Evil Genius helpdesk humour
"We care a lot"

Internet is hard

Operator: "We need to know the address to enter in order to bring up the config screen for your router."

Customer: "What do I need to do?"

Operator: "Do you still have the manual?"

Customer: "Yes."

Operator: "You'll be able to read the config address in there."

Customer: "I don't know how to do that!"

Well, hold it up to the phone and let me do it for you.

Missing the secret ingredient

Customer: "I'm having real trouble connecting to the internet, because I don't know how. My son-in-law usually does it for me, but he's out of town this week."

It's gonna get harder if you try calling the helpdesk every time you want to connect.

Cause and effect

Customer: "Look, I'm having a terrible time trying to get connected."

Operator: "What seems to be the problem?"

Customer: My computer's always trying to dial a long number which doesn't make any sense. Your fella yesterday was able to get me connected, but then the problem came back."

Operator: "I see from his notes that your computer's infected by a trojan dialer, and that he recommended downloading a spyware killer program once you connected yesterday. Did the killer remove the infection?"

Customer: "No, because I didn't do any of that."

Operator: "...why not?"

Customer: "It's hard."

Cause and effect

Customer: "I can't see any websites, and I just don't understand why."

Operator: "Do you have any problem receiving your email?"

Customer: "No, that's fine. It's just the internet I can't see and I don't understand the reason."

Operator: "Is there an error message?"

Customer: "No, and I don't understand why."

Operator: "What was the last thing you were able to do with the connection?"

Customer: "I installed an internet blocking program."

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer

Operator: "[RIP] internet technical support, [Operator] speaking."

Customer: "I hope you can help me, I've got a problem."

Operator: "What sort of problem?"

Customer: "I've installed a program, and it's put an icon on my desk top. It's the ugliest icon I've ever seen, and I'd like to change it."

Operator: "..."
ISP tech support — the IT swiss army knife.

Cart before the horse

Customer: "Hi, I called earlier about trouble with my work email account. Can you tell me, am I still having problems?"

Operator: "What kind of error message does it show now?"

Customer: "I don't know, I haven't tried."

"I'd like to know if there's going to be any unexpected outages this week."

Cart before the horse

Customer: "I'm calling on behalf of [small company], I'm their IT contractor. I need to know if they're having some trouble getting online."

Operator: "What sort of problem have they mentioned to you?"

Customer: "Oh, I haven't spoken with them."

And now from the "completely inexplicable" files

Operator: "I'd like you to restart the computer, and let me know what version of Windows it displays as it loads."

Customer: "Okay, I'm doing that now."

Operator: "Right."

Customer: "Dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty."

Operator: "Sorry, what?"

Customer: "Nothing. It's turning off now."

Operator: "Okay."

Customer: "Dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty."

Operator: "Uh... everything alright there?"

Customer: "Don't mind me."

Operator: "Oh-kay..."

Customer: "Dirty, dirty, dirty -- it's starting up again now. Windows XP."

Out of sight, out of mind

Operator: "It could be the connection which is causing the trouble you've had receiving email. Are you having any trouble viewing websites?"

Customer: "I thought I might be, so I had a look earlier."

Operator: "And what was the result?"

Customer: "I forgot."

Thus speaks a man who needs his wife's help to get his pants on in the mornings.

Can you be more specific?

Operator: "And when the info screen comes up, I'll need you to give me the program version number."

Customer: "What do you mean by 'number'?"

If you have nothing to say, don't say it here.

Listen and you might learn something

Operator: "Sounds like you could have a spyware problem there. You can solve that by --"

Customer: "How do I fix it?"

Operator: "Uh, you'll just need to connect to --"

Customer: "Is it hard?"

Operator: "No, it's quite easy. You can --"

Customer: "I'm not very good with computers, as you've probably figured out."

Operator: "...you'll need to take that computer to a hardware technician."

Customer: "Oh dear. That's going to cost a lot of money, isn't it?"

Operator: "Yes."

