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  #1  
Old 12-17-2009, 10:30 AM
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Default For the IT Guys: Dumb user stories

Anyone who works in IT always builds up a list of "dumb user" stories. Let’s share:

-These are all from my own personal real life experience and are not fake or fabricated in any way-

E-mail down:
At my current company a few years ago we had an e-mail outage. I was walking past one of our graphics artist when he announced to me:

"Hey Sean, I just wanted to see if you got my e-mail that I sent you telling that the e-mail is down"


It appears it’s broken:
My home internet connection was down due to a routing issue on Time Warners network (routing loop). I have a 'business class' connection so I called the business support and explain to the tech the issue. So the tech listened and put me on hold so they could look into it. They kept coming off hold to ask me if I had internet connectivity. So finally about 15 minutes later tech support comes back, and sounded really proud of something and says:

"I figured out what your problem is! It appears that your internet connection is broken!"


It doesn't plug in:
A couple years back we had the carpets at work cleaned over the weekend so we unplugged all of the computers and placed them on top of the user’s desks. On Monday morning I arrive to work and find one user being helped by the company handyman and they tell me that the keyboard doesn't plug in. So I am thinking: it is a PS/2 connector (older system) it only fits in one way and it is fairly obvious which way it fits. So I am handed the keyboard and go to plug it in. So I look at the connector to make sure the plastic "key" is aligned properly and noticed that the key was broken off and all of the pins were bent nearly flat. Fearing the worst I looked at the back of the computer and the port was so damaged that it almost looked like someone took a file to it. Right then the handyman pipes up:

"I went to push it in and it didn't fit, so I thought it was a screw-on connector and pushed it hard while I turned it. But it just wouldn't screw on."

My response:
"This brings a whole new meaning to PEBKAC"


The fishies wanted to swim: (My favorite)
I used to be an outsourced Corporate Escalations Manager for HP. Basically it was my job to handle the support cases that no one else could handle or where the words "Lawsuit", "calling my lawyer", "attorney general" were brought up. Basically I worked with the absolutely most ripped off and ticked off customers (and some whiners who wanted every for nothing).

So I make a call back to a customer at an address that linked to an apartment in inner-city Philadelphia. So the woman I start talking with explains the situation. Keep in mind when reading her lines that she had a really thick accent and mostly used the "Ebonics" version of words, but I am using normal English words for readability:

Me: So describe the problem you are having?
Her: I am taking my mama to court over the cost of repairing my computer. I need to know how much it would cost to repair the computer.
Me: Well it depends on what is wrong with the computer. What type of repair is needed? (I should note that this is was regarding a desktop computer, not a laptop)
Her: Oh yeah I am taking her to court! So my daughter is going to school for adults and so my mama and I bought her this computer at the pawn shop. It just doesn't work.
Me: Did it work when you purchased it?
Her: Hell yeah it did! My daughter and I thought it was such a nice looking computer that maybe the fishies would like to swim around it.
Me: Ok, so what happened?
Her: We put the computer in the tank and now it don’t work. It took a month to dry it all out, but it still don’t work. So I am suing my mama for the cost of repair cause she won’t help pay for it!"
Me: I'm sorry this computer is completely ruined and beyond repair, you can't place computer in water. You are lucky no one was electrocuted. There really isn't much I can help you with it.
Her: My lord! We could have been electrocuted???? HP should warn people about this!


Ok, so now what are some of yours?
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2009, 11:38 AM
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shame on HP for not warning us about a computer in water!!!
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:53 AM
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Email Upgrade

At my last company we were upgrading from a POP/IMAP based infrastucture to Exchange 2000. We had started sending out emails 2 weeks prior to the migration. Starting 5 business days before the migration we sent out emails every day. The day of the migration comes and we post up flyers on all doors to / from the building and to/from stairs and to/from common areas stating that email will be down as per our notices for the next 48 hours or whatever our time frame was.

Our building had about 135 employees... I can't count on my hands and toes how many people came up to us while we were working to notify us that it looked like their Email was down and that they had no idea we were doing an email migration.

IT Email Isn't Important
This one happens the most with remote sales people. They call and complain on a day when we're doing some maintenance or fixing a system that's down. I ask if they received any of our notifications in email / blackberry, etc... They say "Well I never read the emails from you guys. Are they important?" This happens the most when we tell them how to connect to a new system that was recently migrated and probably 25-30% of the Sales force calls in the day of the cutover asking why their SFA system isn't working. When we ask if they received the settings in email some reply "I probably just deleted that one.."

