Funny and Humorous Technical Support Tales and Stories

Submitted Tales From Technical Support

Tales From Technical Support Content

My Cd rom is broken
Posted 05/01/1998 by David O'Daniel

this is one that had us rolling for weeks

Thank you for calling techincal support how may

i help you?

my CD ROM is not working properly. I lifted the handle up

and put it in but it wont read the CD and now i can't get

it out!

I thought to myself lifted the handle up? What kind of

CD ROM has a handle? Being unable to think of a CD ROM that

we carried that had a handle like the customer had described

on it, I asked are you sure you bought this computer from

this company.

To which she replied yes several years ago i think it was


I asked her how many drives do you have in your computer

that you put disks in?


Did the drive you put your cd rom in have a drawer or use a


NO i told you that i just put it in.

my assumption had to be true since at that time slot fed cd

roms did not exist. this idiot had put a cd rom into a

5 1/4" disk drive.

i just busted out lauging at the customer. No matter how

hard i tried i could not stop laughing at the customer.

The customer became so irate that i just disconnected the


another funny one.

tech support how may i help you?

(SRCEAMING) my computer says invalid system disk please

remove disk and press any key

WHAT DO I DO?!?!?!


Which drive was that again?
Posted 05/01/1998 by John Long

I work at a local ISP and we end up with some of the most knowledgable customers around. Our

company just recently started distributing a CD that sets up their computer with a connection

and browser to cruise the Internet. Well the call went something like this:

Me: Hello, what kind of problems are you having today?

Her: Well I went to install your disk and I think that maybe I put it in there wrong since

my computer will not read it.

She then went on to tell me the brand and model number of her computer, thinking I would know

how the computer is set up, since I do work for technical support.

Me: Well, are you in front of the computer?

Her: Yes, and the disk is in the drive.

Me: OK. What are you typing in the run menu?

Her: D:\setup, but it says it cannot read it.

Me: Well can you pull the disk out of the drive?

Her: No, I cannot see it, will pulling this lever on the dirve get it out?

Me: Lever?? (Now knowing that she has inserted the CD that we provide into her 5 1/4 drive)

Well. UHH. That was the wrong drive, I can mail you a new cd and you should probably get that

one removed.

Her: Well, I got the CD at a local reseller, can I just go and get another one from them?

Me: Yea, and you should probably take your comptuer with you also.

Her: OK, Thanks for all your help.

Me: No problem. ( I can use a good laugh anytime).

Posted 05/01/1998 by Butch Cryderman

I own my own retail shop, and frequently sell used computers.

Back in the day, when a 486 was a fast computer, I once sold

a 486/80 to a new user to computers.

Within an hour of the purchase, I received a call from the

customer asking what COMMAND.COM was, and how he could open

it. I explained that he was already in it, and to get a

book or two and read up on the computer thing.

The next day, he brought his machine in.... missing Easy fix, but since it was a user error, we

charged him 25 bucks to fix it, and explained to him what

it was...and why it was there.

Two days later, he brought the machine back, and not only

was missing, but autoexec.bat, config.sys,

c:\dos and everything under it was gone!

Again, not only did we charge him now 50 dollars to

reinstall dos (windows 3.1 was still intact), but again

explained to him what it was.

The third day, he was irrate with me, and then explained he

was suppose to get a 1.2 gig RAM drive, and whatnot with

his system. (at the time, a 1.2 gig hard drive was 400 bucks

and we sold him the whole system for 700 dollars). I

assumed he was talking hard now you know the

story. We simply wrote him a check for the system he paid

for and took the system back.

Ignorance should hurt....and we made it hurt this time. If

you're too stupid to own/maintain a computer, then we

shouldn't cater to the the people for free. When they screw

up, get paid for fixing it!


I love the smell of lusers in the morning!
Posted 05/01/1998 by holiday

It smells like victory!

verbadem no shit

me: Good morning internet dept. How can I help?

luser: I can't go anywhere!

me: You mean in your browser?

luser: whats a browser?

me: It's a web viewing program like Internet Exploder.

luser: You mean like Netscape?

me: That's right.

luser: I don't have Netscape.

me: Well that's OK we supply IE 3.02 with your subscription.

Are you currently a subscriber to our Internet service?

luser: yes I am.

me: But your not able to view webpages.

luser: Nope.

me: Well lets check your network settings. Click here...

click everywhere well it looks OK.

Have you got a copy of our software there?

luser: No

me: Then how did you install it?

luser: I told you I can't go any where.

me: I'm not sure I understand.

luser: Well my cars broke and I can't come down there to get the software.

me: Uh ....(click)


"Names have been changed to protect the innocent"

Joe Friday

Two networks, two machines, three connections
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anthony V. Lucarelli

I work in a library of a small private university.

I have two separate machines I use for day to day operations.

One machine is connected to both the campus network (by ethernet)

and a separate network located at a remote site downstate

that is our circulation system. The other machine

is just a dumb terminal that is connected to the circulation


One day I was having a problem with the circulation system on

the machine that is hooked to the two networks. So I shut the

machine down, checked all the cables to make sure they hadn't

jiggled loose, and booted the computer back up. The circulation

network was still down.

While I was doing this, my boss, who is not the most computer

literate in the world, came by and asked what was wrong. I told

her then stood back and to see what she would do.

First, she started to check the cables for the circulation network.

(Even after I told her I already did that). Then, she got down on

the floor to check the cables that went down there. She checked

the power cables (obviously not the problem, because the computer

was still on) then she checked the campus network cable. I tried

to explain that that wasn't the problem, but she wouldn't listen.

After going through that, she then went to the dumb terminal (which

was working fine) and checked the connections on that! At this

time, I went into the back room and hit my head on the wall a few


Turns out we just called the tech support people at the remote site

and they reset the terminal from their end, which is where the

problem was.

I can't wait to graduate so I don't have to work with

this moron anymore!

NT Roll out
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

My tale was triggered by an internal Newsletter that told everyone how wonderfull it would be

when everyone has NTand the same software. Then they went on to explain that special needs

would be looked at and piloted in 1996, with full roll out starting in 1997. All 4000 users

would be complete by December 1999, no typo, 1999!

Since then the roll out has been proceeding glacially one or two people a day, some days six

or seven.

It sometimes only takes a month to get your mission critical must have to do my job software

loaded on your machine.

There was a big celebration last week as the 1000th machine was NTed. SInce it is mid 1998

they must be 3 years late at least.

As a Project Manager, I don't advertise a late project, I fix it or fire people.

Make it Stop!
Posted 05/01/1998 by David Beaudoin

I had a user call to complain of a flashing light on her computer:

Me: Tech Support, how can I help you?

User: The light is flashing. Make it stop!

Me: Which light are you talking about?

Use: On my computer. Whenever I hit enter...oh there it goes again! You come now and make it


The user demanded a housecall to fix the problem. It took some effort to convince her that

the CPU light normally flashes when the ENTER key is pressed to execute commands or enter


Gee, no dial tone!?!
Posted 05/01/1998 by Chris de Vidal

Member: The error message says "No dial tone."

Tech: OK, no problem, what screen are you looking at on the computer right now?

Member: I can't see the screen from where I am.

Tech: Well, can you move the phone closer to the computer?

Member: I can't, I'm at a pay phone.

Tech: Well, when you get back home, give us a call.

Member: You don't understand, they cut off my phone line.

Tech: (Muting the phone so I could laugh)

Member: Hello?

Tech: I'm sorry, the message says "No dial tone" because your phone line is dead. You'll

have to call the phone company to get it turned back on.

Member: (Getting angry) BUT I CAN'T CALL THEM, THEY CUT OFF MY PHONE!!!

Tech: Get off the phone with me, lady, and give them a call...(MUTED) You imbecil!


Software Updates
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Tech Support! Can I help you?

Yes, I just got the software update from you, but

I'm still having the same problem.

(After several minutes of "try this, try that", the user

mentions a menu option that no longer exists in the new

software version.)

Click the help button, and a window should open. At the bottom of that window, it should show

the version number.

It says V2.5.

2.5? It should say V3.0! No wonder you're still having

the same problem - you're still running the old version!

Are you sure that you installed the update to the right

drive or partition?

Install? I actually have to INSTALL something?

Yes. What did you do with the update disks that you got?

I put them right on top of the computer.

Did you put the first disk in the diskette drive and

click on the Install icon?

You know I don't know much about these things! I

put the disks right on top of the computer so it

would know where to find them when it needed them!

(After another 20 minutes of highly detailed instructions

on how to insert a floppy, click on an icon, we got his

update installed.

Oh, by the way, this person was a schoolteacher with a PHD.

Close some windows!
Posted 05/01/1998 by Shane Monroe

On a routine call to an elderly lady's house, I routinely installed Eudora Lite to meet her

E-Mail needs (an ex-AOLer turned to a real ISP) - with it I gave her a good hour's worth of

training with it, Netscape, and Dial Up Networking. She seemed fine, and I left.

About 8 months later, she calls and asks for me by name. "I can't get my mail!" she cries.

"I have all this mail waiting for me, and the system hangs up when I enter my email program.

Can you come up personally?" Now at this time, I am not working tech; I have moved to

Internet Content Creation, but she sweet talked me into coming out. I was glad I did.

I loaded up all the good stuff; an extra hard drive, Win95 cds, registry repair tools, all my

tricks, and my solutions notebook. I was a veritable walking repair shop, wondering what

this little old lady could have done to her system when all she used it for was really Email.

I arrived at the house, got on-line, then ran Eudora. As it loaded, I understood immediately

hy her system was hanging. When you read a message in Eudora, a little window opens,

displaying the message and header, options, etc. Well, for the last 8 months, she had been

MINIMIZING these windows instead of closing them! No less than 60-70 messages started

appearing in turn on the screen (minimized, so you couldn't see anything but the title bar.

For near 10 minutes, the program continued to pop up her old messages - stalling her system

to nothing.

I couldn't help but crack up right in her face; the whole time, trying to assure her that I

wasn't laughing at her mistake, just that I had never ONCE considered this as a possibility

as the problem - here I was ready to repair the registry by hand, and all she needed to to

was close her messages.

My name, was I supplied with that?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Daniel R Baker

I had to use every ounce of self control to prevent myself from laughing down the phone the

other day.

I had a caller who was having difficulty printing, this is quite normal on the domestic help

desk that I work on. I started at the begining by asking what printer this Lady had. She

replied that she would have to check. Two sets of footsteps later I was told it was a

Cannon. "What model of Cannon" I asked. Two more sets of footsteps later I learned it was a

BJc 620. "OK, thats fine, and what sort of computer is it connected to".

By this time I knew how long I had to wait by the count of the footsteps.

The customer returned a little embaressed that she could not pronounce the name of her

computer, so I asked her to spell it to me. "OK it is

L...O...W... R...A...D...I...A...T...I...O...N".

Laugh............... I nearly cried!!

Cooking Lessons
Posted 05/01/1998 by Tony Hoffmann

I'm not in tech support, but I heard a great story from, of

all places, the local telephone operator (aka, Information)

I was inquiring about an area code and asked her what the

silliest question she ever heard was. Her answer, you ask


"Well, I was once asked how to braise and cook duck..."

I always wondered if people took the "Hello, Information"

greeting seriously. Now I Know.


Snakes Alive!
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I was having a chat with a group of techs, when the following was told.

In Melbourne, like most places, we have large computer chain stores.

One of these stores sold a computer to a local "Snake Farm".

Since it was the only computer in the place, it was located

in the front office in public view. As such the owner, had

installed a 'snake and lizard' business related background in 95.

To help bring in income the Farm was open to the public.

School groups visited the farm daily and it was not uncommon

for some kid to pass on a smart comment. One day one of the

kids said, 'there's a snake in your machine'. 'Oh that's alright'

said the owner, 'it's the background screen' and thought nothing

more of the incedent. When the school group left, the owner

returned to the computer do do some work. Ten or so minutes

into a working session, the computer failed.

Since the computer was still under warrenty, the owner rang up

the computer store to discuss the problem. After several minutes,

it became apparent that the computer would have to be

returned for service. The computer was dropped off and the owner

went on his way. In the meantime, one of the techs had taken

possession of the faulty computer. He took the machine out

back into the workshop. He removed the cover only to find a live

snake inside the computer. Startled by the discovery, the tech

jumped up and back out of his chair. In the confined space

of the workshop, he knocked over another technician soldering

a replacement battery onto a motherboard.

Outside in the customer area, the shop was full with customers,

but not for long. The two technicians broke through the flimsy

wall separating the workshop from the store. Shelving, computers

and other odds and ends went flying all over the place. The techs

both ended up on the floor in the main part of the store.

To most customers it looked like a disgruntled customer was taking

his frustration out on the staff out back. In any event the

store emptied very quickly. Customers fled in all directions.

It turned out the snake was a harmless python, which was later

returned to its owner. The store decided that since they

had left out a slot cover on the rear of the machine in the first

place, it was all their fault. A costly mistake they will

not forget in a hurry. The computer has been working okey

ever since.

Do I have a Cradle???
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

We do technical support on the 3com Palm Pilot.

The nive thing is that, with a cradle connected to your PC you can backup your data quite


We got a customer who had problems with his pilot.

He had to do a hard reset, which deletes all data.

So we asked him, did you do a hotsync?

A what?, he says.

So we explained him about the cradle.

The man walks away, comes back and says:

I have found my cradle! It was still in the box, after a half year of using the Pilot... A

little bit too late. );-)

A mailer what?!?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Douglas LoConti

Myself: Good afternoon, (so and so) technical support, how

may I help you?

User : I am very upset with your service! I have been a

longstanding user, and I have never been so insulted!

Myself: What exactly insulted you, Ms.?

User : When I send email to my brother, you people send

me email talking about DEMONS! Is this service evil?

Myself: (chuckle,) no that's a ....

I think you know the rest. :)

No calling back now, ya hear.
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

This happened to one of my co-workers

Half-way through call:

User: Could you wait a minute someone is at my door

tech: Sure

Door opens and sound of struggle in background.

New voice: This is (some county's) sheriff, John has been

arrested. Please do not call him again. (hang up)

I didn't know that it was illegal to talk to tech support.

My friend knows more!
Posted 05/01/1998 by Jason p

This is an interesting bit from my days as an end-user suport tech for a big electronics

company that had a small line of PCs. it went a little something like this:

Me : How can I help you?

cust: what speed is my processor?

Me : well let me look in your records.. you have a 200mghz pentium processor.

cust: NO!

Me : excuse me?

cust : NO it isnt!

Me : well why do you say that??

cust: My friend said so!

Me : ooookay.. well lets double check shall we?

cust: ok.. BUT ITS not a 200! Its 160Mghz!

I proceed to check the serial number and model of the pc and it is indeed a 200 mghz machine.

Me : well sir, according to the information you just gave me it is a 200 processor

cust : NO No NO NO NO you wrong!

Me : oh really, and how exactly do you know that?

cust: my friend showed me where to find out.

Me : what program was this?

cust : quicktime! See! there it is! 160mghz!

Me: sir, that program is not designed to clock pentium processors, we do have a program that

will accuratly show you processor information.

I then proceeded to do that and the customer still would not believe me.

cust : NO NO NO NO NO NO you are wrong you dont know what you are talking about! My friend

knows more than you!!!

I am calling the government on you! you are not selling what you say you are!!! you liars!!!

well this went on for about another 10 minutes or so..

Finally, at the end of my rope, and PO'ed beyond belief I got him.

Me : Ok, this is what I want you to do : go to the store you bought the PC at and have them

take apart your PC and remove the heat sink and then read what is says on the chip. and if it

doesnt say 200 I want you to call back.

cust : ok.. but You are wrong!!!!!!!!!

I checked the records for months after than and he never called back since

How do I turn it on?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Mike Keeler

I was helping a customer reinstall some software.

me: Now you need to reboot your Mac.

them: Oops, I selected shutdown instead.

(This was a Mac II, so it powered itself down)

me: No problem, just boot it.

them: What do you mean?

me: Turn it on.

them: Uh, how do I do that?


default colores
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for A large ISP. one day I recieve A call fro A lady

that said everytime she went to A page on the net it would just show

two boxes and not text on what to do. I asked her if this happened often

she said on some pages such as search engines. well first I though it could

be the drives for video. when I told her it could be the drivers and she may need

to update them she replied it happens in windows also. I ask here what the color of the

desktop was and she said White. she said the it changed one day and all the letters were

gone. after opening up the browser I asked her to hightlight the

text in browser. when she moved the mouse down all the texted highlighted

seems she had here windows default colors was set to white text on white background.

Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for an ISP and once had this customer call because anytime someone would reply to his

address they would get "message contains fatal errors" but not when they typed in his e-mail

address. Now I knew exactly what that meant and how to fix it...probably wrong reply to

address. Well I suggested looking into the mail settings and low and behold there it was...

his home address in the reply to address. I tried to explain what the message

"Reply-to-address (only needed if different from e-mail address) meant. He thought he was

supposed to put his home address in there. I guess this guy has been filling out too many

job applications.

I then told him this was for e-mail only and he said it didn't say for e-mail only, guess he

got me there. We just took out his home address and haven't heard anything on the issue


A Buttoned-Down Mouse
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I'm an ordinary user whose mother recently bought a computer from Dell. Needless to say,

I now get a lot of late night phone calls from her. But the first call was the best.

