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Stupid User Hall of Fame
emails to tech support

 4:08 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm currently in the process of relocating my office, and in doing so finally going through old boxes of papers, wires, etc that have been sitting around for years. Anyways, going through some folders I came across old emails I had printed out from users, that are really just absolute Gems.

Of my favorites:

"I am not asking for general information, I am giving you some. I suggest you people try to think up any possible new ways to make the products that you are currently selling-- mostly VINYL CHLORIDE! Are you people aware that more people die every year from Vinyl Chloride than they do AIDS, Suicide, or Homicide? Well, they do. I hope you people are happy to be killing that many people, or at least for being a part of such a horrible thing!"
--from a user in 2000

another goodie:
"I do feel foolish... I'm sorry to have bothered you! I assumed (shouldn't have) that C: was my CDROM at work and I went there to install (C: was a network path). My CDROM was Z:"
--from a user in 1999, after "messing some stuff up" while trying to use a CD-ROM

anyone else have any other users who should be nominated into the Hall of Fame?



 4:21 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

That is priceless!

This is by far my all time favorite


I didn't even read it again and just pasting the URL has me giggling like a school girl all over again.


 4:46 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

That is hysterical! Oh that patient man. I SO would have gone to the media with that moron's emails! I mean, it is only fair to that public official's constituents.

I worked tech support for some educational software some of which was network distributed and some web-based. BOY what a pain that was! It was always my luck to get some teacher and have the following conversation:

Teacher: "I get an error when I access MyOldCompanyName's software."

Me: "We have many products. Which one are you trying to use?"

Teacher: "I dunno the name. Its MyOldCompanyName's software"

Me: *sigh* "What grade do you teach?"

Teacher: "I teach several grades."

Me: *gritting teeth* "Do you teach k-6 or 7-12?"

Teacher: "K-6."

Me: "Then you're probably using MyOldCompanyName's Elementary Software."

Teacher: "Oh, yeah. That's it."

Me: "What does the error message say?"

Teacher: "Well, my kids can't see their lessons."

Me: "What browser are you using?"

Teacher: "What's a browser? I'm using Windows."



 4:54 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)


for me there is only one explanation: USA


 5:00 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

A phone call our sys guy anwsered while the receptionist was at lunch a few months ago was good.

Call From a guy in an office of a company that we host a website for, now we only host this, we do no other work for them.

Mo-Mo: "Hey you guys do our website and the internet is broken, can you help?"

Our Sys: "Wow, the whole Internet?"

Mo-Mo: "Actually no, it works for evey other computer in the office, just not mine"

Our Sys: "Sigh... Do you have a tech person there?"

Mo-Mo: "Ya but it is his day off"

Our Sys: "We only host your site, unless there is a problem with that I can't help"

Mo-Mo: "There is a problem with it, I can't get to it"

Our sys: "The problem is with your connection to the Internet, not the website."

Got to love people like that. I mean I kind of remember what it was like to not know how the magic computer faries worked so it is a little mean to tease but man oh man sometimes you have to just shake your head and clinch your fists.


 6:13 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Demaestro, that Centos one is really good! The guy is obviously not too bright and its a shame his constituents are unaware of his um, shall we say shortcomings.

I however can identify with people who are not tech savvy as I am pretty bad myself. I have no clue how things work and if left to my own devices, would crash and burn driving a go cart if I had to fix the thing!

Some people are brilliant in some areas and morons in others. I can sell ice to Eskimos, write about any mundane topic, teach childrern almost anything, I'm a heck of a good cook, I'm not a bad photographer and I can build a very basic web page pretty quickly. However, ask me anything "technical" about the internet and I am completely lost! I could barely configure my e:mail application to route through a new ISP a few months back.

So while I can laugh at the fact that Mr. Whatshisname didn't have a clue what an operating system is or does, I have to admit that I am not a whole lot better! But I dare you to make better Asian Chicken Lettuce wraps with peanut sauce than I do or teach 28 screaming kids how to sail for 3 hours every Saturday! :)


 7:14 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Liane I was a fine dining chef for nearly 10 years before I jumped ship to programming. I have to say I make mean lettuce wrap and a meaner hoison peanut sauce.

I will admit to you that I don't know stern from starboard expect to know that I don't know. If I ever make it out to GB I promise I will book a yacht tour from you and you can school me.


