"How do I do that then?"
OK, I can't resist a couple of examples of support calls.
I started off my IT career (I have since which countries and careers) in PROM testing and telephone support. OK, we were supplying fuel monitoring systems to truck drivers who are not the brightest bulbs in the desk… if you catch what I mean in my deliberately mixed metaphor.
Anyway, there was this guy who, when he called, which was fairly regularly, would always ask, "How do I do that then." He even had a certain rhythm to the saying and so we included a voice that asked 'How do I do that then?' in the help file section marked 'How do I do that then?' written by yours truly.
Once you heard "How do I do that then?' you knew the next hour would be spent explaining painfully exactly what key had to pressed, what icon had to be clicked and possibly what a mouse was in the first place. On day, to my despair, I realised the pointers of the downloaded file needed for the month's fuel reports would have to be reset. This required use of a DOS program and dropping to the command prompt. This was going to be deeply painful with Mr "How do I do that then?" We had already spend half and hour on the phone talking through how to point and click to check the fuel reports and the data stored on site. "Move the mouse up the icon with a book on it with the word 'reports' on it and click it once. Now, you have a screen marked report, yes? Good… no you move the mouse to the button marked 'fuel summary…"
[I then begged the developer to write a GUI for the utility which he duly did.]
The thought of guiding the guy through opening up the command prompt, navigating to the required directory, running a DOS prompt by typing complete with switches… was too much to bear. So I asked him,
"Do you have an IT department?"
"Yes." He said.
I draw breath to ask "Can you please put him on the phone…?" when he added…
"You're speaking to him."
Breath strangled. Breathe deeper.
"Okay. Move the mouse to the 'start' button and click once…"
Not exactly I.T. Pros here but we did have the fuel depot manager who called up asking for assistance on matters described in painstaking 'press-the-yellow-button-then-the-red-button' detail in the manual that I had spent three months writing.
"This is all in the manual." I pointed out.
"Yes but… I'm not very good at readin'."
"Okay. Press the Red button…"
Then there was the case of the engineer, in the days of software on floppy disks, who found the DOS software on the office PC on site had been corrupted.
"Do you have copies of the disks?"
"Oh yes." He was told. "We made copies as you told us."
So they went to the filing cabinet and brought out two photocopies of the disks.
But my mistakes? Er, cleaning out test data painfully collected from the server which was still in use killing testing stone dead.
And... managing to mangle a batch file copy such that I wiped out drive C: completely on my machine just before going on leave!
I returned to a new install of Windows 98 on my PC with a start up message "Engage brain before using!"