Funny and Humorous Technical Support Tales and Stories

Submitted Tales From Technical Support

Tales From Technical Support Content

Blur vision
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I do tech support for a local distributor and one fine day a customer called up complaining that he bought a new power supply and it screwed up his monitor quality.

Now I know the brand was one of the best we had, there MIGHT be the possibility this one had so bad EMI that its affecting the monitor... but well, it's more likely to stop working before that happened.

Finally after ten minutes verifying with the user, he finally yelled something along these lines,

Cust: 'Hey look, I know my stuff okay? The power supply is screwing up my monitor, even on my other computer, the picture is fuzzy!"

ME: (???) Even on your OTHER computer?

Cust: yeah, that's how bad it is.

ME: But it is not possible, there is no connection between your new power supply and another computer.

Cust: Of course there is, they are connected through the monitor.

Me: (????) Er, sir, your two computer are sharing the same monitor?

Cust: Yeah, neat right? Just got this KVM too, and it worked fine, unlike your power supply.

ME: ...

Took me another five minutes to explain to him about KVM, video cables and display quality. Told him to try the monitor without the KVM and call me back if it's still fuzzy. He never called back.


Oh my!
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for a fairly large isp in a rural town in Louisiana. We get some interesting calls pertaining to computer problems, not internet problems. Apparently, some people see the words "technical support" and assume that we do general support.

The one that I will always remember is the lady who asked why her computer wouldn't do anything. I began asking her the general troubleshooting questions when she stopped me.

The computer wasn't getting any power. Asked customer what her computer was plugged into. "The surge protector". Not meaning to be a smart a**, I asked her what the surge protector was plugged into. Her response knocked me out of my chair. "The surge protector". She had taken the surge protector and plugged it into itself. The scary thing was this lady is a teacher.

No Title
Posted 05/01/2002 by James Billings

I work for a software company who do accounts s/w for legal companies. I am the muppet who takes all the support calls... One day, a user rings up. She doesn't normally use our s/w but is having trouble logging in- message says the software can't find the database file on the server.

So I get her to go into network neighbourhood, and all the machines on their LAN are there. I get her to double click the server, and she gets access denied. I ask if she logged into her PC, and she says yes, but I get her to reboot again anyway (never believe them...)

Sure enough, she tries again, same thing. I asked if she definitely entered her password and logged into the network. Apparently she did... I wonder if something odd is going on at the server end, but the other users are fine. I give it one last go- she reboots, gets to the login screen, and I tell her to type her password (tappy tappy down the phone). Then I tell her to OK it.

"OK it?" she asks... "

"Yeah, click the OK button" I reply.

"Oh, I normally press the little X at the top right of this box..."

I explain briefly what the 'X' does before going to find more coffee...

Passing the buck...
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Not strictly tech support but definitely applicable.

I was printing a two-page file on my roommate's Macintosh computer but had only inserted one sheet into the ink jet. Before I could add the second sheet the Mac of course gave me an error message telling me to check the printer. Then the built in voice recognition software sprang to life and a feminine sounding computer voice said:

"It's not my fault.."

I'm not sure what it said after that, because the two of us in the room immediately burst out laughing. Perhaps computers are getting a bit too human.

Posted 05/01/2002 by j-lo

Oh hell no....that's two strikes.

Me: It's a standard procedure in these cases.

Her: Ok, then.

Of course, it prints flawlessly from the crap application, and from a few others. So we get to her REAL problem - Her.

Her: Ok, here is the web address:

She spits out a web address in the string of letters in the address bar...

Me: Ma'am, you need to slow down, I can't type in that fast.

Her: What?!?

Me: Ma'am, can you send me a link to the site in an email?



Oh God.....

Five minutes later, I had written in the entire link in the address bar, word for word.

The site loads....and I start to cry. Of course, it's a site where the text and the background are matching colors, both blue, in this case. The only way I figured this one out was by highlighting the seemingly blank page.

Me: Ok, I see the problem.


Give me a reason not to hunt this person down.....

Me: Ma'am, you need to copy this text into another application, like notepad or ....


Me: Ma'am, this site doesn't print out properly because the text and the background are the same color. You can copy and paste the text into another


So I lose it..



Her: Okay then...just explain whatever it is you want to say so I can finish my web page.

Me: Your web page? Well, you can start by changing the color of the text for a more permament solution. However, if you need the printout now, you can copy the text into a program like wordpad or (click)

Me: Hello? Hello?


No lie...five minutes later, same number on the caller ID.


Other Tech: Ma'am, can we start by getting your member information?

Last I heard, the other guy was turning down the volume on his headset and reaching for advil. Of course, by then, I had left for the rest of the day...


The people that educate our youth these days...part 2
Posted 05/01/2002 by Fira-the disenchanted student

A teacher of mine asks me to help with her printer as it says it has no connection so i go and check the chords, everything is fine. I then ask her if it's plugged in she says yup and i check the chord.... it was plugged into the printer not the power strip, when i told her that she said "... I coulda fixed that"

This is the same teacher who backs nothing up and hands me her only copy of the class grades on a floppy... I almost grabbed a magnet from the side of her comp ... Yes the SIDE of her comp and ran it over the grades just to spite her, I'm just too damn nice arn't I.

Up yours, click
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

It never ceases to amaze me how really stupid the average computer luser can be. Especially when applying for system IDs after being told repeatedly that paperwork is required.

My work changed from desktop support to administration of multiple platforms a while back and I thought (foolishly) I'd seen the last of total idiots masquerading as computer operators.

I call locations, am talking with the person whose information I have ready, (which they NEED to make any money) and receive responses like, "I'm sorry, the manager is not here, I can't write down someone's ID." click, (It is yours, idiot.)

I call, just asking for two seconds, get put on long hold, ( I hang up) and later try to call multiple times, receiving busy signals or no answer. Their loss, three tries, I close the ticket. Reapply and wait, or quit, you'll save me the trouble of dealing with you.

I leave a message barely able to talk, stating that I have lost my voice, please call the helpdesk. no good, two messages from same person thinking they're God's favorite. You may be, but you're not mine. Deleted both messages, no callbacks made.

People emailing me, thinking request will be expedited, correct ID applications form emailed right back, message deleted. No acton taken.

And unless anyone thinks I'm being a louse, it is company WRITTEN policy for the last TEN YEARS or more that unless there's a correctly filled out and signed HARD COPY, no IDs will be created. Oh no, that doesn't apply to me, click. Up yours.

He has a dream
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I had a feeling I was in trouble when the subject was all capital letter. What's more, it had the ominous description, "EVERYTHING"

I do tech support for a web hosting company over email. Sometimes I'm very thankful I don't actually have to talk to the customers. This would be an example. I think the letter speaks for itself:


Notice it's all still capital letters? Of course it doesn't stop there. He has a domain name. He wants to build a virtual mall. Apparently he's somehow got 900 stores. I'm not sure if they came willingly. I'm certain they didn't come knowingly. But here's the kicker:


So, with best wishes in my heart, I sent him to a competitor.

Restart? But i dont need to restart?
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

i know all of you techies, including me hate being the one to fix all the problems of the computers within your family, if you are living with them, or have your own.

this is the most annoying thing sometimes...

conversation of me and my mother

M: me

Mo: mother

Mo: my computer isn't working

M: (annoyed, trying to play a computer game) What?

Mo: my computer isn't working

M: how?

Mo: I can't connect to the internet, i think its the modem

M: no the DSL is fine, im on the internet right now

Mo: I think its the modem

M: (now really annoyed) the modem is the DSL, and its working fine, because im on the internet

M: did you change anything on the computer

Mo: no, the last thing i was doing was reading email

M: when was that?

Mo: yesterday

M: then just restart your computer

Mo: thats not the problem

M: (now annoyed, knowing that she's trying to act smart)yes it is, the modem is fine

Mo: but its not the problem

M: yes it is

Mo: no

M: yes now restart

Mo: no, i dont think thats the problem

M: (gets up out of chair goes downstairs and resets the computer) there, now when it starts up it will be fine

Mo: (pissed off) [says alot of things, i dont listen, then i hear a faint thank you at the end]

just tells you how some people are abit too resiliant, and yes, we techies are correct, if you are not very computer smart, then dont act like you are...

we know the moment you start blaming something else, like if the your monitor isnt working, and you blame it on your keyboard...

and dont say that you are a net executive or something of high stature if you dont know what the START BUTTON IS

Antivirus Support
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Ok, I work for an ISP and I got a call that went something like this.

Me: Thank you for calling blabla how may I help you.

User: Is blabla there, we were talking to him earlier.

Me: I dont know who that is, how can I help you.

User: Well, we just bought norton antivirus and we dont know how to install it so we need help.

Me: Ma'am, we dont support Norton Antivirus, you will have to call their technical support number for help.

User: What do you mean you dont support, what the hell do you support?

Me: We support getting you online but antivirus is out of our scope

User: Thats bull%$#@, one of your idiot techs that we spoke to earlier said that we might have a virus and that we need to go buy this program and run it and now you are telling us that you dont support it. Why do you say that we need this then if you dont support it?

Me: Everyone needs antivirus, and we suggest that everyone has one on their computer but that doesnt mean that we support it. The company that manufactures it, in this case Norton, provides support for it and they have their own number that you have to call.

User kept on barking something about the Antivirus and support until I finally asked her what she is looking at and told her to select her hard drive and press scan and then I told her to open up the book that came with the software and read it and pay close attention to the support info especially the phone numbers to contact Norton. Some people are just so stupid, they think that since we are their ISP then we can fix any problem and walk them through any program on their computer.

ID10T Error?
Posted 05/01/2002 by Heather

I work DSL tech support for a major provider and here are some examples of stupid things people do every single day:

Me=ME, Customer=EU.

1.ME: "Can I have your *** (name of company) email address?"

EU: "Sure," (I don't work for yahoo)

2.ME: "May I have your area code and phone number please?"

EU: "55066" (um, that's your ZIP CODE!!)

3.ME: "Which modem are you using?"

EU: "The one you sent me"

ME: "Can you be more specific? We send out a few different kinds"

EU: "The DSL one"

ME: "I understand it's a DSL modem, do you know the name?"

EU: "It says A-R-E-S-C-O-M on it"

ME: "Okay so you have the Arescom"..5minutes later.. "Unplug

the power cable out of the back of the Arescom."

EU: "What's that?"

4.ME: "Which Windows OS are you running?"

EU: "Windows 2000ME" OR "Windows XPME" (??)

5.ME: "Right click 'My Computer' and go to 'PROPERTIES'"

EU: "There is nothing that says 'PROPERTIES'

ME: "What do you see?"

EU: "A:\, C:\, E:\, Dial Up Networking...."

And I just love it when I tell the EU, "Go to Control Panel, and double click the 'Network' icon."

EU: "There is no 'Network' icon.

ME: "Are you sure? They are in alphabetical order."

EU: "Nope, Nothing that says 'Network', what now?"

ME: "You have to call your OEM, because your system has bigger problems than I can help you with!"

EU: "Really?"

ME: "Yes, Really."

EU: "OH! Did you mean the 'NETWORK' icon?"

ME: "Yessss..."

EU: "Here it is!"

ME: (banging head on desk)

Finally, this is when I called our internal Escalation Dept (these people make more money than me). Escalation Tech will be represented by T3.

ME: "The customer can Ping his modem, but he can not ping an outside IP or a URL."

T3: "Okay, can he ping"

ME: "I didn't try, but he can't ping"

T3: "Okay, go try to ping"

ME: "(??) Alright..." come back "Nope, can't ping"

T3: "Okay, now go do a Trace Route to"

ME: "Why do a trace route if he can't even ping it??"

T3: "I don't know, do it anyway."

ME: (????) "Fine" (did the ridiculous trace route) "Okay, we did it"

T3: "What did it say?"

ME: "NOTHING! It was a bunch of 0's and *'s!"

And last but not least, I was just put through a refresher training course and we had handbooks to follow along with.

In the first handbook, on one of the first pages, they have the following definition of a TSR:

TSR (tee-es-ahr), n. abbreviation of Technical Support Representative.

Reading the pronunciation is more complicated than reading the letters T, S, and R!

