Trust, But Verify… With The Right People

, , , , | Working | November 1, 2020

I just recently decided to buy a new gaming laptop and a virtual reality system. I decided to get the Oculus Quest and HP Pavilion laptop. I go to the store and ask the person helping me:

Me: “These will work together, right?”

The employee assures me it will work. I get to the checkout and feel like I should double-check with a second employee.

Me: “These two items will work together, right?” 

The second employee also assures me that these will work together. I get home and set it up. I get into the game I want to play and find out that I can’t see half the things other people can see. I talk to my very savvy computer friend and he tells me I need a different cord. The next day, I go buy one. I get home and it still does not work.

I decide to take EVERYTHING back the next day. There’s a new employee in tech support there that I bring the stuff to.

Employee #3: “Oh, yeah, this computer is not compatible with this VR.”

I asked about refunding, but since the VR is a wearable item, I couldn’t get a refund. They did take it and give me a full store credit.

I then went through a two-hour process of getting the right VR and computer. I had to order it in. I wish I had just gone straight to tech support instead of just a regular employee. It took a week, but now everything is good.

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This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 2

, , , | Right | November 1, 2020

I am contracted by a client to provide technical and site support to their numerous facilities. The issues reported are often very simple to resolve, such as disabling a pop-up blocker for a certain site to be accessible. This seems to be the case for a link one caller reaches out to me for.

The following conversation occurs after I have authenticated her. This caller works in the medical field.

Caller: “I can’t access [link]. I go to the page the link is on, but it doesn’t work.”

Me: “Okay. To clarify, when you say it doesn’t work, do you mean that nothing happens at all? Or that a blank page opens? Or do you receive an error message?”

Caller: “It doesn’t work. I just click on it and it doesn’t work.”

Me: “So it does not open a new page?”

Caller: “No. It doesn’t work. I see the support number show up, but otherwise, it doesn’t do anything.”

Me: “Okay. So, it sounds like it isn’t opening the pop-up. You might have a pop-up blocker enabled. We can check that. What web browser are you using?”

Caller: “I don’t think I have a pop-up blocker.”

Me: “All right, we can double-check to make sure that isn’t the problem. Can you tell me which browser you are using”?

Caller: “Which what?”

Me: “Web browser. For example, are you in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Edge?”

As usual, I proceed to describe the appearance of the icon for each browser.

Caller: “I don’t know. I’m accessing it how I always do.”

Me: “When you initially open [Site], do you click on an icon that says [Site] on your desktop, or do you open the Internet and go to the website that way?”

Caller: “I am opening it just like I always do!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I understand that. Unfortunately, I do not know how you typically access it, which is why I am attempting to clarify so that we may more effectively troubleshoot and resolve your issue. Can you describe to me what you see at the bottom of your scree—”

Caller: “It’s exactly how I always open it! I’ll just figure it out myself!” *Hangs up*

Good luck!

This Job May Require Telepathy

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Using Old Technology Is Murder

, , , , | Right | October 30, 2020

Back in the day, one of my customers was the cafeteria at a local hospital. At the end of every shift, they would run reports on those long folio folded perforated ledger sheets with the green and white stripes. If you are over fifty, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

These are continuous feed via a tractor mechanism to a dot matrix printer. The sheets are 8 1/2 x 14 legal size so the printer is huge.

One day, I get a call.

Caller: “The printer won’t stop screaming when we print reports!”

Me: “Screaming?”

Caller: “Yes, screaming.”

In a hospital. It is disturbing patients, apparently.

I go out there, run a report, and d***ed if the printer doesn’t start screaming like it is a peacock being murdered!

I do all my checks and am about ready to pull out my screwdrivers — machines fear me when I get out the screwdrivers — when I look down the paper feed path and see…

An Aspirin.

As the paper went through the tractor feed, it dragged along the aspirin and vibrated it against the plastic feed guide at JUUUST the perfect frequency to sound exactly like a woman’s scream.

