When Support Republic started the “Dumb User” contest in 1999, we received an overwhelming response. TechRepublic members inundated us with stories of end users who just didn't have a clue. Download the entire list of 1999 Dumb User stories here. In August of this year, we once again began the search for the best dumb user stories of 2000, and since then, we have received over 1,000 entries from around the globe. However, I have always been told, “don’t make fun of others if you can’t poke fun at yourself.” In keeping with this principle and to show that we’re all good sports, I’m calling for TechRepublic members to submit their entries for the 2001 “Dumb Tech” awards.
A sample of things to come
To get you started, here are two stories about support techs who should have known better, but obviously didn’t. These gems come from TechRepublic contributor and British super tech Jeff Dray. Enjoy!
I wish I’d never said that
One of our people was thanked for excellent service and, being a typically reserved Briton, she said, "No problem, call any time." Unfortunately, the tech had used her personal mobile phone during the call and now receives calls at all hours of the day and night making inquiries about the most trivial matters.
I’m sorry, but I wasn’t listening
Caller: "I'm sending faxes using (a certain software package) via my mobile phone, but I can't receive faxes. The phone rings as though it was a normal voice call."
Help desk: "I'm sorry but that software can't be used for mobile faxing."
Caller: "But I'm already using it to send faxes! It just won’t receive. Don't you listen?"
Can you nominate yourself or someone else (anonymously, of course) for the "Dumb Tech" award? E-mail me your story. If your story is picked as one of the top 10, you’ll win a TechRepublic T-shirt!
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.