posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 04:33 PM
Computer Illiterate Support Call
'Hello, Support Desk, may I help you?'
'Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect.'
'What sort of trouble?'
'Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away.'
'Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?'
'It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type.'
'Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?'
'How do I tell?'
[Uh-oh. Well, let's give it a try anyway.] 'Can you see the C: prompt on the screen?'
'What's a sea-prompt?'
[Uh-huh, thought so. Let's try a different tack.] 'Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the screen?'
'There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept anything I type.'
[Ah--at least s/he knows what a cursor is. Sounds like a hardware problem. I wonder if s/he's kicked out his/her monitor's power plug.] 'Does your
monitor have a power indicator?'
'What's a monitor?'
[SIGH] 'It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it's on?'
'I don't know.'
'Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?'
[sound of rustling and jostling] [muffled] 'Yes, I think so.'
'Great! Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall.'
[pause] 'Yes, it is.'
[Hmm. Well, that's interesting. I doubt s/he would have accidentally turned it off, and I don't want to send him/her hunting for the power switch
because I don't know what kind of monitor s/he has and it's bound to have more than one switch on it. Maybe the video cable is loose or
'When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?'
'Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable.'
[muffled] 'Okay, here it is.'
'Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer.'
[still muffled] 'I can't reach.'
'Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?'
[clear again] 'No.'
'Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?'
'Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle--it's because it's dark.'
'Yes--the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window.'
'Well, turn on the office light then.'
'No? Why not?'
'Because there's a power outage.'
'A power--!?!' ...[AAAAAAARGH!]
'A power outage? Aha! Okay, we've got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?'
'Well, yes, I keep them in the closet.'
'Good! Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from.'
'Really? Is it that bad?'
'Yes, I'm afraid it is.'
'Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?'
'Tell them you're TOO STUPID TO OWN A COMPUTER!' [slam]
After experiencing difficulties with his computer, a poor, incognizant user called the system maker's technical support line for assistance...
Technician: Hello. How can I help you today?
Customer: There's smoke coming from the power supply on my computer...
Technician: Looks like you need a new power supply...
Customer: No, I don't! I just need to change the startup files...
Technician: Sir, what you described is a faulty power supply. You need to replace it...
Customer: No way! Someone told me that I just had to change the system startup files to fix the problem! All I need is for you to tell me the right
For the next ten minutes, in spite of the technician's efforts to explain the problem and its solution, the customer adamantly insisted that he was
right. So, in frustration, the technician responded...
Technician: I'm sorry. We don't normally tell our customers this, but there's an undocumented DOS command that will fix the problem...
Customer: I knew it!
Technician: Just add the line 'LOAD NOSMOKE.COM' at the end of the CONFIG.SYS file and everything should work fine. Let me know how it goes...
About ten minutes later, the technician received a call back from the customer...
Customer: It didn't work. The power supply is still smoking...
Technician: Well, what version of DOS are you using?
Customer: MS-DOS 6.22... Technician: Well, that's your problem. That version of DOS doesn't include NOSMOKE. You'll need to contact Microsoft and
ask them for a patch. Let me know how it all works out...
When nearly an hour had passed, the phone rang again...
Customer: I need a new power supply...
Technician: How did you come to that conclusion?
Customer: Well, I called Microsoft and told the technician what you said, and he started asking me questions about the make of the power supply...
Technician: What did he tell you?
Customer: He said my power supply isn't compatible with NOSMOKE...
[edit on 4/8/2006 by supergeo]