Baxil (baxil) wrote,

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Baxslang: "Heisenclicking"

Heisenclicking, n.: The mystifying behavior, while receiving tech support, of computer users who seem incapable of following even the simplest instructions. Portmanteau'd from the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: You can either control where the customer will click but not when they will do it; or you can control when they will click but not where. Also Heisenclick (v). Compare "heisenbug."

Sample heisenclicking exchange (this really happened, shortly after roaminrob and I coined the term in 2007):
T/S: "OK. Email is a different program. You need the thingy with the envelope with the two arrows. It's in the Start menu..."
Cust: "Alright, I'm clicking 'Dial'."
T/S: "No! I ... (sigh)."
Cust: "It's not working."
T/S: "I know." (Customer is talking on the line his dial-up uses.) "Click 'OK'. Now close all your windows. Click on 'Start'. Now click on the envelope with the two blue arrows."
Cust: "It says I have an unread email message."
T/S: "OK. Now click on 'Tools'."
Cust: "Send and receive ... Synchronize ... All ... Synchronize ... Fol-"
T/S: "Click on Accounts."
Cust: "There's no Accounts. Synchronize ... Folder ... Address ... Book ... OK, I clicked on Address Book."
T/S: (*@!%) ... "Close the Address Book."
Cust: "OK. File ... Edit ... View ... Tools ... "
T/S: "Click on Tools."
Cust: "Accounts, oh, there it is."
T/S: "OK. Click on Accounts. After that, click on the 'Mail' tab."
Cust: "There's no 'Mail'. There's just File ... Edit ... View ..."
T/S: (Now practicing Lamaze breathing)

Heisenclicking Hall of Fame: A special place* reserved for customers who have, while following completely unrelated instructions, somehow managed to turn off their computer.

* As in, "There's a special place in Hell for little boys who do that to themselves." See also.
Tags: tech support horror stories, wordplay
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