Archive for the ‘helplines’ Category

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s always good to start and end the working week with something amusing. Takes a little of the dread out of Mondays and on Fridays sets the right mood for the weekend.

Here is another selection of examples of the public at large putting pen to paper without engaging brain first. We’ve seen what can happen with lawyers,Church notices,  in the ER, and on the 9-1-1 telephones. This time we have a selection of extracts from genuine letters sent to a government Pensions and Insurance Office.

Hope you enjoy.

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“I cannot get sick pay. I have six children. Can you tell me why this is?”
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“This is my eighth child. What are you doing about it?”

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“Mrs. Brown has no clothes and has not had any for a year. The vicar has been visiting her.”

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“In reply to your letter. I have already co-habited with your office, so far without result.”

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“I am forwarding my marriage certificate and two children, one of which is a mistake as you will see.”

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“Sir, I am glad to say my husband, reported missing, is now dead.”

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“Unless I get my husband’s money I shall be forced to lead an immoral life.”

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“I am writing these lines for Mrs. Green who cannot write herself. She expects to be confined next week and can do with it.”

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“I have enclosed my marriage certificate and six children. I have some and one died, which was baptized on a half sheet of paper by the Rev. Thomas.”

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“Please find out if my husband is dead, as the man I am now living with won’t eat or do anything until he is sure.”

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“In answer to your letter I have given birth to a little boy weighing ten pounds. Is this satisfactory?”

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“You have changed my little girl into a little boy. Will this make any difference.”

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“Please send my money at once as I have fallen into errors with my landlord.”

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“I have no children as my husband is a bus driver and works all day and all night.”

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“In accordance with your instructions I have given birth to twins in the enclosed envelope.”

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“I want money as quick as you can sent it. I have been in bed with my doctor all week and he does not seem to be doing me any good.”

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Milk is wanted for my baby as the father is unable to supply it.”

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“Regarding your enquiry the teeth in the top are alright but the ones in the bottom are hurting terribly.”

 

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

 

A relative quick and funny post for the start of a new week. Always helps a bit to add a bit of humor to Mondays, I think.

This one is about 911 emergency calls. You would imagine that 911 calls would be made by serious people about serious events, that’s what the lines are set up for. But also because of their nature you don’t have to be qualified to use them.

When the intellectually challenged make a 911 call, the results are just about the same I reckon as when they make ordinary calls – unbelievable!

Here are a few examples.

Enjoy!

 

 

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is your emergency?

Caller: I heard what sounded like gunshots coming from the brown house on the corner.

Dispatcher: Do you have an address?

Caller: No, I have on a blouse and slacks, why?

- – – – – – – – -

 

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is your emergency?

Caller: Someone broke into my house and took a bite out of my ham and cheese sandwich .

Dispatcher: Excuse me?

Caller: I made a ham and cheese sandwich and left it on the kitchen table and when I came back from the bathroom, someone had taken a bite out of it.

Dispatcher: Was anything else taken?

Caller: No, but this has happened to me before and I’m sick and tired of it!

- – – – – – – – – -

 

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is the nature of your emergency?

Caller: I’ m trying to reach nine eleven but my phone doesn’t have an eleven on it.

Dispatcher: This is nine eleven.

Caller: I thought you just said it was nine-one-one

Dispatcher: Yes, ma’am nine-one-one and nine-eleven are the same thing.

Caller: Honey, I may be old, but I’m not stupid.

- – – – – – – – – -

 

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What’s the nature of your emergency?

Caller: My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart

Dispatcher: Is this her first child?

Caller: No, you idiot! This is her husband!

- – – – – – – – – -

 

Dispatcher: 9-1-1

Caller: Yeah, I’m having trouble breathing. I’m all out of breath… Darn……I think I’m going to pass out.

Dispatcher: Sir, where are you calling from?

Caller: I’m at a pay phone. North and Foster.

Dispatcher: ! Sir, an ambulance is on the way. Are you an asthmatic?

Caller: No

Dispatcher: What were you doing before you started having trouble breathing?

Caller: Running from the Police

- – – – – – – – – -

 

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 What is your emergency?

Caller: Hi, is this the Police?

Dispatcher: This is 9-1-1. Do you need police assistance?

Caller: Well, I don’t know who to call. Can you tell me how to cook a turkey? I’ve never cooked one before.

- – – – – – – – – -

Dispatcher: 9-1-1 Fire or emergency?