What is the world coming to?

The (Non) Color Printer
Posted 05/01/2002 by scooter71

Would someone please explain to me why...WHY! people insist on printing out a full-sized black and white picture of their (nephew/neice/son/daughter/third husband's fourth wife's second cousin's step-neice) on a COLOR PRINTER???

"I'm the Administrator"....Riiiight
Posted 05/01/2002 by Skarloey

I do network repair/support at a large university where I am in grad school. I got a call that a computer in the medical school computer lab could not connect to the network. I went to the network closet (where the hubs and switches are) and found that the patch panel was not labeled correctly with the cables and rooms, making it very difficult to find the specific computer's connection because there were at least 100 connections in the patch panel.

I told the guy who called the problem that it might be a little while because I had to trace out the cable, there were only a few labels and they did not appear to be correct. This guy made a big deal over the fact that he was the System/Network Admin for the medical school, and he knew what he was doing and obviously I didn't. (Don't ya love that!!!) He insisted that he lead me around and show me where things are. He took me into the network closet, saying that "there is a clear and obvious order on the patch panel". While he is saying this, he is looking the stack of switches up and down. I am about to ask him what he is doing, and he said, "What am I looking at???" I calmly replied, "Gee sir, those are switches...the patch panel is over here." He said, "Oh, these are switches? Um, oh yeah..."

System/Network Admin my DO these people get their jobs????

Mocrosoft Oulook
Posted 05/01/2002 by Graham W. Boyes

This was an actual e-mail.

I have or my dad has Outlook Express and there is no Option Mail Display Settings-) Headers "I don't k=now how to do square brackets" X Advanced.

Should we go Mocrosoft Oulook and ask for trouble?

Does anyone know what he wants? I sent him back a note telling him the bracket keys were on top of the apostrophe key.

I really do know what I'm doing!
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for a very large software company in the state of Washington. Recently, I was forced to work remotely over a standard (toll free) telephone line (quite a step down from my cable modem), because my wife was in the Hospital, and I had a deadline to meet. I managed to arrange all the hardware (laptop, smart card, etc.) and establish contact with the corporate network; I then used Remote Desktop to connect to my two main compuers. Everything worked fine for three days. On the evening of the third day, every attempt to dial in resulted in an error 619 (which means the other end of the connection was terminated, usually due to a time-out). I dug out my calling card and called our corporate Hell Desk. The conversation went something like this:

Him: Helpdesk; may I have your alias?

Me: ########

H: How can I help you:

M: I'm attempting to RAS into the Corpnet using my laptop. Everything has been working fine for the last three days, but this afternoon, I get a RAS 619 error.

H: "Are you using VPN or RAS?"

M: RAS; directly into one of the Corporate toll-free RAS lines.

H: Are you using a smartcard?

M: Yes.

H: Are you using a DLS or cable modem?

M: No; I'm using a standard 56K modem to 800-xxx-yyyy, which is a direct connection to the corporate modem pool.

H: Are you behind a firewall or a router?

M: No; I'm doing a direct-dial RAS connection.

H: I need you to check your configurations. [Asks me to open properties, etc.]

M: OK, but it worked perfectly well only two hours ago, so I doubt if it's a configuration problem.

H: What error are you getting? Does it dial out at all?

M: When I launch the connectoid, it asks for my smartcard PIN. It then asks for my username, password, and domain. Once I enter those, it dials, and reports success. It then brings up the message "verifying username and password." After precisely 100 seconds, it reports an error 619.

Just for your information, I support this technology (I do, and have for two years) and I know that a 619 error almost always occurs when the remote server does not respond to the credential challenge.

H: Well, I don't see any reported problems with the servers. Are you sure you don't have a firewall or a router in the system?

M: It's a direct RAS connection. My modem to your modem. No firewalls; no routers.

H: Well, I'm not sure what could be causing it. Have you checked other numbers?

M: I've tested all the toll free numbers. Those that answer give the exact same problem.

H: Have you tried a toll number?

M: I can't. RAS doesn't work well with my calling card, and I'm behind a switchboard that won't allow outgoing long distance calls.

H: Where are you calling from?

M: A hospital in Federal Way.

H: I have a local number for you to try. DO you have something to write with?

M: Yes--go ahead

H: Area code 425__

M: Sorry, but area code 425 is long distance from Federal Way.

H: Are you sure?

M: Yes; Federal way is in the 253 area code and all calls to 425 are long distance. Federal way actually has two exchanges; one is a Tacoma local and one is Des Moines local (which reaches Seattle). This Hospital has a Tacoma-local number (probably because all its sister Hospitals are in Tacoma). I cannot dial a 425 number from here.

H: OK. Can we check your dialing parameters?

M: [Humoring him] Yes. What do you need to know?

H: Do you need to dial 9 to get an outside line? Do you have the dialing rules set correctly?

M: Yes; look, I know how all this works. I know how to make a RAS connectoid work. This one was working perfectly only a few hours and I haven't changed anything. Do you have a RAS system around there?

H: Let me check. What number were you calling?

M: 800-xxx-yyyy.

H: Please hold; this might take a few minutes.

M: [OK] Ten minutes of the most brain-destroying hold music go by.

H: Sir? I've just checked, and every toll free number seems to be giving the same trouble. We're trying to track it down now. In the meantime, the main toll number does work, so you'll either need to try that or just be patient.

M: Thanks. Have them check the IAS servers first. [Click]

Forty-five minutes of my life taken up by a temp drone (I recognized his tempness when he gave me his e-mail alias) who seems to think that people commonly use routers for analog dial-up.

Marketing people are morons!
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I've been talking to our marketing/design person about the possibility of putting messages on our web sites warning customers of the possibility of an outage while we're moving all our servers a half-mile down the hill. Here's part of what she says:

"Sales frequently has to calm concerns of prospects and customers alike about the stability of our systems. Making a blanket announcement like this, threatens the perception we work to instill that our systems are cutting edge and secure.

In a worst case scenario where the entire site is down, we can post a page saying that we are down for routine maintenance and provide numbers for immediate assistance. If we have to."

Do you see any problem with that last paragraph?

Reboot Your Pager
Posted 05/01/2002 by Kevin Solik

Two of my co-workers had been studying for their A+ exam for several weeks and was naturally on their mind. They had both been working on a computer when they started hearing beep codes. They had just studied the section on different beep codes at boot up and where trying to figure out what the beeps meant. After several minutes and several more beep codes they were completley stumped. Giving up, they decide to go to lunch and come back to the computer later. While walking down the starts far away form the computer they hear the beeps again. It turns out one of them was wearing a pager and it was going off!!

Idiot Internet User
Posted 05/01/2002 by Nick

I worked for a small ISP last fall and was used to getting the normal 2-3 phone calls per evening. Typically, it was people that just needed to have their settings reset for their dialup connection.

It just so happened that one of the outside techs in our company happened to be helping out with phone support that evening. I'm lucky he was the one that answered the following call:

Customer calls up saying that they cant get connected. Adam(outisde tech) goes through the normal process of checking all of the dialup settings and network protocols. After that he had customer look in device manager for any conflicts and asked if the modem was dialing. Everything seemed the way it should. Then Adam asks the customer for their username and password. Adam searched our database for the person and they come back non existant. He then searches for their phone number still at no avail. Adam asked them if they were actually one of our customers and the person said:

"I got these settings from my friend's computer and I wanted to try it out, so I put it on my computer too."

However, he wasn't using his friends username and password. He decided to "make one up" and use it. He wasn't even registered for our service and was wondering why it wouldn't work. What a moron.

Meanwhile, Adam hangs up and walks to his desk where he has an old IBM 386 server sitting. He picks it up and takes it out back. (Keep in mind that it is the middle of winter here) He picks up the hammer and completely destroys the whole server. It took him 10-15 minutes to do it but let me tell ya, that parking lot was in a mess when he was done!

Adam then exclaims, "That was the last *****net call i am ever going to take." Sure enough it was.

Voicemail moron
Posted 05/01/2002 by Nick

This happened to be Good Friday when this happened. Our company was closed from noon-3p.m. in observance of Good Friday and some moron decides they are going to call. Fine. They had no idea we were closed probably. SOmehow the voicemail ended up in my voicemailbox and here is what the customer said:

"Where is everyone? Your company sucks. I can't get ahold of anyone over there. You have terrible service. All I get is voicemail messages. When you get this message I want someone to call me immediately!"

It just so happened the dumb %$#@ for got to give us her name and phone number. I wasn't complaining.

Hillrats 'R Us
Posted 05/01/2002 by Nick

I was doing retail sales one night for our small computer company and some idiot calls for some tech support. I can tell the guy had to be from the south or something because he had a southern accent. What's worse is he was probably drunk because every word was slurred together. He proceeded to tell me that he had tried putting a VooDoo5 5500 in his little HP mini tower. He also said that he couldn't get the machien to turn on after he installed it but didn't understand why. THose pieces of crap only have about a 75W power supply in them. Hmmm, what could have happened? I wonder.

Posted 05/01/2002 by AfterDawn

Just got back from a lecture on data suppositories...

The puking printer...
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I am a call centre agent for an unnamed company. We have a line of printers that we support.


Guy calls in saying that his printer was failing the cartridge alignment. It had failed 8 times now and he's all pissed off. I tried printing another one and it failed so we reset the printer. Suddenly, the test page came out and had printed 8 pages worth of ink on a single inch of the page.

As soon as the page was spit out, A LOT of printer ink gushed out onto his carpet and shoes!! So this guy is yelling, "F@CK! THIS PIECE OF S@IT JUST SPRAYED INK ON MY SHOES! I'M NEVER BUYING ONE OF YOUR S@ITTY PRODUCTS AGAIN!!" and on and on. I'm taken by complete surprise and freaked out, searching the database for information on how to remove ink from carpets (yeah, laugh now...) only to find there's no information about such things (go figure.) I flag down a supervisor who doesn't know what to make of any of this.

I take him off hold and all I can think of to offer is a free ink cartridge. He happily accepts and the call is finished. Didn't want an exchange, didn't seem to concerned about his carpet or shoes suddenly and thanks me for my time.

Upon typing up my case notes I realized that this was probably nothing more than a well throught out scam for some free ink cartridges. I'm willing to pay for this otherwise free entertainment that he provided me! :)

Help they'er watching me!
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Everyone who has spent time surfing online has encountered those lovely pop-up ads trying to sell you something from diet pills to vacuums. Well The following story just proves that fact that there are some people that shouldn’t be near a box of dull crayons let alone a computer…

It was later afternoon at the Helpdesk, a busy day but nothing too out of the ordinary when the call came in.

HD: Thank you for calling the Helpdesk, how can I help you?

Luser: Ummm yeah dude, why are the police watching me?

HD: What do you mean the police are watching you?

Luser: I just got a message on my screen that says the Police are watching me. Are they going to arrest me?

HD: A message, do you mean an Email?

Luser: No, it’s a message on my screen. I was online and this message came up that told me the police were watching me. I didn’t do anything, why are they going to arrest me?

HD: Just relax sir, they ar not going to arrest you. That message wa just a pop up ad, you can close it out.

Luser: But if I do that will they still arrest me?

HD: Can I have your name for our records?

Luser: Ummm you’re not going to call the police are you?

HD: No, we just need it for our records to show that you called us.

The Luser eventually gave us is information, and hung up. We are not sure if the police in fact arrested him or not

A Slow Night On The Help Desk
Posted 05/01/2002 by Charlie Cotterman

BBBRIIINGG…UD Help Desk, Charlie speaking, may I help you?

"I have a question…"

OK, what can we do?

"How many cc's are in an ounce?"

????????????????? Uhhhh…what is this for?

"Well, I've picked up some medicine for my horse, and the label says give him two ounces with every feeding, but the little cup says it holds 29.6 cc's and I need to know how much to give him."

Ma'am, how did you get this number?

"In the phone book…"(the UD help desk isn't listed in the Dayton phone book)

What number were you calling?

"Miami Valley Hospital."

Well, you've reached the University of Dayton computer Help Desk.

"Ohhh…well, I guess you wouldn't be able to help me then (laughing)."

