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User Charged With Taking ISP Tech Hostage 327

Posted by samzenpus
from the to-kidnap-or-not-to-kidnap dept.
User AttheCoalFac pointed us to an interesting tech support story from Canada. Halifax actress and playwright Carol Sinclair was arrested and is now facing criminal charges after a repairman says she threatened to hold him hostage until he fixed her Internet connection. Mrs. Sinclair denies the allegations and says that she merely stated, 'I don't want to hold you hostage, but would you mind hanging around until the other technician arrives so that the two of you can sort it out.' She was arraigned in Halifax Provincial Court Friday and is now free on conditions including that she have no contact with the repairman or any employee from her ISP. Having a lot of experience on both sides of this issue, I'm not sure who I'm cheering for.

*

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User Charged With Taking ISP Tech Hostage

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  • Misleading title (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kenh (9056) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:00PM (#24854755) Homepage Journal

    Threatened to take him hostage Taking him hostage - the title is misleading.

    Here in US, most repairmen won't leave until you sign for the work, as I understand it. If your not satisfied, don't sign for the job.

  • Seems to me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jaxtherat (1165473) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:01PM (#24854767) Homepage

    this is just a case of a disgruntled customer's remarks being taken WAY out of context.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      You are right - taken out of context to try to teach someone that pisses them off a lesson at taxpayers expense and perhaps get a cash windfall. It's just as ridculous as the photographer that claimed he was beaten up by an Icelandic girl that is barely over three feet tall.
    • Re:Seems to me (Score:5, Interesting)

      by shawn(at)fsu (447153) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:18PM (#24854903) Homepage

      the problem is we don't know what she said.

      there are 3 versions of the truth here, her version his version and what really happened.

      • Re:Seems to me (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @12:22AM (#24855267) Homepage

        there are 3 versions of the truth here, her version his version and what really happened.

        That would imply that all three are true. I prefer the B5 variation: "Understanding is a three-edged sword. Your side, their side and the truth."

        Of course sometimes it is just a matter of perception and all are equally "true" in that sense, but most of the time not...

        • Yes, but when by her own admission, she seems to think it relevant to mention that she doesn't usually drink Vodka Cooler so early in the day, and that she didn't drink that much of it in the first place. Don't expect many Judges to believe her until her blood results come back from the lab.
        • by mcrbids (148650) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @03:22AM (#24856073) Journal

          Which begs the question: If a truth fell down in the middle of a forest, and nobody heard it, would your wife want to have sex with you?

          Or, put another way, if truth were a car traveling down the highway, and were to suddenly be attacked by a mac fanboi in one of Balmer's thrown chairs, would the bad car analogy still allow this post be modded +4 insightful?

      • Oh come on now, you must be American ;-) If she didn't have a gun pointed at the kid, or a knife at his throat, then it's obvious that she wasn't being serious. If she did, then why wasn't a weapon mentioned in the report? That would be a pretty important piece of information, wouldn't you say?

        The kid seems like he's been living in his parents' basement watching too many episodes of Criminal Minds, IYKWIM.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Opportunist (166417)

          I think the explanation is much simpler. He noticed he wouldn't get out of there for hours because he can't fix it and she won't let him leave, he's already at the very least 1.5 hours late (after all, he came 1.5 hours late for the appointment) and I'm pretty sure he has one of those contracts where he has to do so and so many tasks a day, no matter whether customer is satisfied or not, as long as the ticket can be closed.

          He saw his daily average plummet, saw he won't be able to fix her computer (whether h

    • by Crudely_Indecent (739699) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @12:00AM (#24855157) Journal

      Having been an on-site tech for a cable company, a DSL company, and a multi-service ISP; I can assure you that customers do think that they can prevent a technician from leaving if the service isn't working to their satisfaction. I've responded in a number of different ways to customers. Here are some of the ways I've managed to vacate the premise:

      1. Explain that the issue is elsewhere and that preventing me from leaving will only prolong their outage.
      2. Show that the problem is with their own equipment, and that I'm not responsible for it.
      3. Offer to permanently close their account, remove the equipment, and blacklist their address/company/name (this only works if you are friends with the owner of the ISP, which I am)
      4. Last resort - offer to remove some of their blood through an entirely new orifice that I will create.

