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Thread: I Love Utter Idiots....

  1. #1
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
    Join Date
    Oct 2002

    I Love Utter Idiots....

    Subtitle: How your local computer repair company sees the world of computer professionals.

    I thought I would share this email exchange with you as a demonstration of the potential calibre of your local computer repair company... It could have gone into Computer Humor but I have the feeling that it isn't really all that funny.

    Introduction: My organization puts out a quarterly magazine mostly for PR purposes in the metropolitan area. They have a section called "Ask the Experts" and the latest edition contained an editorialized version of my "How to protect your home computer". It contained a misquote but that was inconsequential to the subsequent "discussion". In the piece, listed numerically, were the usual go to <insert web site here> and download the free version of <insert security application here> stuff.

    A local lady who received the magazine and manages a local computer repair company wrote the following to the head of PR that she forwarded to me:-

    Note: Italicized comments in square brackets are mine and the names of the "innocent" are protected.

    I want to thank you for sending to us your latest magazine. I found it to look great. [This sentence should have been my first warning. But I'm dumb....]

    Being as though we are a computer repair company I of course took a look at the "Expert advice" you were giving your readers. I do not wish to cause any problems [Uh Oh, that's always a sign that someone is stirring the pot] but #1 is inaccurate plus #2,3,4 & 5 (although these exact sites & are reputable for the moment) it is not a good idea to tell people to download anything free.

    Again we service a variety of business & personal computers therefore have the luxury of really seeing how users use their units.
    Well.... I'm afraid I found that all a little much and certainly thought it required a response:-

    I am the MIS for XXX Company and was forwarded a copy of your email to PR Person.

    While the first item on the list isn't _exactly_ what I said, (the word "more" is missing), when I was asked for this information I can assure you that by far the highest number of worm infections seem to happen through dial up services. Probably due to the fact these services tend to have the lowest level of users.

    As to your comment regarding "it's not a good idea to tell people to download anything free" I would tend to agree with you in general. However, when the advice comes from a person who first entered the computer field in 1982, (yes, 1982, where I began by teaching myself Assembly), who is a 13 year veteran of the Agency, that built the Agency's network from scratch into an 18 location WAN spread across three counties, (all without the need for consultants or contractors), has kept the Agency's 650 nodes free of viruses and worms for almost 8 years, and has reduced the incidence of spyware/malware to the point that occurrences are negligible and has yet to have an incident of system compromise even though he runs 5 web sites, 4 mail servers, FTP servers, 3 DNS servers amongst other things that are all publicly available then the items he suggests are quite probably acceptable to download.

    While you are obviously trying to expand your business you should probably do it without critiquing things by people you know nothing about, it comes across as most arrogant.

    Thank you for your time
    Not to pass up an opportunity to tell me how little I know about computers in the "real world" the dear lady responded:-

    How dare you be so rude?

    Your credentials are impressive although you have little exposure or a disregard for what the common computer user is doing. My background is not even technical it is human behavior and your suggestions are dangerous to the common computer user.

    I was just trying to be helpful, though all things said and done, your advise brings in more business for us.

    I am sure you have done a wonderful job at XXX Company.
    She really did say I have had little exposure to the "real world"...

    Well, you know me.... That absolutely required a respose:-

    I was not being rude at all. Your message implied, regardles of the fact that my experience was delineated at the bottom of the article, that _my_ advice to people is not trustable. Now, in your reply, you state that I don't know what the common computer users are doing. On what grounds are you basing that assumption? Just in the last 13 years I have seen thousands upon thousands of "common computer users" both in the course of my employment and outside it.

    You accuse me of being rude yet the entire thread of your conversation has been to imply that I am ignorant of the real world with no facts on which to base that assumption. Placed in my situation you would probably consider that rude and resent it too.

    The simple fact that, based on a non-technical background, you chose to contradict the advice of an experienced person with a technical background to further your business absolutely smacks of arrogance. You are taking the position that you know better simply because you _think_ you should.

    Furthermore, if you wished to question my advice you could have simply requested my email address from PR Person or Other PR Person and dealt with me directly. Had PR Person chosen to forward your initial email to all my users you would have undermined my ability to protect my users in a way that works in the future.

    Please, if you have any questions about computer security advice I give in the future feel free to deal with me directly.

    Again, thank you for your time.
    Well.... Apparently nothing can quench her arrogant, "I know better than you" attitude:-

    First of all I apologize for referring to you in the feminine context, PR Person alerted me to this error. [LOL, I guess she's chit-chatting behind my back with PR Person. I wonder if she thought she could win the cat fight with the "female technician"]

    I laugh at you calling me arrogant but hey I can take it. FYI my partner built his first computer when he was in the 5th grade (10 years) and he too is self learned primarily that teachers cannot keep up with technology. [Does anyone here understand that sentence?] He alone has 35 years of experience and we have been running a business since 1993 together.

