tech: Thanks for calling tech support, how may I help you?
Person-who-doesn’t-understand-the-purpose-of-internet-tech-support: Hey, I’m having problems with your damn internet.
tech: I’m sorry to hear that. What kind of problems are you having?
Person: Yeah, I got a new Blu-ray player for Christmas and I’m supposed to be able to stream movies from online to my TV.
Person: Well, it’s not working.
tech: Okay, so your internet isn’t working?
Person: Not on the Blu-ray player.
tech: So… is your internet working on your computer?
Person: Yeah, it’s working there, but it’s supposed to work on the Blu-ray player too. I swear, your guys’ internet sucks!
tech: … uh… okay… so how do you have the Blu-ray player hooked-up to the internet?
Person: I don’t know. Aren’t you tech support? Shouldn’t you know that?
tech: … I’m afraid I don’t know how you would have hooked the Blu-ray player up to the internet. Did you run a wire from your router to the player or is it WiFi?
Person: See, you guys always go talking all techie. I’m not technical. Can’t you just send someone out to get this damn thing working?
tech: … to hook up your Blu-ray player?
Person: No, to wash my dog. Of course to hook up my Blu-ray player.
tech: The company that you purchased the Blu-ray player doesn’t have someone available to install it for you?
Person: Yeah, but they want to charge me like 35 bucks to have someone hook it up.
tech: … okay… that would probably be cheaper than having us send a tech out. Usually we charge $45 for a service call.
Person: What the hell! You’re gonna charge me?
tech: Well, your internet is working and you are just needing your Blu-ray hooked up…
Person: But your internet is not working on the Blu-ray!
tech: I understand that, but the internet is getting to your house. We can help you hook up the Blu-ray player, but there would be a service call fee…
Person: What in the hell am I paying you for every month?
tech: … to get the internet to your house.
Person: That’s a bunch of crap! Screw that! I swear, your internet sucks! You’re just gonna help me over the phone!
tech: I’d be more than happy to…
Person: Damn right you’re gonna help me!
tech: … okay… so how is the internet getting to the Blu-ray player?
Person: If the internet was getting to the Blu-ray player, would I have called you?
tech: … so how is the internet supposed to get to the Blu-ray player?
Person: I’m not sure I like your tone!
tech: … my tone?
Person: Don’t get all smart-assy with me!
tech: This conversation is going in completely the wrong direction. I just want to help you get your Blu-ray working…
Person: Then why don’t you get your ass in a car and get over to my house and hook-up the stupid thing?
tech: … so how is the internet supposed to get to your Blu-ray player?
Person: How am I supposed to know?
tech: Didn’t it come with any sort of instructions?
Person: Oh great, so you expect me to read the stupid manual? Come on, I don’t have that kind of time! Don’t you know about this kind of stuff?
tech: I’m afraid I really don’t have any sort of training on Blu-ray players. I’m going to need some help from you to get the Blu-ray player working.
Person: Well, that’s just fine! And I guess I’m just going to have to charge you 45 bucks for the help!
tech: … so… you want to charge me $45 to help me set up your Blu-ray player?
Person: Damn straight! See, now it makes sense for you to get off your lazy ass and come hook it up, doesn’t it?
tech: I’m sorry, it really doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to help you today. Does the manufacturer of the Blu-ray player have a phone number that you can call for tech support?
Person: Now you’re just gonna blow me off!?! That’s just great! I swear, your internet sucks so bad!
tech: But your internet is working. We are getting the internet to your house and it is working on your computer, which is the service you are paying us for. The fact that you can’t get your Blu-ray player to work seems like it may be more of an issue for the manufacturer of…
Person: “I can’t get”… seriously, “I can’t get”! Whose internet is this anyway?
tech: Well… uh… it’s yours… isn’t it? I mean, we provide it to you but…
Person: It’s your stupid internet, and you can have it! I want you to cancel my service!
tech: Great! So when can we deinstall the equipment?
Person: … slow down, there, Speed Racer. I don’t understand why you can’t just send someone out here to hook this stupid thing up?
tech: For $45, we can. The company that actually made money on the sale of the Blu-ray player… the company you actually paid for the device… is going to charge you to hook the player up for you. I don’t understand why you are getting upset with me… a representative of your internet provider… and your internet is working… when you should be complaining to the company you bought the Blu-ray player from!
Person: … sigh… that’s why I’m on the phone with you. That’s exactly what the Blu-ray store said about my internet provider… that you should be willing to do it for free. Doesn’t anyone know how to offer customer service any more?
Person: Screw it… I’ll have the Blu-ray store do it. They’re cheaper.
tech: Okay, thanks for calling. If you have any internet issues, or if the Blu-ray tech needs some phone support setting up the player, please…
… don’t hesitate to call.
The tech slowly places the phone’s handset in its cradle. Immediately the phone bursts into a spasm of rings. Old lady Keller is calling on line one needing help setting up the router the grandkids got for her, and old lady Keller is half-blind and in a wheelchair. Mr. McHenry is calling on line two. Mr. McHenry got a new laptop for Christmas and needs help setting up his email, and Mr. McHenry doesn’t know the difference between an email client and potato salad. Billy Thomas is ringing through on the third line. Little Billy is 8-years-old… and he got an X-Box for Christmas… and his parents think it will be cute for him to call tech support and set-up his X-Box all by himself.
The tech looks at the throbbing purple-blue veins in his wrist… thump…thump…thump. A letter opener catches the corner of his eye, and he reaches for it. Feeling the edge of the opener’s blade, he realizes that it is barely sharp enough to open an envelope; it could never open a world of peaceful bliss. His head falls to the desk calendar before him, and he weeps…