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, 28 Mar 2001 CPOL
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Some fun stuff collected over the years
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Disclaimer

This is stuff that finds its way into my mailbox. I think the chances of ever tracing any of this stuff back to it's owner is slim, but if anyone can credit any of the authors, or if any of the authors care to raise their hand, then please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.

If you have anything amusing you'd like to share, just send it to webmaster@codeproject.com.

Contents


Comprehending IT

Comprehending IT - Take One

Two IT guys were walking across the park when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?" The second IT guy replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."

The second IT guy nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

Comprehending IT - Take Two

An architect, an artist and an IT guy were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress.

The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship. The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there.

The IT guy said, "I like both."

"Both?"

The IT guy replied "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the office and get some work done."

Comprehending IT - Take Three

To the optimist, the glass is half full.

To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.

To the IT guy, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Comprehending IT - Take Four

An IT guy was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess".

He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week."

The IT guy took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket. The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you for a week and do ANYTHING you want."

Again the IT guy took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket. Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"

The IT guy said, "Look I work in IT. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog - now that's cool."


Tech Support

A woman called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer. The tech asked her if she was "running it under Windows." The woman responded, "No, my desk is next to the door. But that's a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, And his is working fine."


Tech Support: "OK Fred, let's press the control and escape keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type the letter 'P' to bring up the Program Manager."

Customer: "I don't have a 'P'."

Tech Support: "On your keyboard, Fred."

Customer: "What do you mean?"

Tech Support: "'P' on your keyboard, Fred."

Customer: "I'm not going to do that!"


Overheard in a computer shop:

Customer: "I'd like a mouse mat, please."

Salesperson: "Certainly sir, we've got a large variety."

Customer: "But will they be compatible with my computer?"


I once received a fax with a note on the bottom to fax the document back to the sender when I was finished with it, because he needed to keep it.


Customer in computer shop: "Can you copy the Internet onto this disk for me?"


Customer: "So that'll get me connected to the Internet, right?"

Tech Support: "Yeah."

Customer: "And that's the latest version of the Internet, right?"

Tech Support: "Uhh...uh...uh...yeah."


Tech Support: "All right...now double-click on the File Manager icon."

Customer: "That's why I hate this Windows - because of the icons - I'm a Protestant, and I don't believe in icons."

Tech Support: "Well, that's just an industry term sir. I don't believe it was meant to-"

Customer: "I don't care about any 'Industry Terms'. I don't believe in icons."

Tech Support: "Well...why don't you click on the 'little picture' of a filing cabinet...is 'little picture' OK?"

Customer: [click]


Customer: "My computer crashed!"

Tech Support: "It crashed?"

Customer: "Yeah, it won't let me play my game."

Tech Support: "All right, hit Control-Alt-Delete to reboot."

Customer: "No, it didn't crash-it crashed."

Tech Support: "Huh?"

Customer: "I crashed my game. That's what I said before. I crashed my spaceship and now it doesn't work."

Tech Support: "Click on 'File,' then 'New Game.'"

Customer: [pause] "Wow! How'd you learn how to do that?"


I had been doing Tech Support for Hewlett-Packard's DeskJet division for about a month when I had a customer call with a problem I just couldn't solve. She could not print yellow. All the other colors would print fine, which truly baffled me because the only true colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow. For instance, green is a combination of cyan and yellow, but green printed fine. Every color of the rainbow printed fine except for yellow. I had the customer change ink cartridges. I had the customer delete and reinstall the drivers. Nothing worked. I asked my coworkers for help; they offered no new ideas. After over two hours of troubleshooting, I was about to tell the customer to send the printer in to us for repair when she asked quietly,

"Should I try printing on a piece of white paper instead of this yellow paper?"


A man attempting to set up his new printer called the printer's tech support number, complaining about the error message: "Can't find the printer." On the phone, the man said he even held the printer up in front of the screen, but the computer still couldn't find it.


And another user was all confused about why the cursor always moved in the opposite direction from the movement of the mouse. She also complained that the buttons were difficult to depress. She was very embarrassed when we asked her to rotate the mouse so the tail pointed away from her.