Caller: Fire, I guess.

Dispatcher: How can I help you sir?

Caller: I was wondering…does the Fire Dept. put snow chains on their trucks?

Dispatcher: Yes sir, do you have an emergency?

Caller: Well, I’ve spent the last 4 hours trying to put these chains on my tires and… well.. do you think the Fire Dept. could come over and help me?

Dispatcher: Help you what?

Caller: Help me get these chains on my car!

 

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

 

“If the automobile had followed the same development as the computer,
a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100,
get a million miles per gallon,
and explode once a year killing everyone inside.”

Robert Cringel

I have been involved with computers for many years. I remember using mainframe machines with data inputted on punch cards and bits of flimsy tape, and the machines, which in those days had no monitors, they were just glorified teletype printers, chugging (and I mean chugging) out the results that would have meant absolutely nothing to the uninitiated.

In the grand scheme of things all that wasn’t really so long ago, and at the time it was cutting edge technology and terribly exciting, although now it seems so archaic.

In those days you didn’t quite have to be a nerd or a geek (but it helped) although you did have to have a certain level of education and understanding of mathematics and computer science to be able to make the machines do what you wanted them to do. Or try to, they were a bit temperamental. These machines were also horribly expensive and were to be found only in universities and larger companies, thus, whilst people did get themselves into tangles now and again, there was usually someone on hand to help out.

Then along came the personal computer revolution, which we are now well and truly in the midst of, and which has changed the world forever.

Thousands of new companies were spawned out of this revolution, hardware manufacturers, software manufacturers, various support and service industries. People were churning out all sorts of stuff, a lot of it rubbish, some of it good, but all of it difficult for the beginner to use. Before the advent of GUI personal computers were not user friendly at all. Therefore at some stage in the proceedings those who bought them would get stuck or something would go wrong.

Thus were born the infamous computer “help lines”.

I have highlighted these before in a couple of earlier blog posts “Computer Company Help Lines”  and “Cancel The Account”.

Here are a couple more non video examples that I hope you will also enjoy.

Right Click

Tech Support: “I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop.”

Customer: “Ok.”

Tech Support: “Did you get a pop-up menu?”

Customer: “No.”

Tech Support: “Ok. Right click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?”

Customer: “No.”

Tech Support: “Ok, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?”

Customer: “Sure, you told me to write ‘click’ and I wrote ‘click’.”

(At this point I had to put the caller on hold to tell the rest of the tech support staff what had happened. I couldn’t, however, stop from giggling when I got back to the call.)

Tech Support: “Ok, did you type ‘click’ with the keyboard?”

Customer: “I have done something dumb, right?”
—-

 

 

Blank Screen


Allegedly this is the transcript of a recorded conversation between a caller and a computer helpline. It’s a few years old now, but still amusing.

 

Tech Support:   May I help you?

Customer:   Yes, I’m having trouble with WordPerfect.

 

Tech Support:   What sort of trouble?

Customer:   Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away.

 

Tech Support:   Went away?

Customer:   They disappeared.

 

Tech Support:   Hmmm. So what does your screen look like now?

Customer:    Nothing.

 

Tech Support:   Nothing?

Customer:   It’s blank. It won’t accept anything when I type.

 

Tech Support:   Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?

Customer:   How do I tell?

 

Tech Support:   Can you see the C prompt on the screen?

Customer:   What’s a sea prompt?

 

Tech Support:   Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the screen?

Customer:   There isn’t any cursor. I told you, it won’t accept anything I type.

 

Tech Support:   Does your monitor have a power indicator?

Customer:   What’s a monitor?

 

Tech Support:   It’s the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it’s on?

Customer:   I don’t know.

 

Tech Support:   Well, look round the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?

Customer:   …yes, I think so.

 

Tech Support:   Great! Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it’s plugged into the wall.

Customer:   …yes, it is.

 

Tech Support:   When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back, not just one?

Customer:    No.

 

Tech Support:   Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable.

Customer:   …OK, here it is.

 

Tech Support:   Follow it for me, and tell me if it’s plugged securely into the back of your computer.

Customer:   I can’t reach.

 

Tech Support:   Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?

Customer:    No.

 

Tech Support:  Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?

Customer:   Oh, it’s not because I don’t have the right angle, it’s because it’s dark.

 

Tech Support:   Dark?

Customer:    Yes. The office lights are off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window.

