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share your funny tech-help stories

by beelissa / February 27, 2006 12:16 AM PST

I don't know what made me think of this, but I thought we could start a thread where people who have done any kind of tech help could share their funny stories of how people get themselves into problems with their technology and need to be rescued or educated.

I'll start:

I was sort of the default tech help person for a time while they were working on hiring a real techy, and my boss came to me, all upset. She'd "lost" her 5-1/4" floppy disk (remember those?). She'd shoved it into what she thought was the disk drive, while not really looking at what she was doing. The computer had 2 floppy drives, A and B, right on top of each other. What she'd actually done was shoved the disk into the small space in between the two drives, and it had gone completely in and couldn't be reached (she'd tried using a nail file to get it out before calling me). I had to take the computer apart to get it out. She was very concerned that I not tell anyone.

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PhD doesn't equal intelligence...
by mwrisner / February 27, 2006 3:12 AM PST

I worked at a university help desk. I got a trouble ticket for a "mouse extension cord." Bewildered I headed to the professor's office. Digging through boxes in a corner the prof gruffly pointed to the PC on the desk. The PC and monitor were in the corner, and the mouse was on the other end of the desk with its cord at full tension.

"Why do you have your mouse so far from the PC?," I asked.

"That's where it ended up."

So I explained how to lift the mouse momentarily, put it back down, and continue moving the cursor around the screeen.

"Whatever. Thanks." And I was dismissed.

Not a spectacular story, but I promise it's true. At least I didn't dig up the tired CD-tray-as-a-coffee-cup-holder story.

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You shall end up at Dell !!!!
by vivek40 / February 27, 2006 3:50 AM PST


My computer crashes and restarts every time i try to boot it. After trying everything i end up calling dell. Even though a call center has never helped me through my problems before.

the guy cant help me - and ends up asking ''have you plugged it in''

Well after that sucess i really got my hopes up...

He types in all kinds of stuff on his keyboard(can always hear them clicking away) and ends up telling me i need a new motherboard :S

''So, it looks to me that you need at new motherboard.''

''are you sure?''

''well, 99%''

so he gives me at a new phonenumber to a sales department. I try it... but he didnt give me a part number and i was told to get it and call back...''

Back to the call center, almost having to explain my whole story again.


I get the part number call the sales person, and suprise they are out of stock for a month Sad

I get pissed, slam the phone and after waiting 3 weeks Mystic forces unkwon tell me to use a new harddrive and so i do...

Well guess what... it worked

Luckily I didnt buy a new motherboard, I would have been pissed beyound words

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Quick One...
by julisj / February 27, 2006 4:56 AM PST

I used to work the computer help desk at my college campus and I receive an e-mail from a graduate student requesting a snail mail account.

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darn sunlight
by rosscbrown / February 27, 2006 6:32 AM PST

just a quick one, everyday a lady would telephone up between 2 and 4 pm complaining that her coumputer had shut off for abot 40 minutes and then started working again.

After a few days, the tech goes out to see the problem for himself. He finds that during the summer months, strong sunlight was flooding thru the window and onto the CRT making the screen appear as if it were turned off!

After tilting the screen right a bit, the problem was solved and the lady pleased.

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by firestarter / February 27, 2006 8:40 AM PST

ok i use to work for gateway tech support and one night i had a lady calling about a problem with her gate way machine but first we need to get her serial number of the machine whick is on the back or side. well after about 2 min of trying to help the lady find the serial number i ask her what does it say on the tower and you would belive what she said. it said HP i then said to her where does it say gateway and she told me the mouse pad said it that why she called us. i wish this was a fake sory but i never new peole where like that until it happen to me.

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A long time again at my store...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 27, 2006 9:37 AM PST

I noticed one customer always buying diskettes. It seemed like every other day. I was curious and asked if they would like a full box since it would be cheaper.

After awhile we discovered they were buying so many since they "filled up."

A short lesson about how to format diskettes and delete files was then rendered gently.


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Check the Cables

I get a call from a person at a local college saying that their computer won't turn on. After a lengthy coversation I theorize that the person doesn't have their tower plugged in. But if I'm wrong the person on the other line will be deeply offended that I thought they were stupid enough to not check that the computer was plugged in. I put them on hold and tell my manager about the situation. He says that I should tell the young woman that in some older doorms they don't wire both outlets and that they should try the other socket. After telling them this they get under their desk and I hear a loud ''OOOOOOO'' on the other line. I quickly said ''thank you for calling tech support'' and hung up.


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My Stories
by AndyInTN / March 7, 2006 12:09 PM PST

Color Printing

I was working in a classroom on a website while some beginning students were working on word processing. One of the students prints some documents that contain graphics and comes up to the teacher and asks ''Why did these print in color?''

Un-Trained Tech Support

My DSL provider is my local phone company. They have got to be the most un-trained people on the planet, mind you, I understand that they are low-staffed, however, here is my story.

My DSL stops working, I power cycle the router, I do everything that I know to do as a IT person. I finally give up and I call the ISP up and tell them what is wrong, etc. They call me back and set up a time to come out, all that good stuff.

They come out and the guy comes in, immediately looks at my DSL Router and says ''There are not enough lights on.'' He kept saying ''That middle light is suppose to be on.'' I had to explain to him that was the USB connection and that instead of using the USB connection I opted to use the Ethernet connection which does not require the USB.

So, he sits down and fumbles around with his laptop, a nice 17'' wide screen, very fast laptop (I was jealous). He keeps saying that he can't access the configuration for the router so he asks to use my phone to call back to the local office, so he does and he spends the next 30 minutes on the phone with them, while they tell him how to open up the browser and go to the web based configuration screen (at They had him all over the place, they had him to open command prompt do an IPconfig, all that stuff.

Then finally, once he did get to the web based configuration page, they had to spend even more time telling him which menus to click and what to type in.

Even though I had been to the web based configuration screen a million times, I kept my mouth shut the whole time. I figure I pay out the wazoo for the service so they better work for my money!

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(NT) (NT) That's too funny!
by barret55 / March 7, 2006 12:16 PM PST
In reply to: My Stories
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I love the DSL/cable providers ..
by barret55 / March 7, 2006 12:19 PM PST
In reply to: My Stories

.. especially when it comes to tech support. Many a time I've called them up to report a problem, only to have them start spouting a checklist of items to try, starting with either "Click on My Computer" or "Open the Control Panel." When I inform them that I'm using a Mac, I get eerie silence.



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by AndyInTN / March 7, 2006 2:50 PM PST

I would SERIOUSLY hate to see what my local phone company would do if they had to work on a Mac. They would probably not support me if they knew I was on Linux a lot of times (even though it makes no difference).

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not really a story, but...
by comppsyco / March 7, 2006 12:16 PM PST

I don't have a specific story, but I can't count the number of times that I've been on the phone to tech support, and they tell me to do something that I've already done (cycle the power, try a different card or other), I tell them that I've already done it, and they refuse to believe me! Either that, or they just say "try it again."

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by AndyInTN / March 7, 2006 2:52 PM PST

I just go along with what they say to do. They will never just accept the fact that most people know how to do it or have already done it. But then again, they are just doing their jobs. However, if it was me working the call center, I'd probably ask the person if they knew how to do it first before I said "Click here, there and everywhere."

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Two quickies
by rtemp / March 7, 2006 12:42 PM PST

A couple months ago at work, a girl came in to the tech office telling us that her computer froze (it was an unresponsive app) and she said that she tried doing Control-Alt-Delete, but nothing happened. We use Macs there. Needless to say, after a quick laugh, another tech and myself explained how to force quit applications.

Then, after about a week, the same girl came back asking if we had any computers that could use zip disks, because somebody had brough their work in on one. Another tech explained that we had a few computers laying around with zip drives so something could be arranged. When he looked at the disk in question, he noticed something funny: it was a usb flash drive.


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sad but true
by SantiagoCrespo / March 7, 2006 8:37 PM PST

Back in '96 (i'm talking like an old person already) I got a job as a web developer/tech support/lots of other suff in one of my citiy's first ISPs.
Their access server was actually a huge metal rack with US robotics external modems on it (28.8 kbps back in the day). Well, we usually left them with the volume turned on so we coud detect any troubles with the modems (failing relays, dying phone lines, that sort of thing).
But every once in a while, someone would dial the access number from home and started yelling (I WANT TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET) through the modem whirring and trying to negotiate a ppp connection.
A few years back, we did not have any DSL or Cable coverage in our neighborhood, so we hooked up with a fixed wireless ISP (back in the day when it wasn't wi-fi yet, it was called 2.4Ghz Direct-Sequence Spread Spectrum).
We were their guinea pigs for that particular repeater, being the first customers in the area and all. But as with any new technology, it was not without its glitches, so I called tech support pretty often. They had the ability to irritate me to no end, saying things like "nobody has reported any problems on that particular repater" to which i kindly answered "that might be because there's only four people connected to that repeater, and I'm the only one who knows the least about computers".
One of them once suggested I added them to my ICQ contact list, so I could just open a chat window if there were any problems. I told the guy (trying hard not to LMAO) that if there were any problems with the connection, I wouldn't be able to chat with him at all.

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