Technological Deficient Induhviduals

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sound button to hear a voice saying The following program is close captioned for the thinking impaired

Idiots Helping Idiots

Overheard in an office supply megastore, a man asks a store clerk: "Where can I buy some JPEG?"

The store clerk directed the customer to the Service Department.

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Idiots and Computers

My neighbor works in the operations department in the central office of a large bank. Employees in the field call him when they have problems with their computers.

One night he got a call from a woman in one of the branch banks who had this question:

"I've got smoke coming from the back of my terminal. Do you guys have a fire downtown?"

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Back up my hard drive? How do I put it in reverse?

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I worked with an individual who plugged their power strip back into itself and for the life of them could not understand why their computer would not turn on.
Tech Support: "What does the screen say now."
Person: "It says, 'Hit ENTER when ready'."
Tech Support: "Well?"
Person: "How do I know when it's ready?"
I was working the help desk. One day one of the computer operators called me and asked if anything "bad" would happen if she dropped coins into the openings of her PC. I asked her if this was something she was thinking of doing. She said, "never mind" and hung up. So I got out my trusty tool kit and paid her a visit. I opened her CPU case and sure enough, there was 40 cents.
One of our servers crashed. I was watching our new system administrator trying to restore it. He inserted a CD and needed to type a path name to a directory named "i386." He started to type it and paused, asking me, "Where's the key for that line thing?" I asked what he was talking about, and he said, "You know, that one that looks like an upside-down exclamation mark." I replied, "You mean the letter "i"?" and he said, "Yeah, that's it!"

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: Tech: "Hello.  Tech Support; may I help you?"
: Cust: "Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."
: T: "What sort of trouble?"
: C: "Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the 
       words went away."
: T: "Went away?"
: C: "They disappeared."
: T: "Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"
: C: "Nothing."
: T: "Nothing?"
: C: "It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."
: T: "Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?"
: C: "How do I tell?"
: T: [Uh-oh. Well, let's give it a try anyway.] "Can you see the 
      C:\ prompt on the screen?"
: C: "What's a sea-prompt?"
: T: [Uh-huh, thought so. Let's try a different tack.] "Never 
      mind.  Can you move the cursor around on the screen?"
: C: "There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept 
      anything I type."
: T: [Ah-at least s/he knows what a cursor is. Sounds like a 
      hardware problem. I wounder if s/he's kicked out his/her 
      monitor's power plug.] "Does your monitor have a power 
: C: "What's a monitor?"
: T: "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?"
: C: "I don't know."
: T: "Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where 
      the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?"
: C: [sound of rustling and jostling] [muffled] "Yes, I think so."
: T: "Great! Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's 
      plugged into the wall."
: C: [pause] "Yes, it is." 
: T: [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 something.]  "When you were behind the 
      monitor, did you notice that there were two cables 
      plugged into the back of it, not just one?"
: C: "No."
: T: "Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and 
      find the other cable."
: C: [muffled] "Okay, here it is."
: T: "Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely 
      into the back of your computer."
: C: [still muffled] "I can't reach."
: T: "Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"
: C: [clear again] "No."
: T: "Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way 
: C: "Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle-it's 
      because it's dark."
: T: "Dark?"
: C: "Yes-the office light is off, and the only light I have is 
      coming in from the window."
: T: "Well, turn on the office light then."
: C: "I can't."
: T: "No? Why not?"
: C: "Because there's a power outage."
: T: "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?"
: C: "Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."
: T: "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."
: C: "Really? Is it that bad?"
: T: "Yes, I'm afraid it is."
: C: "Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"
: T: "Tell them you're TOO STUPID TO OWN A COMPUTER!" [slam] 

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So you think you are computer illiterate?

Check out the following excerpts from a Wall Street Journal article by Jim Carlton:

sound button to hear Homer Simpson talking about the Any Key

  1. Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to "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 diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along with Xeroxed 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 trouble-shooting, the technician discovered 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 them individually.
  9. A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged because his computer had told him he was "bad and an invalid". The tech explained that the computer's "bad command" and "invalid" responses 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 "foot pedal" turned out to be the computer's mouse.
  11. Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand-new computer wouldn't work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in, 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 switch?"

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True story from a Novell NetWire SysOp:
   Caller: "Hello, is this Tech Support?"
   Tech: "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 getting that fixed?"
   Tech: "I'm sorry, but did you say a cup holder?"
   Caller: "Yes, it's attached to the front of my computer."
   Tech: "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!

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This is a true story from CA.

Brent works for a computer software company.... This was the "gist" of a phone call that his co-worker received from a customer that had just purchased some software from their company...

REP: "How can I help you sir?

Cust: "I just purchased your software and it's ruined my computer. I can't even get my computer to come ON now."

REP: "Well sir, software does not usually do that to a computer. Let's see if something else has happened."

Cust: "Well I still think that it was your software. It was working fine earlier today.

REP: "Is your computer turned on?"

Cust: "Yes"

REP: "Is your computer plugged in?"

Cust: "Well, just a minute.... I need to get a flashlight to look... Our power went out a little bit ago and I won't be able to see the outlet without it..."

Cust: (Cust then realized what he said and hung up in embarrassment!!!!)

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More Good Laughs

A woman called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer. The tech asked her if she was "running it under Windows." The woman then responded, "No, my desk is next to the door. But that is a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his is working fine."

A lady from Sun Microsystems Inc panicked as her entire system shut down. After cursing the machine, and hitting it a couple times a fellow employee came by, and turned her monitor back on.

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!"

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?"

Another lady from Sun Microsystems was freaking out as her email messages were deleting themselves one by one. Hollering and screaming about her problem, a fellow employee came to her rescue by moving a bowl of food that was pressing up against her keyboard, and causing the deletion of every email.

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: "Can you copy the Internet for me on this diskette?"

I work for a local ISP. Frequently we receive phone calls that go something like this:

Customer: "Hi. Is this the Internet?"

Some people pay for their online services with checks made payable to "The Internet."

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 file '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: "I crashed my game. That's what I said before. I crashed my spacehip 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?"

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