She warned me the day before she unpacked the computer that she might need help. Then that

morning she followed the directions perfectly and had the computer up and running like a pro,

but she couldn't make it work right, so she called me at work. I walked her through how to

move the cursor around the screen and then told her to move it over to the Start button and

click on the left mouse button. Perplexed, she told me the mouse only had one button.

I explained that there should be a left and a right button and asked her several times if she

was sure. She was sure and there was nothing happening when she pushed on the button.

Confused, I thought maybe she had been sent a Mac mouse and told her to call Dell and talk

to tech support.

She called back five minutes later to tell me never mind, she'd figured it out: she had the

mouse upside down and was trying to click on the track ball.

Lusers aren't just restricted to computers
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Not Really tech support, but along the same lines.

While putting myself through college I worked at a large entertainment complex (READ Movie

Theatre) And the number of lusers I had to deal with were amazing. Here are some quotes of

the questions I got with the comments I wish I had said:

Does the drive-in have afternoon shows?

[Yup, just as soon as we figure out how to turn off the sun]

What time does the 7:00pm show start?

[Uhm.... 7:00???]

Do you sell popcorn?

[No, That white stuff in the machine there is packing foam]

This movie sucks, CHANGE IT!!

[Yes, Ma'am, Ive got a complete studio here in my back pocket]

Do you have Sharon Stone's Phone Number?

[I wish]

Do you sell beer?

[See Above]

Are you open?

[No I asnwered the phone for the hell of it]

Getting connected clean
Posted 05/01/1998 by Grig Larson

Years ago, a friend of mine was working for a help desk for an LAN provider. He told me he

had a customer that

reported their routers and servers kept shutting down and rebooting at night, usually in the

same order. They went on site,

checked everything out, and everything looked fine. But on Monday and Thursday nights,

without fail, four of the servers went down,

then two routers, then the servers went back up, then the routers again. It looked like bad

power supplies, but their regularity

was suspicious. Just before a multi-million dollar warrantee replacement was enacted, the

customer found out that the cleaning

staff at night were unplugging these things to vacuum the offices and use the floor polisher.

They ignored the red tags on the cords

because most of them didn't speak English, and assumed they were those "WARNING: Electric

shock" tags found on hair driers.

Posted 05/01/1998 by John Duke

While I just left the fireing line for another position with the company one

of my coworkers got this jewell... Thanks to Mary for sending it.

I just got edgenet and unlike my last server, I can't seem to find the

"mail program". where do you check/send mail here?

Bad Connections
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work in a small office with a mixture of Mac's and PC's. The people here are reasonably

competent but occasionally miss the obvious.

I had a bit of fun with a couple of people when they had left their computers idle for the

first time in quite a while. All of a sudden the screen went blank, so I got a panicked call

saying the monitor wasn't working.

I quickly came by expecting to find the power cable had worked loose from the back of the

monitor, but found the monitor still had power. I then explained that the monitor probably

had a bad connection somewhere inside and just needed a good jolt.

I gave the desk a good whack (causing the mouse to move slightly and hence stopping the

screen saver) and the monitor immediatly came back to life. I let people go on thumping

their desks for a week or so before explaining what the screen saver was doing.

Having seen the range of problems that can occur with computers first hand, I must take my

hat off to those who provide support over the telephone. What is obvious on site must require

psychic ability to solve over the phone sometimes.

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I'm portuguese so this might have some mistakes but...

I work for a portuguese ISP and someday a guy call and i answer the phone and he explain the


I asked what was the error message and it told me he didn't take a note so i opted to check

the configurations.

I started with something like "Close all programs and double click My Computer icon" and he

immediatly answer "Your computer?!?"

Your Government Dollars at Work
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

A friend of mine works for a large defense contract company, and she gave me this little glib:

She got a call one day from someone in a Government Agency, requesting a Windows 95 upgrade.

This was a suspicious call, since everyone had upgraded... oh, in 1995. She asked for his

customer ID number, request number, etc, and this man got very irate, and said he didn't

know but he wanted an upgrade. He then added he was a top-level official working in a

launch facility, and has enough strings to pull her ass out of her chair. She mentioned

that she had to go by the rules, and then he said, "Is there a *man* who understands their

job over there?" She said that she'd find one, wanting to ditch the call. But her

supervisor was also female, which made the man even angrier, and made some rather lewd

comments about women's genetalia and their brains. Her sup looked up this guy, found out

he was a top-level official for a test launching facility, but there was a note on this

guy's name to call someone else in his division.

To make a long story short, when we finally got ahold of someone, he said he'd take care of

it. "He doesn't have a computer," he explained. "We don't want him to have access to

anything technical in our department." He told us a long story about this guy being in

charge of something he had no knowledge of, and then ended with, "On his desk is an old

DEC terminal connected to an empty case with some Coax wire. He has had this for 8 years

now. When he makes a request, like when he wanted a Unix box, we just exchange his hardware

with some other worthless junk, and he never knows the difference."

We made a note on the account.

Why do I need a phone line?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Taylor Ramsauer

I do tech support for a big ISP, and here's a pretty

interesting call I got....

me: thanks for calling (ISP), how can I help you

cust: Yeah, i got your package in the mail, and me and my

wife read the book and it kept saying stuff about phone


me: yeah, so what's your question?

cust: Well, I was wondering why I need a phone line.

me: Well, sir, you need to connect your modem to one.

(a long, long pause)

cust: What's a Moe-duhm?

(a huge smile erupts on my face, supressing a guffaw)

me: Well, a modem allows computers to talk to eachother.

Do you have 2 phone jacks in the back of your


cust: hang on...

(lots of rattling, something crashes to the floor)

No, but there's some other ones.

me: well, then you need to go to a computer store and

get a modem.

cust: Okay, but one more question...

Do I put the CD in the floppy drive shiny side up?

just another day in the life i guess.....

User Update
Posted 05/01/1998 by Robert Neill

At a company I used to work for, there was a Technical Writer that also sent updates out to

customers. Over a period of several weeks she had to keep sending an update floppy to a

customer due to installation problems. Each time she talked to him on the phone, they would

attempt to install the update from the floppy and continued to receive errors. Finally she

asked him to make a copy of the floppy and send it back to her.

Shortly afterwards, the mail arrived and it contained a copy; a photocopy. She decided to

play along and called the customer to tell him that the copy was 'unreadable' and calmly

asked him how he had made the copy. He explained that he used the copier right down the

hall. Continuing to play along, she asked for the name brand and he said it was a Canon.

She told him that maybe a Xerox would be better but before he went off to the other building

to find a Xerox copier, she told him that she would just come over for an on-site visit.

After arriving at the customer site, she was directed to the location of the computer. The

user was asked for the floppies that had been sent to him and promptly reached over and

pulled them off the side of the file cabinet. It seems he had not been able to do the

updates immediately when the disks came in so he had attached them to the file cabinet with

a 'refrigerator' magnet. Seeing the cause of all this frustration, she simply used one of

the new update disk she brought along and suggested that, in the future, he store floppies in

a 'kinder, gentler' location.

Robert Neill

Not worthy
Posted 05/01/1998 by WhizzMan

I do tech support for a prominent computer mfr. I received a call today from an elderly lady

who claimed that she "has been writing books on computers for 14 years now".

My log looked something like this:

Caller: "Gertrude"

Elderly lady called complaining that "AOL said that I don't have enough memory of my


With such a desciptive error, I chose to verify her free hard disk space.

She had a 1.96G drive with 1.09 G free.

She has 32 Megs of ram.

Sent her back to AOL.

They deserve her time much more than I ...:)

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

A few years back a friend of mine was telling me a story about his laptop. He accidentally

spilled a pitcher of Kool-Aid (Cherry, I think) directly onto the keyboard. He immediately

shut it down. After much pondering, he actually dipped the keyboard into a bucket of soapy

water, then just water. It dried out and worked perfectly.

Its too bad that the newer Macintosh Powerbooks aren't so resilient. Remember the one that

they recalled because it spontaneously combusted?

Go figure. =)

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Josh Muehe

I support a product that just recently released the driver

for windows NT. At the time there were quite a few units

still out there with just the windows 95 software. I recieved

a call from a NT user that went something like this:

Caller: I put your CD in and it doesn't do anything.

me: okay, so the auto play menu doesn't appear, are you

running windows 3.1?

caller: No, NT 4.0.

me: I want you to go get the box and tell me, does it say

windows 95 or windows NT under system requirements?

caller: *shuffles for box* it says Windows 95 ... ARE YOU


I sent him the latest software. This is a personal

reminder to check the serial numbers to find out what version

they have.

Posted 05/01/1998 by Josh Muehe

I do phone support for a popular home scanner that runs in

win95 and winNT 40. Often we have to restart durring a call

when we make changes. While waiting a conversation began that

went something like this:

caller: While were waiting, maybe you have some ideas on

another problem I'm having. For the past few weeks my CD

tray would open and close randomly.

me: It's a bit out of my field, but the first thought I have

would be a short in the drive. You might want to contact

your manufacturer.

caller: Actualy, a couple weeks ago the son of a friend of

mine died. She was over when it first happend and she shouted

out "John Stop It!" and it stopped ... So I just yell at

it and it stopps.

To my knowledge, she never did call her manufacturer

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Turbulenc

Tech (me) :Thank you for calling ******* how can i help you?

customer : i was trying to get to, but i cant there. Is that because its an AOL

site and I dont have AOL

Tech : CBS is not an AOL site, also while talking ive just connected to the site with no problem. Are you sure you typed everything right?

customer : Are you sure, i read in the paper that CBS is on AOL?

Tech : They may be but they have thier own site also. Just curious do you have the

http:// before the www

customer : yes! i did everything right

tech : did you type it in the right spot?

customer : ive used this before i know what im doing.

tech :ma'am i dont know what your problem is im getting in no problem with the same system

as you are.

customer : i think thats ridiculous that you can never solver my problems. ( in the

background you can hear a man's voice say, "look honey you put CSB"

customer : im sorry, i spelled CBS wrong, thanks for your help

Just press Delete?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

The funny thing about this story is that the caller knows enough to know how to get to the

internet folder, why doesn't he know enough to just press delete?

Tech: Techsupport

Caller: Hi, I was wondering how to delete my internet software.

Tech: Ok, that is easy, just go into explore C:\

Caller: I'm already there.

Tech: Ok, find your internet folder then.

Caller: Already there.

Tech: Ok, then just highlight the folder and press delete on the keyboard.

Caller: oh, that's it.

Tech: ya...(restraining laughter)

Systems Support Specialist, and more!
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

See the tale titled: Systems Support Specialist (copied here for your convenience).

Even TechTales has bad typing days now and then. In the resolution section, the word

shutdown had no U in it, it was an I. It was changed between when it was composed and


We all have bad typing days sometimes. While checking a user's prior call history, I ran

across a great one.

Problem: User is unable to type while in Netscape. Resolution: Had user shutdown then restart

Win95. Problem cleared.

Thanks to: Anonymous Tech Supporter

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Vicki

Yesterday one of my customers left a panicky voice mail about an error she got while trying

to print out a report. 'It says "Signal interrupt detected" and it kicked me out and now we

can't print anything!' I called her back and told her that this particular error just meant

that she had somehow bumped either the break or the delete key while the print job was

running and she just needed to run the report again. 'Oh is THAT all!' she exclaimed with

relief. 'I thought that satellite had gone out of whack again!'

Does Big Monitor Means a Big Computer?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

A few weeks ago, I went to the factory where I worked last

summer to check if I could get a summer job there again.

They had a computer technician setting up a software or

something on their computer. I talked to one draftman,

our conversation went as follows:

I "Are you having trouble with the computer system?"

Draftman, "No, we just got a new computer. The company spent

over four thousand on it."

I "what kind of computer you have got?"

DM "Oh it's big one. It's huge?"

{he said that because they had big monitor}

I "well, how big, what's the speed?"

DM "Oh, it's Pentium 133MHz"

I "I See"

**** NOTE: Please do not release my name on it.*****


Posted 05/01/1998 by Kim Stewart

It's late..and I'm getting ready for bed. Have to work in

morning. My phone rings and it's my step-father. He has

computer problems. I'm his personal tech support line after

hours. As if I don't get enough during the day.

He tells me that everything on his computer is blank. There

is NO text anywhere. He sees his icons, but there's no

text below them. He opens windows, and there's nothing there.

This has me baffled. I ask him what all he did before this

happened. After about 45 minutes of tracing his steps, I

am becoming very frustrated. Then it dawns on me to ask

if he was messing around with his color schemes. Sure enough,

he had been. In doing so, he'd managed to change the

background, text, and highlight color to white. And they

still let this man practice medicine?!?!?

The following night..around the same time..another call.

It's the step-father..AGAIN! This time..he says "I've got

this huge eyeball staring at me in the middle of my

screen! Come over and fix it!" I gave him the number for

our tech support and went to bed.

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Sarah Kachel

Yet another call I had was just a few weeks ago. A woman with a heavy spanish accent called

up, and I could barely understand her. I said, thank your for calling xxx computer, this is

Sarah, may I have your name? She gave me that, but when I asked for her phone number, she

didn't give it to me, so I asked for her computer type, and she demands to speak to Carol.

Now, we are not allowed to transfer calls. So I said, ma'am, I cannot transfer you. She

says to me, well, I called yesterday, and Carol helped me. I need to talk to her about my

cable bill. I wasn't sure if I had heard her correctly. I said, ma'am, this is xxx

computer, are you calling about a computer? She said no, give me a phone number to call.

I said ma'am, this is xxx computer, I don't have a phone number for the cable company.

She argued with me for 10 or 15 minutes that I had to give her a phone number, to which I

kept responding, ma'am, I don't have a phone number for you. Do you have a computer? No?

Well, you are going to need to look in the phone book or something. I know I made her mad,

because I had a laugh in my voice as I was telling her this. After telling her about five

times I didn't have a phone number and this was a computer company, she finally hung up on


No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Sarah Kachel

Another call I had the customer's computer kept turning off and on mysteriously. She had

called in a number of times and the problem was still happening. It had just started

happening not too long ago. The prvious call the technician had had the customer

reinitialize the computer, that's how far it had gone, and this problem was still happening.

I was stumped, it had to be a hardware problem. I was going to send service, when I noticed

very loud sounds in the background, and the actual cause dawned on me. Ma'am? What is that

sound in the background? She tells me it's her new tv. What kind of tv is that, ma'am?

It's a Sony, she tells me. I ask her, is the computer in the same room as the tv? Yes, it

is. Ma'am, the remote control to your tv is what is turning your computer on and off.

Her particular computer has a sensor in the front for a remote control to control the

optional tv cards for those computers. She and I had a good laugh over it, but I felt

bad that she'd had to reinitialize the computer before a brilliant and observant technician

had figured it out! At least I didn't send service!

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Sarah Kachel

I work for a company that contracts with a major computer company to do tech support for

their computers. One day I received a call from a man who wanted to know why he couldn't

receive calls while he was on America Online! I tried very hard not to laugh while I told

him his modem was using the phone line. He said, you mean I can't use the phone while I'm

on AOL? No sir.

Modem Cards are for plugging in
Posted 05/01/1998 by Jordan Lind

Several years ago, a coworker of mine was given the task of installing a modem into a

workstation. He wasn't able to get a dial tone.

After several hours he stopped to ask me for help.

We reviewed the modem manufacturer's instruction, reviewed the software setup; still no

dial tone.

I removed the cpu cover and found that he had seated the modem without plugging it into the

ISA slot. The board was sitting off to the left side of

the ISA slot but was partially seated.

He didn't know that he was suppose to plug the modem card into the slot.

Unrelated, perhaps?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Kirk Strauser

I swear to God that I don't have the creativity to make this up:

User: "The Internet won't boot. Is it because of that satellite?"

(Remember the satellite malfunction that caused some pagers not to work for a few hours? It

was obviously responsible for the fact that her modem wasn't plugged in.)

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for an ISP. The best one I've heard in the two years

that I've been here was this. A guy called one day with

questions about the internet. He asked pricing, how to

sign up, etc... After talking to him for a good five

minutes he said "well how do I connect?", I told him he had

to plug his modem into a telephone line. "whats a modem?"

he said. I said "Its on the back of the computer, it will

have telephone jacks on it." The guy then says with much

surprise, "Oh.. I need a computer to do this." I said

"yes". "well I don't have a computer, thanks" and he hung up.

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

A professor, who had been using a Mac for several years, came up to me and asked "Do I

really have to keep shutting down my computer in order to eject a disk?"

Customer's From Planet Mars!
Posted 05/01/1998 by Blair Cooke

I work for an ISP in New Zealand and I had a customer call who was quite clearly a native

English speaker and yet I could swear he was from another planet. The conversation went

like this:

Cust: I can't connect

Me: What phone number are you dialing

Cust: My username?

Me: No, the phone number

Cust: Oh, my password?

Me: No, the phone number

Cust: Oh - (gives home phone number)

Me: That's your home phone number sir, is that entered in the phone number field?

Cust: No it's in the dialing from field

Me: Okay, so what's in the phone number field?

Cust: It doesn't have one

Me: No, it will have one, it will have a phone number that you are meant to be calling

Cust: So you want my username?