Well, maybe…let's see what we can do here. (Access Internet, access Dogpile search engine, keyword search "volume conversion", settle on , and phumpher through all the various units of whatnot to find the right one. Eventually find that 1 fl oz = 29.573 milliliters, and that 1 milliliter of water weighs 1 gram and has a volume of 1 cubic centimeter)

OK, here we go. 1 ounce = 29.5 milliliters = 29.5 cc's - the directions said give the horse two ounces of - what is this stuff anyway?


Good - if we're wrong, we won't kill him (laughter on both ends of phone). OK, two ounces per feeding and the little cup says it holds 29.6 cc's, that means two cups per feeding.

"Thank you, you've been very helpful!"

Have a good day!

"You too. Bye!"(CLICK)

December 6, 2000, about 6:15pm. Debbie was here and she's a witness. I swear it happened.

It really did….


I did it and I'll admit it.
Posted 05/01/2002 by Greg

For all you poor techs who have to deal with people who "didn't do anything", I will relate my personal tale of truth and honesty.

A few years ago I bought a new PC. It came complete with Windows 95, the latest version at the time. Now, I'm no tech or computer expert, but I have the ability to learn and remember. I used to be a DOS whiz, but I hadn't spent enough time to really understand Windows. So, I would say I knew enough to be dangerous.

Anyway, I had borrowed a couple of games from my brother that I couldn't run on my old PC. One of them had to be run from DOS. So, I went into DOS and proceeded to load the game and configure the settings for video and sound (ah, the days before plug-n-play). Well, the first time I run the game, instead of sound I get screeching. That can't be right. I rerun the sound configuration and try another setting. Nope. After about 15 minutes, I give up and decide the game just isn't going to work for me.

When the computer reboots into Windows, I realize that there is no sound. I check the settings in control panel and everything seems fine. I try everyhing I can think of (which isn't much), but no luck. This computer is brand new, so there is no way I'm going to forget about this. My wife wasn't overly concerned as long as she could still work. But, since I use computers for the real purpose (games), I need sound.

A couple of days later I call CompUSA where I bought the machine and talk to the tech. He tells me that they could look at it and fix the problem (if possible) for $75. I confirm with him that the money is a flat fee and not hourly. He assures me that it's a flat price. So, now I have to decide if I'll bring it in or see if I can fix it and possibly do more damage. I know it's a real simple problem, but I just can't figure out what it is.

I decided to let the pros handle it and I'll forgo buying any new games for a couple of months.

I call back and ask how long it would take and what they need me to bring in. They tell me a couple of days and all I need to bring is the CPU (they've got all the cables and cords they'll need) and the game. So, I pack up the CPU and game CD and drive across town.

When I enter the store, I go to the repair desk and place my CPU on the desk and wait. About a minute later, a girl comes out of the back and asks if she can help me. I looked at her point blank and said "I broke this computer and I need you to fix it."

She stared at me for about ten seconds with a surprised look on her face. "You're the first person ever to admit that." Hey, what's the point in lying? I already had to tell the spousal unit, so this is nothing. I relate the tale of what happened, hand her the culprit game, and I'm on my way.

Two days later, I get a call that the computer is fixed. When I get to the store, the tech who fixed it came out to talk to me. He said the problem was a corrupt driver that he reinstalled (I knew it was simple). He then advised me to not try and reinstall the game because it would probably corrupt the driver again. I thanked him, paid the $75, took my computer, and went home. Even more surprising, I sent the game back to my brother and never tried to reinstall it. Shockingly, the sound never went out again and the sweet sound of explosions continue to echo through the house.

It's amazing how easy things are when you tell the truth and admit your own mistakes.

No Title
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

This is an actual customer's letter to tech support, complaining about a Dial-up:

Have I been having troubles!! I bought a new pc and have had lots of trouble connecting. doing better now but I seem to connect at a slower speed number than I did when I first went w/isp and same with the new hp.from like 115 at first to now 44.?.can you explain this to me? I have called in numerous times but the fellow who answers your phone has a speech and understanding problem and many times we get nothing done. I have called in early in the day and a nice young english speaking lady helped me quitee a bit.I have considered another carrier for my internet business. I hope your assistant learns to speak better english soon. It is most frustrating at a time when I am in dire need of help for someone to pull such a stunt on me. I hae enough difficulty with computers anyway and i need all the help and understanding I can get when I am in trouble.I hope you understand my predicament here so I wont have to switch to someone else just for internet service.I realize I may sound like an Archie Bunker and for that I apologize.But it is my $$$$$$$ and I feel I should have input into what I get for my money...(CUSTOMER)

Do you want me to die?!?
Posted 05/01/2002 by Leslie

This is a story my friend Andy (aka Pezpunk) just told me on the Straight Dope message board:

"Do you want me to die?"

That's what one of his customers just asked Pezpunk when he told the customer that his telephone line does not qualify for DSL service.

Customer: "Do you want me to die?"

Andy: "What?"

Customer: "Do you want me to die?"

Andy: "No, sir! Why would you ask that?"

Customer: "Because you won't give me DSL."

Andy: "I don't follow, sir. Why would not having DSL kill you?"

Customer: "Because it is my passion!! It is my passion to surf the internet!!"

Andy: "Okay. Well, DSL is not a life or death product. Your line does not qualify for it, so you cannot get it. You will live."

The customer then decided to cancel his phone service! The funniest part about the conversation is that Pezpunk thinks he was serious!

Wacky Friday!

no sympathy
Posted 05/01/2002 by Matt Eddy

I was talking to an older woman one day about why she couldn't log on to her dial up account. I have probably talked to her 20 times in the 8 months I've worked here because of various problems, most of them due to her lack of ability to pay her bill. Well this particular day I just plain asked her why she doesn't ever pay her bill, and why she is surprised every month that we shut her off. Her response was priceless:

customer: "I'm sorry, but this month I've had a cold and can't pay"

me: "a cold?"

customer: "yes, i can't pay and i'm sorry (coughing, weezing, sniffles)

me: "ma'am i'm sorry you're sick, but i had a cold last week and i sent my car payment to the bank. send us the check when you are feeling better and we'll turn you on then."


No Title
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I know this has nothing to do with computers. I used to work at an order desk for a cell phone provider doing up grades on the cust handsets. About 75% of out call where eithier from or for the Customer Care line, depending on what was said to CC or if they dialed the wrong number. Anyways, I had a gentalman call in wanting to upgrade his handset, he was a prepaid customer and was not eligable through the dept I was in and I had to refer him to a retail store. The Cust informed me that it was the store who told him to call me and he was not going back to them. He also said that he tried to the warrenty dept to fix his problem for him. He wanted a replacement for his phone and wanted to know why he could not get the manufactuers warrenty to cover it getting knocked out of his pocket by a wave at the beach. Annoyed he asked to spek to the owner the building I was in and wanted the number to reach the owner of the company. I gave him to a Supervisor who wound up hanging up on the cust after reciving four letter insults and threats.

Why is it that people think they own a company after they by there product? Would you walk into Ford or Chevy's main office and demand to run the company just because your first truck was buy them regardless of the fact that you have owened a Nissan for the 10 years?

Posted 05/01/2002 by Sky

I work at the internet support center for A**tel Communications. Georgia is one of the states where we provide service. Invariably, while troubleshooting a problem with a person from that area, s/he will ask me "should I mash the button?". More and more I've gotten the evil urge to say in an urgent voice "YES, MASH THE BUTTON, MASH IT HARD!".

we've,got those.....
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

although i am not a tech now i knew you would see the humor it is a running joke with my current company's help desk

my regional manager came into my store a couple of weeks ago and i told him i was having trouble with my printer. he asked the nature of the trouble and i replyed that it almost seemed as if we had corrupted a driver,to which he very matter-of factly replyed,"we should have a whole box of extra drivers in the back...'

Not my Doctor I hope!
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work in a call center troubleshooting and processing warranty exchanges for wireless phones. The first thing I have to do is verify the equipment the customer has by having them remove the battery and read numbers from the back of the phone. Many customers have difficulty with removing the battery.

One day a customer was having a very hard time with it. I tried several times to help him, but he kept brushing me off and mumbling to himself. Finally, he says, "How do I remove the battery?" I explained to him that the battery was white and that there was a small ledge to help pull it up. The customer informs me that he doesn't see anything white. So, I asked the customer if he had removed the battery cover yet. He informs me that he has, but he still doesn't see anything white. This goes on another minute. Again, I ask him if he has removed the battery cover, because from what he is saying, it doesn't sound like it.

At this point, the customer got angry with me "I am a doctor, and have attended many years of college, and I think I am smart enough to know if I removed the battery cover or not! I have removed it, I just don't see the battery!"

Five minutes later, the customer removes the battery cover and sees the battery.

The Mumbling speakers.
Posted 05/01/2002 by Adam

I recently started working a level 1 helpdesk for the consumer lines of a computer manufacturer. Most calls are pretty routine and consist of hand-holding through simple driver problems. This one was a little different though.

I had a CU call in complaining that she would hear very distant and mumbly voices from her computer speakers. I figured at first that it was a screen-saver with "voices" on it, but the CU assured me that she didn't use a screensaver. I figured maybe there was something running on her computer at this point. I had her end task on everything except systray and explorer, but the mumbling was still there.

Living near an AM radio station that has a very stronmg signal I figure I'll ask some questions on a little bit of a whim. I start asking about interferance on her home stereo or anything. She mentions that because of her house being stucco cell phones in the home lose 75% or more signal. Not being a realter (she was) I asked what she ment. She goes on to explain that her house is basically wrapped up in chicken-wire to wich plaster was applied resulting a nice looking house, that also worked great as an anttena. At this point I gave her some ideas about shielded speaker cables and moving her PC to differnt rooms in the house to eliminate the interferance caused by the house sized anttena that the computer was sitting about 6 feet from.

(Great site by the way, helps pass the time on Sunday or late at night.)

Internet Inside
Posted 05/01/2002 by Mr Hell

This is a story I heard from one of the office ladies who works at the University Hall of Residence in which I live.

Her father voiced an interest in buying a computer, and asked her advice on how to go about it.

"Well it really depends on what you want to use the computer for," explained my office working friend. As oldies tend to do pretty much nothing with their computers except type letters, and complain about how their old typewriter was much more straightforward, I figured he'd have been better off with an older one.

"Do you plan to connect to the internet?" asked the office lady. I picture her fathers face being one of those solid "I know what I'm doing" looks seen typically in people who have absolutely no idea what they're doing, as he replied "No. What's the point in that?! All that informations already on there, isn't it?!"

No Title
Posted 05/01/2002 by Lisa

Now, I'm not trying to insult tech support people. I consider myself tech support even though technically I do warranty exchanges for wireless phones. But we are not "the tech support desk".

Now, I have had this occur on many occations where a customer is transfered to me by customer care and I am told by customer care that the customer is unable to make or receive any phone calls, and that this problem has been verified by tech support. When the customer is transfered over, the first thing I discover is that the customer is calling from the phone. And they wonder why we troubleshoot the problem.

Another common one is where customer is transfered to me by customer care.

c/c- Customer's # button doesn't work.

me - Is the problem that they can't get into voicemail?

c/c- Well, yes. But I've done all the troubleshooting with the voicemail and there is nothing wrong with it. So the problem must be with the # button.

me- Did you turn on the DTMF tones?

c/c- The what?

me- The sounds that the keys make so that the system can tell what buttons he's pushing?

When the c/c rep wants to know how to do it, I'm happy to tell them, but most of the time, they just transfer them over to me and I have the customer listening to the v/m in about 1 minute.

It's an ID 10T
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

You know the type, the user every Tech in the company knows his name (and shudders). We had a guy who tried to E-mail a 100meg plus file to his home E-mail account, crashed the E-mail server for 4 hours straight before the Network Dept found him. Who's the idiot? Him, or our boss who had refused to put a limit on E-mail? Same guy tries to send an 18meg file to a client, is extemely upset that it won't go thru (client wouldn't accept E-mail over 2 meg). Boss still won't put a limit on E-mail. Compact the database, less then 1 meg now. HR guy sends out a map to Xmas party with a BITMAP close to 1 meg, major network issues as everyone tries to open & print. Boss stills won't limit E-mail. E-mail server runs out of space, some users have over 340 meg in their folders (some have over 100meg in their deleted items folder). Boss still won't limit E-mail. Backup won't complete overnite, server problems etc becaome major, boss limits E-mail, users have 2 weeks to clean up 2 years of E-mail!! Users furious. Who's out of work? Boss os me? ME!!

