Is this support call hilarious? What do you think?

A call for help with a technical problem to a line called Builder Support is making the rounds of the Internet. During the anniversary of Pac-Man last week, there was a small Pac-Man game on the Google search page. The call is about that noisy Pac-Man game. Most people think it’s worth linking to and tweeting about because it’s hilarious. Here’s the call.

Did you think it was hilarious? Or even a bit funny? Responses from Twitter all retweet the idea that the call is hysterically funny. This person also called it a Google fail.

Check this video out — Old Lady’s Google Pac-Man Problem: Hilarious Tech Support Call GOOGLE FAIL!!Thu Jun 10 20:12:23 via web

Everyone also assumes it is an old lady calling, a senior citizen. Who else could be so ignorant, right?

Old Lady Calls Tech Support To Remove Google Pac-Man–Hilarity Ensues #LOL /via @low78Thu Jun 10 20:10:03 via Twittelator

The headlines on Alltop and Techland both refer to the caller as either an old lady or a little old lady. The people at College Humor were particularly unsympathetic. I guess college kids never feel stymied by new information.

These are my feelings about the call.

  1. The support dude, Brian, was rude initially and actually laughed at the woman’s question. Why isn’t anyone talking about that?
  2. The caller, on the other hand, was very polite. She even asked if he had time to stay on the line while she tried his suggestion.
  3. After about three minutes of useless conversation, Brian finally figures out that he really does need to do something useful to help the woman with her problem. He doesn’t explain it very well, but he finally manages to get her to shut down the browser tab for Google. He doesn’t mention the volume control icon next to the game display.
  4. Who says she’s old? She’s a woman. She doesn’t know much about using a browser. Does that make her old? Is her polite behavior a symptom of age? You could argue that her voice “sounds old.” On the other hand, I am old, but people constantly tell me my voice sounds “young.” (Like this interviewer did.) Am I young or am I old on the phone? Why does it matter?
  5. Why is it funny? Was everyone who laughed born knowing how to close a browser tab? I don’t think so. They had to learn the first time just like the caller did. Is the experience of learning to close a browser tab different at age 6 than at age 96?

I’m pretty tech savvy. The other day my granddaughter brought me her netbook to show me something. I couldn’t figure out how to scroll down the page. Turns out there was a lovely little device next to the track pad meant just for scrolling. But I didn’t know that. I couldn’t read the page. Even the most accomplished user has an occasional moment of beginner’s mind. This story rubs me wrong because of the assumption that anyone so afflicted with a case of beginner’s mind regarding a browser problem must be old.

Maybe you don’t agree with me. Maybe you think the call was the funniest thing you’ve heard in years. Or maybe you’d like me to shut up because my complaints about ageism are bugging you. Don’t worry, they’ll be gone tomorrow. (Maybe.)

Cross-posted at BlogHer.

Useful Links: Accessibility, Valentine’s advice, Google Buzz

Tools for Conducting and Accessibility Review is an excellent summary by Angela Colter of the tools you should gather and use when doing an accessibility check. Read the comments, too, as some additional tools are mentioned by Jared Smith from WebAIM.

The couple who hold the record for the longest marriage are answering questions about romance on Twitter for Valentine’s Day. Married in 1924, Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher are willing to share their tips for keeping the romance alive from their Twitter account at @longestmarried. Send in a question, they’ll pick 14 questions to answer. Don’t ever assume anything about older people and what they can do with technology, you’ll probably be wrong. And by the way, it’s an insult to say something is so easy your mom or your grandmother could do it.

Okay. So what are you thinking about Google Buzz? Is it great or terrible? Will it make life easier or more exposed? Is combining all your information streams into one a good idea? Talk to me.

Wake Up Campaign at Fem 2.0

I’m a stand-in for Ronni Bennett from Time Goes By in the Fem 2.0 Wake Up Campaign on work/life blog radio series. The program where I’ll be representing the elder blogger community is “Work/Life and Older Americans: Taking Care of Oneself & Others.”  The discussion airs on Feb. 2 at Talk Shoe. Luckily, I’ll be the moderator and will be asking the questions rather than providing expertise on the topic of caregiving.

Others taking part in this discussion include host Kim Gandy, Deborah Halpern, Communications Director of National Family Caregivers Association, and Deborah Russell, Director of Workplace Issues of AARP.

The Fem 2.0 series of ten programs covers work life issues from every direction. Check the list of all the programs. The people involved are top notch and the discussions promise to be worth checking out. Take a look.

Fem2.0’s campaign, Wake Up, This Is the Reality!, aims to change the way our society talks about work, to shift the story away from privileged “balance” and corporate perspectives to one that reflects the reality on the ground for millions of Americans and American families. We need this shift if we want policy makers to know how tough it is out here and move them to act on legislation around such issues as paid sick days, healthcare, child and elder care, equal pay, etc.

To achieve this shift, we must be many and we must be LOUD.

If you have some insight to offer on the topic of work/life and older Americans you can participate in the  blog radio event at Talk Shoe where you can submit comments and questions. After the blog radio programs are finished, there will be a blog carnival where posts from individual blogs can be submitted to Fem 2.0 for the carnival.