      #1 and #2 are usually effective and will get you out the door
      #3 I've used twice (one resulted in the closure of the account)
      #4 I've used once (electricians scissors are truly multi-purpose)

      The key is to remain cold and unemotional when delivering your chosen line. #4 requires having the scissors in your hand.

      • Re:Seems to me (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MrNaz (730548) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @12:59AM (#24855425) Homepage

        #4 can get you shot. You can't claim they started it if you're dead with a pair of scissors in your cold dead fingers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:01PM (#24854769)

    Vendor lock-in.

  • Typo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kenh (9056) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:02PM (#24854775) Homepage Journal

    That should read "Threatened to take him hostage (is not the same as) Taking him hostage - the title is misleading. I had a less than and greater than that were scrubbed out of the final posting - sorry.

    • That should read "Threatened to take him hostage (is not the same as) Taking him hostage - the title is misleading. I had a less than and greater than that were scrubbed out of the final posting - sorry.

      It depends on who you believe. Read the article. According the Tech, she took him hostage, then he escaped. Or if you believe her *side* of the story, the Tech shows up at 12:30 PM, works on her computer, and then takes off running for no reason whatsoever, and then she sits down to drink a third of a vodka [thepeoplescube.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:08PM (#24854799)

    What was wrong with her computer?

    I mean, what was it in the end. To go through this whole song and dance just to realize maybe Cat5e patch cord went bad?

    What was so beyond wrong with this computer that took 20 phone calls then to a site visit?

    Are there no local IT company's in the town they can recommend to the women that can fix computers?

    • by Annoid (1160621) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @12:39AM (#24855333)

      No doubt there are companies that do computer work. But she would have had to PAY them.
      People don't expect that they might have to actually pay someone to fix their computers after they frak them up.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hal_Porter (817932)

      They didn't know what was wrong with her internet connection / computer from what I can tell. "There's something wrong with your computer" was just a way to make her go away.

      It's sad really all real geeks should love solving problems, but I've worked with loads of people who'll spout some excuse like that even before the customer has explained what's happening. What's even worse is that they do it in a such an obvious way that even non technical people can tell it's bullshit. And it's not like they

      • by topham (32406)

        Many ISPs will -NOT- fix a customers computer. Why? they don't want the responsibility.

        If they determine the connection itself is fine, well, then the customer can call somebody who works on computers. It is NOT the ISPs responsibility to get the computer working.
        When you call the telephone company because your 3rd party fancy new cordless phone doesn't work, do they fix it, or tell you take it back to where you go it from?

  • by sokoban (142301) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:08PM (#24854811) Homepage

    Wait, so up in Canada they have ISPs where you can actually get in contact with the employees instead of the automated phone system from hell?

    Lucky Canadians.

    • by rm999 (775449) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:43PM (#24855049)

      Yeah, and after the 20th time, they reward you by sending someone to your house. Next, they waste an hour of your time, tell you they can't fix your connection, and then file criminal charges against you.

      Gotta love the Canadian ISPs ;)

      • When you are arraigned you are told you can't call up and cancel service! :)

        • by jimicus (737525)

          On the other hand, you could stop the payments and refuse to talk to anyone regarding it because you're under court order not to. Bet you it'd be cancelled quickly then.

      • by mpe (36238)
        Next, they waste an hour of your time, tell you they can't fix your connection, and then file criminal charges against you.

        If they were only going to waste an hour of her time they'd have turned up at 8:00am. Rather than 12:30pm.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by supernova_hq (1014429)
      Actually, it's kind of both. We (Shaw customers anyways) go through about 3-4 menu options (English/French, phone/internet, sales/inquiries/support), then get put on hold for anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes. After that it's a real person, every time!