None of the above surprises me... and I always let my staff know to expect it.. the less experienced folks are usually in disbelief at how many people pretty much don't read.

Documentation
Most of the time (when I'm being good) I publish or have my staff publish documentation on how to use new systems or systems people have common issues with. Like how to change passwords. I always love it when a new user receives their new hire paperwork (which includes how to change passwords, with screenshots) and then asks how to change their password. My usual response is, "Did you receive the 'How To Change Passwords' document in your new hire packet..." which is usually met with "Oh, those papers you gave me had information on them?" ... It's the classic Catch 22 with IT Documentation. If you don't create it then the 10-15% of people that will actually read it complain. When you do create it, there's still 85% of the user population that plain ignore its existence.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:12 PM
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Support request that 1 of my coworker received:

Ispilledcokeonmykeyboardandnowthespacebardoesn'two rkanymore.Help!
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:48 PM
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djbooya: Yeah that documentation curse. After months of dealing with multiple helpdesk tickets requesting that I do mail merges for people, I created a really nice power point presentation with step by step screen shots on how to create one (when migrating from Server 2003 to Server 2003 R2 in a virtualized environment I have more important (and frankly more fun things) things to work on than helping everyone with their mail merges, downside of being IT in a small business...) Just today one of the sales staff was hand typing a 75 record mail merge came up with a bunch of excuses why he didn't use a template.

Of course this same user also threw a fit when he left for a week vacation and he got locked out due to an expired password two days after he left and with no way to access the network even if I reset the password it wouldn't matter anyhow as his laptop would get updated. Also this is something I have well documented and provided direct training about. So I asked him why he ignored the 12 other prompts about changing his password. His response: "Well I just figured they didn't matter much, I usually don't reset my password until I get locked out anyhow"
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Old 12-17-2009, 1:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCasey View Post
djbooya: Yeah that documentation curse. After months of dealing with multiple helpdesk tickets requesting that I do mail merges for people, I created a really nice power point presentation with step by step screen shots on how to create one (when migrating from Server 2003 to Server 2003 R2 in a virtualized environment I have more important (and frankly more fun things) things to work on than helping everyone with their mail merges, downside of being IT in a small business...) Just today one of the sales staff was hand typing a 75 record mail merge came up with a bunch of excuses why he didn't use a template.

Of course this same user also threw a fit when he left for a week vacation and he got locked out due to an expired password two days after he left and with no way to access the network even if I reset the password it wouldn't matter anyhow as his laptop would get updated. Also this is something I have well documented and provided direct training about. So I asked him why he ignored the 12 other prompts about changing his password. His response: "Well I just figured they didn't matter much, I usually don't reset my password until I get locked out anyhow"
Password resets are the best. I have a custom notification system (since we don't have single sign on) that notifies people via email starting 14 days before their password expires. Then 7 through 1.. during the 7 through 1, in bright red letters it says "If you do not change your password you will be locked out and will need to contact IT to get your password reset"... every 90 days it happens to at least 1 person.. This is at my current company...and we only have 20 people... And it's roughly the same 4-5 people that seem to rotate forgetting to change their password until they get locked out... and then they are on the road at a client, about to do a demo, need to connect to VPN and it becomes a Priority 1 issue "HELP HELP HELP"....damn users....the same people that will walk by your desk, ask you to do one thing and then walk away assuming you will remember without a helpdesk request created. Why would they expect us to remember a hallway conversation about some issue they are having when they won't take accountability for receiving 8 fricken reminders to do something every 90 days..

lame...

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Old 12-17-2009, 1:30 PM
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When I used to work at a computer shop, some guy came in and said his computer crashed and he wanted me to get all his data off, he said that data wasn't that important, just as long as I got all his porn, and he said he had pictures of his wife and girlfriends and he works at a bar and got girls to flash him and he'd take pictures, he instructed me to not look at the porn but to back it up.

I didn't no what to say at first, just amazed by all this, then the manager heard what the guy said and told him that we can't back up his porn, especially pictures of girls who did not give permission for there pictures to be taken.

Then the customer said that he will never come to our store again and its the worst store ever and left all pissed off.
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Old 12-17-2009, 6:04 PM
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Tons of funny stories and horror stories. Probably my favorite story of all time is when we hired a new tech into the team. We had a network port device that would check for signal we all called the network sniffer. Basically would just check for a signal and various other things. I think it was his first day out on his own after shadowing a tech or two already for a few days.

