Top Ten Crazy Things Heard While Doing Tech Support

Today I’m sharing a guest post from Jim Ciscell, who also writes for many other sites such as and

Confessions from a Tech Support Customer Service Rep

When you work tech support for over ten years, you are likely to hear some crazy things said over the line by people you are talking to. I am not talking about the ‘cup holder / cd-rom” being broke. There is a level of crazy that will keep you awake at nights just thinking about what you heard. This is all personal experience, but brace your self for ‘Top Ten Crazy Things Said On A Tech Support Line.’

10. “O.J. Eyes”

While a computer was re-booting, the client said  “Can I ask you a question?” I answered “Absolutely.” This woman then proceeded to tell me that she had just had a fight with her boyfriend. She explained that they were both naked and the discussion spilled out of the trailer. This means that they were both standing outside the trailer in the trailer park arguing with each other. He started chasing her while both were naked. She ran to a friend’s trailer. Apparently, it was just that time of night because the friend was barely clothed as well. The friend denied the first naked woman entrance even though she said that her equally naked boyfriend had them “O.J. Eyes.” Apparently, everyone made it out of the incident unscarred… well except for me.

9. Pastor Porn

Having done all types of tech support, occasionally you have to run across the rather sensitive issue of pay for porn on a cable box. The wife, who found the porn on her bill, was adamant that no porn was ever ordered in her residence. The problem with that is that there is a record made of the serial number on the box when any video is ordered. The date is also recorded. The box was clearly in the home at the time when the porn was ordered. A bit of digging revealed that the house was actually a parsonage. After a little more discussed, the good Minister was nice enough to make a full confession.

8. “I Should Be Home”

Tech support over the phone is not always effective. There are situations in which you have to schedule out an in home technician. I came off hold after verifying a time frame on our system. The client had put the phone far enough away to where his conversation could still be heard. The client started talking about how the police were ‘unfair.’ Apparently, hiding in a closet during a drug bust doesn’t leave you a whole lot of options. Everyone else got out of the house through doors and windows. The client was now under house arrest. After a few minutes, the client put the phone back to his head. When asked about the earliest time frame for a tech to come out?  The client’s nonchalant response was “Yeah, I should be home.”

7.  “Murderer”

Any time that you do tech support, you will get shocked out of your brain the first time you are accused of straight up homicide. If you are working with phones, the night that the landline is down will be the night that their 87 year old grandmother will need to call 911. The first time I was accused of attempting to kill some one was while doing printer support. The mother stated that she was not able to print out prescriptions for her daughter. Without her daughter getting printed prescriptions from that one printer, the daughter would surely die. Before hanging up, the mother screamed “Blood is on your hands!”

6.  Weather Channel Wailing

There was the case of the couple that called in with an autistic child. Apparently, the child was only truly soothed by watching the Weather Channel. On that particular evening, the weather channel was going in and out. When the Weather Channel was on, the child was content. The second that the Weather Channel went black, the child would start wailing uncontrollably. The entire call would be interrupted every thirty seconds or so by a child screaming.

5.  “I Have To Take My Medication”

There are times when you understand that things take precedence over talking on the phone. This is understandable. The client’s issue was that their DVR would not pause live TV. During the course of the conversation, the client explained that he was a veteran who had a shrapnel injury. Everything was perfectly understandable up to this point. The client then stated that he would need to take his medication. This is where the situation got interesting. On the call, the client walked me through the entire process of shooting up morphine.  A few moments after finishing the shot, the client stated “You know, I don’t really care whether this works or not” and hung up the call.

4.  “An Acceptable Level Of Force”

Couldn’t find a good picture for #4 so I used this cool picture of a cat shooting a laser from its mouth.

Every now and again, the client will have to do something mechanical. In this case, the mechanical operation was reseating a cable on a hard drive. The hard drive cable would not move. I informed the client that there was a possibility that ‘some force’ might have to be used in order to get the cable to come out. At this point, the client made the following statement “Son, I am a New Jersey State Trooper, you are going to have to define what you consider to be an ‘acceptable level of force.’”

3.  The Kitchen Computer

This is one that I always referred to as ‘the instant divorce.’  Everything about the situation made sense until you attempt to explain the visual. The concern while trouble shooting computer is to ‘ground yourself’ against electric shocks when going into the computers. The woman on the phone stated that their was bad lighting. She took the computer into the kitchen where there was better lighting. The woman then stated that there was carpet in the kitchen. She did not want to get shocked. With a bit of ingenuity, she put down Tupperware bowls on the floor and stood in the Tupperware bowls. The visual here is that she was standing in Tupperware bowls in her carpeted kitchen while there were computer parts strewn over her counter. My only thought during this whole exchange was to get the call over with before her husband came home. I just though someone walking in on his wife disassembling the computer on a kitchen counter while standing in Tupperware was calling a lawyer for a divorce the next minute.

2.  The Dog Collar

Not the collar in the story, I hope.

About ten years ago, ‘grounding’ against an electrical charge was a serious concern. There were not many people who called into tech support with a magnetic armband for this situation. I asked a guy about ‘grounding’ during a call. He fumbled around a bit and then said later “I got it taken care of.”  At the end of the call, he said “Well, I need to detach this.” When prodded, the client explained what he had done. The client had taken a dog collar and attached one side of the collar to his wrist. He had attached the other side of the dog collar to a chair. With the phone in his ear, he was repairing the computer one handed while listening to my instructions.

1.  “The Laser”

Sometimes, there  is a simple request that will throw you throw a loop in the reasoning behind the simple request.  The client, an elderly gentlemen, called in to complain about the message light on his cable box. This is actually a fairly common discussion. He wanted the message light to go off. Once the messages are accessed, the light reminding you that there are messages will turn off. It was when the man explained that there were medical consequences to the light being on that the conversation got interesting. The man stated that the problem was in the positioning of the cable box. The way that the cable box sat, the ‘laser’ that was being emitted from the message light would hit his knee caps directly. In his rather unique physiology, this ‘laser’ was causing his knee caps to heat up which would in turn cause his toe nails to bleed. Hopefully, turning off the ‘laser’ from his message light did something to stop the bleeding toenails.

by Jim Ciscell, visit his site at Boofy Comics.


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