Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

15 People Who Are Having A Really Hard Time Understanding How Technology Works

Oh, the joys of working with technology.

Technology is advancing at a fast rate, but not everyone is keeping up, so I asked the IT and tech workers in the BuzzFeed community: What's the wildest thing you've had to explain to someone?

Channel 4 / Via giphy.com

Here are the truly wild stories they shared:

1. "I worked at a cyber school, and one day, I overheard one of our IT guys on the phone with a parent. She was insisting that her son’s printer wasn’t working. After troubleshooting with her for about 15 minutes, he finally asked, 'Ma’am, is the printer plugged in?'"

"Her response was 'No, the box said it’s wireless.' Cue our poor IT guy banging his head off his desk for the next five minutes."

kimnlucie

2. "I worked in the computer lab at a library for a bit. People asked for help with the scanner all the time, but this one lady was really something special. Came in to make a scan of her driver's license. She had just gotten a new one from the DMV, so she only had the black and white paper version, not the plastic one yet..."

"So we scan her ID, and then she asks me if we can scan the ID in color. Spent several minutes talking in circles with this lady, trying to explain that a scanner can’t add color to a document that doesn’t already [have it]. Finally told her, 'Yes, the scanner will scan whatever color is present on the original,' and was shocked when she accepted that answer. It was a ride from start to finish, let me tell you, and is now a favorite story with my friends."

shireness

3. "I had an elderly lady call asking for on-site support. She stated she was having trouble with her mouse. When I arrived at the site, I asked what was the issue, and she stated the mouse was very hard to operate..."

Bettmann / Getty Images

"I found the mouse on the floor under her desk. The lady was a long-retired legal secretary. She thought the mouse was used like a foot pedal from an old dictaphone machine, and she was trying to operate it with her foot. I moved it to her desktop and proceeded to show her how to properly use it."

david4364fcb54

4. "I was working for a major cable company, and I had an elderly gentleman on the phone trying to get his remote control programmed. I said, 'Press 9-9-1 and it will blink twice. Press 1 again.' Then I hear beep beep boop boop of the buttons on the phone being pressed. I said, 'That’s very good, sir. Let’s try it on the remote control now.'"

Lucasfilm Ltd. / Via giphy.com

mysticp

5. "A million years ago, in the '80s, I worked in IT. I had a user call and tell me that everything simultaneously failed — the computer, the monitor, the printer, everything..."

"We went through the usual, and I was on the phone with her for about 15 minutes before she told me that they were experiencing a strong thunderstorm and the power was off at the building. This person was actually sitting in the dark wondering why her computer did not work."

ctramonte

6. "I asked my boss to forward on to me something that he had been sent by email. Five minutes later, he put a photocopy of his iPad screen (with the document open on it) on my desk."

christinaf35

7. "I was in tech support for satellite broadcasting. One day I got a call from a customer who said his receiver wasn't working. I helped him test it in every way I could think of (including 'power off, power on' of course). Finally, I gave up and called a local tech to go to the site..."

Sony Pictures / Via giphy.com

"Turns out the customer had duct-taped all the vents shut, so the receiver overheated and died! The customer told me he had taped them shut so that nothing got inside. I explained to him that doing so had killed his receiver. He got angry and demanded that we replace it at our expense because we hadn't told him not to tape it. Needless to say, the customer isn't always right, and we forced him to pay for it himself."

fayealroy1234

8. "A manager called me over to help him with a 'broken webcam' on his laptop. I came over, and he explained he had reinstalled the drivers, tried to get the computer to recognize the device, and a myriad of other things to get it to work and was convinced it was broken..."

CBC / Via giphy.com

"I looked and saw that the little switch to cover the camera was in the on position. I flipped it, and the camera turned on immediately. He looked so broken and muttered, 'I just spent an hour trying to fix this…'"

circesrevenge

9. "I had a lady who locked herself out of her corporate email. I reset her account with a temporary password and gave that to her over the phone with instructions on how she will get asked to update her password to be what she wanted it to be..."

"She said she couldn't remember the temp password (which was literally TEMPass1234) and could I just email it to her. I had to explain that since she couldn't get into her email, emailing her password to her locked email account wouldn't help her. We went round and round over that. I tried to explain that if she locked herself out of her house and I changed the locks, that slipping the key into her mail slot would still leave her locked out of her home. Nope! It was a mess."

thia_m

10. "I was sitting at my desk, and a girl who had transferred to the department next to mine was trying to turn on her computer. I’m the IT person and noticed her computer wasn’t powering on after several tries and asked her if she wanted help. I pressed the button and saw that it wasn’t powering on..."

"I looked behind it expecting the power cord to not be plugged in all the way or that it had fallen. But it just wasn’t there at all. I asked, 'Where’s your power cord?' And she responded with 'I left it at my old desk — do I need it?' I then tried to say kindly, 'Yes, all electrical equipment needs a power source.' And she proceeded to explain she thought the power was routed through the monitors to the desktop."

circesrevenge

11. "Not me, but my husband says it’s unreal how many times he has to tell people to just push 'OK.'"

Giphy / Via giphy.com

12. "I worked in an electrical store and had so many people returning their remotes because they stopped working when they just needed to change the battery. We had a stash of batteries behind the counter ready for them."

13. "I had a worker call me up, and it was obvious that just rebooting would fix the issue. Everyone always says they already tried that, but sometimes it really is the answer. Every time the computer rebooted, he would just say, 'Nope, same thing'..."

"I noticed that the computer was 'rebooting' a little too quickly, so I asked for the asset number on the device. It turns out he had just been turning the monitor off and on for the last 10 minutes."

ppsguy

14. "Not me, but my husband has been in IT for over 20 years. When he did desktop support, the number of times he had people call him to help fix a 'broken' keyboard that 'just stopped working' only to pick it up and dump out half a cup of coffee or OJ!"

christinmcrich

15. "If you forget your phone on top of your car, drive off, hear something fall, reverse over it, and consequently flatten it with your CAR, it is most certainly not covered by warranty and was definitely not caused by a software bug."

CBS / Via giphy.com

geheyo

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.

What was the wildest thing you've had to explain to someone about technology? Let us know in the comments below!

BuzzFeed Daily

Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

Newsletter signup form