      Not only that, but usually (definitely not always), the tech guys actually know what they are talking about and they are always local (never India, etc.) If at the end of it no resolution can be found, they'll almost always arrange to have a Tech show up wi
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Yeah, it only takes three or four weeks until they get tired of telling you "we're looking into it" and they send out a technician. Usually he takes a look, calls up his buddy at the switching station and they quickly realize that you haven't had Internet for the last two months because some idiot at central office didn't get around to filing the disconnect order for the previous tenant until after your connect order.

  • by hoofinasia (1234460) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:09PM (#24854819)
    It happens [xckd.com]
  • by Ignis Flatus (689403) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:13PM (#24854859)
    Just a retarded employee with a completely artless grasp of language. Public education sucks. Get over it. Move along, please.
  • by Caraig (186934) * on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:14PM (#24854867)

    The part of me that burned out on tech support oh so long ago is quick to jump on the side of the repair tech. I have known people who were crazy enough to do that sort of thing when they reached their breaking point.

    On the other hand, it's possible that even if she was at her breaking point, the tech -- caught between the rock of the customer and the hard place of his employer's prior actions -- found he had to get out of there before the customer got REALLY angry.

    On the gripping hand... I've found that in the vast majority of times that I've had internet connection problems, with the exception of Verison DSL on Staten Island, NY,* especially when I was the only one in the neighborhood with connection problems, especially after several weeks... the problem has almost invariably been with my computer.

    So, wild-ass speculation here, but I think the customer vented her frustration a bit too firmly (she did say she was not going to be polite, always a bad way to start a session); the technician hit his own breaking point and rather than go off on the customer he found an excuse to flee and a story to lay on his supervisor; his story of a crazy customer with a gun who wanted to hold him hostage got blown out of proportion and the woman was taken to court... ... and in the end, it really will be something wrong with her computer.

    While my sympathy automatically lies with the technician, rationally I'm certain the truth is going to be somewhere between these two stories. And in a larger view, this might kick up the tension between residential end-users and technicians by a notch. While residential end-users might be a bit more inclined to be more polite to techs, it might also raise their animosity towards same and the relationship becomes more hostile as a result. At best this will fade into a footnote.

    * - Kids, not much is worse in a customer sense, than a telco who sells you DSL and then moves some equipment around the central office such that you are now further from the central office than they rate DSL for. You're not actually farther from the CO, but the wiring inside the CO is now long enough that you are outside the CO's radius. And then they don't tell you. Fortunately, Verizon did the right thing and finagled something so that they returned my DSL. Part of me is pretty sure I wasn't the only one who had this happen to.

    • by Moraelin (679338) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:50AM (#24859145) Journal

      I might even have more sympathy for the techie, if not for the following detail: she actually opened the door for him, when he said he needed some CD from the van, and propped it open for when he returns. (Only to see him run off and drive off to the cops.)

      I'm sorry, but is there any realistic and sane way to mistake that for a genuine hostage situation? I mean, hello? Isn't that the polar opposite of _preventing_ someone from leaving?

      How would that even work, if it were a genuine hostage situation? "KK, you can go now, but please return later 'cuz you're my hostage. I'll let the door propped open for you. KTHXBYE." Or what? :P

      Surely it would count as the most incompetent kidnapping in known history.

      Look, that maybe he was close to the breaking point himself and he left an impolite customer, ok. I can live with that. Maybe the company even has a policy of leaving at the slightest perceived threat, even as a joke, as someone else suggested. Fine. Leave if you must.

      But going to the police and filing criminal charges? Nope, sorry, my sympathy for him automatically ends there. He's an arsehole who thought he can abuse the system to teach someone else a lesson. And I have no sympathy for that.

      Well, either that, or he is genuinely schizophrenic and thought that opening the door for him equals preventing him to leave. And in that case, someone put him in a nut house and on neuroleptics. Because God knows what else he might mis-interpret in surrealistic ways, and how he'll react then. Maybe at the next customer he'll think that offering him a glass of water means trying to set him on fire, or whatever. Maybe he'll end up injuring someone or himself, thinking he's fighting for his very life.

