Technical Guffaws and (Heaven Forbid) Cussin’

With my little white Macbook in hand, I sat on the couch this morning and roared with laughter as I read from this site. It dramatically reminded me of the hilarious piece I previously wrote about our computer problems and what I came to refer to as “Jerry and his sweet India girls.” It’s a hoot, I promise.

“On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.”
— Charles Babbage (1791-1871)

From Computer Stupidities

The following is a large collection of stories and anecdotes about clueless computer users. It’s a baffling phenomenon that in today’s society an individual, who might in other circumstances be considered smart and wise, can sit down in front of a computer screen and instantly lose every last shred of common sense he ever possessed. Complicate this phenomenon with a case of “computerphobia,” and you end up with tech support personnel having phone conversations that are funny in retrospect but seem like perfectly valid motives for wild machine gun shooting sprees at the time. You will read stories in this file that will convince you that among the human race are human-shaped artichokes futilely attempting to break the highly regarded social convention that vegetables should not operate electronic equipment. And yet, amidst the vast, surging quantities of stupidity are perfectly excusable technological mishaps — but that are amusing nonetheless. After all, even the best of us engages in a little brainless folly every once in a while.

Most of these stories are true. Some happened to me personally. Some happened to friends of mine. Some are considered urban legends, but even most of these are more likely to have happened in some form or another than not. Skeptics look at such stories and doubt their truth. But reason, common sense, and experience tell me that if you sit someone who isn’t computer literate (even a smart someone) down in front of a computer, you’re bound to accrue anecdotes no less outrageous than these. You’d be surprised.

* Tech Support: “Type ‘fix’ with an ‘f’.”
* Customer: “Is that ‘f’ as in ‘fix’?”

* Customer: “How do you spell ‘Internet America’? Is there a space between ‘inter’ and ‘net’?”
* Tech Support: “No space between ‘inter’ and ‘net’. It’s spelled normally.”
* Customer: “Ok. A-M-E-R-I-C-K?”
* Tech Support: “That’s A-M-E-R-I-C-A.”
* Customer: “I-C-K???”
* Tech Support: “‘A’ as in apple”
* Customer: “There’s no ‘K’ in apple!”

* Customer: “I was printing something.”
* Tech Support: “From before you called?”
* Customer: “No, from Word.”

* Tech Support: “Where in the building is your printer located?”
* Customer: “Middle of my desk.”
* Tech Support: “If I have to give someone directions, where do I tell them to go?”
* Customer: “In the middle of my desk where I work.”

I wish you a happy day; free of computer viruses, worms, horses, and from less than savvy people. 🙂

11 thoughts on “Technical Guffaws and (Heaven Forbid) Cussin’

  1. M.H

    I used to work internet support, held that job for over 4 years before it was moved over seas so can certainly relate to your humorous stories here. You are 100% right on when I was on the call I did not find it funny but looking back when not under stress yes I dealt with some interesting issues.

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  2. Esther

    I’m not kidding about the Court house. They do everything by hand. Just as an example, it was 1 1/2 years before our house/land taxes were finally put in our name. The blame was the little man in the “Title” department who forgot to do something or other. Anyway, they don’t trust computers. Now, the library does have computers but we are with AOL and AOL does not have fast speed connection here in Columbia. And, even if they did, it would be a hassle to go to the library and pay to get on line every day. Oh well, its really “a trip” living here. Everyone needs to try it for awhile so they can appreciate the things they have going for them. As a side note: The taxes thing: We don’t pay any taxes at all, not state, city, county. They have a “Senior Citizens” exemption. Guess some things pay to be a senior. Ha!

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  3. Sister Buxton,

    Here is the Dr. Seuss version of technical support: (It is somewhat long, so I apologize in advance for taking up so much room!)

    If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port, and the bus is interrupted at a very last resort,

    and the access of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,

    then the socket packet pocket has an error to report.

    If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,

    and the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,

    and your data is corrupted cause the index doesn’t hash,

    then your situation’s hopeless and your system’s gonna crash!

    If the label on the cable on the table at your house,

    says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,

    but your packets want to tunnel to another protocol,

    that’s repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall……

    And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss,

    so your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse;

    then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,

    ‘cuz sure as I’m a poet, the sucker’s gonna hang.

    When the copy on your floppy’s getting sloppy in the disk,

    and the macro code instructions is causing unnecessary risk,

    then you’ll have to flash the memory and you’ll want to RAM your ROM,

    and then quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your Mom!

    Well, that certainly clears things up for me. How about you?

    -Author Unknown

    Love it. Thank you.

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  4. Esther

    Sis. Buxton, our Court house doesn’t even have computers. That should let you know how behind the times this place is. There are good things about it too though. When our ship finally comes in we want to get all new equipment and updated to the latest. Then we will even be ahead of the Columbia, Mississippi court house. For example: I got a summons for Jury duty today, I called the number they gave and talked to guy named Jessie. I told him my age and health condition (which is not really very bad) and he said for me to just toss out the papers and don’t worry about it. That’s how things are done here. Anyone want to move? Lots of really cute houses for under $100,000.

    Surely, you jest. Are you saying in all honesty that the court house and the library don’t have computers?

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  5. Esther

    I bet no one has to do what we do to get on line. Keep in mind that we live in a small town with only one dial-up phone line. To get wireless you have to have an expensive disk installed. And some box of somekind ???? Anyway, back to the way we get online.
    1. Click the AOL icon.
    2. Wait until it comes up (and wait and wait) then click on add phone lines.
    3. Click on any of the phone lines (they are all long distance) then
    4. click on connecting and wait for the operator to come on and tell you you have to put a 1 in front the phone line.
    5. Then go out of that place.
    6. Then go back into the add phone line and deleat the one long distance you added.
    7. Then click on the connect again (showing the one good phone line) which it then tells you you need to have more than one line.
    8. Ignore that and click on the connect.
    yea………… finally connected.
    It took a while for us to even find this way of getting on line. Don’t ask me how.

    Oh, my goodness. I would go crazy, immediately. How about the library…or a wireless card?

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  6. I must believe that I have been blessed by the trinity, Microsoft, Intel and HP. I have had very few problems with this yloh trinity. On my first lap top I did require some assistance and it was quick and understandable. I do now many who have pressed the envelope of sanity trying to deal with uncoustermer noservice.

    Mervi

    Okay, I think.

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  7. It is amazing at how intelligent beings turn to mush in front of a monitor! Common sense isn’t so common anymore!

    (I received an email about how Dr. Seuss deals with computer problems, and it’s actually VERY entertaining. Especially when it is read out loud!)

    You need to share Dr. Seuss with us.

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  8. Sis. Buxton,

    These crack me up! As a Micro Computer Literacy instructor, I can relate and have had some seriously humorous experiences. It is amazing how highly intelligent people, some who own their own businesses and who make amazing decisions everyday absolutely freeze up, and freak out, when they sit down at a computer.

    Thanks for sharing.

    AE

    Hi, Anna. I was amazed at how patient Jerry was with those techs from India. It flat wore me out to try to deal with them. For one thing I had a hard time understanding them.

    Love you and your family.

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  9. LOL, Shirley.

    Our older son used to work a Tech support job for TimeWarner Cable, our local television and internet provider. Boy, can he tell the stories!

    Hi, Helen. Sounds as though you have a built-in entertainer for family gatherings. That’s a good thing. I’m told by medical experts that laughter can actually cure some ailments; I think the Bible also confirms such a thought. Laughter is better than crying, anyday, although some times that also is appropriate…and healing.

    Today? I wish you laughter.

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