While working at the Big Blue Box (electronics store in the States that shall rename nameless) as a PC upgrade tech-
"ummm, hi, I um, just bought a computer there, and, well, I'm uh, having trouble with it..."
"OK m'am, what seems to be the trouble?"
"well, I don't know much about these computer thingies...."
oh, god, here we go... I've got 4 machines on the bench that were due out yesterday, 8 more that my idiot coworker promised done by the end of the weekend before he left on friday evening, a dozen mouth breathing brain doners waiting in line to drop off their screw-ups with me to fix, and now I've got to deal with THIS.
"OK, what's wrong with the computer, I can't fix it if you won't tell me."
"umm, well, I can't seem to get into the windows..."
(this is in the age if preinstalled windows 95, I personally powered up this machine not 45 minutes ago, I know DAMN WELL SURE it works.)
snip 20 minutes of hair pulling trouble shooting...
"Miss, just out of curiosity, what's on your screen?"
"well, I've got a post-it note, some beenie babies, a picture..."
"no- what is DISPLAYED on the picture tube?"
"DON'T USE ALL THESE TECHNICAL TERMS WITH ME! What is a damned picture tube?"
"ok, that TV looking thing on your desktop, WHAT IS ON THE SCREEN?"
"some sort of computer gibberish!! If I knew what it was I wouldn't be calling you now, WOULD I? ARE YOU GOING TO HELP ME OR JUST MAKE ME FEEL LIKE AN IDIOT?!"
"OK, miss? Is there a gray bar at the bottem of the screen, with the word "Start" in the lower left hand corner?"
"Miss, you ARE in Windows."
"Oh. What do I do now?"
I will admit. This one had me stumped. What do you tell someone to do with a new computer that our sales guy just convinced her she HAD to buy
"well, what do you WANT to do?"
"I don't know! You're the tech! Tell me!"
At this point, it was time to escalate the call. This, as they would say in the military, was above my pay grade.
"Miss, if you don't know what you bought the computer for and need ideas, I suggest you go to the local bookstore. Find the computer section. There will be a number of books there to help you, I don't have the time right now to do this, but from this conversation, I think that anything in the "... for Dummies" series or "Idiot's guide to..." will work fine. Look for the bright yellow covers, goodbye. "
This was typical of the kinds of calls I would have to answer. Either that or it would be the idiot that tried to do an install him or herself against my advice not one hour prior, and managed to screw it up. Then would try and enlist my help over the phone to fix it, and act outraged when I told him that he'd have to bring it in to be fixed. Granted, that's how I learned a LOT of what I knew about PC work, but I never had the gall to call the person that offered to do it for me for a price to tell me how to fix it.
This was why that phone hardly ever spen any time on the hook, we'd come in in the morning and the first thing we'd do would be to take the phone off the hook. Management realized that we didn't pick up our phone when it rang, we just ignored it, unless it was our private line, so they would page us mecrillessly over the PA- "PC tech, you have calls on 03, 04, 06, 08 and 09..." so we started to just leave the phone off the hook; made it look like we were actually using it.
Once they caught on to THAT little trick, we'd answer the call, and respond "PC Tech, hold please." Then set the reciever right next to our test bench speaker (which usually had Metallica, Aerosmith, GnR, or Charlie Daniels Band playing loudly). They'd usually hang up after about 10 minutes.
We did this not because we didn't like working; we did it because it DISTRACTED us from doing our real job, fixing computers that we were getting PAID to fix. That was also why management tolerated this practice from us as well.
- Mike, thankfully no longer in the trenches of tech support.
Happy contrails - I support B747Skipper and Jetguy