Working in tech support
, I deal with error message
s a lot and I've noticed some strange things that people do when reading them.
There are just people with bad memories, or people who don't pay attention, some are nice, some aren't:
"I don't remember what the error message was, is that important?"
"How am I supposed to remember what the error message was, why don't you just fix my problem?!"
"Oh, I don't remember what it said, something about the server maybe?"
Then there are people who will write down the ENTIRE error message including any memory addresses or bizarre error numbers. They insist on reading the entire thing to you, even if you try to stop them.
Sometimes they'll even try to lie to you about it:
Customer: "It said 'It won't work'"
Me: "What was the exact error message though?"
Customer: "That was the error message! It said 'It won't work'"
Me: "Are you absolutely sure that's what it said, because that's not a standard error message."
And finally there are people who remember the least helpful part of the error message. I'm really not sure how they do it. If they get the following error: "System Error 0x000265FA2: Cannot find file" instead of remembering the "Cannot find file" part like any reasonable person would do they only remember the totally arbitrary error number, which nine times out of ten means very little to anyone unless it's a very common error.