Funnies: AT&T Customer Support Memo


More Funnies. Not sure where I harvested this, but every time I re-discover it, I get more than a couple chuckles, and remember to share it with a friend.

Now I am sharing it with you.

AT&T Customer Service Memorandum

Please stop submitting compliants. This is our system. We
designed it, we built it, and we use it more than you do. If there
are some features you think might be missing, if the system isn’t as
effective as you think it could be, TOUGH! Give it back, we don’t
need you. See figure 1.

            |               _               |  
            |              { }              |  
            |              | |              |  
            |              | |              |  
            |           .-.| |.-.           |  
            |         .-|  | |  |.-.        |  
            |         | |       |  ;        |  
            |         \           ;         |  
            |          \         ;          |  
            |           |       :           |  
            |           |       |           |  
            |           |       |           |  
            |                               |  
                        Figure 1.

Forget about your silly problem, let’s take a look at some of the
features of your AT&T computer system.

  • Options

We’ve got lots of them. So many in fact, that you would need two
strong people to carry around the documentation if we had bothered to
write it. So many that even we don’t know what most of them do.
Don’t ask us for any of these options, because we probably can’t find
the PEC for it anyway. Even if we find the PEC, we probably can’t
order it either (just TRY asking for nroff on a 3B2). If you don’t
like it, call Technologies. They’ll tell you to see Figure 1.

  • Hot Lines

If you need technical help, call our hotline. You say that the guy at
the other end doesn’t know any more than you do? Too bad. If we
could afford to pay qualified people to answer the phones, we’d be
paying them to make our computers work in the first place. Besides,
you don’t ever need to do anything sophisticated anyway. If you do,
see Figure 1.

  • Integrated Voice and Data

What the hell is integrated voice and data? All it means is that you
can talk on the phone while you are typing on your terminal. So what
if the terminal and the phone aren’t integrated; that’s not what we
advertise. Besides, you probably can’t even walk and chew gum at the
same time, much less talk and type. If you can, see Figure 1.

  • Unix

We invented it; it’s perfect, and we’re the only ones who do it right.
We’re so happy with it, we put it on every kind of computer we make.
We even try to keep it the same from release to release, but usually
we blow it. If you want a computer with stable filesystems, get a
VAX. Another thing: those nerds from Berkeley are just troublemaking
hackers who have a productivity complex. They took our operating
system and made it useful, so we told them to see Figure 1.

  • Applications Software

We give you MS-word; what else do you want? So what if it is a clumsy
port from another operating system, it works doesn’t it? Well, OK, it
sort of works. If you want applications software, get an IBM PC. You
can get lots of it and they even support it sometimes. If you already
bought one of our computers and are unsatisfied, you’re stuck with it.
We spoke with our applications software people about this, and they
think a lot like we do; they said “see Figure 1.”

  • Shells

We have two shells; one we sell and one we use. The Bourne shell is
plenty good for trivial little hacks, which is all you do anyway.
Don’t ask for the Korn shell either. It’s great, everybody at AT&T
has a copy, but we won’t give it to you. Besides, if you want to do
anything important, write it in C. We told our shell programmers to
see Figure 1 a long time ago.

  • The C Programming Language

We like it so much we named a book after it. You can do anything our
machines can do, which is not very much. Where else can you put so
much unreadable code in such a small space? Besides, you probably
should be programming in the shell anyway; C is too hard for you. We
told our C programmers to see Figure 1 a long time ago anyway.

  • Floating Point Hardware

We have the WE32106 Math Accelerator Unit, one of the fastest chips
around. It’s so special that you need a special compiler to use it.
Nobody knows how to get you a copy of the compiler? That’s right. We
don’t release it because we are writing another one. When it’s ready,
we might give it to you, but probably not. In the meantime, you have
to stick with the interpreter, live with the slowness, and see Figure

  • Support

We have thousands of service people out there, but most of them are
busy. If your computer breaks, you will just have to wait. Our techs
are rehashed phone installers, so don’t expect them to be very helpful
unless it involves tip and ring. Oh, if something breaks between 5:00
PM and 9:00 the next morning, don’t waste your time calling us, we’re
out. We also take lots of lunch breaks. If you need real support,
see Figure 1.

In conclusion, stuff your complaint. Love your AT&T computer or
leave it, but don’t bitch to us. We don’t give a shit. We don’t have
to. We’re the phone company.

About the author


Product Manager in Tech. Guitar player. Bicycle Rider. Dog rescuer. Techie.

By gander


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