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.
Read Full Tale
Week before last I had a ticket for a printer. The incident description was along the lines of "The blade on the fuser is broken, please help." I get up there, and I quickly realize that I had just put a brand new fuser in this printer a couple weeks ago because the old one was causing paper jams every time it tried to print legal sized pages. I open it up, and the fuser is in four pieces - It was pretty obvious to me that the paper had jammed again and someone got the bright idea to pull on the flimsy black plastic flap to try and release the page. Not only that but there were two smaller pieces that obviously held it on. So instead of someone trying the two large obvious blue handles on the sides of the fuser, they thought they would pull on this flimsy black flap. Gotta tell you, I'd rather have 100 tickets for a paper jam that 1 broken fuser anyday. Sent off a work order for a new fuser, noting the client damage. What's worse, is it usually takes 3-4 weeks before they send me a new one (red tape, I have no idea) so this heavily used network printer will be down for another month.
I also have one fellow who has created tickets for me vicariously through other people. This gentleman sits somewhere on the top floor of the building and has a supply of old beat-up keyboards that he gives out to people who want a new keyboard. At least twice I've had a ticket come to me for a new keyboard, then I get up there with a brand new one tucked under my arm to have them say "Oh it's okay, I got a new one already." Alright, whatever, close the ticket. Then a few minutes later they realize several keys don't work and call me back up again. I've tracked this guy down, and offered to take the old beat-up keyboards off his hands, but he wants them 'just-in-case'. :/
user: I am having trouble accessing content on the site
support: What URL are you using to access the site?
support: My apologies for the lack of clarity. A "URL" is a websites address, as seen in the address bar at the top of the browser. - What URL are you using?
user: Internet Explorer 9
I help out at my hubby's computer shop, and one day one of the guys that works there went to check the phone message (it is a relatively smallish business we have one line in and a message service for other calls while you are on the phone) he went white and started freaking out, I asked him what was wrong, and he played me the message. "Fred*, call me before I kill myself" and then she hung up. No name or phone number or anything. Fortunately, hubby recognised the voice and was able to call her back. It was kinda freaky for a bit though as we went through some of the situations behind what we just heard.
12:59pm: The calm before the storm
1:00: (Remote user) "My VPN connection is down"
1:03: (Receptionist) "The IP phones are cutting in and out"
1:05: (Dev Team) "Bandwidth is tighter than a schoolgirl what the fuck is going on"
1:06: (Me) Deep Breath here we go
I call our ISP to find out they shut down our circuit because over 5000 broadcast packets/second were coming from our external IP.
Log into the firewall and watch the traffic fly by...Normally, the scrolling log would be unreadable, but today I could see a megashitton of broadcast traffic coming from 192.168.1.156.
ping -a 192.168.1.156
pinging client6 [192.168.1.156]
(me) ...who the fuck is client6
I know the 1.0 network is the dev team, so at least i have a place to start. I walk over to the dimly lit programming room and...
(me) "...who the fuck is client6?"
(dev team) all point fingers to 'steve' in the corner "oooooooohhhhhh you're in trouuuuuuubllllleeee!"
(me) "what's going on steve?"
(steve) "uhhhh i'm downloading music"
Steve shows me client 6, a virtual machine that he's created to download torrents. He shuts it off and traffic flows again. As you can imagine his uTorrent was quite active during this time.
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.
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.
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.
This is going back probably 7 or 8 years (I'm 23 now and been working 5 years in my company's IT dept)... but it was kind of my moment when I knew IT/tech support was my "thing".
Two of my friend's that lived a few hours away from me where driving to my town to have a LAN with me and some other friends.
When they arrive, Friend 1 was complaining about his laptop: the entire 2 hour trip he was trying to watch a movie but the frame rate was so slow it was useless... and the laptop itself is slow as anything (though, it was an Acer!)
I said I would happily take a look at it for him, curious as to what might be causing it.
At this point, Friend 2 who was travelling with Friend 1 (who is 5 years older than me and worked in IT at the time) jumps into the conversation an mentions that he found the CPU is running between 90-100% and most like causing the problem.
But here is where it got funny... Friend 2's troubleshooting went as far as: "Oh, the CPU is running flat out because there is probably a faulty transistor in the CPU"... his EXACT words, never forgotten them.
At this point I'm thinking "is this guy serious?"... so I open up task manager, sort by CPU usage and sure enough... a process is sitting at 99% CPU usage. After a quick search on the hard drive for the process name, I found it was a Norton Anti Virus updater process... so I just kill the process off and the CPU is now idling again.
