Reading Comprehension Skills

Will Not Fix

Thursdays are my research days which means I get a whole day off of work, and go to sit in my tiny office at MSU all day long, trying to get my thesis finished. Just to make it clear that I’m not working today, I figured I’d wear my black “no, I will not fix your computer” t-shirt. You would think that it would kinda drive the point home… But it didn’t. Typical reaction to that shirt was:

“No I will not fix… Oh! Haha! That’s funny… By the way, I have this issue with my wireless connection at home…”

Then there was a noisy fan problem, sound card problem, and two classics: “my computer is really slow” and “I get an error message sometimes”. I mean, Jesus Christ people! Read the fucking t-shirt! Do we have some nation-wide reading comprehension issue that I didn’t know about?

Sigh… I might as well had a “Free Tech Support” shirt on today – cause that’s how it felt like. I think they should put a warning label on it or something. Like: “Caution, do not wear in proximity to pathetic (l)users”.

[tags]tshit, t-shirt, no i will not fix your computer, tech support, humor[/tags]

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17 Responses to Reading Comprehension Skills

  1. Jenn UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I own that shirt in black. It does not work.

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  2. Craig Betts UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Solaris Terminalist says:

    I finally had to be a snob to people to get them leave me alone.

    First, I do the “Oh, you are running Windows? I only do UNIX, you know, A real operationg system!”

    Sometimes that fails. Then I ask, “Do you ask you lawyer friends to look at your will? Ask your mechanic friends to change your oil? No! If you want me to work on your computer, you can start paying me smae same as my company pays me! Yeah, that;s right . . . that is a new Hummer in my garage . . . and its payed for!”

    Brutal, yes . . . but it works.

    BTW- My wife has a friend that brings me her computer about every five to six months to fix because she keeps giving the admin password to her thirteen year old son. I charge $200 per rebuild . . .

    I have a Ghost image that I restore, add all the latest patches and send it back after it has collected dust from sitting in my closet for a week.. :-D


    I felt bad until I found gay porn on it one time. She has bigger problems in the near future . . .

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  3. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Tell me about it…

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  4. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Craig – LOL on the gay porn thing! This is why I try not to look at people’s personal data too closely when I’m doing this kind of stuff. Sometimes it’s better not to know. :P

    And actually, a lot of people I know actually do ask their lawyer and doctor friends for professional advice without having any qualms about it. :P

    So you say you can get $200 for reimaging a drive? Good to know. See, I never know what to charge people for that kind of stuff.

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  5. Miloš UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:


    This is a never ending debate. If you guys figure it out, please let me know. I want to be “free” at times as well.

    I will generally help my close friends or family, but other will get billed.
    Friends and family also get a brief lesson on what to do so that that particular problem wouldn’t happen again. I hope that if they get better, I will be called less. :)
    That’s the only way I have been able to deal with it.

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  6. ZeWrestler UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I need to get me one of those shirts.

    as for tech support, the worst offenders of that are my family members. i have an extremely hard time explaining to them that just because i am a computer science major, does not mean i am an IT person, web programmer or whatever other branch of computing they think i can do.

    my usual thing i do is i pick a random corner of their field that they work in, that i know they don’t deal with and i ask them to do something in that for me. doesn’t work =(

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  7. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Miloš – Same here. I would never charge close family or friends for tech support. They get a free ride, and I get to make fun of their computer skills, and torture them about all the porn I find. :twisted:

    My coworkers can usually get a free ride – not because I’m generous or anything though… If they get a permission from one of the directors they get to bring their desktops to office and have them fixed on company time. Of course the directors are the ones that do it regularly, but hey – I’m getting paid for my time either way, so what do I care.

    But I did on occasion fix computers for my cousin’s coworkers, or a friend of a friend free of charge and in most cases it was a huge pain in the ass for me, and a total waste of time. So I usually try to talk my way out of that kind of arrangements.

    But if I can charge them $200, require that they bring all the OEM CD’s and make no guarantees about their data surviving the procedure it might actually be worth while…

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  8. Craig Betts UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Solaris Terminalist says:

    But if I can charge them $200, require that they bring all the OEM CD’s and make no guarantees about their data surviving the procedure it might actually be worth while…

    What can I say? I am a BOFH!

    Don’t get me wrong, I take care of family. I have gone to both my parent’s and my wife’s parent’s homes and setup DSL and Remote Desktop. I even have a slick SSH tunnel to my house to remote control their systems when they call me at work.

    I have another friend that I barter with. He is an excellent concrete guy, so I built him a really nice game box w/support and he poured my RV access at my house.

    My wife’s friend that I charge . . . well, sometimes we have to take a stand. She is the type that believes that she won the free {enter hi-tech device name here} and immediately clicks the link, even after I have told her numerous times that they are scams. Might as well make a few bucks for the headaches.

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  9. Wikke BELGIUM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Mostly i’m being spared from all that hassle, but sometimes i have to fix a computer from a friend or close relative. Not for strangers. It’s quite fun! You have a little chat, they give you beer, and in the end (after an hour or 2) they insist you to take the money :-).

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  10. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    The thing is – random people will ask me for tech related advice as soon as they find out that IM a “computer guy”. It’s like, I meet someone for the first time in my life, I tell them what I do, and then they proceed to give me a vaguest problem description ever, and expect me to instantly come up with a solution for them. By far my favorite is this one:

    “You know… On my computer… When I open it up, like, this thing pops up and it says something. And then I can’t get to my Microsoft… Do you know what that is?”

    Yup, of course I know what it is. It’s PEBKAC also known as the ID.10T code.

    I also frequently get:

    “could you send someone a virus that would break their computer?”


    “could you hack into my girlfriends/boyfriends myspace/email?”

    Like Ze said – regardless of what our true specialization is, people just assume that we are IT specialists by day, and hackers by night… Sigh…

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  11. Wikke BELGIUM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    That’s kinda funny :-)
    I’ve never encountered people like that, but it would be hilarious :p

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  12. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Oh man, you are lucky! :mrgreen:

    It’s hilarious the first 20-30 times it happens to you. It gets old real fast though.

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  13. Miloš UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Luke, don’t forget PICNIC.



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  14. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    LOL! :mrgreen:

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  15. Wikke BELGIUM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I encountered something really “wtf” last week.
    A user wanted to change his 17″ crt monitor into a 19″ tft one, but wanted to keep the old resolution (1024×768 instead of 1280×1024, which is the tft optimal setting)
    Then he complained about the screen being fuzzy and irritating :-S
    “But else it’s so small …” is the answer if you try to explain

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  16. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Hehe! I’ve been there! I actually had people ask me to switch them to 600×800 from 1024×768 because “everything was so small” and then complain stuff looks ugly.

    I got around it by just setting it up so that Windows uses the hueg (not huge, hueg) icon set, and increasing the default font size.

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