This is about the possibly saddest situation I’ve had so far in my job as a tech support (this is a case about dictation software).
It’s all written together from memory, but I think I can remember all the important parts.
First: Unfortunately, we are NOT allowed to use teamviewer and similar software (don’t ask why, but it’s company policy), I can only help customers via phone/email.
Elderly man calls, very polite and friendly – says his dictation software is not working anymore and that he’s had an operation to save his eyesight but now he’s completely blind and started using a software that reads out stuff that’s on the screen.
We’re doing some troubleshooting, turns out the dictation software is simply dictating in between what the new voice-software is reading out from the screen, which then corrupts the whole actual dictation.
I ask him if he can do stuff with my guidance, but ironically, it is not working because he would have to dictate it. I ask him if he has a headset, so he can listen to the readouts of the software, but he does not.
I ask if he can borrow or buy a cheap headset or if there’s anyone who could do it with my guidance on his behalf, and he tells me the following:
“I am 91 years old, I have noone left and live in an old village that has one grocery store and nothing else, basically. I have no money left and spend the last I had on this text-to-speech software, and now it is not working. I am cut off from everything, I cannot even check my emails from my bank advisor who is the only person that somehow cares about me. I am a retired old man who lives of the minimum statutory pay, I don’t think I can do any of the things you ask for. I am very sorry to have bothered you, thank you very much for your help, you are very kind, but I am afraid I will just have to give up. Thank you, bye bye and have a nice time.”
I just glanced at the phone. I mean, there were so many questions in my head like “How does he actually live and manage everything” etc. etc. but unfortunately, this guy never called back so I never managed to find out what happened afterwards.
I am afraid that something bad happened and I am still sad when I think about this poor old man. I really hope he gets some help, and better help than the one I could provide…