What did she think an email address was for?

Working in the hinterlands of ISP support in the late nineties it was fun to talk to people still “Surfing the Web” and finding out about these newfangled computer-y what’s-it’s-…

One night, while working my beloved 4PM to Midnight shift, a woman called in and said she had an issue. Well if you have an issue, we open a ticket. So, as was procedure, I asked her for her primary email address. She said she didn’t know.

I asked her again, making sure she knew what I was asking for “you know, the one you picked out when you opened the service, the one you give to people who email you.”

“I don’t want to give you that information.”

USUAL RED FLAG: usually this means the person is paranoid, and is going to be unhelpful.

“Well, it will make the call go more smoothly as I can access issues I you have had in the past; that may help us resolve this one more quickly.”

“Can I give you an alias?”

Our ISP allowed up to 5 alias accounts, but you still had to log in with the primary account.

I said back, “Uhh you can, but then I have to trace back to your primary account and use that address. It really is quicker just to give it to me.”

“Can I spell it?”

“Uhh, sure…” Hmm this should be good.

“My email is B-I-G-B-O-O-B-S @ISP.net”

I had to resist the urge to call her “Ms. Bigboobs” for the rest of the call. Her issue was that she was traveling in Florida, and couldn’t get the DUN to connect. I worked with her, couldn’t get it to work.  She hung up, then talked to about ten other agents that night. By the end, we had all taken our turn…with Bigboobs…

Moral of the Story: be careful what you pick for your email address…eventually you are gonna have to tell it to someone.

Semantics – you’ve heard it a million times.

I had a client come in and say that another tech had “fixed their hard drive, it’s a silver one” (they were here to pick it up).  Since said tech was off sick, I ended up dealing with it.

So I went through the stack of hard drives on the desk, spent about 15 minutes looking through every one of the jobs there and could not find it. Trying to squeeze every bit of information out of them I finally found the issue. “Its a silver Apple one”…. oh, you mean this big tower here….

Next time I should ask them what they want their “screen saver” set to…sorry, I mean ‘wallpaper.’

Next up: The fire department gets a call about the firewall…

I remember about 6 or 7 years ago I worked for a computer repair centre. We used to have a ‘wall of shame’ in the tech room, where basically if any of us came across a particulary brain dead client we would stick a copy of the work order on the wall for the rest of the employees to see.

(A bit of background, the client was a big corporate client of ours but they were working out in the middle of nowhere. It was a 6 hour round trip for our technicians at $90 per hour travel time, and a minumum charge of 3 hours on-site time at $150 per hour at a priority service charge)

My favourite one on the wall of shame went something like….

WORK DESCRIPTION

Client called to report that one of his servers is making a beeping noise. This call is urgent. He authorizes a priority service call for repair.

RESOLUTION

Advised client to replace batteries in fire alarm

CHARGES

$990

[Picture Source: shingst (CC)]