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.”
I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that elderly folks and technology don’t mix very well. A large portion of my tech calls are simply telling them to press the TV button on the remote. These should be easy calls, but getting to that button pushing moment usually takes about ten minutes. To the clueless and elderly ESP’s, the remote is some sort of mysterious device that should be feared. And you know when ESP’s get confused (all the fucking time), they get pissed…at me.
One of my biggest problems with angry old assholes and the remote is the lack of pressing the select button. Yeah, actually selecting an option instead of staring at the screen waiting for something to happen. This is especially frustrating when you’re troubleshooting, because you assume they’re following along with you, but they’re miles behind. If you say go to the TV menu, you would think that means pressing the menu button or selecting the menu option, right? No, apparently it’s a real fucking toughie. I’ve had a lot of confusion over this one over the years, but one was pretty bad. Old Dumbass could not unravel the mysteries of the remote for the life of him.
Thanks to a great ESP reader, here’s a nice set of pictures that highlight very stupid people doing very stupid things to get around computer issues. I’d give them points for creativity, but they’re just too dumb to receive any credit for anything.
Your Posts: Computer Skills, Or Lack Thereof: Part 1
A faithful reader sent over a collection of ESP stories reported from some long-suffering tech support reps. I’ve seen these stories floating around a few places, including the Telescreen monthly newsletter. This wonderful newsletter, by the way, isn’t handed out to employees, but instead is placed prominently on the bathroom wall. I shit you not, pardon the pun, I literally have only seen the newsletter in the crapper. So, stupid people beware: your idiocy will eventually end up in a call-center shitter. That’s motivation to work on your intelligence.
Help Desk: What kind of computer do you have?
Customer: A white one.
I hope they don’t use that answer for everything. “What type of person do you want to meet on your blind date? A white one.” Yikes.
Customer: I can’t get the disc out of the computer.
Help Desk: Have you tried pushing the eject button?
Customer: Of course!
Help Desk: Okay, well I’m going to need a few more details to help troubleshoot.
Customer: Wait, the disc is still on my desk.
Someone is on their way towards a doctorate in nuclear engineering! Or maybe someone needs to finish high school.