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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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i work in IT support for a newspaper
and have come to look at journalists in a whole new light. many stories, but my favourite is the guy who rang down in a panic, as he needed to save something onto floppy to take out the office, but kept getting a message saying the drive was inaccessible. it didn't sound like he was doing anything wrong, so i went up to his desk to have a look. i watched him try to save the file, saw the error message appear, then happened to notice a floppy disk sitting on his desk.
me: 'is this the disk you're trying to save to? it should probably be in the drive.'
journo: 'oh shit. please don't tell anyone about this.'
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 23:12, Reply)
Computer Repair Nightmares
Client 1) Calls me to say the computer she just bought from me isn't working and there is nothing on the screen. Not thinking that she would be this stupid, I call round to find that the monitor hasn't been switched on.

Client 2) Calls me to say that their coffee cup holder has broken. Completely baffled I call round to find that the client has used the CD-ROM to hold her coffee which has snapped under the weight, coffee everywhere.

Client 3) Calls me to say their laptop keeps turning itself off. On inspection a dried, decapitated cockroach was found in the cooling fan. Once removed the machine worked fine. What's worse is the client was a Hotelier and immediately insisted that the cockroach must have got in the machine when they took the laptop on holiday one year.

Client 4) asked me to come and look at her computer which she had recently bought and when it broke the shop she bought it from wouldn't fix it because they suspected her dogs had urinated on it. The client said this wasn't possible because the computer was in a cabinet. When I arrived, the air became thicker and thicker with an amonia smell until I arrived in the kitchen where the amonia was so strong it cut through my lungs like a sythe. This was where she had her computer, 3 poodle puppies (walking in their own urine and faeces) and 3 poodles. There were several other poodles somewhere because I could hear their yelps. Needless to say, I made my excuses and left in a hurry. I could hear her saying as I left "I can't understand it, your the 4th person I've called who hasn't fixed my problem." We called Environmental Health later on that day to be told that they were already aware of the problem because neighbours couldn't bear the smell.

Client 5) Calls me to come and fix his Electronic typewriter. I inform him that I only fix computers but he's insistant and says he's willing to pay £50 if I can fix it. When I arrive, he shows me that when the machine is turned on, and after he's pressed a few keys to load some paper and some more to print, it feeds the paper through without printing. Not quite believing his stupidity, I ask him to repeat these steps. I interupt him after he's loaded the paper and type "h-e-l-l-o". I ask him to continue and sure enough, it prints "hello" on the paper. He'd forgotten to write his letter before printing.

I probably have others if you really want them.
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 23:09, Reply)
I work in a sword shop.

Yes, you read it right the first time.
By far the most frequent question I get asked is. "Are these swords real?"

Well, it does appear to be made of fucking metal, doesnt it? How about I ram it through your ribcage, and we'll see, eh? I'm not sure, it might be a friggin hologram! Dipshit.

I hate american tourists.
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 22:28, Reply)
Well this is stupid, but not really a client...
Someone left his dog tied up while he went into a shop (so I suppose he was the shop's client). He tied it to...

A wheelie bin.

It was a big dog.

Have you ever seen a large dog taking a full-size wheelie bin for a walk down a busy high street? I have.
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 21:56, Reply)
Once did a spell of telephone support for BT Openworld
I was trying to check this blokes dialup settings and asked him to click on "My Computer". After a rather long pause the bloke asks me why he would want to click on my computer.
Another BTOW customer rang to enquire why we hadnt cancelled her account. I asked her how she had cancelled, apparently she thought that simply unplugging her modem from the phone socket would suffice.
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 20:48, Reply)
I used to work in Butlins for the summer season
I worked in the pub that was over 18's and stayed open till 2am therefore all the other staff went in there when they'd finished work. Many of the cleaning staff were Spanish and didn't seem to like the English, which was fine because most of the English resented them getting paide more than us...I didn't give a hoot either way. anyway, we'd called time and had finished serving, the lights had gone up and I spotted one of the spanish girls with her beer glass under the pump pouring herself another drink. I rushed over to her and told her i'd have to take the drink off her because she'd just stolen from us. Obviously drunk she started to argue, I kept my temper and explained that I had just poured it down the sink and if she wanted to continue arguing she could have a word with my boss, she refused to even talk to my team leader or bars managers when they came over. I ended up saying to her 'you're not going to win with this so i'd just go away before I get security involved' she proceeded to march over to security, brought them over too me told the story exactly as it happened...the thing with BUtlins is if you get fired you have 4 hours to get off the site, she'd just stolen from us and was promptly escorted back to her lodgings and told to pack up and leave...I didn't gloat honestly
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 20:06, Reply)
Once had a client who worked in a personnel department/human resources thing...
... it was their job to know about job requirements for various technical roles.

