)GOT YA!!! (hysterical laughter)

CLICK ...

I've never had this happen...and the guy never called back.....but we did figure out his problem. Do other people have the phantom litttle girl problem or am I the ONLY one?

Printer Problems
Posted 09/01/2001 by Jared Gudnason
 

I work for a courier company and do occasional on-site tech support calls for some of our clients running our remote order-entry program.

Well, a little while ago I was called into a clients office to check out their system. Their label printer wasn't working, and they couldn't figure out why.

When I got there, I found that they have about 4 different computers running our client, all sharing the same label printer running off of one computer acting as a print server. OK, the printer had power, fed through labels just fine, so I proceeded to look at the print server.

The lady who was in the office with me sits down at the computer acting as the print server and hits a key to kick it out of the screen saver. Nothing happens, and the fun begins.

It looks like the computer has crashed, so the lady tries Ctrl-Alt-Delete. So far so good. But that doesn't work, so I suggest she reset the computer. So she powers the monitor off and on a couple times! Imagine, that didn't work either. Now I have heard all the horror stories of people trying this, but up to now I have never seen it first hand.

I just kinda stand there dumbfound, and indicate the actual box on the floor. She finally clues in and powers down the computer. Then she turns it back on, then off, then on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off, and on. I am just sputtering during all of this. I think every time she reset the computer she was resetting the speech centers in my brain! OMG. Finally she leaves it on and it boots up, Novell login comes up. Ok, so far so good. Now she enters a username and a password, but, lo and behold, an error message pops up declaring an incorrect username/password. She re-attempts entering her password about five times before getting fed up and power cycling the monitor a couple times. Golly, that still didn't fix the problem.

I suggested that maybe she had typed her username incorrectly, but only after entering her password another couple times does she re-enter her username. WOW. It actually worked, and the computer logged in.

And what do you know, the label printer started spitting out the previous print que.

Problem fixed, client billed.

You're SURE nothing happened?!
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I work in the IT department of one of the largest engineering companies in the world; our local branch office has about 160 users for which I'm responsible, and there's only about a handful of them that I can't stand. One particularly nightmarish user is a woman I'll call Wendy. I started at this company the summer after my freshman year in college, and I came back to make a few extra bucks during Christmas break of my sophomore year. The first day back, my eyelids are drooping, and I'm just barely logged into my machine when the phone rings. Wendy's extension was in the display, so I took a deep breath and picked up the phone.

Me: "Hello, this is Me speaking."

Wendy: "Hello, how are you? I can't log in."

Me: "What seems to be the problem?"

Wendy: "Well, my password has the letter N in it, and when I type the N key, nothing happens."

Wendy's gripes are usually phantoms, but it sounded like she had a genuine issue on this one, so I went over to her desk. I asked her if anything had happened to her keyboard -- did she spill food or drink in it, did she drop it or bang it, et cetera, and her answer was a firm no, but it's never that easy with Wendy. I asked her at least a half dozen times, "You're SURE now? Nothing happened to this keyboard?" After I stopped badgering her, she excused herself to get some coffee. I tapped on a few keys in the general vicinity of the N key and, getting no output on-screen, I checked the cables and found everything plugged in tight.

"Self," I thought to myself, "I guess we'll just swap her keyboard out. I guess it's not her fault this time, the keyboard's probably just old." I unplugged the keyboard from the port and picked it up, and about half a cup of water ran down my arm.

*sigh* I calmly shook my arm off and reported Wendy to my supervisor.

Word...?
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

For info on my background, please see my story about Wendy, the luser who spilled water in her keyboard and vehemently denied having doing so, despite my intense interrogation. Another time, I received a call from a user who was unable to print from Excel to one of our networked printers. I got to her workstation and asked if she was able to print from any other applications, figuring I'd probably reinstall a drive or do something to the spooler and be fine. She said she hadn't tried to print from any other apps, so I suggested she open Word. She stared at me blank-faced and said, "What's Word?" I looked back at her, positively dumbstruck. "Microsoft Word. You know, Word." Still no luck, so I had to manually point her to the shortcut on her desktop. This all wouldn't have been so bad, but this woman uses Word every day. *sigh* The things I do to pay for school.

A+ for Dummies
Posted 09/01/2001 by ex-techie
 

Back when I was a techie at a local ISP, we would have the stupidest people call in.

I get this call from a guy and before hello he yells at me, "What problem are you all having?!" A little confused I tell him, "Sir, as far as I am aware we aren't. What problem are you experiencing?"

Him: Well my connection's not working but I'm A+ certified so I know there's nothing wrong with my computer.

Me: Well, let's check it out again, just in case. Go ahead and go to My Computer... then Control Panel... then Network.

Him: No.

Me: No?

Him: Yeah, I'm A+ certified and I've already checked that and its fine.

Me: Ok... back to my computer... now dial-up networking.

Him: No. I've checked that too.

This went on for a good 10 min while I try to take alternate routes, try different things, etc., all with a prompt answer of "No. I'm not going to do that."

Finally I told him out right that he could either do what I told him to do or hang up and fix it himself, and he finally agreed to follow my instructions.

I found the problem in one min. It's been too long for me to remember exactly what it was but it was rudimentary at best.

A+ certification my a**... I was 16 at the time with no formal training. He should have saved the money and bought a brain.

I pray that these people just make the phone calls....
Posted 09/01/2001 by Chazz
 

About a year ago, long before I knew about this glorious site, I worked at my parents' company (the same one wherin I started the "Nuke Mexico" fund.) Well one day I'm driving in, and as I round the last bend I see all sorts of flashing lights up ahead... A woman had fallen asleep at the wheel and crashed into the telephone/electric pole right outside our building. Fortunately she only received minor injuries ("seat belts save lives!") but the power and phones were out for the entire block. We all head home except for two people that are chosen to wait around for the repairmen, since no power means no burglar alarm, and of course I'm one of those people. Lemme tell you, it's downright eerie in that building without dozens of various electronics buzzing and whirring constantly.... Well anyway, the power was back up by the next morning, but because of the way the pole had cracked and leaned, the phone connection had been ripped clean off the side of our building, and it wasn't until late Friday afternoon that they were again working.

Needless to say, Monday morning we were *FLOODED* with calls from angry customers wondering why we haven't been answering our phones. For the most part a simple explanation was enough to get sympathy, or at least get them to stop shouting, but a few cases come directly to mind.

1) A woman calls up saying that she's been trying to fax us. When told that the phones were down: "I'm not trying to *call* you I'm trying to *FAX* you!!!"

2) "Well, why didn't you send out an e-mail telling us?" Uh, gee, maybe because most of our customers never *gave* us e-mail addresses?

3) (and I'm dead serious with this one) "Couldn't you have just hooked in a cell phone?" Yes, folks, you read right. He wanted us to plug in a cell phone. Nevermind the fact that cell phones have their own numbers, nevermind the fact that there was no functioning line to plug *INTO*.

4) "Well, I really needed help! Couldn't you have called us from home or something?" Yes, ma'am, we're going to work 8 hours, then go home and call almost 10,000 numbers *just* to see if they need help. Maybe she thought we were psychic?

Well that's about all I can think of at the moment on this topic, but trust me, there's plenty more out there...

Owww
Posted 09/01/2001 by Chazz
 

I just got back from a friend's house, just chillin' as they say. Well, while we were kicking back and beating each other up in various videogames, the ever faithful WinAmp was providing us with tunes in the background. Eventually, I excuse myself to the fascilities. On my way back, I hear the opening to "Bodies."

For those who haven't heard this thrash metal masterpiece, it begins with the singer whispering, two quick cymbal crashes, then a *VERY LOUD SCREAM*. So I hear this whispering at a normal singing volume just as I walk into the room and notice that my friend is sitting at the computer and that the mouse is on the volume control which is way over to the right..... I'm somewhat infamous for being quick witted, but a slug that's been out in the sun too long could have figured out what was about to happen. I take a dive away from the doorway that would make an action movie star jealous, and *KAWHAMMO* This guy's got thick walls in his house, and I don't even want to THINK about how loud it was at ground zero. Needless to say, the sound suddenly dies out about halfway through the scream, and I make my way into the room to see him sitting in the chair, WinAmp paused, holding his ears.

The good part is that the high-pitched whine in his hearing went away after a few minutes.... The bad part is that every other word out of his mouth for the rest of my time there was "WHAT?!?"

desktop drama
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

A friend of mine who was working for a maintenance company that dealt mainly with home users was called out to the home of a wealthy business man.

The usual steps had been taken, the helpdesk attempted to solve the problem over the phone.

One of the things he had been asked to do was to "right click on the desktop". He did this and said that nothing had happened, so an engineer was despatched.

When he arrived, the man was out, and he was shown to the PC by his wife and was left alone.

Just as well, for written in large letters on the top of a very large, expensive desk was the work "click".

He managed to get out before hysteria took over.

Help, I need somebody!!!!
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

An old lady rang the helpdesk and asked why noone had called round to fix her PC.

They couldn't understand what she was talking about as she hadn't logged a call.

She explained that she had clicked the Windows "help" button a week ago and wanted to know why it was taking so long for an engineer to turn up.

No Title
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I was once asked, quite seriously, by someone that if he put a 3 inch bezel on a 5 inch drive, could he then use 3 inch disks.

Not just computer idiots.....
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

In the 20 years I've been using computers, when I tell an idiot user story to the "average" person they don't understand it and then usually say some comment about how hard computer are and that they need to be made "easier" for most people. I look at it as people not wanting to learn new technology.

To illustrate this I love to tell a story my Grandfather told me years ago. Back in the 40's or 50's, he worked in an Appliance store in Washington state. One day some backwood Hillbillies come into the store to by a new stove. They pick out one they like, pay for it, and haul it off.

Sometime later they return, complaining about how awfull this stove works. They say it does not get hot enough to cook and it smokes too much. Since they had bought a gas stove, my Grandfather was very worried about the smoke bit. He said that he would come to their place and look it over.

When he got there, the Hillbillies showed him the stove. It indead was smoking. It turns out that they had put some wood in the oven and had a fire going, trying to get the stovetop burners warm enough to cook. To these folks, they only stove they knew about was the old wood burning types. The new technology of a gas stove had yet to dawn on them.

No Title
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I provided tech support at a military base a few years ago. One repeated call that comes to mind because it came from officers went like this.

"Hello, Tech Support"

Response: My computer won't come on. The screen is black.

After spending some time going over the possible problems, I asked them to look at the On/Off switch again. And again they the would say " I told you it is in the official position" I asked the officer to spell Official. The response was O F F. It is scary to think these guys are running the military!

first day on the job
Posted 09/01/2001 by Angel
 

I took a position at an ISP at 16 yrs old, I was nervous and they decided to put me on the phones right away.

Suprisingly I took the first two calls w/ no problem, the customers were great and let me fix the problems easily,

but the third call floored me it was an elderly man,

he began the call normal, but half way through the call

he began to get strange, how strange you ask?

He began to cluck as if he were a chicken, then breathing heavy, and then it sounded as if he were flatulating into the phone, I was mortified, and I wanted to laugh so bad

because my bosses were listening and in hysterics. but I survived the call. It was an expierience that prepared me for ANY phone conversation.

The Black Wyse
Posted 09/01/2001 by Kevin C.
 

A long time ago in a galaxy not all that far away I worked for a company which provided data via dumb terminals. One summer day I received a call from one of our more important clients that his terminal had failed. While troubleshooting by phone I noticed that the Quick Brown Fox message I was sending him elicited an audible beep, so I knew the terminal wasn't completely dead. I had him try all the standard things including power cycling, adjusting brightness/contrast etcetera.

He insisted that there was nothing visible, not even a glimmer of the green CRT showing so I grabbed a spare terminal and walked over to his office (about a mile-and-a-half away.) When I got there I saw his desk from across the floor and was startled to see a black WYSE 70 terminal. In all my experience, all of them were a light grey, but this one was a nice black case. I thought it was particularly cool and wanted to get one for my desk at the office. Anyway, he was away from the desk so I went over and took a closer look. The keyboard was also a black case, but the keys were rather cruddy grey, except the ones he obviously used a lot, and those the tops were clean.

Anyway, I tried the contrast and brightness and noticed the slightest glimmer of green in the upper corner. A closer look and I saw that the rather normal layer of dust on the screen was darker than usual so I swiped at it with a finger and was rewarded by a bright streak of green! I took out some paper towels and cleaned the glass off. The screen was so bright I had to turn down the brightness. I examined the case more closely and realized the black was some form of dirt that was amazingly uniform over the whole surface. I had never seen anything like it before. Anyway, the client returned and I spotted the missing clue. In his teeth was the largest cigar I had ever seen out of a novelty shop! It had to be over a foot long and was puffing out a cloud of amazing stench (I told you this was an old story! Can you imagine that in this day of no smoking offices...) Anyway, even with the now usable monitor, he insisted on the terminal being swapped.

So, I ended up with a black Wyse on my desk, but not for long. The entire office was amazed at the lovely finish, but were repelled by the odor, so I had to clean it up. (I even had to open it up and clean the inside of the case and blow the dust off the boards!)

If you kick it hard enough.....
Posted 09/01/2001 by Abe
 

I've dealt with my fair share of incompitent customers and help-desk staff. Here is a short story about the later.

A year or so ago I was working as second-level support for a rather large restaurant company ( think L@ndry's). We owned 5 restaurant concepts (like JCS, Rainforest Cafe...). My supervisor put the idea in my head to begin harassing one of the girls on first-level support. She was quite good at our propriatary software, but horrible at hardware and Windows. Anyway, the girl, lets call her Anne, was an easy target for practical jokes. When she went to lunch one day I unplugged her keyboard from her computer. My boss and I waited patiently until Anne returned from lunch. It took her a minute or two to try and use her keyboard. We watched as she tryed a few times to type, and then, with no warning she hauled back and KICKED her compuer. Hard. My boss and I quickly ducked around the corner and just hit the floor laughing. She tried for about 5 minutes to figure out what was wrong with her computer before becoming frusterated and storming off. I quickly ran over and hooked her keyboard back up, and rebooted her computer. Try as she might, Anne was never able to live that one down.

**Names changed to protect the guilty.

Magnetic Personality
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I just got a phone call from a customer who is looking to replace his 2 Gigabyte hard drive for another. Seems he has had a bit of bad luck erasing his hard drive. Seems he used an industrial magnet to erase his data and left the magnet on the drive. Now the read/write heads will not move from the center spindle.

Where he came up with this idea is beyond me! Maybe his day job is at a fast food restaurant and he asks "Do you want degauss with that?"

It's a secret...
Posted 09/01/2001 by NickR
 

[Background]

I'm a Linux / network tech & I'm at a customer installing a Linux email server on their LAN to talk to their ISP - they previously used a Winblows box to get their mail - this box blew up (literally!)...

[The support call]

I call the ISP to get the IP addresses of their DNS servers.

