An older woman came into my workplace and bought a laptop, after an in-depth walk through of its features. She came back in the next day screaming about how "this POS computer you sold me stopped working after two hours!"
Surprised and a little suspicious, I took a look at it. I tried pressing the power button, and the battery light blinked. I then told her that the battery was dead and needed
Read Full Tale
I just witnessed a teacher taking a class and wanting everyone to print off their work. The first person to try printing discovered the default wasn't the printer they wanted to use, so the teacher went over, clicked on the drop down list and then couldn't figure out how to select the only other printer on the list.
Her solution to this "problem"? She fetched a camera and is currently taking pictures of everyone's screen. I had to walk out and find a quiet corner to snigger in.
Incidentally this is the same user who asked me last week to check why "Bannermania" wasn't working. Bannermania wasn't installed. It was made in 1989 and this place hasn't owned the software for at least ten years. The teacher hasn't been that long so has never used this software ... she then threw a fit when I told her that software roughly the same age as her doesn't work on new computers.
A while back, my dept. sent out a MS word document with images and instruction on how to access and log into a web site that was going to be used be employees of the company. It was in no way misleading and quite idiot proof. However, as you may begin to see in my future posts, the company I work for has a surprising caliber of idiot. Anyway, after emailing the document out we received several calls that week with employees telling us they couldn’t change the login name. In one case a room of people (4 at least) were attempting this when they called us. We figured out what the problem was the first time this problem occurred thanks to a remote desktop session; they were trying to log into the screenshots on the document.
At the time of this story we were a Windows NT 3.51 shop, and our network was token ring. This becomes important a bit later on.
We had one particular customer (or, "user", as we called them before our vocab guidelines were updated) who was a particular know-it-all. Have you ever noticed how odd it is that the more someone thinks they know, the more often they call in tickets?
I was at lunch when my pager went off, high-severity ticket due to it being an urgent matter for a VIP. She was having network slowness issues and the pcmcia token ring card in her laptop was "loose", according to this ticket. She needed a tech to come right away.
The first thing she did, of course, was complain to me about how long it took me to get there. After all, hadn't she insisted on it being a high priority?
I explained that I was well within SLA for responding (30 minutes for that particular priority level, I was there in about 8 after she called, three after I was paged) and that I would do my best to help her.
"I don't have time for you to help me, I have to get this stuff done and printed before I leave in ten minutes!"
Okay, then. Not wanting to ask why she called in a ticket in the first place, I asked her about the "loose" PC card.
"Yeah, it's really loose, and it jiggles around. See, it comes right out of the laptop!" And with that, she yanked the token ring card directly out of the laptop. The next words out of her mouth were: "Why am I getting a printer error?"
I successfully managed to fight down a howl of laughter and explained that she had just removed her network card from her laptop. Also, seeing as this was NT and token ring, reinserting the card wasn't going to get her network connectivity back. She'd have to reboot, a five minute process on her particular laptop... if she was lucky.
"Well, that was stupid of me, wasn't it?" she said.
I couldn't have agreed more.
I'm not an IT guy, but my old firm generally looked to me as one of the few computer savvy people there.
So I get a call from one of the partners at the PR firm I used to work at. She was an older woman, good at her job but TERRIBLE with computers. That said, she had become reliant on her Blackberry calendar to keep things in order. And she had A TON of calendar entries - stuff she wasn't even going to but wanted to keep track of.
She had an assistant who would plug in all of her hand written calendar appointments into her outlook calender.
Well, her assistant was going on her honeymoon and god forbid this lady learn how to make a calendar entry, so we assigned an intern to manage her schedule for the duration.
So back to the call I got.... she was frantic that her phone alarm had gone off several times during the night and she could not figure out why.
I go to her desk, look at her phone, and I noticed that there were upwards of 10 events scheduled between the hours of 9pm and 6am. It turns out that intern didn't know that you could schedule two things concurrently on a calendar. So, in his infinite wisdom, he assumed tha if something needed to be added at 3pm, and there was already something listed for that time, he would just schedule it for 3am, with a note saying "*Actually 3:00 PM". And then of course, he set up alarms for each of them...
Me: Okay so to get started just browse to your desktop.
Her: I'm sorry?
Me: Your desktop.
Her: I..don't understand.
Me: The place with all your icons on it and your wallpaper.
Her: Hold on the fed ex guy just showed up.
Me: That's fine I can wait.
Her: Oh maybe he can help?
Me thinking: oh wow I might have just lucked out
She explains the situation to the fed ex guy and he sits down.
Me: Great thanks for the help. Can you browse to the desktop for me?
Him: The what?
Me: The desktop.
Him: I don't know what that is.
Thankfully I ended up getting them there by using windowkey+d shortcut.
User: "I'm having problems in the room next to room 65."
Me: "You mean room 66?"
User: "I think so."
(I walked in and pressed the power button to fix it)
Sadly I haven't worked in IT, however, I have had to watch in horror as my supervisor called IT for the most ridiculous things imaginable.
First one that comes to mind is her printer. Her printer stopped working. To give some back story, we are lifeguards on an Air Force Base, and the IT department is roughly 10-15 miles away from the pool we work at. Also, printing paper is for the most part irrelevant, the only thing we have to print is extra out of order signs, everything else can be done elsewhere if we do not have a printer. So, I take a quick look at the printer, it is indeed on, however, it is a network printer. I then ask my supervisor, "Hey, did you check the other cable in the back of the printer, there should be more than one cable plugged in for it to work." She screams back at me "YES I DID. IT IS ALL PLUGGED IN THE PRINTER IS JUST BROKEN." I ask her if I can check it, and she says, "NO YOU CANNOT TOUCH THE COMPUTER. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT." I sigh, and go about my business as a lifeguard, and shortly thereafter hear her calling IT to come fix her printer. Now, I was a good 100-150 feet away from her, and I could hear her, since all she does is SCREAM at people. I cringe at the poor desk clerk that had to answer that call. Since she is low priority, and likely because the desk clerk was not a fan of her screaming, it takes roughly 3 weeks for IT to come out and take a look. When IT came, she starts screaming (twice as loud as usual, I am sure people all around the 100 square mile base heard her) at the IT guy, things about it taking so long, and she needs her printer. The IT guy looks at the printer, plugs in an Ethernet cable, and prints a page from her workstation.
TL;DR 1: Boss from hell calls IT to plug in an Ethernet cable. IT is at least 10 miles away.
Same supervisor has an issue with the computer being incredibly slow. She calls up IT and asks if there is anything that can be done to make the computer go faster. I pull up some stats on the computer (Not much as she has little access, and as a basic lifeguard I'm given no access to the computers) and I realize the computer was built in roughly 2000. The year was 2009. IT gets a chance to call her back later that week (she had a reputation of being terrible to work with, so everyone avoided her as long as possible), takes a look at the computer and goes "Shit. We were supposed to have those computers off the network back in 2004. How the hell do you still have them?" She then responds, "WHAT THE HELL. YOU SHOULD COME AND GIVE US NEW COMPUTERS SO WE CAN GET OUR WORK DONE FASTER. WHY AREN'T YOU DOING YOUR JOB?!" This is the reasoning behind them not replacing the computers... No one wants to take the hour to deal with her.
TL;DR 2: Crazy supervisor is such a bitch to work with, IT hasn't replaced computers almost a decade old.
Final story for now. My boss finds a snake in her computer (we do live in the desert). She promptly calls IT. (I have no clue what she was thinking. We had animal control on base.) Somehow, she got escalated to top ticket and they responded within 45 minutes (still a good 10-15 miles from the IT department, and the speed limit was no more than 30 at any point, some places as low as 15. This meant that they responded within 10 minutes and sent a technician out). The IT guy was not informed of what the problem was, so he got there and asked, "What's the problem, ma'am?" She screams back "THERE IS A SNAKE IN MY COMPUTER." He looks at her and goes, "You mean a virus, right?" She then screams louder, "NO IT'S A JUVENILE SNAKE. I THINK IT'S POISONOUS." He scratched his head and cracked open the case, and finds a live snake chilling inside. He promptly lets out a yelp and jumps, and then yells at my boss, "What the fuck are you calling IT to get rid of a snake. Call fucking animal control you insane bitch!" and he walks out of the building.
TL;DR 3: Boss calls IT to remove poisonous snake, not animal control.
I think that's the best, or at least the ones I remember most at the moment. Enjoy!
I get lots of calls about expired domains. It's pretty common because people forget to update contact info, ignore the 16 warnings that the registrar is required to send or in a few cases can't afford to renew until last minute (or sometimes have to let it die a few days because they don't really use the site).
Of all the calls like this I only twice have ever had gotten irritated. Usually it's just a "oh, I see your domain's expired. Contact
Now for the fun. We are also an accredited registrar. There are 2 people in the entire company who have "full access" to the registration system. There are two others who have "power user" type access where they can run a good percentage of backend stuff but they don't get near as much data as the two top users. And then there's people who take calls. We get an ultralight read-only interface to work with and it's a little clunky to navigate.
So here I am one day when a former customer calls in asking why he can't get e-mail for a domain. He calls the hosting support line and I explain "that domains isn't hosted here." This leads to further checking and I find that the domain was hosted with us once. It was also registered with us. Now, I get the joy of explaining how ICANN works to a guy who started out angry and is getting madder by the second as I'm explaining domain registrations and why correct contact info is important.
Now, here's the funny/sad part of the story. The domain was in redemption in ~2008. The current year was 2011 (I think like May 2011). He let the domain go into redemption in 2008 because he didn't know his contact info was wrong and then he paid something like $150 to get it out of redemption. He keeps saying things like "I'm not hanging up until you fix this" and "I updated my contact info".
Well so I tell him about account logs, about how the domain expired in 2009, went into redemption and was purchased by someone else within 90 days of original expiry. I explained to him that "because you didn't update contact info, we couldn't notify you and in 2008 we even told you (which is above and beyond the call of duty) that you simply had to reply to our e-mail to update contact info for the domain. He never wrote back. The domain expired. It went into redemption then back to central registry and became available for purchase.
Did I mention that it was a 4-letter .com domain? No. I was saving that for last. I told him the only way to get it back is for him to contact the current registrant about purchasing it and the registrant/owner will set whatever price they want for the domain. He was pissed right off, swearing and screaming and telling me "you need to fix this. It's not my fault. You said you would update my contacts. foam from mouth, etc."
I continue to hold my ground because:
1) not our fault.
2) not our problem.
3) you were instructed how to prevent this problem last time.
4) you're still being a fuckwit
Then he demands a supervisor.
"Ok. I'll let my supervisor know that you would like to speak with him but I'll tell you now, there's nothing he can do or say to change the situation. The bottom line is that you didn't follow very important instructions and never replied back when requested. Now it's out of our hands and your only choice is to contact an intellectual property lawyer so he can tell you you're out of luck and have to pay the asking price to the registrant"
Then I transferred him to my supervisor (after explaining the whole call). I believe my supervisor had him on the line for about 20 minutes before telling him "you're done. You've wasted enough of my time. You don't have a legal case against us. You won't be getting your domain for standard pricing until the current registrant stops renewing it or you pay full price." (5 years minimum at that point)
I looked at the site for the domain. It was for sale. I forget the price but it was over $5000.
I work at a computer repair shop and we do upgrades. We have a policy of not quoting prices over the phone until we've had a chance to actually look at the computer because the customer always misrepresents their problem and then gets angry when we can't stick to a price.
Me: Good morning, how can I help you?
Customer: Yes, hi, I am looking for the price on 1.5 memories.
Me: Are you looking for 1.5 gb?
Customer: Yes, 1.5 gb.
Me: Well, sir, what I can do for you, if you'd like to bring it in, I just need to take a look and determine a few things before I can quote you a price.
Customer: What do you mean? I told you what I want.
Me: Well there are a lot of factors, we need to know how many slots you have, what the current memory configuration is, what the maximum slot capacities the motherboard supports, and what type of memory we're dealing with.
Customer: Well it's an XP machine, and it's got a 510 and a half that, 100 something I think.
Me: If you'd like to bring it by, I really would need to look at it to tell you what it'd cost. They don't really make 1.5 gb sticks, so we'd need to split it up.
Customer: Well I'm price shopping so I don't think I'll stop by. I'm looking for the lowest price.
Me: Sir, we haven't yet identified what products you'll actually need, so it's going to be very difficult to price shop. Can you at least give me a model of the computer?
Customer: I told you it's AN XP (Gets angry)
Me: I'm sorry, sir, I really can't help you unless you bring it by the shop.
Customer hangs up
This is a very short version of the call (This took about 7 minutes of the call) but it speaks for itself. Here you go:
Caller (Elderly man): Can I put my laptop in the deep freeze?
Me: Sorry, I don’t think I quite caught that. Do you mean you’d like to put the computer into hibernation?
Caller: No, I want to put in the deep freeze!
Me: Just to check, by deep freeze, do you mean the freezer?
Me: As in, the box that you put things in to make them very cold? Ice and everything?
Me: Well, no. You can’t do that. Do you mind me asking why you would like to?
Caller: There’s bugs! It’s not working properly and I want to get it fixed.
Me: Hmmm, well, putting the computer into the freezer isn’t really going to help with any bugs. What’s the problem you’re experiencing?
Insert 3 minutes of troubleshooting that has me very confused as to what the hell is going on. EU refers to the problem as bugs, and makes vague references to legs being in everything which prompts me to ask:
Me: Can I please get you to just describe exactly what one of the bugs are doing? How do you find it?
Caller: It crawls out the vent.
Me: ………Sorry? It…what? Crawls? Are we talking about physical insects living inside your laptop?
Caller: Frustrated – YES!
I sent him off to a service centre.
I arrive at work one day, and the boss calls me in. They're hiring a newbie - a guy my age, maybe a little older. He's starting next Monday, and the boss wants me to orientate him, show him the ropes, etc. I agree, and go about my work. Come Monday, the newbie arrives - he's a big Linux/OSS advocate, and about the first thing he says after meeting him is "this place would run so much better on Linux".