I then re-open the video file to test it... it plays back beautiful and smooth again!
Friend 1 was gob-smacked and gave me a hug on the spot! He was stoked he didn't have to send his laptop away for repair!(we then proceeded to un-install Norton Anti Virus and replaced it with something else).
I remember seeing the look on Friend 2's face... I had fixed the problem within 5 minutes after he had diagnosed a dumb hardware fault.
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.
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.
I don't work in IT, I'm just a 9th grade student who wants to work in IT.
I walked into 1st period this morning and it went a little bit like this:
Teacher: Hovertac, my laptop won't turn on! I left it charging for 2 periods yesterday and the battery was only 20% afterwards.
Me Thinking: Hmm, maybe her battery has some problem with holding a charge.
I go over to press the power button to see what happens, nothing. It's dead. Then I look over on the front and see the charge light is on, so I figured it is charging, but then I unplugged the charger and the light was still on. At this point I think something's wrong with the motherboard itself and I'm going to have to pass it on to the school's IT. Then I flip it over to find out that the battery isn't locked in place. I flicked the switch to lock it in and it booted up normally.
Teacher: Oh my god, thank you so much! (insert more thank yous here)
A few minutes later the school's IT walked in, I assumed she contacted him before hand and she tells him I fixed it already.
And that's how I got extra credit. :3
TL;DR: Laptop won't turn on, charge light on, battery not locked into place. Lock into place, turns on.
So yeah, simple problem, but it was nice to be praised like that for fixing it, and to get the attention of my school's IT guy.
Background: I don't work tech support (but admire those of you who do) but I do work on the business side of a software company where I frequently need to do basic troubleshooting and tech support for my clients and I act as the resident Microsoft Office guru. I get along really well with our Help Desk and we commiserate about our fellow co-workers and their inability to do some pretty simple things.
Story: I was at a client site this week with one of the loaner laptops and an internet stick so that I could RDP to my desktop at the office. I had tested the connection before leaving the office the previous day to make sure that everything was working. As I'm talking to the clients, I'm trying to connect to show them something I had been working on and I keep getting an error that the computer isn't on the network.
During a break I called the Help Desk and explained the problem and they had no problems accessing my computer so we moved onto other possibilities. I played with the internet stick and nothing. After about five minutes on the phone trying to sort this out, it struck me that I'm a complete idiot.
Me: "I owe you Timbits*."
Help Desk: "Why?"
Me: "Well, I'm thinking it would probably help if I opened up the VPN connection."
Help Desk: "A 20 pack works"
Me: "Roger that"
And this is why I'm always nice to my Help Desk peoples. Sometimes, even those of us who have a good foundation of technical knowledge aren't immune to Monday mornings.
*Timbits are donut holes from a Canadian coffee chain.
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'm a developer, I honestly don't know how you guys manage to deal with users without going batshit insane. One day I helped out with a support call as a favour.
We have a swipe in/out system for people entering/exiting one of our rooms(done via swipe card on a black box,with a dedicated machine at the entry and exit door, both doors are manned). This provides data on users attendance / time in the room for people who care about that kind of shizz.
Someone who was interrogating a DB of all the entries and exits to our building complained there were no "exits".
Looked at the DB, nothing wrong there. Booted up a VM with the security system on it. It worked, so, not the software, not the DB.
Pinged the box that the exit machine runs on. Timed out. Oh.
Called the exit desk and they said nothing was wrong. I wandered on down there and had a look.
Me:-"Hiya. Just wondering why the exit machine isn't on?"
Fuckwit:- "Duh... I was hot"
The fuckwitted user had pulled the machine out at the plug, and had plugged a desk fan in.
Me:- "So you decided to unplug a computer that runs security stats?"
Fuckwit:- "Um...Yeah, the desk fan needed a plug. I was hot. What part of that can't you understand? mumbles "Fucking geeks"
At this stage I'm not pleased.
Me:- "I couldn't give a THUNDERING FUCK even if your skin was peeling away. Don't rip computer plugs out of the wall!"
Fuckwit:- "Nobody said not to"
Me:- "What the fuck? Are you 5? No-one's told you you shouldn't use a meat tenderiser to try to self circumcise, but do you do that? No. You exercise your common sense. Don't unplug this. I have a program that will tell me if you do (bullshit, but still). Get a cord extension for your fan you mouth breathing evolutionary cul-de-sac"
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I was pulled up in front of HR for being mean to the rather silly man. (no case to answer, in case you're wondering).
