Control-A

March 12th, 2008at 09:09pm Posted by Eli

Great moments in tech support, courtesy of NYT’s David Pogue:

Caller: So, I’m having a problem with my mouse? It’s, like, squeaking?

Agent: I’m sorry, did you say squeaking?

Caller: That’s right. The faster I move it across the screen, the louder it squeaks.

Agent: I’m sorry—are you pressing your mouse up against the screen?

Caller: Well, sure! There’s a message that says, “Click here to continue!”

(…)

On one call, the caller seemed to be taking an inordinately long time to complete each instruction she was given.

Agent: Ma’am, I can’t help noticing that every time I give you an instruction, it takes a really long time before you get back to me. Is your computer that slow?

Caller: Oh, no, it’s just the stupid, stupid design of this computer. Every time I want to click something, I have to unplug the keyboard to plug in the mouse. And then every time I want to use the keyboard again, I have to unplug the mouse. Because there’s only one jack.

Agent: Ma’am, you do realize that there’s a jack on the keyboard itself? You’re supposed to plug the mouse into the keyboard, and the keyboard into the computer.

Caller: Are YOU KIDDING ME!? Oh, wait a minute—yes, I see it now! Oh, holy cow. That’s going to be so much easier!

Agent: Just out of curiosity, how long have you been using your computer that way?

Caller: Six weeks!

(…)

Agent: Certainly, sir. There are keyboard shortcuts for many of those commands. For example, suppose you want to trigger the Select All command…

[Canadian] Caller: Yes, I use that one all the time! How do I do it?

Agent: Well, you just press Control-A.

Caller (after a pause): Well, that’s not working for me.

Agent: Do you have a text document open in front of you?

Caller: Yes, I sure do.

Agent: OK, now press Control-A.

Caller: I am, but nothing happens.

Agent: The text isn’t highlighted?

Caller: No, there’s no change at all.

Agent: That’s odd. If you press Control-A, the whole document should be highlighted. Try it again. Press Control-A. Tell me exactly what’s happening.

Caller (nearing his Canadian breaking point): Listen. I’m pressing Control, eh? And nothing’s happening, eh?

Those keyboard shortcuts are especially handy if you’re unplugging your keyboard every time you use your mouse.

Entry Filed under: Technology,Weirdness


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