Me: Hi, I'm just setting up this Linux box to connect to you, could you give me the IP addresses of your DNS servers please?

Them: We don't support Linux.

Me: That's OK, I don't need any Linux support, I just need the IP addresses of your DNS servers.

[repeat above 3 times]

Them: Err, OK I have what you need here - ns0.isp.net & ns1.isp.net

Me: No, those are the host names, I need the IP addresses.

Them: That's all I have here - that's what everyone uses.

[5 minute explanation by me to them on why this won't work]

Me: I really need the IP addresses - can you ask someone else?

Them: Ok, hang on... [several minutes pass]

Them: I'm sorry sir, but I'm not allowed to tell you the IP addresses of our DNS servers - they're secret(!)

Me: [after several seconds of stunned silence] That's crazy! Of course they're not secret! If I had a working 'net connection, I could ping them by name & find the adresses that way.

Them: I'm sorry sir, but I have instructions not to give out that information.

Me: [thinking laterally] Ok, pretend I'm a Windows user & I've lost my dialup networking setup, how would you get me re-connected?

Them: Oh, that'd be easy. I'd get you to re-install from our CD.

Me: [realising I'm never going to win] OK, thanks.

[End of call]

So I call up a friend, get him to ping the DNS names they gave me & read me the IP addresses.

Problem solved!!

Idiots don't know how to use the phone system
Posted 09/01/2001 by Seamus
 

I'm not a tech(but I'd like to be), but my stories involve technology and idiots ringing a callcentre.

Bit of background:-

I work in a an analog paging callcentre in Ireland. For those of you who are not American, paging someone involves, ringing this callcentre using an individual number that corresponds to someones pager, and leaving your message for a person, and we send it out in text form(SMS-style) to a pager. We have a block of around 100,000 nos. beginning with 21 or 20 that we use to assign to pagers, so the callers ring (Dublin-01)21xxxxx or 20xxxxx. The last 5 digits are used to i.d. the pager. Unfortunately due to the popularity of our great GSM cellular networks, very few people know what a pager is.......

1) The amount of people who do not know how to dial other countries astounds me. The area code for London is 202 and New York is 212 (or something like that). You can see the calls we could get.

M: You've got a wrong no.

C: Yeah, I dialled London on 21211223344

M: right, you have actually dialled 2121122

C: why are you calling out just the first few?(repeats whole no. again)

M: You have to dial 0044 before that no to get through to London.....

C: My son has lived in London for the past 6 years, and I have never had trouble with this no. before(an obvious lie, unless someone else has been dialling for her for the last 6 years)

M: That's impossible, just add 0044 and try again.

at this point they will usually just hang up irritated or sometimes demand to be put through(which I could do), and get even more angry when I insist that I'm not the operator and we're not going to pay for her to call London. Happens with people ringing their own country too, from Ireland. One foreign guy demanded his money back(he was on a payphone) when he misdialled to us, and went berserk when I told him plainy, that I can't do that.(why should he get refunded for being an idiot?!)

2)Another big problem: We have 3 Mobile(Cellular) Operators, and they use area codes to allow people dial their network. The codes are 087, 086 and 085.

2 years ago, a number change was brought in, where subscribers had to add a 2 to the start of their 6 digit mobile no. (to facilitate growth of the network). Yes, you've guessed it, a lot of people did, and still do, 2 years later, put the 2 before the AREA CODE, which gave them 208x123456, despite 8 months of in-your-face advertising about the change, and ultimately get through to us. The strangest call I ever got about this though was:

M: I think you've dialled a wrong number there caller(no. was standard 2087xxx wrong number)

C: Oh, I was trying to get my son's mobile, it's 087xxxxxxx

M: (She wasn't from Dublin, so the only way she could get through to me was to dial 01, so maybe she was diverted I thought) Does he have a pager?

C: No, but he's in Dublin, so that means I dial 012 before his no., isn't that right?

M:(Where the $^%& did she get that from?!, she must have just made it up) No, just dial the number as normal.

C: Oh that's very clever, thanks.

M: (Smacking my head off my KB and reaching for (another) cup of coffee) BYE!

3)Finally, the big one, sorry about the length; about 70% of our clients use their pagers as answering machines, because they're faster, and more friendly for the caller to talk to an actual person. A lot of these divert calls from their mobile to us when they don't wanna talk to these idiots.

Anyway our opening spiel goes: 'Thank you for calling (company name- contains the word 'MESSAGE'), what is your MESSAGE please for John Smith? 50% of the time, the callers first sentence will be:

C: Is that you John? (They actually think this person answers his phone by asking to take a message for himself)

M: No, it's his paging service, can I take your message?

C: How come you answered his phone?

M: I didn't, you've been diverted. You were looking for John Smith?

C: Em yeah, can I speak to him?

M: He's not here, I don't work with him, or have ever met him, I just take messages for him(!).

C: When will he be back?

M: (on mute)scream at the screen(off mute)I DON'T KNOW!Would....you.....like.....to.....leave....a.....message?

C: When will he get it?

M: In 30 seconds.

C: No, I'm in a rush, I'll get him another way(30 secs is too slow?!!). Thanks, Bye.

M: (Just Hang Up)

All of us working here have, at one point or another, stood up, screamed at the now silent phone, 'Why don't any of you &%$"ers listen to me?!!!' and walked into the canteen.

Terminology
Posted 09/01/2001 by Jimbo
 

I work in a computer store that services a large portion of the state I live in. Needless to say, that means we deal with ALL manners of people and user-levels, and selling/seervicing computers to some of those people can be a real chore, especially since every one of them is an "expert."

Here's some of the terminology these "expert" customers use, the terms "expert" customers pretend to know. I've provided the definitions of the terms they try to use (being "experts" and all...). Maybe some fo you sales/service people out there will find this translation guide useful...:

Memories: The correct term is "Memory." The word is like "deer," both singular and plural.

Memory (as referring to storage): Memory is RAM, and you don't install programs on it.

"Walmarts" computer (yes, they really say Walmarts): Walmart does not make computers, they sell HP and Compaq computers.

Tower: this refers to your actual tower, not to be confused with "Hard Drive," which is the storage device on your computer. We had a lady who bought a Gatew*y and explained to the tech her hard drive didn't work. Gateway sent her a new hard drive, and truth be told, her motherboard and processor were bad. May also be called "Case" or "CPU."

Modem: See "tower"

"Windows and ME": Correctly, it's "Windows ME" or "Millenium." Ahem, if Windows ME were really about YOU, it would work better.

Hard Disks: Also known as hard drives, not referring to "floppy" disks that you insert into a disk drive (I quoted a customer who was insistant on buying a box of ten "hard disks" and her eyes nearly jumped out of her skull)

AOL: We will not be held responsible, and therefore not service, for their putrid software.

Windows: see AOL

Napster: see Windows

Winamp: see Napster

Internets: There is only one internet, and yes, you need to sign up to access it, it does not come "with" the computer

Mouse: Not the "hand thingy."

Single Click: The act of clicking the left button on your mouse "once"

Double Click: the act of clicking the left button on your mouse "twice"

Click (yes, this confuses people): the act of depressing the button on your mouse

Right Click ("I AM clicking the mouse in the right way"): the act of clicking the right button on your mouse.

Monitor: How you see what your computer is doing. The name on your monitor is who manufactured the monitor, not necessairily the brand of computer you have.

Virus: Malicious programming designed to spread itself and potentially hurt your files in your computer; not what happens when you touch your powered-on motherboard with a screwdriver (true story)

Back-up: a useful way to protect important files in case something happens to your computer (why don't more people know this?)

Gigabyte: A unit for hard drive size, not an Intel processor speed.

Apple: Paperweight

486: Computer from the early 90's. Not designed for Win98, 2000, or ME. Not 486 MHz.

386: Boat Anchor

286: Antique

Playstation: Not a computer

Overclock: Something that no reputable computer service center will do (so don't bother asking).

Insurance estimate: Performed when your phone line/power line/house is hit by lightning. Damage is usually covered under home owners insurance. We will not say your entire computer is destroyed so you can buy a new computer if only your modem/power supply is bad, so don't ask.

Can't Login
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I work in a school, and over the summer holidays we had upgraded lots of our admin machines from Windows 95 to Windows NT 4 Workstation.

To top it off, we've had lots of new members of staff join us.

One senior memeber of staff came moaning to me that she could not log on. I quickly pointed out that just because my name was listed as the last person to use it, did not mean I made the user accounts, and quicky directed her to the right person (our Burser)

I was just leaving to go home and she found me again (why is that always the case?) this time to moan that she had a user account but could not get the Control, Alt Delete screen to go away... I pointed out that she should be using the delete key in the group of 6 keys above the cursors and not the number pad... I quickly ran before she could complain any further... I hope there is not a note in my tray tomorrow morning....

Reinstalling of MS Word through Windows
Posted 09/01/2001 by Darkpawn
 

Okay, I am quite sure we have heard of some really good stories well here's one.

I am Sr. Tech Suppport Rep, I work for a medical device company and so the other day this doctor calls who I just fixed his notebook.

He calls in and says that he is having trouble with his Windows side (We partion the notebook), keeps getting error messages when starting, saying missing, this VxD and that VxD. After going through about 20 of them his Windows doesn't start up.

Me: When was it working last?

Him: Yesterday?

Me: Have you added or changed anything?

Him: Well, when I got my notebook back MS Word was not on

it anymore (His HD crashed and I replaced it) and I

was trying to reinstall it

Me: Okay? And how did oyu do this?

Him: Well, I tried reinstalling Windows to get it back.

Me: Okay, (Trying not to laugh)MS Word or Wordpad? (Just

to make sure he was talking about MS word or not).

Him: MS Word.

Me: Okay, MS Word is not part of MS Windows, it's part

of MS Office.

Him: Oh, you mean I have to go and get it.

Me: Yes.

Him: Don't you guys have it?

Me: Yes, but,that it is only for our use.

Him: Okay.

After all that told him to send his notebook back and I would fix it he destroyed the partion by doing this.

Unreal? And he's a doctor................AUGH!

Please bear in mind he did all this without calling to find out first.

Thanks,

Darkpawn

No Title
Posted 09/01/2001 by seamus
 

Just happened right now - colleague dumbness:

When our calls come in, it flashes up on the screen, and a colleague of mine had been receiving loads of calls with no-one there. We always assume someone has just hit redial by accident or has their phone on mute, and we release the call.

He spent the next 10 mins going 'Hello?Hello?Hello? for about 5 secs before hanging up, on EVERY call. Then he looked down - his headset was disconnected from the box. D'oh!

100%
Posted 09/01/2001 by SkyHacker007
 

Me. Hello helpdesk...

User. Yes, I am unable to access my Lotus Notes over the Internet.

( We JUST introduced a GUI email program after years pine, believe or not. )

Me. Ok thats not a problem...Please open Internet Explorer.

User. Ok I've done that...

Me. Now in the area where you have www addresses please erase 100% of all information.

User. ok I've done that...

Me. Ok now enter this info...( enter email info here BLAH BLAH )

User. Ok it says " Unable to open page.."

Me. So you have www at the start right?

User. Yes

Me. Please...In the address area, where you enter www.blah.com info, erase 100% of the info there. All the info must be removed...It ALL has to go...ALL of it...no www no http. Nothing.

User. Ok now enter this info...( enter email info here BLAH BLAH )

User. Ok it says " Unable to open page.."

Me. So you have www at the start right?

User. Yes

Me. (---What I want to say---) What part of ALL and or 100% does your lackluster brain not freaking understand? At what point did I say erase everything EXCEPT www? Are you mentally able to understand instructions? Put your three old on the phone, maybe I can actually get them to do this simple task.

(---What I actually say---) Ok now lets return to the address bar.

SkyHacker007. please send beer...I so need it.

High Speed Internet
Posted 09/01/2001 by Broadband_man
 

Was in the call center one night and was taking calls as usual. Just finished with my last call, and got the next gentleman.

Stated that he had a trouble ticket. Ticket states:

"Having problem getting higher than 28.8 on line. Ok 2 test, Customer states that he does not have modem or equipment yet??

Customer was cussing to no end because he was getting around 53k connection on his line. I looked into the records and noticed he was on an RT based circuit. I asked what modem was he using to connect, he told me US robotics. I informed him that he is on digital pair gain system. I explained that this system has a seperate voice channel for voice calls only not data. The DSL side of the line is supposed to handle the data. He states that if I cannot get his 53k connection back that he can cancel his service. He stated that we are stupid and do not know how to support his level of service. With a smile in my eye I gave him the number to cancel service. I figure if you are worried about that small connection than keep it then.

One question came to mind: He was ready to get 1.5m/128 line to his house once he set up the equipment, and installed the software, boom he would have had something greater than 53k

I feel this definition needs to be entered:

RT-AKA. Remote Terminal -a intermediary connection between C.O. and DSLAM, Usually serves people with high speed internet from far distances

C.O. Central Office, place where dial tone comes from.

I will always ask if you rebooted! See a pattern?
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I had a friend who lived about 400 miles away who was very scatterbrained. She was an older woman who was going back to college, and they required her to have e-mail access. She got it free at the college, but she wanted to have a computer at home. So somehow, she managed to "know this guy" who built her one, but it always had problems, and she was running AOL, and always having problems with that. So I'd get e-mail from her about two dozen times a year. Once in a while, they were a doozy. Since she didn't know proper terminology, it would be like pulling teeth:

E-mail 1: When I boot up I get an error!

Reply: What kind of error?

E-mail 2: A windows error!

Reply: What does the error say?

E-mail 3: That it can't find something.

Reply: Can't find what?

E-mail 4: Some file...

[..]

E-mail 22: The error says, and I quote, "Cannot find Coo Laa bang bang proggie quicksand exxee..."

Reply: It sounds like your Furby needs to be turned off.

E-mail 23: What's a furby?

[..]

After a while, I finally explained to her I needed the EXACT name, and a friend said, "Cannot find C:\Progra~1\Quickc~1\qcstart.exe," and I immediately guessed it was a problem with her Quickcam. My reward (after 45 e-mails) was "Oooh! I knew you'd know it, you are SO smart! Yaaaay!"

What gets me is the other 90% of her problems are solved this way:

E-mail 1: HELP! I am writing from my university account, my machine is frozen!

Reply: Did you reboot the computer?

E-mail 2: Yay! That fixed it, thank you!!!!

Every. Damn. Time. After about 40 requests, she still doesn't remember to reboot the computer when it freezes or crashes too much. UGH!

My rant, my company, my hell...
Posted 09/01/2001 by George Rand
 

I remember when having an MCSE meant something.

I can't recall how many "MCSE" people I have met who wouldn't know a window from a scroll bar. It's really bad in temp agencies, where no one checks anyone's credentials, or if they do, it's like "MCSE Validation Program of Upper Gaspala" or something in some distant land where Microsoft can only be found on pirated CDs.

