Computers: People Are More Clueless Than You Think!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Chuck C, Oct 7, 2003.

  1. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    Think you are computer illiterate? Here's a tid-bit from a WSJ article my MIS professor sent out. Please read!

    The challenge of infusing new technology into a legacy environment is not a simple task. As Californians go to the polls Tuesday, remember that the state's larger counties still use punch cards. If you marveled at the chaos created by the punch card or the butterfly ballot in Florida, the following excerpts from a Wall Street Journal should convince you that a lifetime career is awaiting you, notwithstanding any struggles you may be experiencing with mapping the Key Process Areas to Work Products for your team project.

    1. Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to "Press
    Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the "Any" key is.

    2. AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the plastic bag the mouse was packaged in.

    3. Another AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along with photocopies of the floppies.

    4. A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppy back in the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold on and was heard putting the telephone down, getting up, and crossing the room to close the door to his room.

    5. Another Dell customer called to say he could not get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of trouble-shooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor screen and hitting the "send" key.

    6. Yet another Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no longer worked. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and water and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys and washing them individually.

    7. A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged because his computer had told him he was "bad and an invalid. The tech
    explained that the computer's "bad command" and invalid" responses should not be taken personally.

    8. A confused caller to IBM was having troubles printing documents. He told the technician that the computer had said it "couldn't find printer. The user had also tried turning the computer screen to face the printer-but that his computer still could not "see" the printer.

    9. An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support could not get her new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged in, the technician asked her what happened when she pushed the power button. Her response, "I pushed and pushed on this foot pedal and nothing happens. The "foot pedal" turned out to be the computer's mouse.

    10. Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand-new computer would not work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in, and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked, "What power switch?"

    11. Another IBM customer had troubles installing software and rang for support. "I put in the first disk, and that was OK. It said to put in the second disk, and had some problems with the disk. When it said to put in the third disk, I couldn't even fit it in." The user had not realized that "Insert Disk 2" meant to remove Disk 1 first.

    12. In a similar incident, a customer had followed the instructions for installing software. The instructions said to remove the disk from its cover and insert into the drive. The user had physically removed the
    casing of the disk and wondered why there were problems.

    13. True story from a Novell NetWire SysOp:

    Caller: "Hello, is this Tech Support?"
    Tech: "Yes, it is. How may I help you?"
    Caller: "The cup holder on my PC is broken and I am within my warranty
    period. How do I go about getting that fixed?"
    Tech: "I'm sorry, but did you say a cup holder?"
    Caller: "Yes, it's attached to the front of my computer
    Tech: "Please excuse me. If I seem a bit stumped, it is because I am. Did you receive this as part of a promotion at a trade show? How did you get
    this cup holder? Does it have any trademark on it?"
    Caller: "It came with my computer. I don't know anything about apromotion.

    It just has '4X' on it." At this point, the Tech Rep had to mute the caller because he could not stand it. He was laughing too hard. The caller had been using the load drawer of the CD-ROM drive as a cup holder and snapped it off the drive.

    14. A woman called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer. The tech asked her if she was running it under "Windows." The woman responded, "No, my desk is next to the door. That is a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window and his printer is working fine."

    15. TECH SUPPORT: "O.K. 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
    CUSTOMER: "I'm not going to do that!"
     
  2. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Yeah, and I've also heard that if you're not careful you can wake up in a bathtub of ice in a hotel room in Mexico minus a kidney.

    Jon
     
  3. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    Mark Brewer Stunt Coordinator

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  5. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Real Name:
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  6. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Yes, many of those are urban legends but - trust me - some of them are true, or are based on simlar real events. (Polished a bit for storytelling purposes.) And for every one on that list that isn't true, there are a dozen equally stupid examples that are.

    I do support for a financial web site. New users who sign up for our service are sent one e-mail with a generic user name and password inviting them to join a live on-line conference call/teleconference to learn how to use the software on a collaboration web site. They are also sent the user name and password they will need to access their individual "live" account on our web site to do the actual setup of their account and their offered services.

    Each e-mail contains a link to the appropriate web site, and each explains that they need to go through training before they attempt to set up their accounts on the "live" working site.

    But I still get calls every day from people who have never taken the training and who are trying to set up their accounts, or who have set up their accounts, without ever taking the training. The latter are invariably the ones who have been paying for the service for three months and don't understand why they haven't received any referrals.

