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Battle of the Wits with an Advanced AI

I’ve been frontline tech support for a telecom for almost exactly a year now; I feel I’m pretty good at it. When it comes to scope of support, we obviously have to be pretty hardline as LOTS of people assume we handle everything related to anything computer based.

 

Your DVD player isn’t working with your TV? Not my problem, but let me get you the manufacturer’s support number.

I can’t help with your “wireless monitor that uses the ‘wireless’ and won’t turn on”

Okay, I understand you think the reason your wifi keeps disconnecting is because your business line, which is having issues with the call display, is forwarded to your cell phone that is connected to the wifi, but doesn’t make any sense

 

So anyway, one day I receive a call, I do the usual opening spiel about “thanks for calling, my name is…” and start up with figuring out whats going on.

Me = Me

Crazy Old Bat = COB

(This isn’t verbatim as it happened a couple months ago)

COB: My internet isn’t working, I can’t access sites on my laptop.

Me: Allright, I should be able to help out with that.

COB: I’m older and don’t really understand how to do things too well. Also I’m hard of seeing and I have to use a text to speech program .

Me: uhhhhhh okaaaaaaay, I’m just gonna run my tools

(All my diagnostic tools show green across the board, absolutely zero issues, things are perfect)

Me: So whats happening when you try to get online?

COB: Let me start up my computer and see

(Why do people not have their shit together when calling in about these issues?)

10 minutes later

COB: Okay now I have to start up my text to speech program

5 more minutes of dying inside

COB: Okay, what do I do?

Me: Well, lets see what happens when you try to access a website

COB: How do I do that?

Me: …like a website, like Facebook or the weather channel, like you’d normally do that

At this point, I hear the voice to text robot as if it’s my headset come to life.

 

Text to speech = Data

Data: START…INTERNET EXPLORER… 

Me: …okay, click that one

Data: NO NETWORK FOUND 

Me: Okay, let’s go to settings

COB: Where’s that?

Me: Can you click start for me?

Data: START 

Me: Allright, is there one there for settings?

Data: ALL APPS…POWER…SETTINGS

Me: Okay, that one

Data: SETTINGS…SEARCH FIELD…FIND A SETTING…SYSTEM…DEVICES…NETWORK AND INTERNET 

Me: That one

Data: NETWORK AND INTERNET…SEARCH FIELD…FIND A SETTING…WIFI 

Me: That one

Data: WIFI…”NETWORK NAME”…OTHER NETWORK NAME” 

By this point, she’s not saying a word AT ALL, and I’m just going off of what Data’s telling me. Also, she starts clicking on random things that to this day I have zero idea how she got there. However, being tenacious, I try to drive it forward and we try for another 30 minutes to get some semblance of “trying to connect to the internet”

Me: Okay, this is extremely difficult for me, COB. Is there someone else at home who I can speak with, as I can’t just listen to Data recite everything on the screen for me.

COB: NO, there’s no one here now

Me: Allright, would I be able to call you back when someone is there?

COB: NO, they won’t help me, they’re getting off work and don’t want to deal with this

Me: Okay, well I’m not really able to help you as I don’t know whats going on.

COB: Well, I’m hard of seeing, I need this program to be able to figure out whats on the screen!

Me: I understand that, but I’m literally working blind here.

Now, she’s upset, I’m getting frustrated because I have no idea whats going on and I don’t like being yelled at it for it. This is the most frustrated and upset I’ve been in my call centre career to date. She’s yelling at me, and I’m constantly trying to explain the whole thing about customers expectation to know how to use their own bloody devices.

And then, at almost an hour into the call, “it” happened; the moment I had to do my absolute hardest NOT to laugh.

We’re playing the old game of “who can be silent longer” as I have said I’m unable to help you right now cause I’m not talking to Data anymore.

COB: rattling around with her laptop

Me: wishing my mother had listened to that dentist and gotten the abortion

Data: ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO ZERO 

Don’t ask me what she had gotten into or how this occurred, but for a solid 30 seconds all I could hear was a tinny robotic voice recite ZERO while COB mashes the keyboard as if it’ll prevent AI from taking over humanity. I smash that mute button and bust a gut.

At this point, my coworkers have noticed the call isn’t going “well”, and one of them volunteers to call her and try to help (He’s a tenured and EXTREMELY patient man, he also used to work in the department that takes the more “abusive” and “difficult” customers).

After another hour of trying to a) figure out just what the fuck she’s doing and b) explaining we’re not responsible for her own equipment, he FINALLY determines she’s trying to access a VPN (who gave this ninny a VPN?!) and explains to her (much to her protestations) that we literally cannot do a single thing, as it’s so out of scope, it has gingivitis.

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