Quite seriously this went on for several minutes until we found out that he had ONLY

*52(disable call waiting) in the phone number field and nothing all! Then we

went thru and I asked him to put in the area code in the dialer and the phone number

which he said he had done.

Then *52 wouldn't come up - even tho it was ticked so we went back to properties to find out

he hadn't entered the area code even tho he said he had.

So, we did that.

Then we had to change the country code to New Zealand from USA and this took 10 minutes

because he was looking in the Y's for NZ despite being told that it was alphabetical

*almost groaning out loud at this stage*

FINALLY we got it sorted and he actually asked me WHY it hadn't worked!!!!! He was quite

shocked when I said he hadn't been dialing any phone number.

Is it any wonder I am changing professions!

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Jessica Coleman

I am essentially a switchboard operator for a major manufacturer of networking products.

I only speak to callers for a minute or two, but sometimes their ignorance shines through

brightly and clearly. One caller's question was, "If I read you the serial number off my

product, can you tell me where I bought it?" Supposedly he had decided he didn't want it

anymore, but couldn't remember at which store he had purchased the thing.

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Fletcher Moore

A short one:

I used to work at a computer store at the University of

Cincinnati. At the start of each academic year, there were

always a gaggle of freshmen and their parents coming in to

buy systems. They always wanted to be able to "do Internet."

One day this guy walks in, very self-confident, dark suit,

sunglasses, very GQ. He immediately proves that a little

knowledge is worse than none at all, "My daughter, does she

need to get a LAN to do Internet?"

I was sorely tempted to say yes.

Losing the mailbox
Posted 05/01/1998 by

I work with support for Lotus Notes at a company in Sweden.

We use Notes for database and mail systems.

We got this call from a user in Nynäshamn :

USER: Hello.

I cannot open my mailbox, there is some problem with it.

TECH: Hello.

Have you tried to remove the icon from the desktop and re-opening it from the mailserver ?

USER : Yes, but it's not there any more.

TECH : Uhuh! Could we please check this and get back to you in a few minutes ?

USER : OK, my number is xxx

TECH then checks the server and the mailbox is not there anymore.

However, since it cannot just disappear (or can it?) we check the logs on the server.


After some talking with the user, we finally get him to understand why one should not choose

the option FILE DATABASE DELETE from the menu, and then proceed to restoring from backuptapes.

Just WHAT?!?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Kosch

Working as the head server admin for a small ISP, I am also the head tech support person.

As you can imagine, we've had ALL sorts of stories. But this one just kind of stuck out in

my mind. It began with the customer having problems logging on... I will of course change

the names of myself and the customer ;)

Me: (ISP) This is B., how can I help you?

Cust: My internet doesn't work

Me: ok, what problems is it giving you?

Cust: well it keeps asking me for my password

Me: Alright, and can I get you first and last name please?

Cust: John Smith

(I proceed to open the user's account to verify his password)

Me: Now do you remember what your password is supposed to be?

Cust: yes, 1923me

Me: Yes, that is correct. We have your username listed here as jsmith, is that what you

have entered?

Cust: yes, on the top line.

Me: Well try logging in again, and when it asks for your username and password, delete them

both and retype them.

Cust: Ok, thanks (he hangs up)

(I wait, just knowing the call will come again. Sure enough it does)

Cust: I'm still having problems logging in.

Me: Alright, are you typing your username and password in upper or lowercase?

Cust: Umm, call capitals, why?

Me: Well you must type them in all lowercase, as specified on your internet application.

Cust: Oh,okay I'll try that (he hangs up again)

(Few minutes go by, the phone rings, and another employee answers it)

OtherTech: (ISP), this is Jim, cna I help you?

Cust: yes, I've been having problems logging in.

OtherTech: Ok, what is your username?


OtherTech: Is that what you have been typing in?

Cust: Yes

OtherTech: Well actually your username is _just_ jsmith, without the

Cust: just jsmith?

OtherTech: Yes, JUST jsmith

(I am listening to the conversation, and suddenly have a bad feeling. I decide to telnet into

our portmaster to show the users logging in. Sure enough, there it was, a listing like so:

s5 264000 justjsmith connecting

ARRRGH! THIS is why computer people live off of Jolt, Josta, and best of all Coca-Cola! :)

What's in a drive name
Posted 05/01/1998 by Jim Anselmo

I have been a tech for quite a while, and have heard all of the great tales of user woe.

By far, my favorite problem has to do with users who feel that "if the disk fits, use it."

When internal CD's first came out we had some systems that had the standard 5.25 floppies

in them as well. You can guess what happened when the two merged. When I first found out

I simply could not belive that someone would mistake a drive that said "disc" on it. The

thing that gets me is that I still, on the few systems that do have 5.25 drives, can find

users who stick those disks where they just don't belong.

Oh, and as an added tip, a great tool for getting those pesky suckers out of the drives is

a crocheting needle (the one with a tiny curved hook on the end)

Mute computer
Posted 05/01/1998 by Darklyn

I'd gotten a job at a rather large company as an administrative assistant after several

weeks of searching for an entry-level tech support position to supplement my technical

education and experience, and I realized that I couldn't hear it when new mail arrived at

my workstation.

Well, I checked to see if there was a sound card and if the speakers were plugged in. Yes.

I checked to see if the drivers were set up on the machine. Yes. I checked to see if

the sound drivers were enabled and if sound on the machine was enabled. Yes. I checked to

see if the volume on the sound card was up. Yes.

I gave up and, to my already chagrin, I called tech support, thinking that the machine might

have had sounds disabled despite all of this because of it being a distraction in the

workplace. Turns out that a friend of mine who I knew to work there answered. Thus went the


Me: The sound on my workstation isn't working.

Tech: Work justification?

Me: I'd like to be able to tell when new mail arrives so that I can address it in a timely

fashion when I'm working in another window.

Tech: What's your workstation?

Me: Compaq deskpro.

Tech: There a soundcard in it?

Me: Yes.

Tech: Speakers?

Me: Yes.

Tech: Speakers plugged in?

Me: Yes, yes, yes. I've already checked all that.

Tech: And the volume is up on the soundcard and the drivers are installed on the machine,


Me: Yes. I looked in main, control panel, drivers, sound drivers are installed and enabled.

Tech: Have you turned the speakers on?

Me: Hmm.. yeah.

Tech: Have you turned up the volume on the speakers?

(a few moments of embarassed silence while I turn several shades of red)

Me: Well, dammit, I fixed my cupholder all by myself!

Tech (collapses into laughter)

So much for that theory.

Mail it to me
Posted 05/01/1998 by David Weihe

About a year and a half ago when I was working for a company that made communications server

software (e-mail, ftp, web, etc. server all in one) I got a call from a lady that purchased

one of our systems and every night at cleanup, the system would crash. (When the system

crashes, it generates a text file with all of the information we need to solve the


I first had her check to make sure the file was there, and it was, so I then asked her to

mail it to me and I gave her my e-mail address. She said ok, so I told her that when I got

the file I'd go over it with our engineers and call her back with a solution. So we hung up

and I wait a few minutes and don't get any mail from her so I go on to other calls.

About a month later I come back from lunch and there's an envelope sitting on my desk. I

open it up and there's a floppy disk and a piece of paper with all of the notes she had

taken during our phone call. And just as I had asked, the file I needed was on the floppy

disk she mailed to me and it was addressed to my e-mail address.

>From then on I was very clear to say "E-MAIL" instead of "MAIL" even when giving them my

e-mail address to send it to.

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by KO

I was working tech support at an isp when a customer called

in because her modem was not working. After asking the

customer a few questions, I found out that the customer

had ckecked the "don't dtect my modem, i will select it from

a list" option in the hardware setup. I decided that we

should reinstall the modem drivers and have windows try and

detect the modem. BTW it was a pcmcia card modem (this is

important to remember).

Me: Go into your control panel and double click the modem icon.

Select your modem and hit the remove button to remove your


Her: Ok, i've removed my modem.

(Just to make sure)

Me: Ok then under "the following modems are installed" text

the box is empty?

Her: No the modem is still there.

Me: That's wierd. I thought u just hit the remove button.

Her: I did, the modem is in my hand right now.

After a few puzzleing seconds, I realized that the customer

had slid her modem card out of her laptop and was holding it

her hand!

I know a little DOS
Posted 05/01/1998 by Kenneth G. Trimmer

Our Gateway2000 computer had only arrived a few hours ago.

I had just installed a DOS game and I was showing my sons

how it worked. After a half-hour or so, I said okay now

that everything is working fine we need to move the computer

into the spare bedroom. I ended the DOS game and I was

about to turn the computer off when my oldest son said

"Dad, I know a little DOS". I stepped back to let him have

a go at it. Much to my horror he quickly typed "del *.*"

and pressed ENTER.

I must have been in the "root" directory as the system would

not boot after that. The Gateway2000 tech support rep

helped me thru booting with DOS diskette #1 and then

showed me how to rebuild what I needed to boot from my C


A company that I worked for used to have a sign in the

computer lab "DO NOT FORMAT DRIVE C". At least my son

didn't try that!

What version?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Once I worked on a Service Activation help desk at my company. One day I got a call that

went something like this from a very excited client:

He: Oh boy, I just got a new computer! When can I get it hooked up?

She: That's great, I'm happy for you. What kind of computer did you get?

He: Oh the box has cow spots all over it ...

This sould have been my first clue I was talking to a naive user ...

She: That would be a Gateway. Did they send you any software? It should be in the box


He: Just a minute ...

The sound of someone jostling thru all the packing material and I could just imagine

styrofoam peanuts all over the place.

He: Oh boy, Microsoft Word!

She: Can you tell me what version of Microsoft Word?

He: Ummm .... let's see ...

I can picture the poor guy turning the box every which way.

He: Oh, here it is. Version 3.5

A long pause while the meaning of 3.5 registers in my brain.

At that point I had to mute my headset and let out a primitive ARGH! ... once it was out of

my system, I went

back to the client.

She: Umm, would you mind looking at the first disk of the set. Somewhere in the fine print

you'll find the correct version number ....

He: Oh, Word 6.0

The end.

What's that Beeping Noise?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Ami N.

I work in Tech Support for a rental company; the systems that we send out are Mac-based,

but have tons of peripheral devices.

I got a call from a company renting a system a few weeks ago:

CLIENT: Uhm, I just turned on my system & something's beeping in the room.

I think to myself that it could be only two things in the room: the UPS or one of the two

drive chassis.

ME: Okay, can you hear where it's coming from? Listen carefully.

CLIENT: No, really, I can't narrow it down.

I'm listening to the noise too. It doesn't sound familiar.

ME: Okay. Shut down the computer & let's start turning things off until the sound goes away.

I hear rustling and the sound of the computer going off.

Still then beeping. Then the beeping stops.

The phone gets picked back up and the girl sighs:

CLIENT: Uhm, I found it.

ME: Yeah?

CLIENT: It was my pager...

What happened to my colors
Posted 05/01/1998 by Jay Gentry

Several years ago I was enlisted in the Air Force and peforming duties as a computer tech.

This was a dream job! Until I got a call from my Group Commander. He angrily said that I

was to appear before him IMMEDIATELY. The Base General had called him about a complaint

from another Group Commanders secretary. I had left the secretaries desk only two hours

before, after upgrading her memory (sh_t roles down hill fast in the military).

Making sure my uniform was perfect, and hastily polishing my boots (all the while seeing

images of what I had hoped would be a long Air Force career pass before my eyes) I double

timed it to the Commanders office.

The Commander said I had, according to the secretary, broke her printer and now that this

had become such an embarrasing issue for the Group (Group equalled about 500 people) that

he and I would go to the secretaries site personnally to clear this matter up.

On site, the actual problem comes out. It seems that ever since I left her site the "new"

printer would not print in COLOR...only black and white. After a couple of side glances at

each other and a short side Commander said that I was dismissed and that

he would explain to the secretary and her boss how "...never in the history of

Hewlett-Packard have they manufactured an HP Laserjet III that would print in color".

To this day I still don't why she thought she could print in color.

International Garbage
Posted 05/01/1998 by Grig Larson

I really got this call once:

Him: Everytime I load up your [darn] browser, I get all this ANSI garbage!

Me: [After several minutes of checking his character and font sets] Everything looks

okay... what page are you looking at right now? What's in your URL box?

Him: It's http://...blah blah dot JAY-PEE slash squiggly n-e-k-o--

Me: [loading it on my browser] Wait, you're logging onto a Japanese site?

Him: No, I am on the Internet!

Me: [Noticing the site was in Japanese, and of questionable nature involving nude drawings

and cats] Can you see graphics?

Him: Yes, but all the letters are screwed up!

Me: Sir, I have loaded the page up, and it is in Japanese. You have an American version of

windows, and so Japanese characters are translated as--

Him: [noticeably quieter] You are looking at the site now?

Me: Yes, and I can assure you that if you load up Yahoo or another American site--

Him: Hehe... pretty good pictures, huh? You like them? I'm a collector.

Me: Can we load up Yahoo together and make sure you can read the text?

He could, although he seemed disappointed that:

A: Yahoo didn't have those kinds of pictures.

B: I didn't want to buy his collection.

Meanwhile, the techs around me saw me load up this page, and

much ribbing ensued for days!

Telephone Tales
Posted 05/01/1998 by Chanel Cordell

Calls to our support line:

Tech: --- Enterprises, may I help you?

Customer: I can't receive my e-mail?

Tech: Are you logged in?

Customer: No, why do I have to go online to receive my e-mail

can't you just send them to me.

Tech: ---- Enterprises, may I help you?

Customer: My Endora won't work.

Tech: You mean Eudora won't work.

Customer: Yeah

Tech: --- Enterprises, may I help you?

Customer: I just got my bill and there's no way I have used

200 hours.

Tech: Well we will be glad to check it out and see if there

is some mistake, let me ask a few questions. Who uses the Internet


Cust: My son.

Tech: Would you check with him and see if he left it on for some reason?

Cust: Yeah, he left it connected while we were gone over the weekend?

Tech: He didn't disconnect from the Internet before he left?

Cust: No, he just left it connected so he wouldn't have to log on and off.

Tech: Well, there's you answer.

Cust: But we weren't using it, it was just on.

Tech: I know, but if you are online there you are being charged for your


Cust:Well that's unfair, I'll just go to another provider. If

were not using it we shouldn't have to pay for it.

Tech:--- Enterprises, how may I help you?

Cust: I want to place a credit card order.

Tech: OK, name, address, phone number, credit card number?

Cust: Wait, I have to go get my card, it's in the other room.

My call to Packard Bell support line: I answer technical questions

everyday based on the products we sell, scanners, shortwave, etc.

So I know when I'm, getting an answer and the support person

has no idea what wrong. I am not an expert but know my way around a computer.

Packard Bell: Support this is Know It All may I help you?

Me: My PB crashed while I was copying some information from the CD

encyclopedia fo rmy son's report. I have written down all of

the error messages and the steps I have taken to repair it,

for your information.

Packard Bell:OK go ahead read it to me and tell me the problem.

Me: Yada, yada, yada, I read him step by step everything. I explained

to him that although the computer was 2 yrs old we had used it maybe

a total of 40 hrs.

Packard Bell: OK, tell me again what happened?

Me: repeat the same information.

Packard Bell: Well you know not using a computer on a regular basis

can be just as bad on it as using it too much. It probably

crashed because you haven't used it.

Me: Gee, thanks for the tech help.

Gotcha!, mouse!
Posted 05/01/1998 by Dr Charles Hedbring

In New York City some years ago I was running a computer

lab at a public school for autistic children in Brooklyn. One

day one of the PCs was sitting idly, screen saver at work, and not a noise in the room (for

whatever reason).

In walked a teacher's aide, happened to bump or tap the desk where the idle PC sat, and the

movement jiggled the mouse which cancelled the screen saver which made a clicking noise as

the screen refreshed.

Positioned about 20 feet away or so at my desk and concentrating on whatever, I looked up on

hearing the sound:

"What was that noise, " I wondered aloud. "Must have been the mouse." With that, I went back

to work and the aid went to a table to check on a student.

Some days later virtually the same scenario repeated itself. This time the aid look at me

and volunteered: "Yo, I have a trap at home. Want me to bring it tomorrow and we'll trap the

son-of-a-bitch! Not suppose to have mice around these computers, are we?"

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

User: Everytime I drop my laptop I have to reinstall PowerTools, is there any way around this?

Tech: User, maybe you should find a safer location for your laptop.

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I went to an on-site installation and 15 minute how-to-use-

netscape type tutorial. (This service from my old employer

usually runs around $100-$125.) After I get to this man's

house, I install our connection software and start having

major problems.

I play around with every setting and configuration I can

think of and even toy with the idea of re-installing parts

of the OS.

I finally realize that there is one thing I didn't think of:

that his modem is not fast enough (maybe he has a 1200 baud

or something), so I ask him how fast his modem is.

he says "I need a modem? no one told me I needed a modem."

Don't forget this !
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

This happened to a tech (I bet he still hears about it).

One day we're having trouble with a new printer. Apparently

the're something wrong with the driver. As there won't be

any time to fix the problem before the office closes, one

of the bright lads in techsupport dutifully takes out the

disk with the software that came with the printer and so

that he doesn't forget us the next day, sticks this 5 1/4"

disk neatly in a sleeve onto the bulletin board, with a

magnet over the oblong cutout where the drive reads the data.

