17 IT Workers Reveal The Most Computer Illiterate Things They’ve Seen People Do.
Have you tried turning it off and on again?
IT professionals of Reddit were asked: "What's the worst case of computer illiteracy that you've experienced?" These are some of the best answers.
1/17 A co-worker of mine once told me a story while he was working help desk that a user was having an issue copying files to his new computer. He went to see what the problem was, and the guy showed him what he was doing. He had the mouse plugged in to his old computer, right click, copy. Then he would unplug his mouse, plug it into the new computer, and was trying to right click, paste.
2/17 I support the Electronic Medical Record at a hospital. This was an actual conversation I had with a Physician:
Me: Okay, Dr. ---, I just need your IP address so I can remote in and take a look at the issue.
Doctor: I will not give that to you. You do not need to know where I live.
Me: No Doctor that's not what an IP Address is-
Doctor: I AM NOT TELLING YOU WHERE I LIVE.
Me: Okay then, let's just try to walk through this over the phone then. sighs
3/71 Working as a tech in the military. Get a call from the helo shop that one of the computers won't turn on. I show up and sure enough the thing won't power on. Open up the case and a flood of grease pours out. Apparently the fan was making too much noise so the user decided to spray half a can of WD40 into it.
4/17 You know the standard power plug receptacle on the back of every PC tower since they were first created? Did you know that a USB cable will fit directly in between the positive and negative metal prongs? I had a woman hook her printer to her tower that way. No other cables were connected to either device. When she was shown how to connect the USB cable to the USB port, she said, "Oh, I thought the printer was wireless"
5/17 On deployment, the radio shop calls over to the helpdesk. "Everytime I put a CD in the tray and close it, the CD falls off." "Ok what type of computer do you have?" "Its a d4" "...wtf... a d4?" "Yes". "Ok well I'll head over there."
....the tower is upside down....
6/17 User: Hello, I seem to be have a problem with my pc, it keeps flashing up an app error???
Me: Okay, could you tell me what application you are in and send me a screenshot?
User: Sure I'll get onto that right away
Considering it would normally take a fair amount of time to get her off the phone, I was pleasantly surprised how cool she was.
Anyway, fast forward 3 days, haven't heard anything and I get a letter in our internal mail with the word screenshot in big bold writing. I shit you not, she had taken a picture of the computer screen, had it developed and sent over to my office.
7/17 Teaching an older lady in outback Australia a POS system for a service station. Explained a little bit about it and had to run out the front as the front register wasn't working. Came back to the older lady and she had the mouse on the ground using it like a sewing machine pedal. After that I kind of gave up.
8/17 "I can't find my document."
"Ok, where did you save it?"
"I understand you saved it in Word, but where did you save the file in Word?"
"Listen, I save it in Word, Word does the rest."
"Newbie, handle this, I'm going to hurt a wall with my head."
9/17 Double click everything. Double click start menu icon to open it, double click menu item to open it. I didn't correct them because it would have been too painful to teach them why a file has to be opened by double click and a menu by single.
10/17 A friend called me to find out why her printer was printing really faded documents. I explained that it was probably just out of ink. She said, yeah I got the popup and bought more ink, it still doesn't work. I asked if she checked the cartridge and she had no idea what I was talking about...she thought ink would download through the internet to her printer... she's a nurse now.
11/17 So it was the very first lab session, on the very first year of Computer Science at a prestigious university in the UK. The lab was very simple, more of an introduction to the Uni systems. You had to do the following
1) Find some text on an intranet site
2) Copy the text into a notepad file
3) Use the terminal program to log onto the department Unix server
4) Put the file onto your Unix fileshare
Nice and easy huh. I completed it in about 5 mins, because, you know, I've seen computers before. However the poor chap next to me was not so fortunate.
After wrestling with Netscape for about 15 mins, he found the information required, he then pulled out a large paper notepad, and copied, word for word, the entire six paragraph text.
He then closed Netscape (back to desktop), opened notepad, and then typed everything back in from his notes. Saved, closed and then tried to follow the explicit written instructions on how to logon and put the file.. After 20 mins of this I broke down and helped him with that bit.
Stunned. Though I don't recall seeing him in the CS classes after the first year...
12/17 Mouse literally pressed against the monitor when asked to hover over an icon.
13/17 This lady wasn't able to remotely access her computer. She had done it without issue the night before, and she was entering all the information correctly into the client, so I was confused about what might be going wrong.
On a hunch, I asked her, "Is the remote computer turned on?" She replies, "Oh, no, it's unplugged and sitting in the hallway, why?" To which I had to say something like, "You have to turn on the computer before you can use it."
14/17 I am a motion graphic designer / video editor for a corporation. This basically means I am the younger / young-ish person in the office surrounded by a lot of corporate drones who somehow work in Microsoft Excel 8 hours a day but don't know when to double click or single click to save their lives.
A particularly dense co-worker visits my desk one day, just pops in (which is kind of annoying to begin with - make a calendar appointment fool!) and asks me "if I have a jpeg picture of someone, can you make it smaller?" Of course I respond "sure!" now, 90% of us know that there are a few ways to do this, so I asked her "do you want it smaller in size, or smaller in file size, or possibly both?" She wanted the file size to be smaller for posting it to a site.
She then proceeded to ask me if I could "turn it into a cartoon." Now, being a graphic designer, that is also within the range of my capability but also not a very common request for this corporate environment. Again, I responded "sure! is there a specific project you're completing that needs a picture of this person turned into a caricature?" at this point I'm thinking maybe she needs it for some joke or corporate offsite event or a retirement card or what have you.
"Well" she responds, completely seriously, "I figured that if you took it and made it into a cartoon then that would make it smaller?" She was completely flat out serious. She believed that somehow through me getting out my wacom tablet and drawing this motherfucker, that we could then proceed forward with a smaller (in file size) jpeg instead of my just converting the picture to a smaller size.
Now whenever we need something in the video department to be smaller, we say "turn it into a cartoon"
15/17 My boss once asked me for my help to log out of gmail. She was in Excel.
16/17 When the head of IT at my former job thought he could combine two excel documents by saving them both with the same name.
17/17 When I was an intern in a hospital (we would handle the computers for all the medical staff), there was one call that stuck with me.
This doctor called in the department and submitted a ticket. "My computer vibrate every 2 minutes, PRECISELY". The guy doesn't have a laptop. He's saying his desktop PC is VIBRATING every 2 minutes. We're curious so we drop what we're doing and we go and check. Everything seems fine with the PC so we don't really know what's going on.
Two minutes goes by since we got there... I just couldn't believe it. The dude had put his pager on the computer, and he was receiving calls / reminders every two minutes, so it was vibrating on top of his computer. The guy had no clue it was not part of the PC and that he was supposed to keep it on him for emergency purposes, so for him, it was a moving piece of the PC and it kept vibrating and it was annoying.
We had.... uh... some explaining to do.
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It's hard working in customer service, especially with irate customers. You need to be able to empathize and understand where your customers are coming from, show sympathy, and be willing to help them with their problem. However, if they come at you ranting and raving about an issue which clearly has nothing to do with you, well, then you're free to rant about them on the internet.