Ok, I think, I'm not a huge fan of Linux, but I'm competent with it, and I know it has a place in the computer world. I tell him we don't use Linux because we deal with a lot of home users who are familiar with Windows. We have a deal with Microsoft - we can install Windows 2000 + Office 2000 on the computers we sell, without paying for the licenses, as long as we record our data into an Access database for Microsoft to audit every 6 months or so. I also add the fact that he and I are the only two techs under 45. The rest of the workers are mostly unpaid volunteers on age pensions. They know how to use Windows, and replacing the systems with Linux would frustrate a majority of them. "That's stupid, they can learn Linux, it's not that hard" he says. I frown at him, and explain that they can probably learn Linux, but it's time consuming, and we don't have the men or hours to spare training them. He sort of accepts this, but doesn't shut up about Linux.
Newbie, after being there for less than a month, goes to the boss and tells him what we're doing is inefficient, and we need to switch to Linux - both for our office machines, and for the user machines, because it'll be easier and cheaper in the long run. Boss doesn't like this idea, but Newbie brings it up every couple of days. No one in the office is on board with his idea. He is insistent. He causes friction between us who resist his efforts (most of the office). He tinkers with Linux machines behind our backs, wasting time and resources. I have to fix most of his stuff-ups. This bugs the shit out of me, but I stay reasonably quiet.
A few weeks later, the boss tells me he wants me to grab a few spare 80gb hard disks we have lying around and build a server machine to hold all the hard disk images from the machines we were fixing. We would get 20-200 of the same make/model machines donated, so we would install windows + drivers + Office, and image the drive to a CD, thus making it easy to setup the next 19-199 machines. We have a copy of Windows Server 2000 to use, and so I get to work.
Newbie hears about this, and decides he's going to put together a Linux server for the same thing - I tell him not to waste resources, as this machine is going to need to be used by all of the other techs to catalogue/burn hard disk image ISOs. He doesn't listen to me, and starts anyway. Me and the Old Tech get an idea to sabotage his efforts. When he isn't looking, we switch out working parts for dead/dying parts over a couple of days - first the RAM, then the PSU, then the hard disk. Meanwhile I've finished building my Windows 2000 machine. It's a magnificent beast. He hasn't even got the OS to install properly yet. The boss tells him to abandon his project, and get back to work. Newbie ignores him and continues to build the machine.
By the time Newbie has finished his Ubuntu server, I've had the Win2k machine running for a good 2 days. Half the ISOs have been loaded to the hard drive. They've all been catalogued. I tell him it's over, break the computer back down into parts and start on a stack of machines that need to be rolled out. He goes red with anger, and loses it yelling at me. He seems to have worked out I was sabotaging his project. He calls me everything he can think of, including every Windows "fanboy" term he can think of. I just laugh at his futile attempt to anger me, knowing I was victorious.
A few minutes later the boss walks in and sees him yelling at me, and me standing there silent, arms folded, looking bored. The boss calls us both into his office seperately. We both give him our stories, and he suspends us both for a week. The next week I return to work, and the boss told me he had fired the newbie, due to irreconcilable differences. Most of the techs were glad to see him go, myself included.
It was my last day at one of my favorite jobs at a small and not very successful computer repair shop in 2006. By last day I mean I had not been paid for a month and have not been able to get ahold of the owner for 2 weeks. Throughout the previous year I encountered all the typical customers and situations you'd expect: Clueless users, viruses, and lots and lots of porn hidden in strange places. My two most amazing customer experiences happened on that last day.
First was the Old Guy with lots of money and no idea what to do with it. Two days ago he came in looking for a PC. In helping him it was quickly established he didn't really know what he was looking for. He had a vague idea about the internet and email so I was pointing him to our entry level machine with a Celeron processor and onboard video. The dude would not have it. He only had eyes for the custom gaming PC with the Extreme Edition proc and high end video. I think he liked the case lights. I told him it was overkill since it he was not playing games and that it would get hot like a space heater. I think he spent more than 3 grand on that machine. While I got it together for him he kept refeering to the monitor as the computer and calling the tower the "CD-ROM". He kept saying he just needed the computer, did not need the "CD-ROM". I explained several times and thought he understood. He turned down on-site setup ($3000 for a PC and not $100 for setup???) On my last day he came back in with the monitor and a few wires and keyboard looking for a refund. I asked where the rest of the package was. He said he threw out the "CD-ROM" as he didn't need it. Then he could not figure out how to plug the keyboard into the monitor. I informed him I could not provide a refund unless he could bring back everything in good working order. He walked out, never to be seen again. I wished he had paid cash.
I called the two or three customers who had left their PCs and told them to pick them up today. They were not fixed, but there would be no charge.
In walked Short Soldier. This dude was wearing camouflage-patterned fatigues yet was shorter then me (5'4") and he could not have weighed 100 lbs soaking wet. He dropped this POS tower on our counter and said "You are going to fix this computer today". Without a word I plugged in a monitor and keyboard / mouse and started it up. It was clearly a pirated version of Vista (which I don't think was even released yet). After talking over the issues it was clear he simply needed a fresh install of a legit OS. I told him if he had cash I could have it done by the end of day. He exploded. Through a stream of swearing (with a tinny, effeminate voice I remember vividly) he stated in no uncertain terms that this was warranty work and he would not pay. I looked up his records and determined he had purchased said POS over a year ago sans OS. I told him the warranty was expired, and even then since he declined to have an OS installed at purchase, that part would not be covered anyway. He turned bright red and yanked his PC off the counter (and nearly the monitor with it) and stomped out.
I left my final voicemail with the boss telling him I needed cash in hand by end of day or I was gone.
Short Soldier came back in asking if I would warranty replace his processor if he paid cash for a new OS. All I heard was "Cash" and I agreed, presuming we had on hand a better proc that would work. I opened the tower up and was disappointed to report we didn't carry a suitable processor. The dude exploded again and told me I was going to give him a brand new PC under warranty. I told him we just booted his machine up and it the hardware worked just fine, the issue was only the OS. I would not replace his machine but I would sell him a new one. He stomped out a second time.
I called another repair shop in town to see if they were looking for a new guy.
Short Soldier comes back in a third time with his PC, missing the side panel. He slammed it down on the counter and told me "Now it's broken. You have to give me a new computer now". I took a look inside, and sure enough, he had taken a flat head screwdriver and stabbed the mobo and yanked off the CPU heatsink and stabbed the proc hard enough to leave a dent. I openly laughed at the guy and told him he was SOL and needed to leave. He did.
I called the property owner we rented from and told him I'd be leaving the key when I locked up that afternoon.
For the last time the soldier came back in looking remorseful. He said he had just gotten back to the States and needed the PC ASAP to look for a girl he knew. He could pay cash, but just needed a computer and he was sorry for yelling. I told him the truth, I was closing the shop that afternoon and not coming back. I advised him to bring it to the other shop in town. That's when he unleashed the wildest and creative stream of obscenities I've ever heard. He finished with "I'm leaving my computer right here. You will fix this computer by tomorrow... OR ELSE!" True to my word, I locked up and slid the key under the door. That night the boss came by with a truck and packed up anything with value, including the soldier's PC, and drove off into the sunrise.
Me: I cannot restore the data you requested. We only retain that data for a year?
My Customer: A year?
Me: Yes 12 months, when the 13 month arrives, anything older than 12 months is wiped out.
My Customer: Oh...yeah I think I knew that. Okay...so...hold please?
My Customer: When will it be restored?
Me: It won't be restored, that data has been deleted, it's older than a year.
My Customer: Oh, right, hmm...what was the date I asked for?
My Customer: Yeah, that's the date I need, hmm...
Me: Are you sure you don't need it from this year? 2012?
My Customer: Yes, I do need it from 2012 but you said it's expired as it's a year old.
Me: Being that it is still 2012, that hasn't expired, but the same data from the requested 2011 has expired.
My Customer: Oh so I can get it from January of 2012 still?
My Customer: Oh, okay great! You guys have to deal with this confusing stuff all the time?
Me: Yeah, but after a while you understand how the calendar and time itself work.
My Customer: Oh, yeah I guess. Thanks.
Me: You're welcome.
I showed up for an internet down call at a restaurant we supported (ISP already confirmed it was an active and working connection). The owner was flipping out yelling at us for breaking the internet, blah blah blah. We told him flat out ahead of time that if it was something he did, he was being billed double time based on the time I left my house, till the time I got home. He agreed right away because of course it was our fault.
I tested the whole network, confirmed that all the cabling was good (he always had issues with rats eating his cables) and was at somewhat of an impasse. After another half hour or so, I figured his router was probably bad. I climbed up into the ceiling to take it down, and low and behold, I found a cable looped onto the router. Unplug it and boom! internet.
This of course leads to a long 'discussion' about how that cable was installed like that when the system was put in about 5 years ago, and how he was never going to pay for this call. I demonstrated by plugging in and unplugging it, like "see? internet works, internet don't work. It isn't possible to have worked like that, someone clearly hooked this up."
I didn't find out what happened with the billing for that, because I said fuck it and left it up to the other department.
I work at a small company as a programmer, and am often called upon as impromptu tech support. Now, as a little background, the CEO of the company, is an older gentleman who used to be a programmer (punch card era). He is rather tech savvy, and often 'experiments' with his machine, leading to... interesting results.
A few years ago, I set his machine up with voice recognition, because it was faster for him than typing, taught him how to use it and all that. He never used it, to my knowledge. Fast forward a few years and I get called in to his office. Him, the president and the head of IT are there, all looking a tad worried. The CEO informs me that his machine is typing by itself, and that this means someone must have taken over his computer.
I look over, and to my surprise, an excel spreadsheet is open, and various fields are being filled, emails being opened, etc. The president asks if perhaps the CEO's daughter might have logged in remotely somehow to do some work, and as if to confirm the suspicion, I notice her name being filled out in one of the field on the spreadsheet.
I call the daughter in question, and she informs me she is in fact NOT logged in. This is when I notice some of the words being typed. More specifically the fact that they match what I was saying. Turns out voice recognition got turned on somehow, and the computer was happily listening to the whole meeting, writing down what was being said, and interpreting things as commands.
Needless to say, I disabled the feature, and rolled back the changes to the spreadsheet. Strangest issue I have ever had.
A few years back I worked as level 2 support. Part of my just was to LanDesk to employee computers and install software that they needed. One day a level one called me.
L1: Hey Lleu, got a software install for ya! gives ticket number Check out his job title.
Me: Huh... so why is he calling me?
L1: I don't know man. Good luck though!
Me: Hi Derp, so I understand you need a few programs installed.
Derp: Yes, I need lists three programs please.
Me: Sure I can take care of that for you, let me fire up LanDesk, could you get your computer name for me please?
I connect and start locating the software needed on the network
Me: So your title says you're a software developer?
Derp: Yep, I help design lists a few internal applications
Me: Oh cool, I'm surprised you don't have access to do these installs yourself, seeing as how you build like half the programs I use everyday.
Derp: Oh, I have access to do this.
Me: Then why the call today?
Derp: I don't really like to install stuff.
Me: .... check.
I finished the rest of the call in silence because my brain stopped functioning.
I had a user whose laptop stopped working while on the docking station. After about 15 minutes of trouble shooting, we narrowed it down to a faulty motherboard. So I swapped the hard drive into another shell and went along my merry way. Apparently though, the unit was running louder than she liked. So I go out there and it is running louder than what most would consider to be normal. So I took her laptop again and changed the hard drive once again into a different shell.
Next day I get an email from said user about how her colors seemed weird. So once again I made the trip upstairs and she wasn't at her desk so I took at glance at her screen. Everything appeared to be looking correctly and nothing jumped out at me as wrong with the LCD. About this time, the user came back and asked me if I could see what she was talking about. When I told her no, she looked completely confused and explained it to me. Apparently, the white on LYNC communicator wasn't as "white" as IE. Everything else related to the colors and display was fine, but LYNC wasn't white enough and looked more gray and wanted it changed. When I told her there wasn't really a way to change that besides fiddling with the color options, she asked me if I could get the LCD off the original laptop and switch it to the current unit.
At this point I decided I was going to be drinking heavily.
I work for a rather large ISP and our modems also serve as routers. Which is great for most people, as they don't have to buy routers along with their modems. This one guy, however, did NOT properly understand the concept of a wireless modem.
The modem was sent to him as an upgrade; his last modem was one of our older models that did not have wireless built into it. As a result, a tech did not install the modem. Literally all he had to do was plug it in to get it to work.
Anyway, Mr. Smith calls about how his internet doesn't work. Extremely rude and sarcastic, he exclaims how typical it is of our company to send defective equipment. Our exchange went as followed:
"None of the lights are even on!!!"
"Sir, is your modem plugged in right now"
"Well, is your name EIN-STEIN or something? I have what you guys call a WIRE-LESS MO-DEM."
"You....you still need to plug it in...Wireless means it connects to wireless devices without a third party router."
He changed his tune pretty quickly and seemed embarrassed for being such a complete idiot. At the end of the call, I just had to stick it to him for being such a jerk at the beginning. He thanked me using my name and I said to him, "You can actually just call me Einstein."
So I have a friend who works in IT for a local chain of stores. He's still learning the ropes, but he is usually pretty good about asking questions when he's not sure or if what someone is telling him seems a bit... off.
I tend to be the person on the receiving end of these questions. He called me yesterday and explains that he's pretty sure what an outside vendor is trying to get him to do is a bad idea but he wants to confirm it.
This being a multi-store retail establishment, they have two networks. One is a public network with internet access, and the other is secure and connects only to the main office via leased lines for handling all the inventory and transaction processing.
They have an agreement with a 3rd party company which provides a server to handle the back end for a specialist product kiosk that they have in the stores.
The 3rd party company is located many states away and wants to do all their troubleshooting remotely. The problem is the server is located on the secure network since it needs to talk with the payment processing and inventory systems.
Obviously, this means that they cannot remote in to the server since it's not on the internet. So they send my friend up there to swap the server over onto the public network so they can get in, and then put it back on the secure network so they can see if it works.
This is already a bad security practice, but ok...
The server is a piece of shit. Their IT staff can only be described as incompetent. So they can't get it to work. They want to be able to remote into it while its still on the secure network to see what it's doing.
