9/13/2006 – Editorials



By Richard Peterson

I noticed this item in Jason Nordmark’s column in The Star at Rolla.

He found the article by Jim Carlton in the Wall Street Journal:

Whenever you think you’re having computer problems, consider these true stories.

1) Compaq is considering changing the command "Press any key" to "Press return key" because of the floods 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 Compaq technician received a call from a man complaining that the system wouldn’t read word processing files from his old diskettes. After troubleshooting for magnets and heat failed to diagnose the problem, it was found that the consumer labeled the disks then forced them into a typewriter to type the labels.

4) Another AST customer was asked to send in a copy of her defective diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived with Xeroxed copies of the floppies.

5) 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 of his room.

6) 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.

7) Another Dell customer needed help setting up a new program, so a Dell tech suggested he to go to the local Egghead. "Yeah, I got me a couple of friends," the customer replied. When told that Egghead was a software store, the man said, "Oh, I thought you meant for me to find a couple of geeks."

8) 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.

9) A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged because his computer had told him he was "bad and an invalid." The tech explained that the computer’s "bad command" and "invalid"

responses shouldn’t be taken personally.

10) An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn’t get her new Dell computer to turn on. After ensuring that the computer was plugged in, the technician asked her what happened when she pushed the power button. Her response, "I pushed and pushed on the foot pedal and nothing happens." The "foot pedal" turned out to be the computer’s mouse.

11) Another customer called Compaq tech support to say that her brand-new computer wouldn’t work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in, and sat for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked. "What power switch?"

—000—

Stumpy and his wife Martha went to the state fair every year. Every year Stumpy would say, "Martha, I’d like to ride in that airplane."

And every year Martha would say, "I know, Stumpy, but that airplane ride costs ten dollars, and ten dollars is ten dollars."

This one year Stumpy and Martha went to the fair and Stumpy said, "Martha, I’m 71 years old. If I don’t ride that airplane this year I may never get another chance."

Martha replied, "Stumpy, that airplane ride costs ten dollars, and ten dollars is ten dollars."

The pilot overheard them and said, "Folks, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll take you both up for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say one word, I won’t charge you, but if you say one word it’s ten dollars."

Stumpy and Martha agreed and up they go. The pilot does all kinds of twists and turns, rolls and dives, but not a word is heard. He does all his tricks over again, but still not a word.

They land and the pilot turns to Stumpy, "By golly, I did everything I could think of to get you to yell out, but you didn’t."

Stumpy replied, "Well, I was gonna say something when Martha fell out, but ten dollars is ten dollars."

—000—

Once upon a time, there was an officer of the Royal Navy named Captain Bravado who showed no fear when facing his enemies. One day, while sailing the Seven Seas, his lookout spotted a pirate ship approaching, and the crew became frantic. Captain Bravado bellowed, "Bring me my red shirt!"

The first mate quickly retrieved the captain’s red shirt, and while wearing the brightly colored frock, he led his crew into battle and defeated the mighty pirates. That evening, all the men sat around on deck recounting the triumph. One of them asked the captain, "Sir, why did you call for your red shirt before battle?"

The captain replied, "If I were to be wounded in the attack, the shirt would not show my blood. Thus, you men would continue to fight, unafraid." All of the men sat and marveled at the courage of such a manly man’s man. As dawn came the next morning, the lookout spotted not one, not two, but TEN pirate ships approaching. The crew stared in worshipful silence at the captain and waited for his usual orders.

Captain Bravado gazed with steely eyes upon the vast armada arrayed against his ship, and without fear, turned and calmly shouted, "Get me my brown pants."


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