Where I work, we hire temps to work on various projects with server farms. Most of them wouldn't know a cable from their own fingers if they weren't color coded. I don't know where they hell they find these people. Stupidity knows no national bounds, I get Dumbasses from Detroit, Idiots from India, and scores of just plain clueless people who were assigned a job they didn't even CLAIM they knew anything about. We're not sure if the PERSON is lying, or just the temp agency itself.

Case #1: A guy who spoke no English was sent to program voice over IP connections. No one could get him to do anything, because no one could get him to understand. He'd just nod and point to the thing you just pointed at, and then stand there until you left, and then he'd try and browse the web. He was fired because he pinched a female coworker's behind.

Case #2: This guy's replacement was from Tennessee, and had some computer experience, but nothing past a dumb terminal system at a bank in the early 1980s. At least he was willing to learn and could follow instructions. He quit when a real job came through somewhere else.

Case #3: A very angry man from some Caribbean island. This one claimed he was an MCSE, programmed "for the Internet" and other such things. We had him work on some NT Servers, and he screwed up everything. When you asked what he was doing, he'd get mad, and stare you in the eyes without blinking while shouting at you. He scared a lot of us. One day, he didn't show up for work, and we never saw him again.

Case #4: We really liked this guy. He wanted to know everything about what we were doing, and was a rapid learner. He was too good to be true. It turns out he was a kleptomaniac, and stole nearly everything that wasn't nailed down, even useless crap like those plates that come off the PC case when you install a card, rack screws, and broken RJ45 plugs. He had problems. He was caught when he tried to sneak a keyboard out to his car, and they found a LOT of stuff in his trunk that was from our Network Department. What makes this worse is that months later, the temp agency tried to reassign him to us AGAIN! You mean you kept a guy we prosecuted? Jesus H. Christ!

Case #5: Another "MCSE" expert with a "CCNA." At this point, we just know that if you really had such things, you wouldn't be a temp. Sure enough, when we told him to check the lights on a Cisco switch, he went to the thermostat on the wall. Then to a desktop hub. Then to a ROLM phone. Dear God, people, are you insane? Do you people claim to be surgeons and then try and do an appendectomy of someone's foot? This guy broke more things than anyone else we ever had. He never used a screwdriver to unscrew, oh no, he'd use them to PRY THINGS OPEN. What made it worse was he had his own Leatherman...

Case #6: This one we just fired. Why? He released a virus to a closed network. Via a backup tape. Damn, how'd he do that? Apparently he was mass-copying floppies when no one was looking, and one had a virus.

Case #7: We call him the ghost because we never see him. I think he's worked maybe 10 hours total in the last few months. He claims to be working tons of overtime, and the same clueless fucks in our HR department that hired the temp agency in the first place PAY HIM! My boss got in trouble for making a temp do overtime, and no matter how often he says the guy never shows up, they just don't listen, and a week later, complain again.

These cases are only in the last two months. I have got to get out of here. They just had a huge round of layoffs, and I am applying elsewhere. Thanks for letting me vent.

The way of the fax machine...
Posted 09/01/2001 by Claudine
 

Do you know how to add fax capabilities to a cable-modem?

Take off your PCMCIA fax-modem from your laptop and insert it on the cable-modem!

Its formated but not partitioned
Posted 09/01/2001 by Marvin
 

On a New Zealand auction web site, TradeYou (Name Changed), there was a 1GB hdd, which I enquired about. My question was does it come partitioned/formated. The response was:

The seller has posted a response to the question you asked on their Trade

You auction.

AUCTION TITLE: Seagate IDE 1 Gigabyte Hard Drive

YOUR QUESTION:

does it come partitioned/formatted?

SELLER'S ANSWER:

it comes formatted - I could partition it for you if you'd like...

Loop around
Posted 09/01/2001 by Ken Allgood
 

I use to be the Hardware Tech Support for a company with about 100 computers (and even more somewhat "less than intelligent" workers when it came to computers).

One day, Accounting department calls me in with a computer problem. I walk in, to find that they have completely re-arranged the office. One of the Accountants who had moved her stuff and her computer around says that her computer will no longer boot. It worked for a little bit after they moved everything around, but just stopped working. Wouldn't boot up at all, no power signal.

So I get behind the PC, PC is plugged into power strip. Ok, that's good. Follow the power strip, it's plugged into the UPS Backup system. Ok, that's good too.. hmmmmmm.. Follow the UPS Backup system to see where it's plugged into... It's plugged back into the same power strip, nothing is connected to the wall plug!!

Took me 30 minutes to quit laughing after that one..

Electronic Raincoat
Posted 09/01/2001 by BigItaly
 

I am currently a Network Admin/Setup Technician Agilent Technologies but before this I worked at Best Buy, and let me tell you the customers are just as bad as the support calls we get.

(M) me of course

(C) customer - older lady 40-50ish

This takes place during the winter here in Cali and it's pouring buckets.

(M) Hi, is there anything I can help you with today?

****keep in mind that this is in the audio dept****

(C) Yes, I need to know where you keep your raincoats.

(M) (perplexed) Raincoats ma'am?

(C) Yes, raincoats. Are you hard of hearing?

(M) No ma'am I'm not and we don't carry raincoats, I'm sorry.

(C) Yes you do.(getting angry) Now can you quit wasting my time and just point to where they are at.

(M) I'm sorry ma'am but I can assure you that we have never and will never carry raincoats.

(C) (really angry, face is begining to turn red) Then find someone who's been here longer than you and have them find the raincoat section for me.

(M) Look ma'am, I'v been here almost 2 years, I'm sure I would have found a raincoat section by now if there was one. We don't carry them.

(C)(swearing and mumbling under her breath, then blows up) What the hell kind of store is this that you dont carry raincoats in the rainy season!

(M) We're an electronics store ma'am: tv's, stereo, speaker, computer, etc. (points to wall of receivers) See ma'am, E-lec-tron-ics.

(C) So! What the f*ck does that have to do with anything!

How stupid are you?

(M) Well ma'am I'm not the one shopping for a raincoat in a major electonics store plus I'm pretty sure an electronic raincoat wouldn't be too wise, but you're more than welcome to test anything elctronic out in the rain - you have my blessing, have a nice day.

*Needless to say she was quite upset at my last remark as everything I said was with a big smile, totaly sincere and as if I was talking to a 5 year old. She found a manager and complained about my customer service relating to our raincoat dept and stormed out of the building. I had the manager close to tears when I told him the story.

Never Assume Anything
Posted 09/01/2001 by Scott Knowler
 

Each day we are bombarded by help desk calls and many can only be placed in the stupidity catagory, but this one deserves a catagory of its own.

) An employee called in and said that her computer locked up.

) I asked what she was just doing before this happened.

) She replied that she wasn't even near her computer when it locked up.

) We checked the normal problems. Does anything happen when she moves her mouse? What happens when she presses alt-f4? Can she press CTRL-ALT-DEL to log off winNT?

) None of that helps so I ask her to reboot her system.

) After several attempts I discover she is just pressing the power button on the monitor!

) "Miss, you need to press the power buton on your computer not the monitor."

) "This is my computer!" She insists.

) "No not the TV screen press the button on the computer tower."

) "Oh! You mean the box I always put my feet on while I sit here?"

) After instructing her how to press the reboot button she does so and we wait. Nothing happens. No lights on computer tower or on monitor.

) Ask her to check the power cables and make sure they are plugged in.

) "It's hard to see under the desk"

) "Well do you have a lamp or flashlight that you can use?"

) "Just a minute while I get one"

) Several minutes later she comes back and takes me off of hold ... "I'm sorry it took so long I couldn't find the flashlight in the dark."

) "In the dark! Why are your lights off?"

) "Because the men outside are working on the power lines. I had to borrow a flashlight from them because I couldn't find one. Now what do you want me to do?"

) She still didn't realize that without power her computer would not work! And worse yet she so eager to fix the problem and impress her boss!

) Who says we read resume's anymore!

Sigh...
Posted 09/01/2001 by XeRXeS
 

In my last job, people submitted requests to me via an Active Server Page, and I accessed another Active Server Page to recieve them.

One day I found that I could not access the request form. I pinged the server and got a response, so I knew that it wasn't because the server was down. I then tried to access the form that the (l)users use. No response. I then tried to access some of the normal HTML pages on the intranet, and they displayed fine.

As a precaution, I checked a few more computers in the office to ensure the problem was not just with my computer, but they were all suffering from the same problem.

As the main intranet server wasn't in my building (it was in our headquarters elsewhere) I had to phone the helpdesk to ask what the problem was...

(It's important to mention at this point that normal staff take calls initially, log the fault and pass it on to the techs...)

Me: I'd like to report a fault with the intranet.

Helpdesk: What's the problem?

Me: Active Server Pages pages won't display.

Helpdesk: ??

Me: I can access all the normal HTML pages, but the ASP forms fail to load.

Helpdesk: I see.... I'll pass that on, thanks for calling

*click*

A few minutes later I recieved an auto-email, telling me that my call had been logged. I was a little irritated to notice that my "fault" had been logged as "Intranet not working" :o/

Just as I predicted, I got a phone call shortly after that, from a Tech who obviously didn't find a problem loading the intranet and therefore just assumed that it was a (l)user error.

Tech: *What* did you say the problem was?

Me: I can't access ASP files.

Tech: I was told the intranet was "not working" for you.

Me: No, I told the Helpdesk that I couldn't access ASP files, but the HTML files displayed fine.

Tech: (Obviously thinking that I just think I know the problem when I'm actually just incompetent...) Could you tell me a page that you're having trouble seeing?

Me: Yup... http://...

Tech: (Stopping me mid-url) Are you clicking on the menu at the side?

Me: (Sigh) No, I'm giving you the URL of the file I need to access.

Tech: Well, could you tell me what you're clicking on in the menu?

Me: *Sighing as I go through the lengthy process of describing how to get to the form via menus*

Tech: (Surprised that there *is* an error) Well, we'll get back to you. *click*

Turns out later they just had to reboot the server, and everything was fine...

I know there are a LOT of stupid people out there with computers, but some of these things could be sorted out a *lot* quicker if Techs didn't treat everyone as a moron from square one...

\\XeRXeS

No Title
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I had an end-user call to say that while she was typing a letter, the computer was adding in spaces after she would type a few characters. So she would type in a few characters, then her computer would add several spaces then she would type a couple of more characters and more spaces. She closed the word processing program and reopened it and the same thing occurred. I suggested her keyboard was sticking . I advised her to power off the computer and swap keyboards with another machine and see if the same thing would happen. She switched keyboards, and started her computer and program. It was still adding in the spaces. I told her I would come look at her machine. I showed up to look to see if there was a virus on her machine. I had her show me what was happening. She started typing, and the spaces were appearing after every few characters. I looked at the keyboard and realized what the problem was. She was a very endowed woman in the chest area. Everytime she would get close to her keyboard to type, her breasts would lay on the space bar, causing the extra space characters to appear. She was extrememly embarassed and asked I not record the incident in our database.

You mean I need that?
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

This is a classic revisited. I took this call a few hours ago...

Me: Thank you for calling *blah blah blah* How may I help you?

Cust: Yeah, I decided I needed more space on my hard drive, so I went through and deleted anything that looked like it wasn't necessary.

Me: Okay, and what's the computer doing now?

Cust: It doesn't start.

(Don't you just love those answers?)

Me: Do you get any kind of error message?

Cust: It says something about not finding system.ini and using a disk to run something called scanreg -restore.

Me trying not to laugh, cry, and scream at the same time: Well, sir, you probably shouldn't have arbitrarily deleted files like that. You deleted files that Windows needs to start up. You'll have to run a system recovery to fix this. Unfortunately, that will erase everything on your hard drive.

Cust: I don't want to do that! I can't lose my stuff!

Me: Sir, you already have. You can't access your data without Windows.

Cust sounding humbled: Okay.

Yes, yes. I know. I could have talked him through getting into DOS and possibly rebuilding the registry (though I'm sure he deleted a lot more than just system.ini) or at least running an installation from the CABS folder, but I think the guy will learn a much better lesson on random file deletion if he has to reinstall EVERYTHING.

I THINK I SHALL NOW BE SICK
Posted 09/01/2001 by ANONYMOUS ISP TECH
 

I am an ISP support manager and have a story that might be one of the worst calls I have ever had [But probably will be outdone sometime in the future.] We try to go beyond normal support and also troubleshoot e-mail/connectivity/webpage/dns/domain/network/home/etc problems which explains why I tried to help him until I could help him no longer. This happened 2 1/2 years ago but the tale is about to be told. Names and actual site info has been changed to protect the deranged.

I come into work after a weeks vacation and speak to a tech trying to help a customer access a website that he/she invested more than three hours to pull up a site that this person can pull up from another system but not his home PC.

I get this turned over to me due to nobody else being able to figure out what is going on.

Me: Hello. This is _______ from _______ and what site are you having problems accessing?

Caller: I goto a webpage fine from the library I have in my favorites but can't get it from home. Your service is blocking it.

Me: We currently have no filtering or cache services active on your account. Your Internet connection is open to all WWW content and you should be able to access it from home, unless this is a protected network you are trying to get into. What is the URL?

Caller: It is http://www._________.org The techs that were helping me with this get a webpage for farm machinery when they were helping me find it.

Me: Do you get the same page when you type in the address.

Caller: Yes

Me: Okay. Let me pull it up. *typing in address* I get the same thing. Are you sure you have the proper site address?

Caller: Yes. It pulls up something completely different when I'm at the library.

Me: What is it?

Caller: A website that has nothing to do with this.

Me: Is it sports, personal, weather, stocks, etc.?

Caller: Look...this is something with you guys and you need to fix the problem.

After arguing back and forth with them for about ten minutes I get the bright idea to knock off the www. at the beginning. This is the sick part;

Me: Uh, ______ I think I found your page.

Caller: Really? How did you get to it.

Me: Well, I removed the www. from the URL and it told me, Click Here To View Illegal Pre-Teen Boys. Is this the site you are trying to view?

Caller: Oh god, how disgusting! That is very sick! How did you get to that site again?

Me: This site is something we would have never taken any time to research or even begin helping you find. This is highly illegal and wouldn't be surprised if the local/state and/or federal authorities will track and possibly take legal action against you. Blah blah blah Our company does not condone or take any responsibility for this call and please do not ever ask us to EVER handle webpage URL problems again. I am documenting this in your notes. Thank you. *click*

End of call.

Two weeks later...

Caller: It's me again. They must have moved that page because it gives me an error message. Can you search and find the page for me?

Me: No ______. Never call here again. Have a nice day. *click*

End of story.

Where is the unsubscribe button?
Posted 09/01/2001 by Jaime Herazo B.
 

Since i started forgetting my tech support time, i started believing that there was hope against stupidity. But today i was reminded that it's harder than i thought.

