While users in need of help provide our support pros with their only job security, there are many days when you just have to laugh at the ridiculous assumptions users make, or the messes in which they find themselves. As TechRepublic member eBob puts it, we’re talking about:

  • The classic about the user who thought the CD-ROM drive was actually just a cup holder
  • The user who consistently refers to the screen as “the computer”, even after you’ve corrected him/her/it several times
  • The remote user pointing at “something” on the screen while talking to the Helpdesk on the phone and saying: “That thing, right ‘there’!”

We’ve gathered the best of the “dumb user” stories we’ve received from our members over the last few years. Download it today and keep it handy for a moment when you really need to laugh. And, to get you in the mood, here are a couple of funnies from our members that didn’t make it into the download:

Chasing the mouse
One of my favorite stories is the one of a training session for various levels of staff and management. One senior manager called the trainer over, complaining about having problems controlling the cursor with the mouse.

“I can get it to go left and right (moves mouse side to side on the table) but I can’t get it to go up and down (waves mouse up and down in front of the monitor.)”

Sticky situation
I haven’t personally experienced anything really silly, but one incident sticks in my mind: I was called out to a department’s brand, spanking new LaserJet 4 that had developed “problems.” This was when there were still a few typewriters around (am I dating myself?) and they got used regularly for labels. So the printer was gummed up—but good—with non-laser-proof labels. I dug what I could out of it, then had to call a technician from a service company.

After the cleanup, the tech explained patiently but emphatically to the lady that she should only use laser-ready labels. Then he leaves and I explain patiently but emphatically that she should only use laser-ready labels.

I get back to my desk just in time to get her call. She’s got labels clogging up the printer again. Elapsed time: less than ten minutes.

Turn the tables: Do you have a funny faux pas to share?

It’s time to laugh at ourselves. Do you think you have the ultimate “stupid tech” story? What’s the funniest mistake you’ve ever seen an “expert” make? Share them in the discussion below or send them via e-mail.