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: "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?"
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."
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]