  • of any technician to be bouund hostaagee to a laaady?

    Maybe there is another sort, but I wouldn't like them to be near my peripherals!

  • by Skapare (16644) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:31PM (#24854977) Homepage

    It's a figure of speech ... "I hate to hold you hostage, but ...". That is said in a lot of contexts. If things went down as this story claims, then the ISP tech didn't understand and just blew it all out of proportion.

    • Huh? (Score:3, Informative)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      It's a figure of speech ... "I hate to hold you hostage, but ...". That is said in a lot of contexts.

      Huh?
      I've never heard that statement used in conversation, in any context.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by 98 Rezz (912897)
        I've heard it before. It's sort of an apologetic jest for asking someone to stay a bit longer than they intended to get something finished.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Skapare (16644)

          I've heard it a lot. But I'm in the USA. Maybe the Canadians never use it enough for most people to know about it.

      • I've never heard that statement used in conversation, in any context.

        If you're not in her area of Canada that means nothing -- it could be a local saying.

  • Counter-suit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by s0ckratees (524991) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:32PM (#24854985) Journal
    The actress said she called her provider, Aliant, one last time, disguising her voice to sound like a man and telling the company she needed her connection right away because she was a businessman. "Lo and behold, they said someone would be over between 8 and 11 the next morning." This after the usual wall-of-please-holds she got earlier.
    Sue their asses away.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Lo and behold, they said someone would be over between 8 and 11 the next morning."

      My general experience with ranges is, it pretty much means they'll be there at 10:55AM, as close to the end of that range as possible.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mashiki (184564)

      Considering how badly some people deal with women up here? It's not a bad plan. Especially the number of times that I've had the nice old lady, grandmother, cousin, GF, get the run around by a various company until you act as the S/O, brother, etc, because they have a pair of ovaries instead of a pair of balls. This isn't a all companies are bad, rah-rah burn them down. It sure makes me wonder if they want their business still, but then I remember...that in most cases they're the only business in town.

      And

  • Theatre People (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fyoder (857358) *
    Theatre people, they're almost as bad as carnies. If you have to do on site support for theatre people, make sure there are people who know where you are going and how long you should be. If they don't hear from you after that, they should call the police.
  • This is so messed up (Score:5, Interesting)

    by incognito84 (903401) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:57PM (#24855133)
    I'm a Haligonian and I have met Carol Sinclair (acquaintance of an acquaintance).

    What a small world. She doesn't seem like the "hostage holding" type at all, and the local ISPs are known for their shitty customer service. Seems like quite a misunderstanding.

    [Insert "so, do you know Bob/Joe/Cathy from Canada?" Jokes here]

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @12:07AM (#24855197)
    She could have strapped him to the bed and taken a sledgehammer [wikipedia.org] to his ankles. (or, if you're a bookworm: cut off his foot with an axe and blowtorch it to cauterize the wound).
  • by nick_davison (217681) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @12:19AM (#24855255)

    ...is now free on conditions including that she have no contact with ... any employee from her ISP.

    Granted, I'm used to trying to call an engineer out from US ISPs... But how is this different to what you get without a court order?

  • My sympathies lie... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Yalius (1024919) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @12:34AM (#24855315)
    ...squarely with the tech. I do field repair work for a smallish ISP myself, and it is absolute, zero flexibility policy that if any sort of threat, even in a joking manner, is made to our safety, we leave the premises immediately. Now to the best of my knowledge, the only circumstances this has actually been invoked under have involved unruly dogs, but were a subscriber to joke about holding one of us hostage, we're required to get the hell out, even if it means leaving equipment, up to and including entire vehicles, behind if necessary.

    The policy does allow us to return to the customer's premises at a later time, at our discretion, but only when accompanied by another tech.

