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Video: The Truth About Tech Support


An oldie but goody from the 2000 Comedy Arts Festival: The inside scoop on Internet tech support. Includes the definition of a "12 O'clock Flasher," the ultimate Plan B for home user support, and the real reason people buy iMacs.

About

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

7 comments
daveo2000
daveo2000

I used to be the tech support group in a University. One day I got a call from a pleasant older professor and his assisstant to see if I could help install MS Word on his computer. This was back when Word fit on four 5-1/4" floppies (yes, a while ago). If you don't remember these, they came in a black plastic envelopes and the media showed through a radial slot and the hub was a 1" hole, often with a reinforcing ring to prevent tears. The envelope was then in a sleeve, just like the paper ones used for CDs. I got to his office and the assisstant handed me the 4 floppies in their sleeves. I put the first one in the drive and tried to look at a directory of it. No dice. The second, third and fourth were fine, just the first. I then examined the actual floppies. It was then I noticed that only the first one didn't have a reinforcing ring on it. No, wait... It did have one, but it was on the [b]other side[/b]. It seems that the professor read the instructions that said "take the floppy out of the sleeve" and thought it meant "out of the envelope". The plastic welds on the side of the first floppy had been broken and he had taken the media out and inserted it in the drive. Since that didn't work, he called me to fix the deal. I took the media out, flipped it over and taped the side of the envelope. Then, as if by magic, the installation went fine.

jketterer
jketterer

I used to be that tech. I worked as tech support for the @Home service. I walked a blind guy through his nic configuration on win98. And had someone call me and tell me that their monitor was telling them that they had "no signal" therefore they could not get online.

jeffbuzhardt
jeffbuzhardt

Way back when (at the turn of the century), our Network Admin distributed this to the IT staff. Every once in awhile, I'll try to find it, always without success. When I received my TR email this AM, I was out of my office, so I was unable to watch the video on my handheld. I told my wife that this may be the grail I've been hunting. When I finally made it back home, this was the first thing I checked. This has made my weekend!

jketterer
jketterer

I saw another version of this, where he was actually sitting at a desk, and training a new tech. I think it was on the deadtroll website.

sylviasdesigns
sylviasdesigns

This was just too funny and so true, I guess. I would be the person on the other end and never thought about how those guys must feel trying to solve a problem. Of course I know a lot more than that guy did. I hate calling tech support, but I guess they hate us calling. Anyway, I sure enjoyed this! It made my day! Best Regards, Sylvia

daveo2000
daveo2000

Long ago, in galaxy far, far away, tech support personnel were more technically knowledgeable that practically any caller. The tides have turned. Many of the callers have become more technically aware but nearly ALL of the first line tech support folks are now made up of the people that used to be the worst callers. Can you read a script? Can you ask the same question until you get an answer that matches one of the 4 options on the screen in front of you? If so, then you, too, can be a tech support telephone help desk person for a large corporation. (No, this doesn't include the folks in the related TR thread of several months ago).

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