Their IT guy suggests plugging both networks into the server at the same time, which my friend tells them is not possible because there is only one network port.
The guy then says "Why don't you get a switch and connect it to the server and then plug both networks into it"
This was the point at which he called me to confirm that this was in fact a really bad idea......
I proceeded to laugh a lot and tell him to report these guys for trying to cause a major security problem.
My sister lives with my parents and they share one computer. My parents use it to do their taxes, online banking, and communicate with the family along with a few other basic things. My sister uses it for Facebook and her unending quest to click on anything that says it will give her free things.
When I set up the computer I set up three users, one for my parents, one for my sister, and one password protected administrator for me. I set up MSE and a few other things to hopefully keep the computer clean when I'm not around. I would check in on the computer monthly to see how everything was doing and clean up any problems. Since the computer was technically my sisters she eventually moved it into her room and I kind of forgot about it. Not to long ago my parents mentioned they were having some odd problem with the computer and I ventured into my sisters jungle of a room to see what was a miss. I think  this is a fairly good depiction of what happened next.
It turns out she turned off the anti-virus because "it kept popping up with all of these annoying messages". The messages where it warning her about multiple items she downloaded because they promised free stuff, and then more messages telling her that those downloads were indeed viruses currently destroying her computer and not delivering the free Jersey Shore soundtrack she was promised for completing the survey. She also hadn't turned off the computer in a little over a month because the last time she did it wouldn't start back up for a day and she didn't want to not be able to use it.
So she won't let me turn it off, she will let me run a virus scan, but what it really needs is a complete wipe and restore, because I'm afraid someone must have my parents banking information by now and probably know how many hairs they have on their heads as well. Luckily I was able to restart it and update it while she went to the bathroom and the virus scan stopped catching things after about the third pass so I think I made a dent in it. But she will not let me wipe it or restart the automatic virus scan because it's going to mess up all her files (which is about 20 freemusic.exe files and about 300 badly done naked self portraits of herself in the bathroom). I've informed my parents of the dangers of using that computer for their banking from now on but I'm afraid the damage is already done.
What can I do to convince my sister that she's doing the computer equivalent of having unprotected sex with every person she sees while giving them her wallet keys and credit cards?
I am building my parents a new computer just so they don't have to deal with my sisters, but I'm almost afraid for it to be connected to the same router.
This was several years ago when I first started doing helpdesk.
I was working for this place doing helpdesk for cell phones. I didn't get this call myself, but my friend who worked next to me did. This is the call he had that made me first truly question my faith in humanity. Take in mind this call sounds stupid, but we have seen this a few times to warrant taking the context of the call seriously, just not the level of stupidity.
Friend: Hi, thanks for calling *** how can I help you?
Caller: Hi, whenever I unplug my phone from the wall it dies!
Friend: Okay, well I need you to take the back of the phone off please.
Friend: Please take the battery out and check to see if any of the metal pins on the battery or the phone are broken.
Caller: …. What's a battery? (She literally did know what a battery was and he had to explain what they do, she honestly thought stuff just worked magically …)
Friend: head to desk.
For a bit of background, im an intern at a Hospital and I read through and assign the tickets every hour or so. First one of the morning...
"I need my usb ports enabled. I work out at 4 and I need to charge my ipod for working out" Priority: Critical
Why do we let them assign priority to their own tickets???
2nd ticket is a doctor complaining he cant login to 2 machines....remote in and see he is using the wrong password....well I guess it is Monday, need me to reset your password for the 7th time since I have been here? ( a month)
This is going to be a long semester
My friend works for a DSL provider and one day he gets a call from someone saying their internet is down. So normal troubleshooting over the phone, the guy was on wifi, he was connected to the access point, he could ping his access point, when told to ulplug the modem and count to ten before plugging it back in the guy said he didn't have access to the modem. So my friend decided it was time to make an official service call (why he didn't do that at the start I do not know) and took the "customers" phone number but realized they didn't even have DSL service at that number.
Turns out the "customer" on the phone was mooching wifi off his neighbors, and his neighbors had cable internet instead of DSL. So when the cable went down the thief decided to take it upon himself to call tech support.
Today at work, I told a lady that the attachment she was trying to send was too big.
She said, "Oh no, it's only 8 1/2 by 11."
I had a guy cuss me out for almost twenty minutes one night. He informed me that I could take the MOBO and shove it up my ass. Never bothered to ask for support. His opening words were "Yeah, I got this motherboard, and I know exactly where you can put it. You can shove it straight up your ass." I invited him to come do it for me after much back and forth banter, to which he replied:
"I got a better idea. I''m gonna show up on your doorstep in 3 days with a few sticks of dynamite and blow that place up." My response? "That's all fine and well sir. I'd just like to let you know that all of our calls are recorded, and I have your address, telephone number, email address, and full first and last name. You've just made a terroristic threat, and we do take all threats seriously. I will be reporting this to your local FBI field agency. Thank you, and have a nice day."
I hung up and called the FBI. They asked for a copy of the recording. We overnighted it. Three days later I get a call from the local field agent informing me that he would no longer be a problem. Basically, the agent showed up at his house with the local PD and a search warrant. They searched for said dynamite, and had a talk with the guy. The guy told him that he never said those things, blah, blah, etc. The agent pops in the CD, and there it is. The guy apologizes profusely, and we haven't heard from him since.
No, they didn't find any dynamite.
Me: Hello you're through to derp derp technical support, how may I help?
Her: (shouting) MY LAPTOP WON'T EVEN SWITCH ON NOW I'VE PLUGGED IT INTO YOUR BLOODY BROADBAND
Me: Okay, what happens when you press the power button?
Her: NOTHING, THAT'S WHAT I JUST F****** TOLD YOU
Me: What cables are currently plugged into your laptop?
Her: THE YELLOW ONE YOU F****** SENT ME
Me: What about the charger?
I was working as tech support for a well known computer brand. We got all kinds of crazy calls, but one in particular still stands out.
It was a 60 or 70 something year old woman who wanted all the text to be bigger. I thought I would try to lower the resolution on her screen, hoping that would help, so I start to guide her.
I ask her to right-click on her desktop, "the sky and hill?" she replies.
Yes, 'mam, the sky and hill. Right-click on that.
"But I can't see it clearly, my hair is in the way!"
'Mam, please remove the hair from your face.
"Ahh, I can see it now, ok, so, which finger should I click with?"
... I think I blacked out or something after this, cause this is all I can remember from that call.
This happened years ago back when I worked as an "agent" for a big box retailer's tech department. I would have never believed such a thing would happen if it hadn't happened to me.
A woman came in with a plastic grocery bag and thunks it down on the counter. She looks terrified.
Customer: You have to help me!
Me: I'd be more than happy to assist you, ma'am. What seems to be the problem today?
Customer: I'm being hacked! You have to get them to stop using my computer!
My brain: WTF? Is she drunk?
My mouth: Do you have the computer with you so I can see what's gong on?
She turns the bag upside down. Parts of a dismantled laptop spill everywhere. LCD panel, hinges, keyboard, palm rest, screws galore, battery, etc. I stare.
My brain: I repeat, is she drunk?!
My mouth: Ma'am? Why did you dismantle your computer?
Customer: See, when computers are powered down, they aren't really powered down. Those people in India (customer gives a paranoid look around) are hacking into them while you have them off (air quotes with the 'off') and are using them to teach their kids to speak English! That's why all the jobs are getting outsourced! They're using your computers to teach their kids!
She goes on, getting more and more hysterical and speaking faster and faster and higher and higher pitched. The entire time I'm quietly putting all the laptop pieces back into her bag. Finally, she breaks off and gasps for air.
Me: I really don't think I can help you, ma'am.
Customer: Well, put back together my computer! I have a warranty with you people! The FBI can help me with the hackers! They said they would!
Me: Our warranty does not cover you taking apart your computer.
Customer: OH MY GOD! You're one of the people helping the hackers, aren't you?
I stare at her, speechless.
Customer: AREN'T YOU?!
She snatches her bag from me and flees the store, screaming that she's going to call the FBI.
Me: "So could you just turn your computer on for me?"
Me: "Let me know when it's up and running."
Cust: "Oh, do you want me to turn my computer on?"
Me: "Yes, if you would."
Me: "Is your computer powering on?"
Cust: "Oh, I forgot, I thought you were doing something."
Sometimes you just know it's gonna be a long call.
An older woman came into my workplace and bought a laptop, after an in-depth walk through of its features. She came back in the next day screaming about how "this POS computer you sold me stopped working after two hours!"
Surprised and a little suspicious, I took a look at it. I tried pressing the power button, and the battery light blinked. I then told her that the battery was dead and needed to be charged, and the computer could be used while charging. I looked in the box for the power supply, but it was missing.
When I asked the woman where it had gone, this was her exact response: "Didn't you tell me this thing was wireless yesterday? I told my husband and he said 'then we don't need this' and threw the thing out. Are you telling me this isn't actually wireless? That is bait-and-switch, asshole!"
She then demanded my manager, who endured fifteen straight minutes of her tirade while explaining her stupidity. He refused to give her a replacement for free, and so she bought a new one, screaming at everyone she met on the way out. The cashier was in tears. I took a break to get all my face-palming out of the way.
Rules of Tech Support
Rule 1: People don't read. If you give them a piece of paper with words on it, their brain refuses to believe it's anything other than a blank piece of paper.
Rule 2: People don't listen. Sentences longer than three words are useless as they've stopped listening by that point. If you say "Hello, this is Bob", they wouldn't be able to remember your name. Same goes for "OK, can you click on X".
Rule 3: If by some miracle they manage to read or listen, they will be unable to perform more than one action at a time. "Click OK and type your name" will result in them clicking on OK and immediately complaining that it's not doing anything.
Rule 4: If something doesn't work correctly, the user will attempt to destroy as much information as possible as quickly as possible unless you stop them. If they try to type their name into a field and misspell it, they will immediately close all programs, yank their power and ethernet cords out, pry open the computer by running over it with their car, and take a shit on the motherboard.
So quick short one...
Me:Ok Sir, are you using a router at all?
Him: I have a mouse...
Me: Okay that's great, but actually what I was asking.... (continued normal troubleshooting)
This happened almost 2 years ago.
I work as a tech/web developer for a local computer repair and service shop. We do both business and personal work, though Business support is what tends to pay the bills. At the time I had only been with the company for about 3 months, but I had gotten pretty used to the routine and I had known the Owner for several years so he trusted my abilities. Typically whenever we had new customers I was put in charge of the work their so that the other techs could stay focused on the clients we already had.
One afternoon we get a call from a local Independent Living service. If you don't know what that is, they help physically and mentally challenged people find jobs, loans, grants, etc. to allow them to maintain an 'independent' lifestyle. This particular group is responsible for about a 5th of the state, with 3 offices, and several individuals that work from home in the more remote coverage areas.
In the call the CEO tells me that they need some emergency help but that she can't tell me what it is over the phone and that I need to come to their office to discuss the work to be done. Alarm bells
I head out to their office at about 3 in the afternoon with no idea what I'm walking into, and when I arrive she grabs to other people and they take me into her office, lock the door, and pull the shades. She proceeds to tell me that they had fired their IT guy about a week ago, and now they believe he may have broken into their network, stolen a bunch of information, and sabotaged the network. yet more alarm bells
I'll skip over the business portion where they try to haggle me down on price, and get to the tech side of it. Once we had established a business arrangement, they show me to the server room/IT office. First thing I notice is a big, Shiny Dell Server rack. Second is the stack of old black Dell towers tacked in the corner. Third thing I notice is the pile of boxes with Dell written on the side.
After about a half hour of tracing wires, playing with the KVM, and trying to convince myself that I'm wrong, I come to the conclusion that there is absolutely nothing on the big shiny Server in the rack, and that all their AD server, Webserver (both internal and external), and all their accounting software are located on the stack of 3 Dell Tower servers stacked up in the corner. On top of that, the Accounting server has a failing Hard Drive. Turns out they had just ordered about $15,000 dollars worth of hardware and software to migrate their servers to. By this time its quitting time so I tell them I'll be back in the morning and I take off.
The next morning begins the first of 3 weeks of learning their entire AD system, recovering their Accounting software from the old server, and learning how their PHP website interacts with their database and keeps track of all their offsite server. and then Migrating it all to the new server. with almost no allowed downtime.
Along the way I had to deal with a whole list of various distractions, problems, WTFs?, and other shenanigans which include:
A steady stream of various CXOs popping in to interrogate me about whether I had been able to find any 'forensic evidence' proving that their previous IT guy had broken in and stolen anything. This includes 2 meetings with the private investigator they hired to build a case against him.
2 trips to their satellite offices to set up their VPNs and upgrade their equipment. Meanwhile dealing with every little problem the local office is having, including teaching a guy how to use his password.
Discovering after about 5 days that they had never made the old IT guy turn in his company issued laptop (which was set up with a VPN straight to the server), then watching the drama unfold when they ask him to bring in his laptop and then call the police to meet him at the door and then escort him off the premises.
Miscellaneous password resets, email repairs, WiFi set ups, etc.
Learning, and then teaching, how to use various accessibility software and hardware. This wouldn't have been so bad except it was for the disabled so teaching it was not within my usual stress level tolerances. One of these included a magnification program for a woman who had bad eyesight. This meant like 10x magnification of her screen. (The start button in XP took up 2/3 of the screen.)
A dozen calls to various vendors to convince them I was a representative of the organization and that they needed to change their contact records to remove the previous IT person.
After about 3 weeks of this we had finally moved nearly everything to the new server, re-issued all their SSL certs, and were doing the very last bit of getting them squared away when the VP calls us into his office along with the CEO, and tells me to "Stand Down" (His actual words) and that they will call me when they need us back.
We never found any evidence of any wrong doing, and as far as I was able to tell, the only problem they had that wasn't of their own doing was that they had fired their IT guy midway through a server migration and a failing HDD. A week later there was an article in the paper that their entire organization had been shut down, their operations were taken over by another program from the neighboring area, and the senior staff were under investigation for embezzlement and fraud. I spent a month expecting to get a subpoena in the mail. I was never told why they fired the old IT guy either.