About six months into my job (technical) I was asked to design a web application for the processing of job applications. The applicant would fill out their name, age, etc etc and press a button and a neat little PDF document would be emailed to her so she could print it out.

I had a meeting with this person, and had to explain such diverse technical jargon as 'filling in a form', 'clicking submit', 'database', 'email' and lastly 'website'

She later refused to sign off the project claiming 'it didn't print' - after about twenty minutes of trying to work out the problem, she brought me one of the print outs she'd made to show me what was wrong with it.

She'd been asking people to go to the form, type all their information, print the page and fax it to her and because the page was too wide (and Internet Explorer doesn't have much in the way of printing skills) text was being chopped off the side of the page.
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 19:10, Reply)
oh and another one
I used to work in a workmens club, full of old men who saw it as 'you're a woman, you are here to serve me'
twice a year we'd have month with 20p off a pint and 10p off a half. We also had tokens wich people won, these were worth £1.08. One of the blokes had his usual order and he paid with 2 tokens, I worked it out that he had an extra 50p to pay. This is not a lot of money but he complained. I told him how much it was in total, told him how much both the tokens were worth and even wrote it down on a bit of paper to show him how I'd worked it out. He wandered off grumbling, complained loudly to his son and anyone else who would listen. My boss came back behind the bar and this bloke came back and said that's I'd charged him 50p for 2 pints even though he had tokens, the chairman of the club was there as well, making a mistake with the money does not look good so him complaining to my boss and my boss's boss was not good at all. The bastard old git even said 'I'm not calling the lass a liar but...'
My boss and the chairman got a bit of paper, worked out the price and it turns out I was right. The old git wasn't happy and still kept complaining. It was only 50p though!
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 19:01, Reply)
Another school one.
Once apon a time I was on the net at school, being a lunchtime the connection speed was shockingly bad, so after a minute or so of waiting for a page to load, the person next to me asks.
Them: "How do you make the net go quicker?"
Me (in an off hand kind of way): "Oh just turn your mouse upside down."
Them: "Really?"
Me: "Yeah".
A month later I noticed her still religiously turning the mouse over when loading a page. She insisted it made the net speed almost double.
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 18:56, Reply)
Nothing to do with me
someone I went to uni with said on his work placement year one of the directors kept phoning tech support for minor problems. In the end they got fed up running up and down the stairs to sort him out they told him that if he pressed f1 he'd get the help thingy. 2 hours later they got an angry call from the director saying that he's been pressing f1 for over an hour and he's had no help. Turns out he was expecting someone from tech support to go and see him after he'd pressed f1, he thought it was a direct line and would stop him having to phone down
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 18:53, Reply)
Star Trek in the real world?
Does anyone remember the scene in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home when Scotty tries to talk to the Apple Mac by holding the mouse and talking to it.

I can confirm that I've seen this done in real life - after demonstrating an early version of IBM Simply speaking, my manager then did that squeally "oh, can I have a go, please, please please"

He picked up the mouse and then proceeded to attempt to use it as a mic. Watermelon.
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 18:46, Reply)
Politicians ARE Stupid
For a while, I used to work in IT support in Parliament.

I worried me that most of the politicians that I used to talk to were (for the most part) completely stupid - lacking in any form of common sense what so ever:

MP: "Why can't my fax machine send anything?"
ME: "Is it plugged into the phone line?"
MP: "It has to be plugged into the phone line?"


MP: "I can't install the second disk of the remote access program"
ME: "Is the CD drive reading the disk properly?"
MP: "Hold on, I'll just take out both disks"
ME: "Both disks????"

Or the best one was a Lord asking how to get rid of the evidence of him visiting various websites he shouldn't have.
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 18:41, Reply)
In my first real office job...
My first manager used Excel to document the departments monthly usage statistics (e-mail use, back in 1994, when e-mail was bleeding edge technology for businesses).

