Well That’s Not Good

by Scott McLemee on June 27, 2007

At Minor Tweaks, Tom Bartlett runs through a list of “Things you don’t want to hear from the Apple tech guy”:

—“Can you hold please? I need to ask my supervisor a question.”
—“Huh. That usually works.”
—“Did you back everything up?”
—“Wow. Hmm.”
—“Can you hold again for me?”
—“See, right now, your computer doesn’t know it has a hard drive.”

Somewhere in Scandinavia, the computer simulation of an IKEA saleswoman is giggling.



Dave 06.27.07 at 9:49 pm

Simple but painful tech support killer phrase;



Bernard Yomtov 06.27.07 at 9:49 pm

An actual conversation I’ve had with (non-Apple) tech support:

Tech support: Did it catch fire?

Me: No.

Tech Support: You’re lucky.


Matt 06.27.07 at 9:59 pm

The AI IKEA woman seems to be significantly more helpful than the actual IKEA staff I’ve dealt with lately.


luci 06.27.07 at 9:59 pm

I once did customer support, and I told one caller:

“We have the brightest minds working feverishly on that very problem, as we speak.”


Helen 06.27.07 at 11:18 pm

Tech support: Did it catch fire?
Me: No.
Tech Support: You’re lucky.

A popular brand of laptop, beginning with a D and ending with L?


Bernard Yomtov 06.28.07 at 1:29 am


No, but good guess. It had to do with the strange behavior of a monitor.


chris y 06.28.07 at 9:29 am

Monitors can be like that. A few years ago I was working late and the cleaner was working round me. And she suddenly said, “Excuse me, did you know that computer is on fire?” And there was smoke pouring out of my boss’s CRT. Um, OK, let’s unplug it…


Slocum 06.28.07 at 12:12 pm

A popular brand of laptop, beginning with a D and ending with L?

In that case it was actually a popular brand of laptop battery beginning with an S and ending with a Y — various laptops used them (including Apple). The recall cost Sony a fortune.


Harald K 06.28.07 at 1:10 pm

“Printer on fire” is one of the more infamous error messages you can get in Linux. Apparently it’s there for historical reasons. Once upon a time, the printer was apparently very likely to be on fire if you got that message.


omicron 06.28.07 at 2:33 pm

Harald k, I sincerely wish I could receive that error message. It would brighten my day in so many ways.


r@d@r 06.28.07 at 3:18 pm

here’s one i’ve been hearing a lot lately:

“yeah, we’ve been hearing that one a lot lately.”

[MacBook screen hum; power supply issues; housing cracking as if the plastic were aged, without having been dropped or having anything dropped on it; etc.]

at least they’re honest. when i worked briefly in retail we were trained to say “wow, i’ve never heard of that problem before.” especially if it was not true.


stostosto 06.29.07 at 10:51 am

Somewhere in Scandanavia

What’s with the spelling? I have seen it several times before. I tend to assume it’s a mistype, but I am starting to wonder whether it’s in some way a joke on us Scandinavians that we’re not in on? (Not that that would be anything out of the ordinary).

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