• (cs) in reply to Anonymous
    Lots of people have pointed out (correctly) that Kevin asked for the tag and not the tag's number. But seriously, I still say this user is a cat-crowning simpleton for not being able to figure out that it's the number that's relevant and not the tiny little bit of paper that it's written on.

    I agree -- double wtf. Kevin's instructions were wrong and would obviously have caused confusion (wtf #1), but the end user should have had enough sense to realise that Kevin had told them the wrong thing (wtf #2).

    Too many end users are just prepared to take the word of the 'experts' even if their gut tells them that what they're hearing isn't right. This isn't just IT end users either, it's people seeking medical advice, getting their car fixed by a mechanic, the list goes on. I know plenty of people who have been given bad advice by doctors, mechanics and helpdesk staff.

    The lesson here is that if what you're being told by the expert doesn't sound right for whatever reason, clarify what you've heard, and if it still doesn't makse sense, seek a second opinion. Just because they know better than you, doesn't mean they've communicated it properly, and it definitely doesn't mean they're automatically right.

  • Operations (unregistered) in reply to Sutherlands

    No hotel has ever asked for my license plate. They sometimes ask for my license plate number. And if they act rude, condescending, or impatient while doing so I might complain to their boss.

  • no more eeediots ! (unregistered) in reply to Operations

    This is just another example of why I got out of IT support and into computer engineering. F the eeediots !

  • Herby (unregistered)

    Please refer to the old Federal Express commercial:

    "Just pick up the phone."

    Then again, we have this legislative body called "Congress". Do as I say, not as I do!

  • Jim Langston (unregistered) in reply to EvilTeach

    One company I worked at I happened to be standing by the fax machine when a fax came out. I looked at the fax and it was a photocopy of a disk.

    I made a comment that one of our users sent a photo copy instead of a copy. Then the customer service rep said, no, they wanted the copy of the disk to validate the serial number printed on the label.

  • OutWithTheTroll (unregistered) in reply to abstract protected synchronized final void longSignature()
    abstract protected synchronized final void longSignature():
    No, don't stop, this is fun:

    If your coach asks you for 110%, what do you give them? When someone asks you for the time, what do you give them? The VPN key? it goes on and on...

    Let me give you a piece of my mind on this. ;o)

  • Casey (unregistered) in reply to AT
    AT:
    Wayne Brady:
    Zack:
    Look, I see a lot of people saying it was the support guy's fault.

    But seriously, it says:

    Service Tag <some number>

    I think that's pretty obvious.

    When a cop asks for your driver's license would you give him the number or the actual license?

    If a hotel front-desk clerk asks for your license plate, would you give him the number or the actual plate. Or would you at least ask for clarification before heading to the parking lot, screwdriver in hand?

    Luckily the average woman doesn't know how to use a screwdriver, so this problem rarely occurs.

  • Another support tech (unregistered)

    I never had anybody ask me where the "Any" key was, but I did have someone ask me how to choose, and which key I thought was best.

  • b0ttomfeeder (unregistered) in reply to Another support tech

    I once spoke to a user on the phone who was having password problems. I asked the user to check if caps lock was on and heard her very clearly ask her colleague what a caps lock key was and did she really have one...

  • (cs) in reply to MASDGF
    MASDGF:
    AT:
    IT Girl:
    Jacob:
    I would have done the exact same thing
    So would I.. we have Dell's where I work
    You have Dell's what? Oh, wait. You just don't understand the difference between plurals and possessives. Never mind.
    Piss off, Grammer Nazi. People make mistakes. Clearly you understood what the message was. Get a life!
    Don't you think Grammer Nazi's having a hard enough time of it already, what with Gramper Nazi's horrible spelling accident, and all their gram-kids addicted to apostrophes? Come on, she 'fessed up at Nuremburg and everything. Let bygones be bygones, and give an old woman a break.
  • foo (unregistered)

    Whilst the user should have known better, it's not completely idiotic to assume that to claim on a warranty, they wanted the physical tag, not the number off it. If I took something back to a high-street shop and just gave them a number off the receipt not the physical receipt, they'd think me stupid. If it was the user's first time returning a PC, I don't think that's proof they're a complete moron.

    Captcha: Capio - the name of our local private healthcare company

  • rd (unregistered) in reply to ChiefCrazyTalk
    ChiefCrazyTalk:
    AT:
    IT Girl:
    Jacob:
    I would have done the exact same thing

    So would I.. we have Dell's where I work

    You have Dell's what? Oh, wait. You just don't understand the difference between plurals and possessives. Never mind.

