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Lyrics: "Tech Support," Jeffrey Hitchin

If you've never heard the song "Tech Support" by Jeffrey Hitchin, you really ought to go download it and give it a listen. I've only ever been able to find a single recording of it -- a digitized recording of a 1993 live performance, hosted at the Virtual Filksing -- but it deserves much broader exposure.

I'm putting the lyrics here not only for my own reference, but for that of the internet at large. As far as I can determine, nobody's ever transcribed the song, and the sound quality on the mp3 is just grainy enough that some folks have a hard time distinguishing the words.




"Tech Support" - Jeffrey Hitchin

What did I do to deserve this
All I needed was the work
Now I pick up the phone and talk to stupid jerks

Thank you, sir, now could you stop swearing
My fragile ego's been stomped
All because you don't know your ass from a C:\ prompt

Ooooh, maybe if you'd start thinkin'
You'd know why that cursor's blinkin'
Maybe your IQ is sinkin'
Or perhaps you've been drinkin'

CHORUS
Please don't call me, I won't call you
Don't tell me to fix it for you
I'm not Bill Gates
I'm tech support

What did I do to deserve this
Why can't you just read the book
[spoken] You know. Read the ... fine manual. Yeah.
Something to do on hold the 20 minutes it took

Why can't you just load up Windows
Compared to UNIX it's paradise
[aside] At least it is for the new users.
Stop screaming that vi's the antichrist
[aside] Well it isn't. Emacs is!

Ooooh, could you stop this verbal assault
Just because you forgot the defaults
And if your process halts
'cause you didn't read the docs
Why is that my fault

CHORUS
Please don't call me, I won't call you
Don't tell me to fix it for you
I'm not Bill Gates
I'm tech support

What made me think I could like this
It must have been my imagination
I mean, formatting hard disks
Is not a complex operation

[LENGTHY SPOKEN BRIDGE - According to net folklore (and confirmed by JH himself), this is a dramatic retelling of an actual phone call he once took.]

Tech Guy: Tech Support, how can I help you?
Clueless Caller: Um ... my computer ... won't connect to, like, the Internet?
TG: Okay, what operating system are you using?
CC: I don't know.
TG: ... Okay, is it Mac, Windows, Linux?
CC: Oh, it's windows!
TG: Okay, which Windows?
CC: I don't know.
TG: ... 3.1, 95, NT 3.5, NT 4 --
CC: Oh, hold on, I'll go check!
[lengthy dead air]
TG: [aside] ... I could've gotten down to the Tomb of Qualopec by now.
CC: Okay, I'm back!
TG: Oh damn, you interrupted my game of Quake. Go ahead.
CC: It's Windows en tee three ... five ... one.
TG: Okay. Have you installed Remote Access Service?
CC: ... I don't know.
TG: You know, I knew you were going to say that, but I thought "Let's be masochistic and ask the question anyway." ... Okay! I want you to go to your Program Manager. Can you handle that?
CC: Okay, I got it open.
TG: Now, do you see Remote Access Service?
CC: No, I see DOS, SYS, TEMP, WINDOWS --
TG: Okay, you've opened the File Manager, not the Program Manager. I want you to close everything. ... Now what do you see?
CC: A bunch of bricks.
TG: ... ...
TG: ... Okay! Now, on top of the screen, do you see something that says "Pro-gram Man-a-ger"?
CC: Yeah.
TG: Okay, double-click on it. Now, do you see "Remote Access Service"?
CC: No.
TG: Okay, we're going to have to install it.
CC: Do I install that by double-clicking on "Remote Access Service"?
TG: ... And where do you see that?
CC: In this little window I have open in front of me.
TG: [getting irate] Yes, you double-click on that!
CC: Double-click on what?
TG: ...
TG: [barely restrained fury] The little window that says "Remote Access Service"!
CC: Okay, it's open.
TG: Now, do you see "Remote Access"?
CC: Yeah.
TG: Oh! But you got one. One out of ten isn't bad. ... Alright. Now what do you see?
CC: I see "Internet Account."
TG: And underneath that, what do you have as your phone number?
CC: I don't know.
TG: ...
TG: It's in the little window that says "Phone number?" ... Right underneath the little bit that says "Internet service"?
CC: Oh! 555-9624.
TG: Okay, that isn't our regular dial-up number. You must not have a regular dial-up account. What type of account do you have?
CC: [and audience chanting along] I don't know.
TG: Aaaaaagh! ... Do you have any of your bills with you? That will tell you.
CC: No.
TG: Okay. Do you think you can find your system administrator? Your system administrator will know what type of an account you have --
CC: Oh, but I am the system administrator.

[music stops dead]

TG: ... OH MY GOD, THEY GAVE YOU ROOT?!?

[immediately back to the singing]

AAAAAAH! What did I do to deserve this
Face the fact you need more RAM
Maybe you should just toss it in the garbage can

Why do I have to repeat things
I've told you at least six times before
Couldn't you go bother Adobe some more

Ooooh, I could be going crazy
But I think, memory's hazy
I don't think you're acting spacy
I think you're too damn lazy

CHORUS (audience sings along)
Please don't call me, I won't call you
Don't tell me to fix it for you
I'm not Bill Gates
I'm tech support

Tech support!

[spoken] Just the women!
(FEMALE AUDIENCE) Tech support!
[spoken] Just the men!
(MALE AUDIENCE) Tech support!
[spoken] Okay, just the Republicans!
(ONE LONE VOICE IN AUDIENCE) Tech ... support ...?

... Thank you for calling.




(As an aside, if anyone wants to help me puzzle out the three or four sections labeled "inaudible" or with question marks (?), I'd be grateful. In particular, figuring out what game he was interrupted from is going to drive me nuts. It's got to be something recognizable, probably a UNIX command-line or a solitaire-type game ... I just can't think of anything like that that sounds like "poing".)
Edited to add: Well, hey! The artist is on LJ as jhitchin and dropped by in comments to fix my inaudibles. :-)
Tags: geekery, lyrics, tech support horror stories, work
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