High-tech Office Equipment (from Mike E)
One of my favorite support tickets:

* TICKET #BX-4314321      *CLOSED*        2009-05-18 *
*                                                    *
* ASSIGNED  : Michael E-----                         *
* DEPT CODE : T1-SUP                                 *
* CUSTOMER  : Mary L------                           *
* HARDWARE  : Other - "Stapler?"                     *
*                                                    *
*                                                    *
* __ ISSUE __                                        *
*                                                    *
*   Mary called me direct to request that I or some- *
*   body in IT unplug the electric stapler that was  *
*   on her desk.                                     *
*                                                    *
* __ TROUBLESHOOTING __                              *
*                                                    *
*   #2009-05-18 9:33 AM #                            *
*   I advised that she can safely unplug the stapler *
*   by locating power cord. She was not comfortable  *
*   with performing those steps.                     *
*                                                    *
*   #2009-05-18 12:40 PM#                            *
*   Unplugged stapler and placed it on her desk, as  *
*   she was at lunch.  Will re-open ticket if she    *
*   requires help plugging it back in.               *
*                                                    *


Bring Some Gloves (from V.G.)
Back in the '90s, I was working support for a satellite TV company. In those days, the dishes were a bit bigger than the roof-mounted ones they have today, and were about three or so feet across. My job was to take the difficult calls and dispatch local technicians when I couldn't make the customer's system obey my will remotely.

One day, a gentleman in a rural area called to report a lost signal. Midway through the call he shouted, "damn it, he's at it again!"

"Sir?" I asked.

"My neighbor's bull," he responded, "he keeps getting 'romantic' with your satellite dish."

When I dispatched a local tech, I told him to make sure to bring some gloves.


Finding the G-spot (from Michael)
Many years ago, I was working as a sysadmin for a small investment company. Everyone was always under a lot of pressure, and as a result they tended to get pretty annoyed when their computeres weren't working the way they wanted them to, and they'd often come to me for help.

"Good morning, this is Michael."

"I don't have a G-spot on my computer," she said.

"Err... ummm..." I paused, "I'm sorry, could you repeat that?"

"I don't have a G-spot on my computer," she repeated in an increasingly frustrated tone, "could you just please come and take care of that?"

I thought of all the puns I could make about helping her find it, but she clearly didn't realize what she was asking or was in the mood for jokes. So, I walked over to her office to see how I could help in person. I once again asked her to clarify.

"You're the tech guy, I don't know! My computer usually has a G-spot, but now it's not there."

Not knowing what else to do, I rebooted her computer. And like that, the problem was fixed!

As it turned out, her computer was configured to map various network drives at start-up. For whatever reason (likely her closing the batch script that popped up during start-up), the G: drive didn't get mapped. And thus, she couldn't find the "G" spot in My Computer.


Dr. Smartypants Calling (from V.G.)
In the late 90's, I had made my way up to be a tech support manager at an ISP. In addition to doing all sorts of pointy-hair-boss stuff, I was the guy that irate customers talked to when they demanded to "speak to a supervisor." Many calls began like this one.

"I have a PHD in Computer Science," he barked, "and all of the techs that I've talked to are complete idiots! Why do they insist on treating me like a child."

"Wow," I said, putting my best customer-service face, "a PHD - that's quite the accomplishment, especially in this field! I'm sorry that we have to follow basic troubleshooting steps; it's part of the forms we fill out, and we need those to help gauge see how effective our techs are. There's no perfect solution, but this way has helped us support our customers the best."

It was all a complete lie: the basic steps were asked because 90% of the calls were solved right then and there, but the explanation usually helped.

"Well," he said in a calmer voice, "that's pretty stupid, but fine. The problem is that my internet is down."

I walked him through the basic steps. I asked him to reboot. No good: nothing was on the screen at all.

"I'm embarrassed to ask this of a Doctor of Computer Science," I said, "but can you unplug the power cord and plug it back in?"

That didn't help either, and further basic troubleshooting revealed that the power strip had no light on it, and the outlet the strip was plugged into had no power.

"Oh," the good doctor responded, "the power has been out for a couple hours."


For a nerdcore take on tech support, check out Here to Help from my buddy "int eighty" of Dual Core. Warning: it's nerdcore hip hop, so don't blame me if your coworkers catch you listening to it.

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