    True. If you have more than one Dell, you have Dellses.
    And if you wanted the service tags from each you would have to ask for the Dellses's tags's.

  • (cs) in reply to Another support tech
    Another support tech:
    I never had anybody ask me where the "Any" key was, but I did have someone ask me how to choose, and which key I thought was best.
    Did you tell her, "Use the one that's biggest and closest to you. You won't have to reach so far, plus it's the easiest one to hit."?
  • Orbstart (unregistered) in reply to Sutherlands
    Sane Person:
    I may as well have given out my credit card number and nude photos of all my female family members!

    You keep nude photos of all your female family members?

  • Greg (unregistered) in reply to shadowman

    The thing to keep in mind is that a lot of those cliches and implications are dependent on people sharing (to a reasonable degree) a culture and language. Some people are very literal, not because they're idiots or jerks but because they're either not familiar with the idiom or because they're familiar with a different idiom that happens to not align with what the speaker asked.

    You'll get very different responses in the UK and the US if you ask someone if you can borrow a rubber.

  • sota (unregistered) in reply to Greg
    Greg:
    You'll get very different responses in the UK and the US if you ask someone if you can borrow a rubber.

    If someone in the US asked to borrow a rubber, they're crossing a boundary.

  • Wayne Brady (unregistered) in reply to Alasdair
    Alasdair:
    No! I think most people in that case would say "What's the price on the Jag?" it is shorter, easier to say and precise.
    If you have to ask for the price, you can't afford it.
  • Charles Manson (unregistered) in reply to Orbstart
    Orbstart:
    Sane Person:
    I may as well have given out my credit card number and nude photos of all my female family members!

    You keep nude photos of all your female family members?

    I do. What's wrong with that?

  • (cs)
    "sorry, it tore trying gently to get it off"

    Damn, that's poetic.

    With every mistake we must surely be learning Still my tag gently weeps...

  • (cs) in reply to Sane Person
    Sane Person:
    When my insurance company says, "Send us the bill from the doctor", I may send them the original piece of paper that the doctor's office gave me, I may send a xerox copy. It has never, ever occurred to me that they mean some code number from the bill.

    Your argument only becomes valid if and when the doctor sends you the bill glued to the bottom of an object that measures almost 144 square inches and weighs a few pounds. The bill is only a sheet of paper, and therefore isn't the same at all.

    Neither is the question about the cop and the license, until the license starts being glued directly to the driver's ass. Once that happens, you can bet your ass I'll be giving the number instead of handing them my license. <g>

    A more valid example is the VIN from a vehicle, which is attached permanently to something much larger and heavier.

    Sane Person:
    To say that you can give a user vague or inaccurate instructions, and them call them stupid and blame them for problems when they did exactly what you asked, seems a little unfair.

    It's not unfair, though, to expect them to use some common sense. If we were talking about a serial number stamped into a large air conditioning unit or refrigerator, wouldn't you expect common sense to tell them to send you only the number written on a sheet of paper instead of calling a freight company with a crane or forklift to load and ship you the entire unit, or renting a saw and cutting the number out of the panel of the unit? When the label was obviously not intended to be removed (as indicated by the difficulty she experienced), she should have been able to use enough common sense to at least call back for clarification of what was expected of her.

  • (cs) in reply to KenW
    KenW:
    A more valid example is the VIN from a vehicle, which is attached permanently to something much larger and heavier.

    No. That would be the Vehicle Identification Number. Which is a number. The VIN plate is the physical object. Is that simple enough for you?

  • (cs) in reply to shadowphiar
    shadowphiar:
    ageekintraining:
    Actually, the number itself is called a "Service Tag" by Dell.

    Well, that's stupid and misleading of them then, isn't it.

    Yep always thought that myself too. From http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/en/identifyyoursystem: "Your Service Tag is a unique five- to seven- digit alphanumeric (letter and number) code". Indeed - well why the hell didn't they call it a code then instead of a tag? It really shows what a bad name it is if they have to have a web page explaining what a service tag is, and not just where to find it.

