WES: Hi, you must be the new trainee. No no, don’t get up. Let me just get my headset on here. (PUTS ON HEADSET) I’ll be showing you the ropes around here. It’s a tough gig, the Internet help desk. I mean, I figure, in our society you’ve got your four major lines of defense: police, fire, ambulance, Internet help desk. Air Traffic Controllers think they have the most stressful job, ha. But, I’ll tell you, nothing gets you jazzed on an adrenaline buzz like helping someone configure their ADSL preferences correctly even though their running a 386 with windows 3.1 and 6 megs of RAM. Oh, just a second. (TO HEADPHONE) Internet help desk, thank you for calling, one of our technical analysts will be with you shortly, please hold? (TO KID) OK, so that’s the first lesson. (INDICATES MUTE SWITCH) The Hold button. That’s your best friend. It’s your panic button, your savior, your teddy bear and your Mommy’s teat all rolled into one. Always put them on hold, right off the bat. Show’s ‘em who’s boss. Takes some of the fight out of them. (TO PHONE) Your call is important to us, please continue to hold. (TO KID) Which is important, because when they can’t figure out what their mouse is or they confuse the CD ROM for a drink holder, and they start to realize what an idiot they are, they are going to be venting on you. But don’t worry. I’ll have you up to speed in no time. I’m an old pro, I’m a vet. I’ve been here 8 months, which, in Internet Time is about 25 years. I’m Jordy Laforge, and you’re Wesley Crusher. I’m C3P0, and you’re R2D2. But don’t go thinking you’re R2D2, kiddo. You ain’t no R2D2… yet. (TO PHONE) Internet help desk. Thanks for holding. How can I help you? Uh huh… (makes cucoo faces)… oh my… I see… You can’t get your email. Can you be more specific. Uh huh. Uh huh. Uh huh. Well, that does sound serious. Could you hold please?
(Long hold… whistle and noodle about)
(off hold) Alright, first off are you configured for Outlook Express, or for Netscape Navigator? You don’t know. Well, if you look at the upper-right hand corner of your screen what do you see? You see nothing. Just black. Ok, I’m sorry My fault, I’m talking about when the computer’s on. It’s not? Well, let’s go ahead and turn it on. (TO KID) The guy’s got more computer power on his desk than existed on the entire planet up until 1979 and he needs me to tell him to turn it on.
(UNMUTE) Ok, so have you booted the computer? What? No, don’t actually kick it, sorry, my fault… What I meant was, Is the shiny tv screen part on and full of little pictures and stuff? Ok, good.
Do you have your original windows installation CD? Uh huh. A box somewhere, huh? Well, at this point I’m going to advise you to go get that… Uh huh. Uh huh. Well, that will be difficult. Yes. Well, I’d advise you to crawl then. That’s why they call it a crawlspace. (TO KID) He’s going to be a while. Ah. I feel sorry for the civilians, kid. Really I do. They don’t know how to get on the Internet, they don’t know why they want to get onto the Internet, they don’t even know what the internet is. They just want to be on it. So they pop down to Future Shop and buy the most overpriced piece of crap the salesman can soak them for, and suddenly they realize they’re lost in the middle of the dark continent of technology, with only me as their guide. I’m their shaman. In ancient time people couldn’t control the weather, so they called the Shaman. Now people can’t control their computers so they call me. I could tell ‘em to blow smoke up their USB port and they’d do it. Hey! Don’t touch that! That’s my Dilbert desk calender. You go looking through the cartoons for tomorrow, today, then how will you find the strength to go on tomorrow morning when you sit down to lead Joe Moron through cleaning the porno out of his Internet Explorer History cache before his wife gets home? Jeez! Have some discipline. (TO PHONE) Yes. Hello, I’m still here. You have it? Excellent. Alright, now, are you in front of the computer? Good. Now read me the name of the thingee that you double-click on to get your email. Outlook Express? Good. Take the mouse and double click on that. No, it’s not going to cut us off. I know we’re on the phone, but we don’t have to actually connect to the internet to change your settings, it will give you an error message.
Yes. Please calm down. I told you it would give an error message. It’s not a personal affront sir, it’s just a message. Just click “cancel”. Ok, good. Now, click on Tools… now go down to Accounts and click. Now click on Mail, then the blue text, then properties…
What? No. “Tools”… It’s at the top. Yes. Click on that. No, click on it. What do you mean? Office? No, I didn’t want you to run Office, I said Outlook Express. No, Microsoft is a company, not a… What? Illegal instruction? Wow, Office must be pooched. No, you haven’t broken any laws… it’s just crashed because… What you need to… No… don’t unplug it... just…
(punches the chair)
Ok, ok… well, uh… plug it back in then…… No, I won’t tell the police…
(to Kid) He unplugged it. We are dealing with a serious 12 o’clock flasher here kid. You know what a 12 o’clock flasher is don’t you? Every appliance in the house is always flashing 12 o’clock because they’re too stupid to set it. There’s no hope teaching a 12 o’clock flasher anything. Time to move to plan b.
(to customer) Sir? Sir. Do you have a child around the house? You do? How old is she? Nine? Ok, could you put her on please? Thank you.
(to kid) Check this out.
(to customer) Hi there, who am I speaking with? Beth? What grade are you in, Beth? Grade 4? Wow. Do you like school? Good for you, Beth. Ok, Beth, here’s the thing. Your daddie really needs his Outlook Express configured to use the 3rd party dialer instead of LAN or whatever it’s set to now… yeah, could you change it for him? Thanks Beth… oh and while you’re at it, you wanna check that his smtp address is correct? Ok, thanks Beth. Oh and Beth? If I were you, the next time his computer stops ‘working’, tell your daddy it’s broken and to give it to you to play with, then send him out to buy an iMac. It’s a computer especially built for idio… for mommies and daddies. Ok Beth, bye bye.
(to Kid) That poor poor poor computer. God, it just tears me up that people like that are allowed to own a computer. It just kills me.
(LOOKS AT WATCH) Ok look, I’ll leave you to it. Go ahead and take your first call. Get dirty. I’m going for a smoke, but if anyone asks, I’m taking a dump. Good luck. And remember, you are God. You are the all seeing, all knowing digital Shaman of the global village. If you don’t know what to do, blame Microsoft and send them back to the store they bought it from. You’ll be alright. Just keep your head up, your mouse arm loose. Oh, and stay away from the porn sites between calls, they check.