Every month, he used a pocket calculator to add the numbers up, before he typed the total in.

One month I showed him how to use the 'sum' button in Excel.

Next month, I caught him using the pocket calculator again, and overtyping the correct auto-calculated answer.

I think that event has had an impact on my entire career... I've never taken anybody's abilities for granted... and never been disappointed.
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 18:00, Reply)
Words fail me
This is a great thread for somebody who has been working in tech support for as long as I have. The hardest thing is keeping it short. Anyway, this little tale is about another electron microscope customer.

I had to visit an Irish customer who had bought an old machine and carried out the move and re-install themselves. They had also paid about 3 times too much for the tool. They called us up to check whether it was OK to turn on the machine following a minor flood in the room. That led to the visit.

When I went into the room the first thing I noticed was the smell. The "minor flood" had happened in the adjoining animal house, resulting in a wave of waste products soaking into the microscope room. The blast of ammonia as you opened the door was indescribable.

I started to work on the machine, stopping for fresh air breaks every 20 minutes. Normally a machine like this will easily image at 100,000 times plus; this one couldn't manage 2,000 times. I won't bore you with the details of all the most basic cock-ups they had done (eg things installed upside down) but it took hours of graft to get close to working properly.
I then touched the gun assembly (where the beam comes from, lots of high voltage) and received an electric shock. Not normal! When I checked all of the cables I found every single earth lead disconnected (there are lots). When I asked the customer about it the reply was
"There's an awful lot of them, and we weren't sure where they went, so we left them off"!

Excited by their now properly performing machine, the customer stayed late into the night putting labels on the rack of little plastic drawers containing all of the spares. It took them hours to complete. When I tried to open one of the drawers I couldn't. They had stuck the labels on the backs of the drawers then faced the entire rack towards the wall!
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 17:00, Reply)
I write advertisments for a living.

anyway a client once pointed to a poster headline I'd written, and said, "I like all the words. I do. I just don't like what they mean."
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 16:32, Reply)
Another recent classic..
Me: Can you right-click on the desktop for me?
User: But I`ve got a laptop!
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 16:25, Reply)
it's not really client related, but i'm only 15!
as an extra subject at skool, i do hebrew... (it's gonna get me an extra gcse so watermelon off any ingrate who says that's a sad thing to do!)

anyway, i'm the only person in the upper skool who does it, so the rest of the six or seven students, are in yr 8 or 9 (i'm in yr 10)

the thing about hebrew, is that like arabic, russian and most of the oriental languages, it does not use the roman alphabet.

now, i picked up this new alphabet quite quickly, and most ppl would, becos they aren't thick-ass lower skool shit heads...

one paricular anus sed to me "why are u so smart?" i told her to watermelon off...

we've had about 14 lessons, each of an hour, and they still don't understand, why are they so stupid?!?!

(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 16:11, Reply)
Working in a Kiosk at my local zoo
Customers would always come up to the signs on the side to look what they wanted. After around 2 minutes looking on one, they'd move over to the other one and look there for 2 minutes. The signs were exactly the same but they would still go on looking. Eventually they'd ask "Do you have any Magnums?". Being a Nestle kiosk, we would have no magnums. The customers would then go on to pick several other Walls ice-creams not on the list, before finally picking a Nestle one but saying it completely wrong.

You'd also get the old school customers who refused to step into the modern age. So instead of asking for listed Milkybar ice creams they'd ask for Mini-milks and what not.

That job really got on my tits.
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 15:41, Reply)
School one
On the first couple of weeks of our GCSE Computing course, there were always three people (usually out of the same 15 idiots) who'd complain their computer didn't turn on. One would always not have thought to move the mouse and de-activate powersaving thing and the other two wouldn't have turned the monitor on. The depressing thing is that the course is so piss easy they're all passing.
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 14:55, Reply)
sexual innuendo
Whilst managing a winebar/restaurant I was talking a food order from a customer when he asked if the beef had been "well hung" to which I calmly replied " I don't know sir , I never saw the bull when it was alive"
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 11:07, Reply)
No what?
My family owns a chinese restaurant which i help out with. One time, i was taking a to-go order and the person on the phone wanted:

Szechuan Beef: no vegetables
Vegetable fried rice: no vegetables
Orange Chicken: no chicken
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 7:58, Reply)
Air Force intelligence
Most Air Force types are pretty switched on, but occasionally a howler slips through the net. Both of these happened to me years ago, when I was a flight simulator tech posted to Germany.

