The Book of Tech Support

by Graham

"To Hell with you, Bill Gates!"

Stupid Windows 98. "Cannot read drive XPOM:", "Sinus Congestion: Reboot from Start". I’m at the end of my rapidly fraying rope here. Maybe, just maybe this next time… Please!


This program won’t work! What else is there to do? Oh no, not that… Not that… I’m gonna have to do it, won’t I? Tech Support. The bane of my existence. Let’s see, instruction manual, page 78, here we go.

"What the heck! This number’s in Utah!"

Alas, I have no choice, the powers that be have cursed me into this hellish situation and I have to get out of it through the aid of some sixteen-year-old punk in Silicon Valley. Here goes: 1-567-555-2553.

"Thank you for calling Macrohard technical support. Press 1 if you are interested in our new line of Windows versions. Press 2 if you are looking for Papa Bob’s Family Pizza parlor, their new number is 555-2554. Press 3 if you wish to send an electronic death threat to Bill Gates. Press 4 for Technical Support for your Macrohard product.

"About time." I press "4". As tempting as "3" was, and as much as I wanted a nice hot pizza, I had a report due tomorrow that I (of course) hadn’t started. I need to get this program working.


"We’re very sorry, but all of our operators are seeing to other customers. Please remain on the line until we can help you."



The faint sounds of what appears to be an Elementary School band waft through the receiver in to my head. Listening closely, I realize that they are playing "I Am the Walrus". The hold muzak ordeal has begun.


At the Macrohard computer Tech Support desk, sits one man. His name is Harry. He is currently sleeping. He will remain this way for several hours, until he decides to help one lucky victim.

Two and a half hours later:

My eyes have glazed over. I am drooling all over my keyboard. My brain is fried from hearing the "Happy Fourth Graders" do renditions of lousy ancient songs. And don’t even mention the phone bill.

Then...salvation! Harry picks up! It’s as if the heavens have opened and God’s army of angels has come into my heart. I’m so happy I could cry. Then Harry talks:

"I’m sorry, but we’re going to have to transfer you to our Cleveland branch. Remember, your call is important to us."


"Hello, you’ve reached the Cleveland branch of Macrohard. If your call has been moved here, all of our current operators in the Silicon Valley area are busy, either that, or they are on lunch break. Was that recorded? Um, I guess not. Hopefully, you will just take your own life now instead of holding, but feel free to try."

This time, there are advertisements for other Macrohard products along with the elevator music rejects.

"…so, the next time that the extremely dangerous ‘BunnyKillah’ virus strikes your hard drive, protect yourself with ‘LuvRabbits 98’, the ONLY program guaranteed to stop that virus dead in it’s tracks and change your computer’s settings without your approval."

At the end of the prerecorded message, the Malevolent Middle-Schoolers (only slightly better that the Happy Fourth Graders) start up a lively rendition of "Inna-Gadda-Da-Vidda". Only to be interrupted by the phone being picked up.

"Hello, Macrohard Tech Support, how can I help you?" says an extremely bored voice. This voice belongs to Valerie, a technical support agent who knows slightly less about computers than my grandmother.

"Hi, I’m having problems installing 'Macrohard 98: What Macrohard 95 Should Have Been.' Every time I try to run it, the error message…"

Valerie, who by this time has opened the Instruction Manuel for the software cuts me off. "Have you tried turning the computer on?"

"Yes, I did, the problem is…"

"Have you consulted the Users Manuel?"

"Of course, I have problems when…"

"I’m sorry, your problem has me momentarily puzzled, let me check with my manager." Valerie leans back in her seat and resumes the gripping article in "Vogue" about nail care in the new millennium.

Meanwhile, I sit and wait. And wait. And wait. Then Valerie finishes the article and picks up the receiver.

"We are sorry about the delay. Now, where were we? Oh yes, turning on the computer."

"We already did that, I said…"

"Listen you! You called Tech Support, that’s me now shut your fat mouth and do as I say! You want your computer running, right?" Valerie has the patience of an African elephant in a circus being forced to walk a tight rope.

"I’m very sorry, I…"

"You better be! I don’t even know why I should help you anymore!" Valerie also has the tolerance and is about as forgiving as a Republican Congressman.

Anyway, I finally solved my problem (the software was giving my computer internal hemorrhoids, or something like that) and was up until two a.m. writing my stupid paper, and that’s why, Mr. Carino, this parody is so bad.

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