So, I was helping out with a youth department of the organization I work for. It consists of a child and teen department. Each one of these departments has one computer hooked up to projectors for a classroom setting for the children and teens. This is a remote location with just these two computers so no real need to set up a VPN. One day a week, I would show up to help the teens learn how to run the projectors, teach them about audio sound boards, and guide them in the right direction towards video editing.
I'm working with a few teenagers on the computer, when a child volunteer in her late 40s stomps into the room.
Derpette: "When will you be done?" (this was already in a frustrated tone, as if she was annoyed to find out that we were using the computer)
Tikrin: "Just started with these guys. What's up?"
Derpette: "The internet isn't working on the kid computer. All my information is on the brain so I need to switch out the computers."
Tikrin: "So, you want to take the Youth computer back there? How come again?"
Derpette: "Well, the brain has all my information on it, and I need the internet. So I need your brain to finish what I was doing."
Tikrin: politely explains that switching the 'brain' out will not fix the solution. The information/work she has is specific to that 'brain' because there is no networking or shares set up to do. Tikrin then remembers that there isn't even an internet hookup in the kids room and gives that as the reason there is no internet
Derpette: After hearing Tikrin's explanation, says "No, it DOES work that way. When you are done, I will take the brain you are using back into the kid's room, and my information will load up." she then walks away as the teens sit wide-eyed
I then proceed to continue showing the teens how to do certain things on the computer for the next few hours, reiterating the difference between a monitor, desktop, and brain. The woman leaves before I'm done and never comes back while I am there. I leave.
A few days go by and a youth worker says I should come by to look at the projectors. Forgetting the events that transpired the day I had been there, I head that way. Upon arrival, I see something horrifying and almost beyond words. The video cables have been CUT. Further inspection to the cable looks like someone tried ripping the VGA cables off but since they were fastened in(surprised how fastened they were), all the person did was rip the shielding back and expose all the wires inside the cable. Some of them must have pulled off clean but the others seemed to have been sawed through with something. I pulled the first teen over nearby and asked what they knew.
Teen: "Derpette said she needed the brain that night, remember? She came back after you left, took the computer to the back, and brought it back later."
Tikrin: jaw drop, and heads to the back to find the worker. "Did switching out the 'brain' work?"
Derpette: "Actually, it's the weirdest thing. It didn't. I don't really understand why."
Tikrin: "I told you why. You do realize that I'm going to have to get a PO now to pay for the 300 ft of VGA cable you just messed up?"(two vga cables of 150 ft)
Derpette: "Well, if you would have helped me switch out the brains it all would have been okay. Now, you'll have to do your little thing where you put the wires back together."
Sadly, this was 5 years ago, and I was only 17. I was more afraid of back talking an elder than setting them in their right place. She's left that part of the organization and I never ever had to ever directly work with her again.
I work in the tech support section of a large electronics chain, and was working at the counter when a gentleman approached me with his Dell desktop. I politely asked how I could help him, and he claimed his year old computer no longer turned on. Suspecting a power supply or mother board issue, I put the computer on the back counter and pulled the panel off.
To my disgust, the bottom of the tower was covered in an inch-thick layer of dead bugs. After I somehow managed not to vomit everywhere, I asked the customer to give me a moment, and went to ask my manager if I could refuse a repair, and he advised me to tell the client to clean his computer, then bring it back.
I went back out to speak with the gentleman and politely stated that I would be happy to repair his computer if he would just take it home and vacuum it out, as it was a health issue for me to work on it.
This is when the client snaps, and starts screaming at me saying we sold him a bad computer (keep in mind at this point it was almost two years old), that I was disrespecting him, etc. I tried to calm him down (my first mistake), and said again that it was a health concern, and that I did not feel comfortable working on a computer with dead bugs in it. He continued to scream and yell at me, including threatening me to corporate, until my coworker (who later claimed I was rude to the customer) took over.
We ended up cleaning his computer FOR him (all while getting dead bug all over our carpets). Safe to say I will NOT be touching that computer at all.
Being a Service Desk/Desktop tech for government departments was quite an experience. Here is one of many little stories:
Here we supported the entire public school IT Infrastructure. Huuuuuge amount of people to support (60,000+) and each thought they were special
(Over the phone)
Her: I AM THE PRINCIPAL OF THIS SCHOOL I DEMAND YOU FIX MY COMPUTER NOW!
Me: What seems to be the problem?
Her: There is +'s everywhere, all over my screen, everytime I type it just replaces it with +'s
Me: Well lets see what I can do to help, I'm just going to have a look and see what's going on
Her: I AM THE PRINCIPAL OF THIS SCHOOL
Me: Mhmm (While remoting into her computer)
[At this point it looked like she was describing, + signs appearing in text boxes when she tried to type, I couldn't think of anything that would make this happen as the network was pretty locked down as far as scripts would go]
Me: (After a moment of clarity) Are you...leaning on the keyboard?
Her: ...oh, yes...bye click
Here is a little story that happened to a colleague of mine two years back as we were working tech support for one of the bigger German cell phone providers.
What astonishes me the most is, those people work in a very technological environment, i mean they sell cell phones and keep a company working that provides cell phone coverage, yet they seem to know very little about anything that is out of their usual work routine.
So my colleague got a call from a customer complaining that his computer took his cd but it doesnÂ´t seem to read it at all. Because the costumer is one of the higher ups of the company my colleague walks over to his office.
The first thing he does is open the cd-drive only to see thereÂ´s no cd in there. So he asks the customer where he put the cd and he turns red and says: "Oh, thatÂ´s the cd-drive?"
Turns out he put the cd in the slot over the cd-drive. Meaning he crammed it in the computer!
My colleague opened the pc, took the cd out, put it in the cd-drive and went without saying another word.
Let's make this a quick one.. Just happened few minutes ago..
Me: Sir, What version of Windows are you using?
Client: Sorry, what's your question again?
Me: What version of Windows are you using? Is it XP, Vista or Windows 7?
Client: Ahh no, not those. I am using Windows Excel. (Actual Words)
Me: Sorry, Windows What? Client: Windows Excel. You know, that good looking Windows (Actual Words yet again)
Me: (Trying to hold my laughter) Ok, ahhhhh Sir, I think its best to restart your computer. That should fix the issue.
Client: Ok! .... Then Client Hangs up...
Client: Hello, I'm new here and I'd like to have a printer added to my computer.
Me: Sure, no problem. I can tell you how to do it yourself.
Me: Ok, just click the start button and select run. Now type \ \ server name
(from here we go back and forth with the spelling of the server name one letter at a time. It's the typical V vs. B stuff so I give her the phonetics and she finally gets it)
Client: It says backflash not found.
Me: ...... ok, i'll be right over.
When I arrive she has the run command open and the following is entered into it.
backflash backflash servername
Got a call from an irate cu. 6 calls today. Most if not all marked as irate. Oh boy. So I try to do my intro, get cut off by a screaming dude. Okay. Time for the ol' rope-a-dope. Just tire him out. Takes about 15 minutes. In the meantime, I look up his account, determine it's in service, check his port, he's got sync. Find the modem serial number, remote in. Dude is screaming about WiFi. Head over to his modem's wireless settings, take a look around. He has already changed a bunch of settings. Stupidly. Broadcast power is down, wireless channel is on 6, SSID broadcast is disabled. What? So My cu is currently screaming at me because he can't see his wireless network and he's the one who turned off SSID broadcast? I check the previous case notes (dude is still screaming) and lo and behold, this is the same issue they've been having, no one figured it out, and I had that feeling the moment I heard this guy screaming about his Verizon 3g hotspot working but not this. So, he's still screaming, I crank the power up, channel to 10, SSID broadcast on, and I try to cut him off. "Sir, could you check now, I enabled SSID broadcast..." "RABBLERABBLERABBLE.... uh... well... It appears to be working." "It seems SSID broadcast was disabled. 'SMITH' also isn't a standard wireless name, I noticed that also when I checked." "Oh yeah, we changed the name so it was easier to remember." "Oh, okay, well that's fine. Seems like somehow that SSID broadcast option got flipped over, no big deal though I got that sorted out." "Oh yeah that's weird. Maybe one of the last techs did it."
I was working at a computer refurbishing company which sold old corporate computers to pensioners/low income earners, and the boss there would make sure every part got used, and nothing went to waste. If he saw something useful-looking in the bin he would fish it out and demand we test it in front of him. If the computer didn't immediately lock up from it, it was "still good" and he would instruct us to put it in a machine.
Of course, 7 times out of 10, people would come straight back after buying one of these dodgy machines, and complain that they weren't working, and we would have to replace the part we knew was stuffed with a good working part.
After a while, what an older tech at this company would do with anything broken that looked like it was still useful, to deter the boss fishing it out of the bin and making us re-use it, was to absolutely destroy it.
If it was a keyboard, he'd snap it over his leg, or cut the cable off with scissors, mice he'd tear the buttons off, any PCI card, he would snap the pins off and bend the metal parts up with pliers, hammer pins in on CPUs, bend the power connectors, and cut the cables on monitors, or stab a screwdriver through the LCD ones, snap RAM in half, drill through hard disks (which was actually policy for hard disks anyway, but he used to love doing it), snap trays off CD drives, old laptops would get thrown against the wall (there was a brick wall in the storage room, which was down the other end from the bosses office, and well insulated), and cut the cabling off PSUs.
When the boss would find a bin full of utterly destroyed stuff he would ask us techs (there were around 10 of us) who had damaged everything. Of course, no one would tell him, and eventually we all started destroying parts we knew were stuffed so we wouldn't have to use them in machines.
Eventually the boss decided he couldn't win, and started trusting our judgement that the parts really were stuffed. A couple of weeks later we had amassed such a large amount of low-quality or questionable looking stuff that we had to have a skip bin brought in for it.
I have so many stories of this place, but I'll save some for another day.
I seem to have quite a few users that think themselves quite sharp with technology. However, when they have a problem that they try to figure out themselves they'll wander down the back alleys of logic and eventually get stuck someplace. Then they call me with THAT question rather than their original question. So I inherit all their faulty logic as part of the troubleshooting stack.
Caller: Does my computer have visual basic on it?
Me: Well, there is a visual basic interpreter as part of windows, and VBA is installed as part of office. So, yeah you've got Visual Basic. Although, if you are wanting to produce standalone executables you're going to need the whole development environment and the...wait a minute. You're a property inspector, you shouldn't need visual basic at all. What is it that you are you trying to accomplish?
Caller: Oh well I got this Excel sheet, and when I open it up Excel says macros are disabled. Then it goes on to say that I might need to set my macro security to a lower level, or it says I need to get a signature for the macro, or It may be caused by not enough pressure in the computer hose, or that visual basic isn't installed. None of the other things seemed very likely, so I figured I should check on Visual basic being installed.
A few years ago I was doing level 1 support for an office type store that sounds a lot like Maples... anyway a store server crashed and we had to reimage it over the T1 no big deal happens all the time.
About 20 minutes into the upload, the manager calls in freaking out, credit cards won't scan and take 5 minutes to get an error, they can't blah and the registers won't blah blah blah. I don't think I was even listening at this point. I calmly explain to her the engineers are working on it and they have begun re-imaging her server, the process takes about 5 hours.
5 Hours blah blah blah, I can't blah I need to blah blah blah. Ma'am, there is nothing we can do to make it faster, we're pushing the T to the limit we're doing the best we can. It will be done in about 4 hours and 15 minutes at this point. (I have removed the boring parts and the expletives on her part).
Ok Ma'am, we usually don't do this but why don't you transfer me into the office and pick the phone up there.
In the office
Ma'am do you see the server? Yes. I want you to reach behind it and search around. You're looking for a long stick.
She starts looking.
I can't find it, what am I looking for again? Ma'am, it's a long stick with a star on the end. I think yours is purple.
A stick with a star? What?
Trust me ma'am, it's there.
I can't find it.
That's right, you can't find it. That's because there is no magic fucking wand. It's going to take 5 hours.
Furious anger, very loud yelling... mostly swears. The tirade lasted at least 2 full minutes.
Just remembered another corker one colleague on the nearby helpdesk receceived.
Helpdesk: How can I help you today?
Client: The internet isn't working.
Helpdesk: I'm sure it is, can you try typing in www.bbc.co.uk to the address bar on your internet browser.
Client: Okay, done that. So the links on this page? Is that all there is on the internet?
me: support center, me speaking. may i have your username please?
me: so... *typing* am i speaking with tracy smith?
him: no, my daughter's name is kate and i need help paying her bill online
me: so what is her username again please?
me: our usernames are 8 characters or less
him: what the hell is a username?
me: it's just the first part of your daughter's iu email address
him: my email address is henrylsmith@...
me: no sir i need it for your daughter, unless you have an IU email address also
him: well that's not what you asked for
me: a username is the first part of a student's email address, and that is what i asked for earlier. you told me tsmith. is it ksmith, maybe, instead?
him: i don't know what you mean, who is tracy smith?
me: i heard T as in tambourine, S M I T H. tsmith belongs to tracy smith. tell you what, i'll just look up her username.
me: kate smith is her full name right?
me: okay i've got a username ksmith here, can you confirm the birthdate so we know we're working with the right username
him: i don't know what the hell this is. you are coming on really strong here missy! i just want to pay the bill.
me: i'm sorry it is a requirement... before we can procceed with the call, i need to confirm a username in our system for each caller.
him: well, shit. hello?
me: hello, i'm still here. can you hear me?
him: hello? shit! hello hello he...
me: (interrupting) umm... i'm still here sir.
him: (pauses to let me speak) HELLO! anyone there? she hung up on me
me: (interrupting, user pauses again as soon as i speak) if you can still hear me, please call back
him: ... i can't believe this, hello?
me: sigh... *click*
I got another call from a woman a few weeks later who had insisted she had been charged for roaming. Now, there's something you should know about Roaming if you don't know already. With this specific Canadian provider, Roaming is anything OUTSIDE of Canada. Long Distance is any calls from inside Canada that one might consider roaming. Other providers call it differently, but that's us.