    While I cannot vouch for the following, it is what has been described around the office here. "Back in the day" a subscriber apparently did use a shotgun to, ahem, "troubleshoot" a wiring ped right in front of a field tech. So, no, I have no doubt whatsoever that some people are more than capable of threatening what's implied in the article.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Your policy is nothing more then a bullshit cover your companies legal ass policy. If someone actually threatens another person, the law supersedes any company rules and the situation is what it is. The policy is just so later in court the employee can't sue the company saying he was forced to be in that situation or he's lose his job.

      Now for your sympathies, as the tech being a person, I can sympathize with him as his customers won't know what they are doing and are going to be upset before he gets to the

      • by mikael_j (106439)

        The reason your ISP doesn't help you troubleshoot your computer beyond telling you how to set up your NIC setting, IP settings, give you POP3/SMTP settings and ask you to check your firewall settings is partly because it's not really practical for them to try to help you with things that are either your responsibility or the responsibility of the computer/router/firewall manufacturers support and partly for legal reasons.

        I can safely say that more than 4/5 calls to ISP tech support are due to problems in ha

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by hellwig (1325869)
          I think an extra 5 minutes on the phone explaining to someone they need a virus scanner is a lot better than losing that person as a customer because all your stupid IT personel would do is tell the person the problem isn't on the company's end. Do you think someone who knows nothing about computers gives a shit that your cable lines are running if they can't connect to the internet? Doubtful. They'll drop your sevice in a heartbeat. One lost customer just because you have some arbitrary rule that all t
    • by Fluffeh (1273756)
      A new get rich quick plan:

      1. Order ISP stuffs to be installed at a vacant house.
      2. Make passing remark including word hostage, poor service.
      3. Watch hapless field tech scurry off leaving behind all valuable gear.
      4. Profit.
  • by FooGoo (98336) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @12:37AM (#24855331)
    Did she physically prevent him from leaving? Did he even try to leave? If not he should be buried up to his neck and be pelted with muffin fans from 20 paces.
    • by Caraig (186934) *

      See above. It's possible that the ISP has a 'zero risk' policy as far as threats to technicians go... and it kind of makes sense. It's one thing if you're at a commercial site, quite another if you're at a residence.

      However, the article is pretty light on actual facts. Much of it is he-said/she-said. the lack of a weapon does bode ill for the tech's case, though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hellwig (1325869)
        The policies of the company do not equal willful and unlawful intent on behalf of the customer. Just cause the technician might have perceived a threat based on her off-color remark doesn't mean she actually attempted to kidnap him. I can't believe they arrested this woman solely based on the account of the technician, especially since he wasn't kidnapped and they found no weapons in her house. IANAL, but I imagine she would have to have made some serious threats to his safety (not just saying "I don't m
  • by SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @12:59AM (#24855421)

    Seems to me that she was just being humorously dramatic. Summary says nothing about a weapon being presented at any time.

  • by randolph (2352) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @01:41AM (#24855639)

    It's a remarkably good excuse for the ISP not doing their job; the customer is forbidden to contact them. I think it's probably system-abuse on the part of the ISP.

  • Not to directly jump in and take sides, but if you want a service, and have to call twenty times with no result, anything else that eventuates is your fault. If someone can't provide you the right service after one call (okay, throw in a second followup call just for good measure) then do business with someone else. Uselss companies will flounder, good companies will flourish. People seem to have lost the ability to look at a service and say "Hey, you aren't doing a good enough job here. Pack up, leave and
    • by KGIII (973947)

      Are you high? She might just use Windows. Meaning that, yeah, the problem *could* be unfixable by all those calls and all their assistance.

      Today I no longer do house calls. I own a web hosting company. I have a client... I'll sell her account to you if you think you are all that and a bag of chips. We often need to have her email us the content she wants uploaded AND the exact instructions as to where she wants stuff on the page. This is after three, yes three, years of servicing her. We keep her because sh

    • You assume that there is a choice and that switching is less or equal hassle than try to "fix" the current service

      This is not often the case. I am attempting to have Telecom Italia fix my ADSL, it is losing packets and by using a special crafted MRTG and line quality data collection I can pinpoint the issue, but this is no good with the "trolls" at the helpdesk.

