The Great Writer
There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.
When asked to define great, he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!"
He now works for Microsoft writing error messages.
A software engineer, hardware engineer and departmental manager were on their way to a meeting in Switzerland. They were driving down a steep mountain road when suddenly the brakes failed. The car careened out of control, bouncing off guardrails until it miraculously ground to a scraping halt along the mountainside. The occupants of the car were unhurt, but they had a problem. They were stuck halfway down the mountain in a car with no brakes.
"I know," said the manager. "Let's have a meeting, propose a Vision, formulate a Mission Statement, define some Goals, and through a process of continuous improvement, find a solution to the Critical Problems and we'll be on our way."
"No," said the hardware engineer. "I've got my Swiss army knife with me. I can strip down the car's braking system, isolate the fault, fix it and we'll be on our way."
"Wait," said the software engineer. "Before we do anything, shouldn't we push the car back to the top of the mountain and see if it happens again?"
The following is an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal by Jim Carlton:
1. Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key," "Press Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the "Any" key is.
2. AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the plastic bag the mouse was packaged in.
3. A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppy back in the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold on, and was heard putting the phone down, getting up and crossing the room to close the door to his room.
4. Another Dell customer called to say he couldn't get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of troubleshooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor screen and hitting the "send" key.
5. Another Dell customer needed help setting up a new program, so a Dell tech suggested he go to the local Egghead. "Yeah, I got me a couple of friends," the customer replied. When told Egghead was a software store, the man said, "Oh, I thought you meant for me to find a couple of geeks."
6. Yet another Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no longer worked. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and water and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys and washing them individually.
7. A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged because his computer had told him he was "bad" and "invalid." The tech explained that the computer's bad and invalid responses shouldn't be taken personally.
8. An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn't get her new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged in, the technician asked her what happened when she pushed the power button. Her response, "I pushed and pushed on this foot pedal and nothing happens." The "pedal" turned out to be the computer's mouse.
9. Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand-new computer wouldn't work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in, and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked, "What power switch?
True story from a Novell NetWire Sys Op:
Tech support: Hello, this is Tech Support.
Caller: Is this tech support?
Tech support: Yes, it is. How may I help you?
Caller: The cup holder on my PC is broken and I am within my warranty period. How do I go about getting that fixed?
Tech Support: I'm sorry, but did you say a cup holder?
Caller: Yes, it's attached to the front of my computer.
Tech Support: Please excuse me if I seem a bit stumped. It's because I am. Did you receive this as part of a promotional, at a trade show? How did you get this cup holder? Does it have any trademark on it?
Caller: It came with my computer, I don't know anything about a promotional. It just has "4X" on it.
At this point, the Tech Rep had to mute the caller, because he couldn't stand it. The caller had been using the load drawer of the CD-ROM drive as a cup holder, and snapped it off the drive!
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