Customer: Where are you located? Me: I'm in Ontario, Canada. Customer: Oh wow! What time is it where you are? Me: Same time as you... almost 2:30am Customer: Oh wow! That is so weird. I mean, California is a few hours earlier. Me: Ontario is directly North of New York State. Customer: Yeah, so weird. California is way earlier!
Background: The customer (who will be known as "Crackpot" from here on in) is experiencing some sort of weird activity on his computer... probably virus or spyware related and "SomeGuy" is going to be fixing it for him. Crackpot doesn't know who SomeGuy is and I'm the first person he's spoken to on the telephone since this issue started.
Things Crackpot told me: - SomeGuy is fixing his computer online. He told him NOT to touch the computer and wait for him to post a message on his screen that it was fixed. So naturally, Crackpot didn't touch the computer, he only unplugged the modem. - Crackpot has spent 4 days without sleep sitting near his computer that didn't have Internet access waiting for a message from SomeGuy. He didn't want to wait anymore so he called me to help. - Crackpot built his own computer, so there is no manufacturer to refer him to.
What his computer is doing: - The Yahoo Messenger icon (who will be known as Mr. Smiley from here on in) has turned evil. - Mr. Smiley removed himself from the system tray and is holding his computer hostage. - Mr. Smiley started to get red dots all over his face like he had the measels then he turned purple and started smoking cigarettes. - Mr. Smiley finally stopped smoking and started to have a nic-fit. During this time he threatened to kill Crackpot if he turned off his computer. Mr. Smiley also threatened to delete everything off of his computer if he shut it down. - 4 windows with glass doors appeared on the screen, Mr. Smiley ran into one and the guy locked him behind the door. "SomeWoman" (?) told him not to let Mr. Smiley out from behind the glass door or else! - Crackpot accidentily let Mr. Smiley out of the locked door and he ran around threatening to kill him again. - Mr. Smiley got tired, turned into a LittleMan and started sleeping in the system tray. Clicking on LittleMan doesn't make him wake up, it only makes him turn into a giant M for a few moments then return back to sleep.
So I did what every tech would do... I referred him to Microsoft!!!! Perhaps if they reload Windows he'll stop being attacked by Y!Messenger icons that have turned into a life of crime.
(x-posted to my regular journal, this one is too good to pass up!
Customer - Yeah, I'm having a problem. When I'm at work I can't ping my home computer. Me - Do you have any firewall software on your computer? Customer - Yeah Me - Do you have a router? Customer - Yeah Me - Well, that's what is stopping you sir. Your security hardware/software is not allowing you to ping your computer. Customer - Well, that's ridiculous! Why would it stop me from pinging my own computer? Other people can't ping my computer either! This service is crap!
I have some moron sitting behind me now. I'm ready to poke my eyes out listening to him talk to customers. Today, however, was an exception. I couldn't stop laughing. Of course.. I could only hear one side of the conversation but it went like this.
Tech: Who manufacturered your labtop? Customer: ???? Tech (in a slightly bitchy tone): Ummm... no sir, that's LAB TOP... L-A-B-T-O-P!!!
After that point, I had pepsi coming out my nose (from laughing so hard) and I missed the rest of the conversation. I'm sure it was a great one.
Most of the time I love my name. I'd say I get 2 or 3 comments on my name at work per shift. It doesn't usually bug me. Generally it's a quick "nice name" and then it's on with the call, never to be brought up again until I'm forced to say it at the end of the call.
Tonight was the exception. It was late and we were getting our regular sporadic calls from a certian southern division. (Note: Jim the simplify guy must die!)
So, I say my normal blah blah that includes my name and the hick-ish guy on the other end says in a thick Southern accent...
... Are you the teeeenage wiiiitch?
