The Computer Illiterate Support Call
Posted by Duke on November 24, 1998 at 07:19:14:

'Hello, Welch Hall, computer assistant; may I help you?'
'Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect.'
'What sort of trouble?'
'Well, I was just typing along, and all of a
sudden the words went away.'
'Went away?'
'They disappeared.'
'Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?'
'It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type.'
'Are you still in WordPerfect or did you get out?'
'How do I tell?'
[Uh-Oh. Well, let's give it a try anyway.] 'Can
you see the C:\ prompt on the screen?'
'What's a sea prompt?'
[Uh-huh. I thought so. Let's try a different tactic.] 'Never mind. Can you move the cursor
around on the screen.'
'There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept anything I type.'
[Ah, a least he/she knows what a cursor is. Sounds
like a hardware problem. I wonder if he/she kicked
out his/her monitor's power plug.] 'Does your
monitor have a power indicator?
'What's a monitor?'
'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?'
'I don't know.'
'Well, then look at the back of the monitor and
find where the power cord goes into it. Can you
see that?'
[Sound of rustling and jostling] [Muffled] 'Yes, I
think so.'
'Great! Follow the cord to the plug and tell me if
it's plugged into the wall.'
[Pause] 'Yes, it is.'
[Hmm. Well, that's interesting. I doubt he/she
would have accidentally turned it off, and I don't
want to send him/her hunting for the power switch
because I don't know what kind of monitor he/she
has and it's bound to have more than one switch on
it. Maybe the video cable is loose or something.]
'When you were behind the monitor, did you notice
that there were two cable plugged into the back of
it, not just one?'
'Well, there are. I need you to look back there
again and find the other cable.'
[Muffled] 'Okay, here it is.'
'Follow it for me and tell me if it's plugged
securely into the back of your computer.'
[Still muffled] 'I can't reach it.'
'Uh-huh. Well, can you see if it is?'
[Clear again] 'No.'
'Even if you maybe put your knee on something and
lean way over?'
'Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle
- it's because it's dark.'
'Yes - the office light is off and the only light
I have is coming from the window.'
'Well, turn on the office light then.'
'I can't.'
'No? Why not?'
'Because there's a power outage.'
A power !@#$%^&*!?!'...[AAAAAAAARGH!!!] 'A power
outage? Aha! Okay, we've got it licked now. Do you
still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff
your computer came in?
'Well, yes, I kept them in the closet.'
'Good! Go get them, unplug your system and pack it
up just like it was when you got it. Then take it
back to the store you bought it from.'
'Really? Is it that bad?'
'Yes, I'm afraid it is.'
'Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell
'Tell them you're TOO STUPID TO OWN A COMPUTER!!!'

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