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Tech: "Hello. Tech Support; may I help you?"

Cust: "Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."

Tech: "What sort of trouble?"

Cust: "Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."

Tech: "Went away?"

Cust: "They disappeared."

Tech: "Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"

Cust: "Nothing."

Tech: "Nothing?"

Cust: "It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."

Tech: "Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?"

Cust: "How do I tell?"

Tech: [Uh-oh. Well, let's give it a try anyway.] "Can you see the Cust:\ prompt on the screen?"

Cust: "What's a sea-prompt?"

Tech: [Uh-huh, thought so. Let's try a different tack.] "Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the screen?"

Cust: "There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept anything I type."

Tech: [Ah-at least s/he knows what a cursor is. Sounds like a hardware problem. I wonder if s/he's kicked out his/her monitor's power plug.] "Does your monitor have a power indicator?"

Cust: "What's a monitor?"

Tech: "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?"

Cust: "I don't know."

Tech: "Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?"

Cust: [sound of rustling and jostling] [muffled] "Yes, I think so."

Tech: "Great! Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall."

Cust: [pause] "Yes, it is."

Tech: [Hmm. Well, that's interesting. I doubt s/he would have accidentally turned it off, and I don't want to send him/her hunting for the power switch because I don't know what kind of monitor s/he has and it's bound to have more than one switch on it. Maybe the video cable is loose or something.] "When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?"

Cust: "No."

Tech: "Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable."

Cust: [muffled] "Okay, here it is."

Tech: "Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."

Cust: [still muffled] "I can't reach."

Tech: "Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"

Cust: [clear again] "No."

Tech: "Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?"

Cust: "Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle-it's because it's dark."

Tech: "Dark?"

Cust: "Yes-the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window."

Tech: "Well, turn on the office light then."

Cust: "I can't."

Tech: "No? Why not?"

Cust: "Because there's a power outage."

Tech: "A power--!?!" ...[AAAAAAARGH!]..... "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?"

Cust: "Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."

Tech: "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."

Cust: "Really? Is it that bad?"

Tech: "Yes, I'm afraid it is."

Cust: "Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"

Tech: "Tell them you're TOO STUPID TO OWN A COMPUTER!" [slam]

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This page was last modified on November 22, 1997.

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