Me - No, sorry. *insert courteous laughter* I haven't been a teenager for awhile now. How can I help you? Hick - Well. I was gonna ask ya to help me with mah problem but can't ya just wave yer wand and fix mah problem? Me - *insert more courteous laughter* Sorry sir, I don't have any powers. We'll have to do this the old fashioned way. Hick - Okay there Witchie, Mah Iternet is not workin'
So we ended up having to unplug his modem and restart his computer. He makes a couple comments about me working "mah magic powas" during the recycle. BAM! He was back online. Good short call! *whew* Then he comes out with the big one...
I play this game similar to Neopets. It keeps me busy at work and has become my little obsession. I was chatting on their public boards when someone posted something. Names are removed to protect the stupid and all grammar/spelling is left intact.
ID10T wrote: if ur computer is eva slow....guess wat u shud do? You shud hug it or reset it.I am a Computer expert.... I respond: If it's slow, run a spyware scanner. Hugging it won't help.
I check the profile of ID10T.... "I am a computer skill person. I help people with computers if they have problems."
Then... I receive a private message from ID10T...
Subject: Spyware Message: That is a bad virus it gets all of ur passwords and hacks into them....you cannot get spyware out of you computer system.This is a WARNING to tell you spyware is damageing ur computer.Do not reply to this eamil if it's important.
So, I respond...
Subject: RE: Spyware Message: What are you talking about?
Spyware is not a virus. It is marketing tools designed to spy on surfing habits and pop up advertisements based on keywords and websites you use during surfing. There are very very few spyware programs that transfer personal information, although they are out there.
Spyware is also pretty easy to remove if you know how and have the knowledge to replace the files it modifies.
You posted about computers being slow.. I said the main reason computers are slow is because of spyware, which is true.
Of course, you are all expecting an intelligent answer...
Subject: RE: Spyware Message: How come i cannot remove mine?it's a virus pplz liten to me.
I can't leave things go...
Subject: RE: Spyware Message: You need the correct tools, like a spyware scanner to completely remove spyware from your system.
If you have a virus, then it can be cleaned with a virus scanner. Spyware needs to be cleaned with a spyware scanner because they are two different things.
Now Dad is pretty new to computers but he's doing pretty good. He can follow directions. Perhaps it may be easier for me to teach him (versus the people I speak to at work) because I know the right things to say to him to get whatever he wants done.
He wanted to change his resolution tonight. He's been on 800x600 for awhile and he's finding it a pain in the ass to scroll on some websites because 1024x768 is becoming the standard. So, I help him out...
Me - Okay, now right-click on your desktop. Dad - Desktop? All I see is My Computer, Recycle Bin, etc, etc... Me - See that picture of the chick in a bikini? Right-click on her ass!
1) You have a term paper due tomorrow. It's not my fault you left it until the last minute. 2) You have to send an e-mail to your mother. Call her on the fucking phone. 3) Your service has been out 2 weeks and this is your first call. 4) You live in a trailer and have 5 kids. Nice to see cable internet is one of your top financial priorities. 5) You are in the middle of an in-depth conversation with your buddy on IM. You called me so pay attention! 6) You run an alternative OS, just don't expect any help with it. 7) Your AOL browser doesn't work. Are you that much of a fucking moron that you pay for 2 ISPs willingly? 8) Your computer won't start up. Stop calling me for issues that have nothing to do with me. 9) Your area is on tornado watch and you can't connect. Shouldn't you be hiding somewhere or getting the fuck out of there? 10) Your computer knowledge is lacking. Take a course, we provide you with Internet service, not a 24 hour "teach me how to use a computer" centre.
This guy calls in with a simple connection issue. He is unable to connect to the Internet. Great, no outages in his area so it's probably going to be a simple "reset the modem" call.. yippie. Then he drops the bomb....
"I'm a Network Engineer"
I'm thinking oh great... either he's going to tell me EXACTLY what's wrong with the service or he's going to be a fucking dumbass who thinks he's the king of the IT world. He was the dumbass.
It starts with me finding out he isn't having problems with his connection. His connection is working absolutely fine. It's only when he has his router connected that he's unable to surf. We didn't supply your router, we don't support routers. Call your router manufacturer or check your settings. Have a nice day.
