What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

Do you know how your computer works? Most people don't. I know mine works -- when it works. That's all I need to know. I couldn't tell you how it works. When it acts up, and it's something I can't fix on my own (which, thankfully, doesn't happen often), God save me from Tech Support. There have been times when I've had to hang up and call back two or three times just to get someone who could speak enough English to communicate on a basic level. On the other hand, Tech Support people have a tough job and they have war stories galore -- especially when a little something is lost in translation and there's a distinct failure to Communicate. These are some of them.

Tech support: What kind of computer do you have?
Female customer: A white one.

Customer: Hi, this is Celine. I can't get my diskette out.
Tech support: Have you tried pushing the button?
Customer: Yes, sure, it's really stuck.
Tech support: That doesn't sound good; I'll make a note.
Customer: No, wait a minute. I hadn't inserted it yet ... it's still on my desk. Sorry.

Tech support: Click on the 'my computer' icon on the left of the screen.
Customer: Your left or my left?

Tech support: Good day. How may I help you?
Male customer: Hello... I can't print.
Tech support: Would you click on "start" for me and...
Customer: Listen pal; don't start getting technical on me! I'm not Bill Gates, damn it!

Customer: Hi, good afternoon, this is Martha, I can't print. Every time I try, it says 'Can't find printer'. I've even lifted the printer and placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says he can't find it.

Customer: I have problems printing in red.
Tech support: Do you have a color printer?
Customer: Aaaah.................thank you.

Tech support: What's on your monitor now, ma'am?
Customer: A teddy bear my boyfriend bought for me in the supermarket.

Customer: My keyboard is not working any more.
Tech support: Are you sure it's plugged into the computer?
Customer: No. I can't get behind the computer.
Tech support: Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 paces back.
Customer: OK.
Tech support: Did the keyboard come with you?
Customer: Yes.
Tech support: That means the keyboard is not plugged in. Is there another keyboard?
Customer: Yes, there's another one here. Ah...that one does work.

Tech support: Your password is the small letter a as in apple, a capital letter V as in Victor, the number 7.
Customer: Is that 7 in capital letters?

Customer: I can't get on the Internet.
Tech support: Are you sure you used the right password?
Customer: Yes, I'm sure. I saw my colleagues do it.
Tech support: Can you tell me what the password was?
Customer: Five stars.

Tech support: What anti-virus program do you use?
Customer: Netscape.
Tech support: That's not an anti-virus program.
Customer: Oh, sorry... Internet Explorer.

Customer: I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screen saver on my computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears.

Tech support: How may I help you?
Customer: I'm writing my first e-mail.
Tech support: OK, and what seems to be the problem?
Customer : Well, I have the letter 'a' in the address, but how do I get the circle around it?

A woman customer called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer.
Tech support: Are you running it under Windows?
Customer: "No, my desk is next to the door, but that is a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his printer is working fine."

And my personal favorite:

Tech support: "Okay Bob, let's press the control and escape keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type the letter "P" to bring up the Program Manager."
Customer: I don't have a P.
Tech support: On your keyboard, Bob.
Customer: What do you mean?
Tech support: "P"... on your keyboard, Bob.


Hale McKay said...

It makes you wonder if maybe they shouldn't issue licenses to operate computers like they do for motor vehicles.

Then I supposed they be issuing a lot of TUI/BUI citations.

(Typing - Blogging Under the Influence.)

Hale McKay said...

...And I seem to hear Strother Martin reading this post's title....

MXI said...

I used to freelance as a computer tech, more than once someone called to say they have no audio and I drove across the city to hit the mute button.

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Serena Joy said...

Mike, shhhhhh! Don't give the government ideas for new revenue generators.

Strother Martin -- did he play that sheriff?

Oh, my word, MXI. LOL! Did you cuss?

One of the worst go-rounds I ever had with Tech Support was when I bought a Dell notebook that, straight out of the box, wouldn't turn on. He asked me, "Is your keyboard plugged in? I said, "It's a laptop." He says, "Is your monitor plugged in?" I said, "It's a laptop." He says, "Are your keyboard & monitor properly connected to the CPU?" I said, "It's an effin' LAPTOP!!"

cathy said...

I find that most problems can be resolved by fixing the offending object with a hard stare.

Serena Joy said...

That often works pretty well, Cathy. And when it doesn't, I find that a shaking, a thumping, or a good swift kick works wonders.

Scary Monster said...

You get German spam, how cool is that?

When me were setting up me machine me were with Mrs. Monster. When Windows asked me to register a password me thought me would be clever and type in PENIS. The nasty ol machine came back with:

Your password is too short, try another....

She be having a fit of giggles over that one

Hale McKay said...

And all this time, I would have thought a Scary Monster would have had a "scary monster."

Serena Joy said...

LOL, Scary. Mrs. Monster has a Puckish sense of humor.:)

I can't read the German spam and I'm too tired to translate it. Anybody know what it says?

MXI said...

Great comment from monster,one of those "I wish I said that.." things.

The German spam says something about how fantastic and witty Serena is...

But my German is rusty...
Isn't "Oelbestellung" "Candy Yass" in German?

littlebirdblue said...

cute post.

Is it possible y'all don't have Language Hat on your sidebar?


MXI said...

And by the way I didn't cuss when I drove across the city,it was $65/hr plus mileage...

Serena Joy said...

I don't think it says that, MXI. LOL. I think I would have cussed on the cross-town trip. Of course, some days it doesn't take much.

I hadn't seen Language Hat before, Camille. Cool site! Pomographic illiterature -- I like that. Thanks for the link.

Hale McKay said...

Well Language Hat is going to be on our sidebar post haste!

That's a great site. I wasn't familiar with it.

I know that: Atkiengeschellschaft (AG) is the German equivalent of "Incorporated."