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    Rants and Raves    
    This is where I used to vent my frustrations so that I could be happy happy nice nice all the time in real life without my head exploding. Although I don't do tech support anymore and no longer have to deal with this personally (does family count? ;) I left it up for posterity so that you could get a laugh out of it.    

12-13-01 - You Must Be At Least This Smart To Ride The Internet...

Welcome to my first official rant. Most of the time I love my job. My co-workers are pleasant, smart, and fun, and the perks are decent. But sometimes... well, sometimes the clientele are enough to try a person's patience. A very wise person said "This job would be great if it wasn't for the (censored) customers".. After 6 years of interacting with the general public, I'm starting to agree. What (I assume) are normally intelligent, rational people seem to turn into insane, blathering idiots as soon as they turn on the computer. Most calls are (thankfully) your run of the mill questions, comments, and technical issues. Some of the callers, however, are straight from the twilight zone.

Submitted for your entertainment: some of the calls we have nightmares about.

"I'm calling to tell you that your internet service is broken. I can't connect to your server. I keep getting this error message.. It says "no dial tone. Check to make sure your phone line is plugged in". I demand a credit for my inconvenience. What? Have I checked to make sure that my phone line is plugged in? Do you think I'm an idiot? Of course it's plugged in. Oh... wait. I only have one phone line and it's currently plugged into my telephone... So you're saying that to get on the internet, I have to plug the phone line into my computer instead? No one ever told me that when I signed up.. I still think I should get a free year of service for this. I'm switching to AOL. Your service really sucks. You're all stupid. *Click*

We also get our fair share of "what do you mean you changed my password because I haven't paid for service for the past 4 months or responded to your 3 emails, 2 certified letters and 6 phone calls? You can't do that! I'll call the better business bureau! I'm calling my lawyer! This better not go on my credit report! What are you going to give me free for my inconvenience? Why should I pay you for the internet when I could just go to a free service? Don't you know that the customer is always right? I demand to speak to your supervisor! I'll have your job. I can't believe you can get away with charging these outrageous prices. The only reason I'm not using a free ISP is that they're always broken/busy. I'm an important person. I have important email to get and I trade stocks online. I don't have time for this. When will my account be turned back on anyways?".. and ad nauseam.(10 million sperm, and *you* were the fastest?)

And tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow (creeps in this petty pace from day to day...oh..sorry.), I will take 70-90 more calls, and speak to more bizarre, reality-challenged people than you can shake a stick at. But I will _not_ beat my head against my cubicle wall. At least, not much.

1-03-01 - You Know You're In For A Fun Call When....

I love it when people try to sound "computer savvy" or call screaming because they're frustrated, rather than just admitting they don't know what the heck they're talking about and asking for help. I mean, if you're calling to ask for help, isn't it a good idea to be nice to the person who's trying to help you and answer their questions? This is just a small sample of the strange things we hear each day...

1.) "And how much time do you get with your UNLIMITED TIME PLAN?" (after you just got done explaining that there are two plans to choose from: 10 hours a month, or UNLIMITED TIME each month)..

2.) "I had to reboot my whole monitor. Now I need to reload your browser settings in my desktop." *(in case you don't speak gibberish, the translation is that they had to REFORMAT their HARD DRIVE, and therefore needed to reconfigure Dial-Up Networking. Presumably, no monitors were actually harmed.)

3.) One gentleman was trying to describe why he was quitting his old service and coming to ours.. in his own words, "AOL crashed my floppy drive and It was illegal. I don't want to get in to trouble... " *(translation: he had an illegal operation error and his HARD drive crashed. Rather than just rebooting and trying again, he gave up and blamed the software, which he thought had literally done something illegal. This happened more times than I can count. Come on people - do you really think that an illegal operation error means that the police have been notified and are on their way? If so, you probably just forgot to take your medication today.)

4.) along the same lines as number 3, I once had a woman call who was getting illegal operation errors every time she tried to do anything. She was livid. screaming. saying that she hadn't done anything wrong and that we were going to be in big trouble when the cops got there because she would tell them that our software was what had caused the illegal behavior by her computer. She refused to believe that it was a simple error message and that no cops would be coming to haul her away. she went on like this for 30 minute before I could calm her down and speak to her as a human being and not some crazed-foaming-at-the-mouth, semi-retarded lunatic. It turns out that she had re-installed windows on top of itself without first formatting the drive - 4 TIMES! Even after explaining what the message meant and how she could fix it, she still maintained that "the internet" was to blame as though it was some malicious entity that had a personal vendetta against her. She demanded that we fix our software (which most of our 500,000+ customers had no problems with).. She also demanded a free year of service and alot of other rediculous things. I guess there's really no kind way to tell someone that their only problems are "user error" and sub-par computer skills. That, and it would get you fired if you did. But I have to ask. why would anyone call a highly paid, skilled professional for help and then refuse to listen or follow detailed directions about how to fix the problem? Why would you call someone for help, and then scream and talk over that person the entire time and refuse to answer questions that would let them help you? What possesses people to be so rude, disrespectful, and childish? Why do grown adults think that it's acceptable to throw temper tantrums that would put a 2 year old's worst fit to shame? Do they treat everyone they encounter in life like that, or just random captive-audience customer service people who are forced to treat them like human beings and take their abuse? It makes no sense. my faith in humanity is really starting to waver.

If this wasn't my real life, it might be amusing.

1-07-01 - How Was My Day? This Pretty Much Says It All

1-13-01 - Error 691 - The username and password you have supplied is incorrect on the domain.

1. Verify the UN and PASS is correct. Correct case, correct spacing. Make sure you specify CASE several times. Eventually they will understand that they need to stop typing with CAPS LOCK on.

2. Nuke the .pwl files. Try to describe how to search for these files on whatever OS they're running while they yell at the dog, answer the other phone line and leave you on hold for 10 minutes, click the wrong thing 5 times in a row, hit cancel just as you find what you were looking for, and thusly have to start all over again. Make several attempts at this before beating your head against the desk in frustration.

3. Reboot. Explain in great detail that no, turning the monitor off is not the same as rebooting your computer. Tell them this several times, each time in smaller words, because they don't understand a word you're saying, and they don't particularly care either. Explain the difference between the monitor and the computer, which they thought was "the weird box that came with the computer" and were using as nick-knack shelf. Then, wait 10 minutes for their secondhand 486 to reboot. Listen to kids screaming bloody murder in the background. Listen to parents scream at said children at an eardrum shattering volume (directly in your ear) and hit mute so you can howl in pain without appearing rude to the customer.

4. After you've hung up, run to the lunchroom with your hands over your ears, whimpering, and try to slit your wrists with any plastic utensils you can find to ease some of the pain that the last call caused you. *hint*: this is why most cafeteria's have only sporks. You may have to fight several of your coworkers for that spork, because they've all just had the same kind of call.

5. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

1-14-01 - We have enough youth. How about a fountain of smart?

1-20-01 - Some Common Technical Abbreviations explained

RTFM - Read the Freaking Manual

PEBCAC - Problem Exists Between Computer and Chair

PEBCAK - Problem Exists Between Computer and Keyboard

WTF - What the F$%K

LMAO - Laughing My A$$ Off

ROFL - Rolling on the Floor Laughing


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