    A check of their account either shows that they have received referrals, but were never sent e-mail notifications because they didn't activate the notification feature, or that they aren't getting referrals because they aren't advertising the financial products they offer or the geographic areas they cover. (Two things covered in the training class.)

    At the end of a training class the "students" are instructed to send a message with a specific phrase in the subject line to an address similar to "[email protected]"

    I hate training days.

    Classes start at 10 AM and 3 PM ET Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. From about 9:45 to 10:15 and 2:45 to 3:15 I get all the "can't login to the training class calls." 90% of these people are on the wrong site and/or using the wrong user name and password. Sometimes they try the username from one e-mail (the "live site" e-mail) and the password from the other (the "training" e-mail.) Almost none of them clicks on the handy link in each e-mail to get to the correct site. Instead they try to type the URLs into the address line of their browser by hand, always with the browser full screen and in front, so they can't see the e-mail while they're typing the address.

    After class I get calls from all the people who try to go to the web address "[email protected]" and get an error message from their browser. They insist that they are following the exact instructions they've been given. None of them notices that [email protected] is in the same format as every e-mail address they've ever seen - including their own - and not in the format of any web address they've ever seen.

    Trust me, it is scary out there, and that little list at the top of this thread barely scratches the surface. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  7. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    When I was at best buy one day in the computer area one of the salesmen told me he just got off the phone with a women who didn't know how to use her mouse. She kept asking him does she have to take her socks off to use it, he said he didn't know what she was talking about. Apparently she had the mouse on the floor and was using her feet. This was in 1999.
     
  8. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    I've done tech support, & I believe every one of those is true. I've personally heard many of them: 1,3,8,11. People who tried to print without their printer being connected or even plugged in (one guy had his in the closet), people forcing multiple floppies in the drive at once, people who can't find the "any key", people who used original software diskettes to backup the next update (meaning they couldn't reinstall if necessary)...
     
  9. Shane Bos

    Shane Bos Second Unit

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    After working at Staples in computer sales for 3 years. I had people trying to insert CD's into a 5 1/4 inch floppy drive.

    I had a women that had called tech support for her PC and they had done troubleshooting and replaced the video card and her monitor still was displaying everything with a red tinge. I had her bring her monitor in and I straightened the pins on the connection and it worked fine. (okay that one might not have been so obvious)

    The one that takes the cake though is a co-worker at the time (I know this happened I was on shift at the same time) was troubleshooting a printer problem with a customer. It was a brand new printer just purchased that day. It worked perfect except it would not print yellow she had tried a new colour cartridge in it and still nothing. After an hour and a half he determined that the customer was trying to print on yellow paper.
     
  10. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I still work in tech support, welcome to my hell [​IMG]

    only, I work graves, so I get all those people, and English isn't their primary language.
     
  11. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    I recall when I was working for the Commonwealth of PA. One of the bureau managers called over to the IT area screaming that he wasn't getting any mail from the Commissioner. She sent him several e-mails that he needed and that were not coming through. The IT manager rolled her eyes and asked me to take a look at it.

    AS soon as I walked in, he started with his tirade about how "the e-mail system stinks", "why doesn't this work?", blah blah blah.

    I calmly looked at his screen and said in my best matter-of-fact tone, "You're not in your Inbox." More apologies you've never heard from a manager. [​IMG]
     
  12. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    I did support for a major ISP (not AOL, the other one) for a few years. People really are that computer illiterate. The real fun ones were the ones that screwed up their PC while they were drunk/high then called the next morning hung over to fix it. [​IMG]
     
  13. David Brown Eyes

    David Brown Eyes Second Unit

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    I also just started a job in tec support. Although I have not had the "completely clueless" calls I have had some really amazingly idiotic calls. My favorite are those that will not tell you what they are working on or what the error is. They just want their problem routed to the correct team. Never mind that I can have up to 150 different support teams... [​IMG]
     
  14. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    The best ones I've read (might be true, might not, but either way hilarious):

    1) A woman calls her office tech support about a faxing problem. She explains she's faxing a document to a man in another office, and it continually comes out blank. He walks through putting the paper in right side up, has her send again- he hangs up figuring the problem is solved and tells her to call back if the other person still gets a problem.

    She calls back a few minutes later, says it's still blank. confident that he has told her the right steps on his end (and reluctant to leave his desk, as some of us tech supporters are) - he tells her it must be an error on the receiving end and that the man receiving the fax should call their tech support.