He didn't like that answer too much. Apparently since he works for Cisco he has enough knowledge to know it's not his configuration. Of course, it was "working yesterday" so it couldn't possibly be damaged in any way. It has to be our servers rejecting him. He started spewing a bunch of shit trying to prove how much knowledge he has... "Blah, blah, blah. I'm running a WAN, that's WIDE AREA NETWORK! Blah, blah, blah.. I have a NAT, that's NETWORK ADDRESS TRANSLATION! Blah, blah, blah..."
He left my phone but had to tell me first that he was going to download a packet sniffer to prove me wrong... that his router just didn't "stop working".
Personally, I don't give a shit if he's to blame or he proves me wrong... we don't support your shitty Netgear router anyway.
Customer - I can't access the Internet. I'm unplugging my modem right now. Me - ok then. We'll see if that gets your connection back. Customer - Okay. It's plugged back in.
(wait for lights to come back)
Me - I see your modem is connected now... before it wasn't. Customer - Whatever *that* means in your computer lingo!!!
Ummmm..... He used the word "modem" in the first sentence so I know it's not that word that he is having the problem with. The next largest word is "connected"...
con·nect (k-nkt) v. con·nect·ed, con·nect·ing, con·nects v. tr. To join or fasten together. To associate or consider as related: no reason to connect the two events. See Synonyms at join. To join to or by means of a communications circuit: Please connect me to the number in San Diego. Her computer is connected to the Internet. To plug in (an electrical cord or device) to an outlet.
Typical last call... 3:45am... The customer can't connect to the Internet. Windows ME. Modem is online and it can ping by URL and IP.
The customer is obviously very frazzled. I can hear it in her voice. She's got that "anxiety attack" voice going on like she just ran Daddy's porsche into a ravine and he's going to beat her ass when she gets home. She's actually hitting the NUMBER KEYS as she's speaking because she's so frazzled. "*beep* I'm not *beep* to get *beep*..net." I tried calming her down. Assuring her we would see what was causing her problem, blah, blah, more mumbo jumbo bullshit. She just kept going on. This was speakerphone material and everyone around me got a kick out of my pain!
She was freaking out about the time it would take to solve her problem... "You aren't going to take forever are you?" and I'm thinking "Depends how much of a dumbass you are!". She just kept repeating that she was missing sleep and that she should be in bed and it always takes forever and begging me not to take a long time. She asked me to promise her I could solve her problem in 90 seconds and in 2 steps. Over and over. Over and over. Let me talk bitch!!! She wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise so I just started talking over her...
"Look Ma'am.. your modem is online. I can access webpages from YOUR MODEM. So there is something wrong on your computer. I don't know what is wrong at this point. It may take more than 90 seconds. I cannot promise anything"
*insert crying* Yeah.. she actually started crying.
Almost 10 minutes into the call I said to her "we've been on the phone for 10 minutes. I could have had most of my troubleshooting done by now". That is kind of a lie, because anyone running Windows ME most likely has a super old bloated piece of shit computer filled with spyware.
She said "I just need to get this done" and I said "okay... lets get this done... Click Start and Run". Then she paused, took a breath and started freaking out again. I was very pissed off by this point and started repeating "Click Start then Run". The 6th time it came out of my mouth I gave up. There was no way to help this woman.
Now she's just wasting her time and my time so I say.. "Well, if you don't want to do any steps I can't help you." Another pause. I expected more tears but no. She apoligized and said I was very nice but she was too worked up to do any more troubleshooting. More troubleshooting? All I managed to get out of her was her phone number and the fact that she is running Windows ME!!!
I wrote down her number and I'll check it tomorrow night to see if she called back.
