Var blev ni av, ljuva drömmar?

Kommentar, mer eller mindre relevant, på det politiska läget i mitt nya hemland. Det räcker inte med bara en dollar numera…

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October 22, 2013 · 8:19 pm

Dinner!

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Lucky Perk, take notice. You need to go away.

My favorite on-the-way-to-work coffee place is under new ownership.

There is a big sign by the counter that proudly states the owners are new, but the baristas and the coffee are the same. They lie!

I’ve been stopping there on my way to work 2-3 times a week since we moved here a few years ago, and I don’t recognize a single face. For the first time in over a year I have to actually explain how I want my coffee drink, and they don’t even offer breakfast sandwiches. Also, the coffee they serve tastes awful. In fact, it’s disgusting.

Before the switch, when Moxie Java ran the place, it was packed in the mornings. Since they changed to the Local Franchise, it’s not. There was one other person there this morning. One! And they are slooooow. I have to be at work by 9:00 AM… before, if I left home by 8:35, i had time to stop for coffee, with time to spare. Now, if I leave by 8:35, I barely make it to work on time.

This particular local franchise sucks donkey balls and I hope they go out of business. They ruined my morning coffee place!

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Say “thank you” now and then

People who chose to make a career out of a Customer Service job did that because of the happy customers who appreciate their efforts. We mock the stupid ones, vent about the painful ones, and we laugh at the condescending ones, but the grateful ones, who actually take the time to compose an email to management about how much they appreciate all we did to help them… those are the ones we come to work for and the ones who keep us going.

So please, take a moment to say thank you and pay a compliment. If you work in Customer Service yourself, you know very well how such a simple thing can completely make your day and remind you why you choose this job to begin with. If you don’t work in the field, you’ll just have to trust me on this. That short and polite question, “is there a manager I can talk to, to register a compliment about you?” is what keeps us going when the really bad customers ambush us.

So take a moment to say thank you. Just a short one. It’s easy.

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For once, a customer made me laugh

After spending a few years on the receiving end of hardware support phone calls, I’ve heard all the bad jokes. I’ve heard all the abysmal ones.I’ve even heard all the good ones so often they aren’t funny anymore.

And then, this happened. Customer calls in for tech support help. Essentially, his order was lost in transit by the stupid courier company that was supposed to deliver them. So the customer calls us back and is confused. Where is the order? The agent that takes the call checks the dollar value of the order, and since it’s very low he immediately sends out a replacement, with apologies. The replacement is DOA, Dead On Arrival.

At this point, I’m astonished that the customer was still in a good mood when he called in for tech support, to find out why the part didn’t work. I did some troubleshooting with him, verified he had a bad module, and tried to put a good spin on it with my “I can fix this”-speech. The customer bought it (thankfully) and was all in favor of a warranty exchange, so I started creating the paperwork and told him I would make sure UPS emailed him a pre-paid label for the return shipping. The customer proceeds to tell me that without working memory his computer is down, so he can’t print the label.

Oh. Okay, I can work around that.

So I nod to myself, and proceed to confidently tell my customer, “That’s okay, I can work around that.”

He’s quiet for a moment and then says, “You must be a wife. Wives are the only ones who know how to solve problems.”

For some bizarre reason that reply made me laugh for over a minute.

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Protest SOPA, now!

Wikipedia has the scoop

And that link works. Though Wikipedia, along with Craigslist, Google, and other sites, are doing their black-out protest of SOPA and PIPA today, Wikipedia have made sure that their detailed article on why these two are bad, is visible to everyone.

Protest, everyone in the US. This is our only chance to tell Congress and the Senate just how stupidly bad this legislation is. The fact that hardly anyone involved in it understands how the internet works is actually not the worst part about this piece of legislation. Protest if you’re outside the US as well. If SOPA or PIPA, or both, are passed into law, the US-based websites you visit every day could be lost to you.

SOPA gives a game publishing company the power to legally shut down the entire domain Gamespot.com, if they think that posting videos or screenshots from one of their games is a copyright violation severe enough that it needs to be stopped. The company making this request is not required to notify Gamespot, or ask them to remove the content–which is already their right, and if asked, Gamespot is legally required to comply–and Gamespot would remain offline until they can prove they were innocent and didn’t know that copyright was violated. SOPA also gives the MPAA and the RIAA the ability to create “black-lists” of site that they want taken down or censored, and the legal right and ability to make that happen. So in theory, if this bill goes through the US Congress, the entire world could lose access to Gamespot, or for that matter, YouTube.

WIkipedia has suggestions on how people outside this country can protest by contacting their own governments. Let’s get this ball rolling. Protest SOPA and PIPA.

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People who should not be computer techs: Exhibit A.

This particular customer bought a memory upgrade for her computer. It didn’t work, and she contacted us for a warranty exchange. Fair enough, and no problem, that’s why we have a warranty policy. We set up all paper work and send her a replacement. So far so good.

Except the replacement memory isn’t working either. And it’s not working in exactly the same way the first one was not working: Whenever it is installed, the computer refuses to power on.

I express my sympathies and apologize for the hassle, and we start troubleshooting and reseating parts. The last part is a bit of a challenge, since the lady in question has never installed memory before, she paid a computer tech to come out and do it for her the first time. But she is a fast learner and good at following instructions, and we chit-chat off and on as she attempts to reach in behind the snake pit of wires inside her Pavilion computer to get to the memory slots. She eventually does, and we manage to get the memory correctly seated in the slot, and start up the computer. Or rather, we try to — nothing happens.

As we work on removing the memory, to prepare for the next troubleshooting step, the customer again comments that this is exactly how the first memory behaved as well. I try, as discretely as possible, to hint that perhaps the memory was not correctly installed, since that could cause the comptuer not to POST, but she doesn’t think so. The reason she doesn’t, is that she paid a computer tech to come out to work on that first memory module. The computer started, but didn’t recognize the new memory, so she had innocently suggested that the memory might not be installed right. To prove to her that it was installed correctly, the tech reached into the case and removed the memory and showed her how to install it, to prove that it had been done right the first time. Without turning off the computer first.

I almost managed to hit “mute” before I choked on my coffee. Almost.

When I’m done coughing and I can breathe again, I hear the customer on the other end, confused, “Hello? Are you still there? Hello?”

I assure her that I am still on the line, and apologize for my sudden silence. I then spend the next minute or so desperately groping for words that won’t get me in trouble with the supervisor that sits at the desk next to mine, but eventually I am forced to once again apologize for staying silent. This time I felt compelled to add the explanation that I was a little bit stunned, and searching for words.

I eventually manged to find a polite and kind way of suggesting to the lady on the phone that she should seriously consider hiring a technician from another store next time, and that we needed to power off her computer and take the new memory out right away, before more damage was done. I then moved on to explain, as gently as I could, the consequences of removing or inserting components into a motherbord while it is powered on, and promised that we would send a UPS driver to her house to pick up the replacement memory if she wanted to return everything for a full refund.

She said she would take her computer to another store and have them look at it before she decided, and then the very charming and well-mannered lady went into a fuming angry rant about how the first technician owed her a refund. Now that I am no longer being recorded by work, I can openly say that I fully agree with her.

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Filed under Everything Computers