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This is a question Clients Are Stupid

I once had to train a client on how to use their new website. I said, "point the mouse at that button." They looked at me with a quizzical expression, picked up the mouse and held it to the screen. Can you beat this bit of client stupidity?

(, Sun 28 Dec 2003, 22:47)
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This question is now closed.

'Why is my screen wobbling?'
'Erm, could be the rather sizeable speakers you have placed on either side of it'
(, Wed 31 Dec 2003, 0:17, Reply)
so we are transposing a video to flash for the interweb, click a button it jumps to a certain frame , plays a bit then stops - you get the idea...

the client, says, "yeah its good - but could you just...."

several "could you justs" later we are gettin kind of miffed...

we explain to client, look its objects on a white background, frame grabs from YOUR video, we cant add a background in (technically - yes we can - i know) it would cost you a fortune in photoshop time - there are 750 frames of video...

"oh..." says the client, "i haven't seen the video..."


sound of head hitting desk.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 23:35, Reply)
I met one today...
He took an interest in my Alternative Tentacles T-shirt. Many questions, inane questions:

- Who drew it?
- An artist called Winston Smith, named after a character in George Orwell's 1984.
- Ooh! Which character?!

...and so on. I foresee terrible code in his future.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 23:06, Reply)
My boss, who is a complete pessimistic hypochondriac
called me over (in a frantic mad panic kind of way) whilst he was at his PC; "Quick my computer has got a virus, the screen is shaking violently, come here quickly, what can we do?!"

I rushed over to discover his stapler resting on his return key!
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 22:37, Reply)
Virgin Atlantic Balloon Challenge
100% true ... I once worked for an industrial computer company in Southampton. We did installs on everything, including the outside of oilrigs. Anyway, Richard Branson was doing his 2nd round the world balloon challenge and came to us (the fool) for a Panel PC (basically a PC with a big weatherproof touchscreen, no mouse/keyboard). We duly sorted one out and it was installed by someone on the Virgin team. The day it was due to take off I got a call asking for help.
To cut a long story short, some lesser engineer had discovered Minesweeper on the Panel PC (yep, Windows) and had spent too much time playing. His superior, in an effort to stop this behaviour had deleted the relevant .exe and, for good measure, a few .dll files ("because they looked like Minesweeper might use them").
At the point that I was called, they were 3hrs from scheduled take off, with a buggered, non-booting PC - their main navigational system.
Needless to say, takeoff was delayed. I chuckled heartily when I saw the 6 O'clock news ...
Branson never made it even when the thing did go up eventually. That'll teach him, the beardy f*cksock.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 22:03, Reply)
the UK at large
I work in Viewer Relations for a national broadcaster. Technically, the TV watching UK pondlife are my clients.

I can occasionally spend my day trying to deal with someone who believes "we" are telepathically transmitting messages from David Bowie to her (an actual example).

Of course, that is just "being crazy", I also deal with stupid "sane" people too. Like all the people who whinged about that advert for Red Devil (energy drink) with Vinnie Jones and a (fake) sparrow. It was the advert where Vinnie Jones places a bag of nuts on a table inside of his house and leaves the window closed, so the sparrow flies at the window and gets hurt. People actually complained that it will "make children go and copy it".
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 20:42, Reply)
oh i've just remembered one
from my days as a check out girl in a posh supermarket. posh people are MAD. one woman wouldn't allow us to scan perishables (actually, most things not in tins) and she thought it would somehow damage them and make them cancerous or something, and made us type in the code for everything. oh how we loved her.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 20:32, Reply)
clients are stupid.
A two-fer.

In a previous life I worked for a PR/ad agency that catered to hi-tech companies. I wrote a release about one client's new product, noting that the product was software, and stating clearly what it did. The client asked for a re-write, demanding that I refer to the product as a "management solution." I protested. I don't know why, the fat lot of good it did me (fat lot of good it did the client, really).

