In which every bad tech support call I’ve ever taken comes back to haunt me. Twice.

Because I still don’t feel like substance, even if it would appear the things what I was figuring on getting done today aren’t actually going to get done, have a one of these. You can take some comfort in the fact most of the things on that list I can safely say even in my unpaid work as the family geek I’ve never heard. However, my favourite–where favourite equals if I hear it one more time I’m going to break a nearly half finished bottle of vodka over somebody’s head–is one I can safely say I hear way, way too much. It’s also the last one on the list–go figure.

Tech Support: “All right. Now click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “Click ‘OK’?”

Tech Support: “Yes, click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “Click ‘OK’?”

Tech Support: “That’s right. Click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “So I click ‘OK’, right?”

Tech Support: “Right. Click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “I clicked ‘Cancel’.”

Tech Support: “YOU CLICKED ‘CANCEL’?!”

Customer: “That’s what I was supposed to do, right?”

Tech Support: “No, you were supposed to click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “I thought you said to click ‘Cancel’.”

Tech Support: “NO. I said to click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “Oh.”

Tech Support: “Now we have to start over.”

Customer: “Why?”

Tech Support: “Because you clicked ‘Cancel’.”

Customer: “Wasn’t I supposed to click ‘Cancel’?”

Tech Support: “No. Forget that. Let’s start from the top.”

Customer: “Okay.”

(15 minutes later)

Tech Support: “All right. Now, are you ready to click ‘OK’?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Tech Support: “Great. Now click ‘OK’.”

Customer: “I clicked ‘Cancel’.”

And this, right here, is pretty much every tech support call gone wrong in my entire professional and unproffessional career. Except with a few dozen choice explitives under the relative protection of the mute button, copious amounts of coffee, and rather liberal consumption of the afore mentioned vodka upon a return to the apartment and relative safety from, uh, other people. It still got me paid, and in still getting me paid I had a hell of a time finding the ability to care, but reading this now, I find myself amazed I didn’t actually do something regretable–like be completely honest while the offending annoyance was still on the phone. I do have *some* class, on occasion. It’s just not all that frequent an occasion.

That type of call is only topped by a thing I can safely say I’ve only ever, as in ever, received a grand total of once. I was working nights, which is what I spent most of my time working at Dell doing, and I get a call from a customer in Texas. Sweetest person you’re ever gonna talk to, and I can tell she meant well. She just… Well. There’s no polite way to describe it–she could really have used an education in basic common sense before being allowed within 50 feet of a computer. Or at least a basic education in how technology worked. Things like no, ma’am, your computer is not linked to the hive mind.

Tech Support: “How can I help you?”

Customer: “I just wanted to know. Uh, are your computers down?”

Tech Support: “Uh. N.n.n.no. Why would we be down?”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t know. But my system hasn’t come on all day and I was wondering if yall were having problems.”

Tech Support: “Sounds like you might have a pretty major one. You’ve tried turning it on?”

Customer: “Oh, yeah–tried every so often. It just doesn’t do anything but sit there. I hit the button you’re supposed to hit and nothing.”

Tech Support: *about to become an all too well documented statistic* “Do me a favour, alright? Let’s just make sure no one’s walked by and unplugged you here. Make sure the cable from your tower–the thing you need to turn on before your computer will actually do anything–to the wall is secure at both ends. Just in case. It could be that minor.”

Customer. “Oh. Now why didn’t I think to check before calling?” *puts down the phone, rummages for a few minutes, comes back* “Everything’s connected. The chord goes from the computer in behind the desk and to the wall. I even unplugged it and plugged it back in just to be sure, but it still won’t turn on. Was that supposed to reset things?”

Tech Support: *internal, dramatic sigh of relief* “No. But, you did confirm what I suspected. You’ve got a thing here.”

Because the internet of things can come crashing down and take the world of innocent bystander systems with it. Or something. I never quite got my head around exactly how A fit into B, as in at all. I probably should have had her explain that to me a little better, but I was sort of occupied with replacing her power supply and motherboard–and trying to find creative ways to tell her what I was doing without opening myself up to the inevitable questions about that being how Dell monitors things to make sure all the appropriate updates are installed and to make sure no one goes and does nasty things with the internets–or something. I honestly have no idea. I kind of stopped listening to that side of the conversation after she figured I was the guy that fixed all the things so she could get her email, or something. No, ma’am, I promise–I’m just the Dell guy. The Dell guy that happens to be holding your motherboard and power supply hostage until you stop playing 50 questions long enough for me to get info from you, and hand you same, but still just the Dell guy. At least she didn’t make me glad for vodka. Just coffee. Lots, and lots, of coffee. And I’m pretty sure I took my lunch break early that day…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *