’Net Junkie

Shawn "Speedy" Lopes

Turn on brain before
calling tech support

Pity the tech support specialist. Is there a more thankless job in corporate America? Those invaluable technical wizards who field calls from the technology-challenged, computer-illiterate public surely deserve a better lot in life. See Nolan Curtis' Idiot Ranch: A Guide To Tech Support Callers at, which categorizes all manner of clueless customer.

There's the Allimus Righticus, who, even when wrong, believes "The customer is always right"; the System Sidestepper, whose favorite phrase is "Let me talk to your supervisor!"; the Fireyou, the frustrated customer whose only goal is to see you terminated; and the Prevaricator Pathologicus ("He'll tell you he's using Windows NT when he's using Unix. He'll tell you he's already tried that three times when he has no plans of trying it at all"), to name a few.

Here is a supposed conversation between customer and tech support, straight from

"Hello, Tech Support. Can I help you?"

"Yes, I'm having trouble with WordPad."

"What sort of trouble?"

"Well, I was typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."

"Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"

"It's blank. It won't accept anything when I type."

"Are you still in WordPad or did you get out?"

"How can I tell?"

"Does your monitor have a power indicator?"

"What's a monitor?"

"It's the thing with the screen that looks like a small TV. Is there a light on it somewhere that tells you when it's on?"

"I don't know."

"Well, look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes in. Can you do that?"

"I can't reach."

"Even if you lean way over?"

"It's not the angle; it's too dark."

"Well, turn the light on then."

"I can't."

"Why not?"

"Because there's a power outage."

"Pack up your system just like it was when you bought it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from," says the techie.

"What should I tell them?"

"Tell them you're TOO STUPID TO OWN A COMPUTER!"


’Net Junkie drops every Monday.
Contact Shawn "Speedy" Lopes at

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