Told one user he had a ID 10T problem, make sure he tells everyone about his problem in his Dept. Put it together you'll get it.

The mysterious cursor
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous

I worked for a large national computer repair firm in Canada, I was part of a on-site Tech team for a large oil company. This was back in the days of DOS 4.0 Windows 3.1,

anyway i got a call, it was from a secretary, saying that the cursor on the screen would go haywire, it would shoot across the screen and then stop sometimes, i asked is it doing it now, she replied no. So i told her that i would be there in about 10-15 minutes. I arrived found the office and proceeded to investigate the problem, she described that the cursor would shoot across the screen and then shoot back and start back again. So i asked her to show me, she sat down at the desk and then all of a sudden the cursor shoots across the screen, i step back and notice that this secretary is, lets say rather large chested. So i said give me sometime to look at the problem, she leaves for coffee a said i'll be back in a few minutes. While she was gone i adjusted her chair up a few inches. when she came back i told her to try it out, she did and the problem was fixed, she asked what i did i told her it was PEBKAC.

Funny Tech Support Form Entries
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I have been working in computer support here at school for a year now. I have seen many different kinds of people, tons of which had no clue as to what was going on… Monthly, some lucky student consultant (this month, myself) has to sort through hundreds of forms and documents and sort them manually into different categories depending on the type of problem and solution. Here are some of the more interesting entries I found this month…

Problem: --) Solution:

)No sound – Hardware --) Unmuted sound in control panel.

)Keep getting “low memory” message --) User had 15 GB of MP3’s on desktop

)Power Supply Not working --) Computer examined by technician. Evidence of computer being hacked open. Screws in wrong place, shattered joints.

)Won’t turn on Spill Damage. --) Unit sent to [manufacturer] for repair. [manufacturer] replaced: system board, keyboard, floppy, hard drive, cd-rw, vga-board, cd player board, audio jack board, switch board. [can anybody say total annihilation???]

)[virus scanner] won’t run. CD Burner keeps freezing. Ok to re-image ONLY if necessary. Froze. --) Re-imaged.

)May have virus --) Scanner deleted over 1400 files.

)No more space on email [web-based] --) Emptied trash. Freed up 39 MB space [for a maximum of of 48]

I also found a student who entered the following into a form:

)Make/Model Number of Computer: PoS (Piece of Sh**)

Half Moon Blues (and other tales)
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

This is actually several tales rolled into one. They date from my college years (1988-1992), when I was working in the computer labs as a student employee. At the time, the university had a lot of dumb terminals connected to the mainframe, with a mix of Packard Bells, Macintoshes, and even old IBM XT's with 8088 processors scattered around campus. Most of these still had 5.25" floppy disks (how quaint!).

The most memorable tale involved a female student who couldn't understand why her floppy disk stopped working. I examined it, and asked her why it was shaped like a half-moon. As it turns out, she was putting the labels on her disks *first*, and *then* running them through her typewriter to put the contents on the label!

Another tale involved a student who was enrolled in the Air Force ROTC program. Having been in the Air Force ROTC myself, I knew from experience that the Air Force tends to staple ALL paperwork; "paperclip" is practically a forbidden word. So, I just couldn't bring myself to be mad at the recruit whose disk wouldn't work because he had, just out of habit, *stapled* the label to the disk, with two staples.

The next tale is a problem with a 3.5" disk. The Macintoshes in the library computer lab were just about the only computers on campus with 3.5" drives. A program that a student was running asked for both a program and a data disk. Somehow, he managed to shove TWO 3.5" disks into the SAME drive - the Macs had only one 3.5" drive, with masking tape covering the empty slot where the other drive was supposed to go - ruining the drive in the process. (We were able to disassemble the drive and recover his disks, which were undamaged by the incident.)

Now, as I just said, the Macs only had one drive, with masking tape over the empty slot where the other drive normally went. Anyone who applied even a modicum of common sense would realize that there is a *reason* for that masking tape. There was even a sign on the wall explaining to the students that they should not try to use the non-existent drive under the masking tape. And yet, one female student peeled back the tape and stuck her disk in there. The discussion went something like this:

Me: Did you peel back the masking tape?

Her: Yes.

Me: Did you put your disk in there?

Her: Yes.

Me: Did you read the sign behind you on the wall that explains that you should NOT do that because there isn't anything behind the masking tape?

Her: No.

Me: Then there's nothing I can do. Your disk is sitting on the bottom of the computer, and it's going to stay there.

Her: Can't you get it out?

Me: No.

Her: Why not?

Me: Because I would have to take the computer apart to get it out, and that would take time. There are other students standing in line, all waiting to use the computer. We take all the computers off-line once a month and open them up to blow the dust out. If you wait that long, I'm sure that the technician will find your disk and turn it in to the library's Lost and Found department.

Her: But it has my research paper on it, and it's due tomorrow!

Me: That's YOUR problem. You'll just have to retype it.

At this point, she was upset almost to the point of hysteria. I sympathetically offered to explain to her professor why her paper would be late. In the end, he gave her a week's extension, which was more than enough time to retype it. She got an A+ on the paper, and I ended up dating her for the rest of the year. (Who says nice guys always finish last?)

Here's a *really* old tale from 1986, when I was working in the electronics department of the local Sears store, selling Commodore 64's (anybody else remember those?) One store patron purchased an entire system - at the time, a C64 with monitor, printer, and disk drive ran about $800. He bought it back the next day, complaining that it wouldn't work.

Me: Can you explain why you think it isn't working?

Him: I typed in a program from a magazine, and it wouldn't save the program to any of the disks!

Me: Did you try formatting the disk first? (These were the days before you could buy pre-formatted disks.)

Him: Format???

I pointed out to him in the manual how to format a disk. Apparently, this time he read the manuals because he took the computer home and did not return it.

Finally, I'll wrap it up with a much more recent tale, from just last year. Someone bought an entire computer system from the computer store where I was working as a technician. The next day, he calls the store complaining that he took it all out of the boxes and nothing happened.

Notice the key phrase: "Took it all out of the boxes". I discovered that he had taken the monitor out of the box and put it on his computer desk. Then he took the tower out of the box and put it on the desk, and then the mouse, speakers, printer, and keyboard. Notice that I did NOT say that he plugged ANY of it in! He did not connect a single one of the cables. In fact, some of the cables were still in the box! And yet, somehow, he expected it to work when he hit the Power button.

I was sorely tempted to tell him to put everything back in the box and return it to the store. Someone who can't be bothered to read at least the "Getting started with your new computer" part of the manual just doesn't DESERVE to own a computer. However, the part of my mind that had gotten used to the benefits of having a regular paycheck - like eating - managed to override my instincts and told him to read the first chapter of the manual and follow its directions. Once he did so, the computer worked perfectly. (As it should - I was the one who had put it together!)

Dammit Jim, I'm a Techie, not a Phonebook!
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Not *exactly* a tech story, but it proves we're human too :)

As a supervisor of a Tier 2 support center for a University, I've come across quite a few ID10T errors in my day, but one of the best ones was one I did. As the supervisor on the last shift on Friday's, I have to forward our phone system to a 24-hour Tier 2 in another department. It's a usually simple matter since the phone at the supervisor's desk is the one that controls all others. I forwarded the system as usual one Friday before closing, and went home for the weekend. That Monday morning, I was slated to work, and several people, including my boss were all hunched over the supervisor phone laughing their heads off. I naturally wondered why, and my boss proceeded to tell me the blunder. I had apparently entered the incorrect phone number. Instead of the 24-hour tech center, I had entered the phone number for the local Ronald McDonald House. They were receiving frantic calls regarding accounts and computers crashing all weekened long, and they had no idea why. That is, until they had called us. :)

Just goes to show, once again, that we're *all* human.

Make a CD copy
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I has just has a cust on the phone how want's burn a DvD to a normal CDRW. And he is asking me why it not work.I get a big smile on my face and tel him why no go .He was very pissed off becouse he has it hear from the dealer where he has buy the burner. What is happend to the dealer's in the world or want he that the cust buy it that he has more money.

If at first you don't succeed...
Posted 05/01/2002 by gonpojigme

I do dial up tech support for a major ISP and received the following call on Tuesday. Turned into a supervisor call, but nothing I could do about that. I was more than happy to turn him over...

ME = me

C = customer

ME = Welcome to... blah blah blah. How may I help you?

C = I called in and talked to one of your techs earlier. I told him I used your software and was reformatting my hard drive. I asked him if I would lose all my information, and he said "No". Now I don't have any of my old email!!!

ME = Hmmm, let me ask you a few questions. Did the tech walk you thru backing up your profile?

C = No

ME = Did you make a backup of anything on your system before you reformatted?

C = No

ME = I apologize sir, but the previous tech did give you incorrect information based on what you have told me. If you use our software then the tech you spoke to should have told you how to back up your information so nothing was lost. Let me do a search to see what I come up with. [I go check mail servers and sure enough, no mail is saved on the server, figured as much]

C = Well, I understand it's not your fault, but I HAVE to have that email!!! I had over 130 messages old emails saved and they are vital to my business!!! [cust rants and grumbles on]

ME = [I know, I know, you make a thousand dollars and hour working from home, don't you? And you use dial up???] Sir, If you use our software, all your email is downloaded to your computer to be read [just like outlook exp]. If you did indeed reformat your hard drive, then any old emails that you had saved are now gone.

C = But the last tech told me that wouldn't happen and I've been thru this before! I simply must have that email, it is very important!

ME = [Feeling sorry for the guy, and wondering what exactly he asked the last tech.] Once again, I apologize. I did just check the email sever where your mail is stored and I do not see any old email, so copies were not being left on the server. As much as I would like to help, there is nothing I can do for you as far as retrieving your lost email.

C = I understand that [do you, REALLY?], but I have to have my mail and I KNOW it is still there. I reformatted my hard drive just a few months ago and the same thing happened, but you were able to get my mail back. [of course, no notes in our system about the previous debacle]

ME = [Realizing cust didn't learn his lesson the FIRST time, and not feeling quite so sorry for him now] Sir, the situation must have been different then. Copies of your email were probably being left on the email server and they were able to retrieve the email that way. However, this is not the case this time. I am sorry, but I cannot get your old mail back for you.

C = Don't patronize me! I know you can get my mail back! Let me speak to your supervisor!

ME = Hold one moment please... [grrrrrrr]

If at first you don't succeed in f***ing up your email, try, try again.

where di they come from and why do they call me?!?!
Posted 05/01/2002 by Twitch

I work for the university I attend and help other students as a side job just to suplement my student income.

So I get this call, that wake me up from a wonderful dream involving Carman Electra.

me: "Hello?"

student: "ah yeah, my internet doesn't work"

me: "what is your Operating System?"

five minet pause

student: "Um ah, internet explore"

so I head over there

1:) the car is not installed its just on top of his system lying there

2:) the windows disk is being use as a coaster

3:) he trashed the drive disk becasue he thought they gave it to him by mistake

I wonder what this guy got on the SAT?? and how did he get into my school?

The Any Key
Posted 05/01/2002 by Kevin Long

I had a caller that had a screen pop up when he was installing a program, and had to call customer support right away when he had a problem with the message on this screen.

The message said, "Press the Any Key to Continue". He said,"I don't have an anyKey"! I told him," Oh, you have one of those new keyboards without an any key, just hit the spacebar". I thought this call was worth mentioning to you guys.

K Long MSN Tech Support.

Dumb tech, dumb
Posted 05/01/2002 by Kitty R

The dumb tech is me. (Though the customer was none too bright either.)

Background: I support our company's software.

