Tales from a Techie

Tales from a Techie: Funny Real Life Stories from Tech Support
© 2014 Matt Garrett
250 pages

I’ve been reading tech support horror stories since I was first online in 1997, from Rinkworks’ “Computer Stupidities” to Reddit’s “TalesfromTechSupport” subreddit. On a whim I searched Amazon to see if there were any books in that vein and saw this one on Kindle Unlimited, so I read it through. It’s a quick read, written in a conversational tone, and is amusing from time to time. Tech support stories mix technical curiosity (learning about older systems or picking up troubleshooting procedures) with a good dose of schadenfreude in general. Here the appeal is almost all schadenfreude, as most of the issues are things like spilling coffee into keyboards, dropping ipads into bathtubs, and rescuing computers from gobs of malicious software acquired on websites of ill repute. The problems recorded here aren’t technically interesting, so the appeal is in commiserating with someone who is forced to spend his days pointing out to people that computers need to be plugged in to work. One unintended but amusing element of the book is that Garrett uses the same two pseudonyms for all of his male and female clients (“Bill” and “Claire”), to the effect that he seems to work for two extraordinarily incompetent and slightly schizophrenic people.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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12 Responses to Tales from a Techie

  1. Mudpuddle says:

    this actually sounds like a lot of fun… i think i'll see if i can get a copy… tx…

  2. Elle says:

    This sounds absolutely hilarious to read. I've worked in retail and sometimes the stories I have from there seem so crazy that people think I've made it up xDKeep on Reading

  3. Stephen says:

    If you don't mind reading an e-book, it's really cheap on Amazon!

  4. Stephen says:

    Customer service stories are a guilty pleasure of mine — reading NotAlwaysRight, watching videos of public freak outs, that sort of thing. It doesn't seem to matter where people are — emergency rooms, clothes doors, libraries — they can forget seemingly every bit of manners and sanity!

  5. CyberKitten says:

    Many years ago I spent 6 years working as 2nd line IT support. I still remember some of the really DUMB people I tried to help over the phone!

  6. Mudpuddle says:

    tx, i cked it out and they want 10$ for it! a bit out of my range… cheap, us retirees are, yes…

  7. Mudpuddle says:

    i'm blushing now…

  8. Stephen says:

    I'm with you there…I would have only read it at its cheaper kindle price.

  9. Stephen says:

    @Cyberkitten: One tech support collection site I used to read had this quotation as its masthead:”On two occasions I have been asked, —'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.”

  10. Mudpuddle says:

    ada and charles: what a pair…

  11. CyberKitten says:

    I still remember spending 10 minutes trying to explain how to use a floppy disk to someone who had never seen one before…….. [shudder]

  12. Stephen says:

    Believe it or not, once a year someone will wander in, their heart full of hope that I have a computer with a floppy drive. We used to have one unit reserved for that, but it gave out and I can't sell anyone on buying an external floppy to USB adapter for those outliers. Most of my floppies were accidentally destroyed their storage box was crushed in my closet.

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