He's all happy to go on his first call by himself. It's a network call so he takes the handheld network device and goes on his way. Shows up at the customers desk introduces himself as Joe Tech from IT and could he please get under her desk he needs to sniff her port.

Without missing a beat the lady at the desk replies "Well that's the best offer I've had all day." Guy turned beat red and couple barely finish checking the network connection. We all laughed our butts off when he told us.
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Old 12-18-2009, 9:01 AM
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I worked as a desktop support guy at a college I was going to once upon a time. I had a broken cupholder call, and I had plenty of people putting floppies in the zip drives. but nothing compared to this winner:

Some not-too-bright girl had typed up some essays for her classes. they were stored on two 3.5" floppies. Now, to her credit, she had managed to go to a computer in the lab that actually had a 3.5" floppy drive. However, she was in a hurry, and decided that inserting BOTH disks, at the same time, would speed things up...

When the two disks wouldn't fit nicely into the drive, she used a text book to hammer them in...
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Old 12-18-2009, 4:09 PM
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Probably fake but still funny.

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Old 12-18-2009, 10:01 PM
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I had a guy at work ask me for some help with Excel. Seems that he lost column A and couldn't find it. I figured he hid it by mistake, but when I went to take a look, I instructed him to scroll left - and voila, there was column A.

Turby
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:23 PM
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Probably fake but still funny.

you can't arrainge by penis!!
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:54 PM
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Boy oh boy, what a fun topic. In a previous life I worked at a BIOS company. I wanna leave actual company names unmentioned, let's say I worked for the Ribbon company; our competition was uhhhh Bird. My [sarcasm]favorite[/sarcasm] call was when a customer would call from "somewhere in the far east" (imagine heavy accent since there is no way to type it out) with: (yelling)Bird WORK, Ribbon no-work YOU FEEX NOW!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefcrash View Post
I worked as a desktop support guy at a college I was going to once upon a time. I had a broken cupholder call...
Broken Cupholder
For those that don't know - a broken cup holder call goes something like this:
Support:Hello, thanks for calling support
User:Hi, I need to get a replacement cup holder?
Support:A cup holder?
User:Yeah, I broke mine.
Support: Did you get this cup holder as an extra gift, or giveaway or something?
User: No, I mean the cup holder that is built in to my computer.
Support: I'm sorry, I'm not real clear on what you mean. Is this a desktop or portable computer? Could you describe the cupholder for me please?
User: It is a desktop computer. The cup holder is right there on the front. I push the button, the cup holder slides out from the front.

Any Key
Another classic is the Any Key. User calls to complain the computer is stuck. It is saying to hit Any Key to Continue but he can't find the Any Key on the keyboard.

Scuzzy BIOS
A barely knowledgeable user was trying to set up a multi-drive SCSI system at home. When it didn't work, he asked a friend for help. After a short amount of time the friend apparently told the user that the problem was with the BIOS on his SCSI adapter board. Of course, he misunderstood and then sent a nasty-gram fax to us to complain about how his friend has told him he bought a Scuzzy BIOS and wants it replaced ASAP with a clean one, sigh.


Dark Under There
Finally, one I was told by a Dell public tech support person. Lady calls in and says her computer won't work. Tech goes through typical Q&A, determines it is a desktop 'puter. Finally asks her to follow the cables out of the back of the computer, under the desk and to see if they are plugged into the outlet in the wall. She says she can't see the cables under the desk because it is so dark under there. Tech asks why she doesn't turn on some lights. She replies that she would but that the power to her house is out due to a bad storm. Tech nicely informs the lady to box her computer back up and to return it to where she bought it.... Because she is obviously too stupid to own a computer.
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Old 12-19-2009, 1:25 PM
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It's backup day today so I'm pissed off. Being the BOFH, however, does have it's advantages. I reassign null to be the tape device - it's so much more economical on my time as I don't have to keep getting up to change tapes every 5 minutes. And it speeds up backups too, so it can't be all bad can it? Of course not.

A user rings

"Do you know why the system is slow?" they ask

"It's probably something to do with..." I look up today's excuse ".. clock speed"

"Oh" (Not knowing what I'm talking about, they're satisfied) "Do you know when it will be fixed?"

"Fixed? There's 275 users on your machine, and one of them is you. Don't be so selfish - logout now and give someone else a chance!"