In a mailing list i'm in, somebody started repeatedly asking to get unsubscribed. When somebody got angry at this and answered him that he needed to click the link at the bottom of every message that says "Unsubscribe", he answered (cut-and-pasted from the message):

"From right to left: calendar, perks, quotes, people, channels, internet, favorites, my aol, my files, print, mail ctr., write, and read. Thats all."

That idea of an exam before getting a computer sounds better now. And to boot i started remembering stories like the time when i was helping somebody relocate her computer in the office to make room for something else, and asked if the printer would work right away after the move or needed to be reconfigured...

Fun with Disks
Posted 09/01/2001 by Ian
 

Back when I was in 7th and 8th grade (1997-1999), I helped work on the computer systems in my school during my study hall. If the school tech was busy, I'd also answer the phone. One time, when I was setting up a small NT network, I ended up getting a particularly interesting call during my 8th grade year:

Me: Mr. NameRemoved's office, Ian speaking, may I help you?

Teacher: Yes...my disk drive isn't working.

Me: Okay, I'll come up and help you with it. What's your room number?

Teacher: 312.

Me: Alright, be right there. *click*

When I got up there, I immediately noticed the problem. She didn't insert the disk in the drive. D'oh!

My Password's coming up in X's!
Posted 09/01/2001 by Alex
 

I had this one guy call up not knowing what was happening everytime he typed in his password to connect to the internet.

"My password is coming up in X's, no matter what I type it comes up in X's"

"It's okay sir, it's a security precaution to avoid people seeing your password."

"How do I turn it off? I can't see what I'm typing"

"You can't sir, it's a security precaution. You'll just have to watch where you are typing."

"But when you receive it it's not in X's is it?"

"No. It's just hidden on your screen sir. It's a security precaution."

Also how many times do you ahve to ask someone if they are typing their username and password in capitals with spaces before the realise that George W. Bush has capitals and spaces in it therefore it's NOT their actual username?

No Title
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

One day I was taking calls like usual. I get the signal

that there is an incoming call. Like many others I go

through the opening script and get the customers account on

my screen. I usually check the history of the account while

the customer starts to explain the problem. I was starting to

regret taking this call because I see he has already talked

to 5 previous tech agents. I find that the customers problem

was that he didn't have enough hard drive space to install

software that we require for him to connect to our service.

The notes from the previous tech showed that he had the customer

boot the computer up into ms-dos. The previous agent

had the customer remove unneeded folder using the deltree

command (by this point I am sure you know what happened

next). The customer got off the phone with the previous agent

and decided he wanted to free up even more drive space so he started

with folders that he has never used. This person removed the basic folders

first by typing in deltree c:\windows\system and then moving

on to deltree windows. After doing this he restarted the computer

and was quite upset when he started getting error messages that there is no

operating system installed, etc. After telling the customer what

he did he became quite angry swearing that the previous agent

made him delete the windows directory and then started asking for a manager.

After trying to get a hold of a manager to take this call,

and also about 15 minutes before the manager stopped laughing,

I put the call through. I put my phone into mute and listened into

the remainder of the call. He finally admitted that he screwed up

and was promptly referred to microsoft. I know people make

mistakes, I know I have made a lot of them myself, but is it really that

hard to admit that you are the one that screwed up instead of trying to

pass the buck?

I just wanted to add in the fact that I really enjoy this site.

It is nice to know that I am not the only person that has to

deal with morons on a daily basis.

Aston
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I have a friend who is an avid linux user and with he (with my, and some other people's help) actually made a UK translation of KDE so he is actually quite competent with comoputers but he said one thing to me in complete seriousness that boggled me something chronic. We were walking along and he said to me 'Do you think that the internet will go from .com to .exe?' I asked him why and he said 'Well com files are smaller, and for dos, they should eventually have to change to exe'. I tried to think of a way of explaining that com stands for company without being patronising.

Aston
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

This isn't really user error but my mother called me asking insisting that her disk drive didn't work, that disks didn't fit in it. When I had a look at it I found that the drive was simply upside-down.

Which is worse?
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

This is a brief example of what I have to endure on a day to day basis. I have a co-worker who must have the best interview skills but technical skills he does not.

My co-worker, who sits at a workstation next to mine, is very very noisy in all that he does whether it is eat, drink, or think. He has a hard time negotiating with NT. Yesterday he asked what the difference between an administrator and the administrator group was...I knew from his first day that there was going to be trouble when he asked me what my expectations of him were and when I replied that he have NT and Exchange administration skills, he scared me by asking "What's Exchange"

Reading the techtales is fun but it is too close to home when I work with someone who is as thick as those in the tales.

Network Administra..duh
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

A net admin from a fairly large client (we are a corporate ISP in Australia) called us on the day the World Trade Centre collapsed.

"We are experiencing slow browsing when trying to contact sites in the USA...browsing elsewhere is fine"

(Hmmmmmmm.......)

Hello Officer
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

My new job is great...not only do I get to support end-users across a university campus, but we also get to scare the crap out of people!

All our equipment comes with a burglar alarm system, padlocks, and codes that are changed each semester. Users need to contact me or another trainer for the new codes, and we check them out for a certain degree of technical competancy before we let them use the equipment (I told you I love my job!) Many of the users attempt to bypass our training session and end up setting off the buglar alarm through their lack of training, which results in a visit from the university police and our office.

Me: Hello, 'myoffice' this is B....

User (over the SCREEECH of siren in the background) Uhm, I think I need some sort of code for this cabinet!

Me: (ya think?) Sure, if you have been through a training session I can give you the code.

User: Yep, i've been through one.

Me: then why is our siren going off?

user:....uhhhh....hang, on, the police are here!

Sometimes life is just too sweet!

Stupid Librarian
Posted 09/01/2001 by Jim Wells
 

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

From: Some Librarian

Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 4:04 PM

To: Computer Mastermind

Subject: RE: Computers 11-18

Okay..then I will tell the students that..thanks

aubrey

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

From: Computer Mastermind

Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 4:02 PM

To: Some Librarian

Subject: RE: Computers 11-18

Yes, we have set it up so they do not need a password.

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

From: Some Librarian

Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 4:01 PM

To: Computer Mastermind

Subject: RE: Computers 11-18

when the password box comes up they just press okay even if there is no password?

aubrey

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

From: Computer Mastermind

Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 4:00 PM

To: Some Librarian

Subject: RE: Computers 11-18

They press the "OK" button.

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

From: Some Librarian

Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 3:59 PM

To: Computer Mastermind

Subject: RE: Computers 11-18

so how do the students log onto the network?

aubrey

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

From: Computer Mastermind

Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 3:58 PM

To: Some Librarian

Subject: RE: Computers 11-18

Then you are not logged in to the network.

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

From: Some Librarian

Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 3:56 PM

To: Computer Mastermind

Subject: RE: Computers 11-18

what if there is no L drive..all i see is an e,d,c drives

aubrey

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

From: Computer Mastermind

Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 3:18 PM

To: Some Librarian

Subject: RE: Computers 11-18

No it is fine, they need to go to the "L" drive to get there work.

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

From: Some Librarian

Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 3:15 PM

To: Computer Mastermind

Subject: RE: Computers 11-18

So is this something that your dep't needs to fix or is there a password that we need to know about?

aubrey

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

From: Computer Mastermind

Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 3:02 PM

To: Some Librarian

Subject: RE: Computers 11-18

You have to have the right login to access the "S" drive. They will not be able to access it unless Bob sets it up some where else.

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

From: Some Librarian

Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 2:52 PM

To: Computer Mastermind

Cc: Other People

Subject: Computers 11-18

Students who are trying to do Some Teachers power point presentation are not able to access the "S" drive, the drive is not on these computers.

thanks for the your quick response to this problem.

Some Librarian

Circulation Technician

309-555-5555

someone@someone.com

"So Easy to Use, No Wonder It's Full of Idiots"
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I sell software on eBay. Here's a genuine question I got from a prospective buyer, whose e-mail address just happened to end with "@aol.com":

"Hi, I notice you have this game listed for IBM PC. I have a PC, but mine's a Compaq, will the game still run on it?"

Avionics Insp./Retired
Posted 09/01/2001 by James A."Pat" Patterson
 

I was a little different kind of "Tech"; "Avionics". We

had a customer (A Sultan. I should not tell you which)

whom we were trying to get ready for a test flight. We

had his radios benched and back in their racks. I ran ac-

cross the hangar to see how the electricians were coming,

and asked, "Where's Dave?" I was told, "They've got him

on a Sultan battery charge." A pilot that was in their

shop looked up in surprise, asked, "Is he in JAIL?!!"

cannibals
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

Five cannibals get appointed as programmers in an IT company.

During the welcoming ceremony the boss says: "You're all part of our

team now. You can earn good money here, and you can go to the company

canteen for something to eat. So don't trouble the other employees".

The cannibals promise not to trouble the other employees.

Four weeks later the boss returns and says: "You're all working very

hard, and I'm very satisfied with all of you. One of our cleaners has

disappeared however. Do any of you know what happened to her?" The

cannibals disavow all knowledge of the missing cleaner.

After the boss has left, the leader of the cannibals says to the

others: "Which of you idiots ate the cleaner?" A hand raises

hesitantly, to which the leader of the cannibals says: "You fool! For

four weeks we've been eating the Team Leaders, Managers, and Project

Managers so no-one would notice anything, and you have to go and eat

the cleaner!"

Not all calls are (l)users
Posted 09/01/2001 by Jason B
 

At my last tech job (Microhard Doors 95-98) I got a call from another tech from a diffrent depatrment's (Inlook Express)tech.

***********************

The calls is as follows.

***********************

OT=other tech.

Me: thankyou for calling......

OT: I have a customer that can't rename the Inlook Express inbox file. I havd tried in normal mode and sfae mode.

Me: What version of the Doors is the customer using?

OT: 98.

Me: How long have you been trying to do this?

OT: Over an hour.

Me: Did you try to boot in to DOS and rename it there?

(I hear the OT smack his forhead with his hand)

OT: Oh you must think I'm stupid?

Me: No we all make mistakes.

I had to a good chuckle after that.

No Title
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

Earlier today, i was in a local computer store and overheard the sales assistant explaining to a customer the benifiets of a bigger processor

The Other Side of the Fence
Posted 09/01/2001 by Landfaller
 

Sorry if this is a bit long.

I'm not a techie, but I work in the telecom industry, and I DO know a thing or two about stuff like telecom protocols and internet connections. So while I've had my share of ID10T and PEBCAK errors, I usually know a little bit about whatever I'm calling about.

My ISP is a large cable company whose name begins with A, ends with T, and has a T in the middle. This being the case, their service goes down on a regular basis. I usually call in to see if they've posted a message stating that they're having problems in my area. If they do, I hang up and go on my merry way. If not, I wait forever until their tech support picks up. Why don't I get DSL, you say? Because it doesn't *quite* reach into my area yet.

Anyway, here's the transcript of a typical call (m=me, t=tech). If it seems I'm a bit less than polite sometimes, it's because they've used up all their politeness quota for the year.

t: Thank you for calling *** Broadband, how may I help you?

m: My cable connection's down. Can you tell me if there are any service disruptions in my area?

t: Um, I'm not seeing any on the outages board, sir. Now, if you'll just...

m: Sorry to interrupt, but are you sure? You don't have a node or gateway or router down anywhere?

t: Um, it's not showing up here on our board...

m: Well, could you try pinging my modem? (This always surprises them).

t (a pause): Um, I'm not getting any response, sir. Why don't we try power-cycling your modem?

m: Because that's what you always say, and it's never worked yet. Everytime I lose connectivity, it's always because of something on your end. Can you trying pinging the local gateway/node/server/router?

t: (a shorter pause) They're working fine. Now, sir, if you'll just turn off your modem, leave it off for thirty seconds, and reboot your system, I'm sure that'll work.

m (sigh): OK, I'll try it yet again.

I do, and it doesn't work.

m: Does power-cycling EVER work?

t: Oh yeah, it almost always does.

m: Not with me.

Usually, by this time, the outage has popped up on the tech's outage board, and he'll tell me, "Oh, there's a gateway/router/server/local node down in your vicinity..." (Once it was because a gateway went down in California. I'm in Dallas).

Well, duh.

At this point, they've usually exhausted their list of possibilities, so they say, "Looks like you're having problems with your modem. We'll have to send a tech out there to replace it." I usually politely refuse, hang up, and wait for them to re-establish service. It ALWAYS turns out that the problem was on their end.

Sometimes, however, the tech is persistent, and I let down my guard. This led to one of the worst foul-ups yet on their end.

One day I'm on the phone with this perky young lady, and I hear the dreaded words: "We'll have to send a tech out to look at your modem."

I'm at my wits' end, so I say, "And how long before he gets here?"

She looks. "Oh. No one is available for three weeks in your area."

"Forget it," I say, say my goodbyes, and hang up.

But she *doesn't* forget it.

Three weeks later I get a call from my sister, who says there's an ISP tech at the door, there to replace my modem. I tell her to tell him to go away; as always, service came back all by itself several hours after my call.

He goes, but for the next three days my ISP connection is down, and nothing will get it to work. Finally, feeling as if I've lost an arm, I call and schedule an appointment for a tech to come out; this time it takes only two days.

The tech can't get the connection to work either, so I ask him to replace the modem. He comes back with a newer model than what I had, and then has to wait for half and hour while they reset everything at the main office so this modem will work. While waiting, the tech lets slip that the modem will not work at all if they don't reset the signal (or whatever) in the main office. It would have been faster, he says, if he'd had them do it in advance, but he was running late today.

Then it dawns on me: could it be that the other tech, five days earlier, had had the settings changed *in advance* for the new modem he was going to install? Would that cause my original modem to stop working?

The tech says, Yep, that was probably it.

ARGHHH!

So I did without ISP service for five days because some idiot made a clerical error and didn't bother fix it. Can you say refund? I can.

The moral? Unfortunately, we're all human, so remember that tech problems aren't always the fault of the user. Sometimes the techies are dumb as a stump, too.

Selective blindness and other oddities
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I run a home-based business in addition to my day job. Said business includes such things as device programming, alignment and testing of 2-way radios, and reselling specialized elecrical connectors.

Every so often, I run a garage sale to sell off excess computing hardware, test gear, and misc. electronic components. The most recent (and probably the last) of these sales happened recently. Why the last? Read on!

* (SELECTIVE BLINDNESS) I got a huge number of drive-by/glance/puzzled look/drive-aways. I expect this because my sales tend not to be your typical garage sale. What I don't understand, though, is people who obviously don't know one end of a screwdriver from the other stopping, getting out of their car, looking around for a minute at nothing but obvious piles of electronics and computer hardware, and then saying things like:

"So it's all computer stuff?"

"Do you have any old records?"

(From a ten-year old, in reference to a serial data analyzer) "So you play games on it?"

