Technical Support Recipe: Butter Your Disk Drive
Customer: "I got this problem. You people sent me this install disk, and now my A drive won't work. "
Tech Support: "Your A drive won't work?"
Customer: "That's what I said. You sent me a bad disk, it got stuck in my drive, now it won't work at all."
Tech Support: "Did it not install properly? What kind of error messages did you get?"
Customer: "I didn't get any error message. The disk got stuck in the drive and wouldn't come out. So I got these pliers and tried to get it out and that didn't work either."
Tech Support: "You did what sir?"
Customer: "I got these pliers, and tried to get the disk out, but it wouldn't budge. I just ended up cracking the plastic stuff a bit."
Tech Support: "I don't understand sir, did you push the eject button?"
Customer: "No, so then I got a stick of butter and melted it and used a turkey baster and put the butter in the drive, around the disk, and that got it loose. Then I used the pliers and it came out fine. I can't believe you would send me a disk that was broke and defective."
Tech Support: "Let me get this clear. You put melted butter in your A drive and used pliers to pull the disk out?" (At this point, I put the call on the speaker phone and motioned at the other techs to listen in.)
Tech Support: "Just so I am absolutely clear on this, can you repeat what you just said?"
Customer: "I said I put butter in my A drive to get your crappy disk out, then I had to use pliers to pull it out."
Tech Support: "Did you push that little button that was sticking out when the disk was in the drive, you know, the thing called the disk eject button?"
Tech Support: "Sir?"
Tech Support: "Sir, did you push the eject button?"
Customer: "No, but you people are going to fix my computer, or I am going to sue you for breaking my computer!"
Tech Support: "Let me get this straight. You are going to sue our company because you put the disk in the A drive, didn't follow the instructions we sent you, didn't actually seek professional advice, didn't consult your user's manual on how to use your computer properly, but instead proceeded to pour butter into the drive and physically rip the disk out?"
Tech Support: "Do you really think you stand a chance, since we do record every call and have it on tape?"
Customer: (now rather humbled) "But you're supposed to help!"
Tech Support: "I am sorry sir, but there is nothing we can do for you. Have a nice day!"
If you can't laugh about this you need help... This is a true story from the
Word Perfect help line. Needless to say the help desk employee was fired;
however, the person is currently suing the Word Perfect organization for
"termination without cause".
This is from the taped conversation leading up to dismissal:
"Word Perfect Technical Desk, may I help you?"
"Yes, well, I'm having trouble with Word Perfect."
"What sort of trouble?"
"Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."
"Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"
"It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."
"Are you still in Word Perfect, or did you get out?"
"How do I tell?"
"Can you see the C: prompt on the screen?"
"What's a sea-prompt?"
"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!"
"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 on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?"
"Yes, I think so."
"Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall."
"...Yes, it is."
"When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables 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."
"Okay, here it is."
"Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."
"I can't reach."
"Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"
"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 in from the window."
"Well, turn on the office light then."
"No? Why not?"
"Because there's a power outage."
"A power... 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 keep them in the closet."
"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 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 them?"
"Tell them you're too stupid to own a computer."
A woman called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer.
The tech asked her if she was "running it under Windows."
The woman responded, "No, my desk is next to the door. But that's a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his is working fine. So am I supposed to change my location?"