The customer had messed up some of her data during a special utility. The appropriate solution was to restore to the backup we recommend before using this utility. Good news was that she had done one. (So many customers skip that step!) In the middle of the restore I hear some of her coworkers come in; I remind her to tell them to stay out of the program during the restore, and she says "Oh do I have to be out of [the program]? I left one station in." I tell her to close the program on that station. While she has me on hold I stand up and make big dramatic movements, pretending to slam my head against a coworkers desk out of frustration over her ignorance (for not knowing that you can't restore the data while using the program) and my mistake (of not making that point clear before we began the restore)... then I misjudged the height of the desk (CRACK!). I see stars and fall to the floor.

Two pieces of good news:

1) I recovered before she got back on the line.

2) The program had been at the main menu and didn't have any data files open, so the restore went fine.

Network Noise
Posted 05/01/2002 by Sinister

I am employed at a large computer manufacturing company in an inbound tech support call centre. I was working in the "Home Networking" department when one day I recieved this call from an elderly lady. It took about 20 minutes alone for me to just obtain her computer's serial number from her. She was all confused about computers, being a first time user and all.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking to myself that she is obviously NOT networking this computer. It's behond her capibilities, but I have to ask anyhow because her call came in on that line. "Madam, are you networking this computer?" I said. I assume a little hard of hearing she replies, "Do what now?". I say "No, is this computer part of a home network?". She still can't understand what I'm asking her to do so I speak up a little. "COMPUTER. COMPUTER NETWORKING?", to which she replies; "Oh, yeah. Yeah, Computer. Computer's NOT WORKING!".

Luckily I had a mute button to contain my laughter, God bless her soul.

Isn't it obvious?
Posted 05/01/2002 by Bruce Lane

Not directly computer-related, but still a good chuckler.

Besides my day job, I also run a side business at home. Much of my communications for such takes place over my cellphone. Said cellphone came with voicemail and caller ID as standard features, no extra charge. They work great, and the whole setup has been a Truly Great Thing for me.

One day, as I'm walking out to my car, the cellphone starts ringing. I had my hands full, so I wasn't able to answer before the voicemail picked up. Said voicemail has a very clear announcement, stating right off the bat that you've reached the mobile for Bruce Lane and Blue Feather Technologies, etc.

Later, when I checked the ID readout for that call (my phone logs them), the number didn't look like any of my customers, friends, or family. Curious, I dialed into voicemail and played back the message. It was an older lady, who sounded like she wasn't quite firing on all thrusters, talking to me like I'm her son or housekeeper or something, and reminding me to stop at some drugstore to pick up her prescription!

Concerned, I tried calling back to explain that she'd reached the wrong phone. No one ever answered despite repeated calls, and I never got a machine at her end either.

To this day, I still wonder why she didn't get it, from the outgoing announcement with my name and that of my company on it, that I was the wrong one to be spilling personal medical details to.

Posted 05/01/2002 by gggreggg

We recently upgraded all of our workstations from NT 4.0 to Windows 2000. Our receptionist had a nasty tendency of installing any software she finds on the Internet, and couldn't understand why after a while she would start getting this "Dr. Watson thing". When I got around to her workstation, I set her up as a restricted user, disallowing her the option of installing anything that would modify the registry. One of the apps she used on a regular basis was for Internet postage, which would print out pre-stamped envelopes. No matter what I tried, I could not get the program to run as a restricted user. I called tech support hoping to discover what registry keys the software was trying to access, and perhaps allowing the appropriate permissions on those keys would allow the program to work. The response I received was:

Me: Yes, we've upgraded to Windows 2000, and now when trying to run your program as a user, it tells us that there is already another instance of that program running.

Tech: I've seen this before, it's a permission problem.

Me: Well, I kind of suspected such and was wondering if you knew what it was trying to access so I can grant the proper permissions.

Tech: You'll have to get a network administrator.

Me: .......umm, I am the network administrator.

Tech: Well, I don't know what to tell you other than you need a network administrator to fix the permissions, if I was a network administrator I sure wouldn't be working here.

Me: Umm, OK, I'll see if I can't figure it out.

Next day I called back, hoping to get someone on a different shift. No luck, I got the same guy. After stating the same problem, and telling him I could only get it to operate with administrative rights, he informed me that the problem was easy, just grant the receptionist administrative rights. I kindly informed him that this kind of goes against the whole concept of network security and asked if there was someone in the programming department I could talk to. After putting me on hold for 5 minutes, he came back and said he was going to put me through to his boss. I heard them both on the line for a couple minutes asking each other questions on how to forward a phone call, and then I was disconnected.

I've since found another provider of Internet postage that works quite well without permissions problems.

Foot pedal
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

The phone rings, as it always does....

Customer: My computer is not working right..

Me: What seems to be the problem?

Customer: The foot pedal is not accepting my inputs very well..

Me: Foot pedal?

Customer: Yes, on the floor...

Me: ?????

Customer: If I don't use a shoe, the contact seems to be better...

Me: (completely confused) have you purchased additional hardware for your computer?

Customer: Hardware?

Me: Yeah, are you using foot pedals for a racing game?

Customer: No...

Me: (scratching my head), can you please explain to me what the foot pedal looks like?

Customer: It is white, oval shape with 2 buttons on it, and a cord that goes into the back of my computer..

Tales at internet Cafes
Posted 05/01/2002 by Nikola

I work in internet cafes in greece and here are some nice stories from some of our "smart" customers.


Cust. Hi can i ask you something?

Me. Sure.. how can i help you?

Cust. Could you perhaps copy the Internet in this Flopy Disk so that i can have it at home?

Me. (..................)



(In internet cafes we give cards with the number of the computer so that the customer know where to sit)

The customer comes to the desk.

Cust. So how much do i have to pay.

Me. Sure.. Let me check.. Where is your Card by the way?

Cust. Well.... i put it in the slot when i went to the PC but when i pressed the button it wouldnt come out..

He had inserted the card in the floppy drive.... Smart hah ?


Cust. Hi. I would like two computers one with counterstrike and the other one only internet.

(all of our computers have an intrenet connection and counterstrike.... DAH!!!)

And the most ennoying of them all was when a client.. had put his headphones (suplied by us on his head) and had the volume all the way up...

Do you see any problem with that? No? Well.. the problem was.. that he hadnt connected them with the speakers.. so all of the Internet Cafe was listening to Celine Dion...

Well.. i had a paper with about another 20 or 30 stupid stuff that i had seen.. but i cant find it now.. maybe later..

Doing Tech Support for family....
Posted 05/01/2002 by NIkola

One day my uncle calls me up.. and he says that he has been having problems with his internet connection.. So I start to check out through the phone to see if his settings are ok.. Everything checks out ok.. so i decide to go and see what the problem is.. I sit down.. and try to dial up.. The modem is dialinf normally.. but... the phone line .. isnt respoding.. So.. i check the modem .. and i see that the phone line isnt hooked up to the modem... i turn around.. and say to my uncle..

You have to connect your phone to the modem in order to get online uncle.. My uncle stares at me.. and says.. but it is connected..

No it isnt uncle.. Yes it is.. check the back...

So i check the back.. and..

Uncle.. Let me ask you something.. Did you happen to notice.. that the cable you connected.. didnt exactly fit the slot.. ?

Uncle: No...

Me: OK..

So.. did you also happen to notice.. The big sign that indicated not connect a TELEPHONE LINE IN THE NETWORK CARD!!!

God.. i hate it when my family buys a computer.....

No Title
Posted 05/01/2002 by Adam

I know this is probably seen alot, and most likely, its already on here.

My boss, who is supposedly Cisco Cert. writes me an email........ complaining that can't send email...Go Figure.

No Title
Posted 05/01/2002 by Sarah

I work for a cable company doing tech support. I had a customer call in today because her service wasn't working & was going through the connections with her. She told me that she had a modulator in addition to her Game Cube & DVD player. She started explaing what the modulator was to me..."Since I have an older tv I had to go to Radio Shack & buy this modulator to hook up my other pieces of equipment. Actually it's really called a vagina. I know it sounds funny but it's called a vagina." I could barely contain my laughter & luckily we had fixed the problem already. She was dead serious.....LoL.

the goverment is after me.
Posted 05/01/2002 by Michael

I work for and Dial up ISP and I had this one customer call up wanting to change her member name and password. Looking into her Information and she has tried 3 times to get us to change her member name and password but as per ISP Policies we do not change member name and password. After informing the customer of this I asked her why she wanted to do this. The Customer informed me that "Some one was braking in to her computer". I asked her how she knew this she said "when I get home she would feel the Phone line and it would be Hot". After 1/2h of Putting the customers mind at ease that she No one was after her important files she agreed to call in once in a while to change her password. After that call I went home right away to check my phone line was not hot (NOT). You have to wonder sometimes why there is not a test for people to take before they own a computer. Ha-ha-ha.

Long Frustating Days
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work as a senior support tech in a medium software firm. We have clients all over the world, but the main concentration is in the US. It never surprises me how 'backward' some of our uses are. The other day, a gentleman from Alabama was on the phone. I asked him to right click his mouse, to which he replied "I don't have a right mouse, I only have one mouse".

Why me lord!

Mouse Problems
Posted 05/01/2002 by Mattie G

Ok so working in helpdesk at a place full of old gits can be quite hard... but sometimes hilarious!

A True Mouse Story


A member of staff rings up the IT helpdesk with a mouse problem. Exact conversation is below:

PERSON: "Is that the Helpdesk?"

HELPDESK: "Yes. How can i help?"

PERSON :"Yeah, its my mouse. I can't move the mouse cursor any further up the screen because i have run out of desk space"


No Beep Beep
Posted 05/01/2002 by Professor Jtron

So I just came across this site and I really have to let you in on theis one. There have been MANY more but this is the first one that popped into my mind.

CX:My modem keeps disconnecting

I run through all the tstandard checks, wires, modem and software and ask the cx if he has 2 lines cx says yes, so I have him try again as I wait on the line.

CX: OK it says connected...NOW...LETS MAKE SURE!!

The cx then picks up the receiver and puts the squeeling receiver to the phone.

CX:Yup its connected, I always check it like this and it seems fine but then it disconnects.

waaa waaa waaaaaaa

pop-up ads cost 2 pints of blood
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for a major broadband company and answer emails for tech support. This gem came in tonight. Since our service costs nearly $50 a month, this guy apparently sells his blood to pay for the service and then wrote in %$#@ing that he thinks we are somehow causing all the pop-up ads on the websites he visits! He is obviously stupid and in no position to even have an expensive broadband service if he has to sell his blood to pay for it! Ok here is the actual word for word letter exactly as it appeared in our tech support mail que. Nothing has been edited except the name:

Dear Sir,

I just want to ask you why am I getting a lot of spam?

everytime I click my mouse when I am in the internet, a perpetual

army of spam (by different companies) pop out on my screen and

trying to sell me their %$#@.

Please let me know if you are causing it. If you are, Please please let

me know

how much you sold me and please stop it because my

access in the internet under your care is NOT FREE but cost me a couple

of pint

of blood each month. So I should NOT be sold to different companies.

If you are not the one causing it, please let me know what step should



to stop these dirty creeps speading their crap in my screen.

Please reply asap because I am upset with those spams.


(name omitted to protect the idiot)

Those little fornicating porno boys must be stopped!
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work in email support for a major broadband internet company and we get emails from idiots all the time. Here are just three of many emails we received over a multi-day period from a subscriber that was receiving pornnographical email spams. This idiot keeps writing into us, wanting us to hunt down "those little boys", apparently referring to the webmasters of the porno sites, and block them from sending them porno spam. With each email we would reply back telling them over and over how spam is a big problem how we could not block the spam, and tricks on how to avoid it, such as changing your email address.

Spam is a concern to everyone of course. The thing that just makes this idiot so mind blowingly stupid is the way he actually portrays himself in these emails. I have pasted three of the several dozen emails he has sent in about the porno spams just so you all can see what kind of an idiot he is. These are unedited except for the parts where exact customer information is given.

Dear Sirs-

I have informed you about this exact same thing which happened beforehand...and absolutely was DONE ABOUT IT! Plus, those little boys who have been given WAY 'too much power' with all of the different things which they can, are doing, and 'will' continue to keep on doing! Yes Bill, I do beliefve the time is 'now' when i hope to G-d that 'SOMETHING ' will be DONE with those little boys! Just top inform you, they have continuously attempted (while succeeding) to annoy or distract me by putting diff kinds of 'porno graphicmaterial' upon my screen. I beg u Bill, to have SOMETHING DONE WITH THOSE LITTLE BOYS...FINALLY!