(From another kid, in reference to a VT220 terminal) "What kind of games can you run on this computer?"

(From several people, both genders) "Wow... I don't know anything about this stuff..."

Three words, people: 'Powers of Observation!'

This wasn't the end of it either. Throughout the day, I had a small fleet of kids coming by. The same group, again and again. One wanted to know if I had any CD-ROM drives (I did), but he didn't have a clue what type of CD-ROM interface his system used. This same group was utterly fascinated by an old Sharp 'Wizard' electronic organizer I had put out, but never seemed to really understand what such a device was for, or how to hook it to a PC for backup.

Another of this group brought by an ancient Packard-Bell 386 laptop that, apparently, had been given to him by his cousin minus the wall-wart. He wanted to know if I had any cables for the various ports on back. Of course I did, but what was he trying to hook up? Another blank stare.

Perhaps the capper was that one of this same group kept asking, repeatedly, if I had anything for free. The term "No" didn't seem to carry a lot of weight with him.

I did, admittedly, have a couple of friends show up who knew what they were doing, what they were looking for, bought a bunch of stuff, and even helped me pick up at the end of the day (Thanks, Greg and Greg! You guys are the best!!)

HOWEVER... this is it. No more garage sales! If I'm going to sell stuff, I'm going to do so at ham radio/electronics-targeted swap meets!

I'mSoMean
Posted 09/01/2001 by Jacob
 

I ran a LAN (Local Area Network, for those of you who may not know), and one day decided to play BOFH (If you don't get BOFh, you'll probably just think i'm a jerk). I was playing with one of the many trojan programs that had been released as of late, and decided it was time to pull a gag on one of my best friends. We had a network cable burried between the houses, so all of our computers were connected to each other, and also ran PC Anywhere on my friend and i's machines. I had previously figured out his password without him knowning, so on the night in question, i had logged into his machine via pc anywhere, uploaded the trojan, and executed it so it burrowed into his system. After that, I opened up the config manager of the trojan and was exploring settings. "Key Nullification" caught my eye.

The next morning, I reviece an instant message from my friend, it read as follows:

Jacob!Canyoucomeoverandlookatmycomputer?Thespacebarstoppedworking.

me: What'd you do to it?

Him: ithasn'tworkedsinceiwokeup.

me: Ok, close everything out and i'll be over in a minute.

him: alright.thankyou.

Before I leave, I hop back into the config program. Space bar enabled. : key disabled. Figure i might as well have SOME fun.

Anyway, i go over, reboot the machine, everything works (note: I haven't done anything requiring the : key.)

There's a fun second part to this, it also had a cd-rom eject feature, and my mom's computer was on the network. Another neat feature was the ability to create a popup message. Needless to say, the trojan was soon installed on my mom's pc. Next time she went to play starcraft, she ran and got me, because her computer spit the cd back out, with a windows error message reading "Error Number: 666, Description: Booooooooooooorrrrrrrrring."

Password/Keyboard Problem
Posted 09/01/2001 by SuperTech
 

I was doing desk side support at a major financial company. I got a call from a user saying her email password wasn’t working. So I went to her desk.

Me: What is your problem?

User: My email password is not working.

Me: What is your password?

User: Its just “password” I never changed it.

So I tried her password and it didn’t work. I tried it a couple times and it finally worked. I closed the program to try it again and it didn’t worked. I open a text editor to test her keyboard and I typed “password” and it came up as “passwored”. I hit the “d” key again and again and got “ed” - “ed” - “ed” - “ed”. I looked at her keyboard and saw a piece of candy stuck between the “e” and the “d” key. I scratched it out and fixed the problem.

Me: Try not to eat candy over your keyboard.

Dating
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I do tech support for a major ISP and this was one particular call

Me:Thank you for calling ****, how may i help you?

Older Gentleman: yes, do you have MSNs' Phone Number?

Me: No sir this is ***, and we do the tech support for ***?

Older Gentleman:what do you mean you don't have MSN's number? I want to give them my credit card number so that i can sign up for their dating service.

The call went down hill from there.

Oral Motherboard Fryer
Posted 09/01/2001 by Stellafish
 

I work for a HW suppot line in the UK.

This is no joke, i really happened.

A customer came on to a guy on my team having keyboard problems. I wasn't typing properly.

He advised her to lick the PS/2 port on the mouse and then reattatch it.

So this customer went away and then call back 10 minutes later.

The keyboard is now completly dead and the machine is now not posting.

An engineer was promptly sent out with a new keyboard and Motherboard.

Really, how dumb can you get

No Title
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

Although I never have done formal tech support, I am usually the one everyone turns to before putting in a request with the IT dept. (You folks who do this for a living have my sympathy. You couldn't pay me enough!) This was after several years of having people look down their noses at me because I didn't have a degree, so I couldn't POSSIBLY know how a computer works. (Hey, you fools have any idea what CP/M is? Nope, I didn't think so.) Lucky me, the light bulb finally went on.

When I first got the job at a small Catholic university, the entire department had just gotten new computers and switched over to NT. The director was a very sweet, bright older woman who was very close to retirement. She did an admirable job learning how to use it for someone her age, but it was quite obvious computers made her nervous. She almost had a heart attack when I changed my wallpaper. I tried to convince her it couldn't possibly do any harm, but the next day found a memo in everyone's mailbox that no one was to change ANY settings in Windows without her express permission.

NT had been a HUGE upgrade from what they'd previously been using. Back in the storeroom, along with all the paper files she was no longer required to keep but refused to throw away, sat an ancient terminal that used 8" floppies! Being utterly old school, however, she wouldn't allow us to throw it in the dumpster because it was "wasteful." Even after she retired, she was still making calls to various agencies and even museums, trying to find someone who would take it as a donation. The new director had us borrow a paper shredder to get rid of files that were up to thirty years old, then instructed maintenance to take the antique computer away - she didn't care what they did with it. I really liked her.

Unfortunately, she only stayed a year until she decided maybe she had given up her old job too hastily. The man who took over after that lived in his own little world. His idea of giving a presentation was to read directly from transparencies on an overhead projector. Those of us still awake at the end of this were careful not to ask any questions lest we prolong the agony. This dimwit had a brand new computer sitting on his desk that he barely knew how to turn on. One day, he needed to copy a file to disk so he could take it to a meeting, but of course he didn't know how. I showed him and made him write down the instructions step by step. He then announced to the entire office that I was a "computer guru." After he left, we all had a field day dissecting his personality and managment skills. I visited the school's website the other day, and it amazed me to find he's still there! (I suspect it's because the president likes "yes" men.) Thank goodness I'm not!!!

Unfortunately, she only stayed a year until she decided maybe she had given up her old job too hastily. The man who took over after that lived in his own little world. His idea of giving a presentation was to read directly from transparencies on an overhead projector. Those of us still awake at the end of this were careful not to ask any questions lest we prolong the agony. This dimwit had a brand new computer sitting on his desk that he barely knew how to turn on. One day, he needed to copy a file to disk so he could take it to a meeting, but of course he didn't know how. I showed him and made him write down the instructions step by step. He then announced to the entire office that I was a "computer guru." After he left, we all had a field day dissecting his personality and managment skills. I visited the school's website the other day, and it amazed me to find he's still there! (I suspect it's because the president likes "yes" men.) Thank goodness I'm not!!!

Uninformed Tech Support
Posted 09/01/2001 by beyondtool
 

I was having problems getting a connection to my Uni's ISP. It was logging in fine, but after the handshake there was no data sent. I thought it might have been my modem or such so I spent a whole day trying everything to fix it. No luck.

The following day I went into the tech support office at Uni to ask if the technician on duty if the server was playing up. He asked about my problem, suggested that it was to do with my end. I told him that I had already tried everything and was he sure that nothing had changed with the university server. He replied that it was the same as always.

Disgruntled I was about to leave when his supervisor came in. He asked me again what the problem was. He asked me if I had put in the new proxy settings. Proxy? I asked. Yes he replied, the university ISP server has been down for 2 days and we are using a proxy server now. "Don't you read your email?" he asked rolling his eyes as if every student had been asking this question. "Well I would have, except THAT I COULDN'T CONNECT TO READ IT" I replied. Some techies...

Stupid Customers!!!
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I work for an ISP tech support desk that has the most stupid customers in the world. The ISP its self has a habit of buying out other ISPs and migrating themselves. One ISP that they migrated used a software to connect to the internet and surf the net... like Assholes Off Line.

me: Good evening, thank you for calling *****, calls to this number are charged at 50p per min and your call will last no longer than 40 mins, my name is **** how can I help?

(you understand it costs about 50p to day that intro!!!)

cust: I can't get onto the internet.

me: ok, what exactly happens.

cust: well I dial up to the net and then nothing happens.

me: ok, are you connecting to the internet itself?

cust: no

me: ok then sir, when you dial up and it disconnects, does it give you an error message?

cust: no

me: ok, how do you try to get onto the internet?

cust: I go into dial up networking and double click on your icon and then click on connect. It dials and then the screen disappears.

me: ok sir, that means you have connected to the internet.

cust: but I am not connected to the internet cos I can not view webpages!!!

me: you need to open internet explorer for that sir.

cust: oh,

Do you know how many calls of this nature we get??? In all we estimated atleast 5-10 calls a day about this 'problem'

But what about the typical....

me: Good evening, thank you for calling *****, calls to this number are charged at 50p per min and your call will last no longer than 40 mins, my name is **** how can I help?

cust: I am not paying 50p per min for this call!!!

me: you already are sir.

Newbie Installs Processors
Posted 09/01/2001 by Graham W. Boyes
 

Just had a computer come in with no video, no beeps, nothing, just a fan running. Turns out the processor had been jammed in /sideways/.

Some people...

Mail waiting
Posted 09/01/2001 by Andrew Bathgate
 

I recently joined a new company and had to wait over a month to get lotus notes installed and get and ID. I kept phoning the IT department but nothing happened. Finally I found them, got my ID and installed notes myself. Waiting for me in my notes inbox were several emails all with the same theme.. heres one of them

"Andrew,

I have to install Notes for you, let me know when you are available."

They sent me a lotus note telling me they wanted to install my lotus notes !!!

Vacuums
Posted 09/01/2001 by Chazz
 

They say that nature abhors a vacuum.... Is that why somehow I always end up near the people with a void inside their ultra-thick skulls? And this might be long and only be marginally related to tech in one way or another, but it deals with the stupidity of the human race and I need some time to vent.

1) Just last night, I'm online when a "friend" from a fantasy wrestling group (which is about as much like wrestling as Fight Club is like a leisurly aristocratic debate over afternoon tea) decides to IM me. Here is the transcript.

B = first letter of complete idjit's name

C = first letter of my name

B: what is that music thing that Counrty westen singers use. Starts with a G

C: "that music country western singers use"?

C: uh... Country Western?

B: i mean the thing the play. it starts with a G

C: Guitar? {NOTE: This was intended as a joke}

B: yeah

B: in real life i would have said how do you spell Guitar, but we are on the computer

It took me a few minutes to get over the shock of that one.... Suddenly, the fact that he has a very poor win/loss record in a group whose victories are determined by writing skill isn't so surprising...

2) I spent about 4 hours at a friend's house helping set up, install and learn the ins-and-outs of his new computer. Let's just say that he's nice, but if it's not related to paintball then not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to technology. We then celebrate his new technological achievements with a fine diner meal and a trip to a local *ahem* gentleman's club. I then spend the next week answering a few fairly basic questions over and over and over and over and.... Just when I think he's gotten everything down pat and I can finally have some peace and quiet while online, I now get: every "Do this or your kids will be born with two faces and you'll be maimed by a rabid muskrat" chain letter he gets; every "pass this along" tribute/petition/argument/"cute" thing he gets; about 9000 "whazzup" IM's a day (yes, it was right in the middle of that craze); 6.3 billion pointless messages when he and his friends are having an exceptionally brain dead and they decide to play "IM ping pong" and use me as the ball. Another case of "Joe, if you send me one more of these things I WILL drive to your house, unplug the computer, hide it, and then strangle you with the power cord."

3) One of the gaming message boards I post on tends to get off-topic often.... okay, in any thread longer than 3 posts. And when I say "off topic" I mean ending up somewhere unexpected like Christopher Columbus. However, I recently got an e-mail bashing me for starting a thread that insulted the memory of millions of people. My reply?

"Well, normally I'd be very apologetic as I would *NEVER* start a thread like that, but can you please explain how the #$*& I'm supposed to know that a post saying 'I recently saw pics about the upcoming expansion pack and have a few questions' would mutate (almost 60 posts {note: yes, you read that right, 60 posts.... No, we don't have any lives} beyond the point when I stopped replying, mind you) into a discussion about the Holocaust and WWII era Germany?"

our techs control the world
Posted 09/01/2001 by deaconblu314
 

I was working for the largest distributor of credit cards in the united states.(whats in your wallet?). I was on call and recieved a page from one of the companies call centers. I returned the call and a manager that is pretty high up the food chain, informs me that people are calling into the call center and are trying to order a payper view boxing event. I think okay maybe the phone company crossed some lines. So I call them, and no all our 800 numbers are good to go. So then I figure maybe this cable company sent out the wrong phone number to order the fight. No the cable company sent out the right number. (don't ask how I traced down the cable company). The trouble is the last digit of the pay/view is one digit off from the number for the call center. I call back the said higher up mucky-muck and inform him of the problem. His answer? "fix it." and hangs up. I wait 5 minutes then call him back and inform him that the trouble will be repaired in 2 hours.He says good but I should try to fix it faster. I tell him Im working on it but the best estimate is 2 hours. He replies that he can live with that. Now how could I possibly stop people from dailing the wrong number in 2 hours you ask?

Because that is when the fight would be over and people would stop trying to order it.

no post/no video
Posted 09/01/2001 by bigfatgoalie
 

Some people can not be please no matter what. I work in tech support for a major computer company, how they became so popular...I have no idea. Anywas one day I was dealing with a lady of questionable intelligence. The problem was a no post/no video error. Basically the thing wouldn't turn on.

Bigfatgoalie: "Ok now we need to plug the computer directly into the wall"

Customer: "Well I can't do that...I only have one plug where I can put things in, the air conditioner is in the other plug. Why can't you just give me a new computer? This one is under warranty and it don't work!"

BFG: "Ummm, ok. We just need to figure out what the problem is before i could replace any PARTS. Now we only need the tower plugged in right now...don't worry about the monitor."

Cust: "But my TV and radio are plufgged in here too!"

BFG: "I thought you said you removed the power cable from the power bar?"

Cust: "That was the first power bar"

BFG: "But when you phoned in the last time (customer had all ready blown out one power supply) didn't the last tech advise you not to have multiple power bars connected into one outlet???"