Would you believe that the next day all the data on the disk

was corrupt ?

The Inkless Ink Cartridge
Posted 05/01/1998 by Lewis Moten

I don't work for a techee company, but people know they can ask me for help. My boss had

run out of ink in her printer and had spent hours trying to get it to work. She called

customer support several times and still hadn't got the printer working.

Much to my suprise, it was the same exact printer I had. I took the cartrige out and placed

it in teh printer... nothing. I then asked her where the old cartridge was. She pointed to

the garbage can. I picked it up and immediately knew the problem.

The seal hadn't been broken. She took the new cartridge out of the box and threw it away.

Her face was happy and embaressed. I went home that night with 10 extra bucks and laughed

it off with my room mates.

An actual dialog between me and my customer
Posted 05/01/1998 by Bill Campbell

Me: "xxxxx computer assistant; may I help you?"

Customer: "Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."

Me: "What sort of trouble?"

Customer: "Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away.",

Me: "Went away?"

Customer:"They disappeared."

Me: "Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"

Customer: "Nothing."

Me: "Nothing?"

Customer: "It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."

Me: "Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?"

Customer: "How do I tell?"

Me: "Can you see the C:\ prompt on the screen?"

Customer: "What's a sea-prompt?"

Me: "Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the screen?"

Customer: "There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept anything I type."

Me: "Does your monitor have a power indicator?"

Customer: "What's a monitor?"

Me: "It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light

that tells you when it's on?"

Customer: "I don't know."

Me: "Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it.

Can you see that?"

Customer: ......"Yes, I think so."

Me: "Great! Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall."

Customer: ......"Yes, it is."

Me: "When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into

the back of it, not just one?"

Customer: "No."

Me: "Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable."

Customer: ......"Okay, here it is."

Me: "Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."

Customer: "I can't reach."

Me: "Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"

Customer: "No."

Me: "Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?"

Customer:"Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle-it's because it's dark."

Me: "Dark?

Customer: "Yes-the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the


Me: "Well, turn on the office light then."

Customer:"I can't."

Me: "No? Why not?"

Customer: "Because there's a power outage."

Me: "A power... A power outage? Aha! Okay, we've got it licked now. Do you still have the

boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?"

Customer: "Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."

Me: "Good! Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got

it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from."

Customer: "Really? Is it that bad?"

Me: "Yes, I'm afraid it is."

Customer: "Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"

Me: "Tell them you're too stupid to own a computer."

An actual dialog between me and my customer
Posted 05/01/1998 by Bill Campbell

Me: "xxxxx computer assistant; may I help you?"

Customer: "Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."

Me: "What sort of trouble?"

Customer: "Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away.",

Me: "Went away?"

Customer:"They disappeared."

Me: "Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"

Customer: "Nothing."

Me: "Nothing?"

Customer: "It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."

Me: "Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?"

Customer: "How do I tell?"

Me: "Can you see the C:\ prompt on the screen?"

Customer: "What's a sea-prompt?"

Me: "Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the screen?"

Customer: "There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept anything I type."

Me: "Does your monitor have a power indicator?"

Customer: "What's a monitor?"

Me: "It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light

that tells you when it's on?"

Customer: "I don't know."

Me: "Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it.

Can you see that?"

Customer: ......"Yes, I think so."

Me: "Great! Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall."

Customer: ......"Yes, it is."

Me: "When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into

the back of it, not just one?"

Customer: "No."

Me: "Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable."

Customer: ......"Okay, here it is."

Me: "Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."

Customer: "I can't reach."

Me: "Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"

Customer: "No."

Me: "Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?"

Customer:"Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle-it's because it's dark."

Me: "Dark?

Customer: "Yes-the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the


Me: "Well, turn on the office light then."

Customer:"I can't."

Me: "No? Why not?"

Customer: "Because there's a power outage."

Me: "A power... A power outage? Aha! Okay, we've got it licked now. Do you still have the

boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?"

Customer: "Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."

Me: "Good! Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got

it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from."

Customer: "Really? Is it that bad?"

Me: "Yes, I'm afraid it is."

Customer: "Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"

Me: "Tell them you're too stupid to own a computer."

Fax me, man !
Posted 05/01/1998 by Igor

This isn't a worldshocker, but it did raise some big smiles

among the rest of the crew :

Our office finally enters the 20th century. We get a fax

machine. End of the nineties, can you believe it ?

My colleague has never worked with this type of equipment

so when he prepares to send his first message, he takes a

copy of his message. I ask him : "Why do you take a copy ?"

"Well, I have to send a fax so I'm making a copy".

"Er... you don't need to make a copy when you fax a message,

the machine returns the sheet after its done with it".

a few seconds of silence...

"But, but... isn't the machine supposed to send the paper

through the wire ?"

"THROUGH THE WIRE ???" Yeah, like it's going to unfold and

iron itself when it emerges at the other end, huh ?

Surfin the Web
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work as the technology coordinator in a school. I connected the classroom computers to a

WAN which provided us with Internet access. After configuring the computer in one particular

classroom, I told the teacher that all she had to do was double click on Netscape and she

would be on the Web. (Due to the way it was set up, no logging on was necessary).

The next day, she stopped me as I was passing her classroom and told me there was a problem

with the computer. I asked her what had happened. She said that she opened Netscape just like

I told her to and she was able to see our homepage but it didn't work after that. I asked if

she got an error message and she said no. I asked her what the problem was and she said that

she waited and waited but it did not take her to the Internet. I was a bit confused until our

conversation continued and suddenly it occurred to me what she had done or in this case, not


Tech: What were you trying to see on the Internet?

Teacher: Well, you know all that stuff out there that everyone talks about.

Tech: Did you type in a URL, an address?

Teacher: No, I didn't type anything.

Tech: Did you click on anything?

Teacher: No, I just waited and waited, but it wouldn't take me anywhere.

Tech: Are you telling me that you just sat there and waited without doing anything?

Teacher: Yes, isn't it supposed to take me somewhere?

Tech: (trying not to laugh) Well, yes but it doesn't just go by itself. You have to give a

URL or an address to go to or click on a hyperlink.

At this point, she looked a bit puzzled and I told her I would come back to show her how to

"surf the web." Too bad I can't set it to automatic pilot.

X-rated Tech
Posted 05/01/1998 by Techey Mikey

I work for a major ISP, and I always think it is funny when people calling me up because

their wifes are going to kill them if they get home and see where they have at.

I once had guy call me up in a panic saying i got to help him, his wife was due home any

minute and he has this naked woman on his desktop and he doesn't know how it got there and

he does not know how to get rid of it.

Turns out he was at a sight he shouldn't have been, and he had tried to save the picture.

But instead he choose the Set as wall paper function in netscape, and now it was there for

all to see. I could of used my "we do not support that, you are going to have

to call microsoft" but that would be just too cruel.

The Password Is Case Sensitive
Posted 05/01/1998 by Sue Smith

Working tech support for a large company; we get many calls on Monday morning that users have

forgotten their passwords. Using our utility to reset the passwords; my typical speech to

folks is ", type in the default password I just gave you and it's case sensitive..."

After spending nearly 20 minutes on the phone with one user; I realized the error in my little

speech :

Me: Okay, I've reset your password to 'springday' - it's all one word and it's case sensitive

... go ahead and type it in.

User: It doesn't WOOORRRRKKK (wailing tone in voice)

Me: (thinking, I'm just going to send a tech; this is taking way too long) ... can you tell

me exactly what you're typing in?

User: The password you GAAAVVEEE MMMEEEE (more wailing)

Me: And it's case sensitive, right? Okay ... one more time; tell me exactly what you're

typing ?

User: c a s e s e n s i t i v e

Me: (Phone on mute; loud, raucous, gut busting laughs)...Um; can you try typing this in

instead ...

An Electrifying Query
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Here's a call we received from a Foreign Office Diplomat heading for the USA from way-out


"I want to take my PC to the US. I am being transferred to Washington DC. My computer works

on AC. Do I need some kind of converter?"

Backup Copy?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Alex Fitz

I am providing tech support for several different companys in Germany. One is a Hotel


Someday one Hotel got a new accounting software and we told them to make copys of the

installation disks for security reasons.

So, a few month later the system died and we went there to reinstall the Software. We ask a


We: We told you to have copy´s of the system disks! Do you have em?

She: OHHH sure i have them! You told us so!!

We: Ok, perfekt! May i have them?

She went to a board and pulled a folder out, then she gave me, obviously proud, some paper


I was nearly ready to spank myself in case what she has done!

She made photo copys of the Disks!!!!!

Cute eh? ;-) For Sure the original disks where gone!

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Wysmar Clealand

I do live tech support online. One night I got a user who

claimed he had a problem. I asked what his problem was.

He replied, "I got Photoshop open and I'm trying to scan a

document, but it's not working!" I proceeded to ask if he

had check the connections in the scanner and make sure it

was on. He replied again, "I have, it works fine it just

doesn't scan." I'm now intrigued so I ask, "How do you know

that it's working fine if it doesn't scan?"

He said "I can see everything fine, but when I try to scan

it won't do it" You can see everything? Tell me how are you

trying to scan please... "I hold up the document up to the

document up to the screen and it doesn't do anything", He said.

You're holding the document up to it? What kind of scanner is

this? then he says, "It's a Sony Multi-Scan!"

I almost died laughing, good thing he couldn't hear me!

can I have my stick please
Posted 05/01/1998 by Mike Calrk

I teach AdultEd for the local school district. I have more storys that time to tell them.

there was this one lady. Mid-fortys like most of my students.

I was teaching and intro to dos class and I never know what they know the 1st week or so.

I do my best to find out what the class as a whole knows so as not to bore or pass anyone up.

I go to the part where we were going to see how to us the A:

drive. I told the class theres only 8 different ways to put the disk in the drive are there

any question?

One lady raised her hand and asked if she "could I have a popcycle stick?"

I asked of course why in the world would you need a popcycle stick?

She said "At work we have to have one to turn the computer on"

I ask where do you put it

She replay and showed me that the stick went into the A: drive door 1st and then she could

turn her computer on"

I ashured her that the school had modren computers and there would be not need for a popcycle

stink in class.

I don't think she ever really believed me.

Mike Clark

Phychic Tech Support

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Paul Dulaney

I do tech support for a mid-sized regional ISP. Recently, I received a call from a

very surly fellow who opened our conversation by saying, "This s**t ain't workin'."

When I asked him to describe the problem, he said, "I just told you, Jack, the s**t

ain't workin'!" I told him my name wasn't Jack, then once again asked the specific

nature of his problem. After a few more rounds of this, I was able to ascertain that

he hadbeen dialing in and getting busy signals each time. Now, our company provides

several different types of dial-up accounts, some with different phone numbers, even

in the same cities, so to try and pin down which type of account this gentleman had,

I asked him what number his modem was dialing. His charming response? "I don't know

what the h**l you're talkin' about, Jack." After counting to ten, taking a deep breath,

and biting my lip, I said, "OK, please click on the icon labeled 'Dial ISP' and tell

me what phone number you see in the window that opens up." He managed to do this, and

rattled off a number totally unfamiliar to me. Then he tells me "But that's MY phone

number!" I said, "Maybe that's why you're getting a busy signal, Jack," and hung up.

He never called back to ask what our dialup number was, so I suppose he must have gotten

around to reading the step-by-step documentation that came with our software.

They ain't hot swappable
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I got this call last week. Sometimes folks just don’t know the basic rules...

Teacher: Last week I installed a new external CD ROM drive on my computer and now the

computer is very slow.

Tech Support: Did you install the new drivers?

Teacher: Yes.

Tech Support: Did you change anything else?

Teacher: Yesterday I also installed an external Zip drive and dragged the Zip drivers to the

system folder.

Tech Support: Have you tried removing the CD ROM drive and Zip drive to see if the computer

works properly without the two SCSI devices connected?

Teacher: I never thought of that, let me try that now.

5 seconds later...

Teacher: I have disconnected both external drives and my computer is still slow.


Tech Support: Did you shut down your computer before disconnecting those drives?

Teacher: No.


Tech Support: Did you restart your computer after installing the drivers for those SCSI


Teacher: No.

Tech Support: When was the last time that you did restart your computer?

Teacher: I started the computer in September at the beginning of the school year and I have

NEVER restated it since.

Mobile Mail
Posted 05/01/1998 by Travis

I work as Help Desk support for a large Netowrk Integration company. My job is to support the

employees that make this company

run...and you'd think that there'd be a few smart types out there...but not this caller I got

one day:

Me: Helpdesk, this is Travis.

Caller: I need help with CC:Mail..I can't get it to come up.

Me: Ok...let's go check your drive mappings. Go to My Computer and double-click it.

Caller: Uh, I can't do that at the moment, I'm not at the machine.

Me: (thinking, no biggie this is an easy one) Ok, then just jot this down on a piece of paper.

It's really easy...go to..

Caller: Uh, I can't do that either..

Me: Is there a problem?

Caller: I'm in my car on my cell phone.............

Why? WHY WHY WHY do these people even call?

when you open your mouth, stuff comes out
Posted 05/01/1998 by Barry Gumbert

I'm a former tech for a company that does support

for several accounts, including APPLE computer.

Of course we hear from all the customers who "can't

figure the damn thing out". You know, the lady who gets

the disc unreadable message, who is placing the CD in

the tray shiny side up just like on TV. Or the one who

couldn't figure out how to press the proper keys, use

the mouse, and hold the document she wanted to fax against

the screen all at the same time. Well, sometimes you get a

customer who reminds you that your not perfect:

It was my first TTY call, where a non-hearing person calls

using a keyboard to type to an operator who talks to the

tech and types back.

Robert was having a problem with the keyboard on his MAC,

When he would type a letter nothing would happen, but

function keys worked fine. I suspected that Easy Access, a

feature intended to help people with motor problems, might

be the cause. One feature, called slow keys, delays the keys

so the user has time to make sure the proper key is pressed.

When this feature is "on" the computer makes a click as

the key is pressed.

Being a good tech, trained to ask lots of questions, I

inquired, "When you type does the computer make a noise".

As the words left my lips I realized my mistake. The answer

came back almost instantly, "I can't hear, I'm deaf".

I told Robert, "That was the dumbest thing I've ever said to

a customer" Then I asked him to open the control panel and

turn off anything that was turned on. Sure enough, I was right,

but I still felt like a fool.

30% is Enough
Posted 05/01/1998 by Brian E.

I got a call from a owner of one of our company's PCs. He said that after doing a complete

format and recovery of his system using the supplied CD, his PC booted to a C: prompt and he

couldn't get into Windows. I asked if the recovery process had given any errors; he said no. I asked if the format and recovery had finished. He said, it had, but he had stopped it at thirty percent because he felt that was "enough".

Incredulous, I advised him to run the format and recovery again, and this time, let it

finish. He agreed, then asked if all the software he had bought and installed would also

be recovered by the CD.

Unfortunately, it would not, I told him. Imagine the possibilities, though....

No Middle Ground
Posted 05/01/1998 by Brian E

I do tech support for a company whose PC's are geared towards the first-time user. Well,

that seems to be who buys them, judging by this call I took, which has become legend:

The customer was a nice enough elderly gentleman who needed help going through the Netscape

signup wizard that comes with our PCs. We got to the part where he was to enter his personal


Cust: This is a really nice computer. I only have one question.

Me: What's that?

Cust: IS there any way to get capital letters out of this thing?

Needless to say, I was stunned speechless. Before I could say anything, he went on.

Cust: Oh, wait... I just tried this key marked C-A-P-S Lock... (yes, he spelled it) Hmmm.

Now it does ONLY capital letters. There's no middle ground with this thing, is there?

If I take a thousand calls a day, for the next thousand days, I will likely never take a call

such as this one.

Too Hot to Handle
Posted 05/01/1998 by Deb Aziz

I once had a user on the phone. She had been having trouble with her Powerbook. It was an old machine about 3 to 5 years old and has not been taken care of at all. She told me that it had been "overheating", which caused it to lock up on her. But in order to get around the problem and get it to continue to fuction, she would put it in her FREEZER for a few HOURS to cool it down. She said if she did this she could get 3 to 4 hours of work out of it before it "overheated" again and she had to put it back in the freezer and start the process from the top. I had to stiffle my horror and amusement on the phone and merely told her to send the machine back to HQ where we would tranfer her files to a new machine and send it back to her. Just another day in paradise...

Yet another who knows what he's doing
Posted 05/01/1998 by Candice

Call came in as a three way. User, telco, and us (modem tech supp). Modem can't

dial out. Telco does not see modem when checking the line. Must be the modem because

Telco guy says he's been doin this for 25 years and he knows what he's doin when it comes

to ISDN. OK. Check settings that telco gave user. Change terminal endpoint identifier

from fixed (like Telco said) to dynamic. Ask Telco to check for modem again. Telco sees

modem. Modem dials out. There is joy in Mudville this day. Telco guy says he didn't know

his terminal endpoint adapter needed to be dynamic. Go figure.

what do I feed it?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Candice

My boss took a call some time ago. A woman called and wanted to ask a question before she

opened the box with her brand new pc in it. She had read the box where it told her it came

with a mouse, and wanted to know if the mouse was still alive.

wash those chips down
Posted 05/01/1998 by Candice

In regards to Rich saying that they all eat potato chips when they call, I must get them

right after him because they are no longer eating chips, they are washing the chips down with

a 12-pack of beer. (I get 'em about the 11th beer too).

cold hard data
Posted 05/01/1998 by Candice

My dad and I both work in tech support for one of the largest modem companies. A few days

ago, my dad took a very special call. He asked the woman to repeat herself because he knew

he could not have heard correctly. He had heard it right the first time. This older lady

had called in for help installing her modem on the new hard drive she had gotten because she

had terminally crashed her old one. She was very proud of herself though because she had

placed the crashed drive in the freezer. By doing this, she had preserved 70% of her data.