I removed the aspirin and it was just as quiet as you remember dot matrix printers to be.

After explaining what had happened, I offered the aspirin to the office manager. She declined.

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The Issue Deleted Itself

, , | Right | October 30, 2020

Caller: “Outlook is deleting all of my emails on its own!”

Me: “Could it be a keyboard issue?”

Caller: “No! I swear it’s only happening on Outlook!”

I’ve never heard of anything like this, but my go-to fix for weird issues is creating a new mail profile in the control panel.

As soon as I get the mail profiles window, it’s repeatedly trying to delete her existing profile. I ask her to unplug an external keyboard if she has one:

Caller: “Oh my God! I had my wireless keyboard on the bench next to me, and had set something on the delete key!”

I’ve heard funny stories of this happening but never dreamed I’d run into it myself. After entertaining my coworkers with the story, I learned this same user once slammed her laptop lid closed with a pen on the keyboard, shattering the screen.

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There’s No App For This Level Of Entitlement

, , , | Right | October 27, 2020

Me: Hi, thank you for calling the [Company] service desk, how can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, my husband and I are scavengers and find things that we can fix up and sell. I found an iPad on the side of the road. It looks like it’s brand new and hasn’t been set up. It looks like it’s managed by [Company]. Can you remove the software that manages this device?”

Me: “Unfortunately, this is not something that I can do as that software is installed specifically to keep our information safe, and therefore, we are unable to remove this software.”

Caller: “But I need to get into the iPad.”

Me: “Do you work for [Company]?”

Caller: “No…”

Me: “Then I cannot help you. This number is for [Company] employees only.”

Caller: *Angry* “But I need to get into this iPad!”

Me: “Okay, and how did you find the iPad?”

Caller: “Someone threw it away, along with their backpack and laptop and some other items that have the [Company] name on it, as well as the person’s name that this belongs to.”

At this point, I am a little confused because who “throws away” their backpack with their work belongings in it? I’m currently thinking that this was stolen by this caller, so I try to get the name of who this belongs to.

Me: “Okay, can I get the person’s name so that I can reach out to them and confirm what has happened?”

Caller: “No.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Caller: “No, I cannot give you their name, I just need to get into this iPad.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I cannot do that. It sounds like this device was lost or stolen. I need to get the name of the person that appears on those items.”

Caller: “I told you, it was thrown away, they don’t need it anymore. Just remove the software already! Your story is bull-s***. Someone threw this away. You need to be responsible. Somebody threw away a perfectly good iPad. What are you going to do to make this right?”

Me: “Nothing? Like I said, I am unable to do anything here. I’m sorry. Even if someone did throw this away, we have well over 10,000 employees.”

Caller: “That’s bull-s***. You need to take responsibility. This is a perfectly good computer! Throwing it away is hurting the environment! [Company] needs to be responsible for this! To make this right, you’re going to get me into this iPad so that I can keep it and use it for myself!”

Me: “That still isn’t happening.”

Caller: “Listen here you little s***! This is not okay; you are responsible for this! You need to make this right! Your employee threw it away!”

Me: “Ma’am, I don’t even work for [Company].”

Caller: “Yes you do! You said that this is the [Company] service desk!”

Me: “That is correct, ma’am, however, I work for [Tech Company]. [Company] just contracts us out to do their IT for them.”

Caller: “You’re lying! You just made that up just to not give me the information! Give me the information now or else I’ll be talking to your manager! [Company] is going to go down when they see how poorly they care for the environment!”

Me: “Whatever lady, you’re being incredibly rude and I don’t need to be talked to this way. Have a nice day.” *Click*

She calls back a few times. I informed my teammates and the security team what had happened.

She was contacted by our security team, and they were able to arrange a pickup with her. She was noted to be nasty and vile in the security report as well.

 We ended up getting the assets but she wanted some sort of reward for her doings. According to the report, she apparently looked tweaked out so it’s likely that this was a stolen item.

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