Cust: "Yes...but my landlord checked the outlet...and he fixed that so that's not a problem"

Ever wonder if anybody ever does that thing where they plug in multiple device into one outlet??? Well this customer is one of those..."people"

BFG: "OK...let's try something else...do you have a lamp you know is working that we could plug into the outlet to make sure things are getting power."

Cust: "I have a lamp in my room so yes things are getting power"

BFG: "Can you get that and plug it into the wall where the computer is plugged into?"

Cust: "No...if I do that my room will be dark. I don't like the dark"

BFG: "Well we can use something else then. Do you have any other electrical device...your TV would work...or a toster"

Cust: "I'm not pluggin in a toster to THAT outlet...everytime I do there's smoke from the wall...then other things start smoking. Last time there was fire and I'm afraid of fire"

BFG: "Now miss, have you had you landlord check the outlet? That seems to be the problem...not the computer."

Cust: "The damn computer is the problem!!! It don't turn on! I know the outlet is good because my landlord said anything! Why don't you let me speak with somebody who know's what they're doing!!! I need a new computer!"

BFG: "But miss...the outlet doesn't give you power to anything...the computer HAS TO HAVE POWER TO TURN ON!I can't send out any parts, yet alone a new computer for this problem"

Cust: "Well you're service sucks"

Apparently I do tech support for the electircal company she uses...go figure.

Compujerks part III: the Hub! Don't forget the hub!
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

My apologies to all and sundry for the length of Part II, in last month, but that really was the convo --it was BURNT into my memory (Trauma is such a wonderful thing). This one is a LOT shorter.

To recap quickly: I used to work for a company that I call CompuJerks (not actual name) because the guy who took over tech management was a real a--hole. he tried to turn us techies into sales and marketing types, was seriously technophobic (and yes, this WAS a COMPUTER support firm), and generally thought that his employees were scum of the earth. Hence:

Cast:

Mark: the finances guy -- who had taken over all the tech management stuff despite his excellent qualifications. You know, running a restaurant, selling yachts (no sh-t!), and a B.A. in Economics. Also qualified because (a) dadd-ayh gave him $50,00 to play with to set up a new firm (b) he had working knowledge of Excel, Simply Accounting, and Maximizer (c) didn't even know what an OS WAS let alone that Win9x is an os.

david: the original tech manager with all the resolve of the lion in Wizard of Oz

john: hapless tech (me).

I had set up a CompuJerks client called Urban Sales East (not actual name)to replace their coax cabling with category 5 ethernet (this was 1998. Now for those who don't know, the BIG diff between coaxial cabling and UTP cat 5 is that coax cabling is like a set of christmas tree lights --so if one node goes, down goes the whole network-- but UTP cat 5 uses a hub as a central point, so if one node goes down, the rest of the network stays up. big advantage when your network goes down twice a week, as theirs did.

No dialog, just the plot. I told Mark the news that I had convinced the manager at Urban Sales East to re-cable her network. He told me that neither David nor I were to do the propoal for the network design, He would do it. I told him,

"Oh fine, Mark, but please, DON'T FORGET THE HUB!"

Now I must have told him at LEAST a dozen times, "Don't forget the hub". Keep in mind, in 1998, a 5-port hub cost around $300 (wholesale!). And, coincidentally, the cabling job that I had set up, and that I was to work on, would have paid me --you guesed it-- about $300. You can see where this is going, can't you?

That;s right. The day of the actual install, David took a quick look and asked mark; "Where's the hub?". Turns out, mark had been so busy trying to impress the manager at Urban Sales East that "his" idea to replace the cabling at U.S.E. was brilliant, he had forgotten to put the hub on the proposal!

Mark then pulled a fast one. When I got into the office, he told me that he was pulling me off the LAN install job, as "pinishment" for my incompetent install of a zuip drive,a nd useless backup of another client's system (CompuJerks Part II --techtalk, August 2001). this was the one that I did "incompetently" not because I didn't do the job successfully, but because I had failed to do it without any hitches whatsoever, and thus had failed to "sell" the job to the client. He told me that my punishment was to stay in the office and restore the "incompetent" backup to the formatted harddrive of the other client, but I was under no circumstances to go onsite to U.S.E.

There followed a flurry of phone calls to Urban Sales East's manager to tell her not to worry, Mark had saved the day because when "John" did the proposal, "john" forgot the hub.

The jerk not only forgot the most central element of the new network, cost me $300, made me do five hours work for free for another client, but had the nerve to blame ME for it?

What nerve!

What stupidity on my part for staying there!

Anyway, I told mark

I'm a Network Engineer
Posted 09/01/2001 by John Cunningham
 

First a little background. The ISP I work for offers as one of it's features multiple IPs, to allow for home networking. I am a supervisor and as part of my job desc, I take calls from customers who are not satisfied with the support they have recieved. One night I answer the phone and this woman immediately starts screaming at me.

Cust: NOW LISTEN BEFORE YOU SAY ANYTHING I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND I AM A NETWORK ENGINEER, SO DON'T THINK ABOUT TRYING TO BS YOUR WAY OUT THIS.

Me: Alright ma'am what seems to the problem)

CUST: I've got two systems networked and can only get one of them to work.

Me: OK, I'm looking at your account and see that you have two IPs, now which system will not connect?

CUST: The one on the right.

Me: Is that my right or yours?

CUST: Silence.

Me: Ma'am? Hello. Thank You for calling.

CD-Rom use and abuse
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I had a customer who had multiple calls concerning her cdrom being unable to read cd's. Full system diagnostics passed after downloading them from the net because the cd we sent her couldn't be accessed. When the customer called back to give the results of the diagnostics, she got a trainee who showed me the log. The customer wouldn't get any errors, it would just show an empty screen. The diagnostics showed that there was no media in the drive, so I advised the tech to replace the cd-rom. I checked the log several days later to see the results of the install, and discovered that the customer had been inserting the cd's into a gap in the top of the case. The service tech had found 11 cd's lying on top of the cd-rom drive!

But I'm an expert!!
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I recently went into business with another person who had a "running" computer store. Having worked on a wide variety of office equipment, as well as computers (me), it seemed like a good thing to do at the time.

My new partner had given me a blinding snow job about his abilities with computers and even some programming. I thought (wrongly) that perhaps I could learn a bit from him.

This was a bad assumption, born out about 4 weeks into it. We decided it would be nice to have a web page for our company, and having made a small/amatur one with Netscape to edit the HTML before, I was elected to do it. The other guy said he could have done it, but had many other tasks to occupy his time......LIAR!

I spent a few days making a fairly nice little site with FrontPage, and after checking to see that all the links were functional, I uploaded it to our server.

I knew there was going to be trouble when the first question my new partner (The Expert!!) asked was:

"It looks nice, but how do we get our e-mail from this page.I can't see where to click on it to get the e-mail!"

Seems the wizard had only used "Hot Mail" as the basis for his web expertise. Needless to say, it went downhill from there, and I am once again running my business alone again!

CompuJerks Part IV: Dusty Power Supply?
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

My apologies, again, it's a long one.

This is part four of CompuJerks, (Not the real name of) a place I used ot work at in 97/98. It was a small computer support company, in which the finances and sales manager decided that he was a genius at computer support, and took over all aspect of technical management from his partner.

Cast:

MARK: the president of the company. Decided he was a computer support technical wiz,a nd so should take over the position because his resume was full of managerial stuff -- none of which had anyhting to do with PC's.

DAVID: Co-owner of CompuJerks; was supposed to be the technical manager, but showed he had the strength of character of a string of spaghetti where it came to standing up to his dictatorial partner.

JEAN: The junior techie. was 21 and full of piss-and-vinegar. great web-designer but not so good at hardware.

JOHN: Me, the hapless "chief" technician.

SITUATION: Urban Sales East (not its real name) wanted to have us do a network re-cabling, and bring all the machines up to Win95. They had one 486 machine that had a 70MB hard drive, not big enough to hold Win95. we techies talked to them about the problem, when Mark intervened and tried to convince them to have us build a brand new Pentium 233MMX machine. When they balked at the $2000 price tag, I suggested that the upgrade their hard drive instead. This pleased the customer no end, but got Mark mad as a wet hen at me, because he wa looking forward to the $250 markup, instead of a $25 narkup, not to mention the greater number of billable hours. So being senior techie, I did the hard drive install.

No hitches, so no problems, right?

WRONG!

ONE MONTH LATER!!!!!!! the 486's hard drive controller failed, but we didnt't yet know that. (For those of you too young to remember, 486's still used a separate HDD controller board, and that component was the most common one to fail in a PC.)

Now Mark, the ersatz & erstwhile techncial manager, having browbeaten David into giving that position over to him, did not like to send the same technician to the same site twice in a row. "Bad for the image of the company", he said, sending Jean out to look at the failed PC.

Jean came back reporting "a thick layer of dust on the power supply, which was causing the power supply to arc, thus causing the failure to boot". Only thing was, the computer DID boot, but only got as far as the POST. Jean hadn't bothered to put a boot disk into the machine to see if the machine would load an OS. No, instead, compuJEANius decided to open the case, and "found" the dust.

So Mark called me into the office, and after a long and truly painful discussion, decided the failure of the client's computer to boot fully must be a power supply problem, caused, of course, by me, as I apparently hadn't cleaned the dust off the power supply. No amount of remonstrating and reasoning with him would convince him that a failed power supply meant that the computer wouldn't even do a POST (Power On Self Test). That instead, the hard drive controller had failed. As a result, Mark wrote me up for my second warning, and said that this was --as always -- a sign of my incredible incompetence.

(In the middle of the conversation):

Me: Look, Mark, if the machine was doing a POST, then the power supply is fine.

Mark: If Jean says the power supply was damaged, then I believe him.

Me: But the machine boots up, right, Jean? It just doen't load the OS.

Jean: right, but that might be caused by the power supply shorting out.

Me: (Thinking, Idiot! Don't confound one bad diagnosis with a bad defence!): But Jean, that's impossible. If the Power supply is damaged, no circuit passes to the motherboard, so the machine can't boot. But if it does a POST, then its the FDD controller or HDD controller.

Mark: But it doesn't boot up.

David; Well, it _does_ boot up, but it doesn't load Windows.

Mark: Look, the client said it doesn't boot. that's good enough. As far as we're concerned, it doesn't boot, because that's all the client sees. So if that's so, then it must be the power supply that caused it.

Me: that's like saying the ground is wet, therefore it has rained, Mark. You're presuming cause based on the results. You can't do that. It's illogical. the computer doesn't fully boot. that doesn't prove the power supply is fucked!

Mark: What does the client see? that the computer doesn't boot, right?

Me; well that's what they said, but the customer is wroing in this--

Mark; CUSTOMERS AREN'T WRONG! If THEY say it doesn't boot, it doesn't boot. Their diagnosis is the one we need to listen to.

Me (pointing to me, David and Jean): I thought we were the experts, not them. If they were experts, why do they need us?

Mark: To sell them on the need for computer support, and to impress them with our skill!

David (pointing to me, himself and Jean); funny, I thought we were in the computer support business, not marketing and sales.

(Mark blathers on about how we techies need to be more like salespeople. this carries on for a few minutes until...)

Mark Look, I'm saying that the cutomer says that the computer wouldn't boot. And since the customers are experts on their own needs, we have to abide by their wishes. Therefore there _was_ arcing. Besides, how would it look if I went to them and said that we were wrong, and the cause was actually a failed hard drive controller? I'd look like a fool!

(Oops! Too late!)

Me (to jean): Did you see arcing?

Jean: well no. I just saw the dust.

Me: Did you try putting in a boot floppy to see if it could boot off that?

Mark: Look, John You're the one in trouble, not him.

David: Jean,did you put a floppy in to see if it would boot?

Jean: Umm, well, nooooooo, not really.

david: So John could be right. it could be the HDD controller.

Jean: Well if the HD controller failed, it wouldn't boot off a floppy.

Me: The fdd controller on this machine is seperate.

(At this point a call comes in and Jean is sent off to service another customer).

Mark (to me): How could you possibly have missed arcing?

Me: But there was no arcing!

Mark sent DAVID onsite, to see if he could fix the power supply. David, being a very good tech, brought with him a replacement hard drive controller, along with a replacement power supply. David loaded a Win95 boot disk iinto the machine and -- voila! -- the machine booted!

David came to me later and told me that my diagnosis was right. The HDD controller had failed, and he got the computer to boot fully simply by replacing the HDD controller card. You know what else? THERE WAS NO "THICK LAYER OF DUST" ON THE POWER SUPPLY! Not only that, but David rebooted the client's PC three times and NEVER saw the machine arc!

Armed with this knowledge, I had the following conversation with Mark:

Me: I guess you heard from your partner that the power supply on the U.S.E. corp.'s 486 wasn't the problem after all.

Mark: Mm-hmm.

Me: So, I suppose that since a MANAGER decided that the power supply diagnosis was wrong, you'll remove the second warning on my file, since I didn't cause the PC to crash.

Mark: No.

Me: WHAT????? But David said that the power supply wasn't the problem, it was the HDD controller, as I had said!

Mark: If Jean says there must have been arcing, then the power supply was arcing.

Me: But Jean didn't actually SEE any arcing, did he?

Mark: That's none of your business! And don't talk to Jean about it! I've already dealt with him!

Me: You mean you're not going to change the diagnosis to a failed HDD controller? Even though that's what happened?

Mark: Look, that's what I've told the customer, so that's what stands. One more incompetent diagnosis and you're fired.

Me: But that's ridiculous! I got it right!

mark; Not as far as the customer is concerned! Remember John, one thing I've learned in this business. Customers have two traits where it comes to computers. They tend to know a lot, and they don't tolerate mistakes. Not like I do. Shit rolls down hill, and I'm the one at the bottom of the hill. So if anyone get in trouble for a bad diagnosis, it's me. Sorry, the diagnosis stands. That power supply caused their computer to not boot. Period. Understand?

I left the company very soon after that --under my own steam, by the way.

CompuJerks Part V: hard copy
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

A SHORT ONE, I PROMISE!

This is part five of CompuJerks, (Not the real name of) a place I used ot work at in 97/98. It was a small computer support company, in which the finances and sales manager decided that he was a genius at computer support, and took over all aspect of technical management from his partner.

Cast:

MARK: the president of the company. Decided he was a computer support technical wiz,a nd so should take over the position because his resume was full of managerial stuff -- none of which had anyhting to do with PC's.

DAVID: Co-owner of CompuJerks; was supposed to be the technical manager, but showed he had the strength of character of a string of spaghetti where it came to standing up to his dictatorial partner.

JEAN: The junior techie. was 21 and full of piss-and-vinegar. great web-designer but not so good at hardware.

JOHN: Me, the hapless "chief" technician.

the following converastion occurred between me and Mark:

Mark: So I want that report in hard copy.

Me: Right, so I'll write it up on MS Word, and print it out for you.

Mark: No, John, I said Hard Copy.

Me: Well, Mark, if I print it up, that _is_ hard copy.