TL;DR Dickwad pulls PC plug out to use a desk fan. I was sarcastic to him and almost got in trouble.
Okay so I'm not tech support (not even close, although if anyone in the family has a computer issue I'm the one they talk to first) but this just sets a fire in my blood that makes me want to murder someone.
Basically, my mom switched emails in the last ~2 years when we moved to a new ISP. Her old email account was through our old ISP, and so her access to that account terminated when she moved to our new ISP, and she has a new account with them. Her antivirus coverage (which is through - ugh - Norton) didn't automatically transfer, of course, which is to be expected. No biggie.
So she goes to show me this email FWD today which I told her looked very suspicious and advised her to run a virus scan. When she went to go run said virus scan, she couldn't access the account because it was under her old email address and she didn't remember the password. Turns out she hasn't actively run a scan (only the background scan that runs automatically at 3 AM) since we switched ISPs. Since she can't access her old email account and that's how they get her password info to her, she thought the logical decision would be to change her email address associated with the account, which she did.
Then she logs in to Norton and it says she has 0 active days, when it should say she has 120 active days.
So anyway, she gets ahold of Norton customer support online who basically tells her that she's SOL, shouldn't have changed the email and can't reset her password, even though she knows all of the info associated with the account up to and including the credit card number. My mom asked if there were any solutions and he basically told her he could use the new email account and have her buy another time period, and have the old account (which, unbeknownst to her, was set to autorenew every year) deactivated and lapse. My mom told him that that was unacceptable and basically told him she'd be terminating service with them if that was the only option.
At this point I jumped in and mentioned to her that there were lots and lots of better, free software that would protect her just as well and probably better than Norton. My mom responded by saying that she "likes" Norton and doesn't want to move away from them, and had asked the guy if there were any other options available for her.
When confronted with the possibilty of losing a customer, he came back with (pharaphrased of course) "actually haha I'll just transfer those 120 days you had left of your anti virus protection over to your new email address, just need your credit card info again for the autorenewal", which my mother was much more pleased with, until he mentioned to her that she would have to purchase a full, new year of time on the new account in order for the 120 days to be transferred over.
After much hemming and hawing and quite a lot of protestation from me, my mom agreed and - as a bonus from Norton - he gave her (gasp) a whole 21 days of free coverage.
I can't decide what infuriates me more, my mom's refusal to believe either that a) an email she got from a friend might contain a virus (I initially had to show her that my own antivirus flagged it as suspicious before she would believe me), or b) that I'm not trying to scam her or some ridiculous bullshit, or c) the overall disgust for Norton customer service that I have right now. I hate that my mom is paying for this program and the best they can do for her is "well, our system is kind of skewed so that there is only one single way to retrieve your password, so if you don't have access to that way then you need to give us more money."
Guh, I'm sorry, this probably doesn't belong here and again, I'm really not techsavvy and this is REALLY FUCKING LONG but sitting through that was painful.
tl;dr my mom is computer illiterate and Norton sucks the devil's dick for kicks.
Just had an IBM employee on the phone complaining (CSR).
ME: Good day, this is Derpiter from Hurpy-Durpy Support.
IBM: I didn't receive any email with my support password!!!
ME: Erm, Ok... no problem, please go to our support page.
IBM: I am on the support page.
ME: ok, when you try to log in, you will probably see a button called "Reset my Password"
IBM: yes I see it.
[20 seconds breaktime]
IBM: should I press it??
ME: Yes you should.
IBM: Now i have a window with: "Username: " and a button "Reset Password". Should I press it??
ME: Yes you should rolls eyes
IBM: But I receive an error message saying "You didn't enter your Username"!!!
ME: Well you should first enter your Username, which is your email address and then press the button...
IBM: Aha ok.....
[another 20 sec break]
IBM: I received an email! "click this link to change your password". Should I click it? Normal click or double click?
ME: i'm pretty sure one click will be enough.
IBM: Aha ok... thanks. Will let you know if I need anything else.
TD;DR: IBM engineer prolly earning double what I get doesn't even know how to open weblinks on an email
Many years ago I was working for CEX. Nowadays this shop is all about games and DVD's but back then they did serious business in computer components, if you wanted to upgrade your 800Mhz CPU to 1.4Ghz then part exchanging at CEX was a pretty good choice. We would test all the hardware people would sell to and also test anything customers returned to see if refund was justified. What we didn't do is any kind of PC service or repair but we were on the high street with all our test benches visible behind the counter customers would assume we did and bring us stuff all the time. We would often help out but accepting any payment was not allowed.
