20 off-the-wall emails from the technically clueless

20 off-the-wall emails from the technically clueless

Summary: End users sometimes ask the strangest questions. Here are 20 bizarre emails from users that either don't have a clue or didn't take the time to search before hitting send.

TOPICS: Collaboration

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  • Here at TechRepublic, our editors get lots of email--questions, compliments, criticism, and plenty of spam. We do our best to respond.

    But sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we just can't decipher what the sender is asking for. And other times, what they're asking for is illegal, impractical, or just bizarre.?Here's a look at some of the more interesting ones. I've blacked out the names and email addresses to protect the innocent (or clueless).

    Just know that my goal is not to discourage people from asking questions. Rather, I hope these emails encourage those with legitimate questions to do a little leg work before hitting the Send button. Browse the TechRepublic blogs and forums. Use our site search to find material relevant to your query. Or at the very least, enter your question into a search engine. If you're still unable to find a solution (and your not asking for an Windows XP CD key), then by all means, ask away.

    Image by Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic

    Captions by Bill Detwiler
  • This email is a great example of someone making an impractical request, while at the same time being lazy. TechRepublic has tons of articles, free downloads, and even paid products to help members get the most from Excel. And there's ton more information around the Web. All you have to do is look.

    Image by Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic

    Captions by Bill Detwiler

Topic: Collaboration

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  • RE: 20 off-the-wall emails from the technically clueless

    What struck me most is that the shift key appears to be broken on many of the keyboards from which these emails were produced, and that spell checkers aren't what they once were. I really felt for the chap that could not get his monitor coming on - perhaps if he wore something more seductive?
    • Arf!

      You remember "arf", right? It's like "lol" but it's old-skool.
    • RE: 20 off-the-wall emails from the technically clueless

      jr41mac --<br><br>In addition to the total disregard for capitalization, what amazes me is the nigh-illiterate nature of most of these emails. I would assume that people who use email and might contact tech support as part of their daily jobs would have at least [i]some[/i] post-high school education. Yet so many people's communication skills border on gibberish. (Don't get me started on why a high school education somehow is not enough to guarantee clear writing...)<br><br>DISCLAIMER: I admit it, I'm a grammar/spelling stickler, and as such, I'll inevitably make one or more grammar or spelling errors in this post.<br><br>The lazy, pathetic excuse I hear from many -- especially in IT -- is that they're interested in the <i>speed</i> of communication rather than adhering to [what they believe is] an outdated set of rules.<br><br>If they could overcome their ADHD long enough to read my response, I would reply that any time "saved" by dashing off their semi-random word beast, roughly slouching toward a point, is more than <i>lost</i> in the time required for the subsequent Neanderthal-to-English translation. ("ugg no my intnet wrok" = "There's a problem with my internet connection." Seconds lost in translation: oh, I don't know, let's say four.)<br><br>By this point, I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir. The worst offenders would have gotten bored or confused and stopped reading after the first few sentences.
  • OMG Cant I get a spell checker

    I laughed so hard at first then I cried its all over the web everywhere people who cant spell to save their life and not just from the people for whom english is a second language thats why we have engrish.com for but from people who are obviously english speakers and just cant spell never mind the fact their computer skils or google muscles have atrophied... wtf how Imberesing....
    • RE: 20 off-the-wall emails from the technically clueless

      @KineticArtist - I suspect that MUCH of the problem lies in the fact that for the last 1 1/2 - 2 decades our youth has communicated 80-100% of the time via IM's, text messages, etc - and VERY LITTLE in the "old fashioned" way - where one actually needed to know how to spell, construct a sentence,etc - instead choosing ROTFLOL, LMAO, IDK, and thousands of other "cool" abbreviations that require ABSOLUTELY no spelling or grammar skills... This is just another case of "you are what you eat" - except in this case we've taken basic communication skills and placed them SO FAR down on the list of things that one needs to know that when they now TRY to write something using FULL words they aren't EVEN AWARE THAT THEY'RE TOTALLY UNABLE TO DO SO - Until some of us "old farts" choose to point the fact out to them - and EVEN THEN they don't understand what the hell we're talking about...

      It's a VERY SAD comment on our current society - and to think that these are members of the generation that will be running this country in another 10 years or so - well, it's just SCARY AS HELL !!!
    • RE: 20 off-the-wall emails from the technically clueless

      Yeah...Not to mention those who have no idea what a run-on sentence is.