Anyway, she had insisted she had been overcharged. I pulled up her bill and checked what was wrong. She had gotten charged for a 70 minute long call, each minute clocked at $8 a minute. Only one thing charges that much. In every other country with this provider, it's around $3-4 a minute. $8 and greater are from using towers on Cruise Ships.
I checked the data that it was from and surely enough she had made a 40 minute long call from a cruise ship that had caused roughly $560 in charges. I tried to explain the error of her ways, but she insisted I was incorrect. So we kept checking her account. She had also made a couple of calls from Mexico when she landed in a port there.
I checked notes from a previous call and sure enough she had clled in to see about Travel Packages for a limited amount of minutes for a reduced price. None were up to her standards as they were too short or expensive.
When I put the information together and told her she threatened to sue the company, called me a useless idiot, and said that she was more powerful than we could ever imagine. She proceeded to hang up, and immediately called back. The next call I got was from her. I said my name, and my voice hadn't changed at all. She proceeded to re-explain her situation and I told her the same information all over again. I hadn't even closed the account as I had not finished typing up the notes from the last call.
She started yelling at me and said I was stupid like 'the last guy.' She called back again and got someone else in the office, which is fairly unheard of as we have dozen or so call centers for our department across Canada.
She explained it to him and he put her on hold and asked the manager. I overheard, and gave him the name of the woman on the phone. He picked it up and explained to her again. She demanded to speak to the manager who, by this point, had started to shadow the guy (Having a second headset in the phone) and overheard her swearing at him.
He proceeded to explain her account was going to be terminated and she was going to be charged for her calls and an ECF if she didn't pay the bill within a month or so. She called the manager a few nasty words, who used the 3 insult rule (any swearing to you can constitute a warning. After 3 warnings you are allowed to hang up on the customer. Usually the first warning aggravates them and just leads them to keep going, almost assuring you'd hang up on them).
I come to you, TFTS, entirely flabbergasted.
Last week, my company hired a new Regional Manager. Being one of two IT people at my company, I did all the account creation, and I set up his brand new laptop. I then sent him an email with a document explaining our various network resources, and how to log in to his webmail so he could send and receive emails before he got to the office to pick up his laptop.
I first knew he was going to be a...problematic individual earlier this week, when he called me because he could not get into his webmail. I checked everything, and I could get in, so I knew the account was fine. While walking him through the process, he asked me if he could "Get in through explorer or if he had to use the Microsoft."
That wasn't why I was angry, it was just funny. My boss and I have been talking about "the Microsoft" all week.
It turns out he didn't follow the clear directions included in the email. But ok, I'll give him a pass this time.
Yesterday, he comes into the office for the first time to get oriented (he will be working remotely). I give him his laptop, help him get going (which took waaaay longer than it should have), and figure that everything will be fine.
How wrong I was.
Later that day, I sent out a very detailed email, including screenshots and step-by-step instructions on how to resolve an issue. It went out to the entire sales team. Nobody had a problem with it. Except our new guy. I went over to see what the problem is, and I find he didn't even TRY to follow the very clear directions. He just figured I had nothing better to do than to do it for him.
I was angry then, but that was nothing compared to this morning.
Sometime between last night and this morning, he managed to drop his brand new laptop on the floor from an unknown height, and as a result, its screen no longer works.
We are now sending that off for a $372 repair.
This was his second day.
I need a hug.
One new voice-mail from (friends mom)
Her: Hey Koin4444, its me Ms. Herp. I was just calling you to ask if you could take a look at my sisters computer AGAIN. She can't get her printer (that hasn't been used in years) to work and I cant figure it out.
My thoughts: Hmm, probably just needs drivers because she did just get that new computer that she had me walk her through setting up. Or hell, maybe shits just not plugged in right, who knows.
Her: She talked to Mr. Derp (their family "tech savvy" friend) and he told her that she needed a new monitor, so she went out and bought a new one and it still doesn't work.
pretty intense facepalm here
Her: So she needs you to go over there and help connect her printer, thanks sweety. end of message, to listen to this message again, press..........
I will need to have a nice little chat with Mr. Derp about how printers work. I'll get back to my friends mom in a few days about this. Something tells me her sister isn't going to be too pleased with Mr. Derp after I help her with this problem she is having.
Just got of the phone with this guy. I gave my first line ISP support guy the day off, and the others are out so I am answering phones.
I have spoken with this guy before when things where crazy one afternoon, and he has kinda latched on to my name.
[RIIIING] Me:"$company techsupport, quintinza speaking.
Client: "Hi, quintinza?!"
Me:"Hi, yes it is quintinza. How can I help you?"
Client:"Can I speak with quintinza please?"
Me:"Yeah. It's me. Can I help?"
Client:"Hi. None of my mails are coming through."
Me:"Lemme check the logs for you."
(I log into our incoming mailservers and check the exim logs one after the other. No failures for today for his account. One greylisting, and one sender verification notice, but that's it.)
Me:"Uh, I don't see any failures for today, can you give me a date to work with, and possibly a mail address that you know you are awaiting a message from?"
(I check the logs for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, no failures. A few greylistings that where all delivered, but that's it. I spot a sender verification failure for a known bulk mailing domain that we get a lot of spam complaints from.)
Me:"Hi, can you give me an address that you are expecting emails from?"
Client:"$address, and $address."
It's not the address that was flagged by sender verification, so I continue looking. I also see that he successfully logged in and downloaded mail, and that nothing is stuck in his mailbox on the server. As far as I can see there are no problems.
Me:"I don't see any failures this side, could you maybe have one of them forward me the error message they received?"
Client:"This is the $number time that you tell me that nothing is wrong. I guess I will have to take my business elsewhere."
Me:"Well I don't see any delivery errors for your account, only successful deliveri..."
Client:"Well I will have to close my acc..."
Me:"Okay, hang on let me transfer you to the right person, he will help you close your account."
Client:"You're not going to help me?"
Me:"No, I don't do account cancellations, that is $person. Hold on let me transfer you..."
Client:"But my ema..."
I seriously am not in the mood to be held hostage by a client today. He complained to the accounts guy, and asked accounts guy that I please sort out his problem because I "did not even try resolve" his issue.
I am going to make me some coffee now, and then call him back...
Just had a customer on the phone today. I knew it was going to be one of those calls because the first words out of the customer's mouth were "Now, I'm a network engineer."
Now, it doesn't always guarantee a bad call. Most people who say it actually are. When this is the case the calls tend to go like this "Okay, so you've already done all the basic testing. Yep, you're right, doesn't look like there's a stable dsl. Sure thing. Already escalated for a technician."
During this call however the "network engineer" couldn't wrap their head around the difference between the dsl line splitter and the actual modem. It ended up with me referring to the modem as "the box with the lights on it, no, the one that isn't your computer".
Our ts was randomly broken up with sentences and questions that sounded legit. Such as "You reading a lot of attenuation on the line?" But these were usually followed by things that made no sense. "The internet light on my modem is flashing so that would mean that the port at the exchange is having trouble reading the pings...." Seriously, wtf?
On top of this he was rude. Constantly interrupted me. And spoke to me like I was a moron despite the fact that he was pretty much embarrassing himself with every word. I'm not an idiot. I will admit that I dislike math immensely, I spent college physics half asleep and my programmer friends laugh at the fact that my Yautja is better than my Java but I'm not an idiot.
It pretty much kicked off on the call when he asked me what qualifications I had to be advising him on his line specifications and if I even knew what he was talking about. I told him honestly that I didn't, cause 99% of what he was saying was garbage. I told him I'd tell him my life story if he could tell me what a token ring was, and a single problem with using it in a large network.
We usually let them get away with it. Customer being right and all. But there's only so much one can take. Really hope someone recorded that call.
Corporate office sends out a global email, someone hits "reply to all", hilarity ensues. i got 158 emails where someone else hit "reply to all" just to say "stop hitting reply to all", OH THE IRONY!!!
Now, keep in mind this is a tech company. a majority of people who are on this list are field techs, helpdesk reps, account managers, etc.
i need a new job...
Many years ago now, I worked for an ISP as broadband tech support.
The company I worked for offered broadband through local providers like TelCo's and Cable Companies, but added their name onto it and charged more for "value added" services. You even had to sign a one year contract for this DSL or Cable service.
This is important to the story.
A customer calls and says his DSL is down. Specifically, his wireless is down. I look, and the customer doesn't have wireless networking with our company, so I ask if his wireless router is turned on.
"I don't have a wireless router" he says.
So I ask him if he can check his DSL modem to see if the lights are on. To make sure his service was operational.
"What Modem? I don't have a modem." I am now starting to piece it together.
"Do you recall getting a box in the mail from us?" I say
"Yeah, it's in my closet, I never opened it." He says.
"Ok, can you get that box and open it?"
He opens the box, and there is his modem, and set up documents.
"Sir, it appears you have been using a neighbors WiFi, and their internet is down. You never actually hooked your service up."
He had been paying 50 bucks a month (this is in 2003) for DSL for over a year, and had never actually used it.
This morning I got a call from one of our remote reps.
Rep: Hi, my laptop won't turn on.
Me: Could I get a little more detail?
Rep: Well yesterday it was behaving really erratic, so I restarted it, and now it won't get past the Dell logo. It just goes black after that.
Me: Okay, it sounds like there could be some hardware issue, so let's see if you can get into the diagnostics. Turn the laptop on, and start tapping F12. That should give us some boot options.
Rep: Here let me just get the laptop out of the bag here. I'm on the road today so I'm in my car.
And then he proceeded to go through hardware diagnostics and call me back when it was done to tell me the error code. While driving his car. In public. Safety first!
The other day I asked a user if her computer was turned on over the phone.
She told me it was "on, but not on".
Im not in the IT department of my office but I am usually called on to help people install things on peoples computers or set up workstations or corporate mobile phones.
About 2 years ago I get told over email by a new employee - I knew straight away that she had little experience with computers - about issues with one of our smaller commercial printers only meant for her and my boss to use.
Apparently it would print most of the page and the last of it would be blank or smeared.
I proceeded to check over the entire printer making sure nothing was stuck inside of it before going to her desk and printing a test document. She then immediately raced over to the printer and as soon as the paper was visible she pulls the paper out of the printer.
I looked at her in pure amazement and she then told me I was useless and had no idea what I was doing.
When I managed to print off a complete sheet without her interfering she went on a rant how i was trying to sabotage her by making her look stupid in front of the boss.
She was fired a couple of weeks later for being incompetent and stealing office supplies (not just a couple of pens here and there but boxes of supplies) it seems that she was too stupid to not see our surveillance cameras too.
I walked away from someone who pulled this crap on me yesterday.
Not even a tech thing.
Walks in and...
Him: "Where's Derp?"
Me: "Derp Who? There are 40 derps who work here"
Him: "Derp Specific (VP Of the company), there is a lunch with him today"
Me: "Oh, that's next Wednesday."
Him: "No, it's today."
Me: "No one is here, it would be 2 hours overdue, meaning 200 people would be here."
Him: "Well it's today."
Me: "Ok Walks away"
Why do people stand their ground against all fucking logic when there is no proof to backup anything except that which disproves them?
This just happened. Thought I'd share.
I was just VNC'd into a machine to install some software, and looked away for a few seconds. Suddenly, I noticed that someone else was at the terminal and typing in notepad "This computer is not connected to the network. I will be gone from 1-2pm and will reconnect it before then" I just typed "OK, thanks, i'll logout" and didn't bother trying to argue with them.
This was on a workstation, with no wi-fi adapter. I've learned to just walk away from situations like this instead of trying to figure out what the user thinks is going on.
BG: My company is kind of a mixed bag of tech products and services. This call was from an electronics customer who apparently bought a laptop from us.
Me: Thanks for calling [us], this is [me]. How can I help you?
Idiot: I bought a laptop from you, and now it won't turn on!
[snip looking up order and products]
Me: Is it plugged in? Can you see any lights?
Idiot: Yeah, the light near the power hole is on.
Me: OK, what happened right before it stopped working?
Idiot: Well, it was dirty, so I cleaned it.
Now at this point, I'm thinking the guy just dunked it in the sink or something.
Me: How did you clean it?
Idiot: I had some Drano lying around, so I poured it in.
Me: So just to confirm, you poured corrosive drain cleaner into your laptop to clean it?
Idiot: Yeah! And now it won't work! Why?
Me: OK, you'll need to call ASUS about this. The number is (888) 678-3688.
Idiot: Well, you were NO help! click
I have been in the IT field for about 13 years and I have had my fair share of experiences extra needs individuals as we all have but this one CEO takes the cake.
I go into work on day and my new CEO (they just replaced their previous IT person with me) tells me that his Apple MacBook Air isn't running fast enough for him. So I take look since it looks like an original model and tell him that their a new model available through custom ordering and we can get him it in a few days. I told him it would have the fastest specs available (11 Inch Apple MacBook Air, Intel i7 Dual Core Processor, 8 Giabytes of RAM and a 256 Gigabyte Solid State Hard Drive). He is thrilled and I place the order, receive the laptop a few days later and transfer all his files over. A few days go by and he calls me over and still tells me that his laptop is performing poorly. I ask him to show Mr what poorly means. He says look I press the power button and it takes 15 seconds before I can start working. My jaw hits the floor. He then proceeds to tell me that I should do my job correctly and learn what fast means. Dude they don't sell anything faster! Needless to say I don't work there any more.
Not working there anymore, was just a work experience thing at school at a computer repair shop. Cranky old guy comes by and tells them his computer smells like smoke sometimes and is super loud, only 6 years old etc etc Got the "back in my day when we bought something it lasted forever".
Ask him if he has ever cleaned it out, he says no. Tell him to vacuum all the dust he can by unscrewing the case, if not we could do it for him. He comes in 2 days later and drops the computer on the desk, it is still wet... he decided that hosing it out would take less time and get more dust.
He expected a full replacement because we "told him to clean it out", obviously not mentioning we told him to vacuum it out.
I'm always amazed at how some people know so little about their own website hosting. I just experienced this wonderful conversation:
Its worth noting this guy had called in earlier and my coworker had to spend over 10 minutes explaining to him that his NIC drivers not being installed isn't our problem.