Today, another tech support type called to get the name and location of a file he needed.

I shared the story with him, and he said they had gotten one where the woman had put her hard

drive in the oven and wanted to know at what temperature and for how long the modem needed to

be in to be right for "hot swapping". ...and I'm the blonde!?!?!?!

Is this dumb or what?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Steve Mullany

One day a guy called up and said he was having trouble

"getting on the Internet." He complained that every time

he dialed in all he got was noise and "nothing ever happened"

(I checked out his user ID and he was definitely a paying

customer.) I asked him what kind of modem he was using.

"What's a modem?" came the reply.

Turns out he was just picking up his phone receiver...

and dialing the local access number!

The email that wouldn't
Posted 05/01/1998 by Tom Hafemann

I own a cybercafe and work at an ISP part time in their tech support department answering

calls at night.

Last night I got a call from this loud, obnoxious, claiming to know more about computers than

God, guy who said, "Everything was working fine, I was browsing the web, chatting, email and

everything, until I sent this last email and now I can't do anything, what did you guys do?!"

You know the kind! The ones you really want to just say, "If you know so much, why are you

calling me?"

To any good tech, what this guy should have said was, "I am a stupid man's idiot when it

comes to computers and I need help from someone who may know the difference between a

keyboard and a speaker!"

Obviously he was having a problem sending an email. He was sending his brother a email when

the computer just stopped. After checking the customary settings to make sure his POP3 and

SMTP server configurations were correct I had him try to send it again.

The status bar display came up and just sat there. It stayed there for 1/2 hour until the

server returned an error message. Then I knew what the problem was. Here is how it went

me: Sir what exactly are you sending to your brother?

customer: A letter and some files

me: could you do me a favor, go into the outbox and open up the letter?

customer: Sure, but the letter is personal! I won't read it to you!

Me: No problem. How many attachments do you have?

customer: okay.. 1, 2, 3, .... 37, 38, 39, 40, ... 63, 64, 65, ...

me: okay sir, that's enough, now can you do me another favor, tell me the size of the

first few attachments

customer: 2.6 meg, 3.1meg, 98k, 2.1 meg,.....

Me: sir can I ask you what you are doing.

customer: If you must know I am sending him his wedding pictures, I am tired of keeping

them on my hard drive.

I then began to explain that our server limits any email file size to 4 meg.

Later, I found out that he had talked to one of the other techs that told him the same thing. Talk about bye-bye bandwidth!

New Video Tech support software.
Posted 05/01/1998 by Jerry Sevey

Our agency moved into a new building and I went around and did the normal setup over the weekend. On monday a lady named Michelle called and said she could not log on to the server. Knowing that I had set everything up correctly I explained to her that during the weekend we had installed new software on her computer and phone. If she would be so kind to hold her phone hand set up to the monitor, then I could see what the problem was. About 20 seconds of silence passed when she said well did you see what was wrong. I explained to her that it looked like her Caps Lock Key was down and that she needed to press that key and try again. She did. Got in to the server and said This is going to be a lot better for solving these computer problems. I hung up and started laughing. This worked on her two more times. I kid you not....

Two Lines
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work in the technical support department of an ISP. Like

most techs, I get "good ones" almost every day. Here's one

of my favorites.

Me: Thank you for calling *****, how can I help you?

Caller: I can't connect...

(10 minutes later)

Me: Do you have one phone line or two?

Caller: Two. This is a cordless phone!

PhD in Computer Science Doesn't mean anything!
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

This is a true story:

I was working back in the tech room, just fixing computers

for this university when this computer science professor

came in looking to buy a modem.

Tech: Hello Professor XXXX

Welcome to XXX XXXX how may I help you today?

Prof: I'm interested in purchasing a modem.

Tech: Okay, internal or eternal?

Prof: Uh, internal.

Tech: Okay, uhm. . for a computer or a laptop?

Tech: Laptop

Tech: Okay, how fast?

Prof: Uh, the fastest one you have.

Tech: that would be 56.6k, however this school only supports

33.6 k at this moment.

Prof: Okay.

Tech: okay, well the modems are over there at the back of

store. (I walked him over there, pointed at the

internal modems, showed him 3 different brands

of internal modems in stock for laptops)

Prof: Thanks, I'll look at it. . . I'll get back to you in a

few minutes. I can handle it from here on.

Tech: No problem, have a nice day

[five minutes passed]

Prof: Hello, xxxx, I would like to buy this modem

Tech: Okay, but this is an external modem.

Prof: Well I wanted internal..

Tech: Well, okay, this is an external, Okay,

the internal modems are over there at the corner

( I showed him exactly the same place I showed him the

last time, and pointed at exactly the same modems I did

the last time). Those are the only internal modems we

have in stock right now.

Prof: Fine, I'll buy it.

Tech: Okay, just making sure, but this internal modem is for

a PC laptop only.

Prof: I know! I have this laptop but it's called a PowerBook.

Tech: Ah, okay you have a Macintosh Laptop, right now at

this moment , we do not have any in stock, it was all

sold out. However, I will be more than glad to order one

for you.

Prof: There's no need to, I'll buy it anyway.

Tech: But it won't work in your Mac Laptop

Prof: Yes it will, I'm a XXXX XXXX University Professor of

Computer Science!! I know computers!.

I'll get it to work.!

Tech: If you say so, but I strongly suggest you do not

purchase this internal modem for PC to be installed

in your Macintosh. They use different drivers, mechanism

and are configured differently.

Prof: Don't you DARE lecture me.

Tech: I apologize sir, I just wanted to prevent you from

making a mistake

Prof: (face turning beet red, smokes coming out of his ear)

I'm a professor of Computer Science at this university,

DAMN IT! You know nothing about computers, I have a

PhD in Computer Science.

Tech: Calm down sir, I'm not trying to condescend or


you, I'm just trying to help you in purchasing

the right modem

for your PowerBook Laptop.

Prof:Whatever, I DEMAND to purchase this modem, if you do

not sell me this modem, I will have to talk to your

superiors and file a griveance complaint against you.

Tech: (calm face). . whatever you say sir, it will be

$218.00 including your faculty 5% discount. Credit/Cash/


. . . he paid for it and stormed out of the store.

Geesh! I was supposed to take one of his classes next

semester.. .ouch.. I need to revamp my schedule now for next




Zippy Drive
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

A friend just bought a new Mac G3, when asked if she got the

Zip Drive with it, she said.... "Oh no, we don't need the

computer to go THAT fast"

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I had one pet (someone who refuses to talk to any other tech but you) who would call me for any and all reasons. On a few occasions it wasn't even our software he had called about! One call in particular though stands out above all the rest.

Customer: Hi! My comuter is smoking.

Me: What did you say?

Customer: Hey, my computer is smoking and I wanted to know what you think I should do.

Me: Unplug it and get the hell out of there!

Customer: That's what I thought but I figured I better check with you first. Ok, talk to you later.

[And if I said "Send me all your money tomorrow." would you do it? You know. I probably should have tried it to see what would have happened.]

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Of all the funny newbies I've gotten over the years, we had one who took top honors as clueless.

Customer: I need to get replacement disks.

Me: OK, sir. I'll just need to get some information and we can get new disks out in tomorrows mail.

Customer: Great. I was really excited to try out your program but the disk wouldn't work. It was bent.

Me: Bent? I'm sorry sir. I don't know how that could have happened but we'll take care of it.

Customer: Thanks. It was a trip let me tell you. Took me a whole box of paper clips to get it out of the disk drive!

[Sounds of me banging head on keyboard]

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I'm not sure how to catergorize this one but as a former female tech support person, I've been hit on over the phone numerous time. The guys in my dept. and dubbed me "sex support".

Most callers are being silly and their "marry me's" come after a very evil question has been solved. I've even had a guy admit to calling just to her me talk (he'd been calling with really silly questions). He went so far as to send me a letter written by both himself and his alter ego (written in red pen). Odd but cute, I wrote back but to his alter ego. I then got a letter back stating that I shouldn't right to the alter ego anymore because the had gotten into a huge fight about it. Needless to say that was the end of that!

One of the last before I switched out of that dept. was a young guy who wanted me to come to his house to train him. I apologized politely saying I didn't live in the area and it would be a long drive between my house and his. He said no problem. He was currently living at home and I could sleep over in the guest room! This proceeded in to requests to meet on the weekend for lunch and training, etc..... All this was because he was moving to California within a few weeks and wanted to get up to speed before he took his new job. I even tried getting him in touch with one of our trainers in his area but he wanted me because he knew me. I finally waited himout until he moved. That year I was unable to go to the MacWorld convention in San Francisco but was told by one of the guys jwo did go that the young gentleman was there looking for me. EGADS!

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I do believe that most customers thing tech support is staffed by mind readers. Case in point:

Me: Tech Support can I help you?

Customer: Yes, I just crashed and got an ID 8.

It took a few minutes to convince the caller I needed more information that that in order to help him.

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Of all the calls I've ever got, this one from overseas truly took the cake in foolishness.

Caller: Hello? Yes. This is a little embarassing but I hope you can help me out. I was using your program, [XXX], and can't get my name off it.

Me: Excuse me sir? What do you mean?

Caller: Well, I brought up the program and it asked me for enter my name, address and such so I did. Now I can't get it off.

Me: Do you mean the registration information sir?

Caller: Yes. I used it for awhile and then brought it back up and this time it didn't ask me for the information. It was already entered for me. I have to get my name off because (hesitantly) it's not my software. You see, I'm waiting for a gentleman to get out of a meeting and I'm waiting in his office.

Me: [Trying hard not to fall out laughing] OK sir, what we'll need to do is to remove the copy of the program on his machine and replace it a fresh copy from the disk. Do you happen to see where he keeps his software?

Caller: Oh yes, it's right by his computer!

Me: OK, what you want to do is to turn the computer back on. Locate the copy of our program on the harddrive and throw it in the trash. After that, copy over a fresh copy of the program in it's place. OK?

Caller: OK.

The customer proceeds to do all that I've said and then thanks me over and over again. About 5 minutes later, he calls back.

Caller: It's still there.

Me: What do you mean sir?

Caller: I happened to bring the program up again and my name is still showing up.

Me: Explain to me exactly what you did before you called the first time sir?

Caller: [Embarassed and increasingly worried] I was waiting for him to come out of his meeting and decided to take a look at his computer. I went through his software box and found the disk with your software on it. I inserted it and double clicked on the icon. It then asked me for my information. After I entered it, I played with the program for awhile. Nice software by the way. I shut it down and continued to wait. After a little bit I put the disk back in and there was my name on his screen without me having to enter it. That's when I called you!

Now I had realized the situation and could barely keep form laughing. He had stuck the UNLOCKED floppy of the program into this guys machine and initialized it with his name, address and phone number. When he called me he failed to mention this little bit of information and I had had him over write the copy of the computer with the screwed up copy from the floppy. Now his information would appear on BOTH copies. I sadly had to inform the man that all he could do was to tell the owner what had happened and that we could send him a replacement disk free of charge. The caller about went hysterical, screaming that who ever he was waiting for would kill him! There was nothing I could do but repeat what his only option was. He sounded sick but thanked me for my time.

I don't know if this genius was waiting to be interviewed or what but I bet you he didn't get the job!

What am I? Who am I?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Brian Oberquell

I received a call requesting help with a joystick. Since

this particular stick comes in PC and Macintosh models, I

asked the customer what platform she was using.

"I don't know," she replied.

ME: "Do you have a Mac or a PC?"

CUST: "How do I tell?"

ME: "Look on the front of your computer, is there a name?"

CUST: "Yes, it says 'Sony'."

Since Sony doesn't make Mac clones, I now knew she had a PC

and was able to start diagnosing the problem.

Sweet Revenge
Posted 05/01/1998 by Brian Oberquell

When I was working at Advanced Gravis, I received an e-mail

from an irate customer who really didn't have a clue.

He demanded to know why the joystick would work with some

games but not others (this is usually a configuration

problem within the game).

He demanded a gameport card because the manual that came

with the joystick said it was required to work (I checked

the manual; it refereed to the "possibility* of needing a

speed-compensating gameport card but never referred to it

as a necessity) and we should have included it with the


He threatened to complain to the Alaska State Ombudsman for

illegal business practices, and closed with:



Well, this was too good to pass up.

First, I started off by replying that " a computer

professional, you should know that you haven't given us

enough information about your system to diagnose the

problem..." and asked typical questions: operating system,

error messages, etc. I even gave him my private e-mail

address so he wouldn't have to wait in the joystick support

queue. I sent the message off and didn't think anything more

of it until a week later, when I saw another message from

his e-mail address sent, as before, to the standard support

address (great, I think; he didn't even read my reply).

Imagine my surprise to read a sincere apology from his

sysadmin! It turns out that the company the original message

was sent from has only one e-mail address, and all replies

are read and forwarded to the appropriate person.

We always include the original contents in our replies to

maintain a chain of support continuity, so the sysadmin

got to read all the vitriol that we had originally been

sent. Needless to say, that apology was printed off and

passed around the department with much glee...

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I do believe people think computers are magic. I've gotten calls from people asking the program to do all sorts of things. I want to tell them if it did, they wouldn't have a job!

Customer: I'm having a problem with your program. I can't seem to render my drawing.

Me: What happens when you try to render your drawing?

Customer: It processes for a little while then I get a message saying "Low memory. Please increase your partition size." I made all the walls taller but it still won't render.

Needless to say, I explained to her that the partition was the amount of memory allocation to our program. With this corrected, she was off and rendering happily.

Foot Foot
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Because of this one customer, our programmers modified the program to work for him (and other users like him).

Customer: Your program isn't working right. I bring up the dialog, type in my measurements and the wrong size object appears on screen.

Me: In what way is it the wrong size sir?

Customer: It's huge!

Me: What scale are you using sir?

Customer: 1/4"

Me: Are you possibly zoomed in too close?

Customer: I'm at Fit To Window. Listen, if I draw anything manually it works fine. It's only when I use your dialogs that the problem occurs.

Me: [Slightly confused] Are you sure you're entering the right measurement?

Customer: Of course, I type in a height of 5'-4" and a width of 10-2 1/2", press OK and it comes out all wrong.

Me: [At a complete loss] Sir, humor me. I'm going to do the same things you are doing and we'll see if we can find the problem.

Customer: OK. In the height field I type in 5 footmark dash 4 footmark footmark.....

Apparently he was from the old school and rather than shift key to get the inches, he was typing in 2 footmarks.

crashed computer
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I used to be the MIS Director for a small Manhattan

Advertising Agency. I got a call from one of the women

in the traffic department informing me that her computer

had crashed. I told her to restart. She, rather curtly,

informed me that she had already done this three times

and nothing happened. I was flabbergasted, nothing happened.

She told me that she would turn it on and off and it would

still be in the exact same frozen state. I had to see this

for myself, so I walked over to her office. She had a

Macintosh 6100, the one with the big round power button on the

front of it. When I got there, sure enough it was locked up.

I asked her to turn it off and then back on for me.

She did. She turned the monitor, which sat atop the flat

cpu, off and then back on, then said, "See, I told you."

I walked over and turned the machine off with the power

switch and just walked out shaking my head.

Modem Woes
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

In a previous life I was Network Administrator, Tech Support, PC Support and anything else my boss could think of. One day a sales rep came to me with a problem. Now this guy used to be a tech for a large mainframe computer company, so I thought he was a cut above the average sales person. How wrong I was. He said he couldn't dial into the system for one of the manufacturers we rep'd for to download sales leads. I walked down to his office to see what I could do. He had an external modem sitting on his credenza right next to his monitor. There were no lights on the modem so I turned it on and his the enter key to dial. It connected without a problem and he asked what I did. I told him I just turned on the modem and dialed. He got red in the face and looked rather sheepish and I realized he didn't know the modem was turned off. I walked back to my cube wondering how in the world he fixed mainframes. A couple of weeks later he came to me again with the same problem of not being able to connect with his modem. I was wondering what I would find this time as I walked to his office. There next to the monitor was the phone cord and no modem. I looked at him and asked where the modem was. He looked where the modem should have been, jumped a little, got very red in the face and started to laugh nervously. "Oh" he said, "I guess someone borrowed it. Sorry." I walked back to my cube wondering how he could even drive a car and get to work.

Looking in the right place
Posted 05/01/1998 by Heiko Wiertalla

I work as a support technician for a german network

distributor, and one day I got a call that went like this:

Me: Hello, this is (Company-Name)-Technical Support, how can

I help you ?

Cust: I have a Netware 4.1 Server here and when I go to

the directory "Abteilung" I can't see the subdirectories in

NWAdmin, but I am logged in as administrator. When I use

the Explorer or the DOS-Box, they are there.