One day I'm stood behind the counter and this guy flops out a Toshiba laptop next to me and is talking to one of my colleagues Ben. Seems his sound isn't working. Ben's gone through all the obvious stuff, it's turned on in the BIOS, drivers are loaded, not muted, everything looks right except no sound through internal speakers or when plugging into headphone jack. Apparently it had been working a few days prior, so Ben's telling him that if windows mixer is showing activity then something gone pop inside and there is nothing can be be done. He starts shutting down windows and turns to me to ask if he's missed anything.
At this point I realise what has happened as I've seen the issue before. These laptops have a hardware mute feature that is controlled by the function key. Function F4 activates it which is easily hit instead of ALT F4. On most laptops these functions keys make sound hardware show as disabled in the BIOS or just trigger windows mute function. This one just mutes with no indication what has happened.
I grab the laptop and with my left hand discretely hit the key combo which works even though windows is almost shut down as it talk directly to laptop hardware. With my other hand I close the laptop lid and leave my hand firmly on top of the laptop and start doing some shamen chanting and shaking my body about finishing with a loud "uurg", I then tell the guy I've fixed it. He just stares at me but I tell Ben to fire the laptop back up. The customer sighs as it goes through the boot process again but then the Windows 98 "ta da" sound comes loudly out of the speakers and his jaw hits the floor.
He tries to pay me for the fix but I tell him we don't do repairs and can't accept payments. He asks me how I fixed it and I tell him he saw how I did it.
I later told Ben what I did who annoyingly told the customer when he turned up a few days later.
TLDNR Used a function key combo to unmute sound on laptop, but made it seem like magic.
A customer called my store today telling me about the desktop he had purchased from my store just over a year ago.
He starts telling me how his monitor takes 20 minutes to turn on when ever he starts the machine. I start going over the general troubleshooting questions: have you tried another cable, another monitor, another wall outlet. He says he has, and I am leaning toward it being a faulty graphics card, which leads me to my next question.
Does it have a dedicated graphics card or is it using onboard video?
He asks how he can tell, so I point him to the back of the machine and tell him what to look for. A horizontal strip with one or two plugs, either blue or white, on the lower half of the machine.
He tells me that yes, there is a card there and there is a white cable running to the monitor from it. Then he pauses and mentions the blue plug further up the back that also has a cable running to the monitor.
So now it is a apparent that he has both the dedicated GPU and the onboard video simultaneously plugged in to his monitor. I mention that this might be the problem and that he should unhook the blue one and boot up.
He says something to the effect of "That was painfully simple. If this fixes it I'm going to smack myself in the head".
Next thing out of his mouth was, "Welp, while you're still here..."
And hung up.
If only I could get more customers with dumb questions to hit themselves...
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.
Received this today. Not real sure how to reply.
I am looking for some help. I recently bought a SanDisk Ultra Solid State Drive. The box says it is a 2.5" drive. Do you know how many gigabytes are in 2.5"? I don't know the conversion rate. Or I can weigh it if you know how much a gigabyte weighs.
Thank you Kevin GOD BLESS Please do not print this
I worked at Circuit City for the better part of 3 years, 2 of which were spent on the "FireDog" tech bench, where we often served the bizarre and just all around cooky customers of a North Carolina market.
We had a few interesting cases, here are just a few of the ones that made me go what in the hell are you doing?
1)I was off helping a customer purchase a computer as we often had to do when the store was busy. A colleague of mine, who I later went to Afghanistan with as a private contractor, was at the bench ringing someone up for a wireless router or some other smaller piece of tech. The guy walks up and asks her if we fix computers, which we obviously do, she quotes him our prices and agrees to. He then proceeds to place a food lion bag with a laptop and power supply in it on the counter. A bit puzzled my coworker decides not to bring up the oddity of bringing in a laptop in a plastic bag, she puts the computer behind the counter on our island that we worked on and locks it down within our laptop security bars. I get over there and instantly smell something wrong with the whole situation as the tech bench area now has a foul stench around it. We decide not to proceed with troubleshooting until the customer has confirmed what he thinks may have happened. My boss gives the guy a call and asks that all important question "What has happened in the past 48 hours that would cause your computer to not boot?" The gentleman responds with "Well my buddies and I got really really drunk last night and I think one of my friends may have pissed on it."
At this point another tech has arrived and is starting to fiddle with it a bit, my manager comes running out of the back of the store and about tackles the other tech away from the laptop, after they stand up he proceeds to inform us of the conversation he had with the customer at which point the other technician begins to vomit. We ended up not refunding the guys money and simply telling him to buy a new computer.