 

Tech Support:   Well, turn the office lights on then.

Customer:   I can’t.

 

Tech Support:   No? Why not?

Customer:    Because there’s a power outage.

 

Tech Support:   A power… a power outage? Aha! OK, we’ve got you licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?

Customer:   Well, yes, I keep them in the closet.

 

Tech Support:   Good! Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store that you bought it from.

Customer:   Really? Is it that bad?

 

Tech Support:   Yes, I’m afraid it is.

Customer:   Well, alright then, I suppose. What do I tell them?

 

Tech Support:   Tell them you’re too stupid to own a computer.

———-

 

Computer user

Computer user

 

 

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

 

One of the bane’s of modern existence has to be telemarketers.

It’s a job, I suppose and everybody is entitled to earn a living.

But, like email spam, it is the quantity that gets to people and makes us angry. If we only got a telemarketing call now and again nobody would take umbrage, but getting them three or four times a week, and in some cases three or four times a day, it’s just too much for a body to take.

The cel phone companies used to be the worst offenders. They employed call centers in India or the Philippines or elsewhere, paid them a pittance and gave them a list of cel phone subscribers. And they called and they called and they called.

Maybe you’ve heard of the seven deadly sins or the seven ways to happiness. Well thanks to telemarketers I discovered that there are also seven phases that most people go through when this torture is inflicted upon them.

 

Phase 1 is the polite phase, when you take the call and politely decline their offer (that is, if you haven’t been conned into buying something).

 

Phase 2 is the not so polite phase, when you take the call and not so politely decline their offer.

 

Phase 3 is the beginning to get really irritated phase, when your politeness has all been used up.

 

Phase 4 is the angry phase, where you’ve switched completely from politeness to anger and mildly abusive replies.

 

Phase 5 is the very angry phase, where you shout and question both the intelligence and parentage of the unfortunate telemarketer on the other end of the phone.

 

Phase 6 is the just plain rude phase, this is the one where, if you had a beep machine, it would be working overtime and then some.

 

And finally there is Phase 7 which is the phase where you say nothing at all and just hang up.

 

 

If telemarketers calls are a persistent problem you often find yourself going from Phase 1 to Phase 4 within the same sentence. And occasionally you just answer the phone in Phase 6 mode, which is unfortunate if it’s just your old Auntie Mabel on the other end of the line.

But there is it.

Of course there is another way of doing it as a fellow called Tom Mabe demonstrated. I think his way is much better, certainly funnier. Have a listen – and I apologise profusely about the two idiots cackling and chuckling in the background. They’re almost as irritating as a telemarketing call, but their contribution was beyond my control.

As always, enjoy.

 

 



“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”



Ever had a problem cancelling an account with a telephone company or an ISP?


I have had a few run-ins with companies like these and I’ll probably write about them in this blog sometime, so if you are interested stay tuned.


Meantime, here is an excellent example of what can happen. This one has become a classic. It’s a recording of a conversation between a guy called Victor Ferarri and an AOL employee there to “help” their customers. The AOL guy lost his job because of this call, and I think you’ll see why.


Two versions below. First is just the phone call. Second is a TV interview with Mr Ferarri. Enjoy.










“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

 

I’ve been working with computers more or less since they became an affordable thing to have. I like them, I enjoy working with them, and they are an extremely powerful tool for business and/or entertainment, not to mention social networking and blogs and stuff (greatly assisted by the internet, of course. Whatever did we do before that???)

Although I’m no technical genius, I can usually sort out whatever problems I come across (there used to be a lot more to sort out in Windows 95 & 98 days than there are now, although even windows 7 has its moments!). But on a couple of occasions over the years I have also had to resort to phoning a computer helpline for what I hoped would be help, but which was usually no help at all – just frustration.

I don’t know whether any of you have had similar misfortune, but if you have you will no doubt have found that it isn’t the greatest esperience in the world. One thing, however, you are always sure somewhere along the line, after you’ve pressed button ‘1’ for this, button ‘3’ for that, button ‘6’ for the other, etc., to make acquaintance with an idiot who couldn’t really give a damn about his job and could care even less about you, the customer, who pays his wages.

This isn’t me on the phone looking for help I hasten to add, but it’s a good and amusing illustration of what we’re up against.

 

***WARNING: May contain strong language. If you are likely to take offence at this please don’t listen to the recording. ***