Me: OK, please verify, that you have indeed supervisor

rights to that volume object and check whether there are any

unusual characters in the directory names below the current


Cust: Yes, it's all correct.

Me: OK, please hold the line.

I called a co-worker and asked him, whether he had heard of

such a phenomenon before. He suggested running vrepair and

dsrepair on that volume.

When I got back to the customer, he told me that he had

solved the problem meanwhile.

Me: How did you do it ? What was the problem ?

Cust: Well, I just found out that there's another directory

called "Abteilu0" and under that directory, all my

subdirectories are there !

So he just browsed the wrong directory and wondered where

his subdirectories had gone.

I told him to use the 32-Bit Version of Netware

Administrator, because the 16-Bit Version isn't capable of

displaying long file names.

P.S.: He had already run VRepair and DSRepair on that volume !

Portable code?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

We are in the process of moving our software development

from an older Apollo system to a Sun system and going from

BSD Unix to system 5 at the same time. The following occured

after this migration had been under way a while.

(user) Why doesn't "ls" work like it used to? I used to be

able to get the groups of the file with the "-l" command.

(support) Your new workstation is running System 5 instead

of BSD Unix. The "ls" command works differently.

(user) Well, "ls" isn't working at all. I figured that the

versions of Unix were different, so I just "ftp" the "ls"

command over from the Apollo to my home account. Now it

doesn't work".

Support didn't mute the call fast enough and the user was

slightly miffed when the support engineer started laughing

out loud...

Following Instructions (EXACTLY)!
Posted 05/01/1998 by Steve Speairs

An early lesson in how instructions can be mis-interpreted

even by the best educated and intelligent user. Though

dated in time, it was quite instructive.

The first victim was a retired medical professor/surgeon

who had bought a new PC to update his textbook. The second

was myself who was the PC guru for the store where he bought

it. The night of the purchase I got a panic call from him

that the system disk had destroyed the computer. I agreed

to a house call the next moring with thoughts of smoked

circuits and fried boards disturbing my dreams.

Upon examination, the PC looked normal but definitely made

odd sounds at startup. The doctor said he followed the

instructions EXACTLY in putting in the 5.25" system disk

into the drive A slot and it was still in there. After

prying and poking, I was able to remove the from the drive

slot the inner flippy magnetic disk normally found in the

stiff exterior envelope.

Upon inquiry, the doctor pointed out the highlighted

instructions in the user's manual that said to remove the

disk from its envelope and then insert into the disk drive.

The doctor had taken his scalple and after removing the

flippy from the envelope ...

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Brad

I work at a support rep for a major software company in the Midwest.

Shortly after I had started the job I received a call from a customer

having trouble with an installation. The customer claimed the disk

was bad and was requesting a replacement. I asked him whether he had

made a diskcopy of the disk. He said that he tried the diskcopy but

was unable to finish it. I inquired as to why he was unable to finish

the diskcopy. He said that the process had gone through reading the source

disk, then it ask for the target disk. His reply was:

"I couldn't use my disks because I didn't buy them at Target and I didn't

think they'd work. I bought them from Wal-Mart, can I still use them?" "We

don't have a Target in our town and if I need target disks, then I'll have to

drive about 50 miles."

It shocked me so I know it works.
Posted 05/01/1998 by Tim Sitkiewicz

I had a guy call me to find out about getting his Powerbook repaired.

I asked him what was wrong and he said that it wouldn't turn

on. So I asked him if his AC adaptor was good and he replied

"I know it's good because I plugged it in and stuck the jack into a

bowl of water then stuck my lips in the water also and I got a

big shock." I told the guy that it probably wasn't a good idea to do

that and to bring it in for repair.

Printer Improvement
Posted 05/01/1998 by Darron Spohn

Several years ago I worked technical support for a major computer manufacturer.

One particularly slow day a coworker two aisles over started laughing so hard my customer could hear him

over the phone line. I was walking my customer through a software installation, and got his permission to

go see what was so funny.

When I got to my coworker's cube four of our colleagues were already there. Between spasms of laughter

our coworker managed to turn on the speaker on his telephone and ask the customer to repeat what she had

told him.

Customer: "Well, my (inkjet) printer wasn't printing, so I figured my cartridge was clogged."

Tech rep: "Um, hum."

Customer: "So I went out to the garage and got my husband's drill."

Tech rep: (Breaks into spasms of laughter again.)

Customer: "I figured there wasn't any air flowing through the ink cartrdige, so I drilled two little holes in the side of it."

Tech rep: (Recomposes himself): "Why did you do that?"

Customer: "I know, I know. I shouldn't have done that. I was just calling to ask if it would void my warranty if I

drill some holes in the bottom of the printer to drain all the ink out."

Tech rep: "Don't worry about that, you've already voided your warranty."

I probably shouldn't have, but I told my customer this story when I got back to my cube. He got as big a kick out of it as we did.

What a guy!!!
Posted 05/01/1998 by Andy Arnell

OK, this happened about 5 or 6 years ago, and the member of staff involved has left, so I should be safe 8-)

I work in a large University Library which has a number of satellite libraries to cater for individual departments.

The Sub-Librarian in one of these libraries had a problem with his eyes so couldn't see very well. I had just spent the morning

upgrading his PC to include a nice, new and expensive 17inch monitor and was just settling back down at my desk when the

'phone rang - it was him:

Caller: Andy, I can;t get access to LS/2000 [An old RS232 based catalogue system]

Me: [Knowing that I reconnected every cable] OK, have a look just above the monitor on the wall, you should

see a grey cable plugged into a socket.

Caller: No, nothing there

Me: [Thinking the monitor may be obscuring his view] OK, try standing up and see if you can find it

-- Sounds of him moving around --

Caller: OK, I've found a small grey cable near the floor, I'll just try and.....[Sound of dead phone]

Me: No!, thats the telepho... [Start laughing hysterically]

5 minutes later, I'm still laughing when the phone rings.

Caller: That was the phone line

Me: [Between guffaws] Yes it was, did you manage to find the cable?

It turned out that I had replaced the cable with a new one, and it was black not grey!

This is the same guy that wanted a laptop computer to work with, we invited 6 suppliers in to demonstrate their equipment

(remember, he had a problem with his eyes), after 3 days of him looking at the PCs, he decided that the most expensive on

omplete a fabulous TFT display fitted the bill. We purchased it, and he ran it in MONO !!!!!

You mean the modem?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Ted Kovacs

Phone call.......

woman caller: "Hello, I seem to be having some problems with my computer."

Tech: "Ok, what kind of problems are you having?"

Caller: "It just wont boot to windows."

Tech: "Well we would be happy to fix that for you. Bring it on in."

Caller: "What do I need to bring in?"

Tech: "Just the computer. Just the main unit, the box."

Later that day at the shop.......

Woman who called: "Hi I called earlier about my computer not working."

Tech: "Yes, I remember. Lets have a look at it."

Woman hands the tech a outlet strip.

Tech suppress laughter

Tech: "I'm sorry. I meant for you to bring in the computer, like this (pointing to a computer).

Woman: "O, you mean the modem?"

how to break it...
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

me:xxxx helpline, how can I help you.

cu:I have no sounds in my sub-woofer.

me: you have sounds at all in your system

cu: yes, the loudspeakers work perfectly.

me; but the sub-woofer doesn't have any sound?

cu: actually , it does play all the bass sounds but all the

bright ones are missing..

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Mike Warner

This one takes place while attending a Network Support class

at a multi vocational college in mid-Canada.

Our instructor recieved a call from the cosmotology

department... It seems that the instructor's computer

had frozen while logging onto the network. He asked her to

reboot the computer, and sent a friend and myself to see if

we could figure out the problem. When we got down to

Cosmotology, We noticed pieces of broken plastic, which came

from the front of the instructor's computer. My friend

asked what had happend, and got an exasperated reply...

"It's from the reboot, silly!"

Do Computers Float?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Travis Offenberger

I have been working tech support for about two years, but it is one of my first calls that stand out as the all time best. A fellow in Texas called the day after a tornado riped the roof off of his business. His brand new laptop had spend the previous night lying in three inches of water. So, our intrepid computer user let the system dry out for an hour and fired it up. He called wanting to know what that curious popping noise from the case was.

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Mike Warner

This tale was relayed to me by a friend who works tech

support at a large computer company in mid-Canada.

Tech: Hello, *** Service, How can I help you.

Customer: Yeah, I just got Windows 95 from you guys, and won't

load. I think there is somthing wrong with the CD.

Tech: Do you get an error message?

Customer: No, the screen just goes all funny.

Tech: Are there any scraches or smudges on the CD?

Customer: Uh... Nope.

Tech: Do you know what speed CD ROM you have?

Customer: Uh.. No.

Tech: Look at the place where you put the CD in, are there

any words?

Customer: Yup, Sony.

Tech: Ok, thats good, does it say anything else?

Customer: Oh, yeah, it says Playstation.

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Repeat after me:

Office 97 not Windows 97

Office 97 not Windows 97

Office 97 not Windows 97

There IS NO Windows 97!

Office IS NOT Windows!

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Belinda Sykes

I was explaining to a friend how to copy and paste from one file to another.

Me: "Do you have the text hightlighted?"

Friend: "Yes"

Me: "Now select Edit, Copy....have you done that?"

Friend: "Yes"

Me: "Now go into the new file, and right-mouse click, and select Paste"


Me: "Did that work?"

Friend: "Aahhh....." (sounding a little lost)

Me: "Is the text showing up? What is written on the new page?"

Friend: "Mouse-click"

Me: "Ha?"

Friend: "You told me to write 'mouse click'"

I kindly informed my friend of her little mistake, and she was able to laugh about it.

5 1/4 ISA
Posted 05/01/1998 by David Anderson

Hello, This is Tech Support.

Yeah, I'm have trouble with the 56K MODEM you sent me.

Well Sir, what seems to be the problem?

Well, windows 95 didn't automatically detect it like you said it should.

Do you have Windows 95?


Did you make sure it is seated correctly in the motherboard's slot?

Slot??? I though you're supposed to put it in the floppy drive!!

Not Bright Enough
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

According to my source this is a true story from a software company helpline. Needless to say the

HelpDesk employee was fired; however, he/she is currently

suing that organization for "Termination without Cause."

Dialog of a former WordPerfect Customer Support employee:

Q - "Ridge Hall computer assistant; may I help you?"

A - "Yes, well, I'm having trouble with my word processing software"

Q - "What sort of trouble?"

A - "Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the

words went away."

Q - "Went away?"

A - "They disappeared."

Q - "Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"

A - "Nothing."

Q - "Nothing?"

A - "It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."

Q - "Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?"

A - "How do I tell?"

Q - "Can you see the C: prompt on the screen?"

A - "What's a C prompt?"

Q -"Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the


A - "There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept

anything I type."

Q - "Does your monitor have a power indicator?"

A - "What's a monitor?"

Q - "It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a

TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it's on?"

A - "I don't know."

Q - "Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?"

A - "Yes, I think so."

Q - "Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall."

A - "Yes, it is."

Q - "When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that

there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?"

A - "No."

Q - "Well, there are ---- I need you to look back there again and find The other cable."

A - " Okay, here it is."

Q - "Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely

into the back of your computer."

A - "I can't reach."

Q- "Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"

A- "No."

Q - "Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?"

A - "Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle -- it's because it's dark."

Q - "Dark?"

A - "Yes - the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window."

Q - "Well, turn on the office light then."

A - "I can't."

Q - "No? Why not?"

A - "Because there's a power outage."

Q - "A power... A power outage? Aha, Okay, we've got it

licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?"

A - "Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."

Q - "Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from."

A - "Really? Is it that bad?"

Q - "Yes, I'm afraid it is."

A - "Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"

Q - "Tell them you're too stupid to own a computer."

Posted 05/01/1998 by Jay Mann

About 10 years ago, I was convenor for the first microcomputer club in Christchurch.

For one meeting, I asked Hewlett-Packard to send along their latest and greatest machine, a desktop computer with built-in minicasette tape drives.

Instead of the technical person I'd requested, an H-P salesman showed up. All he could do was to read aloud from the pre-printed list of terms describing the company's computers.

When he got to the paragraph where H-P boasted about their "soft keys" (reprogrammable keys), he looked puzzled for a minute. Then his face brightened and he pounded the keys a few times with his forefinger. "See," he said, "it doesn't hurt".

No Password?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

We have a certain customer who calls the helpdesk repeatedly claiming there are problems with his applications. We find nothing wrong except for the fact that he can't remember a password to save his life. Not too long ago he called and told me he could not log into one of his applications.

Tech: What error message are you getting?

Cust: Incorrect password.

Tech: What password are you using?

Cust: I've tried a couple of them. You guys have me change them so often I can't remember what it is.

Tech: Well we're going to have to change it again since you can't remember it.

(I reset his password for that application)

Tech: Okay, I reset your password. Try logging in now.

Cust: What password should I use?

Tech: Try no password and see what it does.

Cust: (after a pause) Is that "no password" with a space or without?

After laughing on mute for a few hours, I explained to him that I meant not to enter anything for a password, which worked. Our whole department got a kick out of that one.

Million dollar snot
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I worked in tech support for a large electronics company that had recently gotten into the business of selling home PCs. The big mistake however was to target it for the "novice" user. And sometimes I think it just aint worth it. Case in point:

A proud new owner of his new PC this Customer was experiencing difficulties with his system (in other words he Messed it up) and called tech support to do a complete for and recovery of his system using the "Restore" CD that comes with the PC. Seemed simple enough. Ya Right! This computer has the ability to boot from the CD-ROM drive in order to run these full system restores.

Well after putting his Cd in the drive and rebooting the system it bypassed the CD completely. Baffled the techs who had worked with this customer went through various troubleshooting of the drive, checking cables, reset the BIOS, Etc. etc. everything seemd to be okay but it would just not read! So in an exercise in futility they sent him a new drive.. Free of charge of course.. still had the same problems.. so they sent him anothe drive.. and this went on for a good few weeks getting new parts to the customer as well as getting a technician out to install it EVERY TIME! then one day someone had the "genius" to ask : "IS the CD Clean?" and the response: "well, there is this big booger on it."

well it wasnt actually a "booger" it was some of the packaging glue from the CD case, but the moral of the story that this company spent hundreds of dollars trying to clean off a smudge of glue!!!

another vote for computer liscencing here!

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Derek Sinclair

I was on a night shift with a major ISP helpesk and the call came in.

Cust: I am having prolems attaching a picture to my email with your software.

After some basic checking I discovered that the customer was indeed sending and receiving OK, had attached notepad files to the emails and was able to receive attachments OK. I asked what sort of file the picture had been saved as when scanned.

Cust: Scanned?

So I explained the process of scanning and saving as files.

It turned out she was trying to post the picture in the 3.5" floppy drive! Bet she sends faxes again and again as the paper isn't disappearing as well.

Arresting Development
Posted 05/01/1998 by Brent Lee

I think the funniest tech call I got wasn't actually a call but rather an e-mail.

It seemed user X had been in his e-mail program (one famous for GPFs) and received a "This program has performed an illegal operation" error. The concerned customer immediatly switched e-mail programs (we provide 2) and e-mailed us appologizing for whatever he had done, requesting we give him another chance and not contact the authorities :)

Of course, the one better was a man (lawyer no less) that had the same thing happen...but he didn't e-mail us...he called the CEO and threatened a lawsuit if we shut his e-mail program down again...insisting that he'd done nothing wrong, and stating "damnit, I know the law and I've done nothing to break it!!"

These people scare me :)

Posted 05/01/1998 by Gordon

I got a phonecall from a person I thought was quite

knowledgeable. Maybe I was wrong.

Me: Hi Karyn, what can I do for you?

Karyn: I'm writing a report about database systems. How do you spell

S Q L?

And yes, she did pronounce it ess - queue - ell.

Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work Tech Support for an ISP...

A new user called the other day having problems pulling up web pages...I asked her what page she was trying to access, and totally frustrated, she replied "Any, I can't get ANY pages. They aren't sending them to me." Uncertain of who she thought 'they' were, I asked her what page was in the address box, trying to find out what she was trying to load...she replied "My address." I asked her to tell me exactly what was in the box, & she proceeded to read off her street address. She had put in her street address so "THEY" would know where to send her web pages...Thank God for the mute button, after several minutes of composing myself, I set about expaining to her what really goes in the address box, needless to say this was not a short conversation...gotta love newbies...

Warranty does not cover tempers!
Posted 05/01/1998 by Dauber

I work in tech support for a multinational company's electronic

organizer department...Enclosed is a real honest-to-God letter

from an honest-to-God customer (from New York -- go fig!)

that we recently received. (Note: To protect the innocent,

not to mention my job, I replaced our company's name with

the word "Flirzelkwerp.")


Dear Flirzelkwerp:

Enclosed you will find my Flirzelkwerp (YO-430) Electronic

Organizer. As you can see from the condition of the unit,

it's a little worse for wear. Please let me explain.