    My background is psychology I therefore take a special interest in the customers.

    We have become so respected that we service the CEO's that retired from Compuware, FBI, Royal Oak Police & Fire, GM employees, Ford employees, professors from Oakland U, WSU & OCC. My technicians have been interviews by channel 4 & 7. These are just a few to impress you. We deal with individuals and small businesses. In other words we deal with the people reading the XXX Company magazine and I understand human behavior with regard to your suggestions.

    I will only make one more suggestion to you. Technicians are a dime a dozen these days, lashing out at your companies customer base will not be helpful to your career.
    OMG.... I'm a "Dime a dozen technician" and my career is in jeopardy.... The funny thing is she doesn't even realize that we are her customer - she is the _vendor_ of graphic arts to our PR department.... How dumb can she be?

    Add to that the awful grammar/spelling, (yeah, ok, I have a typo too, coming up in my response), she is really coming across as a "professional".

    Well.... I decide to run a google search on her company and find they don't even have their own web site. Did I mention her email address is an AOL address? Oops, silly me.... I find a single reference to the "interviews" by the local media she was so proud of.... It appears that Mike Wendland, in a piece about online stalkers of underage girls called them and asked if they ever find pornographic material that might have been downloaded by the kids on home machines. The single line in his report indicated that the technician did.... WOW!!!!!

    I'd also love to know which PC her partner built at the age of ten some thirty five years ago..... (Yes, it's possible... But it's unlikely(?)... Which makes me question her veracity).

    Now I'm fed up with her and respond:-

    Ah, now you threaten me......

    Ms. X's Name, you began this "incident" by stating that I give bad advice. You continued it by stating that I don't know what happens in the "real world" and now you tell me that I am a "dime a dozen techinician" [There's my typo... Damn....] and that you could threaten my career. I am not one of your technicians..... you couldn't afford me, trust me.


    1. Having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance.
    2. Marked by or arising from a feeling or assumption of one's superiority toward others: an arrogant contempt for the weak. See Synonyms at proud.

    It seems that the cap fits you rather well......

    All this coming from a representative of a company that has no web site of it's own and still uses AOL as their email provider...... your list of "credentials" don't impress me either I'm afraid - Mike Wendland asking a technician if he ever finds smut on home computers hardly demonstrates the pinnacle of technical prowess.

    This conversation is closed, I don't have time to waste dealing with you any further.
    I'm not sure this is over yet but it is a wonderful example of how your local computer repair people may turn out to be a little less adept than they will tell you they are. To be honest I would rather you trust your neighbor's 12 year old.....

    Hopefully the saga is closed.... Why do I have the horrible feeling it isn't.

    Edited: A bloody Typo.... <LOL>
    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

  2. #2
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Shame on you Tiger~

    I would have given her more of a hard time over:

    it is not a good idea to tell people to download anything free.
    1. 30 Day trials, or don't you check things out before buying them.
    2. Why spend money on a commercial version when a private user version will do the job?
    3. Reputable organisations give away free things as a marketing strategy.

    Yes I think you may well hear from her again.

    What amuses me is I am sure that her real concern is losing all that lucrative reformat and reinstall business that she doubtless gets, if users are more aware and take better precautions. Of course she cannot say that

  3. #3
    The Doctor Und3ertak3r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    let me guess.. she didnt like the idea of linking to Adaware and Spybot SnD..right?
    Like I am worried by that... .. dime a doz tech.. .. him perhaps I have more reason to worry..

    Pity with emails like that.. you cant put them in a a phone call

    I know of a fellow who had a Ham radio ticket at 6.. built a PC and several pieces of radio equipment before he was 10.. and still dosent know a bloody thing about any of the equipment..

    TS she will defend her lonesome patch of dirt to the bitter end..

    the difference between being a service company and Being Service Orintated (SPelling) Company is the advice you give your customer.. Customeres who keep bringing back equipment with the same problem start to think the Tech is the problem, when a little advice, will see the customer coming back not so much with different problems but more importantly MORE PURCHASES.
    Keeping helpful advice from customers... not goood karma
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Never mind "grammers", never mind egos... let's go to the bottom of the well (oh, well...):

    When an INCOMPETENT chooses to criticize , there is always the tendency to unconsciously go through the tranference mode and project the inabilities/incapabilities that he/she actually feels are his/her own.