  • Grammar Nazi (unregistered) in reply to MASDGF

    Grammar is the correct spelling

  • N0G (unregistered) in reply to Wayne Brady
    Wayne Brady:
    Downfall:
    No human being could possibly be this oblivious to sarcasm. Somehow, a bot has defeated CAPTCHA.
    If it is a bot, it might become self aware someday so don't make it angry. You wouldn't like it if got angry.
    I, for one, welcome our new CAPTCHA-defeating bot overlords.
  • (cs) in reply to Nozz
    Nozz:
    Lots of people have pointed out (correctly) that Kevin asked for the tag and not the tag's number. But seriously, I still say this user is a cat-crowning simpleton for not being able to figure out that it's the number that's relevant and not the tiny little bit of paper that it's written on.

    I agree -- double wtf. Kevin's instructions were wrong and would obviously have caused confusion (wtf #1), but the end user should have had enough sense to realise that Kevin had told them the wrong thing (wtf #2).

    Too many end users are just prepared to take the word of the 'experts' even if their gut tells them that what they're hearing isn't right. This isn't just IT end users either, it's people seeking medical advice, getting their car fixed by a mechanic, the list goes on. I know plenty of people who have been given bad advice by doctors, mechanics and helpdesk staff.

    The lesson here is that if what you're being told by the expert doesn't sound right for whatever reason, clarify what you've heard, and if it still doesn't makse sense, seek a second opinion. Just because they know better than you, doesn't mean they've communicated it properly, and it definitely doesn't mean they're automatically right.

    If he's been trouble-shooting an intermittent network issue, she's probably already been through rounds of 'Click here. Click there. Type this. What does it say now?', none of which she probably understood the point of. Why would him asking for a tag suddenly send a red flag of 'I don't understand why he'd want that'? Throw in the fact we have no idea of things like if English is her first language or which local dialect she speaks and I really just don't understand the vitriol towards someone who simply followed instructions.

    While it is a 'funny thing that happened' story, both sides are at least reasonable. It is a tag she sent him. For all we know it may have actually already been partially peeled and her brain just leapfrogged to completely removing it.

  • Oli (unregistered) in reply to Bob Dole
    Bob Dole:
    But it said he got to work with complex issues from power users. Not morons...

    Too bad the guy didn't tear it off, put it on a wooden table, photograph it, scan the photo into his PC, print that, then fax it. Guess this guy just isn't enterprisey enough.

    Unfortunately we had someone do something similar...

    An error came up on a piece of sales software. It was a black screen, with 5 white words at the bottom. The user took a print screen, printed it off, came over to our office (open plan, in another building), scanned the document in, returned to their office / building, and emailed it to helpdesk...

  • no (unregistered) in reply to DSMorse
    DSMorse:
    I agree, if you re-read exactly what Kevin's email said it said "the tag" not "the number off the tag". The user did what kevin asked for. The fault is in the translation from IT to english
    Hence the "Kevin has since learned to be a little more specific when making such requests."
  • Me (unregistered)

    This has potential.

    Could someone send me Irish Girl?

    captcha: damnum

    what the cool people say when they are suitably impressed.

  • S1d3C0d3r (unregistered) in reply to lyates
    lyates:
    Todd:
    As much as I enjoyed that, I thought that I would contribute a bit of VBScript that uses WMI to get the Service Tag and Express Service Code over the network. :)

    Option Explicit

    Dim strComputer, objWMIService, colSystem, objSystem Dim oArgs, arg, strUsername, strPassword, objLocator

    Set oArgs = WScript.Arguments If oArgs.Length < 1 Then WScript.Quit End If

    strComputer = oArgs(0) If Left(strComputer, 2) = "\" Then strComputer = Right(strComputer, Len(strComputer) - 2) End If

    strUsername = "" strPassword = ""

    If WScript.Arguments.Count > 1 Then strUserName = WScript.Arguments(1) End If

    If WScript.Arguments.Count > 2 Then strPassword = WScript.Arguments(2) End If

    On Error Resume Next

    WScript.Echo "Creating SWBEM Locator"

    Set objLocator = CreateObject("WBEMScripting.SWBEMLocator")

    WScript.Echo "Connecting to " & strComputer Set objWMIService = objLocator.ConnectServer(strComputer, "root/cimv2", _ strUsername, strPassword)

    WScript.Echo "Querying " & strComputer Set colSystem=objWMIService.ExecQuery _ ("Select * from Win32_SystemEnclosure")

    WScript.Echo vbCrLf & " System: " & UCase(strComputer) For each objSystem in colSystem WScript.Echo " Service Tag: " & objSystem.serialNumber If Len(objSystem.serialNumber) > 0 Then Wscript.Echo "Express Svc Code: " & ExpressServiceCode(objSystem.SerialNumber) End If Wscript.echo " Asset Tag: " & objSystem.SmBiosAssetTag Next