Derp: Hey! I'm trying to setup email with you guys and need the server info!
Me: No problem. For the incoming mail server its pop.isp.net, and for the outgoing its smtp.isp.net.
Derp: Ok, now its asking me for an account name and password, what are those?
Me: The account name is the part of your email address before the @isp.net
Derp: Ok, but I'm pretty sure I don't have a password, I never needed one before
Me: Every email account requires a password. If you don't remember it, I can change it to something you do know, what is your phone number so I can pull up your account, and what is the email address?
Derp: [phone number],  email@example.com
Me: You don't appear to have any email addresses setup on this account, and that domain is not hosted by us
Derp: but you are my isp
Me: Your website is hosted by someone else, and you will need to contact your hosting to set up outlook for that email address.
Derp: But you are my isp, why won't this work? Can I just try it and see if it works?
Me: It won't work, because you are trying to use @isp.net's email servers and its not an @isp.net email address. You need to contact your host to have them give you the correct server information to put into outlook.
Derp: But you are my isp, I'm pretty sure this should work, my email always just worked before. If I get an email address with you will it work?
Me:.... an @isp.net email address would certainly work with the @isp.net servers, but for the specific email address you are trying to setup it will make no difference, since that email address uses a completely different email service. you need to contact your host to get the correct info.
Derp: I don't know who hosts it!
Me: looks up host on WHOIS. You are hosted by DERPNET, you will need to contact them.
tl:dr square peg, round hole
Me: ISP, problem?
Me: Click Start
Me: Click Start
Me: Click Start
User: o ok
Me: Control Panel
Me: Double click Network Connections
User: Network and Sharing Center?
"I have a custom 386 motherboard with PCI slots that I bought at the swapmeet for ten dollars. Is that good?"
I'd just gotten transferred to a new skill group, telephony, and was going about modifying some line appearances for a user. This particular user had given us roughly 14 line appearances that he no longer wanted, preferring instead to having speed dials for those numbers.
Well, young, naive me made a mistake that anyone who has used CUCM for more than a few weeks will groan internally about. I went to the device configuration page for the phone that needed to have its line appearances deleted, clicked on each line appearance in turn, and then, in the directory number configuration page for that line, clicked the "Delete" button.
I did this for all 14 line appearances before realizing "Well, this is kind of odd. It looks as though the line appearances are being deleted on his phone, but the line appearance slots aren't being replaced by speed dial slots." Then it dawned on me. The "delete" button is not used for removing line appearances. That's a completely different procedure. What I had accidentally done was delete 14 directory numbers--an entire office's phones--from existence. Wiped 'em clean. Luckily I remembered the number for one of their main secretaries, re-created it, and called them to fess up to my mistakes. Spent the next 6 hours recreating every phone in that office, with all of their line appearances, and all of the programming for their (moderately complicated) forwarding system.
Let me tell you, folks: I will never, ever, ever press a "Delete" button again without being absolutely, 100% positive as to what will happen.
I'm thinking this generation's parents need to be a little more careful with naming their kids. I just setup a user ... their login name is going to be "twatts". Their email address is twatts@
Our I.T. department was doing a major software upgrade across the entire corporation. It was a situation where if the upgrade wasn't done properly and quickly, the company would likely go under, so of course we were under a lot of pressure to do it as fast as possible with minimal mistakes.
I was sent to one of our divisions to upgrade a few people in their offices. I started with the division president, who fussed and griped about the entire upgrade process and how *I* was wasting his time with something as frivilous as the upgrade. I listened to his tirade for the entire 45 minutes it took to get it done, then quickly left to perform the same process on his secretary's computer.
She was cut from the same material and, true to form, fussed the whole time I was doing the upgrade. I kept reminding her that it was necessary, that she and her boss had sat in the planning meetings where the CEO and CIO stressed how critical it was, etc. She blithly ignored everything I said and finally came up with this gem:
I'm going to retire in two years and I don't see why you can't put this off until after I'm gone!
Left unsaid was the huge financial losses that the upgrade was supposed to stem and all the people who had been laid off previously as the company struggled to survive. Within two months the secretary was let go and her boss followed several weeks later.
I have NEVER heard a dumber excuse for holding off on a company-wide upgrade. ;^)
Just spent all morning trying to figure out why this PC would freeze at random. Sometimes while in the OS, sometimes at POST. Swapped RAM, CPU, pulled out all the add-on cards etc. Finally on the last boot, heard the hard drive spin up, then spin down, then back up again. When this happened the machine froze up.
...And i pulled two pennies out of the 3 1/4 Diskette drive.
Back in the earlyish days of XP we get a call from one of the on site programming staff complaining about being unable to access files shares. We have no known current network issues, so off to look I go.
I arrive to find that he had decided that he 'needed' to install ZoneAlarm for some self-determined reason. It is a generally held fact amongst programmers that they know way more than the tech do. So before attempting any troubleshooting of network issues, the 3rd party firewall has to go. He is of course looking over my shoulder and says that I cannot just uninstall that. To which he is told that I will not be investigating windows network issues with 3rd party firewalls in place. So I let him choose, he declines.
And of course, he then decided to unisntall it himself and hey look it magically worked.
I got a ticket in this morning from Derp requesting that I forward Herp's email to him while he is out of the office. I confirm this with this users manager as is policy, and set up the forward.
Two hours pass and Derp calls back in a huff. "Every time I email Herp it comes back to me!?! What the hell did you do to my account!?!"
What I wanted to say: "Derp I would like to apologize. You seem to have been issued a computer when we should have just sent you a notepad, and a calculator. Please box up your computer and send it back to us. You are far to stupid to have been issued a computer."
Potential customer calls, says he got our number on our site and asks if he can fax me specs for a system he wants built. I tell him yes and it comes through as a solid black block taking up the entire page.
I call him and ask if he's sending a plain text, or a newspaper or magazine article. He says it's an email he printed out. I'm thinking he printed out an ad from NewEgg or Tiger Direct, so I ask him to forward it to me and tell him the email address is on our site. He calls 15 minutes later and asks if I can fax him my email address so he can maintain a paper record of it.
I was just asked this when moving an LCD monitor from one side of a desk to the other....
User: Why don't you ever refill the ink in the screen?
User: Well I have to change the ink on my printer once a week or so but the ink in the monitor never gets changed. Does it recycle itself?
(she uses a desktop inkjet printer to print stuff out instead of the networked lexmark and canon that are literally 4 steps away from her)
Me: ... There isn't any ink in a screen, it's just light.......
User: Oh really! I always wondered about that. So how do lights make black?
Me: ..........Well......... It just doesn't put light where the black part is.
I worked a year for HP's danish server support, on the hardware side.
Pretty much 90% of our calls were a tech from the company who called and asked for a specific part he had concluded was broken.
I have two really noteworthy stories from there:
Once a guy called in, the server was down, and 500 people were unable to work untill we got him the part.
unfortunately (of course) we did not have that specific part in stock, and it could take a few days to get it.
Now... this guy has 500 people who cannot work, he's just a local tech with no real day to day stress, and suddently he has people coming by and calling him constantly asking for updates, asking when they can work again, explaining why their specific problem is in face more important than he realizes (you've probably experienced something on a smaller scale).
So of course he called us back a few times asking if we would be able to do something, and we promised we'd see if we could speed it up.
3 hours later we'd gotten the Swedish department convinced that they could live without the one part they had for a couple of days, and got them to send it over to denmark with UPS.
So I called the guy up, and told him the great news that we'd just gotten a call from the UPS guy saying he would arrive in about 10 minutes.
He broke down completely, started sobbing on the phone because he was so relieved and stressed out from being chased down by hundreds of people all day.
TL;DR: magiced a spare part from sweden, tech shed tears on the phone.
The other story I have is a similar problem.
A large expensive server, that HP doesn't actually produce anymore, and the production of spare parts for it is pretty much on a "when it's needed" basis.
Of course the biggest, most profitable customer in denmark has one of these servers, and has a support contract on it two years beyond the point where HP stopped producing parts for it, and because it's a huge powerfull server it's very important for their production, and they have a contract where we have to pay pretty big fines for every hours the server is down.
Guess if we happen to have the part available in denmark... of course we don't. Panic ensues!
At this point we've basically got 3 people calling around to all other european countries asking if they have this part.
Turns out they had one in Finland, but of course they have a customer with the same server, so they don't want to give us the part. more calling around.
In the end, after over an hour of 3 people calling around doing our best to communicate with people from all over europe it turns out they have one in southern france, and they'll give it to us!
Now, what's the fastest way to get it up to denmark you ask? well, DHL had a flight going first thing in the morning, and from there we could have it to the customer in 2-3 hours, which meant it ended up being close to 20 hours in total, but is that really the fastest? The french guys suggested calling a taxi company and asking them how fast they thought they could get it up to us, and they concluded they could probably do it in 15! so they quickly found a taxi driver with a GPS who wanted to take a couple of days to drive to denmark and back, and 13 hours lated he delivered the part, and an hour after that we had the server up and running.
In the end the taxi driver got the equivalent of 2½ months pay for driving 13 hours to denmark, having a paid hotel for the night, and then a leisurely drive back home.
TL;DR: broken server, ordered a taxi from france.
This tale is a fairly recent one. I had a user call in from a new(ish) client that we had just acquired and began to support.
The user states that her Windows PC turns off without warning at any time during the day. She states that there is no consistency in this event, she will simply be working one minute, and without power to her PC the next.
I ask her the first few obvious questions, 'You're not kicking the power cable or anything like that, right?' She claims she's not. She also answers that she receives no warnings or error messages before the power cuts off.
I was able to remote to her PC, I check out the event logs, which contain literally no errors, only events stating the PC was powered on several times throughout the day.
I determined that, based on the symptoms and the logs, the PC is literally just losing power. I asked her to have a look at the power strip that the PC and monitor are connected to..
And that's where it got interesting.
She follows her power cable to a power strip. The power strip has no available outlets. She then tells me that this power strip is connected to another power strip.. which is also full.. and that her power strip has another power strip connected to it.. and the power cable for the power strip at the beginning of the chain runs under the cube wall where she can't see it any longer.
After tracing out the power source a little more, we find 3 full power strips were daisy chained together and plugged into one socket in the wall.
'Okay, well, that's our problem. Theres only so much power that comes out of one wall socket. You can't keep plugging things in, and adding power strips, because at some point you're going to damage the electronics.'
'WELL. I DON'T KNOW. CAN'T YOU HELP?'
'Ma'am. This is an electrical issue. Who provides maintenance to your building if the lights were to go out?'
'Ma'am we provide support for your information systems. We're not electricians. You'll need to call building maintenance to have them distribute the power strips.'
After about 5-7 minutes of fighting with her on the phone, she ended up winning the argument, and I sent a field tech on site to plug things into the wall.
I have got to wonder how her house has not yet burned down due to an electrical fire.
At a customers house now waiting on some software to install. Customer complained of the computer being slow. I asked her to reboot and she says she did but it didn't work. I get here, and check the up time. 65 days.
So my company recently signed up to a new printer contract where all of our network printers would be replaced with brand new printers, and all printer support would be done by the printer company.
Our current printer estate is a mess, I work for a newspaper where all of the staff deems it a critical issue if a printer is out of service for more than half an hour, they don't believe in a paperless office, using the excuse "We are a newspaper, we need to print things out to see how they look on paper.", which makes me curios of the large bundles of uncollected e-mails that have been printed off. As you can imagine due to years of wear and tear and very heavy usage the printers tend to break a lot, which they have no hesitation of reminding us about.
We received a delivery of printers yesterday roughly about 20 large printers, we had them designated out to each department based on needs etc and today we would put them where they needed to be in the building, so that when the engineers from the printer company could easily set them up one by one. Two of us rolled a printer to our main editorial floor, and left it sitting next to the printer it was due to replace. The new printer was still wrapped in plastic, no labels on it for the printer name, not plugged in, and nobody was told to use it. The old printer was left sitting there, switched on, printing things off, chugging along like normal.
Came back to my desk to check e-mail etc and there was a call come in, complaining about the new printer that's just been installed. Imagine the most sarcastic e-mail you've ever seen and this guy topped it, slagging off IT for wasting vital company money, the pathetic state of IT that they can't setup a printer properly, how this needs to be fixed straight away to cover IT ineptness.
I bit my lip so hard I nearly bit right through it, went to speak to my manager about it, who phoned not the guy who logged the call but his editor. Let's just say I was lucky enough to be walking by the guys desk when the editor came out to have a word with him about the call he had logged.
I work for a software company in escalations support. Since my department knows more about the product than the rest, we also handle the phone queue for our larger OEM partners. Most of my day is filled with solving tough problems as they are escalated, but the OEM calls are usually mindnumbingly easy, which end up being frustrating because I have more important things to get to.
So a guy calls in a few days ago, saying that he was getting an authentication error when installing the software. He says "It's telling me I don't have administrative privileges, but I'm on an Admin profile.". Now, we have a scope of support just like any other tech support environment, so I politely explain to him that this is a Windows error that I won't be able to help him further, but that it's probably just an issue with his profile.
Derp: "Yeah, but it's with your software"
Me::"True, but the error is populated by Windows, and specifically references administrative privileges"
Derp: "But I can't install it because of this error, so I need you to fix it" (he's getting more and more annoyed)
Me: "I'm sorry, I'd love to help you, but I don't know how your computer is set up, and I don't have any credentials on your machine to go in and change how your profile is behaving"
Derp: "Well, I'm sorry, but I disagree with you. You need to fix this. How am I supposed to get this installed?"
Me: "Do you have an IT guy there who can look at your computer?"
Derp: huge sigh "yeah, hold on..."
a few minutes later, I hear a guy in the background:
Like-A-Sir: "hold on, Derp, let me log in to my admin profile"
Derp: "Ok, now it's asking for a license key" (tell-tale sign that it's installed).
This phone call lasted about 20 minutes, which is about 18 minutes longer than it should have, given the issue. I can deal with people who don't know what they're talking about, but when someone calls in to tech support and acts like they're smarter than the guy on the phone, I get really annoyed.