    To this end, TS, that critic was actually trying to find alternate channels to criticize herself. This is street psychology but the first person who raises the hand to strike is normally the first to always admit total defenselessness; "He who throws the first bottle in a brawl can't ever throw a proper punch!"

    A running argument is just simply that... HECK! SHE CAN EVEN CLAIM TO BE CATERING TO ALL HEADS OF STATES FOR ALL WE CARE! ... a waste of time.

    Si vis pacem, para bellum!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Hey Hey,

    I definately appreciated that read..... I laughed the entire way through it... primarily because it sounds like a discussion with my boss. The problem is that in this world they feel the need to put non-technical people in technical positions and they know one or two concrete things and think that means they know everything.

    Other than that, I'd tend to agree with Und3ertak3r. The response to your PR department had one purpose... to be distributed amongst your employees or possibly be published in the next issue of your newsletter... Why do you think that Futureshop and Best Buy sell AdAware for 49.99... and AV Software for damn near 100 bucks... Because people don't know how to find their own free software... by distributing these links, you're costing her company business... A buddy of mine in the tech dept. at one of the Futureshops here in town said that AV/malware Cleanings are their biggest business... The same is probably true for this womans company. By giving people access to free information... and free products, you're cutting into the profits of her business... A technician at a small company that needs it's customers will tell you that windows 98 is the greatest OS in the world if they think you'll pay them to install it..

    Anyways.. thanks for the read and keep us informed of any updates.

    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  6. #6
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Aside from the fact that I have a hard time believing anyone with a psychology degree can't spell or form proper sentences, this person is just plan stupid...

    As HT said though this is a very lucrative market for small business' and larger ones like the Best Buy's (Geek Squad) and your CompUSA's and Futureshops.

    I used to work for some of these companys and the money they charge is ridiculous compared to the free downloads and a headache for an hour or so...


    $60 Diagnostic fee (run a hard drive test to make sure the work done isnt a waste of time cause you have a bad hard drive)

    $39 Spyware removal

    $39 Virus/Trojan Removal (thats right deleting the temp files is gonna cost you 40 bones)

    So if you go into the store they are gonna charge you about 140 dollars to clean your PC....wait... unless there is something where they have to touch the OS (registry, etc) Well as we all know 99% of spyware ridden computers you have to get into the registry and msconfigs and whatever to clean the crap out.... instead of that $39 fee its now a $60 fee bringing your new total to 160 dollars.

    Or if you have one of their wonderful services come visit you in your home you may as well sign up for the 229 dollar cleaning OS fee BLAH

    On second thought maybe I should be raping people on their computer repair and yelling at you for taking my business too

    Edit: Punctuation
    Duct tape.....A whole lot of Duct Tape
    Spyware/Adaware problem click

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    From the looks of it i am the cheapest spyware cleaner/general computer fixer ever.

    15 euro's start plus 10 per hour. 10% of the price for new parts and 5 euro's for a guide that will most likely(if you put effor into it) stop you from ever having to be my customer again.And if i dont fix it you don't pay.

    Well im not really a company and i dont have any personal or real profit to make but still.

    Thanks for the nice read Tiger.
    Since the beginning of time, Man has searched for the answers to the big questions: \'How did we get here?\' \'Is there life after death?\' \'Are we alone?\' But today, in this very theatre, you will be asked to answer the biggest question of them all...WHO LIVES IN A PINEAPPLE UNDER THE SEA?

  8. #8
    Frustrated Mad Scientist
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    They're probably not happy at the prospect of users clearing out their machines for free. Removing spyware is probably a fairly good source of income for them. I know it is for me :-)

    For the unscrupulous its very easy to claim xyz is wrong with the machine and its needs xyz parts to fix when it's just spyware.

    I keep my conscience clean by at least trying to explain to the customer what has happened to their machine, what I'm installing and how to use it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    I would have pointed out that 35 years ago the chances of a 10 year old knowing what a computer was, let alone building one, was highley unlikely. this among many other flaws in her arguments. then again Im an ******* and when people start attacking my work I like to tear them to shreads.
    Everyone is going to die, I am just as good of a reason as any.

  10. #10
    Just Another Geek
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Unlikely, yes, but it's a possibility..

    According to Old Computers the Altair 8800 was one of the first. It came out in 1975 and cost $325 as a kit. Another possible one is the Apple I, that came out a year later.. but cost twice as much... But it was very popular.. Then again only 200 were made.. That was 30 years ago.. With a little exaggaration

    Not very likely a 10 year old has that kind of cash. Not in 1975 atleast... Unless he had filthy rich parents..
    Oliver's Law:
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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