"Wait, how can the saga just be beginning now? This is the eleventh episode."
"It's a flashback episode."
"Are you sure? Because it feels more like an attempt at a reboot after what was originally meant to be the last episode."
"Most likely. Hey, it worked for Star Wars, didn't it?"
"Must... Kill... Jar-Jar..."
"Right. So, going back to when it all began..."
"And what's up with all the Star Wars jokes? I don't even *like* Star Wars."
"Do you remember when your first customer drew near?"
"Like it was yesterday."
"It was yesterday."
"That's not going to stop you from telling me all about it like I wasn't even there, is it?"
"I believe it went a little something like this..."
"A Customer Draws Near!"
"I said 'A Customer Draws Near'! What do you do now?"
"But I just got done creating my character!"
"You haven't even explained the rules of the game yet!"
"I'm not really seeing your point."
"Well, how in the hell am I supposed to know what to do?"
"Don't worry. You'll pick things up as we go along."
"I hate my life."
"See. You're learning already."
"The customer gains combat initiative, bypassing your opening scripts and going straight into the problem. You suffer 2 points of frustration damage, but gain an opening for a counterattack."
"What's the customer's issue?"
"The customer says that his computer is broken."
"Um, ok. I attack, I guess?"
"You're going to have to be a little more descriptive than that."
"Oh, the irony."
"Fine, I'll use my Gather Customer Information skill."
"Let's see... you're level one, so the attack suffers a -7 success penalty... apply the customer's 35% resistance to rational thought..."
"Ok, yeah, your attack fails miserably. The customer begins yelling at you that his computer is broken and he insists you fix it now. This attack deals 3 beratement damage."
"Hold on, I think I can defend against that with my feat of Not Giving A Rat's Ass."
"Good move. The customer's attack deals no damage and the move is now yours."
Ok, so now I guess I have to figure out what's wrong with the customer's computer. I ask the customer if he is at his computer."
"The customer replies uneasily, 'um... ah... I... might... uh...'. The customer is temporarily stunned by confusion."
"This really isn't a difficult question. All I asked was whether or not this guy was sitting at his computer."
"The customer begins describing his immediate surroundings. He sees a wall... a couple of windows... some carpet on the floor with some kind of weird mystery stain that's been there for years... it might be ketchup, or it might be ranch dressing."
"What the hell? Is he at his fucking computer or not?"
"The customer begins to get irate. He goes into a berserked state and angrily states that he is not a very technical person and doesn't understand any of your fancy lingo. That's why he called you for help."
"Well, there's clearly no helping this waste of space. I drink a beer from my pack and wait for the customer to die of stupid."
"The customer fails to die on his own. You're actually going to have to help him."
"I can help him die. That's easy."
"No, BTB, I mean you have to help him with his technical issue."
"But how? He's hopelessly unassistable. How am I supposed to help someone who probably isn't even allowed to eat with a fork?"
"Welcome to the world of tech support."
"Well, let's see, then. He says that his computer is broken. That's gloriously unhelpful. What I need is a way to figure out what's wrong with it so I know what to fix."
"That is the idea, yes."
"I ask the customer what the problem is."
"The customer says that his computer is broken. Are you stupid or something? Your patience is drained by 1."
"Yes, but what specifically is the problem? I understand that the computer is broken, but what is happening as a result? Give me something to work with, here."
"The customer says that it doesn't work. He then casts 'Why Haven't You Fixed It Yet?', a spell which deals 5 points of insulting damage."
"Well, I'm wearing a standard-issue headset and a faulty nametag. It's first-level equipment, but at least it'll block some of the damage."
"You take 6 points of damage."
"Dammit! How in the hell is a first level tech support agent supposed to get anything done?"
"It involves copious amounts of hold time."
"How will putting the customer on hold in any way help me fix the issue when I have no idea what the issue is?"
"Because then you can consult with other technicians."
"Who also have no idea what the customer's issue is."
"And the move is still yours."
"Ok, whatever. I use an enchanted stone of holding from my pack."
"The enchanted stone of holding successfully places the customer on hold."
