T E C H S U P P O R T T A L E S # 2
It will never cease to amaze me how silly and befuddled some people get with their computers. Every day thousands of people turn on their computers (or try to) and come across a problem which they think they understand. The results of their actions can be amusing and often hilarious.
Welcome to issue #2 of TECH SUPPORT TALES-the publication which proves that stupidity breeds humor. Since I put the first issue online, many people have written to tell me how funny they thought these stories are and have requested that I place their names on a mailing list for future issues. So what I've decided to do is make it available to anyone via internet e-mail. And since I'm not using a fancy-schmancy mail server, please don't send me any odd mail server type messages...a simple note with the words "Subscribe Tech Support Tales" in the subject field will do the trick. And as always, if you have any of your own stories that you would like to see in a future issue, please send them along! I'm also planning on including a joke section in #3, so if you know some good computer jokes, share them with the rest of us, OK? I bust a gut every time I read this stuff.
Send all mail, comments & rantings to:
Thanks to the following individuals for sharing the true stories you are about to read: Alan123@aol.com, Tom S Jr@aol.com, KramerW@aol.com, Kleiner@aol.com, CHEIDAL@delphi.com
A consultant showed a new user how to copy a disk to do backups and told her to buy a box of disks. She did, and when she got the new box, she unwrapped the disks and did the backup. The consultant returned a week later, and the client proudly showed him her backup disks. To his amazement, she had 'peeled' off the wrapping on all ten disks, including the metal shutter! Her explanation: I thought you had to expose the disk!
An executive secretary, who was a beginning computer user learning on a PC clone, got lazy about naming her files. Instead of using descriptive file names to name her files, she started her own system. She numbered the files (1,2,3,etc) and kept a notebook listing the file number and file description. This system worked well enough for her, getting her up to over file # 5000. And it would have continued to work for her had disaster not struck - She lost the notebook!! Each and every file had to be opened and renamed. Lucky for her, she was an executive's secretary who had been there forever, so her job was safe.
A customer called up the company that made her hand-held scanner, complaining that it wasn't scanning correctly. After several minutes of hardware and software questions, the tech asked what exactly the person did to scan. "Well," she said, "I simply put it on the side of my head and drag it down." (And she wonders why the "brain scanner" can't find anything!)
Look, this one really happened: Tech Support kept getting calls from this one client because any disk which was sent to the client became unreadable after one day in the field. A live technician was sent out. He asked what happened after the client receive the disk.
"I keep them right here, on the side of the file cabinet" (under a magnet!)
(client's name is removed to preserve their anonymity): The client had pulled the power cord out of the wall, one of those "high density, high resistance air connections," and wondered why the machine wouldn't start.
I had them follow the electrical cord, power supply, the thing you plug into the wall, from the back of the computer to the power strip. Then, I had them follow the power strip cord around, and it was plugged into itself. I calmly suggested that it would work better if it was plugged into the wall.
It's true and it's not the first time...
(I am the Service Manager for an Apple VAR here in Canada) Anyway, one of our clients ordered an Quadra 840AV, but they did not want the internal CD which comes standard in that box. No problem, I took the CD out before I delivered it to the customer. however I did not have the blank bezel with which to cover the opening. I set the system up for them, gave them a quick lesson on it's ins and outs, and told them I would be back in a couple of days to replace the bezel.
I returned two days later, opened up the case of the 840 to install the new bezel, and found about a dozen slips of post-it note papers. Upon asking the operator about it I was told that she had put them in there because she thought that the original CD bezel, with it's long slim opening, looked like one of those trash recepticles they have on the ATM machines.
It was all that I could do not to laugh.
One time a guy phoned me to complain that Norton Utilities failed to recover his data, after he had switched off the computer before he had saved his work.
Problem : User cannot access the disk drive (A: 5.25 1.2 megabyte)
Solution : User put the 5.25 inch diskette in the tiny gap between drives A: and B: and then attempted to close the drive A: door.
Problem : User cannot access disk information.
Solution/cause: Wife put disk on refrigerator door with magnet to remind customer to take disk to work with them...
Problem : User is having problems with diskettes. 5.25/1.2 megabyte
solution/cause : User took the "Remove diskette from sleeve and insert into drive" literally and sliced open the protective cover of the disk, inserting the disk media into the drive.
I teach electronics postsecondary level and while attending a seminar a few years back, I heard a very funny story from another instructor in my state. Before teaching, he was a service tech and rx'd a onsite call that was about 75mi. away. (Cash Reg/PRN system) Symptom: no lights, no display, no ringie dingie, nada. His first ? to the lady was 'have you verified that it is plugged in to a working AC outlet'. She ripped his lungs out over the phone! He said OK and jumped in his van and drove the 75mi. to the customers site. He told me a little voice in his head said "leave your tools in the van". So he did. He said when he walked around the counter, he noticed one of those wedge shaped plug inserts that allows you to plug in half of your house in one plug AND it was at about a 45 degree horizontal angle. the lady was standing there breathing fire by this time. He laid his hands on top of the CRT and stated loudly "If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, BE HEALED" and at the same time kicked the plug in the wall while slapping the top of the CRT. LO and BEHOLD, everything went beep, PRN cycled the paper, and everything was OK. He pulled out his service book, wrote on the ticket "I healed it", and left. His boss was waiting for him when he got back and asked him what he did. He gave him the same answer. The lady NEVER called again.....
There was a guy who had just bought a new PC. Had some trouble loading a new utility he had purchased that came on several 5.25" floppies. Called the service tech, who said the floppy drive may be bad, send it in for replacement. When it came, the door was open, and several floppies were jammed inside. Tech pulls out extraneous floppies - drive works perfectly! Calls guy and asks ... WHY!!! Guy says program told him ..."insert Disk 1, insert Disk 2, etc." Didn't say nothin' about taking any disk OUT!
Well, I had one event happen to me, where one lady had just bought a Apple IIc and complained that she was having problems with her monitor, so we told her
to bring her monitor in, and we'll check it out. So she brings her monitor in and we plug it in, and it works without a flaw. We tell her that the monitor isn't the problem, and to bring her CPU in. She stares at us blankly, and asks, "What's the CPU?" Joe explains that it's the piece of equipment that all your devices plug into. So about 20 minutes later, she returns, and walks in carrying the surge supressor. When we explained to her the item that we needed her to bring in, she replied, "Oh you mean the keyboard!" And to make this all the more interresting, she was a gradeschool computer class instructor.
Current and previous issues of TECH SUPPORT TALES are available on America Online, various newsgroups, or directly from me. Don't forget to send your stories & computer jokes to:
until next time...keep your foot on the mouse and your diskettes on the frig.
(c) 1994 Eric Hausmann. Authors retain individual rights. This document may be freely distributed and posted to other online services provided it is kept in its original state and remains unaltered.