Ah yes, the ol’ “potato spin” technique…wait…

Note quite IT related, but close enough…

This takes place on first line technical support for a major satellite television company. This call center was particularly configured to attract young college aged kids, and many of them still acted like it. I had a team member who sat next to me who was quitting the next day and didn’t care what his customers thought of him because it wouldn’t affect his job anymore.

So a call comes in to him and it’s a very basic “My service is out” call that we get all the time. It was a time of year that there were frequent thunderstorms in the south of the country which would knock out service. My teammate tries to get the older lady to unplug her receiver and plug it back in, which should have fixed the problem. After 20 minutes she finally gets it powered back on but it still isn’t working.

The next step in the troubleshooting was to resend the authorizations to the receiver, essentially reprogramming the control card. Here is where my teammate got creative. He told the poor clueless user to get a potato from her kitchen. Once she got a potato he had her place it on the receiver and give it a spin. As she spun the potato on the receiver he resent the authorizations and her picture came back on. The lady thanked him and ended the call.

What is worst about this is I imagine the poor lady having the same problem later and telling whoever was there with her she could fix it by spinning a potato on top of her receiver. Our team later found out that the phone call was actually recorded and is, as far as I know, still talked about in the new hire classes as something not to do.

via [Reddit/TalesFromTechSupport]

Wayback Wednesday: The Internet, as seen by the 90′s.

Wow. The most boring introduction to the Internet EVAR.

First: That girl’s pants. At least this was made after the big hair era (Haira?) of the early 90′s.
Second: Those are some hardcore nerds – they are the REAL deal. I bow to my predecessors.
Third: “You can actually get some scripts of some TV shows, there are actually scripts for Star Trek, the New Generation…” (hmm, maybe not so hardcore of a nerd after all)
Fourth: They visit NASA’s site and get information about the Shuttle’s payload. Heh. “payload”

Kind of a long video – good for nap time…


Monday morning 8:30am.

Tech: “Support, can I help you?”

User: “My remote connection isn’t working.”

Tech: “What are you using to remote?”

User: “Logmein.

Went through the usual login name/password verification. Tried it locally on our tech system and target pc is not answering logmein request; computer is showing ‘offline’ in Logmein console.

After 15 minutes of discussion about how the user is moving offices we determined that the pc in question is still on and is still at the old office. The user was going to backup and shutdown the pc remotely so the local movers could disconnect and take it away. Suddenly user went quiet for a moment then asked:

User: “Could this have to do with us cancelling our internet service on Friday at the old office?”

Tech: “Derpy derp derp….”


Thank you Captain Obvious!

Mondays are always a great day for the helpdesk. It seems an overwhelmingly large number of users do something over the weekend that causes them to forget most, if not everything, they knew the week before. I’m used to unlocking an account or two and resetting a password… but this mornings incident was unprecedented.

User: I am having trouble opening a word document, can you help?

Me: *Logs into her computer and sees Word open in the task bar* Where are you opening this document from?

User: I got it from this email, see?

Me: *Toggles view to her secondary monitor and finds the document open and in focus* Hey, do you see the document? It’s on your second monitor.

User: Oh, there it is!

Sometimes, I wish we had web-cams installed at every desk so we could capture these moments of revelation.

via: [Kevin Bumber]