Stupid user tricks

It's funny the things people fail to grasp when it comes to computers. Sure, there are always the "complicated" things that are the realm of "the IT people," but there are always some users who don't get the basic concepts. Kind of like Raymond Chen's relative who thinks everyting is Outlook. he user was complaining

My favorite example of this I wittnessed by accident. I was doing an installation of some crappy software that I own (read: was foisted upon me) and the last workstation I need to do just happened to be the same one our lead PC tech was working on. We had recently switched that location to a different Windows domain and the user was complaining that his bookmarks had disappeared. However, the tech had already checked the user's profile directory and the couple of Internet Explorer favorites he had were still there.

The problem? Terminology. When the user said his bookmarks were gone, he was really referring to the recently typed addresses in the location drop-down. It turns out he only ever visited the same handful sites, so the the "recent" locations were always the same. Since that's where all his links were, he apparently just assumed that those must be those "bookmarks" everybody's always talking about. In this day and age, you'd think that everybody would understand bookmarks by now. But you'd be wrong.

Then again, there are also those users who just don't seem to be paying attention. One day, I was walking back to my desk and saw one of the help desk techs sitting slouched over, shaking her head. When I asked what was wrong, she recounted the following call.
Tech: "Help desk. What can I do for you?"
User: "I'm having trouble printing."
Tech: "OK. What are you trying to print from?"
User: "My computer."

I think this tech is an example to us all. Or at least to me. She calmly and professionally answered the user's question. I, on the other hand, don't know if I would have been able to prevent myself from openly mocking the user. "Your computer? You're sure you don't mean your calculator or your phone?" "Oh, your computer. I'm glad you cleared that up. I mean, this is the IT help desk, so it's sometimes hard to tell if a call is going to be computer-related. Thanks for saving us that extra question." I mean, it's just too easy. You almost have to take the shot.

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