HELP DESK Desktop War Stories-All Too True!

A user 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. But that's a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his is working fine."

Tech Support: "OK 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!"

Overheard in a computer shop: Customer: "I'd like a mouse mat, please." Salesperson: "Certainly sir, we've got a large variety." Customer: "But will they be compatible with my computer?"

I once received a fax with a note on the bottom to fax the document Back to the sender when I was finished with it, because he needed to keep it.

Customer in computer shop: "Can you copy the Internet onto this disk for me?" Customer: "So that'll get me connected to the Internet, right?" Tech Support: "Yeah." Customer: "And that's the latest version of the Internet, right?" Tech Support: "Uhh...uh...uh...yeah."

Tech Support: "All double-click on the File Manager icon." Customer: "That's why I hate this Windows - because of the icons - I'm a Protestant, and I don't believe in icons." Tech Support: "Well, that's just an industry term sir. I don't believe it was meant to-" Customer: "I don't care about any 'Industry Terms'. I don't believe in icons." Tech Support: "Well...why don't you click on the 'little picture' of A filing 'little picture' OK?" Customer: [click]

Customer: "My computer crashed!" Tech Support: "It crashed?" Customer: "Yeah, it won't let me play my game." Tech Support: "All right, hit Control-Alt-Delete to reboot." Customer: "No, it didn't crash-it crashed." Tech Support: "Huh?" Customer: F****** it [click]

Customer: [calls back] ... its just crashed my game. That's what I said before. I crashed my spaceship and now it doesn't work." Tech Support: "Click on 'File,' then 'New Game.'" Customer: [pause] "Wow! How'd you learn how to do that?"

Got a call from a woman said that her laser printer was having problems: the bottom half of her printed sheets were coming out blurry. It seemed strange that the printer was smearing only the bottom half. I walked her through the basics, then went over and printed out a test sheet. It printed fine. I asked her to print a sheet, so she sent a job to the printer. As the paper started coming out, she yanked it out and showed it to me. I told her to wait until the paper came out on its own. Problem solved.

I had been doing Tech Support for Hewlett-Packard's DeskJet division for about a month when I had a customer call with a problem that I just couldn't solve. She could not print yellow. All the other colors would print fine, which truly baffled me because the only true colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow. For instance, green is a combination of cyan and yellow, but green printed fine. Every color of the rainbow printed fine except for yellow. I had the customer change ink cartridges. I had the customer delete and reinstall the drivers. Nothing worked. I asked my co-workers for help; they offered no new ideas. After over two hours of troubleshooting, I was about to tell the customer to send the printer in to us for repair when she asked quietly, "Should I try printing on a piece of white paper instead of this yellow paper?"

And another user was all confused about why the cursor always moved in the opposite direction from the movement of the mouse. She also complained that the buttons were difficult to depress. She was very embarrassed when we asked her to rotate the mouse so the tail pointed away from her.

Customer: "Hello? I'm trying to dial in. I installed the software okay, and it dialed fine. I could hear that. Then I could hear the two computers connecting. But then the sound all stopped, so I picked up the phone to see if they were still connected, and I got the message, 'No carrier,' on my screen. What's wrong?"

An unfailingly polite lady called to ask for help with a Windows installation that had gone terribly wrong. Customer: "I brought my Windows disks from work to install them on my home computer." Training stresses that we are "not the Software Police," so I let the little act of piracy slide. Tech Support: "Umm-hmm. What happened?" Customer: "As I put each disk in it turns out they weren't initialized." Tech Support: "Do you remember the message exactly, ma'am?" Customer: (proudly) "I wrote it down. 'This is not a Macintosh disk. Would you like to initialize it?'" Tech Support: "Er, what happened next?" Customer: "After they were initialized, all the disks appeared to be blank. And now I brought them back to work, and I can't read them in the A: drive; the PC wants to format them. And this is our only set of Windows disks for the whole office. Did I do something wrong?

My friend was on duty in the main lab on a quiet afternoon. He noticed a young woman sitting in front of one of the workstations with her arms crossed across her chest, staring at the screen. After about 15 minutes he noticed that she was still in the same position, only now she was impatiently tapping her foot. He asked if she needed help and she replied "It's about time! I pressed the F1 button over twenty minutes ago!"

One of our PC support techs was helping a woman that could not retrieve a copy of a file she had saved to a floppy disk. After trying a couple of things over the phone, the tech suggested that she make a couple of copies of the disk and send one to him to see if he could read it. Later that day via internal mail he received a perfect photocopy of a floppy disk.