 7:28 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Second in dumbness and embarrassment only to spending a half hour with tech support walking through not being able to connect to the internet, only to find that the power to the router was turned off from accidentally stepping on the surge protecter:

Dumber than Dumb DSL Tech Support Call [webmasterworld.com]


 8:03 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

OK Demaestro ... you got me on the cooking thing and the "hoisin" sauce ... but another of my strong points is spelling! How about you? Heh heh :)


 8:06 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)


Well having worked in tech support for big banks that have traders with BIG egos, and having also run one of the UK's first ISPs, I did get some strange ones, including the odd demand to "fix the Internet", etc.

We all have our bad hair moments, and we've all pulled out a plug or somesuch, so if you let the user keep their dignity it'll often pay off hugely the next time when they'll check everything carefully before calling or will say, "hmm, wonder if I pulled anything out the wall AGAIN" and do the diagnosis for you. We can all be dumb, but we can all be smart too if we don't feel defensive or likely to be laughed at!

Indeed, treating one particular user well got me a "promotion" into a much nicer line of work...




 8:07 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

It is my worst. In my office they call anything with bad spelling a "Demaestro bug"


 8:59 pm on Apr 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hey DamonHD, just to be clear... treating the user poorly and having a chuckle about a funny comment to "collegues" is a different thing. I have never purposely insulted anyone who had called/emailed me for help.

now for a chuckle at myself ;)

another old email I received:
"You have ruined online search engines by flooding my search results via search engines like Google, Yahoo and Alta-vista with unrelated
CRAP--what makes it worse is you disguise your CRAP to look click worthy--you're completely despicable--shame on you."


 4:10 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

In my office they call anything with bad spelling a "Demaestro bug"

So ... it would seem we all have our shortcomings! Now if a guy can't walk and chew bubble gum at the same time, we have something to pick apart ... unless of course the fellow is mentally handicapped. Then it wouldn't be cool at all to pick him apart.

But i think in the case of Mr. Whatshisname ... It would be fair to say that you have a valid point! Go for it ... the guy is a bonafide and certifiable dumb a**! ;)

I'll have to get your recipe for Hoisin sauce! :)


 4:29 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

My favourite true story. "L" (a previous employer) spent half an hour talking a woman through the process of entering her credit card number into our e-commerce shopping cart. She tried over and over, and was incapable of entering numbers - "the form is broken" was the claim, ending in a phone call to our corporate office for help.

After a while, L realized what was happening and counseled the woman to press the NumLock key. Magically, she was once again able to type numbers, and the sale went though without further complication.


 8:55 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi jsavvy293,

Just to be even clearer (!), I wasn't accusing you of failing to make the distinction, though by making it you are a rare bird indeed.

If this were /. I'm afraid that the thread would have degenerated to "they're all LUSERS!" by now, which I hate...

Don't ask me about the dumb-ass moronic things I do even when wearing my CTO hat... B^>




 9:29 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not exactly an email but I just found this one...

(Demaestro bug?)

Customer: "How do you spell 'Internet America'? Is there a space between 'inter' and 'net'?"
Tech Support: "No space between 'inter' and 'net'. It's spelled normally."
Customer: "Ok. A-M-E-R-I-C-K?"
Tech Support: "That's A-M-E-R-I-C-A."
Customer: "I-C-K?"
Tech Support: "'A' as in apple"
Customer: "There's no 'K' in apple!"


 8:03 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

A Demaestro (insert real name though) bug .

For example someone in my office will build a class definitionthat I can call at some other point that in my script. He will name it getVariant()

I will make a call to that method and it will look like this getVarient()

In case you missed it, I used an 'e' where the correct spelling is an 'a'.

Try to execute the script and get a runtime error. No such function getVarient()

A classic Demaestro bug ;)

Hope you all enjoy a good laugh at me. I am.

Hoisin specifics to come, I can't recall the excact ratio.

Your typical chinese store Hoisin.
Peanut Oil
light Sushi Vinager
and something to make it hot.


 8:54 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

From Wikipedia:
As a result of the debacle, the neologism "tuttle" was created:

(v. intr.) to make an unreasonable request, especially in a manner that is insulting or threatening. (adj.) to be rude, obnoxious and threatening while displaying a lack of fundamental understanding of a subject for which one claims to have expertise. (n.) an unreasonable request, especially one made in a manner that is insulting or threatening.