An unfailingly polite lady called to ask for help with a Windows installation that had gone terribly wrong.

Customer: "I brought my Windows disks from work to install them on my home computer."

Training stresses that we are "not the Software Police," so I let the little act of piracy slide.

Tech Support: "Umm-hmm. What happened?"

Customer: "As I put each disk in it turns out they weren't initialized." Tech Support: "Do you remember the message exactly, ma'am?"

Customer: (proudly) "I wrote it down. 'This is not a Macintosh disk. Would you like to initialize it?'"

Tech Support: "Er, what happened next?"

Customer: "After they were initialized, all the disks appeared to be blank. And now I brought them back to work, and I can't read them in the A:drive; the PC wants to format them. And this is our only set of Windows disks for the whole office. Did I do something wrong?"


This guy calls in to complain that he gets an "Access Denied" Message every time he logs in. It turned out he was typing his username and password in capital letters. Tech support: "OK, let's try once more, but use lower case letters."

Customer: "Uh, I only have capital letters on my keyboard."


Email from a friend: "CanYouFixTheSpaceBarOnMyKeyboard?"


My friend was on duty in the main lab on a quiet afternoon. He noticed a young woman sitting in front of one of the workstations with her arms crossed across her chest, staring at the screen. After about 15 minutes he noticed that she was still in the same position, only now she was impatiently tapping her foot. He asked if she needed help and she replied

"It's about time! I pressed the F1 button over twenty minutes ago!"


Sent in by Michael Cramer:

My sister works in a tech support for carpenter's software.

Once she asked a customer to send her a copy of the disk so she could check the file. 2 Days later, the envelope arrived - containing two Xerox copies of the disk: Front and Back...


Stupid Users

This is (allegedly) a true story from the Word Perfect help line. Needless to say, the help desk employee was fired. However, the ex-employee is currently suing the Word Perfect organization for "termination without cause." This is from the taped conversation leading up to the dismissal.

"Word Perfect Technical Desk, may I help you?" "Yes, well, I'm having trouble with Word Perfect."

"What sort of trouble?"

"Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."

"Went away?"

"They disappeared."

"Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"

"Nothing."

"Nothing?"

"It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."

"Are you still in Word Perfect, or did you get out?"

"How do I tell?"

"Can you see the C: prompt on the screen?"

"What's a sea-prompt?"

"Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the screen?"

"There isn't any cursor; I told you, it won't accept anything I type!"

"Does your monitor have a power indicator?"

"What's a monitor?"

"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?"

"I don't know."

"Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?"

"Yes, I think so."

"Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall."

"...Yes, it is."

"When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?"

"No."

"Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable."

"Okay, here it is."

"Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."

"I can't reach it."

"Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"

"No."

"Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?"

"Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle, it's because it's dark."

"Dark?"

"Yes-the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window."

"Well, turn on the office light then."

"I can't."

"No? Why not?"

"Because there's a power outage."

"A power...a power outage? Aha, okay. We've got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?"

"Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."

"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."

"Really? Is it that bad?"

"Yes, I'm afraid it is."

"Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"

"Tell them you're too stupid to own a computer."


This gem has been to Douglas Adams (of hitchhikers Guide) but was actually written by Jeremy Lee for the site H2G2.com. Check out the original article (reprinted with permission).

The Confusing Country

Australia is a very confusing place, taking up a large amount of the bottom half of the planet. It is recognisable from orbit because of many unusual features, including what at first looks like an enormous bite taken out of its southern edge; a wall of sheer cliffs which plunge deep into the girting sea. Geologists assure us that this is simply an accident of geomorphology and plate tectonics, but they still call it the "Great Australian Bight" proving that not only are they covering up a more frightening theory, but they can't spell either.

The first of the confusing things about Australia is the status of the place. Where other land masses and sovereign lands are classified as either continent, island, or country, Australia is considered all three. Typically, it is unique in this.