Unrealistic expectations

Notes taken from a trouble ticket:

24/09/04 15:21 chrisk ticket_open

* graham calling / win98 / conexant hcf modem

* connection dropping, auth log shows line noise disconnections

* lowered fifo buffers, added init string at&f&c1&d2s10=200+ms=v90,1, removed hardware flow control - no improvement

* caller says the police are tapping his line, would that cause the problem? - advised him probably not

* caller also advises that the police are involved in drug smuggling, and he's been reporting it to the government for some time

* furthermore, caller advises that there is a conspiracy reaching the highest levels of parliament and that shortly they're going to make him vanish because he knows too much

* offered caller our deepest sympathies, advised to have line checked by telco / NFA

Redo from start

Customer: "Do you have any idea how long you've kept me waiting? What am I paying you people for?!"

Operator: (getting fed up) "Mr [Customer], I'm looking at our stats board now, and the longest anyone has been waiting today is four minutes twenty-three seconds."

Customer: "That's because every time you keep me waiting too long I hang up and redial to try and get through quicker!"

And that really works, so I think you should keep trying it.

Questionable priorities

Customer: "Look, you'll just have to be patient with me. I know I'm getting it wrong, but it's not easy doing this and putting on make-up at the same time."

I guess we should be grateful for small advances. Really really small advances.


Customer: "It says 'the SMTP server name entered does not appear to be valid. Do you want to use it anyway?'."

Operator: (Grrr) "You'll need to click 'no'."

Customer: "Okay, I clicked it."

Operator: "You'll need to enter the server name again. Now, because this is the seventh time we've tried this, I'd like you to stop after typing it and read the name you've entered to make sure it's correct before clicking next."

...time passes...

Operator: "Now, is it correct?"

Customer: (triumphantly) "No! It's wrong!"

Stuck record

Customer: "I don't know how to close this program. Should I shut the computer down?"

Operator: "No, you'll just need to click the cross up at the top right-hand corner."

Customer: "I clicked it, nothing happened. Oh wait, it's all gone. There's a big box behind it, does that mean I need to shut the computer down?"

Operator: "Next you'll need to open up your Start menu."

Customer: "It's not opening. I think I need to shut the computer down. Sometimes that helps."

Operator: "No, there's no need for that. I'd like you to click it again."

Customer: "Okay, that worked."

Operator: "Next I'd like you to open the Control Panel."

Customer: "Nothing happened."

Operator: "Click it again."

Customer: "No, nothing happened. It's not going to work. I think I should shut the computer down. Sometimes that helps."

Operator: (sigh) "Okay, go ahead."

Customer: "I've shut it down. Will that get me connected now?"

Operator: "Nope."

Customer: "Then why did you tell me to do it?"

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer

Operator: "I'll read out the initiationisation string, and you'll just need to type it in on that line. First it's 'A' for Arther..."

Customer: "'A'."

Operator: "Then 'T' for Tim..."

Customer: "'T'."

Operator: "Next is an ampersand sign, so for that you'll need to hold down the 'shift' key and press the number seven."


Operator: "Not on the phone...!"

The Vatican is trying to choose a patron saint for the internet. Some people want St Isadore (who wrote the first encyclopaedia), I think St Jude (the patron of lost causes) is better qualified.

Cart before the horse

Operator: "Okay, I think we've found the problem. You'll need to enter —"

Customer: "I can't do that at the moment, my keyboard isn't working. I just thought I'd get this internet problem solved before I looked at that."

Now that I think about it, maybe a saw is the right tool for the job.

Can't see the woods for the trees

Operator: "Mrs [Customer], if there's genuinely nothing under the enter key, it means someone has sawed your keyboard in half. Now please, try again... it's the shift key you're looking for."

One foot after another

Customer: "I can't connect."

Operator: "What error message do you get when you try to connect?"

Customer: "What's an arrow message?"

Operator: (sigh) "I'd like to look at some of your settings, so if you could switch on the computer --"

Customer: "Switch on? Switch on! That's what I've been forgetting!"

Out of sight, out of mind

Operator: "What version of Windows do you have installed?"

Customer: "I can't remember. It'll tell me that if I shut down and restart the computer, right?"

Operator: "That's right."

...five minutes later...

Operator: "What version of Windows is it?"

Customer: "...I forgot to look. Hang on, I'll restart it again."

...five minutes later...

Operator: "What version of Windows is it?"

Customer: "Oh, that's right -- I was meant to be watching, wasn't I?"

Operator: ...groan...

And they say TV doesn't shorten your attention span.
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