The routine when repairing a fault is to fill in a form documenting the symptoms, parts used, what you did to fix it etc. This form is then passed on to the Coding Cell, who convert the information into numbers that the computer database can understand. Thats the scene set.

So I'm in the office having a cuppa, when the phone rings. Its one of the young ladies from the coding cell with a few queries about a recent job card.
"Whats the problem" I ask.
"Well, I'm having problems understanding one particular fault symptom; it seems to be something about a black man" she replies. Confusion reigned for a while until I asked her what the symptom actually was.
"No raster on monitor" came the reply. I swear that is true.

Same place and another phone call, this time from a Chief Technician in the RAF Regiment. He's looking for some parts to help construct this very high tech power supply that he's building.
"what do you need?", I ask
"I just need a 74 series chip (the most common type of chip on the planet with lots of different devices available)
"No problem, we've got lots of those. Which type would you like?"
"You mean there are different types?"
Somehow I doubt he ever got that supply to work.

I now work on electron microscopes and we get so many stupid things happening it beggars belief.
One customer had their machine stolen. As far as I know this has never happened ever, anywhere. This machine was the only one of its kind in the country. They are quite big and heavy and require a fair amount of time to remove and install. Two weeks later we get a call from a guy asking for advice about his newly acquired machine, that he bought from a guy called Ali who had it in the back of his truck. No prizes for guessing where that came from. The new "owner" was a well known shady character who didn't think we would notice an enquiry about a unique machine recently stolen from our customer.
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 1:49, Reply)
games workshop
Lady walks in, irrate that games workshop (a modelling shop frequented by children and fantasy fans) hadn't fixed her shoes. Went on and on until the manager gave the shoes to one of the kids sat down at the painting table to glue with the modelling glue. Another satisfied customer. The lady went away.
(, Thu 1 Jan 2004, 0:47, Reply)
Holiday sporty fun...
Worked at Woolworths for quite a while at college. My first summer there, I'm on the tills. Right at the far end. Woman comes charging in, slightly out of breath, and asks me "Where do you keep your BALLS?" I let what she's ask me set in as her friends behind her are rolling around on the floor. She instantly goes red with embrassement, I calmly tell her at the back of the store. Off she goes, only to return later to buy her balls off me (cause I'm the only free till) to which I tell her "That'll be £4.25 for your BALLS madam"
Dulux could have used her red face as the basis of a new colour scheme.
(, Wed 31 Dec 2003, 22:21, Reply)
working as a manager in McDonalds
It was the Saturday before Christmas. It was lunch time. The store was packed with punters wanting their heart-attack just a little quicker.

All the tills had at least 1 pleb behind and I was managing all the till staff.

Some bint calls me over to complain about the bloke next to her getting served quicker than she did.

He ordered a big mac to go. She ordered food for 6 people, all of which wanted no pickle or extra mustard. Silly bitch.
(, Wed 31 Dec 2003, 22:16, Reply)
Just one more...
Same company as my previous.

A village was deprived of its idiot with this fella in our midst. It's a long story, but I'll keep it terse.

Mr. C (who we occasionally refer to as Three-Fingered Willy after a snowblower "incident") bought a car from the one of the other guys in the department, an old, yellow, beaten Chevrolet Chevette (pic of one for reference) for US$500.

Mr. C had only two modes of driving. Foot to the floor on the gas pedal, or foot to the floor on the brake pedal. I suspect he thought of them as on/off switches, personally. Consequently, he would get rear-ended often. He'd be going like hell, someone would be behind him going like hell, then it was time to stop, so the brake pedal went to the floor, and WHAM!

This finally happens in the chitvette. The insurance company declares the car totalled, of course, since it was more than US$500 in damage. This didn't really matter anyway because he only had liability coverage anyway. The insurance wasn't about to pay him a dime.

Mr. C is pissed. So he pays out of his own pocket the US$1000 to 1500 or so that it took to fix the 500 dollar damn car.

Now, having "learned his lesson" about liability-only insurance coverage, he goes out and buys FULL coverage for the chitvette.