The second confusing thing about Australia are the animals. They can be divided into three categories: Poisonous, Odd, and Sheep. It is true that of the 10 most poisonous arachnids on the planet, Australia has 9 of them. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that of the 9 most poisonous arachnids, Australia has all of them. However, there are curiously few snakes, possibly because the spiders have killed them all. But even the spiders won't go near the sea. Any visitors should be careful to check inside boots (before putting them on) under toilet seats (before sitting down) and generally everywhere else. A stick is very useful for this task.

Strangely, it tends to be the second class of animals (the Odd) that are more dangerous. The creature that kills the most people each year is the common Wombat. It is nearly as ridiculous as its name, and spends its life digging holes in the ground, in which it hides. During the night it comes out to eat worms and grubs.

The wombat kills people in two ways: First, the animal is indestructible. Digging holes in the hard Australian clay builds muscles that outclass Olympic weightlifters. At night, they often wander the roads.

Semi-trailers (Road Trains) have hit them at high speed, with all 9 wheels on one side, and this merely makes them very annoyed. They express this by snorting, glaring, and walking away. Alas, to smaller cars, the wombat becomes an asymmetrical launching pad, with results that can be imagined, but not adequately described.

The second way the wombat kills people relates to its burrowing behaviour. If a person happens to put their hand down a Wombat hole, the Wombat will feel the disturbance and think "Ho! My hole is collapsing!" at which it will brace its muscled legs and push up against the roof of its burrow with incredible force, to prevent its collapse. Any unfortunate hand will be crushed, and attempts to withdraw will cause the Wombat to simply bear down harder. The unfortunate will then bleed to death through their crushed hand as the wombat prevents him from seeking assistance. This is considered the third most embarrassing known way to die, and Australians don't talk about it much.

At this point, we would like to mention the Platypus, estranged relative of the mammal, which has a duck-bill, otter's tail, webbed feet, lays eggs, detects its aquatic prey in the same way as the electric eel, and has venomous barbs attached to its hind legs, thus combining all 'typical' Australian attributes into a single improbable creature.

The last confusing thing about Australia is the inhabitants. First, a short history: Some time around 40,000 years ago, some people arrived in boats from the north. They ate all the available food, and lot of them died. The ones that survived learned respect for the balance of nature, man's proper place in the scheme of things, and spiders. They settled in, and spent a lot of the intervening time making up strange stories.

Then, around 200 years ago, Europeans arrived in boats from the north. More accurately, European convicts were sent, with a few deranged and stupid people in charge. They tried to plant their crops in Autumn (failing to take account of the reversal of the seasons when moving from the top half of the planet to the bottom), ate all their food, and a lot of them died.

About then the sheep arrived, and have been treasured ever since. It is interesting to note here that the Europeans always consider themselves vastly superior to any other race they encounter, since they can lie, cheat, steal, and litigate (marks of a civilised culture they say) - whereas all the Aboriginals can do is happily survive being left in the middle of a vast red-hot desert, equipped with a stick.

Eventually, the new lot of people stopped being Europeans on Extended Holiday and became Australians. The changes are subtle, but deep, cause by the mind-stretching expanses of nothingness and eerie quiet, where a person can sit perfectly still and look deep inside themselves to the core of their essence, their reasons for being, and the necessity of checking inside your boots every morning for fatal surprises. They also picked up the most finely tuned sense of irony in the world, and the Aboriginal gift for making up stories. Be warned.

There is also the matter of the beaches.

Australian beaches are simply the nicest and best in the entire world. Although anyone actually venturing into the sea will have to contend with sharks, stinging jellyfish, stonefish (a fish which sits on the bottom of the sea, pretends to be a rock, and has venomous barbs sticking out of its back that will kill just from the pain) and surfboarders. However, catching a beach sunset is worth the risk.

As a result of all this hardship, dirt, thirst, and wombats, you would expect Australians to be a dour lot. Instead, they are genial, jolly, cheerful, and always willing to share a kind word with a stranger, unless they are an American. Faced with insurmountable odds and impossible problems, they smile disarmingly and look for a stick. Major engineering feats have been performed with sheets of corrugated iron, string, and mud.