Thank you for your time,


Dear Sirs-

It has been the UTMOST obvious problem which i just cannot seem to 'release' that problem. Its involving both Eric (dont know his last name) n Laura XXXXXXX. They have been 'constantly' bothering my ever since 1995! Their address is XXXXXXXXX, in XXXXXXXXXX, IL. If u could, it would be the 'utmost' appreciated by both Vickie n myself if u could just 'demand' thosde little boys who have an 'adults' kind of job, to 'start acting much more mature or if u must, ure gfoing to have t sdee to it thsat theyre 'fired''. Just to 'illustrate' the same kind of thing which happens NON-STOP. Please see to it there is something 'definitely' done to discontinue their little

'service' which they r 'supposively' suppost to be busy doing 'ALL DAY


PLease Bill, see what could 'honestly' do to solve my would be greatly appreciated!!:)

Thank you very much,


Dear Sirs-

I have made this complaint a couple of times preceedingly. I have been told by my girlfriend she left me an email message wgich i nonetheless didnt receive. I am terribly sorry to inform you I believe the little and very youthful boys you have 'working' for you, have and are continuously fornicating arund with 'any' precious information which I

should have gotten, are doing so as I'm informing you, and will be doing so until you show them some power coming from a 'higher ranking'.

I thank you for your assistance,


oh boy
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

while working one night at supporting of comp illiterate cx, it was one of those nights where the calls came in one after the other with no end in sight. I had one lady call in to complain about not getting her email, i was just about to present my diagnosis when there was a muffled rapping in the back ground, and elderly ladies voice was heard saying "i get it dear!" the lady on the phone promptly told me "hold one moment please, momma don't answer the door, that's somebody shooting outside" to which the old woman responded "don't worry dear, i said i i'd get it" to which the lady on the phone said to me "hold on one minute please" then i heard footsteps running and what could only be discribed as a full running back tackle followed by a loud crash and thump, a couple moment later the lady picked back up the phone and said "sorry now you wanted me to double click on my computer?" to which i responded maam i would like you and your mother to get under your computer, please make sure to take your momma with you call us back when the local rifle club is not recruiting"

No Title
Posted 05/01/2002 by Naomi S.

Greetings! I work for a small but rapidly growing ISP in Mississippi. We have our fair share of ignorant calls. Most are just "good-ole boys" that are learning how to navigate a computer and that's not -too- bad. Today however I got a doozy.

A customer called in with some connection problems. I remember helping this person previously...he had asked for the access number for his area saying he had accidentally deleted his. My thought was...oookay. Not too sure how one could accidentally delete their access number but stranger things have happened. Anyway, I happily give him the number and say my good-byes and he's off and running....or so I thought.

A few days later, the gentleman calls back and is now getting the lovely "modem not responding" error. I think to myself, how can just deleting the phone number cause this?(all jokes about Windows functionality aside ;-p) I ask him to walk me through exactly what he did to delete that phone number. We start at the start menu and blah blah make it to Internet Options. He goes to the Connections tab the proceeds to tell me he selected his dial-up for our service and clicked remove....?!?!? Ok, so this guy thinks that his actual dial-up is his "phone number". Aaaaaaaaalrighty then! I get him to remove the one there now, named name, and set him up a new one. I didn't even want to look at how bad he must have butchered the one he set up on his own. Remembering his beginning trouble I take a look at the modem he has installed and to my suprise(not)...he has more than one listed, three to be exact. We get that straightened out and I get him off the phone to try to connect again.

Happy ending?....No, not quite.

Come to find out this guy is someone I had helped awhile back. He had bought a computer from some pharmacy. Yes, a pharmacy. IE had it's content advisor set up and of course password protected...which he didn't have. Well, this gentleman not having the password thought, "I'll show Internet Explorer! I'll delete my dial-up! That'll fix that content advisor!"


"I'm sure I've got everything connected and powered!!"
Posted 05/01/2002 by Kevin the Pil

After an installation a new router to their existing network with hub, ISDN line, surge protector, softwares. We tested and ensure everthing will be running smoothly and left. next thing in the morning, the IT support manager gave me a call early in the morning while i'm still in my dreamland. " I can't seem to connect anywhere!! There's something wrong with your router!! This things doesn't happen before!! You must come now to fix it!! ". Feeling a bit sleepy.. i asked the wrong questions, " Is every cable connected and power on?" "YES ( as usual )". Thinking a bit sleepy and dont feel like to entertain him, i asked him to call my partner. Later that day, i checked with my partner. Problem : they didn't turn on the hub which they did every morning. And they expect the router will take over the hub's function and will no longer need it. And what amaze me is, when they checking the connection, didnt they find tha cable goes to the hub from the router and the hub with multiple cables from the PCs ( which is just next to it)are connected to it.That particular company have 5 IT support guys and a manager who suppose to know this stuff. Luckily we are hired to install and no further support agreed.

erase it god damn it!
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter


I'm working in tech support for a big ISP in Israel.

I just had a customer for 30 tiring minutes. this guy wanted to connect to the internet for the first time.

it took me around 5 minutes just 2 type his all makes sense when we're dealing with someone that said "B" is the letter that lookes like glasses...

it took another 2 minutes for him to understand what is the "Shift" key...he also wondered why he cannot erase that blinking music note...yes...he was trying to erase the poor cursor...

one more story is about this old lady ho called me.

she was having trouble opening sites. I asked her what page is she trying to open, so she tells me she likes american news papers , so she typed "americannewspapers" in the URL...I wonder why it didn't open...

that's it for now

ppl who shudve been shot
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

this ones about my brother, one of those specimens who IS stupid, DOESNT accept that and is s arrogant that he refuses to even listen to advice. hes 20 and he still puts his hands over his ears and yells "aaaaaaaaaaa...." to prove that hes not listening to what i say. this is especially frustratin cos im stuck using the same computer, and id like it to work once in a while.

anyway, the comp's power supply was giving trouble, and it was randomly shutting off the computer without warning. so ofcourse, scandisk kicked in everytime it was restarted. i noticed that this brother always exited scandisk, and i pointed out to him that it should run, cos only yhen will u know if the diks's been damaged. but no. he turns to me triumphantly, as if hes takin pleasure in provin me wrong about computers, and demends: "it shouldnt happen. how can you get a virus y not shutting down windows????"

...THEN, ofcourse, our harddisk suffered cos of this same problem. in flashing letters, the "s.m.a.r.t. has detected ur disk is about to fail, please back up all important data immediately...." appears, but hee continues, still downloading new songs and chatting away. ofcourse it fails. and he starts cussing *me* cos i put on the cmp the time it finally refused to start. apparently error/warning messages are but minor annoyances that serve no purpose. the computer wouldnt DARE conk out on him, no matter what he did, cos he knows everything!!!!!

theres much more, but most recently a friend came over and sighned into msn. btw i use trillian for that. he screamed when he saw her email add in the sign-in box, and told me that no friends of mine were allowed to use *his* programs. i then reminded him that i had downloaded for him, AND set it up, THAT TOO on the windows that *I* installed on the new harddisk that **I** had installed, formatted and partitioned, ON THE FRIKKIN COMPUTER THAT I ASSEMBLED MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!

PLUSS, he was playing a card game that i had downloaded and installed for myself at this very moment!

(i realise its not exactly tech support stuff, but i hope u find it amusing...really as frustratin as lots of the stuff posted here~!!!

Virus infection?
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

The background: My wife is very non-technical but is medically trained. English is not her native language, either.

Back when warnings about Michaelangelo were all over the news she got a letter from her father that mentioned it. Now, she had never heard of computer viruses but she was quite familiar with biological viruses. She came in worried that the computer was going to make me sick. At first I didn't understand, when I figured it out I was laughing so hard it was at least 5 minutes before I could explain.

Various Assorted Nutters
Posted 05/01/2002 by Claire Cheskin

Firstly, the woman who said her mouse wasn't working. After several questions, found out she hadn't used one before and was waving it in the air instead of on the mouse mat!

Secondly, the woman whose printer had mysteriously and suddenly failed to print. New printer cartridge - amazing!

This is same woman who, when learning ECDL can't tell the difference between Word and WordPerfect.

Thirdly, woman whose son had half dismantled her PC surreptitiously one night and stuffed all the boards back without screwing anything in, or putting jumpers back etc. Also found in case: 1 hair grip, pair of tweezers and bubblegum holding board in.

Keyboards are for TYPING!
Posted 05/01/2002 by Kevin

Our office had a client that was having a lot of problems with an old computer we had sold him. He was constantly complaining to us about it, though I managed to solve all of the problems, one by one, and they usually turned out to be something that was his own fault, and not the hardware's. Usually, it was because he had improperly deleted software, or had unplugged the speakers, or something equally dumb. One day, I received a call from him, complaining that the computer was again acting up. He said when he turned it on in that morning, it simply beeped and wouldn't stop. He said he turned it off and on several times, but it still kept beeping, and he was unable to run any programs, or type anything on the keyboard. Sure enough, when I got him to turn it on, I could hear it beeping continuously over the phone.

His business was fairly close to our office, so I drove over there to look at it. I assumed that it was some sort of hardware failure, but when I got his office, I didn’t get past the door jam. I said as calmly as I could “It might help if you removed the stack of magazines that you have piled on top of your keyboard.”

We chuckled about this back at the office, until the boss started complaining about a similar problem that would show up periodically. His computer would beep for an extended period of time, with no apparent cause. His office is next to the office I share with another co-worker, and we would hear this beeping occasionally, but by the time I got to the boss’s computer it had stopped. There would be nothing near the keyboard that could rest on it to cause the problem. The boss insisted it must be a virus, but scans with anti-virus software uncovered nothing.

One day, on hearing the sound, I sprinted into his office to discover the culprit. The boss’s ample stomach was resting on the spacebar. Trying to be a diplomatic as possible, I suggested the problem was probably caused by static build up, and if he hears the sound, he should back away from the computer to avoid a shock. To this day, my co-worker and I occasionally hear the beeping coming from the boss’s office, and it’s all we can do to stifle our laughter.

Can we say "File, New, Folder"?
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Our contracted computer support guy was cleaning up our network the other day - deleting temporary internet files and clearing deleted items from everyone's Outlook. Two women here were really sad and upset that he'd cleared their deleted items. Why? Cause that's where they stored their read emails. But of course, don't *you* keep all your files in the waste bin under your desk?

Incompatible WIN XP Compatible Cable
Posted 05/01/2002 by scooter71

I work for a medical equipment company and we developed a new PC-based unit. One of our leads is a doctor that has WIN XP™ and no serial ports. We have done testing with Serial to USB converters so we informed him that we would send him one so that he could try out the unit.

After searching on the I-net, I finally found a converter that was XP compatible. We spent the extra money to have it shipped second day air so we could get it to this doc quickly.

The day it came in, I took it out of the package (which listed WIN 2000 and higher as its compatible OS's) and plugged it into my XP test machine. Stuck in the credit card sizes CD and proceeded to install.

No dice. XP didn't like the fact that it wasn't recognized with XP, but I press on anyway. Still no luck. I try a few other things but with no luck so I call the company I got it from.

Internet Co.(IC) says: Yes, this cable is XP compatible. My manager uses this one on his XP machine. You have to install it using WIN2000 drivers.

Me (Scooter): Tried that. It won't work.

IC: You'll need to call (Manufacturer) for support.

Call the manufacturer

Manufacturer (M) says: No, it's not XP compatible.

Scooter: Well, IC says it is.

M: Then you need to speak with them because it isn't.

Call IC

Scooter: M says it's not compatible with XP

IC: Well, my manager uses it all the time and he's got XP. Plus, M's website says it's XP compatible. (He emails me a link to M's website, and sure enough they claim XP compatibility).

Call M back

M: Well, it's not FULLY XP compatible. You have to install it using WIN2000 drivers

Scooter: Tried that. Won't work.

M: Well, we've found that sometimes the installation doesn't work completely.