My friend Sparky tells of how he was at work one day behind the counter at an electronics retailer, dealing with his habitual vicious hangover, when a man stormed in, his wife in tow and looking apologetic. The man launched into a tirade about the nefariousness of the retailer knowingly selling him a product he was quite certain was engineered to not work. He blustered on about enlisting the help of the Better Business Bureau, the state attorney general, and the Commerce Department to sue everyone involved. When the man paused for a breath, Sparky lifted the item from the man's grasp, opened the battery case, removed the batteries and replaced them -- this time in their proper orientation, closed the case, turned the item on (demonstrating perfect functionality), and returned the item to the man, all wordlessly. The man retreated, accompanied by his wife, now wearing a smug look.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 20:01, Reply)
clients are stupid
work for a council It department, a couple of years ago was asked to help out on the helpdesk for a couple of days.

Had one wally on the line I'll never forget.

Her : Hello helpdesk, my windows need cleaning.
Me : Are you talking about windows on the PC.
Her : No, the windows in the wall so I can see outside.
Me : Why are you phoning the IT helpdesk then.
Her : I asked someone in the office what to do if there's a problem with windows and she told me to phone IT.

Luckily I've never had to man the helpdesk since then.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 20:00, Reply)
i had a client once ask my to change his screen size
he then got angry that the writting and pictures on his screen were smaller! D'oh!!
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 19:54, Reply)
Not technically a 'client', but....
my ex-girlfriend's mother, who always used to ask me to make her cups of coffee.

Ex-G.M: "Could you put a bit more milk in that please?"

Me: "Sure".

*walks out, into kitchen, counts to three, goes back, gives girlfriend's mother the exact same cup of coffee*

Ex-G.M: "Oh that's much better. Thanks."
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 19:27, Reply)
Ice and a Slice
Ok here goes,
I walk in to a bar in Nottingham with my GF and the following conversation takes place

Me: A pint of Fosters and a Bitter Lemon please.
Bar Person: .......... err Fosters ?
Me: Yes
Bar Person: (comes back with pint of Fosters)...err do you want a glass with your Lemon?
Me: Yes please
Bar Person: (comes back with a slice of Lemon in a glass) £2.20 please, theres no charge for the lemon.
Me: No i want a Bitter Lemon, ..not a bit of lemon

At this point the Bar person goes crimson and spends the next few hours avoiding me when i return to the bar.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 18:53, Reply)
Ever heard anything like this?
This event occured while I was working for IBM as a technical support specialist. Customer phoned me up and she was devastated..

I need help to fix my laptop!

What seems to be wrong with it?

I spilled some water in it and now it won't start, I really need to fix this before my husband gets home, the laptop is only 2 days old.

Is there any lights, sounds or flickering on the screen?

Well, after I dried it the cover looks a little strange. But there is no sound or anything.

Dried it?

Yes, about 10 minutes in the oven.

[me] (mute) Laughing as hard as I can......

It didn't take me to long to explain to her that her laptop had been burnt due to the fact that it had been in the oven on 250 degrees for 10 minutes and she most probably would have to buy a new one.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 18:28, Reply)
Erm....no chance!
I work in IT Support but this isn't one of mine.

During a site install this summer, one of our (female, five foot nothing) engineers was thanked for installing the user's new PC. All well and good. Same user then asked if the engineer could move the office fridge freezer from one side of the room to the other while she was there. Cranberry.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 17:22, Reply)
A couple of repressed memories have just resurfaced...
A friend of a friend (who lives in Germany) asked for some computer advice, which I duly passed on. I offered to email him something (can't remember what - links, files, something - whatever). Anyway, he gave me his email address and then told me "But you won't be able to send anything to me without the international code for Germany". When I explained that his email address was all I needed, he said "But it goes down the phone, doesn't it?".

Also, by day I work for a company selling mechanical spares. My highly trained (and paid) customers phone me often with enquiries for replacement parts, and the conversations often go something like this:

Me: "Can I help?"
Them: "I need a [insert item here]"
Me: "Ok, what size?"
Them: "I just told you, I need a [whatever]"
Me: "Ok, but there's more than one type. What size is it?"
Them: "Don't know"
Me: "Well, how many bolts are there in it?"
Them: "...[pause]...Can't you send someone down to identify it for me?"