Alone of all the races on earth, they seem to be free from the 'Grass is Greener on the other side of the fence' syndrome, and roundly proclaim that Australia is, in fact, the other side of that fence. They call the land "Oz", "Godzone" (a verbal contraction of "God's Own Country") and "Best bloody place on earth, bar none, strewth." The irritating thing about this is they may be right.

There are some traps for the unsuspecting traveller, though. Do not under any circumstances suggest that the beer is imperfect, unless you are comparing it to another kind of Australian beer. Do not wear a Hawaiian shirt. Religion and Politics are safe topics of conversation (Australians don't care too much about either) but Sport is a minefield. The only correct answer to "So, howdya' like our country, eh?" is "Best {insert your own regional swear word here} country in the world!".

It is very likely that, on arriving, some cheerful Australians will 'adopt' you, and on your first night, and take you to a pub where Australian Beer is served. Despite the obvious danger, do not refuse. It is a form of initiation rite. You will wake up late the next day with an astonishing hangover, a foul-taste in your mouth, and wearing strange clothes. Your hosts will usually make sure you get home, and waive off any legal difficulties with "It's his first time in Australia, so we took him to the pub.", to which the policeman will sagely nod and close his notebook. Be sure to tell the story of these events to every other Australian you encounter, adding new embellishments at every stage, and noting how strong the beer was. Thus you will be accepted into this unique culture.

Most Australians are now urban dwellers, having discovered the primary use of electricity, which is air-conditioning and refrigerators.

Typical Australian sayings

"G'Day!"

"It's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick."

"She'll be right."

"And down from Kosciuszko, where the pine clad ridges raise their torn and rugged battlements on high, where the air is clear is crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze at midnight in the cold and frosty sky. And where, around the overflow, the reed beds sweep and sway to the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide. The Man from Snowy River is a household word today, and the stockmen tell the story of his ride."

Tips to Surviving Australia

Don't ever put your hand down a hole for any reason whatsoever. We mean it.

The beer is stronger than you think, regardless of how strong you think it is.

Always carry a stick.

Air-conditioning.

Do not attempt to use Australian slang, unless you are a trained linguist and good in a fistfight.

Thick socks.

Take good maps. Stopping to ask directions only works when there are people nearby.

If you leave the urban areas, carry several litres of water with you at all times, or you will die.

Even in the most embellished stories told by Australians, there is always core of truth that it is unwise to ignore.

See Also: "Deserts: How to die in them", "The Stick: Second most useful thing ever" and "Poisonous and Venomous arachnids, insects, animals, trees, shrubs, fish and sheep of Australia, volumes 1-42"


Job Application

This is allegidly an actual job application a 17 year old boy submitted at a McDonald's fast-food establishment in Florida... (and they hired him because he was so honest and funny!).

NAME: Greg Bulmash

SEX: Not yet. Still waiting for the right person.

DESIRED POSITION: Company's President or Vice President. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.

DESIRED SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.

EDUCATION: Yes.

LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility.

SALARY: Less than I'm worth.

MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes

REASON FOR LEAVING: It sucked.

HOURS AVAILABLE TO WORK: Any.

PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.

MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?

DO YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICAL CONDITIONS THAT WOULD PROHIBIT YOU FROM LIFTING UP TO 50 LBS?: Of what?

DO YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"

HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?: I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearing house Sweepstakes.

DO YOU SMOKE?: On the job no, on my breaks yes.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy dumb sexy blonde super model who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now.

DO YOU CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE IS TRUE AND COMPLETE TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE?: Yes. Absolutely.

SIGN HERE: Aries.


The Customer is always right

(contributed by Howard F. Arner, Jr.)

This following altercation reminds me of the movie Spinal Tap when they are talking about the special amplifier that goes to 11. I overheard this exchange at the local Computer City and I have to say they train their people well. I got ROTFL but the clerk played the best straight man since Bud Abbott.

Large Offish Customer In Incredibly Tacky Clothes (LOCIITC): Look, I'm not stupid a stupid guy so don't try to sell me something I don't need.

Clerk: Yes Sir, were just here to help.