While on a trip to Seattle recently, like any trip, I brought

my organizer for easy access to all the important numbers

and contacts. I arrived at my destination and checked into

a hotel. After unloading some clothes and personal

toiletries I was stopped dead in my tracks by a high pitched

electronic wailing. I attempted to find the source of the

annoying noise and walked to the lamps, the radio and the

TV to see where the noise was coming from - but none of the

objects in my room were the source. I then opened my

backpack and inside was my Flirzelkwerp Electronic Organizer

emitting the "fingernail scraping a blackboard" annoying

high pitched tone. I tried to hit the on and off button but

to no avail. I then shook it...tapped it...all in a mad

attempt to stop the sound. How could I get to sleep with

this electronic annoyance I thought, I mean if there was a

sound out there that epitomized disturbing and annoying it

was coming from my organizer. Of course I had no screw

driver so pulling out the batteries was out of the question.

I also couldn't afford loosing [sic] the data inside. I

then completely lost it - I started banging the organizer

on the bathroom sink in a mad attempt to stop the racket. I

succeeded but also succeeded in destroying the unit.

What I am asking here, is if there is any way to retrieve

the data and also, in hopes that this story is so compelling

that you will send me a new one to replace the defective

unit that tried my patience.


[note: errors left in]

computer, what's that?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Jim

I work for a large isp in florida as tech. And I hear everything. There seems to be a plague of people down here who have lost their start buttons. Anyways I have one day that stood out in my mind.

I generally walk customers through the setup for our software or netscape of whatever. This customer gets transferred to me and this is how the call went:

"Hello thanks for choosing (ISP NAME) how can I help you?"

"I need to get setup for the internet"

"Ok could I get your user name"


"Ok start by clicking on the start button"

"Dont have it!"

---I begin to think...hmmm...must be win3.1 or mac---

"Ok are you using windows3.1 or mac?"

"how do I tell that?"

---I begin to get annoyed, its like buying a car and not knowing the make---

"Well go ahead and reboot and tell me what shows on the screen."

"How do I do that?"

"Well since we dont know what os we are using just click on the reset switch"

"Where is that?"

---Now I am getting pissed---

"On the front of the computer!"

"Computer, what the hell are you talking about? Why do I need a computer? Damn it I want to cancel my service, no one said that I need a computer"

"I just kindly hung up on the moron :P"

Unskilled users
Posted 05/01/1998 by Karl Schmidt

This was a couple of years ago when a big company (5000 users)

started to ship out PC's to their staff. This was done before

any PC training was provided. They were using dumb terminals

before. The company I used to work for did the installation.

They were working in DOS environment.

One day a user called and couldn't start a program.

Here is the conversation:

User: I don't see the meny and cannot start any program.

Techy:OK, which directory are you in?

User: Directory?

Techy:Oh oh (not loud), please write the command CD.

User: What is command CD?

Techy: Please type CD.

User: OK.

Techy: What do you see on the screen?

User: CD

Techy: Please press ENTER.

Hearing in the background from the user: E-N-T-E-R

As you can imaging the phone call went on for an hour.

Taking the talking ... literally
Posted 05/01/1998 by Mike Mee

Simple query from a customer.......

"I've just installed Microsoft Word, and I would like to have a shortcut on my desktop".

Right then, click on Start, Find, Find Files or Folders. In the box Named, type in "winword.exe" - that's "W I N W O R D . E X E" .... No, not "E T E". "Eggs X-Ray Eggs". Now click on Find Now ...

"I am sorry, but it has found nothing".

I then start asking customer if he has installed Word OK etc. Then I ask him to read back what he has typed into the Named box ....


Printer Problem
Posted 05/01/1998 by Roger Hamilton

I recently took a call, which I knew early on would go on

to be one for books. First of all the caller had a habit

of once every minute or so yelling out, not at anyone or

anything, just blurting out AAAAAAAA!!!!

The product he was calling for support on was a desktop

computer which was discontinued in 1988.(As in 10 years ago)

The computer had 256K of RAM, 3 MHz, no hard drive, and 1

5 1/4" floppy drive. His question was, what kind of printer

could he use, if he were to buy one? I told him all of the

limitations of his system, and that it would have to be an

older Dot Matrix printer. Next question, "How do I load the

paper?" I respond, "Load the paper on what, you don't have a

printer?" He says, "I know, but if I was to buy one, how

would I load the paper!"


The 'Duh' story
Posted 05/01/1998 by Ernie Privetera

User bursts into my office and starts demanding I look at his computer.

"what's wrong" I say.

"I can't print" He yells at me "and I need to right now. I'm late for a meeting."

"You can't print from what?" I ask, meaning which application.

him:"Duh!" he says, rolling his eyes. "My printer! God!"

me:"ok....which application..."

him:"Duh, Windows of course. Didn't you install it? Don't you know?"

Me:"Yes I got that part. What program in windows are you using?"

him: "Word"

So I tell him I'll get to his machine in a minute. I say I'll call before I come over. I wait a minute and call. No answer for 10 minutes. So I sprint over anyway.

Ok. I go to his machine and sure enough he can't print. Then I notice there's no network connection, either. I spend half an hour checking and finally notice no network cable is plugged in. When I ask why:

"oh, that. That's the network cable. Not the printer connection. Duh. I took that out yesterday."


him:"Well, everyone goes nuts with this new email thing. I constantly have 'you have a new message' popping up and it was driving me crazy. So, I thought just like a phone I'd unplug it when I didn't want calls."

Just to check, I guess he didn't want calls that day either since his phone was disconnected. That's why I didn't get through. Duh.

Who's the fool?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Mike Bartlett

Ok, I'm actually writing in response to a story called 'The Tech-Wizzard" from a South African who works at MWEB an ISP who also provides pay-channel and satellite telivision.

Now, for one, they are known all over the country for television. And then, one day, they jump aboard the bandwagon and startup an ISP. Using their channels they advertise the "LITTLE BLACK BOX" which, as the story teller of the TECH WIZZARD story tells us, comes with a modem and software.

Well...the user may have been stupid to try and use the satellite dish. But here may be the answer which causes me to ask who the fool is.

The MWEB advert features some dorky looking man holding up the LITTLE BLACK BOX. He then starts telling everyone about it like so : "You don't need to be a computer fundy, you don't need a modem, HEY - YOU DON'T EVEN NEED A COMPUTER!!!"

Now, a) how can they say that being an ISP and

b) how can their support centre then NOT expect people to phone in asking how to plug the Modem into the Satellite Decoder.

I can't believe that they were so desparate to sell themselves that they would say that you don't even need a computer to but the little black box. They even distributed it to food delivery companies, so you could get it delivered to your doorstep in 20 minutes!

And I'm not surprised that people tried to plug the thing into their decoders as the satellite decoders do have an email facility which can be seen on the menu, so clearly people may think that they just need a modem to plug into the decoder to get their mail.

So maybe MWEB should actually consider themselves fools, readvertise and apologise to people who bought the Little Black Box because they thought that they didn't need a computer.

btw - you may think that this report is written in spite because this happened to me - it didn't! ;)


Curiousity killed the... ummm...
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I am tech support for an object database company - it's a

complex product, and our customers are usually Immense

Brains. But brains are no match for the urge to tinker...

Me: XXXXX Support -

Him: Ah, yes. I was looking through your program directory

and I found this program called XXX. So I ran it on my

database to see what it did.

(As luck would have it, utility XXX was used for "garbage

collection", and unless you give it parameters, it assumes

everything in your database is garbage - not good, but it's

all in the manual :) )

Me: (horrified pause) And what did it say?

Him: (indignant) It asked me whether I wanted to delete

50,000 objects! (His whole database)

Me: (amused and ironic pause, followed by Blackadder

impression) And what did you say?

Him: (still indignant) No!

Me: Good boy...

I suppose I should be grateful he said 'No'...

Want a computer with that modem?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Dennis Batsell

A Few months ago, a man walked into the Computer Store where i work.

He was very excited about the aspects of the internet, said that he

heard on 20/20 how the internet would open all new experiences for him,

metting new people, learning things at the push of a buttn. So he talked to

a few friends and they told him that in order to get on the internet to make sure

that he got a fast modem or else the web pages would be slow in getting to him. Well

he let us know that he didnt know much about the internet, but he wanted to learn.

So he said to me, Give me the fastest modem you got. I went into the back to retrieve

a USR x2 with voice and started writing up an invoice for him. He looked puzzled at

the modem, and asked what the golden colored strips on the side of the thing were for?

I told him that is the end of the modem that you pluged into your ISA slot in your motherboard

inside your computer. He then said "You need a computer"?

Posted 05/01/1998 by michael sauve

I work a tech for a isp where another tech ran into this call.

caller: i need help installing the software you sent to me

tech: ok have you put the cd into the drive

caller: how do i do that?

tech: well see the button next to it, press it

caller: i tried that and nothing

tech: well press it again, HARDER!!!

caller: i am trying and still nothing, I think it is broken.

tech: is the power on?

caller: the screen is all black, i do not know

tech: well press the button marked "POWER" (still nothing) press it again HARDER!

caller: i have pressed it and pressed and still nothing

tech: well check to see if the chords are all attached properly

caller: do not need to

tech: (?) what do you mean

the caller continued to describe why he did not need to plug the computer in. For he had bought the this wonderful wireless computer, this fantastic marvel needed nothing but you to set it on a computer. The caller had bought a computer that had a new wireless keyboard and mouse.

tech: where are the chords that came with it now?

caller: i threw them out, i did think that that was weird. Why on earth would they give wires for a wireless computer?

tech: well sir, has the trash man collected the trash today?

Do you have Anti-Virus software, mam?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Alex Slawson

A nice lady calls up one evening and says that she received an error message when trying to install our software. Since it is Start-Up Program after being installed, I ask her if any other programs were running when she attempted the installation of our software. She said that she didn't think so. I then ask her, "Do you have Anti-Virus software on your computer?" She then says, "Hell, I don't have Uncle Virus software, much less Auntee Virus software." She was Dead Serious.

How do you dial up to the internet?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Alex Slawson

A gentleman calls up and says he is having trouble accessing the internet since installing our software. I ask him specifically what is happening and he says that he can't surf the web. He says he has a direct connection to the internet and that this has never happened before.

(Assuming that he is using a T1/T3 line) I ask if anyone else in his workplace is having the same problems as he. He says that this is his home machine and he is totally confused as to why he can't log on. (With my curiosity peaked) I then ask who else he is sharing his T1 line with, since they are too expensive for most home users. He says that he doesn't know what a T1 is, much less if he is sharing it with anyone.

I then reply, "You do have a direct connection to the internet, don't you?" He says, "Yes, I have a 28.8 Immodium." Needless to say, I had heartburn after taking this call.

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I used to do tech support for a company that put a voice modem

in their computers. With this they also included software to

allow the customer to call tech support through their computer.

The tech that answered (using the same software) was able to move files, change settings, etc.

while talking with the customer at the same time. This was a

nice feature when it worked. Thankfully I never had to use it.

One day a customer called our office in New York from Chicago.

He asked the tech (not me) if we could help him turn off his

computer. This was not a problem so the tech thought. The

customer's computer was in Los Angeles at his home. Apparently,

he was on a business trip. He usually left his computer on all

the time and realized too late that he would be away a while

and wanted to turn it off.

The tech told him that we were unable to do this and that he

should call a neighbor. The customer got upset! He wanted our

main office (in Florida) to call his house and turn his computer

off since we were not capable of doing it. The tech came over

to me and told me the situation.

Now picture this if you will, A man in Chicago calls a tech in

New York to get him to call another tech in Florida so that

tech can call the customers computer in Los Angeles, connect

with it and turn it off via a program that is not even running.

After blurting some choice words about the intelligence of our

customers I told the tech to try and get the customer to

understand that it is just not possible.

The tech got back on the phone and attempted to explain this

the customer got really mad. He informed the tech that the

answer was not acceptable. He then demanded our corporate

phone number so that he could sue us!!!!! The tech gave him

number and the customer disconnected never to be heard from


This is another example for the fight in computer licensing.

Shock Therapy?
Posted 05/01/1998 by Michael Webster

Working at the tech support facilities for a major, computer manufacturer, a fellow tech put this call on the speaker:

Tech: "Thank you for calling Tech Support can yopu describe your problem?"

Caller (in East Indian accent): "Yes, every time I touch my computer, I get shocked."

Tech: "Okay, sir, is the system on now?"

Caller: "Yes"

Tech: "Turn it off at the power switch, please."

Caller: "Okay . . . . Yiiiii!"

Tech (alarmed): "What happened?"

Caller: "It shocked me!"

Tech: "You just touched the power switch?"

Caller: "Yes."

Tech: "Is it still on?"

Caller: "Yes."

Tech: "Okay, pull the power cord for the computer out of the outlet. Make sure you don't touch the prongs."

Caller: "Okay . . . . Yiiiii!"

Tech: "It still shocked you?"

Caller: "Yes."

Tech: "Is the computer stil on?"

Caller: "Yes. Do you want me to try turning it off again?"

Tech: "No, sir! I don't want you to touch it. We're . . "

Caller: "Okay, I get wife to turn it off!"

Tech: "No! I don't want your wife to touch it either."

Caller: "Okay, I'll get son to turn it off!"

Tech: "No! Sir, I don't want ANYONE to touch the computer. Okay?"

Caller: "Okay."

Tech: "Sir, is the power cord plugged into a power strip?"

Caller: "What is that?"

Tech: "It's a trip of four or five outlets that plugs into the wall outlet."

Caller: "No, it's connected directly into the wall."

Tech (after blinking several times): "You mean it's plugged directly into the wall outlet?"

Caller: "No."

DIAGNOSIS: After further question the technician learned that the customer was an electric engineer from New Delhi. He and his family had just moved to the US to take a teaching position at a university.

This engineer after puchasing his new computer system, proceeded to wire the computer directly into him home's wiring. Without the grounding wire, the electricty was accumulating in the PC.

RESOLUTION: The technician directed to call an electrician to 'de-wire' his computer from the rest of the house. WARRANTY - VOIDED!

Abort, Retry, Fail
Posted 05/01/1998 by James Doom

"You blasted piece of trash!" An all too common scream erupted from my den and threatened to wake the eastern seaboard with its magnitude and furious tone. "What's the matter honey?" (As if I didn't know) "It's this friggin' Computer James! Please...pretty tech support and find out why this thing won't work!"

And so it began. At approximatly 1:05 am, I, James Doom, ventured into the realm of tech support. The extended journey began rather innocently as I was greeted rather nicely by a pleasant chap named Rick. Our conversation began in earnest.....and ended in humiliation.

(Rick) Ok Mr. what is the problem?

(James) Well my wife can't seem to operate this new lap top I bought her.

(Rick) Is the machine receiving any power?

(James) Uhhh....nope. The screens just blank.

(Rick) Ok sir....what color hair does your wife have?

(James) huh?.......Blonde.....why?

(Rick) Plug it in and turn it on.


Too many drinks.....
Posted 05/01/1998 by D

This happened to me on the day i found out that i got my 3rd and final, $1100 in debt and could not fly back home, and recieved a speeding ticket...

Me: Thank you for calling....biG noT small companE

Caller: I cannnn't get connected.

Me: i can help that....

caller: forgive me, i've had a few drinks...see i'm a activist for the state.

me: sure, ok...back to the problem...

caller: what month were u born in?

ME: Uhh....August.

Caller: Virgo?

Me: correct, ok...back to your connection...

Caller: Do you ever use poetry to explain things to customers?

Me; no, i don't care for poetry....

Caller: YOU DONT LIKE POEEETRY?? What kind of human are you...not likeing poetry or Shakespear...

Me; (trying to regain control) I like Shakespear.

Caller: then tell me, who was the nemesis of Othello?

Me: that was in high school....i believe it hmm....was...

Caller: Your Bull$$$$$ing me...stop bull@#%@!% me!!!!

Me: Noooooowwww, back to the connection.

Caller: NO, i am a paying consumer...I demand to talk to your supervisor.

Me: In regards to what?

Caller: Somone who could not possiably understand life and poetry should not be able to do tech support.

Me...Please Hold (pyscho)


Sup. Yes caller.

Caller: This young man rubbed me the wrong way....

Sup. sorry about that, these things happened.

Caller: I know, and understand, see, i'm a little drunk (actual words)...and did you know i am a physcic?

Sup: no i did not....

Caller: well i am.....and do you have any kids?

Sup: yes...2.

Caller: the youngest tounge keeps going to my teeth.

Sup: okay...

Caller: Is there anything lodged in his teeth.

Sup: nooo...i dont think so...

Caller: what color is your son?

Sup: color, i am not sure what you mean....

Caller: i read ahoras (u know...) I see him, i want to say blue....but green?

Sup: I am not sure.

this goes on and on for 40 minutes (plus 30 on my side)

This is what we go though (users).

Call us when you are sober, know what a username is, and that you dont have a pentium modem.


Orphan Icon
Posted 05/01/1998 by Chris de Vidal

For the past few days this lady had been calling every day to report that our software wasn't working. It would report missing files. She would call, get the problem fixed, then the next day it would re-occur.

So I'm looking around her system for possible causes of corruption (hadn't run Scandisk or Defrag in a while, the file was maybe conflicting with another file, ect.) Finally, I got around to fixing the problem with a fresh reinstall--I deleted everything that has to do with our software and reinstalled.

So that's working ok. She can open the software just fine and use our service. Just as I am about to end the call, I hear her say, "OK, and I'll go ahead and put the icon on my desktop now..." I asked, "What do you mean???" She calmly replied, "Oh, I put the program on the desktop to make it easier to start." "You don't make a shortcut???" "What's a shortcut?"