Mark (goggling at me like _I_ was the idiot): No, John I mean for you to write it up by hand!

Me: But if I write it up on my computer and then print it out, then you'll have hard copy!

Mark: Look, John I don't want it written up on computer. What happens if your computer crashes and you lose the file?

Me: Mark, _Your_ machine is the network server. I always make a backup copy to the [appropriate] directory on your machine. If my machine crashes, we still have the work saved on your machine, and vice-versa.

(For the next comment. remember this is a COMPUTER SUPPORT FIRM, and MARK is the TECHNICAL SuPPORT MANAGER)

Mark: I don't care. I don't like doing things on the computer. I like them done the old-fashioned way. I want you to write up the report by hand. Then, if _you_ want a digital version you may write it up on the computer.

Me: Why don't I use teh scanner feature on the HP OfficeJet? Then I don't have to re-type it.

(Remember; He is the TECHNICAL SUPPORT MANAGER --the top techie, allegedly).

Mark (angrily): LOOK! I don't trust technology I don't know anything about! Your'll write the report is upper case, BY HAND! You understand? I want HARD COPY!

(Kinda speaks for itself, doesn't it?)

CompuJerks Part VI: What colour is the sky?
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

This is part six of CompuJerks, (Not the real name of) a place I used ot work at in 97/98. It was a small computer support company, in which the finances and sales manager decided that he was a genius at computer support, and took over all aspect of technical management from his partner.

Cast:

MARK: the president of the company. Decided he was a computer support technical wiz, and so should take over the position because his resume was full of managerial stuff -- none of which had anyhting to do with PC's.

DAVID: Co-owner of CompuJerks; was supposed to be the technical manager, but showed he had the strength of character of a string of spaghetti where it came to standing up to his dictatorial partner.

JEAN: The junior techie. was 21 and full of piss-and-vinegar. great web-designer but not so good at hardware.

JOHN: Me, the hapless "chief" technician.

This took place early on in my sojourn with this idiot, before I realized what I was getting myself into. This conversation was in the middle of a long, and for mark, a frustratingly technical discussion about networking, between himself, me, david, and Jean. Three to one, if you will.

Mark: Why can't you technical types be more like sales people?

The three techs: Huh?

mark: You know! If I ask a sales or marketing type "what colour is the sky?", he'll say, "Blue!". But if I ask a techie, he'll say, "Welllllllll, it's mostly blue, but there are reddish areas near the sun, and it's darker blue near the top of the sky [i.e., directly overhead], and it's silverish near the mountains.

David: Welcome to the dark side of the force, Mark.

Mark: No really! Why can;t you just give an unqiualified yes to a question?

Me: Well, sometimes we do.

Mark; you see? That's what I mean!

Me: But mark, you have to understand, that this is a field that is part art and part science. What seperates a good techie from a great tech is the ability to see the nuances.

Mark: Look, I understand about nuances, I'm in sales, after all. That's what we focus on. But YOU! You all focus on the results! You qualify everything until you get a for sure answer.

Me: Mark, technical support is very results-oriented. We focus on the subtle differences only so far as it gets to an accurate diagnosis of the problem. Once we get the accurate diagnosis, the solution almost immediately presents itself. That's what the client cares about, in my experience.

Mark: But that's where you're wrong! Technical support has to be about process! that's how you win clients over.

Me; Oh, mark, look; I've been doing tech support for five years now. And I can tell you, that very few clients care about HOW things get done. They only care about THAT things get done. So long as it's done in a reasonable amount of time, they really don't care how many blind alleys or false starts you make. All they care about is getting their computer up and running. My God, they don't care if you wave a rubber chicken over the computer and dance a hula dance. So long as the computer works at the end of the day.

Mark: But that's where CompuJerks is going to be different. You see, what we have to do is to "sell" computer support as a concept to our customers. So I don't want you to make any false starts or bad diagnoses. EVERYTHING you do has to go toward impressing the customer with your abilities. So you see, process is very important. Clients don't want to get bogged down in the details, they want you to "wow" them, to knock their socks off. If you're constantly making mistakes, that loses the impressiveness of what you're trying to do!

Jean: I don't know, I haven't been doing this for very long, but i agree with John. All customers care about is getting the computer or network working. They really couldn't care less about the details.

Me: Usually, most of the time, customers hire techs 'cause tehy don't know a lot about computers, nor do they WANT to know. they don't care if a cable goes in one way or the other. Very few of my clients ever watch me work. they haven't the foggiest notion what I'm doing anyway.

MArk: Well, I know differently. When I'm talking to the customers, they care very deeply about their computers.

Me: Sure,a bout getting them working again. But why are they talking to you and not us, if they care about the details?

Mark: Because I'm the president of the company of course.

Me: But Mark, if they cared about the details, they'd pepper you with technical questions. If they really--

Mark (getting REALLY frustrated): LOOK! From now on, if I ask you what colour is the sky, you'll say "blue!". I don't want to hear any technical details when you're doing the reports. From now on, you'll do them like you were salesmen, giving a sales report.

Me (I never know when to quit): Mark, how many field calls have you been on?

Mark: A few. what's your point?

David: Two, actually.

Me: EVER?

David; I think so.

Me; Alone?

David: Oh, no! Mark has always gone with me!

Mark (Angrily): What is your point?

Me: Well, I've been on hundreds, and in all but a few, the customer gets bored really quickly. they don't want to know what I'm doing. they usually just say, "JUst let me know when you're done, will you?" I only ever talk to them about details when I've hit a major hitch, and can't go on, and have to take the computer to [my workshop], or if it's a network, to call in someone more knowledgeable about the problem than me.

The conversation went on like this for a while longer, with him obsessing about us becoming salesmen, and us techies insisting that maybe we should work as though we were, oh, gosh, I don't know --TECHIES????????

What the upshot ended up being was that from that point on, we had to report EVERYTHING we did to the customer under the theory that (a) customers really care about which IDE connector you put the CD-ROM onto and (b) they actually KNOW what the hell we're talking about. And anyone who regularly reads this site knows that neither is true. Weirdly, at the same time, we had to give him our reports as though we were giving marketing reports. No details, just the "big picture".

In actual fact, that never happened, HE obsessed about every detail every false start, adn micro-managed everything so severely, that installing RAM in a PC, for example, required his AND David's prior authorization while onsite. NOTHING could be done without Mark's approval.

He shouldn't have talked about process. Mark should have talked about OBSESSION.

Thank you very much
Posted 09/01/2001 by Graham W. Boyes
 

Thank you very much.

To the people who made the device side end of the USB cable smaller, square and CAPABLE OF BEING PLUGGED INTO THE MODEM, thank you.

Stick With the Dumb Terminal
Posted 09/01/2001 by Darian Boggs
 

The organization for which I work replaced it's host-based VMS financial database with a client/server PC-based system a few years ago. I was working on the administration of the VMS server at the time. Previously, the data entry operators had used dumb terminals to enter financial transactions. The new system required our Tech Support group to replace the terminals with PC's, which they did.

One day I was in the server room working on another task when I heard a knock at the door. One of the data entry operators, "Xena", was at the door. She asked me sheepishly if I could help them with a problem with one of the PC's. The data entry room was next to the server room, so I said yes, though it wasn't my area.

As we walked to the data entry room, "Xena" explained that she had told one of the other operators, "Dana" that she could listen to CD's on the PC. "Dana" was amazed by this, and so "Xena" gave her a CD and told her to put it into the top slot on the computer, which was the CD-ROM drive.

When we entered the room, "Dana" was sitting next to the PC looking even more sheepish than "Xena", and she began to apologize as soon as I walked up. I told her that I was sure that it wasn't her fault, and then I pressed the Eject button on the PC. The tray opened, and there was nothing in it. I was quite puzzled. I closed the tray and opened it again thinking that the CD might still be in the drive. There was still nothing in the tray. I looked at "Dana" and asked her if she was sure that she had put a CD in the drive.

Refusing to look at me, she said, "Yes, but I put it in the top slot. I looked back down at the PC, and I was even more confused. The CD-ROM drive was in the top expansion bay, and there was no slot above it. I looked back at "Dana" and asked her again where she put the CD, and again she said that it was in the top slot.

When I looked back down at the PC, a sparkle caught my eye. I knelt in front of the server and brought eyes level with the top of the CD-ROM drive. There was a very narrow slit between the top of the drive and the computer case, and sure enough there was something in the slot. I asked for a paper clip (which to this day remains my most valuable tech support tool), and when "Xena" handed one to me fashioned a small hook, which I used to dislodge the CD. I handed it back to "Dana" and immediately left the room because I was afraid that I would erupt into laughter if I remained a moment longer, and I didn't want to hurt "Dana"'s feelings. I assure that I was still laughing ten minutes later in the server room, however. Sometimes it's the little things about technology that we take for granted.

My Router's Not Working
Posted 09/01/2001 by Gspots
 

Hi,

I presently work for a large Canadian Ebusiness solutions company that provides connectivity to most of the Travel Agency Companies in Canada.

I had a client in Cornwall call up once saying.

Me: ... ...... Helpdesk, ...... speaking how can I help you.

Client: Hi, I lost connection to my reuter (router).

Me: Okay...

---find out who client is, which router is not working, where router is, so far Im really impressed with the client as she's answered every question properly. We test the router, she tells me no lightes are on. She Powercycles the router. Im like, okay, I like this when a client is competent.

Me: Okay, Im going to have to escalate this to the company that provides the routers. I will contact you shortly.

Anyways so Im escalating this issue to Gateways, its a corp DSL provider. And it takes them 45 minutes to answer the phones as their all mongaloids who follow a script for every single call. You can call them up and say "There's a bomb in your building!" and they'll ask you for the name of the router.

Anyways so while Im waiting for a ticket taker to take the ticket for a fried router, my buddy gets another call. Its from the same user that called to report the router is down.

Client: Hi, um, you can forget about escalating this issue. The routers working fine now.

I had to know what she did. It would save me hours of escalation time.

Me: Can you explain to me what you did to fix it?

Client: Nothing, the power just came back online and it started working again.

ARGHHHH!

Is This the Printer?
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

While working on a computer, one of my customers noticed the computer. "Is this the printer?" asked the customer.

The doubleclicker
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

We were going around to several kindergardens we are responsible for, checking if they were up and rnning. We had sent out an e-mail to every one stating that if everything worked, they should e-mail us back. Hardly anyone had replied, so it was a long day. Needless to say, most had just deleted the e-mail, thinking it "just nother virus warning". Anyway, as we ame to one of the kindergardens, an employee had a printer problem;

Her; Oh, thank God you are finally here! I thought you'd never come! I have some problems with my printer!

Me; What seems to be the problem?

Her; It allways prints twice, no matter what I do!

Me; It makes a copy of the document?

Her; Yes, it prints my letters twice!

Me; Ok, please show me exactly what you have been doing.

Her; OK, I take the mouse like this, and I open the W like this (manages a fairly OK double-click on a MS Word 2000 shortcut on the desktop), and then, I write a letter, and I print it, like this (drags the mouse up to the printer icon and doubleclicks...)

-The V

Brain-LESS
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I work in a visitor center for a very large college. We usally give directions, issue parking permits and so forth. One thing that really urks me is this, we have a HUGE sign stating "please have license plate # when requesting a pass". Then they come up to me, and I give them the usual line, "how long you going to be on campus?" them: "uhh, just today" ok, type in the exp date. 2nd question:" can I get your first name?" This one really stumps them, 4 seconds later:"Jon" 3rd question: "last name?" "johnson"

4th question: "LICENSE plate #?" them, thinking REAL hard:"uhh...I THINK its 123 abc, I think." Me thinking:"OK,you THINK!?!" what I say to them:"ok". lol.

If it is incorrect then they get either a $110 fine for unauthorized use, or a $30 fine. If the bimbos are too ignorant to go check it then its there own fault.

The second most annoying thing is that 60% of them have to go check!! It is the most annoying thing on the planet. And in some cases they ASK me if WE NEED it!! "no I dont need it, I just thought it would be fun to ask!!" And a lot of these people are college educated people!! I know this wasnt a techie thing, but man STUPID people can be anywhere!And then to make it worse we use a computer that is the biggest piece of crap on the earth. Its Specs: 133mhz, 32 mb ram... and then it is connected to a network, so it has a million and a half programs running. And get this, we try to run Excel and explorer on the same machine! I know the ram is always running at 0%. And THEN the keyboard has more food/soda/paper in it then you can shake a stick at, because the lady that comes in after me likes to eat her dinner RIGHT OVER IT! Not to mention she looks like she is in her pajamas. I mean we are greeting FIRST TIME visitors for crying out loud! AHH!! WHY ARE PEOPLE SO STINKING IGNORANT!!

IRRATE TECHIE/GREETER

A new battery, please
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I was working a summer job @ a local Thorn shop during my studies to get some extra cash. One day this customer comes in...

C; I need a new battery for my computer

Me; Ok, sir, what computer do you have?

C; A Compaq

Me; Ok, (We only sell compaqs at the local shop) what kind do you have?

C; Huh?

Me; Sir, can you point out a computer like the one you have amongst the ones you can see here?

C; Oh! Yes, it's that one! (points to a presario, brand new model)

Me; Sir, what seems to be the problem? (Asking since I guessed he MIGHT be asking for a backup battery, some people actually have friens to tell them what they need to get done/buy to make everything work again)

C; It doesn't work! I can't see anything on the screen since after the storm came.

Me; Sir, that computer does not really need a battery to work. And I sincerely doubt a thunderstorm would empty a battery?! Your computer has probably been destroyed.

C; Can I get it back on my warranty?

Me; Sorry Sir, we cannot give you another computer. I suggest you contact Compaq or your insurance company to make them have a look at it.

C; Ok. (leaves grumbeling something incomprehensible)

An new battery after a thunderstorm??? What WAS this guy thinking???

-Omega

No Title
Posted 09/01/2001 by Damiris
 

One of the applications I support analyses text files and puts the important information of it into a database. And yesterday, this analysis failed and the user got an error log.

So the user (who happens to be the IT-Manager of that company) called me and I asked him to send me the log-file and the original text file via mail.

Despite being "really urgent", nothing like that arrived the rest of the day. Not much to my surprise, as it's ALWAYS "really urgent".

When I finally got the mail a few minutes ago, I realized why it had taken so long: The client (let me say that again: the administrator) had sent me a 4 KB log file and 29 MEGABYTE of financial data. By email. Unencrypted. Over the internet. Raw text. Unpacked.

No further comment.

IT = Internet Trouble
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

Not a lot to say about this one...

Got a request to phone a corporate customer about their complaints about connections on their DSL line. Okay. Find out it's one guy in the organization who has trouble with e-mail - sometimes it arrives days late. No rhyme or reason, so he wants it checked/fixed.

So I ask for details about the messages. He gets my fax #, says he'll get their tech to send them.