Or some variation on that. Anyway, better go - sorry for long (and probably quite boring) post
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 16:58, Reply)
Not really my own story
In fact, not at all mine, but
This site is quite funny
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 16:45, Reply)
A change from IT support.....
Working in a pub / restaurant ensures you meet some special people. After serving a lady her chicken Kiev she calls me back to tell me she was unhappy as it wasn't "breast shaped". This woman had caused trouble before so I was under instruction from the management not to give her anything, so gladly refused her and pointed in direction of the landlord.

Without looking up, the Landlord held out the refund for the food and not knowing what to do or say, the woman threw her drink at him but missed from a range of 5 feet. She was laughed out of the bar by other customers.

Then there was the punter who asks for an avocado and lemonade. I offered my suggestion of Advocaat and lemonade, but he was insistent the word was avocado. I was so close to actually wedging one in a pint glass.

Different employment- on my placement at a company that makes equipment for the deaf (vibrating alarm clocks etc.) I had a call from a bloke saying the screen on their clock was broken- I couldn't solve it over the phone so asked him to send it in. When it arrived the problem was soon discovered: clicky here (protective cover stapled to compliments slip and returned)

I was desperate to write the return note myself, unfortunately, someone more diplomatic got there first
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 16:31, Reply)
And another...
Numpty : I phoned up about 5 minutes ago. My name is Mr Spanner. I think I was speaking to you.
Me : No sir, I don't think you were
Numpty : It must have been you, he had a Scottish accent
Me : Sir, we have two call centres in Scotland, employing 800 people. It was probably one of my colleagues.
Numpty : Well can you find out who else has a Scottish accent.
Me : I'll transfer you now sir.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 16:15, Reply)
This happened today.
I work in the computer games industry, being a third-party QA technician (that's a play tester, only more proffesional :p). We communicate with our clients (the games developers) via an online bug database, within which we have perfected the art of below-radar sarcasm. Today we entered a bug along the lines of "no sound when boss 3 destroyed"

Sure enough a fairly typical response arrived "This might be our game spec" (game spec = supposed to happen).

Well what was I supposed to do? I replied.

"We might close this bug then"
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 16:07, Reply)
Public Humiliation
As part of the intranet where I work, there is a discussion area where people can post IT questions for peer help. These are normally along the lines of what bit of VB script will do such and such and what forumla do I need in Excel to do so and so.

This little gem appeared this morning however: I use an Excel log which until recently automatically recorded ,on the annual log, odometer start and end readings once I had entered actual mileages on the monthly logs. The cells on the annual log are protected. I now find that some of the the cells have corrupted and instead of actual mileage show XXXXX. Can someone tell me why this has happened and how do I correct ?

Umm, how about widening the column?
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 16:06, Reply)
VT Library
I work for a local news TV programme. Part of my job involves archive - either colleagues asking for footage from elsewhere or other departments asking for our footage.

We get stupid requests such as:

'Do you have any pictures of tube trains'
(our patch is London... we have hundreds of items about tube trains)

'can you get me in some colour film of the Second World War'

'I'm after pictures of elderly people dying of the cold'

Colleague: 'Where would I find tape 225?'
Me: 'It's between tapes 224 and 226'

Me: 'We haven't got any spare machines, use the one on Edit suite 5'
Colleague: 'Which one's Edit 5'
Me: 'The one with the big number 5 on it.

Colleague: 'I can't find the tape with my rushes on from last week'
Me: 'did you label it'
Colleague: 'no'
Me: 'that's why you can't find it then'
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 16:02, Reply)
Come here, and there's more...
As well as working on an IT helpdesk I worked at a certain televsion company (one that provides satellite telly. Again, no names)

Best one was (and I can't even start to remember the exact details of this) was one customer who told us he was cancelling his subscription because aliens (yes, aliens) were interferring with his signal and he couldn't see the picture properly. now ehen he was having a party with the Spice Girls (as you do) they suggested he get cable TV as the cables are underground so the aliens can't play about with the signals. He was really apologetic about this, especially as we sent him out a birthday card (eh?!?!?) but he was going to come up and visit us to say goodbye. "You're coming up to dunfermline?" asked my colleague. "No", he replied "I'm coming up to the satellite to visit you".

By this point, half the staff had put their phones on Busy and were listening in to this on a huge conference call.