      Hate to jump on people, but talk about the pot calling the kettle black...

      Oh, and that last word is spelled "embarrassing". Just sayin'.
      • RE: 20 off-the-wall emails from the technically clueless

        For real?

        a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing

        I wouldn't worry about jumping on people. The joy you've brought many of us with your reply is worth risking hurting KineticArtist's feelings.
      • RE: 20 off-the-wall emails from the technically clueless

        Just goes to show sarcasm does not go over well on comment blogs.
  • Perhaps ZDNer / TechRepublic needs some "starter columns"

    Bill, I hesitate to think that you are unkind. These are all readers desperately in need of help. Instead of laughing at their English, why don't you write some "starter columns"?
    • RE: 20 off-the-wall emails from the technically clueless

      @thosmason@... Starter columns? really? I can see it now... <br>Column 1: How to get others to give you their software keys instead of paying for it yourself.<br>Column 2: How to succeed in the IT industry with no training or education.<br>Column 3: How to use spell check and 100 other secrets about computer use.<br><br>Give me a break...
      • RE: 20 off-the-wall emails from the technically clueless


        As to your #1, it kinda DOES sound like a clumsy stab at social engineering, doesn't it? Robo-send them at the ends of long days to enough people, somebody's BOUND to go brain-dead on the other end.
      • Arrogance...

        So...you were never the new guy, huh? Never asked a stupid question? The only way not to ask a stupid question is to never ask a question at all.

        I started in the IT business around 25 years ago, with no training and not having finished school. I asked a lot of stupid questions. Now I train others, lead the company software development on international joint ventures, and I am the company expert on AI and vision systems.

        A couple of years ago I put myself through an IT degree course whilst maintaining a full time job. Not because it would give me anything, but because I was getting fed up of arrogant graduates starting their first job thinking that they knew more than those who have been in the business for many years before them. The degree was really, really easy.

        If you find yourself working on my team, or attending one of my seminars, I will tell you that there are no stupid questions, only people too stupid to ask.

        So if Bill does write the columns you suggest, I will be among the first to sign up for them. The day I stop learning....
        Chaz Chance#
    • RE: 20 off-the-wall emails from the technically clueless

      "These are all readers desperately in need of help."
      Like the guy asking for an XP product key?
      Nothing wrong with helping out, but those asking the questions have some responsibility as well. Most of the questions here could be answered with a Google search, and if the question is important enough to ask, then take the time to check your spelling and grammar. Put a little effort and care into your query, and you'll get the attention you deserve.
  • Is THIS the "sofistikated" hacker community attacking us?

  • Hrm..A lot of this looks like SPAM messages

    Given the fact that these emails contain no structure or grammar - it HAS to be SPAM. I'm all for believing a few nuts are this bad but come on...
    • RE: 20 off-the-wall emails from the technically clueless

      @JT82 No, I've seen ones like this....I remember when we rolled out Office 97 back in '98 we had a slew of calls from people who were pissed because the guy next to them got Windows 97 and they wanted it...we were like "Windows 97"??????
  • Bill the meanie

    Another product key request<br>For millionth time, no.<br>Image by Bill Detwiler / TechRepublic<br>Captions by Bill Detwiler
    [/quote]<br>Bill.. you're just a big meanie! <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/happy.gif" alt="happy">

    and even better "Dos and Edlin" LOL !! :)
    • RE: 20 off-the-wall emails from the technically clueless

      Yap, me too that those emails are very funny even the SYS ADMINS, how did they get their jobs?
      • I'm still . . .


        Trying to figure out the "My Monitor isn't working on this computer" one.

        If it isn't working, how did he send the E-Mail . . . .
  • This is nothing compared what I go thru on a regular basis..

    How about "The cup holder "<remember those?>" knocked over my coffee and now my computer is all wet. What do i do?"

    Or better yet "I need help. I pushed the button on the tv thingie and my computer wont start. I keep stepping on the pedal and it wont start either." The user had the mouse on the floor and was trying to use it as a car accelerator pedal to start her computer. lol .(she was acustomed to using a typewriter. This was all new to her)

    Or better yet. Phone call "I inadvertently sprinkled some pepsi on my keyboard now my keyboard isnt working please help!"

    I was about to help the user but the user(a company executive no less) pointed to her computer and said she had to go to an important meeting and bolted out the door. Upon inspection I found that when I lifted one side of the keyboard soda would be pouring out. A few sprinkles? NOT! lol
    Creeping Critter