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An Interesting Phone Call...
and there is no one here to tell...

 1:30 am on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

A lady called my office just now and said:

"You people know a lot about computers, right?"
"Well, will you please help me? I want to change the background on my husband's computer"
"Sure... Right-click on the background"
---(a moment passes)
"Now choose Properties"
"Choose Properties"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Right-click on the desktop... the background of your computer"
---(a moment passes)
"I am writing click, but I don't see any letters on the screen."

I don't know, maybe it was a joke? Didn't seem to be, when I explained a Right-click, she got through it fine. And she seemed to be very sweet.
Kudos to me... I didn't laugh until I had hung up the phone.

Maybe I'll find out later it was some one I know trying to brighten my day.



 1:34 am on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

If it had been me you would have had to pick me up of the floor through laughter.

I work in a call center environment and have been in simlar situations where you really need to not laugh.. but the more you try not to the harder it becomes to resits. Im sure thats why the "hold" button was invented :)

creative craig

 1:48 am on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have worked for an ISP in a call centre for two years now. From a sales desk, a customer service desk and now in a satellite broadband tech help desk and I have loads of stories like that one :)

My own personal opening sentence for a call ....your incompetence is my job security, how can I help? I have never said it but I would love to on my last day!



 1:53 am on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Bout like someone saying they followed the instructions:
(back when we only had 5.25 disks)
Please insert disk 1
Then later
Please insert disk 2

I didn't have any problem inserting disk 1 but
after I finally got disk 2 in the computer,
it said something about a bad disc :)



 2:02 am on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

The best one I heard was a support call with someone having trouble getting their Computer Screen to work. Instructions were given to do thism and do that, and try this, and so on.

Eventualy the operator asked the customer to make sure the Monitor was plugged into the power.

Cust "OK, hang on while a get a candle."

Supp "Candle? What do you need a candle for?"

Cust "We are in the middle of an electrical blackout."

you can imagine the rest.



 4:52 am on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

My friend working at Dell tech support apparently had a call from a drunk lady.

He asked the lady to close all windows using the X button on the right hand side of the screen. Our lady complained that she wasn't able to do it because her mouse was at the right end of the mouse pad and the cursor was still at the center of the monitor!

Exasperated, my friend asked her to lift the mouse and place it at the left side of the mouse pad and move sideways again towards the X button.

Last heard, he was looking for a change in job.


 5:34 am on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I love these stories. My favorite I had the pleasure of observing in person. I went to the campus computing services building to sign up for an SGI account. I waited while the tech helped someone though some difficulties on their Mac. After much talking, the conversation got to this point:

"OK, I need you to hold down the apple key and --- OK, I said the apple key . . . the apple key . . . the APPLE key . . . the APPLE KEY, the key with AN APPLE ON IT . . . just hold for a bit, OK?" I asked to signup for the account, and he had me sign the sheet. He put his head in his hands and took about 4 deep breaths before picking up the phone. "Did you find the apple key? . . . the APPLE key"

It's 8 years later, and I still wonder if the caller ever found the apple key.


 9:18 am on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Got a telemarketer calling one day:

"This is blahblahblah calling on behalf of blahblahblah. Does anyone in your household have hearing difficulty?"
"Ahemmm, does anyone in your household have hearing problems?"
"Would you speak up, sonny?"


 9:33 am on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)


Very funny samples on there... hehe...


 9:48 am on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I was talking to someone in a chat room from the States once.

They asked where I was from and I said the UK.

They asked what time it was and I told them.

They asked what time that made it where it they were.

I told them to look at their watch......


 10:39 am on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Its stories like these that always make me laugh, and then i refer to the legendary BOFH for inspiration and more laughter. :)


 10:44 am on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Hi its X from the water board"
"juss phoning to check that your washing machine is running"
"erh... yes it is, Why?"
"Well, you better go catch it then!"



 1:53 pm on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

...the APPLE KEY, the key with AN APPLE ON IT...

That may just as well have been a stupid tech instead of a stupid user. Many Mac keyboards have a strange knot-like symbol on that key instead of an apple. How's an inexperienced person to know that this is supposed to be the same thing?


 2:10 pm on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good point, bird. At the time I was in college, the only Macs they had were the old machines where the screen was built onto the CPU. And now I can't remember if they had the apple key or not. (Darn. One of my most enjoyable college moments now not as funny.)


 6:25 pm on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Why is it when you buy a round trip ticket, they ask where to?

How many of you have a hot water heater?

Just the other day a buddy of mine said, "I shot 3 deer out of the same tree stand."



 10:00 pm on Feb 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

At the time I was in college, the only Macs they had were the old machines where the screen was built onto the CPU. And now I can't remember if they had the apple key or not.

All compact mac keyboards that I ever saw had apples on the apple keys...

All makes me incredibly glad I don't work in customer service... when someone starts off with, "You people know a lot about computers," you know it's all downhill from there. heeheheh

The only person I do phone support for is my mother... we have a long family tradition of not being diplomatic with each other when we don't want to, so I can actually say, "Shut up, get your hand OFF the mouse, and listen to me!" Wouldn't go over well in a call center.


 3:44 am on Feb 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes. I remember the story about the DELL employee
who got fired after a frustrating two hour support call for saying.

"pack up your computer and send it back to the following address, and we will refund your money, because you are to stupid to own a computer!"


 5:13 am on Feb 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

>How many of you have a hot water heater?

And what makes a non-stick surface stick to the surface?



 7:22 am on Feb 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok heres my fav....

"New and improved" surely it can either be improved or new... lol


 1:47 pm on Feb 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

> when someone starts off with, "You people know a lot about
> computers," you know it's all downhill from there. heeheheh

I've got a few of those. I'm then told about their latest problem with WindowsXP, Win98 or such like. I don't use Windows, and haven't done support on it since WinNT. So I usually look blank and say that I don't know the answer because I don't use Windows.

And then have to smile nicely when people complain I don't know anything about computers. (Do these people ask a vet to treat their sons bad cough?)


 2:35 pm on Feb 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

I hate it when peaple say PIN Number, how can that be correct? ...random :)


 2:51 pm on Feb 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Say you have three sets of numbers you for personal identification. Eg:

#1: 1234
#2: 5678
#3: 9012

So PIN Number 1 is 1234, PIN Number 2 is 5678 and PIN Number 3 is 9012.


 3:03 pm on Feb 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Personal identification number number one? I mean in the sense that some says whats your PIN Number, which be like saying whats your personal identification number number, surely PIN is more accurate. I see what your saying though, very good point, but not in the same context as what i meant. But couldnt you say something like what is your first PIN? :)


 5:17 pm on Feb 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

PIN number, VIN number, ATM machine; it's all good. :)



 8:21 pm on Feb 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

An oldie...



 10:54 pm on Feb 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mike and lawman, you are onto a whole new thread here ;)

New Scientist magazine had a back page column with readers contributions on this topic that ran for a few months, including the mentioned AT(M) machine and the PI(N) number.

Can't remember any more of them quickly but there are plenty of acronyms where the last letter is used again as a separate word.

[edit] found some info on this here [nanday.com].[/edit]


 11:00 am on Feb 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good find aus_dave,

That DAT Tape thing annoys me a lot too. In fact they all annoy me, although perhaps at some point i have been guilty of one or two of them, but that doesnt count! :)


 11:31 am on Feb 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

How about spelling out the last two words -- like "CSS style sheets"?


Still looking for the elusive embedded/expanded version: "Cascading CSS style sheets"

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