Looking back

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Photo by Rachel Young
I have always worked in IT…well, except for that couple of months in a car body repair shop straight out of school…..but even then I ended up sorting their computer out.   The thing about working in any kind of service environment, but I think especially IT, is that you have to really work hard to understand that not everyone knows how to turn a computer on…or off as the case may be.

There are many urban legends surrounding IT support, some of them probably are legends and some of them have happened to me…I am sure that many other IT supporters have had these issues too.

Whilst I recognise that not understanding technology doesn’t make you stupid and as a nice way to break myself back into Tech Support mode…I think that…well…you decide:

User:   “I would like a mousemat please”
Tech: “Here you go, you can choose from these ones”
User: “Yes, but which one is compatible with my computer”

Tech: “Ok, I need you to double-click the My Computer Icon”
User: “You know, this is why I hate this Windows thing – I am protestant and don’t believe in Icons”
Tech: “It’s an industry term, I don’t believe it was intended to -”
User: “- I don’t care about industry terms…I don’t believe in icons”
Tech: “Ok, ok…then can you click the little picture that says My Computer…is ‘Little Picture’ ok?
User: “*CLICK*”

User: “My printer isn’t working”
Tech: “Ok, I need you to be a little more specific – In what way isn’t it working?”
User: “It won’t print my document”
Tech: “Is it a Word document or another program?”
User: “Program?   It’s a physical document..in my hand”
Tech: “Ah, so it’s a scanner problem then?”
User: “Yes, scanner, that must be the problem, my scanner isn’t working”
Tech: “Do you know what model of scanner you have and could you tell me what you are doing to scan it?”
User: “Model?   I don’t know…it’s 17 inch though.   I am holding my document to the scanner and pressing print screen”
Tech: “Would this scanner be very bright and also show you words on the screen?”
User: “That’s the one”
Tech: “*ahem* I think your scanner could be broken. why don’t you bring the document to us and we can scan it for you…”

Overheard in a Service Desk office: “No sir, clicking on the ‘Remember Password’ button will not help YOU remember the password”

Tech: “If you could just close all of your open windows, we can start to find out what is going on”
User: “Ok, hang on”
NOISE OF PHONE BEING PUT ON DESK – 2 Minutes Pass
User: “Done, all the windows are closed – I left the doors open though, is that ok?”
Tech: “….”

User: “I have a recycle bin on my computer…how often do Microsoft send someone round to empty it?”

Tech: “What kind of computer do you have?”
User: “A black one”

User: “I would like to buy a replacement coffee cup holder”
Tech: “Umm, sorry but this is the computer support line”
User: “I know, I broke the coffee cup holder that you supplied with my computer”
Tech: “We don’t supply coffee cup holders with our computers”
User: “Yeah you do, it pops out when you press a button”
Tech: “….”

From a tech support urban legend perspective, the following is the all time classic.   As it turns out, this is a real report…all except for the end bit (which is listed as what the technician *wanted* to say):

Tech: “Word Perfect Support; may I help you?”
User: “Yes, well, I’m having trouble with WordPerfect.”
Tech: “What sort of trouble??”
User: “Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away.”
Tech: “Went away?”
User: “They disappeared.”
Tech: “Hmm So what does your screen look like now?”
User: “Nothing.”
Tech: “Nothing??”
User: “It’s blank; it won’t accept anything when I type.”
Tech: “Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out??”
User: “How do I tell?”
Tech: “Can you see the C: prompt on the screen??”
User: “What’s a sea-prompt?”
Tech: “Never mind, can you move your cursor around the screen?”
User: “There isn’t any cursor: I told you, it won’t accept anything I type.”
Tech: “Does your monitor have a power indicator??”
User: “What’s a monitor?”
Tech: “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??”
User: “I don’t know.”
Tech: “Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that??”
User: “Yes, I think so.”
Tech: “Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it’s plugged into the wall.”
User: “Yes, it is.”
Tech: “When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one??”
User: “No.”
Tech: “Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable.”
User: “Okay, here it is.”
Tech: “Follow it for me, and tell me if it’s plugged securely into the back of your computer.”
User: “I can’t reach.”
Tech: “Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is??”
User: “No.”
Tech: “Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over??”
User: “Oh, it’s not because I don’t have the right angle – it’s because it’s dark.”
Tech: “Dark??”
User: “Yes – the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window.”
Tech: “Well, turn on the office light then.”
User: “I can’t.”
Tech: “No? Why not??”
User: “Because there’s a power failure.”
Tech: “A power……… A power failure? Aha, Okay, we’ve got it licked now.   Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in??”
User: “Well, yes, I keep them in the closet.”
Tech: “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.”
User: “Really? Is it that bad?”
Tech: “Yes, I’m afraid it is.”
User: “Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them??”
Tech: “Tell them you’re too fucking stupid to own a computer!!!!!”

So there you have it, my life from Monday will undoubtedly   be filled with such wondrous conversations…and I am still looking forward to it Smile

Operator:         ‘Ridge Hall, computer assistance; may I help you?’
Caller:              ‘Yes, well, I’m having trouble with WordPerfect.’
Operator:         ‘What sort of trouble??’
Caller:              ‘Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away.’
Operator:         ‘Went away?’
Caller:              ‘They disappeared.’
Operator:         ‘Hmm So what does your screen look like now?’
Caller:              ‘Nothing.’
Operator:         ‘Nothing??’
Caller:              ‘It’s blank; it won’t accept anything when I type.’
Operator:         ‘Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out??’
Caller:              ‘How do I tell?’
Operator:         ‘Can you see the C: prompt on the screen??’
Caller:              ‘What’s a sea-prompt?’
Operator:         ‘Never mind, can you move your cursor around the screen?’
Caller:              ‘There isn’t any cursor: I told you, it won’t accept anything I type.’
Operator:         ‘Does your monitor have a power indicator??’
Caller:              ‘What’s a monitor?’
Operator:         ‘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??’
Caller:               ‘I don’t know.’
Operator:          ‘Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that??’
Caller:              ‘Yes, I think so.’
Operator:         ‘Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it’s plugged into the wall.
Caller:              ‘Yes, it is.’
Operator:         ‘When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one??’
Caller:               ‘No.’
Operator:          ‘Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable.’
Caller:               ‘Okay, here it is.’
Operator:          ‘Follow it for me, and tell me if it’s plugged securely into the back of your computer.’
Caller:               ‘I can’t reach.’
Operator:          ‘Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is??’
Caller:               ‘No.’
Operator:          ‘Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over??’
Caller:               ‘Oh, it’s not because I don’t have the right angle – it’s because it’s dark.’
Operator:          ‘Dark??’
Caller:               ‘Yes – the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window.
‘ Operator: ‘Well, turn on the office light then.’
Caller:               ‘I can’t.’
Operator:          ‘No? Why not??’
Caller:               ‘Because there’s a power failure.’
Operator:  ‘A power……… A power failure? Aha, Okay, we’ve got it licked now.
Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in??’
Caller:               ‘Well, yes, I keep them in the closet.’
Operator:           ‘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.’
Caller:                ‘Really? Is it that bad?’
Operator:            ‘Yes, I’m afraid it is.’
Caller:                 ‘Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them??’
Operator:            ‘Tell them you’re too –
ing stupid to own a computer!!!!!’

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