Me - Do you have a dot beside Obtain an IP address automatically? Customer - huh? Me - Do you have a dot beside Obtain an IP address automatically? Customer - wha? Me - Do you have a dot beside Obtain an IP address automatically? Customer - huh? Me - Do you see Obtain an IP address automatically? Customer - no. Me - What do you see? Customer - It says "Obtain an IP address automatically." Me - Ok, is there a dot beside it? Customer - yes. It also says 152.x.x.x Me - Do you have a dot beside "Use the Following IP address?" Customer - yes Me - Which dot is filled in? Customer - both of them Me - They can't both be filled. It's impossible. Can you click on the dot beside "obtain an IP address automatically"? Customer - Ok. Me - is the dot filled in now? Customer - What dot? Me - the dot beside "Obtain an IP address automatically" Customer - there is already a dot there! Me - is the dot filled in? Customer - how can I tell? Me - Is there one big circle or a dot inside of a big circle? Customer - how big should the circle be? Me - They are all the same size. Do you have a solid dot with a circle around it or just a circle? Customer - just a circle Me - click on it. Is there a dot inside there now? Customer - yes. Me - Great! Now do you have a dot beside Obtain DNS server address automatically? Customer - huh? Me - Do you have a dot beside Obtain DNS server address automatically? Customer - what?
Win 2000 was the first OS on this computer (FAT32), but after a bad run in with Partition Magic Pro I was forced to reformat/reinstall. Thing is, 2000 won't go back on and freezes at the first hardware detection during the setup process "Windows is now detecting your plug and play devices, etc"
I've swapped out everything swappable (video, memory, hd) and removed everything non critical (sound, nic, modem, USB 2.0, extra hd) yet the same issue is happening. I've also replaced IDE cables, tried 3 separate hard drives (and have successful 98 first edition and second edition installs on each), ran diagnostics on my RAM, checked the voltage of my power supply and ensured that everything was seated correctly on the motherboard.
I thought perhaps it was my CD, but I borrowed copies from friends (tried the 2000 upgrade from Win 98 (FE and SE) and full 2000 version) with the same results.
I have a feeling it's my motherboard (MSI 645E Max-U) or my processor (Intel Celly 2.0ghz) but I want to explore all other options before replacing them.
I'm submitting myself as an idiot today. In my quest to get Windows 2000 back on my machine I decided to convert the drive to NTFS to see if that made a difference in the install process. I was yapping to some people online and they were wondering why the hell I wanted it as FAT32 anyway. I just kept it that way because it is what I'm used to. So... I converted...
There's one thing I forgot about NTFS though... ntfs to fat32 conversion if the install fucked. So, Murphy's Law, it didn't go back on... still froze at the initial hardware detection. I had a full copy of Win98 on my slave so I just shut the fucker down, swapped hard drives (yay jumpers!) and booted back up.
Now here I sit with half the drive space I'm used to. I Google (like everyone should do)! I read something about Partition Magic converting the drive. I had a copy of Partition Magic Pro 7.0 sitting there *BAM* on the drive. I'm in luck it seems, Murphy hasn't brought me down! Or so I thought...
PMP has booted.. it recognizes the drive as NTFS! YAY! Error #1516 Partition Improperly Dismounted. Error #983 Too many errors found, process halted Oops! The help says consult the online help. Wow, there's a fix for it. Just run chkdsk on the drive from Windows 2000 or better.
I'm on Windows 98 right now. If I could get to Windows 2000 or better I wouldn't be having this problem!!!
I reset a customer's password so she wanted to change it to something her husband would be able to remember. She had a little difficulty choosing a password that surpassed our 8+ character requirement. She turned to her son for advice.
Customer: What should I set your father's password to? Son (in a stereotypical "gay" voice): I dunno. How about [last name]? Customer: That's too easy to guess. It has to be something he will remember. Son (in a catty bitchy tone): How about HOMOPHOBIC?
Customer: Where are you located? Me: I'm in Ontario, Canada. Customer: Are you Canadian? Me: Yes I am. Customer: Wow. You speak REALLY good English for a Canadian. Me: Well, thank you but it's the only language I speak. Customer: I thought ya'll spoke FRENCH up there.