Scooter: Then why are you selling it as being XP compatible? This was the only reason I bought it.

M: Well, when XP was beta tested, it worked fine on a couple machines. We're finding out now, though, that there are some problems. We do have an updated version of the WIN2000 drivers that I could send you. They might work.

Scooter: Sorry. The doc is not going to want to have to frig around with all sorts of disks and different drivers. He's gonna want to plug it in and go.

M: Then this isn't the right one for you.

Scooter: Guess not. I'm going to return it.

Call IC back to tell them I'm returning it. They inform me that there is a 15% restocking fee and shipping and handling would not be refunded. I told them, calmly, that the only reason I purchased it and had it shipped second day was because I was led to believe that it was XP compatible. If the manufacturer misled (read:lied) about this, it's not my fault. They refunded the entire amount.

I don't fault IC too much, they were relying on the info from M. But I gotta tell you, I hate blatant stupidity!

Will the internet be up?
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

>From an email (I always get at least one of these

at the end of each school year.): (Name witheld)

Elementary's redelivery team will be having

a class on August 2nd. Will the internet and email servers

be available on that day? Please email me and let me

know so that we may plan accordingly!

I never try to explain that I am not responsible for the

entire internet or that we do not house the entire internet

on our server here at the Board of Ed. I figure that will

just confuse them. I just reply as far as we know, the

internet will be up.

Dropping of the network
Posted 05/01/2002 by ablehmz

I do second level support for a printer manufacturer.(I'll give you a hint the letters in the name are Espon!!)

I recently returned a customer's callback who had been experiencing connectivity issues with one of our printers on his multi-million dollar network. For about 30 minutes I stayed on the phone with this guy trying to find the problem. To no avail the printer kept dropping off the network. I finally decided to have the guy check his cabling to ensure it wasn't a x-over cable. He replied with: "Your gonna have to hold on a minute, I have to get the staple remover" me: Why? customer: "To remove the staples holding the cable to my desk" Doh!!!!!!! I promptly advised the customer to step away from the computer guy and have his IS dept give me a call!!! geeeeezz...

"it snapped right in!"
Posted 05/01/2002 by SCHMOBY

I am a cable internet support tech, and I just got off this call:


her= the dummy on the phone

me:" thanks for calling ****, how can I help you?

her: "yes, i have a trouble ticket number,its ****"

(i look up the number and see that her modem is acquired,in the sytem and getting a signal.the ticket says to trouble shoot some more)

me:" what o/s do you have?"

her:"windows 95"

me:"(groaning internally)how are you connected to the cable modem?"

her:"i have an ethernet adapter. I had service at my last house, and i had to install one of those. The tech who installed this modem left two cables: the ethernet cable and this cable that looks like a phone cord"

me:"(alarms going off right away)look at the cord connecting the modem to the computer. Does it look like a phone cord?"

her:" no, its flat and shaped like a rectangle(a usb connection)"

me:(groaning some more)"ok, maam, windows 95 does not support usb, are you sure the cable is plugged into a usb port?"

her:"no, it's plugged into my ethernet adapter."

me:"(thinking that she means a usb port)you mean your usb port?"

her:"no, my ethernet adapter! I know I have one!"

me:"(trying not to laugh) ok, maam, unplug the cord from the ethernet adapter.does it look like a big phone jack?"


me:"(really trying not to laugh)"ok,maam, you the plugged the wrong cord into your modem and computer. Use the cable that looks like a big phone cord."

her:"but it snapped right in!!!"

needless to say, me and my coworkers laughed long and hard at this.

Win98 on floppies - cable optional
Posted 05/01/2002 by Tramadol Chick

Apologies for the length of this.

Last night, myself and my partner got a call from his cousin. Between us, we have years of tech support and hardware/software configuration. Apparently he was trying to install Windows 98 and it wasn't working.

Me = M

Partner = P

Cousin = C

(Obvious really!)

P: So, why are you reinstalling?

C: I just switched it on this morning and it wouldn't work.

P: What did you do?

C: Nothing.

P: What did you do?

C: NOTHING! It worked last night and it doesn't work now.

(P and M thinking YEAH right...)

P: OK, so you are trying to reinstall yeah?

C: Yes, and its not working, it says files aren't there.

P: OK, have you put the CD in the CDROM Drive?

C: Oh, its not on CD, its on Floppy!

(short pause while my partner and I stare at each other in amazement)

P: Lots of floppies? (Never having thought it POSSIBLE to install Win98 from floppy)

C: Oh no, just the one.

P: OK, well that is not the whole operating system, you have to have a CD to go with it. The stuff on the floppy just gets to the point where you can install off the CD.

C: Oh, well, I don't have a windows 98 cd.

P: Well you can't install it then, you'll have to put Windows 95 back on (knowing he has the CD). OK, put the Win95 CD in the CDROM drive.

P talks C through trying to get Win95 installed again. No banana. It just doesn't seem to see the hard drive. Get him to run FDisk. FDisk says there are no fixed drives. WTF? C then drops into conversation - bear in mind this is over half an hour into the conversation - that, oh yeah, last night he installed a CDROM drive because there wasn't one before, and also he had a virus. Dual groans from P and M. Hit mute on the phone to bang heads against the coffee table.

We get him to take the case off the PC to make sure everything is plugged in correctly and also to get the name of the hard disk manufacturer in case we need to get some disk utilities (thinking that maybe the virus was something that could wipe out the MBR or FAT). C insists all cables are plugged in firmly and is following them to the motherboard. P is describing every cable, along with colours, shapes, everything to make sure he is following the right thing. C insists that FDD and CDROM are plugged into the same cable. M and P point out that unless he has mangled something, this is not the case. C then states that everything is on separate ribbon cables. OK, that makes jumper settings less likely to be an issue.

Eventually manage to get him to enter the BIOS screen. Everything seems normal (detected the CDROM, HDD is set to auto detect, nothing is appearing).

Decide to take a 5 minute breather for a conference and work out exactly how we are going to move forward. Promise to call C back ASAP.

We formulate a list of things to try, the first being unplug the cables from the CDROM drive and see if the machine will boot - thinking that maybe he had managed to set the HDD as the secondary master, or the HDD and CDROM on the same cable and the jumper settings were wrong. If that doesn't work, look into crappy cables, crappy power supply to the disk, HDD failure and if all else fails, send it into a repair shop (C lives 120 miles from M and P). That is not to mention this mysterious virus problem. Just then, C phones back. I start to talk him through unplugging the CDROM cables and he interrupts.

C: Oh I got it working now.

M: Oh? (yeah, because we haven't just spent 3/4 of an hour going through troubleshooting with you) What was it?

C: Oh Y (his significant other) took a look and I forgot to tell you, when I put the CD in yesterday, I took out another cable and I forgot to put it back in.

M: (grits teeth) Which one? The grey ribbon one? (Thinking, the grey ribbon one we told you to check, to feel was actually plugged firmly into the back of the hard disk)

C: Yeah, that's the one. Y found it and plugged it back in again, and it works fine now.

M: OK, well maybe it might be an idea to get someone else to fit hardware in future, just to make sure that you aren't stuck like this again.

C: Well, these things can be really hard if you aren't technical.

M: (Thinking) PRECISELY why you should let someone who has a BRAIN do it next time. (Saying) Well, you might want to take it into the PC shop next time you want to fit stuff.

Why do people who have no clue about the insides of PCs go faffing around, take things out willy-nilly and then act surprised when it doesn't work? And why can't people tell the truth when you ask them questions? If he had, we could have got this problem fixed in a couple of minutes. Instead, we wasted over an hour trying to talk him through basic checks that should have taken minutes.

I love Tech Support really, but I am becoming more and more convinced that people need a licence to use a PC like they do a car.

And to anyone who thinks the "Write click where?" and "My password isn't working, its only coming up as stars" stories can't be true - they are, I've taken them both before now! Love the site, keep it up. :-)

No Title
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I'm now a somewhat knowledgeable end user but at the time of the "incident" I was almost clueless.

I had a 33.6 dialup connection with AT&T and was having difficulty staying connected.

After calling and calling various techs and realizing I was getting no help, I asked to speak to a supervisor.

I told him my problem and he said it's an easy problem to fix. My mood lightened expecting to finally be able to download a complete file or just be able to stay online longer than 5 minutes at a time.

The supervisor's solution?

He told me all I needed to do was reboot.

Never mind that I was rebooting my machine 2-3 times a day.

I asked him how in the hell did he get a supervisory position. I also told him he didn't have a clue.

He hung up at that point.


Disk Won't Fit!
Posted 05/01/2002 by John

I work tech support for a local ISP and we hear it all. One day, a lady called in requesting a simple process - to have us walk her through an installation using our CD. I thought to myself, "This is going to be a cakewalk". Right? I couldn't have been more wrong. I asked her to insert the CD-ROM into the CD-ROM tray. Sounds simple, doesn't it? She said, I'm doing what you said, but it doesn't seem to be going in without putting some force behind it. I replied, NO NO, don't force it. What does the front of the box (can't say case/tower, they don't understand that terminology) look like where you're trying to insert the CD? She states, looks like a thin slot. As soon as she said she was forcing the CD, that threw a flag in my head so I asked her, does this slot have what appears to be a lever of some kind that you can turn from top to bottom? She said, yes, yes that's the one. I told her she just stuck her CD into a 5 1/4" floppy drive. She said, what is that? I told her it wasn't the right slot for her CD and will she please try to pull it out. Before it was all said and done, I had to tell her to get her husband's needle-nose pliers, stick a cloth in between in hopes of not scratching the CD beyond recognition, and attempt to pull it out. Before the end of the call, (we have a very handy mute button for our headsets) I had the whole support team in tears.

No Title
Posted 05/01/2002 by Shekira Dodd

I'm a Tech Support Rep for an Internet Service Provider. This is just one of the instances I thought worth mentioning...

Support: Yes Ma'am, please click on the blue 'e' located on your desktop.

Customer: What is a "desktop?"

Support: Your desktop is that back ground with all the little pictures on it. The screen that comes up when you start up your computer.

Customer: Ok. Now what do I do?

Support: Click on the blue 'e' that says Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Customer: Ok. Microwave Internet Exploiter. Got it.

Support: Uh, yes, Microsoft Internet Explorer. Double click on that.

Customer: I did double click on Microwave Internet Exploiter and nothing happened.

Support: Um, ok how about right clicking on Microsoft Internet Explorer and then click on 'open' with your left button.

Customer: How do I right click? I clicked on it but it just turned blue.

Support: Um, ok please hold.

(i)Put on hold to quickly rip hair out.(/i)

AOL Tech Support? Hardly
Posted 05/01/2002 by Micah Patterson

Below is a transcript of my conversation with "tech support".

MHI ELLA: Welcome to Billing Live. My name is Ella I., how can I assist you today?

You: I'm getting a Check surcharge when I pay by Credit Card... I dont have the last four digits of the card I used with me...

You: Can you just check how far back it goes and correct it if needed?

MHI ELLA: If that is the case. you may cancel the old account.

You: What old account?

You: I'm on BYOA plan... I'm getting billed a 5.00 "Check Surcharge"

You: I'm paying by Credit Card... not check card... actual credit card.

MHI ELLA: I meed km o.

You: what?

You: Is it possible to check how far back I've been charged this and have it credited?

You: Hello?

MHI ELLA: With the options available, select "Checking Account" for a checking account, and "Credit card" for Debit Cards.

You: Right... When I opened my account I chose Credit Card

MHI ELLA: ley me cjeck

You: WHAT?

MHI ELLA: Keyword: Billing is a great online resource to obtain detailed information.

You: Is this a live person?

MHI ELLA: yes.

You: I've been to billing... that's where I found the error... the problem is I'm paying by ACTUAL credit card and getting charged 5.00 for using a check.

You: Do you have a supervisor?

MHI ELLA: I see. To hekp you witn your mocdrmotth please call

MHI ELLA: 1) ETrade Account Number, 2) Postal address as it appears on your

ETrade account, 3) Your name as it appears on your ETrade account, 4) Date Etrade Account was opened, 5) Screen Name used to open Account and 6) AOL version and revision number.