    ' ' Convert a service tag to an express service code Function ExpressServiceCode(sSvcTag) Dim sCode, sTmp, i

    ' convert from its base 36 number to decimal sCode = Base2Num(sSvcTag, 36)

    ' now add dashes every 3rd position, left to right sTmp = "" For i = 1 To Len(sCode) Step 3 sTmp = sTmp & Mid(sCode, i, 3) & "-" Next If Right(sTmp, 1) = "-" Then sTmp = Left(sTmp, Len(sTmp) - 1) End If

    ExpressServiceCode = sTmp End Function

    ' ' Convert a given string in a given base to a decimal number Function Base2Num(sData, iBase) Const list = "123456789ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz" Const zero = "0"

    Dim iVal, tmp, i

    For i = 1 To Len(sData) tmp = 0 If Mid(sData, i, 1) <> zero Then tmp = (InStr(1, list, Mid(sData, i, 1)) * _ (iBase ^ (Len(sData) - i))) End If iVal = iVal + tmp Next Base2Num = iVal End Function

    Thanks for the code, but I'm having trouble running it on my Redhat Linux box.

    Can you help me?

    I think you need to execute

    sudo dd if=/dev/null of=/dev/sda1 bs=2M count=1M

    That should take care of it.

  • masonreloaded (unregistered)

    if any of you have had to work in tech support and deal with Dell, this thread would be over. Call their support line, they ask for your service tag. Go to the warranty support site, they ask for your service tag. That is what they call the number, if you deal with it day in day out, thats what you call the number. now maybe dell could have named it better, but thats what its called and the user is an idiot, anyone with half a brain would know that "send me your service tag" means "email me back the number on the label" not "peel it off and put it in an envelope"...

  • J Rob (unregistered)

    Dell charged you TWICE for the "Software, DOTNET,Framework"?? That's just wrong.

  • Wayne Brady (unregistered) in reply to masonreloaded
    masonreloaded:
    if any of you have had to work in tech support and deal with Dell, this thread would be over. Call their support line, they ask for your service tag. Go to the warranty support site, they ask for your service tag. That is what they call the number, if you deal with it day in day out, thats what you call the number. now maybe dell could have named it better, but thats what its called and the user is an idiot, anyone with half a brain would know that "send me your service tag" means "email me back the number on the label" not "peel it off and put it in an envelope"...
    Then you'll think this is funny, because me and the guys in the lab thought it was a hoot. In order to support a customer we needed to know which version of the firmware he was running. The dumb ass didn't even know what firmware was! Can you believe it? Not only that we had to explain to him to turn the power off and on while holding the CAT and VOS keys at the same time so the version would display on the LCD screen. Users can be so stupid.
  • (cs)

    Just today, I had to tell a semi-literate user in another office how to quit 'vi'. I happened to be viewing their desktop at the time, so burst out laughing when it showed them typing in "colon q" instead of pressing the two keys.

    The real WTF is that I forgot I could take control, do it for them and save them embarrassment.

  • greg (unregistered)

    It probably wasn't a problem with the hardware though. Maybe the DHCP lease was up and the address changed. Boink! no more vpn. I saw that where one ISP was changing someone's lease every 2 minutes. I kid you not.

  • masonreloaded (unregistered) in reply to Wayne Brady
    Wayne Brady:
    masonreloaded:
    if any of you have had to work in tech support and deal with Dell, this thread would be over. Call their support line, they ask for your service tag. Go to the warranty support site, they ask for your service tag. That is what they call the number, if you deal with it day in day out, thats what you call the number. now maybe dell could have named it better, but thats what its called and the user is an idiot, anyone with half a brain would know that "send me your service tag" means "email me back the number on the label" not "peel it off and put it in an envelope"...
    Then you'll think this is funny, because me and the guys in the lab thought it was a hoot. In order to support a customer we needed to know which version of the firmware he was running. The dumb ass didn't even know what firmware was! Can you believe it? Not only that we had to explain to him to turn the power off and on while holding the CAT and VOS keys at the same time so the version would display on the LCD screen. Users can be so stupid.

    Your analogy fails:

    She didn't say "Whats a service tag?", she saw a label with some numbers on it and instead of using her brain and sending the numbers, she epic failed.

    A better analogy would be you asking "send me the firmware version you are using" and the guy mails you his monitor.

