Is The Machine On?

Go ahead and press that red button before calling tech support.

Anyone who’s ever worked in tech support knows the first thing you have to ask is always, “Is the machine on?” The funny thing is, ESPs kind of know this by now, and in most cases, they get pretty pissed off and confused when you ask them. To make things go a little smoother, I started asking ESPs if there are lights on their receivers because “machine” and “on” was just a bit too much for your typical ESP. That still wasn’t foolproof, as they wouldn’t just get pissed off and confused, but also would just say “yes” without fucking doing anything.

Now I ask them what color the lights are on the receiver to not only avoid pissing them off, but also to make them get off their fat asses and actually look. When they say, “None” that means it’s off. When they say, “What lights?” that means they’re lost and staring at the back of the fucking microwave. When they say, “You mean them blinky thingies?” that means there’s no hope in Hell of troubleshooting so I just need to send a tech.

Even though I find my sneaky method of finding out just how dumb people are in not being able to press power, there still is some pushback. 

Customer: “I keep telling you the thing is on! Are you trying to ask me if I turned the damn receiver on?”

Winston: “Ma’am, if you could just look at the front of the receiver box and tell me what colored lights are lit up, that will give me a better idea of the state of your receiver box.”

This back and forth had been going on for a good ten minutes. I knew she’d flip shit if I asked her if the thing was actually on, so I had to keep being sneaky about it.

Customer: “Oh my God, this is so annoying!”

I heard her move and get up. So the whole time she was just arguing from across the room. In a chair. No movement. No looking. No button pushing. Just arguing. Typical ESP move.

Customer: “Okay, I’m looking at the stupid box and I don’t see any damn lights.”

Funny, she’d been telling me for ten minutes that all the lights were lit up. I had to go in for the kill.

Winston: “That’s because the box is off ma’am. That’s your problem right there. You need to turn it on.”

Then she lost it, but it was too much fun calling her out for being stupid and lazy.

Customer: “Are you kidding me? Seriously! Don’t you think I would know if it’s on or not? Give me a break!”

Winston: “What do you see on your TV screen?”

Customer: “Nothing, same as it’s been all day”

Winston: “Go ahead and press the power button on your Telescreen remote just to double check that is in on then.”

15 seconds later I hear a shitload of noise.

Customer: “Oh it’s working now. I don’t know what happened.” Click.

What happened is you’re stupid. Arguing with me took 15 minutes and solving the problem took 15 seconds. This is how ESPs operate and I’ll never fucking understand it.

2 thoughts on “Is The Machine On?

  1. I wish I’d typed “people are stupid blog” into Google years ago. I did it tonight for a very good reason (hoping to dilute a whole load of anger simmering away inside me, after the stoooopid actions of an ESP) and now I’m in a much better mood. Sharing a load makes the load much lighter. Thank you! PS I have worked booking taxis in a call centre – and yes, I survived with my sense of humour intact. I also worked for many years booking “ads” for a major newspaper. Isn’t it great, working with the public; it’s “character building” stuff. I’ve got so much “character” now, it’s practically busting out of my butt. Keep up the good work.

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