SQLServerCentral Article

Computer Illiterates



The following is an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal by Jim Carlton.

1. Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key," "Press Return

Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the "Any" key is.

2. AST

technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was
hard to

control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the
plastic bag

the mouse was packaged in.

3. Another Compaq technician received a call

from a man complaining
that the system wouldn't read word processing files

from his old diskettes.
After trouble-shooting for magnets and heat failed

to diagnose the problem,
it was found that the customer labeled the

diskettes then rolled them into
the typewriter to type the labels.

4. Another AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective

A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along with

copies of the floppies.

5. A Dell technician advised his

customer to put his troubled floppy
back in the drive and close the door.

The customer asked the tech to hold
on, and was heard putting the phone

down, getting up and crossing the room
to close the door to his room.

6. Another Dell customer called to say he couldn't get his computer

to fax anything. After 40 minutes of troubleshooting, the technician

the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front

of the
monitor screen and hitting the "send" key.

7. Another Dell

customer needed help setting up a new program, so a
Dell tech suggested he

go to the local Egghead. "Yeah, I got me
a couple of friends," the customer

replied. When told Egghead
was a software store, the man said, "Oh, I

thought you meant for
me to find a couple of geeks."

8. Yet another

Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no
longer worked. He had

cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and water
and soaking the

keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys and washing


9. A Dell technician received a call from a customer who

was enraged
because his computer had told him he was "bad" and "invalid."

The tech explained that the computer's bad and invalid

shouldn't be taken personally.

10. An exasperated caller to Dell

Computer Tech Support couldn't get
her new Dell Computer to turn on. After

ensuring the computer was plugged
in, the technician asked her what happened

when she pushed the power button.
Her response, "I pushed and pushed on this

foot pedal and nothing
Happens." The "pedal" turned out to be the computer's


11. Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her

computer wouldn't work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it

and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When asked

what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked, "What power


12. True story from a Novell NetWire Sys Op:


support: Hello, this is Tech Support.

Caller: Is this tech support?

Tech support: Yes, it is. How may I help you?

Caller: The cup

holder on my PC is broken and I am within my warranty period. How do I go about

that fixed?

Tech Support: I'm sorry, but did you say a cup


Caller: Yes, it's attached to the front of my computer.

Tech Support: Please excuse me if I seem a bit stumped. It's because I

am. Did you receive this as part of
a promotional, at a trade show? How did

you get this cup holder? Does it have any trademark on it?

Caller: It

came with my computer, I don't know anything about a promotional. It just has

"4X" on it.

At this point, the Tech Rep had to mute the caller, because

he couldn't stand it. The caller had been using the load drawer of the CD-ROM

drive as a cup holder, and snapped it off the drive!

Return to Steve Jones Home



You rated this post out of 5. Change rating




You rated this post out of 5. Change rating