      What they did is to lower my maximum ADSL speed at 41% of channel capacity (as reported by my router), the problem is still there

      Do I have a choice

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MBGMorden (803437)

      Because for me, and many, MANY people in this country, switching ISP's isn't just a matter of picking up the phone and calling the next provider. I I want to switch ISP's I have to sell my home and move elsewhere. My DSL is sold to me from the local phone company. It drops connection all the time leading me to call them over and over to fix it. I'm not at 20 yet, but I'm certainly over 10. I'm not going to switch though because dropping them means going back to dial up, and the only local access number

  • Simple solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xenobyte (446878) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @02:23AM (#24855839)

    The repair man should have plugged in a laptop or similar, showing a working connection, thus placing the issue squarely on the customers computer. If the repair man couldn't make his laptop connect either, the issue is either with both computers or - much more likely - the connection, and thus he knows he has work to do.

  • She was arrested?! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dontmakemethink (1186169) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @03:01AM (#24855985)
    Folks, in Canada it's one thing to be charged, it's another to be arrested. In the US if the police are convinced you've committed a crime, they arrest you. In Canada, if you're not posing an imminent danger to others, you just get charged. They tell you to come in, do some paperwork, and let you know the pre-trial date etc. She must have been beyond hysterical when the cops arrived, either completely shitfaced or holding a knife, or both. That's what it would take to get arrested in your own home under those circumstances.
  • ISP support a farce (Score:3, Interesting)

    by luwain (66565) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @09:20AM (#24858665)

    I've had a lot of experience with ISP support, with Adelphia (before they collapsed), Comcast (before I switched) and now Verizon. I'm a computer engineer, so if I call the ISP it's usually because I've figured out that the problem is at their end, and I can tell them what to do to fix it, yet I've found myself getting very, very, very frustrated and angry at the absurdity that I've encountered. In one case, after a half-hour of maneuvering through the maddening computer prompts (press 1, press 3, press 7 etc...) to speak to a human being, I got a support person who gave me the standard "reboot your computer and reset your modem". After a few minutes of first humoring him, and then another few minutes of walking through steps I knew were not the problem, I tried to explain to him what the problem was and what he had to do. He obviously had no idea about IP addresses, default gateways, DSN or what "ping" meant -- and after pretending to listen to me, he said that I needed to call "Lynksys". I said "okay", hung up, and immediately called back, went through the same scenario with another support person, who told me "you have to call Microsoft". I said "okay" hung up and immediately called back, and after maneuvering through the prompts again to get a human, I got a support person who (after suggesting that I reboot and rest my modem) listened to what I had to say, appeared to understand everything and had my internet running again in under 5 minutes. All told, however, I was on the phone for about 3 hours, and you have to realize how maddening it is when after to finally get to the prompt that says "press 7 if you are having connectivity problems", you're put on hold and every minute the recording tells you to try going to their website!! I know few people who have my patience or restraint (and it took every bit of that restraint to avoid letting out my frustration on that third support person[the one who finally helped] when she told me to try rebooting and resetting the modem) so I can just imagine what a layperson must feel. I remember having a technician come to my house to set up the internet service who kept trying different modems (saying "I can't believe all these are defective') before I intervened and set it up myself. I think that ISPs are overwhelmed with service calls, are understaffed, and suffer from a wide discrepancy of skill-sets amongst their personnel. The use of computer prompting to carry some of this burden is what gives computer prompting a bad name. I wouldn't be surprised if the actress actually did threaten the technician -- ISP support seems designed to coerce otherwise normal, well-adjusted persons to become homicidal, suicidal and paranoid.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Skapare (16644)

      What is really, really, absurd, is that once I encountered an ISP support tech that was naive enough that I was able to convince her to reboot her computer. Afterwards, I told her the problem was still present (it was ... it was a dialup pool that was ringing and not answering). She seemed to actually believe at that point that there were indeed problems that rebooting didn't help for.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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