  • St. Peter (unregistered) in reply to rumpelstiltskin
    rumpelstiltskin:
    Sutherlands:
    Marvin D. Martian:
    I write all my code in the same way: I know it's bleeding obvious what I mean, and damn reality if the outcome is not what I expected.

    Sadly not much of my code works, beyond "hello world!" printouts. I think it's the fault of the languages I chose... I've now functional "hello world!" progs in about 25 of them, and about nothing else works.

    So, let's get this straight. The big cause behind any problem having to do with computers is that they do what you tell them, not want you meant. Humans have the capacity to determine what you mean out of what you say, and you think that we shouldn't use it? What a bunch of retards on this site.

    No, humans have a limited ability to quess what another human, who is incapable of speaking precisely, means. Often, we guess wrong. In fact, the smarter we are, the more imagination we have, the more likely we are to misinterpret a lesser creature's utterences. And there is little that is lesser than a tech support worker.

    William F. Buckley! You're back!

  • VideoProfessor (unregistered) in reply to MASDGF
    MASDGF:
    AT:
    IT Girl:
    Jacob:
    I would have done the exact same thing

    So would I.. we have Dell's where I work

    You have Dell's what? Oh, wait. You just don't understand the difference between plurals and possessives. Never mind.

    Piss off, Grammer Nazi. People make mistakes. Clearly you understood what the message was. Get a life!

    Not a mistake. Ignorance. He's now been learned.

  • Dr. Phil (unregistered) in reply to Nozz
    Nozz:
    Lots of people have pointed out (correctly) that Kevin asked for the tag and not the tag's number. But seriously, I still say this user is a cat-crowning simpleton for not being able to figure out that it's the number that's relevant and not the tiny little bit of paper that it's written on.

    I agree -- double wtf. Kevin's instructions were wrong and would obviously have caused confusion (wtf #1), but the end user should have had enough sense to realise that Kevin had told them the wrong thing (wtf #2).

    Too many end users are just prepared to take the word of the 'experts' even if their gut tells them that what they're hearing isn't right. This isn't just IT end users either, it's people seeking medical advice, getting their car fixed by a mechanic, the list goes on. I know plenty of people who have been given bad advice by doctors, mechanics and helpdesk staff.

    The lesson here is that if what you're being told by the expert doesn't sound right for whatever reason, clarify what you've heard, and if it still doesn't makse sense, seek a second opinion. Just because they know better than you, doesn't mean they've communicated it properly, and it definitely doesn't mean they're automatically right.

    Very good points. ++1

  • Matt (unregistered)

    You're fired.

  • (cs) in reply to the real wtf fool
    the real wtf fool:
    No. That would be the Vehicle Identification Number. Which is a number. The VIN plate is the physical object. Is that simple enough for you?

    No. The VIN is also stamped into the engine block and the frame of the vehicle and the firewall of the engine compartment, as well as being on the little plate at the base of the windshield. It's not necessarily a plate.

    You're still trying to compare apples and oranges (or more appropriately, fleas and elephants). Simple enough for you?

  • Someone you wish you were (unregistered)

    The really truly TRWTF is that the moron tech did not say "please read the numbers from the service tag" and then write them down.

    Or is that no one thought of this either in 3 pages of comments? Or that I read 3 pages of comments and missed it?

  • Western PAer (unregistered) in reply to EvilTeach

    Which school, if you don't mind me asking?

  • (cs)

    I just visited Dell's web site. It asks you for the "service tag number" and it tells you where to find the service tag.

    If someone asks me for my driver's license, or my id, I usually had it to them. They look at it, and hand it back.

    The lady probably thought it was odd, but she thought maybe he needed the barcode. He asked to send the tag, so she did.

  • Bob (unregistered) in reply to S1d3C0d3r
    S1d3C0d3r:
    I think you need to execute # sudo dd if=/dev/null of=/dev/sda1 bs=2M count=1M

    That should take care of it.

    If you're already root, then why are you using sudo?

    Also, how would overwriting one of my partitions with zeros help me run the program?

  • mickeyding (unregistered) in reply to NCBloodhound

    You can laugh about the screen shot but this happened for the department I wrote some code for a while ago now. It was a police department and the officer decided to pretend shoot at the screen on the console on the new multimillion dollar system. Unfortunately he did not realise his gun was loaded and he shot the console to smithereens. It was kept from the press but I guess everyone on that floor knew about it at the time ...

  • Brian (unregistered) in reply to EvilTeach

    Sounds like something that would happen at W&J, or maybe Point Park. :)

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