Apparently after every call she would drop the application on her desktop. Being designed to run from the folder, doing that would screw up the path, and the program all of the sudden couldn't find the support files. Now I can understand this happening once, but you would think common sense would allow you to put those two events together!

The funny thing is, when she started the call irate at "us know-nothing techs." And if she wouldn't have accidentally mentioned that, I would have been one of those "know nothing techs." Sheesh. Somehow the details aren't important to these imbecils.


Foul Mouth
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

In my posistion, we take calls to support only home use, desktop systems. We do not support any terminals (computers without hard disks)Our technicians have gotten into lots of trouble before for asking a company required question prior to troubleshooting. "Are you on a diskless workstation?" The angrier customers have been known to reply "What do you mean by Dicklesss?!?"

Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

It still puzzles me as to why a customer would call a phone support line to install hardware. You really cant help them other than to tell them which way polarity is on the cable and warn them of the evils of static discharge. I am a Emergency Medical Technician as well as a computer tech. There was one call when I had to use both skills.

Caller: I have this Travan 3000 tape drive new in the box and I need some help installing it. I gotta half tower home built.

Me: Ok, is the unit in the tower yet?

Caller: No that's what I needed help on. I have never opened one of these things. I do my own work on my car so I figured.....

Me: Ok, make sure you have the power off but leave the cable plugged in so the system is grounded...remove the cover from the tower.

Caller: Ok

Me: Now place the drive in the bay..

Caller: Uh....almost....Oh F*ck, I just cut myself!

Me: Are you hurt?

Caller: There is blood....oh my god! Its gettin all over the computer.

Me: Is it squirting or dripping?

Caller: Squirting!!

Me: Sir, take off your shirt...and tie it tight but not too tight above the cut..

Caller: Damn...ok, Blood is slowing, think the computer is fried though..

Me: Now apply direct pressure to the cut. Use another piece of fabric or a towl.

Caller: Got it...

Me: Hang up the phone and call 911, when you finish there, call us back and refer to case number 1563224. Thanks for calling.

Wife Knows Best
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Tech: Thank you for calling tech support, how can I help you

User:Yeah, I got this tape drive....My wife says there is somthing wrong with it and to call you guys for Help.

Tech: What kind of tape drive....

User: I am not sure

Tech: What operating system are you using

User: How do I tell that?

Tech: Do you see a start button in the lower left hand side of the screen?

User: Uh, yeah

Tech: Click on it

User: The monitor shut off!!

Tech: The monitor shut Off??

User: I pushed the button and the monitor just shut down!!

Tech: Sir, Have your wife call us

Definitely NOT enough memory!
Posted 05/01/1998 by Wildwing

I used to work for a major ISP doing phone support. Here is a call I got from a true LUSER one afternoon:

Me: Thank you for calling--

Him: What does your program mean, I don't have enough memory? I just upgraded it!

Me: Sir, how much memory does your computer have?

Him: It's got eight kilos. I just put two more in it.

Me: (mute button on) Maybe you need to run down to the corner and purchase a few more kilos??

Me: (mute button off) I'm sorry, our software requires sixteen MEGS of RAM.

Him: Well, let's put it this way. I had eight KILOS, I added four, but Windows takes up six, so that leaves eight. Shouldn't that be enough?

At that point I gave up. Between having "kilos" of memory and being unable to add, we really didn't want him on the Internet! Refunding his money was the easiest way to go.

Certifiably the *weirdest* call I received.
Posted 05/01/1998 by Mike N.


Thank you for calling The __ Customer Care Center, this is Mike, may I have your first name please?


I have an, uhm, account, with my local __ dealer. Uhh, I am dealing with them. Uhm.....


Sir? I'm not familiar with what you are talking about. Do you have an __ computer that I can help you with?


I am dealing with a retailer in the El Paso area, please let me deal with them! (CLICK!) buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


And thank you for calling the __ Customer Care Center.

A Clean Machine
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous

An unusual thing happened when I was working for a consumer support company

Me: Thanks For Calling XXX.

Customer: Hi I seem to be having a problem with my system.

Me: Whats the problem?

Customer: It doesn't power on!

Me: Ok, Have you tried it in a different wall outlet?

Customer: Yes

Me: When was it last working?

Customer: Well, the other day it looked a bit scruffy so I

decided to wash the outside of the computer in the tub. After I washed it

it stopped powering Up!!

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I am a network administrator, and one morning the following call came in:

A women,called and told me it took 30 minutes for her computer to boot up. I told her over the phone, that that was not possible. When I arrived, and traced out the cables, I noticed her computer was plugged into a surge protector, shared, with another computer, at the next desk over. I noticed the suge protector, was off. I turned it on, and on came her computer.

I asked her about her office mate, and the women said she comes to work at 7:30am, while the women I was helping comes to work at 7:00am.

The second women always turned off the surge protector, before going home.

terrible noise and cancel
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

working in teck support for a isp i took a call from and

older gentelman

him: i'm really not computer illetate

but i having a problem getting connected to the internet

me: what seems to be the problem

him: well i click on connect and my modem makes some

noises then i makes treeible noise and it says cancel

so i click on cancel and this keeps happening over and over and over what happening

after putting him on hold ( to laugh) i explained that this is normal

things i get paided for
Posted 05/01/1998 by megajake

Client enters the store with a new computer and needs a program installed.  The operating system is windows 95 and the program was on cd.  I install the CD-Rom and the setup program started.  I asked the client if he wanted to continue the instillation and I would watch so he could do it from here on out.  The client said that he could never learn anything so technical and he did not mind paying me to do all of his software installations.  I say he was one of my best clients.

Beep Beep
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

Once when working for a firm supporting a Taxi booking system on PCs. I had a call at 1am in the morning, as we provided 24 hour support, from a customer complaining their computer was beeping.

We went through the basics, like stuck keys, but when the customer could not tell me where the sound was coming from I asked them to power the computer off and on.

Five minutes later they came back saying they had found the cause of the noise.

Someone's mobile phone's battery was low and BEEPING!!!


Herbie the Hard Drive
Posted 05/01/1998 by Grig Larson

Years ago, when I was doing phone tech work, I got a call from

a customer with a Mac. She was really new at this "biddly boop"

computer stuff. She had installed our software, and could not find

the executable.

I told her to look in the hard drive. "What?" she said.

I described the hard drive for her, and she said that

she didn't have one. After asking some further questions,

we determined she had a Quadra, and she should have

a hard drive. I told her to describe all the icons on her

screen, and wouldn't you know it, she had like 40? A lot

of them were shortcuts, but none of them said, "Macintosh

HD" or anything like it. So, we started double clicking

on the icons, and ended up closing a lot of programs, or

deleting old shortcuts. Because she was launching programs,

I knew she HAD to have a hard drive.

Finally, she said this seemingly non-sequiteur, "You mean Herbie?"

I was confused by this for a moment, and then said,

"Yeah, double click on Herbie."

Yep, the Hard Drive was named Herbie. The icon had been

changed to a small tiger (a school mascot of some kind), and

she never thought to mention it, because she thought all icons

"had shapes" and "wouldn't look like Herbie..."

I bust out laughing. Just the imagery after a long frustrating

call like that just placed me in some sort of self-cycling gigglefest.

Luckily, the customer thought it was funny, too. She had

bought the Mac used from her son at school.

We fixed the problem two minutes later. But after I left

the phones and started working on other people's systems,

I have always named a Mac Workstation's Drive to "Herbie

the Hard Drive" when working on it if I was in a silly mood,

or to trace what systems I had actually worked on. Anyone

who asks gets this story :).

2 Phone Lines
Posted 05/01/1998 by Kristian

I work at a large ISP in Toronto in the Tech Department.

This lady called me one day complaining of some sort of

connection problem she was having. I then proceeded to

ask her if she had two phone lines so we could troubleshoot

the problem online. She said yes but she would have to

call back. I said that's fine and hung up. A while later I

recieved a call from this user and it sounded like she was

on a cell phone. I then proceeded to troubleshoot the

problem. She interupted me and told me that she was using

her car phone and she would have to run back into the house

to try it out! Apparently she thought she misunderstoof and

thought it was a requirment for me to be on the line while

she tried to fix the computer. :-]

Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I don't remember the conversation exactly, but the installation procedures for one program said:

1. enter disk 1.

2. press setup, bla bla bla...

2. enter disk 2,

3. bla bla bla...

4. enter disk 3.

and she didn't knew she have to eject the first disk before entering the second & the third and more 6 diskettes (1.2 floppy)..


Disk Pak will Not Remove
Posted 05/01/1998 by Ron Hatton

I was a field service tech for a large company and one day the pager went off. I called the tech support center and received a call, "the disk pack will not come out of the disk drive".

This was one of the old large drive which was the size of a two drawer filing cabient. You open the top of the unit and just turn the handle and pull out the disk pack. Usually the pack held 5 to 20 platters and was quite easy to remove.

When I arrive, I found the computer operator standing on the disk drive with feet on either side of the door and with all his might, pulling up on the disk pak. Just as I entered the room, a loud sound arose and the operator fell off the disk drive and the disk pack went flying across the room.

After questioning the operator, he was new and didin't know you had to turn the handle to remove the pack.

My Screen is Pee'ing
Posted 05/01/1998 by Ron Hatton

I was a field service tech for a major computer company.

One day my pager went off and i called into the tech center and received a trouble call for a company who had a computer pee'ing all over the screen.

Upon my arrival, I found the letter "P" key was stuck, causing the "computer is pee'ing all over the screen".

Too Much Technical Stuff
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I provide help for both a mainframe office suite and Windows stuff; I've been doing this since we first started getting PCs added to our mainframe network.

When emulation on PCs first arrived, it was very unreliable. Users could not determine why they had a problem, they only knew they couldn't reach the mainframe. We quickly learned most of the problems were at the desktop, and we had to refer them to the local PC people to fix.

First, though, we had to determine if the user had a PC. Of course, they never seemed to know - I actually fielded this call.

User: I can't get on the mainframe.

Me: Since you work for xxx, have you've gotten a new Personal Computer? (I actually said both words, not P.C.)

User: I don't know.

Me: Please look at the screen in front of you - is there a big box sitting under it with slots and writing?

User: (REALLY agitated) IF YOU"RE GONNA ASK ME ALL THIS TECHNICAL STUFF, FORGET IT! (phone slams down at his end)

Never found out if he even HAD a problem . . .

Error Codes
Posted 05/01/1998 by Angela B

As a tech for HP's Tape and CD-Writer support center I received a call from a customer who was referred to us by a Microsoft with an error message. This was the conversation.

ME: Customer Service, How can I help you?

Customer : I was refered to you by Microsoft with an error code for my drive...

ME: No problem. The code they gave you?

Customer: They said it was an Id/10.t Error... What is that?

(After writing the code down I looked at it and responded)

Me: Well, its not a code from HP. Did you have a specific error?

Customer: I can not get my Drive to work in 95, they said this error would be one you could fix.. They were not helpful at all.

(AT this point I had removed the switch and the period and was looking at an error code of IDIOT)


Your trying to hard...
Posted 05/01/1998 by Anonymous Tech Supporter

I work for a large company that manufactures a lead palm top computer

There is a reset button the the machine that is the equizilant of the reset button on a PC,

it's a small reccessed hole on the unit. You need something like a paper clip

or pin to push it in. Here goes the call:

Me: "Thank you for calling, ####, support how can I help you?"

Caller: "I'm not to good at computers and stuff so please go slow."

M: "I'll try what seems to be your problem?"

C: (describes problem, simple but the unit needs to be reset.)

M: "Now we are going to do a soft reset, you should lose no data.

Do you have a papaer clip handy?"

C: "What's a paperclip?"

M: (baffled)"You know the metal things that hold two peices of paper together?"

C: "Oh, a paperclip, I thought that it was some wierd computer slang."

M: "no Maam, just a regualar off the self paperclip."

C: "Well you should have said that then..."

I bet the caller's parents let her play with plastic bags as a kid.

No Title
Posted 05/01/1998 by Christopher Bayonet

Can I Help You Sir?

yes I would liek to knwo about this fax machine.

What would you liek to knwo about it ...

Well, firstly how do you fax ...

Well You put the paper you want to fax in liek this ... dial the number, and press start.

Well, Can you og into a little more detail?

Posted 05/01/1998 by Stephen Gillespie

I am a senior puter tech for a company in Columbus,IN.

Here is a call I got from a lady a few days ago.

I would like to install a modem in my computer. And I cannot install the AOL disk I got in the mail yesterday.

Well,The computer turned out to be a Brother typwriter with a monitor.Enuff said

Tales From Technical Support Index

Tales from the Techs
May 1998
  1. My Cd rom is broken

  2. Which drive was that again?

  3. Command-dot-com

  4. I love the smell of lusers in the morning!

  5. Two networks, two machines, three connections

  6. NT Roll out

  7. Make it Stop!

  8. Gee, no dial tone!?!

  9. Software Updates

  10. Close some windows!

  11. My name, was I supplied with that?

  12. Cooking Lessons

  13. Snakes Alive!

  14. Do I have a Cradle???

  15. A mailer what?!?

  16. No calling back now, ya hear.

  17. My friend knows more!

  18. How do I turn it on?

  19. default colores

  20. Address?

  21. A Buttoned-Down Mouse

  22. Lusers aren't just restricted to computers

  23. Getting connected clean

  24. Mail???

  25. Bad Connections

  26. No Title

  27. Your Government Dollars at Work

  28. Why do I need a phone line?

  29. User Update

  30. Not worthy

  31. No Title

  32. No Title

  33. Afterlife

  34. No Title

  35. Just press Delete?

  36. Systems Support Specialist, and more!

  37. No Title

  38. Does Big Monitor Means a Big Computer?

  39. Family

  40. No Title

  41. No Title

  42. No Title

  43. Modem Cards are for plugging in

  44. Unrelated, perhaps?

  45. No Title

  46. No Title

  47. Customer's From Planet Mars!

  48. No Title

  49. No Title

  50. Losing the mailbox

  51. Just WHAT?!?

  52. What's in a drive name

  53. Mute computer

  54. Mail it to me

  55. No Title

  56. I know a little DOS

  57. What version?

  58. What's that Beeping Noise?

  59. What happened to my colors

  60. International Garbage

  61. Telephone Tales

  62. Gotcha!, mouse!

  63. No Title

  64. No Title

  65. Don't forget this !

  66. The Inkless Ink Cartridge

  67. An actual dialog between me and my customer

  68. An actual dialog between me and my customer

  69. Fax me, man !

  70. Surfin the Web

  71. X-rated Tech

  72. The Password Is Case Sensitive

  73. An Electrifying Query

  74. Backup Copy?

  75. No Title

  76. can I have my stick please

  77. No Title

  78. They ain't hot swappable

  79. Mobile Mail

  80. when you open your mouth, stuff comes out

  81. 30% is Enough

  82. No Middle Ground

  83. Too Hot to Handle

  84. Yet another who knows what he's doing

  85. what do I feed it?

  86. wash those chips down

  87. cold hard data

  88. Is this dumb or what?

  89. The email that wouldn't

  90. New Video Tech support software.

  91. Two Lines

  92. PhD in Computer Science Doesn't mean anything!

  93. Zippy Drive

  94. No Title

  95. No Title

  96. No Title

  97. No Title

  98. No Title

  99. What am I? Who am I?

  100. Sweet Revenge

  101. No Title

  102. Foot Foot

  103. crashed computer

  104. Modem Woes

  105. Looking in the right place

  106. Portable code?

  107. Following Instructions (EXACTLY)!

  108. No Title

  109. It shocked me so I know it works.

  110. Printer Improvement

  111. What a guy!!!

  112. You mean the modem?

  113. how to break it...

  114. No Title

  115. Do Computers Float?

  116. No Title

  117. No Title

  118. No Title

  119. 5 1/4 ISA

  120. Not Bright Enough

  121. Softkeys

  122. No Password?

  123. Million dollar snot

  124. No Title

  125. Arresting Development

  126. Duh!

  127. Addresses

  128. Warranty does not cover tempers!

  129. computer, what's that?

  130. Unskilled users

  131. Taking the talking ... literally

  132. Printer Problem

  133. The 'Duh' story

  134. Who's the fool?

  135. Curiousity killed the... ummm...

  136. Want a computer with that modem?


  138. Do you have Anti-Virus software, mam?

  139. How do you dial up to the internet?

  140. No Title

  141. Shock Therapy?

  142. Abort, Retry, Fail

  143. Too many drinks.....

  144. Orphan Icon

  145. Foul Mouth

  146. 911

  147. Wife Knows Best

  148. Definitely NOT enough memory!

  149. Certifiably the *weirdest* call I received.

  150. A Clean Machine

  151. No Title

  152. terrible noise and cancel

  153. things i get paided for

  154. Beep Beep

  155. Herbie the Hard Drive

  156. 2 Phone Lines

  157. Diskettes

  158. Disk Pak will Not Remove

  159. My Screen is Pee'ing

  160. Too Much Technical Stuff

  161. Error Codes

  162. Your trying to hard...

  163. No Title

  164. Upgrade?

Past Tales from the Techs:
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