"All righty. Now what?"
"It's your move again."
"Ok. Can I consult with another technician now?"
"Ok, I'll do that."
"You approach the desk of the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-encompassing second level agent. He is a hardened, crusty soul with a scraggly, unkempt beard and a half-eaten sandwich on... you know, I'm getting the strangest feeling that I've said something just like this before. Anyways, he asks you what you want."
"I ask him how to get rid of my customer."
"He asks you what troubleshooting steps you have done."
"None. I don't even know what the problem is."
"He asks you what problem the customer is having."
"Dammit, I just said I don't know."
"The second level agent banishes you from his desk, telling you to go back to the customer and find out what the issue is."
"Well, that had absolutely no effect whatsoever."
"Actually, his disposition towards you lowers by 3 for asking such a stupid question, and he now thinks you are a complete idiot. Approach him with caution in the future."
"Ok, so it was actually counter-productive, then."
"What in the hell?"
"Yeah, tech support is like that. You return from hold to your customer and thank him for his patience. It is now time to tell the customer what you did during the hold time."
"I got told to go to hell by the internal help desk."
"That wasn't a very efficient use of your time. Your manager scowls at you and you suffer a -1 penalty to your confidence."
"But my character is immune to confidence drains."
"Yes he is, but you're also a first-level character. So, yeah, sucks to be you."
"All right, I guess it's time to try a different approach. Since my customer is about as descriptive as a Dick and Jane novel, I ask him how long his computer has been broken."
"The customer replies that it's been broken ever since the electric company turned off his power last week."
"Great. I attack him with my Bamboo Pole of Misdirected Call and end the conversation."
"The customer counters with his passive feat of Minor Refusual to be Hosed and demands that you fix his issue now."
"His issue is that the power company shut off his power and now he can't turn on his computer."
"It would seem that way, yes."
"And I am very clearly not the power company."
"That is also true."
"And yet the customer wants me to help him with this problem."
"I drink a beer from my pack."
"You gain 3 HP. The customer attacks you with his Mace of Impatience for 4 points of damage."
"I counter with a Stone Wall from my pack."
"Your Stone Wall succeeds, nullifying the damage from the customer's attack and preventing all further request for assistance attacks until it is broken down. The customer counters with Goddfried's Whine, stating that his computer was working just fine yestderday."
"Wait, didn't he just say that it hasn't worked in over a week?"
"Well, yes, but it started working again for a little bit yesterday."
"But it stopped working a week ago because his power went out!"
"Yes. What's your point?"
"I... but he... power off... computer... trees..."
"You're thinking too hard about this."
"I think the problem is that I'm thinking at all. The alternative is... well, I'm talking to the alternative."
"And you're losing quite badly to it."
"So, what, do I have to be just as insane as the customer to get anywhere with him? Fine. I drink another beer from my pack and ask the customer how his pink elephants are doing."
"The customer says that they are doing just fine. However, they are rather hungry and just bit one of his hands off. A critical hit. The customer suffers 12 points of damage and suffers a -3 penalty to his smarm."
"Oh, for the love of... real logic fails, but pure nonsense actually gets me somewhere?"
"It's called dealing with the customer on their level. It's a very important skill in tech support."
"I think I'm beginning to see why the list of '10 worst jobs ever' ranked tech support below 'Spinal Tap Drummer' and 'Train Wrestler'."
"There you go with the thinking again. You suffer 2 HP of thinking damage."
"Look, this is starting to get old. I tell the customer that I can not and will not help him with his problem, and that any further conversation with me will be an absolute waste of both his time and mine."
"The customer seems confused. He says he's not sure what you're trying to say."
"I'm telling him that this conversation is over."
"The customer swears at you for 2 points of curse damage, says that he'll have your job, calls you several names that would make Andrew Dice Clay blush, and hangs up."
"So, that's your first customer encounter. What do you think?"
"I talked to a man who was clearly suffering from severe clinical retardation about issues I have nothing to do with, got cussed out for not doing things I can't do, and hung up on."
"Yeah, it's fun, isn't it?"
"You are one sick son of a bitch."