With.... with.... think about it now... you know what's coming. But it can't be true you're thinking?

Yes, boys and girls, it's true. He bought the full coverage insurance plan that required a US$500 deductible.
(, Wed 31 Dec 2003, 19:04, Reply)
Sometimes it pays to be nice...
Being the only guy in a company of (at the time) 1000+ employees who actually went to people's desks to provide support, I could contribute quite a few stories.

One of my favorites came from the simple fact of my being very nice to the idiot. Extra nice. Trust me. Falling-all-over-myself nice. Why so nice, you wonder? As the one of very few clueful people in my department, I was occasionally appropriated by the executive staff for non-work-related stuff. In other words, the friggen president of the company called my boss and told him to send my ass to their house and fix their 13 year old daughter's computer.

So, I go out. And it's a typical one-sound-card-too-many-dumbass incident. I get it all fixed up, optimize the O/S a bit, showed her and her mother how to do a few things to keep it running smoothly.

The mother says to me, "Boy, you're a lot nicer than the last guy who came out here. He made us feel like everything was our fault and we didn't know what the hell we were doing." I didn't realize that one of my other department members had been out there. Sure enough, I find out it's Mr. M. God's gift to the world of computing and networking. An ego so large it dripped out of his ass. And utterly unable to communicate with other humans accept by belittling them incessantly.

The end result? I get a personal, handwritten letter of thanks from the president himself with an offer of a promotion. What did Mr. M get? Laid off. On his birthday no less.

Sometimes there is justice my friends. Sweet, sweet, justice. The look on his face the first time he looked at me after he was informed his position was being eliminated was utterly and completely priceless. Him, the God of all things computing, shown up by a 21 year old kid. I even got the employee-of-the-month award thingy before his termination date finally came around. And people thought I was just grinning like an idiot because I was happy I got the award. ;)
(, Wed 31 Dec 2003, 18:44, Reply)
I've had to deal with some idiots in my life.
I used to work in the machine tool (CNC) industry, and machinists aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed.
I dealt with a lot of customer service phone calls, and people generally loved me because of my english accent...here's some classics:

Customer: "So, do you have milk in England"
Me: "Errr, yeeeees"
Customer: "Oh, I didn't know if you had cows there".

Customer: "Whereabouts in England are you from?"
Me: "Yorkshire, about 300 miles ne of London"
Customer: "Oh, when I visited the UK I always wanted to go to Yorkshire but only got as far as Leeds" *Slap*
(, Wed 31 Dec 2003, 18:11, Reply)
Mobile Phones confuse some people...
I had a customer call to say they wanted to disconnect their mobile as it was too expensive,
ME "ok, do you think your talkplan is too high?"
HIM "No"
ME "so what are you finding expensive?"
HIM "The batteries, I am switching my phone off after every call I make, but the batteries run out within a month & it was too expensive to keep buying new ones!"
(He added that he had so far bought 3 batteries at a cost of about £50 a piece.)
ME (biting lip) "are you aware that the batteries are rechargeable?... that's why we supply a charger."
HIM "Shit"
The line went dead
(, Wed 31 Dec 2003, 18:04, Reply)
A few stories...
Sorry about the length of this, but it's my first post...

Story 1 - Manger calls me over to say that his email signature has disappeared. After looking at the settings and seeing that the signature was still there, politely told him that white text on a white background would not show up...

Story 2 - We recently got new coffee machines (Woo Yay!) and everyone has started ordering by number rather than name (ground filter coffee, 1 x extra strength 1 x extra sugar was getting a bit much when getting a round in). Anyway, i normally just drink cold water so i said to one girl (yes, a manager) I’ll have an 89. 5 mins later she came back with a round of coffees and an empty cup for me, not realising that after you ask the machine for a cup (selection 89) you have to put the cup into a different part of the machine and press the cold water button!

Last one – again a manager… told me that she had a new laptop. Could I tell her how to use it. After spending the past 2 weeks trying to explain how to do simple stuff in Excel I decided to tell her that it works just like a regular PC except that when you want to open a file you select with the mouse pad thingy and then press “deliver”. She said there was no deliver button so I replied they probably shortened the name to save space! Can’t wait for the fallout from that one in the New Year…
(, Wed 31 Dec 2003, 16:43, Reply)

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