TL;DR Guy brings in laptop for service, informs us after he's left the store he thinks a friend pissed on it while drunk.
2) I saw a story similar to this one a few days, maybe a week ago but thought I would share anyways. A friend of mine, we'll call him Herp, worked on the Tech Bench with me, we often made house calls for those users who just didn't want to cart their computers all the way to the store. He was setup with a call from a gentlemen who appeared to be in his mid 20's, but not very tech savvy.
Upon arrival to the customers home Herp walked in and instantly noticed this guy had a rather strange amount of cats (something that strikes me at odd in that age bracket). Herp proceeded to do the normal troubleshooting steps we take then noticed that the front of the case was "dusty" he proceeded to blow it off with canned air. The "dust" wouldn't move so he took his hand, licked his thumb and proceeded to clean the front of the computer off, licking his thumb a few times here and there to get some other spots on the computer. He then proceeds to troubleshoot some more and figures out the guys power strip is bad, replaces it with a new one and gets the guy to pay.
On the way back to the store he gets a call from the guy, advising him that he thought the "lick and wipe" technique was a bit grotesque and advised him to stop and get some mouth wash, then he hung up the phone. A bit alarmed my buddy Herp calls me up and asks what the guy could have meant, between fits of tears and laughter I inform Herp that he just licked the guys dried up cum and should probably go to the store and buy some mouth wash, a toothbrush, and mints at the very least. He never lived that down, not until the store closed did he escape that story.
TL;DR Tech friend I worked with ended up inadvertently "licking" a guys dried up cum off the front of his desktop.
As I recall more i'll edit/update these and trust me, there are more, i'm just at work right now and it's not easy to type this much up and not get "stern looks".
So we've been rolling out a new network for operations for the past year or so (yes, it's a government job, and it hasn't really been a high priority).
I found out today that the big boss of the place who will primarily use this network (boss of about 5,000 people) was advised by his CIO that we should use the same default passwords for every user on this (classified) network and not allow them to change the passwords. Reason being, multiple users sometimes use the same desk/job manning the desk 24/7, and if the computer gets locked, they cannot afford to reboot.
facepalm On the plus side, the CIO will not be working there much longer...
Being in Tech support you never really think that you're going to make a huge impact in someones life. Not like being a doctor or the police. But its amazing how far giving a bit of advice could go!
A year or so ago, someone on Facebook pinged me asking for help on something. This is someone who never talks to me, and is a friend of a friend, knows me a bit. Suddenly they're all "Ahh hi mate!! You know something about computers, can i ask you something!?"
Anyway this person had split up with her ex not so long ago, and he had been using her credit card online to buy stuff. He'd bought an external hard drive, but it was one with built in encryption and stuff. I can't remember the make now. But it when I looked it up, it was the best of the best when it comes to securing your data, with various levels of encryption and password protection.
She was just asking me why the drive was so expensive. So I was explaining to her about the encryption. Then she was asking, why would he be needing all that encryption? So I simply said, either he's OCD about his security, or he has something sinister to hide.
Anyway I didn't think any more of it. Until she pinged me last week, and said. I need to thank you. I did some digging based on what you said, and I found out he was a paedophile. She asked her daughter some questions about him and it seemed that this guy had been at her. She went to the cops and they took his computer and uncovered a tonne of stuff downloaded. And now they've locked him up for it all.
So I was quite taken aback by that one! I was kinda meaning it in a bit of an off the cuff remark about hiding something. But she obviously had some suspicion and when I confirmed that this drive was the best of the best for hiding stuff, it gave her what she needed to start investigating this guy further.
I'm quite happy with myself over that one as you can imagine.
Basically it tells us that the Tech support we give might go further than you think!
TL;DR Told a girl that her ex's new HD was the best for encryption. From that she realised he was a peado, got him charged and put away.
A few years ago I was building an e-commerce website for a London-based company. The schedule was pretty hectic, but we pulled some all-nighters and got the shipment out in time for initial review.
After the review, the client CEO sends emails to me, my line manager and our CEO stating that we have hacked his website and intentionally added profanity and filth to the system. I was hauled down to explain our actions.
After calming the guys down to a conversational level, he showed me the "evidence" where, when the CEO enters information in the product search text box, it comes up with suggestions such as "inter-racial gang bang" when looking for "inter...". I calmly explained that the search box was named the same as that of Google's and that his search history was showing in the results.
The complaint was dropped without apologies or explanations.