I had a user walk into my boss’s office and insist that we supply him with a micro SD card for his personal cell phone. The boss asked if we had any and I informed him that we do not stock nor supply them. The user said they ordered one online but it was going to take a couple of weeks and they didn’t want to wait. User looks at me and says don’t you have one? No, I’m sorry, I cannot let you borrow my personal SD card! This has to be the tech equivalent of let me borrow your toothbrush!
For the first time in my long career, I have banned a user from ever calling or submitting a ticket to my Help Desk.
Her name is Carmen. She has a thick Puerto Rican accent (so that you can have something like her voice in your head). She is a BH administrative assistant. After working with her for three years, along with all my other BH related adventures, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that people in the BH field are basically crazy fanatics who would be patients in mental wards if they weren’t working in them.
Carmen likes to write tickets. Every ticket starts off with ***HIGH PRIORITY***. I’ve tried explaining that SHE doesn’t get to set priority. I’ve explained our criteria for prioritizing. She either doesn’t understand, doesn’t care, or is a house plant. She has had “issues” with every single person in IT at some time or another, and we have some of the most patient people I’ve ever worked with. It usually follows the same pattern, resulting in her screaming at us “Why are you so rude to me?” In her mind asking questions equals rude.
The final straw went something like this: She submits a ticket that says she needs access to a certain folder on the network and wants Full Control of the folder. That isn’t an option, so I set her up with R/W/M so she can create, edit, etc. I close the ticket and send an email to her with my resolution.
She reopened the ticket within an hour and said she didn’t have access. I checked through the ACL again and found that she was a member of two different security groups, one with R/W/M, the other with only R/W. This second group had only a couple of people in it, so I checked their job titles and decided they could have modify rights as well, and so changed that group to R/W/M.
Next day she calls and speaks to one of the other techs who had no knowledge of this before the call. He pulled up my ticket and read through what I had done. Meanwhile she was yelling at him that she couldn’t do her job (duh) until we fixed her access. The tech tried to ask a couple of basic questions and this completely set her off. He transferred the call to me (I’m the boss).
As soon as I picked up, I was met with a torrent of bizarre statements, in a loud shrieking voice.
“Why are all of you so RUDE TO ME? You are all out to get me! Every time I have a problem IT tries to fuck me over!” On and on it went, while I was trying to get her to sky down a notch or two. At one point I had to check to make sure my phone wasn’t muted, because no matter what I said, she just kept rolling.
After about 5 minutes of this insanity I said I was terminating the call and would contact her supervisor, then I hung up. I emailed her boss and my boss with the story. Given the history with Carmen, they agreed that it wasn’t fair to have IT subjected to abuse of this magnitude.
The next day, her boss called me and explained that she needed to be able to delete a certain file. That had been the whole problem all along. She couldn’t delete a file and in her fevered little mind, this was preventing her from “doing her job”.
It’s been three months. We’ve never heard another peep out of Carmen.
I made  this post earlier today... then this call just happened:
Customer: I used to have Herpa Anti-Virus, but it stopped working. I just got a pop-up from a "trojan adviser" and it was asking for my credit card info. So I put it in and nothing happened and it's still popping up.
Me: You did what?!
Customer: I gave it my credit card info....
Me: You need to call your credit card company and cancel that card or put an alert out.
Me: You just paid a virus.
Customer: I did... oh....
I've heard of this virus many times, but I've never actually encountered anyone who's paid it. I laughed for about 4 whole minutes after the call was over.
User calls in stuck at a blue screen. She's one of those "everything is broken because I don't know how to work my computer" type of users. The kind that thinks everything doesnt work on their machine, when in reality they just dont know how to use the machine/OS.
Hearing this at first I assume its a BSOD. Reboot again. Same thing, stuck on a blue screen. At this point I have her reboot into safe mode, to which she has no problems logging in.
I have her reboot again, back to normal mode. Again, stuck at a blue screen. This time I remote into her machine as I can see it online, and am presented with a typical CTRL ALT DELETE to log in screen. She claims she can't see it.
"Is your laptop connected to a 2nd monitor"
"Is it on"
"Oh there is the log in options"
You know, for all the crap that we have to take from customers here at 'Generic ISP Of Evil' there are those glorious times when you're not dealing with a customer and you get to vent a little bit when they missbehave.
Take for instance when we get a call from an onsite tech. Most of our guys are alright. They do the job and when it happens that they need us to do some admin-tech-jiggery they give us a call and we have nice techy banter and compare horror stories and the like. Normal stuff you'd do with colleagues. After all, these are our company cousins and they deal with stupidity on a face-to-face level. But still, stupidity.
Now, like all people, including IT people, there are gonna be the bad apples. The lazy, condescending, idiots that somehow have cheated their way through school and landed in this job.
Enter caller number....something. (I lose count each day around the 60 mark)
And his first words are....
Tech: Finally, you stupid f*%$"£r in there get off your arses to answer the phone...(inane babble/insults/ yadda yadda yadda)
Me: Sorry about the wait, Sir, we're dealing with an outage at the moment and the lines are very busy. Can I get your name and account number.
Tech: What? I'm the technician you people sent out. I'm not a customer.
At this point I hear the guy mumbling "stupid bitch" under his breath but already my back has straightened and according to the guy sitting opposite me, a very unsettling grin has started to creep it's way across my face. A little more prodding and I get the number of the line this guy is working on.
Me: And how can I help you today? (I'm actually bouncing in my seat now.)
Tech: Well for starters you can tell me what the hell I'm doing back out here for starters. (I'm IM-ing my manager at this point and the call is now being officially monitored)
Me: (Quick glance through the logs and fault reports) Well, the intermittant sync you were sent out to fix previously was never resolved. You cleared the case, but the customer was still having problems. So we re-escalated.
Tech: (Proceeds to grumble and huff) These people don't know what they're talking about. The connection is fine. I'm reading a positive connection right now. And you people in there are all idiots if you think I’ll be dealing with this. This is your problem and you shirk it off.
Me: The connection is intermittant. (I'm letting my evil side get the best of me and I can tell I'm going to start talking down to him very shortly.) That means is going up and down. Now the reason we sent you out is because before it goes down, everything looks fine and we can't see the problem. (There's silence from him and I can feel it coming) You know, connection dropping sporadically? Are you following?
Technician proceeds to start screaming at me. He calls me incompetent and rude. I will admit I’m very snarky but he isn’t a customer. He shouts about speaking to a different agent. And then follows it up complaining that we’re all the same. He curses some more and I’m kinda praying that he’s not actually within earshot of the customer. I then start to feel for this customer. At some point the people around me are going silent. Not Ready time is skyrocketing as people are taking themselves off calls to listen in. I don't think anyone has seen me smile before while on an irate call.
Wait for engineer to go silent.
It's at this point that I respond.
Me: Are you quite finished?
Tech: ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO ME?
Me: Not a single word. I'm sure my manager though caught most of it so if I missed anything remotely important I'm sure he can fill me in. (At this point a thumbs up appears over the wall of my managers cubicle. I really want to burst out laughing. I've an awesome manager.) What I will be doing is getting the controller to re-assign this case to another engineer. Someone who clearly understands the issue at hand.
Tech: (There's more silence) I'll be putting in a complaint. I hope you know that.
Me: Mine will be in your manager’s inbox in about five minutes. Thanks for calling.
And it was and he got suspended for two weeks with a written warning and is now being forced to undergo retraining.
The problem turns out to be a faulty modem. Engineers carry spares that they usually leave with a customer overnight if the line initially checks out okay. The engineer that went out an hour later (thank you Mrs Controller woman, you rock) left them one of his test ones while he checked the port. Neither of these basic problematic areas did the engineer check out. Literally the engineer is meant to start at the port and work back to the cust. He just turned up at the door, plugged into the mdp and when he got a connection said it was fine and left. Proceed to have customer with confused expressions and mumblings of “Did he do something? Did you see him do anything.”
Some days just allow me to continue on, you know. It’s hard and thankless, but perhaps I’ve just spared unhappy customers and agents some grief. That makes me smile a little. That and the fact that I just slapped someone six ways from Sunday. :D
So I happen to be a woman who works on computers for an ISP. out of about 100 people, I am one of 10 women. So I understand that it's rare for you to speak to a girl when you call for the 20th time this week. This doesn't make it any less rude to say "oh, I didn't know they hired you people to do computer work."
People will actually request a transfer if they don't think I can handle the big tough man work. It's ridiculous. Even other women will do it.
So I'm taking calls the day before yesterday, and the guy has OS issues. I advise we're going to have to reinstall, that's the only way we can fix it and believe me, we've tried everything else up to this point. He says that's rediculous, It's obviously the Internet connection messing up, Can I send a tech out? No. Okay, Fair enough, lets work on the other computer. Nothing is more frustrating than an hours long call which should be almost over until they say "Lets work on the other computer"
He'd called in about this one before. There is something physically broken, I don't know what, All I know is when he wiggles the screen it turns gray, turns off, and turns back on. I advise it's a hardware issue, I also advise the cheapest thing to do would be to replace the cable and see if that's the broken part, He could have used the cable from his other computer. He proceeds to ignore me and reinstalls the OS on that computer even though he refused to start the process on the other one. I advise this isn't going to fix his hardware issue. He demands we fix his internet. I advise this isn't the internet at fault. He asks if our company is in cahoots with the computer manufacturers. Nope. He threatens to quit. Advise that's his choice, but it won't solve his problem because the issue is with his computer.
We have a saying in our office that helps the customers understand. "If your car is broken, you don't take it to the guys that fix the road" That doesn't work on him. He says that's "Woman Logic" and decides to switch ISPs.... Have fun paying our ridiculous cancellation fees.
I get an urgent phone call about a student that can't print his final in our "problem lab." The problem with this lab is that it's full of Design students that don't know dick about the four thousand dollar iMacs they are working on. They can't even figure out print queues.
I get up there quick, and it's this extra douche-bag acting fellow that's trying to make it look like he's tough enough to yell at tech support to get his way.
I keep cool and ask him my usual, "Care if I take the wheel for a minute?" He crosses his arms and says, "Why can't you guys quit changing these machines? I'm trying to get my WORK done here." I don't take the bait, and just walk around the desk to check the ol' interweb tube. It's plugged in, so I ask him to show me how he prints.
It's going smooth until he gets to the printer selection, and he, of course, picks "Print to PDF." Duh-der-dur. I ask him to print to the correct one, and he says, "Why do I have to change it every time, UUUUGGGHHH." It was one of those loud, guttural sounds that preteens make when their mom tells them "they're not going out dressed in that!"
I tell him we have problems with students installing their own applications and programs on these machines, so they are reimaged often. I grab his document off the printer and hand it to him. There's only one page, and he informs me that there should be more. His machine alerts us that it's out of paper, so he says, "So put some paper in it!"
I walk over to the printer, open the tray and say, "Yeah, it is" and leave.
I got his name off of the machine the next day, and he's forever known as the "paper douche."
Walking out of a conference room after setting up a projector for some team's meeting, and a woman lightly grabs my arm on the way out asking if I could look at her iPad.
The volume level won't go away on the screen, she says.
I take a look and like she said, the current volume with the speaker icon is displayed in the middle of the screen. I press the volume keys and it doesn't go away. I'm not an iGear expert so I'm a little apprehensive until I further inspect the volume keys...
They are completely indented, along with the frame itself, such that it was slammed on the corner of a desk.
"Well," I say, "the volume icon won't go away because your buttons are stuck down due to this huge dent. Did you drop it or hit it on anything?"
"Have a nice day." And I was gone.
Back in my days of doing level1 support for an ISP based in the US (Name withheld as I still work for said company.)
This is one of my favorite calls I received from a customer, however no troubleshooting was involved, and it went something like this.
Me: Thanks for calling ISP tech support my name is derp-along can I have your userID please?
Cust: Does anyone in your a$$-hole establishment speak english?
(Now its almost my lunch time and I was curious since he had obviously not heard me do my opening.)
Me: No sir we only speak Chinese here!
Cust: Un-Fing believable... he rambled off a few more choice words and slammed his phone down and hung up.
I was left looking dumbfounded staring at my monitor. I told my supervisor, who tried to pull the call but since it was under a minute it did not get recorded.
It's a wonderful day already. The rain is pouring, the winds are howling, and in my head a migraine has started that I can only attribute to the very thoughts of coming into work.
I'm only two calls into the day and I get a gem. I know from the labored breathing and high pitched, shaky voice that either the woman on the phone with me is giving birth or having a panic attack.
Cust: "Oh GOD!! A person. My internet isn't working. What's wrong?"
The woman is clearing experiencing the later of my theories. I manage to get her details. Enough that I can work with anyway. And I find out that the modem is showing a red internet. DSL and sync shows solid signal. Modem probably just needs a reset to kick start the connection.
I check details on the model of modem. That it's one of ours without any custom settings as far as she's aware. I check previous logs, yep, no custom settings as far as I can see from our end either. Great.
"That's perfect. Now, if you look at the back of the modem. You know, where all the cables clip in? You should see a small little pin hole. You should be able to use a pen, maybe a paperclip or pin and what I want you to do is to push it into that hole and hold it in. The modem will reset in about 10 seconds."
There's something about her voice that has set me on edge. I have to double check.
Me: "Do you need me to go over it step by step with you?"
Cust: "No, I'm pretty sure I understand."
All of a sudden she's calm and a lot more confident. The hairs on the back of my neck start rising.
There's about a minute of silence then. I'm assuming she went off to find a pin or something small. But then comes the grunting. Now, let me just say that with the noises the woman was making I was going back to my original theory of panic attack and doing a little re-evaluation.
Me: "Hello? Can you hear me?"
I can hear the grunting in the background and if I wasn't worried before I'm worried now because it's being accompanied by a fairly noisy banging.
I'm calling out on the phone hoping that she can hear me and that she comes back. So far my brain is running away with itself and I'm now theorizing that she's actually giving birth to a robot.
As I'm sitting there with a confused and slightly scared look on my face I hear a male voice in the background. There is some raised voices and then some laughter.
The laughter made me feel a little better. But only a bit.