    A few minutes later the lady calls back, tech support on the other end claims the fax is working fine. Eager to prove the other tech support is inept, he marches down to the fax machine and asks the woman to show him exactly what she's doing.

    She takes her document, folds it in half so the text is on the inside, and feeds the half sheet through the fax. The tech is really confused- "Why in the world are you folding it?"

    She explains "This document is private, i didn't want anyone else to read it, so i thought he could just unfold it on the other end."

    2) A tech gets a call that a presentation is being delayed because none of the equipment (projector, PC, audio) will work. He immediately asks the obvious: "Are you sure everything is plugged in?" The reply is a very cocky and short "of course".

    The tech flies out the door to the location of the presentation- when he arrives he finds that the call was correct, all the items were plugged in to a 6-strip. However, the plug of the 6-strip (that was supposed to go to the wall), was also plugged into the 6-strip.

    What was worse than plugging the 6-strip into itself was the fact that the tech then had to spend 5 minutes arguing with the guy as to why it wouldn't work. It took 3 or 4 times of explaining to a room full of 10-15 people for them to understand you can't plug the 6 strip into itself and get power...


    I've done tech support (I'm at my desk doing PC desktop support currently)- and here is one of my faves from my personal work:

    1) I did tech support for ONE FOR ALL brand universal remote controls. One day I got a call from a guy who had gotten a bird stuck in his VCR. While he proceeded to explain to me exactly the series of freak incidents that lead to the bird being stuck inside the VCR- I came up with the brilliant solution.

    You see, because our remotes had the 1800 number on the back of them, right there handy without needing to stand up- we got calls about things that were not our problem ALL THE TIME (people whos cable went out, people who wanted to subscribe to HBO, I even once got a guy who called to complain that he didn't like the later seasons of Night Court, swear to god).

    In addition, we also got calls from people trying to replicate features they never had (I got a lot of people who had a feature on a TV 10 years prior, and thought by getting a universal they could add that function to their new TV).

    We had come up with a simple question to eliminate most of these problems, and I envoked it on the bird-man:

    "Sir, what did you press on your original remote in order to get the bird out of the VCR?"
    "Uh, well, uh, i dunno."
    "Sir, this remote can only replicate the activities of the original remote-- so if you can't tell me what you did with the old remote to get a bird out of the VCR, I can't do it with the universal."
    "Oh, Ok- well I guess I'll check with my wife when she gets back."

    I'll try to remember some of the more odd ones I've had related to computer tech support and post them in a bit.
     
  15. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    I can empathize with the tech support people. One time I had to call ATI regarding a problem that I was having with one of their video cards. He obviously wasn't prepared to deal with someone who had been working with computers since I was 8 years old.

    He said, "Now, look at your card. There is a little black box that is sitting on to of two pins."

    "Right. The jumper."

    I could hear his silent, startled expression over the phone. [​IMG]

    He then very excitedly replied, "You know what a jumper is?"

    "Yeah, this is basic. I've been working with PC hardware for years."

    "Oh, thank God! Someone who knows what he's doing!"

    I couldn't do anything but feel badly for him. If he got excited just by talking to someone who knows what a jumper is, I can only imagine what the rest of his calls must be like.
     
  16. John Spencer

    John Spencer Supporting Actor

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    I do network analyst work for Xerox. This funny story happened to me last week.

    We had a customer whose copier had arrived DOA with a faulty hard drive. The service technician went out and replaced the hard drive, then reset the copier and reinstalled all its network functions. (For those interested, current Xerox copiers run on a Pentium 4 processor.) I went out to the customer to network the copier and assist with installing their print, fax, and scan drivers. I plugged a CAT-5 (network) cable into their wall outlet, then the copier. When I went to access the control panel to assign the copier an IP address (using DHCP), the copier went into an endless cycle of rebooting. This happens when the unit doesn't have its network functions correctly installed. So I called the service tech back and told him the situation. This was his reply, no lie:

    "Well, I had my laptop plugged into that port when I was there. So when you plugged the copier into it, you downloaded all my laptop information into the copier. So now I gotta re-format the hard drive again. Next time don't give the copier an IP address until it's on the network."




    [​IMG]
     
  17. Todd_B

    Todd_B Second Unit

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    I worked tech support for a major printer company for sometime and I can tell you, that 1)it is a living hell and 2)there are a LOT of completely clueless people when it comes to computers.

    [​IMG]

    Todd B
     
  18. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    Garrett Lundy Producer

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