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Unix support hotline, may I help you?

The Cellar BBS & public access system
(unix, chuckle, true)

The following is original, but it's by our entire organization (which, for safety's sake, must remain anonymous).

I work at the support hotline for a large company that sells Unix systems. Customer calls are first handled by a group of receptionists, who determine the general nature of each caller's problem or question and then place it on a queue. The receptionists attach a "headline" to each call, so that the support analysts can decide whether a particular call is within their area of expertise. Unfortunately, the receptionists are not generally familiar with Unix.

Sometimes the receptionist mangles Unix in a funny way.

    "Previous shelves have been filled.  Processes are dangling." 
    "Trying to get a back door booth" 
    "Problem with supper block" 
    "Questions on the fuzzy disk controller" 
    "Problem with the getty desk" 

Spelling errors can happen.

"Question on COBOL air conditions" "Problem with defunk processor" "Mothly backup roots petition needs to verify" Sometimes there is strange imagery involved. Picture this:

"System running in two time zones" "Error log file that self purges" "The program keeps changing" "Terminal is screaming"

There is some hardware we just don't support.

"Getting rat errors" "Part number for prompt chip" "Put in new version of VCR has a couple of questions"

This is clearly NOT a software problem.

"Terminal burning up--smelling smoke" Maybe the machine would be happier in another room.

"Problems w/equipment attached to Unix through short hall" Users may get a little fed up.

"The light is flashing" "Getting error message that says enough already" "Can something be done. If so, how?"

Maybe our software is just too boring.

"Trying to run with terminal cannot get into software"

This one came up just before war broke out in the gulf.

"Colonel destroyed"

Sometimes, you just have to wonder...

"Users are getting bumped off and hanging up" ... What presence of mind, replacing the handset just as they die. "Printer not talking properly" ... Start it on the simple words: see Spot run... "Problem with PC going into the Unix box" ... Tell that PC to STAY PUT! "How much swab space?" ... Check the QTIP parameter, or blow your nose before calling us. "Command responds too rapidly" ... Maybe you can downgrade to a slower CPU. "Would like to kill a certain group of users" ... Yeah, well, wouldn't we all. "Syster is hung for the last 2 days" ... Sounds like a personal problem!

Finally, this one is just too theoretical.

"How can she enter data into a hard coated field?"

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