Sometimes Consider the Person on the Other End of the Help Desk

This is a true story from the WordPerfect Helpline, which was transcribed from a recording monitoring the customer care department.. Needless to say the Help Desk employee was fired; however, he/she is currently suing the WordPerfect organization for ‘Termination without Cause.’

Actual dialogue of a former WordPerfect Customer Support employee.
(Now I know why they record these conversations!)

Operator: ‘Ridge Hall, computer assistance; may I help you?’
Caller: ‘Yes, well, I’m having trouble with WordPerfect .’
Operator: ‘What sort of trouble?’
Caller: ‘Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away.’
Operator: ‘Went away?’
Caller: ‘They disappeared’
Operator: ‘Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?’
Caller: ‘Nothing.’
Operator: ‘Nothing??’
Caller: ‘It’s blank; it won’t accept anything when I type.’
Operator: ‘Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?’
Caller: ‘How do I tell?’
Operator: ‘Can you see the ‘C: prompt’ on the screen?’
Caller: ‘What’s a sea-prompt?’
Operator: ‘Never mind, can you move your cursor around the screen?’
Caller: ‘There isn’t any cursor; I told you, it won’t accept anything I type.’
Operator: ‘Does your monitor have a power indicator?’
Caller: ‘What’s a monitor?’
Operator: ‘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?’
Caller: ‘I don’t know.’
Operator: ‘Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?’
Caller: ‘Yes, I think so.’
Operator: ‘Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it’s plugged into the wall.
Caller: ‘Yes, it is.’
Operator: ‘When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?’
Caller: ‘No.’
Operator: ‘Well, there are.. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable.’
Caller: ‘Okay, here it is.’
Operator: ‘Follow it for me, and tell me if it’s plugged securely into the back of your computer.’
Caller: ‘I can’t reach.’
Operator: ‘OK. Well, can you see if it is?’
Caller: ‘No.’
Operator: ‘Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?’
Caller: ‘Well, it’s not because I don’t have the right angle — it’s because it’s dark.’
Operator: ‘Dark?’
Caller: ‘Yes – the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window.’
Operator: ‘Well, turn on the office light then.’
Caller: ‘I can’t.’
Operator: ‘No? Why not?’
Caller: ‘Because there’s a power failure..’
Operator: ‘A power …. A power failure? Aha. Okay, we’ve got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff that your computer came in?’
Caller: ‘Well, yes, I keep them in the closet.’
Operator: ‘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.’
Caller: ‘Really? Is it that bad?’
Operator: Yes, I’m afraid it is.’
Caller: ‘Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?’
Operator: ‘Tell them you’re too stupid to own a computer!’

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