LOCIITC: Ok, so I heard that the odd numbered processors are faster so that's what I want. One of the odd numbered ones with lots of RAM. I want at least 40 gigs of RAM.

Clerk: Hmmm. The odd numbered processors, yes they are faster. I assume then you want a Pentium III. Let me show you this HP unit. It has...

LOCIITC: No! No! No! Look, I told you I'm not stupid! I want one of those odd numbered processors, not that 600 one in that HP. The 533 is an odd number so everyone knows it's faster. That means it's better than the 500 or the 600, cause it's an odd number. Look, you always have to buy the odd numbered ones cause they come after the even ones and that's when you know they got it right. Besides, this 533 is a Celeron which is a lot better than the Pentium anyway.

Clerk: Err, yes sir I completely agree. The odd numbered units are always faster than the even numbered ones. And, you'll notice that they are considerably less expensive than the Pentium III systems. This is probably due to the manufacturing efficiencies that they were able to achieve by going to odd numbering processor manufacturing processes. Here, let me show you this emachine. It has an odd numbered processor and has 40 gigs of RAM....

LOCIITC: Now that's more like it.

Moral #1: Never start a sentence with "Look, I'm not a stupid guy"
Moral #2: Life is more fun when the customer is always right.


Strange Problem with Vanilla Ice-cream

The following complaint was received by the Pontiac Division of General Motors.

"This is the second time I have written you, and I don't blame you for not answering me, because I kind of sounded crazy, but it is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of ice cream for dessert after dinner each night.

But the kind of ice cream varies so, every night, after we've eaten, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. It's also a fact that I recently purchased a new Pontiac and since then my trips to the store have created a problem.

You see, every time I buy vanilla ice cream, when I start back from the store my car won't start. If I get any other kind of ice cream, the car starts just fine. I want you to know I'm serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds 'What is there about a Pontiac that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind?"

The Pontiac President was understandably skeptical about the letter, but sent an engineer to check it out anyway. The latter was surprised to be greeted by a successful, obviously well educated man in a fine neighborhood. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car, it wouldn't start.

The engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, the man got chocolate. The car started. The second night, he got strawberry.The car started. The third night he ordered vanilla. The car failed to start.

Now the engineer, being a logical man, refused to believe that this man's car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He arranged, therefore, to continue his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. And toward this end he began to take notes he jotted down all sorts of data, time of day, type of gas used, time to drive back and forth, etc

In a short time, he had a clue the man took less time to buy vanilla than any other flavor. Why? The answer was in the layout of the store.

Vanilla, being the most popular flavor, was in a separate case at the front of the store for quick pickup. All the other flavors were kept in the back of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to find the flavor and get checked out. Now the question for the engineer was why the car wouldn't start when it took less time.

Once time became the problem -- not the vanilla ice cream the engineer quickly came up with the answer vapor lock. It was happening every night, but the extra time taken to get the other flavors allowed the engine to cool down sufficiently to start. When the man got vanilla, the engine was still too hot for the vapor lock to dissipate.

Moral of the story Even insane looking problems are sometimes real


License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Chris Maunder
Founder CodeProject
Canada Canada
Chris is the Co-founder, Administrator, Architect, Chief Editor and Shameless Hack who wrote and runs The Code Project. He's been programming since 1988 while pretending to be, in various guises, an astrophysicist, mathematician, physicist, hydrologist, geomorphologist, defence intelligence researcher and then, when all that got a bit rough on the nerves, a web developer. He is a Microsoft Visual C++ MVP both globally and for Canada locally.
 
His programming experience includes C/C++, C#, SQL, MFC, ASP, ASP.NET, and far, far too much FORTRAN. He has worked on PocketPCs, AIX mainframes, Sun workstations, and a CRAY YMP C90 behemoth but finds notebooks take up less desk space.
 
He dodges, he weaves, and he never gets enough sleep. He is kind to small animals.
 
Chris was born and bred in Australia but splits his time between Toronto and Melbourne, depending on the weather. For relaxation he is into road cycling, snowboarding, rock climbing, and storm chasing.
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