A few seconds later the phone is picked up by a man. The son of the woman in question that called in. He proceeds to explain that his mother, after being advised on a reset, wasn't able to find anything small enough and so decided she could hammer a philips screwdriver into it instead.
Proceed me to order a new modem.
Actual conversation when asking a set of remote hands to ID a router having some troubles:
"Okay sir, can you tell me if the light is blinking green or orange?"
"Sorry no, I cant"
"Okay, can you see the light?"
"Yes I can"
"Is it blinking?"
"Yep, it is blinking."
"Okay, is it green or orange?"
/me getting a little annoyed, "Okay, is there a reason why not?"
"Yes, I'm color blind."
I apologized and he laughed about it, and we got another co-worker to ID the switch in question.
I prioritize support based on how well I like the person I'm dealing with, but it goes a little further than that. If the person is nice, I'll get to them ASAP. If there one of the PITA (l)users who walk in with a chip on their shoulder or they're one of the ones who turns a simple problem (they forget to change their email password when it expired) to a major problem (OMG! email isn't working, IT broke it, this has gone on for way too long!) then they can sit.
At my old gig we had a lady born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Ok, it was plastic with a silver looking coating, but in her eyes the masses should step aside when she entered the room. After some downsizing she had to combine offices. One day I was in there helping the person she shared an office with and her Highness said "isn't it funny how I have a 21" monitor and she has that.....little thing?". I said that no, as users received what was shipped to them. On and on she went. The person I was helping said that this went on constantly. As I was leaving I noticed a hanging basket (plant) not too far from the 21". Hrmm. I was walking by one Friday and she her water her plant. After she left I went in, taped the ends of the power cord so current wouldn't flow. On Monday she called, said her monitor wasn't working. I went down, yup, it's dead. Gave her a 15". She was furious, even going to HR to complain and demand something new. A few months later she bailed and moved to Mexico with her lover, who drained her bank account and left her broke.
This was a call for TV tech support. Lady changed the input on her TV and of course never read the manual and has no idea what it means when it says "weak or no signal," on the TV. So I walk her through things. She's reading things off to me off the TV and the small print on the remote just fine, so that squelches any ideas that she is blind. We get the TV back to it's component input and then suddenly she asks, "How would I be able to tell if the power light on the the box is on?" I asked her to repeat thinking that she might just be messing up. She asks the same thing. I ask for a repeat once more and again, same exact question. I couldn't help but give the legit answer, "Well, if the light is on... it would be on."
I just... I don't know, anymore.
I was working for a company that did outsourced technical support for a large number of various clients, game companies, consumer software, pc hardware. This one client had some educational software on CD's that featured instructions and AVI's of how to knit and sew. I took a call from a nice older lady(from the sound of her voice) and she her problem was she could not get the videos to work. I asked her the usual questions( version of windows, specs, etc), and all seemed to check out.
Until I asked her to insert the CD into the computer.
HER: "I don't have anywhere to put that on my computer".
ME: "so describe to me exactly what you're doing"
HER: "Well, I don't use the computer at all. I just want to watch the videos. so I put the CD into my VCR to watch just the videos."
I’m not tech-support myself (I’m a number cruncher) but I got roped into making a spreadsheet when I first started here to cover the overtime periods that staff take off. I did it all and wrote a nice F.A.Q for it and it’s been 18 months since it was used. I occasionally get the odd question about it working but nothing serious [usually users copying the wrong information into cells]… until today…
NAME: Spanner SUBJECT: THE SPREADSHEET ISN’T WORKING! BODY: !!!!!!!!
Hmm… something clearly isn’t working with the sheet. I was on my lunch at the time but send an e-mail back asking for basic information that is wrong with the sheet itself. “It’s all blue and it doesn’t work!” was the response. Okay, bit odd, never seen it do that. I let the user know I was on lunch and I’d be down at one-ish. That is not acceptable for this person and I got a rather scathing e-mail as so… “If you were on lunch you shouldn’t have e-mailed back, get down here and fix it!” … right, okay… just to point out this lady is the same level as myself, infact she’s worked her for three months less than me. I ignored it and went down at 13:05, just after my lunch.
Me: “Hi, what appears to be the…” Her: “Where have you been?” Me: “Sorry? I’ve been on my lu…” Her: “You will be sorry, fix this” Me: sighs “Look do you want this fixed or not?” Her: “Of course” Me: “Let me have a look at your screen then”
Remaining polite the entire time is always good, but she then span the monitor round at such a speed that I was concerned the entire building was about to become a satellite in orbit of it. What do I see? An error? No. A BSOD? No. I see a highlighted spreadsheet… thus it being all blue.
Me: “So what’s wrong with this?” Her: “ITS BROKEN! ITS ALL BLUE!” Me: “Click on one of the cells for me”
clicks and screen is no longer blue Silence
Her: “Don’t look so smug, I fixed it for you…” Me: raised eyebrow “Yes of course” Walks back to desk
One of my clients is a large industrial supplier - pretty much the only respected manufacturer and distributor of its specific product in this country. I have spent the last month trying to get my head around an issue with the head engineer/draftsman's CAD laptop.
It all started when I was asked to upgrade the laptop to Windows 7 with AutoCAD 2012. So I did a full backup and upgrade. The engineer comes back to me, doesn't understand how to use the new software at all. Fair enough, not everyone's an expert. So we find the original disk and I install AutoCAD 2004 back on there. And then he tells me that his wife needs me to install this archaic piece of software, Microsoft Greetings.
I discover it's incompatable with Windows 7 and actually breaks the OS and stops it from booting if you try to install it. So I recover Windows. Then I install Windows XP Mode, and install Microsoft Greetings on it. Flash forward about a week. I get a phone call.
"Jamie! My computer's not working! Everything has just disappeared!"
Hmm.. strange. I take a look and sure enough all the software I installed is gone.
So I reinstall it all. I took an educated guess that the engineer had accidentally uninstalled AutoCAD because he told me he "installed" it when I had already done so.
A week later. Same problem again.
He brings his laptop into the factory and I have another look at it, it's all vanished. I open up System Restore to see if I can go back without having to reinstalll everything again. I see a few interesting restore points... specifically "Undo Restore" points. I realise that System Restore has run. I also see that in between each restore a "Critical Windows Update" has been applied.
So at this point, I'm stumped. I spend a day thinking about it, and come to the conclusion that this update must have a bug which causes this specfic software configuration to roll back to the last restore point.
So I decide to do a full reformat/reinstall and load the backup and software back on.
Then tonight I get a call. "Same problem again Jamie, this is getting ridiculous, it was working fine until you touched it blah blah blah". I disable System Restore using Group Policy Editor to make sure it can't happen again.
So I do it ALL again. We're all finished and I tell them "If it happens again I'm just going to call this laptop a goner and get you a new one. As a professional in this field, I am stumped."
About 15 minutes ago I got a call. "Jamie, my wife tells me she can't find system restore. She uses it every time she's finished on the computer for security."
I politely informed him that this was the issue, we said goodbye, I hung up, and I punched a wall.
thankfully i do not do tech support for users that forget username/passwords for windows log ins... but i do work for a company that has username and passwords for the online "my account" site...
EU: help i forgot my username and password!!!!!
ME: that's definitely frustrating, tell me, what happens when you click on the link that says "forgot username/password" right next to the the login button?
EU: .... uh.... i dunno i didn't think to click it....
[insert ten minutes of listening to the customer mutter and mouth breathe while answering security questions and checking email new password was sent to]
EU: i don't think this password worked, it's making me enter my own password twice and i didn't know it in the first place, your website is useless!!!
ME: it's asking you to create your new password.
EU: ok, i want it to be Snooki69
ME: i have no way to change your password, you need to type that in yourself where it is asking for a,password.
EU: well i am doing everything. why did i even need to call you!? bye!
...i die a little inside
the worst part is i do business support, so people like this are running businesses.
I've worked at this company for 7 years now and had to put my 2 years in on the help desk to get my foot in the door. In all that time this is probably the strangest issue I've had with an end user.
I received an email that simply said "EVERYTHING IS UPSIDE DOWN!" in the subject and nothing in the body. I found what branch the user worked at and called him. I was able to connect to his machine with VNC and everything looked fine to me. He told me that everything was flipped on his screen though. I explained I had to research the issue and call him back as I've never seen something like this before.
I did some research and found that computers with Intel video cards had a shortcut (ctrl + alt + up) that would rotate the screen 180º. I verified that the machine being used had an Intel video card. So I was proud of myself that I found the answer and called the branch back.
In the 10 minutes it took me to find the answer, the employee physically flipped the Dell CRT monitor and secured it with shipping tape to the desk so he could continue working. He said he went through 3 rolls of tape and refused to work with me to properly solve the problem.
I ended up waiting until the branch closed, remoted in, and changed it back. I didn't hear back from him but I imagine he had a fun time getting rid of all that tape and putting the monitor right-side up.
This is not a unique call when you work for a web host but it's not by any means common.
So we host a few thousand sites for a few thousand customers. Some of them host mail (like probably 60% or so). Some of these people use e-mail as their business's life blood (although basing your business model off of "we send spam" is not a good idea IMO).
I had a caller who was unable to get into his mailbox. Ok. Pretty standard call so far. So I check the account, pull up a list of mailboxes and ask "which mailbox is yours?"
So he tells me and I'm looking at the list (this was a small construction company with maybe 15 to 20 boxes). I ask him "could you spell the first part of that for me?" He was probably a little concerned because he had a fairly common name.
I looked at dates and recent account access and I tell him:
"Sir, that mailbox is not active. It looks like the last time you received mail was about two hours ago. I suggest you contact your employer to find out why they deleted your account."
Well he clearly had a voice of concern at that point. You might almost say he sounded like he was in fear for their life. He starts trying to rationalize. He asks who logged in (hell if I know, same IP that always logs in).
All signs point to someone intentionally deleting his mailbox.
When I hang up and wish him luck I reread the domain name. It sounds very Italian... Italian construction company... So I told a coworker and made a joke about cement shoes and "messing with the family".
I found out later this was not all that rare as most of my coworkers have had a similar call (someone calls in when they can't get mail, their account was deleted, all signs suggest they've been fired).
So, it was my freshman year of high school. I had already figured out the password for the local "Administrator" account on all the machines (I knew it in middle school, since all the teachers there knew it and didn't care who else did... it's just 00 + school code). Logging in as the restricted student account didn't play nice with mobile Firefox, and I refused to have anything to do with IE. So naturally, whenever I sat down at a machine to do something, I logged out and logged in as administrator.
What I didn't know was that all the machines were running Altiris, which presented the sysadmin with a list of all incidents of administrator login. He happened to be standing behind me the next time I logged in as administrator in the library. He calmly walked up behind me, tapped me, and asked, "how do you know that password"? Cue long "Firefox doesn't work with our security", "you shouldn't be logging in with that password", "how do you know that password anyway?"
I must have come across as intelligent, because eventually he said, "how would you like to help me as a TA (teacher assistant) next semester"? I said yes since it was the alternative to getting a suspension.
Little bit of backstory: I had to take a reading class my freshman year, which was a semester long. They put me in Guitar 1 for the second semester, since it was all they had open. I talked to my guidance counselor about it, and the only alternative was Ceramics and Pottery. Fine, I said, it's better than Guitar 1.
I was able to switch out Ceramics for TA the second semester. After I came onboard as an official assistant, I got my own administrator account, which I was able to use to fix teachers' computers.
The tech may come across as incompetent in my story, but he really knew what he was doing. Unfortunately, my district has some BS policy that you can't work longer than X years as the tech (wtf?), so he had to leave the next year. The guy who replaced him is a tennis coach, and I've gone back to using the administrator password all the time. No consequences.
TL;DR: I use an admin password and get a job, and taken out of pottery class.
Flash back 11 years ago.. I was a field engineer for a small Novell focused system integrator. I was asked to go out to a site to make sense of a ticket reported to be "the word server is down - word is broken for us all".
I arrived onsite and asked a user to show me what was wrong, sure enough it looked like the netware file server was down. I asked where the Server was and didn't get any response. They had no idea what I was asking. I called my boss who told me he didn't know as it was a new customer and we didn't set them up.
I figured all paths lead to rome and started to trace the Ethernet cables back to the source where I found the network hub but no server. I unplugged the desktops, then saw a single light was still on on the hub. I followed that cable around the office until it disappeared Into a cupboard under a sink. No one could find the key, so we ended up popping the flimsy lock and there she was!
No one knew that they had a server. The system was up, and had an uptime going into a few years from memory. Dodgy network card was swapped out and the word server was back. Needless to say we moved it, setup a backup routine etc etc. Novell netware was stable ill give it that!
I work in several different districts, and I cannot get a signal in several of the schools I go into. I once left a school, checked my messages, and found this gem:
"Hey, Jack. This is Joe. My antivirus software kept popping up a bunch of warnings. But I solved it myself....I just uninstalled the antivirus software and the warnings stopped. No need to rush. Just wanted to let you know. Bye."
I work at a helpdesk for a rather large nationwide organization.
Me: Alright sir, I need you to log off your machine. Do not shut down or restart. Go down and click "Start" and then click "Log off".
Him: Do you want me to shut down?
Me: No sir, you want to click "Log off".
Him: Alright, restart or shut down?
Me: Neither, sir. Click start, then click "Log off".
Him: Oh, ok.
several seconds pass
Him: Ok, it's shut down. Do you want me to turn it back on?
Me: ..... long sigh Sure, why not.
I work at a helpdesk for a rather large nationwide organization.
Me: What can I do for you ma'am?
Her: Yes, I just got an email telling me that they're upgrading my computer next Thursday. That date doesn't work for me. What are my options here and how can I go about getting that date changed?
Me: Well ma'am, in that same email, there is a list of instructions on how to change that date.
Her: Yeah, that's what I figured but I don't have time to read through it so I just decided to call you guys. So what are my options?
Me: Well, I don't have that list ma'am. That information isn't included in our documentation. You're left with two options: you can either read through that email and follow the instructions that were sent to you, or I can send a ticket down and have a desk-side technician explain your options. That will happen sometime in the next 48 hours.
Her: Ok, go ahead and send the ticket, I can wait.
Me: à² _à²