The next day I get a fax with their tech's name (and IT Specialist as the title underneath - nice touch) with the information.

Or, rather, sort of. It's a printout of three screen shots of the "Properties" of each message. You know that screen when you select a message in Outlook Express and get its properties? That one. Okay, so, great, this helps.

(Not even the details, just the date, and email address sent to.) I need a wall of customer shame, or something.

the blackout
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

i work for an isp call center in albuquerque... some other guy said this in here and i agree... " the lunies come out in the summer "... yikes...

so this guy calls me one day

me: hello, can i get ur email address?

guy: user@isp.net

me: whats the problem today sir?

guy: i cant connect...

me: okay, what happens when u try to connect?

guy: nothing...

me: okey, well do u get an error message?

guy: no

me: alrighty... do you here ur modem dial out?

guy: no

me: sir, is there a phone cord attached to the back of ur

computer?

guy: let me check... (he's gone for about 8 minutes)

guy: okay... theres a phone line plugged in

me: sir, what took so long if u dont mind me asking?

guy: well, i had to get a flash light

me: why?

guy: well, were haveing a power outage here...

some people kids...

Email support
Posted 09/01/2001 by Helpdesk Queen
 

I work at a big XII university in Oklahoma. A coworker of mine,(The Helpdesk Queen) received this call from a Student who was inquiring about his email account. The call went something like this.

Queen: Hello Helpdesk, can I have your userid please?

Student: Hello, I need to know if you email program supports something called Snail.

Queen: I'm sorry Sir. I don't quite understand what you mean. Why are you asking?

Student: I received a mail message from a friend, and he's supposed to send me another one. I need to make sure I get it. He said he's going to send it via "Snail Mail", so I need to know if your email system supports snail.

I don't know exactly how the call ended, but its still my favorite tale.

Skuzzy
Posted 09/01/2001 by Rodney
 

Call to Support:

Cust (IT Manager)Hello - I need to lodge a complaint.

Tech - Yes how can I help you?

Cust - The hard drive failed on my server and I need a warranty replacement.

Tech - Can you tell me what manufacturer and model drive is in the server.

Cust - Yes, Skuzzy.

Tech - Ok, All of are drive use this technology, what manufacturer and model drive is it?

Cust - I told you Skuzzy! S. C. S. I. SKUZZY! I thought you guys were certified.

Tech - OK we will send out on-site service.

coffee holder?
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I have only working in a call center for about 2 1/2 months now, and it's amazing how many stories you hear! I know this story is going to sound absolutely ridiculous, but I swear this is the honest truth. I mean - how could anyone possibly be so stupid?

One of the agents that I work with got a call from this completely frantic man! He was throwing a fit about his "coffee holder" being broken. I know, we thought the same thing...."COFFEE HOLDER? And why are you calling us?" After a while - the agent finally figured out what "coffee holder" the customer was referring to. The coffee holder he was talking about was the cd rom drive!

No Title
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

Working at an ISP, you have to deal with the good customer (nice, already in front of the computer, knows the error, etc) and the bad customer (I haven't paid my bill for three months and am wondering if that has anything to do with my inability to connect?) and you have to deal with it, politely, efficiently, and professionally.

The general beef is, why can't people be in front of their computers? Calling us up while you're at work, fifteen to twenty minutes away from your computer where you cannot check settings is inappropriate and a waste of both of our time.

The calls usually go along the lines of:

Tech: thanks for calling; may I have your username?

Cust: yeah, it’s....

Tech: okay, and how may I help you?

Cust: I couldn't connect this morning because of blah.

Tech: All right, double...

Cust: but I'm not at my computer! I'm at work!

I wonder if their boss knows they make personal calls like this on his time?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Secondly, at my level, we handle tech and billing. While we personally do not process the CCards, we do handle them as a data-entry point for the billing office and can see balances and generalized statements. Usually what ends up happening is that once a month, we each get a call where the billing system has inactivated an account due to non-payment.

Usually, the call is:

Tech: Tech support, how may I help you?

Cust: yeah, how come I can't get online?

Tech: let me check the account ... oh! It says that because three months have gone by without payment, you've been deactivated.

Cust: How can that be? I haven't received a bill?

Tech (checking automated response log): okay, do you live here?

Cust: yes

Tech: then we've sent five messages letting you know this would occur. Since they haven't been marked as being returned, we know that someone at that address has them.

Cust: Well, can you turn me back on if I send a cheque?

Tech: Yes, when we receive and process the cheque.

Right around here is where it turns ugly. What we usually hear is something to the affect of this member being special because they've been with us for a long time and we should trust them etc etc. Two days later, after mailing the cheque, there's usually a call back while the cheque is in the mail and they seem to think that their word should be enough.

Overall, the logic of the situation escapes me:

I sign up with an ISP; the service contract is basically I'm responsible for a) my system settings b) paying my bill on time while they are responsible for a) processing payments, b) providing service that may, or may not, include them holding my hand through me maintaining my own computer. They do not have to provide service should I not pay my bill or should I be incompetent in maintaining my system. I know that once a month, whether I receive a bill or not, I still owe X amount of dollars regardless of service outages (although if it's over 24hours, I expect not to pay for that twenty four hours of outage and will expected to be prorated as such) regardless of my incompetence, or whether or not I receive a bill.

Is this monitor under warranty?
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I got a frantic call from a teacher one morning saying that for the last few days her monitor had been flickering on and off and today it "just isn't working". I got the "I need you to come over here right now and fix it..." line. So I figured, what the heck. I pushed the power button on the front of the monitor to no avail. So I followed the connections...the one to the PC was fine, but the power wasn't plugged in. For that matter the teacher's PC wasn't plugged in either. I explained that the machines needed to be plugged in before they could be used. The teacher thanked me and I went on my merry way...grinning!

No Windows
Posted 09/01/2001 by Customer Service Rep
 

I work at a large call center & we get calls for various products. Today, Joesixpack called in.

Joe: Yeah, I need assistance with my internet. I can't connect.

Me: Ok, what version of windows are you running - Is that 95, 98, Millenium?

Joe: I'm not running anything - there's no disk in the floppy drive.

I was nice - I explained to Joe what an operating system was, then sent him to his ISP :) But an OS on a floppy? I'd be impressed!

Change your ISP phone number
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

Some customers (god bless their hearts!) have some very strange ideas :- the below suggestion to anyone in the ISP business is a pretty expensive solution :)

Tech: Usual introductory blurb

Customer: I want to conncet up to the internet

Tech: Certainly; what we need to find out if our POP in you area is local, otherwise you will be charged STD rated by your carrier. I will give you the number and ask you to call your pohne carrier to ensure that connceting to the internet from your computer will be local.

Customer: OK, what is the number?

Tech: The number in your area is 3452 3456. Would you like to call your phone carrier to check this call will be a local untimed call before continuing?

Customer: No!

Tech: It is really important to ensure that the call is local otherwise you will be charged for your internet access at STD rate (pretty pointless really :) )

Customer: I want you to change your phone number.

Tech: Sorry, madam but all you have to do is call your phone carrier and check that a call between your phone line and our dial-in point is a local call.

Customer: But I don't like that number?

Tech: (Becoming frustrated) But it is just a number! We request a number on then our phone carrier provides it and that becomes the number that you will dial up to the internet on.

Customer: Oh, I see.

Tech: So, did you want to ring your phone provider and check that the call will be local.

Customer: I really don't like that number; it is a very unlucky number and therefore it would be bad luck to connect via your ISP. Goodbye! (Click)

teeing off
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

I work for a solicitors firm, and one day I recieved a call from one of our users saying that "every time he started his computer it had safe mode in all the corners" (win98 se) so I went up to see him about this and found the problem sitting on his keyboard - a golfball.

I also had a call from another user saying "my screen saver doesn't work all that happens is that the screen goes black".

It wasn't as if she had a good screen saver (flying windows).

On investigation it turned out that the screen saver came on after 20 mins of inactivity, and as you have probly guessed the monitor was going into power save mode first.

No Title
Posted 09/01/2001 by Anonymous Tech Supporter
 

My submission to techtales.com. (Please leave my name off this!)

Some years ago I was doing Unix consulting, and had a client walk in.

(Some minor details blurred to protect me).

WitNit: Hello, I need some help securing my Unix system.

Me: Yes, we can do that. Please tell us about your system and situation.

WitNit: Well, I'm working for a very large company that is being investigated by the

Federal Government. I've decided to be a witness for the Govt., testifying

against my employer. I have a Sun workstation in my office at work and I've been typing up

my notes and testimony. I'm worried my employer may be able to

read my documents.

Me: Why don't you do your typing someplace secure, like at home?

WitNit: Well, it's sooo convenient to do it at work. I can print my notes to the network printer,

save backup copies of my testimony to the network file server, and the sysadmin

is helpful too.

Me: Let me see if I understand this correctly-- You're typing your secret testimony

into you employer's computer, sending it across their network to their printer,

saving backups to their disks, and letting their sysadmin have root access to your computer?

WitNit: Yes, it's all very convenient. But I see your point. Could you secure the system for me?

Me: How about for starters we change the root password so the sysadmin can't get on it

easily?

WitNit: Awww, nooo, the sysadmin then wouldnt be able to make backups of my files.

Me: Well, how about we unplug it from the network so your files are not so vulnerable?

WitNit: Awwww, noooo!, I'd have to reach in back and plug the network cable each time

I want to print. That's too inconvenient.

Me: Okay, how about we encrypt your text files?

WitNit: Well, no, we cant, I'm not using text files. I've had the sysadmin install Ventura Publisher.

(In case you don't know, Ventura Publisher was a HUGE and COMPLICATED

page layout program, about 5000 times more capability than this guy could ever begin

to understand, or ever need to just type in some plain text )

Me: That's a bit of overkill, how about we set you up on this other computer on your desk,

a Mac II, with MacWrite, and save your testimony to a 3.5 inch diskette

that you can carry with you? Much, much, much more secure.

WitNit: Nnoooooooo!, The Mac II only has a 14-inch screen, I want to use Ventura Publisher on

the big Sun 19-inch screen!

Me: Buttttt.... you can't really get any security on a Unix system where the opposition

has physical and network access to your computer plus your root password!

WitNit: Well, that's your job. Besides I have some ideas about security, how about we use

the "aylayeus" command to hide some of the commands? If the sysadmin can't

figure out what to type to get into ventura publisher, then it should be secure.

Me: "aylayeus"? never heard of that Unix command? Is it some special add-on?

WitNit: No, it's right here in the csh manual. aylayeus, it's spelled a-l-i-a-s.

(Stunning realization, this guy did not know the pronounciation or meaning

of the word "alias".)

Me: Oh, some of us call that "alias". And yes, you can alias "vp" to "veeblepletzer",

but that won't slow down anybody for more than 10 seconds.

WitNit: But the sysadmin said that would work!

(He's taking the word of the opposition!)

Me: Maybe we should go by my advice rather than rely on his?

WitNit: Well, okay, but I still want to "aylayeus" all my commands.

In the end I went thru the motions of "securing" login and ftp and "aylayeus"'ing

a few commands.

Eventually the case did go to Federal court, and surprise, the company got off

with just a few slaps on the wrist. Hmmm..... seems they'd somehow been able to

anticipate and counteract this guy's testimony..........

Keep reading that script
Posted 09/01/2001 by Bigstu
 

I know there are some dopes out there, but there really should be a way of circumventing the script.

This call refers to an insurance claim made with Orange cell phones in the UK.

Me: Hello I've just picked up my phone and the display has gone black. I would like it replacing under warranty, its only 2 months old.

Assistant: What were you doing with the phone?

Me: Nothing

Assistant:Okay, your name, address, phone number etc.?

Me: blah blah

Assistant: Where was the phone?

Me: on the dining table on board my boat

Assistant: Where was the boat?

Me:(incredulously) do you really need the longditiude and latitude of my boat for an insurance claim?

Assistant: oh no, just the street name will do!

Tales From Technical Support Index

Tales from the Techs
September 2001
  1. 2 Modems?!?!?

  2. Well, at least somebody's having fun!

  3. I'm a tech too

  4. The Usual Cable Modem Complications..

  5. TWO TALES FROM WAY OUT THERE...

  6. Printer Problems

  7. You're SURE nothing happened?!

  8. Word...?

  9. A+ for Dummies

  10. I pray that these people just make the phone calls....

  11. Owww

  12. desktop drama

  13. Help, I need somebody!!!!

  14. No Title

  15. Not just computer idiots.....

  16. No Title

  17. first day on the job

  18. The Black Wyse

  19. If you kick it hard enough.....

  20. Magnetic Personality

  21. It's a secret...

  22. Idiots don't know how to use the phone system

  23. Terminology

  24. Can't Login

  25. Reinstalling of MS Word through Windows

  26. No Title

  27. 100%

  28. High Speed Internet

  29. I will always ask if you rebooted! See a pattern?

  30. My rant, my company, my hell...

  31. The way of the fax machine...

  32. Its formated but not partitioned

  33. Loop around

  34. Electronic Raincoat

  35. Never Assume Anything

  36. Sigh...

  37. No Title

  38. You mean I need that?

  39. I THINK I SHALL NOW BE SICK

  40. Where is the unsubscribe button?

  41. Fun with Disks

  42. My Password's coming up in X's!

  43. No Title

  44. Aston

  45. Aston

  46. Which is worse?

  47. Network Administra..duh

  48. Hello Officer

  49. Stupid Librarian

  50. "So Easy to Use, No Wonder It's Full of Idiots"

  51. Avionics Insp./Retired

  52. cannibals

  53. Not all calls are (l)users

  54. No Title

  55. The Other Side of the Fence

  56. Selective blindness and other oddities

  57. I'mSoMean

  58. Password/Keyboard Problem

  59. Dating

  60. Oral Motherboard Fryer

  61. No Title

  62. Uninformed Tech Support

  63. Stupid Customers!!!

  64. Newbie Installs Processors

  65. Mail waiting

  66. Vacuums

  67. our techs control the world

  68. no post/no video

  69. Compujerks part III: the Hub! Don't forget the hub!

  70. I'm a Network Engineer

  71. CD-Rom use and abuse

  72. But I'm an expert!!

  73. CompuJerks Part IV: Dusty Power Supply?

  74. CompuJerks Part V: hard copy

  75. CompuJerks Part VI: What colour is the sky?

  76. Thank you very much

  77. Stick With the Dumb Terminal

  78. My Router's Not Working

  79. Is This the Printer?

  80. The doubleclicker

  81. Brain-LESS

  82. A new battery, please

  83. No Title

  84. IT = Internet Trouble

  85. the blackout

  86. Email support

  87. Skuzzy

  88. coffee holder?

  89. No Title

  90. Is this monitor under warranty?

  91. No Windows

  92. Change your ISP phone number

  93. teeing off

  94. No Title

  95. Keep reading that script

Past Tales from the Techs:
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