You: ETRADE!!!??!?!?!?!?

You: WHAT ETRADE!?!!?!??!?!?!?!!?!?!?

You: Is this not AOL?

You: Have I asked one time about Etrade?

You: I require one thing from you... your supervisors name and contact information.

MHI ELLA: I see. To heap you witn your mocdrmotth please call

You: mocdrmotth?

You: What is a mocdrmotth?

You: Sounds like a creature from the blue lagoon.

You: Please call what number?

You: There's not a number.

MHI ELLA: Please contact the Billing Department at 1-888-265-8003 toll free and they will be happy to assist you. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You: Aren't you Billing Department?

You: Are you from America?

MHI ELLA: Please remember that our consultants can only discuss billing information with the billing contact or designated billing contact of the America Online account

MHI ELLA: Have your current account information available when calling. To protect your privacy and security, we need to verify some information, this includes your full name, complete address and zip code as listed on the AOL account and the last four digits of y

MHI ELLA: ensure the safety of your private information, we need to speak with you in person.

You: America Online... at least we're not talking about ETrade anymore.

You: Once again, your supervisors full name and contact info is?

You: Do they hire helper chimps as company policy?

You: Hello?

MHI ELLA: If that is the case. you may conact the old account.

MHI ELLA: I mean the billing depart.

You: I can report you at the 888 number you gave me?

MHI ELLA: At this time our billing records show that your account is in good standing.

You: I know this.

You: I have NEVER been late.

You: That's not my question

You: I'm running around in circles here...

You: Lets make this easier...

You: I'm getting charged 5.00 extra a month... Check your records... take it off... credit my account.

You: Can you follow these steps?

MHI ELLA: Currently, America Online charges a $5.00 handling fee each billing period to members who choose to pay by checking.

You: Once again.

You: Not paying by checking account

You: Paying by credit card

MHI ELLA: We strongly encourage you to use a credit card, as this is the most efficient way for America Online to handle billing. Currently, there is not an additional charge for using aCredit card.

You: Are these predetermined answers?

You: or are you typing this in?

You: I hate to think anyone is this stupid... scares me.


You: yes to which?

You: Okay, this is enough... you're annoying me.

MHI ELLA: You said a while ago that you don't want to be billed on the extra $5.

00 check surcharge.

You: Right

You: I am paying by credit card is WHY!!!

You: I am paying by credit card

You: I am STILL being charged 5.00

You: Not check card...

You: CREDIT card

MHI ELLA: So that you wont be paying an additional $5.00, you need to update your billing method to a credit card.



MHI ELLA: Let me please take a moment to review your account, but first

MHI ELLA: To protect your privacy and security, I need to verify some information, may I please have your full name, address including the zip code and the last 4 numbers of the billing method that is listed to pay your AOL membership?

You: Forget it... Just screw it.

You: AAAHHHH!!!!

The session has ended!

Man, if this is AOL Tech Support... explains the record for most money lost last quarter. Time Warner should have reviewed their record a little closer. This conversation took 30 minutes... I called the 888 number and solved it in 4.

No Title
Posted 05/01/2002 by Shekira

I do tech support for a local ISP in AL. Here is one of my calls that happened moments ago...

Customer: I just called earlier to get your rates and information.

Support: Yes ok what can I help you with

Customer: Yes I think I am ready to set up an account but I was just wondering; Do you have to have a phone?

Support: Do you mean, "Do you have to have a telephone or a telephone line that is connected to a phone company."

Customer: No I mean do you have to have a phone to get online?

Support: A dial up account can only use a phone line to connect with. If you don't have a phone, its impossible for you to connect to a dial up account.

Customer: Oh well I don't have a phone.

Support: Ok, well then I guess you can't get an account.

Customer: Are you not the phone company?

Support: Um, no.

Credit Card
Posted 05/01/2002 by Andrei Japitana

I'm a technical support engineer for a big call center. One of our clients is a big Internet service provider in the states. This actually happened to a colleague and I was beside him when this happened. I know you won't believe this but this actually happened.

Customer: (in a panic) "I need your help, my credit card is stuck in my computer!"

Agent: "I'm sorry maam?"

Customer: "The computer asked me to put the credit card in and I put it in"

Customer was purchasing something on the web and it asked her to type in her credit card number but she physically inserted the credit card in the in the floppy drive and of course it got stuck.

Customer: "It's stuck in my computer and I need to get it before my husband arrives. What do I do? I have a knife here with me, will this get the card out?

Agent: "No maam, that might do more damage to the card and your computer"

Customer: "So what do I do?There is a big sale at Walmart tomorrow and I need that credit card!"

My colleague evenually referred her to the manufacturer of her Computer for support. But that was one call we will never forget.

More keyboard problems
Posted 05/01/2002 by Kevin

Many years ago, I was asked by a client to transport a computer that she had in her house to her office. It always amazes me that people are unable to unplug wires from the back of their computers and plug them in again, but if she’s paying for my time, what do I care.

I went with her to her house and checked the computer over to make sure everything was operating properly, then took the computer apart, and lugged it and all its components (printer, scanner, monitor, etc.) out to her car.

We drove to her office, I set the computer up again, and turned it on. Everything seemed to work, but I couldn’t type anything on the keyboard. I checked the “AT/XT” switch (like I said, this was a while ago), and it was set properly. Thinking perhaps the keyboard was damaged, I borrowed another keyboard from one of her co-workers, and still I couldn’t type anything.

Me: “This is bad. I can only guess that something came loose on the motherboard where the keyboard connects.”

Her: “So you broke my computer,” she said.

Me: “Well, if it was loose enough that merely driving it here damaged it, it must have been ready to go bad, anyway.”

Her: “Okay, fix it.”

Me: “Well, if that is what the problem is, it’s not worth anyone’s time to repair the connection. You’ll have to replace the motherboard.”

So, I called a repair shop a few doors down. I know the guys there, and explained the problem and what I thought was the cause. They agreed that a bad motherboard connection was probably the cause, and would send someone over with a new motherboard.

As I was waiting for the motherboard to arrive, I tried to think of other causes for keyboard not working. That’s when she asked me “Should I unpark the hard drive?”

Now, for anyone that has never used an XT (made before the 80286), they generally had hard drives that left the read heads on the platter when you shut the computer off. It was a good idea to “park” the heads on the drive (i.e. run a program that would move the heads off the platter) before you shut down, especially if you intended to move the computer. Otherwise, you risked damaging the drive. IDE drives, which came into general use about the same time as the 80286, were self-parking.

Me: “Uh, no. You don’t have to park the hard drive on this computer, and even if you did, just turning it on unparks them.”

Her: “I was told I should park the hard drive before we moved it”

Me: “With an older computer, yeah, that’s true. With this one, you don’t need to park the drive.”

She then went to her purse, took out her keychain, took off one of the keys and threw it in the garbage.

Her: “Don’t need that, then, I guess.”

Didn’t take a genius to realize what had happened. As the technician came through the door with the new motherboard, I said, “Nevermind. I think I’ve figured out the problem.” I fished the key out of the garbage, and unlocked the front of the case which she had obviously locked while I was lugging something out to the car.

No Title
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work part time as a high school technician. A lot of our computers sit around and do nothing all day, so I suggested installing something like SETI@Home or Genome@Home. I went to the district technicians to share the idea, and they asked me to explain what the programs do.

Head Tech: "No, it won't go through our firewall."

This was a legitamate concern, but I knew at least Genome@Home allowed for passive mode. I offered to try it, and e-mail them the results. It worked fine. The next day when I walked in I was told that the district techs had said no to my idea.

"It's a security concern. It sends data right through the firewall."

Introduce your identity card
Posted 05/01/2002 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I beg pardon about my English, I am a spanish tech supporter. In Spain, everbody has a DNI "National Identity document". We work at a Computer Company and we had several computer kiosk with tactil screen for the public. We offered some personal information if you introduced your DNI. Once, a person came to us asking about his DNI. "DNI?". "Yes, I introduced my card in a slot inside the machine and it didn't return to me". We had to go to the kiosk, recover the DNI, a return to the "literal" user.

Smart Mouse?
Posted 05/01/2002 by Jacko

I used to work for a very popular British computer magazine (long since closed, but the publishing company still has a reasonably bright future... ;)

In the course of our busy week, one day was devoted to 'Reader Calls' - when our readers could ring up and ask any kind of technical question about the mag, the cover-disk, their computer, and life in general. Needless to say, Tuesday was not our most favourite day.

One Reader Call day, I get a call from a voice I recognise. My own father! Turns out he had a little computer problem he wanted me to help him with, so he asked for me by name (thus tipping off everyone in the office that I had a computer-illiterate dad!). And though they didn't know it yet, that was an understatement! He'd been using a computer for a few months, but still had massive problems grasping the basics.

Dad's problem? Well, turns out he was using the mouse on a Atari ST and had run into problems. His problem was (so said he) "I've run out of table". "What?" says I, wondering what the heck he meant.

"I've run out of table - I've got the mouse all the way across the desk to the right, but I still need to go a bit further. The pointer's not reached the bit I want to click on!"

"Dooooh!", says I - knowing that some of my colleagues had overheard (the phones were incredibly loud at that place). Giggles were already coming from the corner of the office, and suggestions about my 'inherited skills' were being bandied about.

"Why don't you just pick the flippin' thing up, move it to the centre of the desk, and carry on sliding it from there?", says I, wincing.

"Oh, I didn't realise you could do that. How will it know where I am, if I lift it off the desk?", came the all-too-honestly stupid reply.

At this point, I think I just pretended I *was* actually the milkman's kid, after all!

Tales From Technical Support Index

Tales from the Techs
May 2002
  1. Blur vision

  2. Oh my!

  3. No Title

  4. Passing the buck...

  5. holler?

  6. The people that educate our youth these days...part 2

  7. Up yours, click

  8. He has a dream

  9. Restart? But i dont need to restart?

  10. Antivirus Support

  11. ID10T Error?

  12. The (Non) Color Printer

  13. "I'm the Administrator"....Riiiight

  14. Mocrosoft Oulook

  15. I really do know what I'm doing!

  16. Marketing people are morons!

  17. Reboot Your Pager

  18. Idiot Internet User

  19. Voicemail moron

  20. Hillrats 'R Us


  22. The puking printer...

  23. Help they'er watching me!

  24. A Slow Night On The Help Desk

  25. I did it and I'll admit it.

  26. No Title

  27. Do you want me to die?!?

  28. no sympathy

  29. No Title


  31. we've,got those.....

  32. Not my Doctor I hope!

  33. The Mumbling speakers.

  34. Internet Inside

  35. No Title

  36. It's an ID 10T

  37. The mysterious cursor

  38. Funny Tech Support Form Entries

  39. Half Moon Blues (and other tales)

  40. Dammit Jim, I'm a Techie, not a Phonebook!

  41. Make a CD copy

  42. If at first you don't succeed...

  43. where di they come from and why do they call me?!?!

  44. The Any Key

  45. Dumb tech, dumb

  46. Network Noise

  47. Isn't it obvious?

  48. Ummm.....

  49. Foot pedal

  50. Tales at internet Cafes

  51. Doing Tech Support for family....

  52. No Title

  53. No Title

  54. the goverment is after me.

  55. Long Frustating Days

  56. Mouse Problems

  57. No Beep Beep

  58. pop-up ads cost 2 pints of blood

  59. Those little fornicating porno boys must be stopped!

  60. oh boy

  61. No Title

  62. "I'm sure I've got everything connected and powered!!"

  63. erase it god damn it!

  64. ppl who shudve been shot

  65. Virus infection?

  66. Various Assorted Nutters

  67. Keyboards are for TYPING!

  68. Can we say "File, New, Folder"?

  69. Incompatible WIN XP Compatible Cable

  70. Will the internet be up?

  71. Dropping of the network

  72. "it snapped right in!"

  73. Win98 on floppies - cable optional

  74. No Title

  75. Disk Won't Fit!

  76. No Title

  77. AOL Tech Support? Hardly

  78. No Title

  79. Credit Card

  80. More keyboard problems

  81. No Title

  82. Introduce your identity card

  83. Smart Mouse?

Past Tales from the Techs:
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