Swear to god, this is true. And if any of you know anyone who worked weekends at this particular satellite telly call centre in Dunfermline in the the summer of 96 they will probably know about it.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 15:52, Reply)
Speaking of the Chuckle Brothers...
Referring to a previous poster...
I used to work in Morrisons in a bakery nr Maltby where the Chuckle Brothers hail from.
One of them came to me one day and asked me to slice a loaf, which I did, and when I went to pass it back t him I said 'To me to you'
he looked at me and replied 'Don't be clever son,just give me my bread'
Did you know the Chuckle Brothers Mum married Percy Sugden?
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 15:42, Reply)
Now I'm not generalising all Essex girls in this comment but..
working on a helpdesk, i got a call from someone asking what her external e-mail address would be. I'll start the conversation at this point :

Numpty : I've just been set up for e-mail. How do people outside send a mail to me?
Me : You address is your first name, then an underscore, and then your surname. For example mine is [email protected]

Now I know what you think is coming here. She typed the word 'underscore'. No. It's better than that. Her relpy was "Underscore? Is that like your middle name or something!!"

(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 15:41, Reply)
I'm a fone munky...
for a major high street mortgage lender...no names but we give you extra!I deal with people looking to raise money on their property for extensions and the like...regular calls include....
Me:'So you're six months in arrears?'
Customer:'Yes, I'd like to increase my mortgage by £10K to clear my arrears and pay my credit card off'
Me:'But you can't pay your mortgage now'
Customer:'I know, thats why I need the money to pay it off'


Me:'Your mortgage is £60K, you want to borrow another 50K, yet your property is only worth 62K.
Customer: 'Yes, is that a probelem?'
Me: (You do the maths!)we don't lend above 97% of a property's value.

Customer: But my property is worth £600,000 why can't you let me have more money from my equity?
Me: You earn £20,000, the most we can lend is £60,000. Your mortgage is £75,000.
Customer:But its MY equity.
Me: but if you haven't the income we can't be guarenteed that you'll be able to make payments.
CUSTOMER: Its my money.
Me: No its our money, and you can't have any so ner!!! (not really!!)

I kno mortgages are complex, but sometimes people don't have a clue...

Customer: Why do I still owe the same amount that I borrowed 10 years ago/
Me: Because its interest only, and you've only been paying the interest.
Customer: Oh.

Oh well, at least it keeps me off the streets!!!
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 15:39, Reply)
I worked in an off licence a coupke of years ago
This bloke phoned the shop, it went like this:

Guy - "Can I speak to Chris please?"

Me - "No-one called Chris works here, sorry."

Guy - "Can you tell me where I could find him?"

What a ringpiece.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 15:29, Reply)
While discussing a lady in my work with an I.T. representative who had dealt with her inane queries on many occasions :(e.g. "How do I turn this on? - Press the ON button" and the likes). We went to another pc in the office and tapped into her pc, we (or he) sent a fake windows error message to her screen saying.


Believe it or not, she did, and stayed there until someone asked her what she was doing.

Laugh?, I nearly died.
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 15:17, Reply)
The prime CITV TIME.
Another one from Time Computers.

There are actually a couple of famous people to own a Time Computer.

A gentleman called initially to a colleague as his machine was knackered. He wanted a replacement. We refused (No matter what problems anyone has with a computer, we were trained to not give a flying ffffff.. flip). He got all uppity and began to have a tantrum. "I'll have you know I am on the board of directors on the BBC!" After chortling for a while, we managed to get the truth out of him.

He was actually the little fella from Chucklevision.

(*footnote - yes, he did call back, yes, we did cheer him up, yes, we did get him to say "To Me, To You".

****Also, Timmy Mallett once had a tantrum because we wouldn't sort out his Lotus 123 problems. That was fun too.)
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 15:16, Reply)
Worlds shortest support call?
I used to work for Microsoft UK doing developer support. one favorite call was:

Is there a function for getting the current directory?
Yes sir, it's called GetCurrentDirectory

what was pretty painful though was wandering through the windows support area with people trying to get customers to edit their windows system.ini files using only edlin, over the phone. edlin isnt notepad. its a god damn awful line editor that makes vi seem user friendly.

i just checked my xp pro system and bizarrely they still ship edlin with it. why? i can't beleive anybody still uses it
(, Tue 30 Dec 2003, 14:42, Reply)

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