The Classic “WordPerfect Support Line” Story

This is a true story from the WordPerfect Helpline, which was transcribed from a recording monitoring the customer care department.

Needless to say the Help Desk employee was fired; however, he/she is currently suing the WordPerfect organization for “Termination without Cause”.

Actual dialogue of a former WordPerfect Customer Support employee.

(Now I know why they record these conversations!):

  • Operator: “Ridge Hall, computer assistance; may I help you?”
  • Caller: “Yes, well, I’m having trouble with WordPerfect.”
  • Operator: “What sort of trouble?”
  • Caller: “Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away.”
  • Operator: “Went away?”
  • Caller: “They disappeared.”
  • Operator: “Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?”
  • Caller: “Nothing.”
  • Operator: “Nothing??”
  • Caller: “It’s blank; it won’t accept anything when I type.”
  • Operator: “Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?”
  • Caller: “How do I tell?”
  • Operator: “Can you see the C: prompt on the screen?”
  • Caller: “What’s a sea-prompt?”
  • Operator: “Never mind, can you move your cursor around the screen?”
  • Caller: “There isn’t any cursor: I told you, it won’t accept anything I type.”
  • Operator: “Does your monitor have a power indicator?”
  • Caller: “What’s a monitor?”
  • Operator: “It’s the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it’s on?”
  • Caller: “I don’t know.”
  • Operator: “Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?”
  • Caller: “Yes, I think so.”
  • Operator: “Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it’s plugged into the wall.
  • Caller: “Yes, it is.”
  • Operator: “When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?”
  • Caller: “No.”
  • Operator: “Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable.”
  • Caller: “Okay, here it is.”
  • Operator: “Follow it for me, and tell me if it’s plugged securely into the back of your computer.”
  • Caller: “I can’t reach.”
  • Operator: “Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?”
  • Caller: “No.”
  • Operator: “Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over??”
  • Caller: “Oh, it’s not because I don’t have the right angle – it’s because it’s dark.”
  • Operator: “Dark??”
  • Caller: “Yes – the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window.”
  • Operator: “Well, turn on the office light then.”
  • Caller: “I can’t.”
  • Operator: “No? Why not??”
  • Caller: “Because there’s a power failure.”
  • Operator: “A power … A power failure? Aha, Okay, we’ve got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in??”
  • Caller: “Well, yes, I keep them in the closet.”
  • Operator: “Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from.”
  • Caller: “Really? Is it that bad?”
  • Operator: “Yes, I’m afraid it is.”
  • Caller: “Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them??”
  • Operator: “Tell them you’re too *%@#$&* stupid to own a computer!”

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