 9:24 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

ENOUGH already! How do I remove this [webmasterworld.com...] from my computer screen? Who do I contact? I rather not contact the FBI--at least not yet.



 9:25 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't have a story that sticks out in my mind. I am a programmer doing a lot of Help Desk phone work for the school district that I work for. I get several calls a day from principals, teachers and other staff.

I look at it this way. I couldn't stand in front of a class of K-12 students all day, every day, but I know more than a little about the problems they are having.

The statement that gets me is after I have helped someone, they turn around and say "I need to take a computer class."

I think, wouldn't it have been nice to take one class and avoid the four years of college and more than 30 years of computer experience.



 10:20 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not tech support exactly, but here's my favorite, a conversation I heard personally between an interested parent and a not-so-bright 7th grade math teacher.

Parent: I noticed the textbook this year uses BASIC to do some programming. Will you be teaching BASIC in class?

Teacher: We don't use BASIC here. We use Wordperfect.


 11:28 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

> the neologism "tuttle"

Sad in its own way. To the person, each of the many folks I've met from Tuttle are quite nice, rather sane, and polite to a fault. One bad apple ... sigh.


 11:53 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Don't take it too hard my friend. We all make mistakes, we all show our ignorance once in awhile, and we all should be a tad more forgiving than we are. After all, we are all "stupid users" when we interact outside of our element.

... as he slips off to try and whip up a mean lettuce wrap and a meaner hoison peanut sauce -- this thread is making me hungry


 12:01 am on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Phone rings...

IT Dept, Mike speaking.
Please come to my office and change the background on my computer.
I can just tell you how to do that. It's easy.
Right-click on the background and choose Properties.
Choose what?
Right-click on the background and choose Properties.
Well, I'm writing click, but I can't see the letters.

True, I swear.


 1:11 am on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

(Phone rings)
Support: [Name of company] customer service. How may I help you?
Customer: We just transferred our website over to you the other day, and it appears to be inaccessible at the moment. I get a "page not found" error when I try to access it.
Support: Let me direct this to our tech department and then I will get back to you.

(5 minutes later, support calls customer back)

Support: I spoke to our tech department, and they were able to verify that everything is set up properly. The DNS records look fine and they were able to access your site without a problem. We even had someone access it from outside the network to make sure it is visible to the public.
Customer: Hmm. That's strange. Let me do some investigation on my end and then I'll get back to you.

(Next morning customer calls back)

Customer: The problem has not gone away. We are still unable to access the website. In fact, we can't access any websites.
Support: (lightbulb) Oh, well that's an important piece of information there. You said you cannot access _any_ websites?
Customer: That's correct.
Support: Then there must be a problem related to your internet connection. Who is your ISP?
Customer: Well, it used to be [name of ISP], but we cancelled that when we moved our website over to you guys ...


 4:28 am on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)



 12:25 am on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

From the "I'm sure everyone here has had this conversation" file...

Call from friend...

I can't remember the exact details of the first part of the conversation, but trying to figure out a computer problem over the phone, it became pretty apparent that my friend's computer had picked up a computer virus....

Friend: "I can't have a computer virus. I have anti-virus software."

Me: "Ok. Well, when was the last time you updated it?"

Friend: "Well, I bought it in January, it's this year's version, so whenever it prompts me to update, I just hit cancel. Because it's already this year's version."

NB: I've had this conversation, in various forms, about a half dozen times over the years.

Sarah Atkinson

 4:29 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

My sister was working on her graduate thesis and was trying to print it out on our old laser printer. IT wouldn't print and she called me into fix it. I took one look at the printer and noticed it was out of toner. I told her it was out of toner and I couldn't fix it(Although I might have used the word wouldn't you know sibling stuff)

She called mom in and tried to have her force me to fix the printer so then I had to explain to them that toner was like an ink and that their wasn't any place open at 11:00pm the sold toner for that machine.

My sister got confused and said "why does it need ink? it's a laser printer doesn't it just burn the leters onto the page?"


 6:53 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

A student friend of mine called me into her office oneday asking why teh fax machine wasnt printing anymore, I popped it open and saw that it had no papaer.

I told her so.

Huh, I didnt know they needed paper!

Worrying thing is she has a 2:1 from Cambridge University and now works as a managment consultant.


 7:18 pm on Apr 10, 2006 (gmt 0)


Essex_boy, there is often an inverse relationship between management consultancy and common sense, at least amongst the management consultants that I claim to know well...



This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >
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