"But my research results are due in tommorrow and all I need is one page of Laser Print.."

"SURE YOU DO. Well; You just keep telling yourself that buddy!" I hang up.

You'd really think people would learn not to call..

The phone rings. It'll be him again, I know. That annoys me. I put on a gruff voice

"HELLO, SALARIES!"

"Oh, I'm sorry, I've got the wrong number"

"YEAH? Well what's your name buddy? Do you know WASTED phone calls cost money? DO YOU? I've got a good mind to subtract your wasted time, my wasted time, and the cost of this call from your weekly wages! IN FACT I WILL! By the time I've finished with you, YOU'LL OWE US money! WHAT'S YOUR NAME - AND DON'T LIE, WE'VE GOT CALLER ID!!"

I hear the phone drop and the sound of running feet - he's obviously going to try and get an alibi by being at the Dean's office. I look up his username and find his department. I ring the Dean's secretary.

"Hello?" she answers

"Hi, SIMON, B.O.F.H HERE, LISTEN, WHEN THAT GUY COMES RUNNING INTO YOUR OFFICE IN ABOUT 10 SECONDS, CAN YOU GIVE HIM A MESSAGE?"

"I think so..." she says

"TELL HIM `HE CAN RUN, BUT HE CAN'T HIDE'"

"Um. Ok"

"AND DON'T FORGET NOW, I WOULDN'T WANT TO HAVE TO TELL ANYONE ABOUT THAT FILE IN YOUR ACCOUNT WITH YOUR ANSWERS TO THE PURITY TEST IN IT..."

I hear her scrabbling at the terminal...

"DON'T BOTHER - I HAVE A COPY. BE A GOOD GIRL AND PASS THE MESSAGE ON.."

She sobs her assent and I hang up. And the worst thing is, I was just guessing about the purity test thing. I grab a quick copy anyway, it might make for some good late-night reading.

Meantime backups have finished in record time, 2.03 seconds. Modern technology is wonderful, isn't it?

Another user rings.

"I need more space" he says

"Well, why not move to Texas?" I ask

"No, on my account, stupid."

Stupid? Uh-Oh..

"I'm terribly sorry" I say, in a polite manner equal to that of Jimmy Stewart in a Weekend Family Matinee Feature "I didn't quite catch that. What was it that you said?"

I smell the fear coming down the line at me, but it's too late, he's a goner and he knows it.

"Um, I said what I wanted was more space on my account, *please*"

"Sure, hang on"

I hear him gasp his relief even though he'd covered the mouthpeice.

"There, you've got *plenty* of space now!"

"How much have I got?" he simps

Now this *REALLY* *PISSES* *ME* *OFF*! Not only do they want me to give them extra space, they want to check it, then correct me if I don't give them enough! They should be happy with what I give them *and that's it*!

Back into Jimmy Stewart mode.

"Well, let's see, you have 4 Meg available"

"Wow! Eight Meg in total, thanks!" he says, pleased with his bargaining power

"No" I interrupt, savouring this like a fine red at room temperature, with steak, extra rare, to follow; "4 Meg in total.."

"Huh? I'd used 4 Meg already, How could I have 4 Meg Available?"

I say nothing. It'll come to him.

"aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggh hhhhH!"

I kill me; I really do!
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Old 12-19-2009, 1:34 PM
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I'm sitting at the desk, playing x-tank, when some thoughtless bastard rings me on the phone. I pick it up.

"Hello?" I say.

"Who is this?" they say

"It's me I think" I say, having successfully attended a telephone skills course

"Me Who?"

"Is this like a knock knock joke?" I say, trying anything to save myself

having to end this game.

Too LATE! I get killed.

Now I'm pissed!

"What can I do for you?" I ask pleasantly - (one of the key warning signs)

"Um, I want to know if we have a particular software package.."

"Which package is that?"

"Uh, B-A-S-I-C it's called."

*clickety clickety d-e-l b-a-s-i-c.e-x-e*

"Um no, we don't have that. We used to though.."

"oh. Oh well, the other thing I wanted to know was, could the contents of my account be copied to tape to I have a permanent copy of them to save at home in case the worst happens.."

"The worst?"

"Well, like they get deleted or something..."

"DELETED! Oh, don't worry about that, we have backups!" (I'm such a ******) "What was your username?"

He gives me his lusername. (What an idiot)

*clickety clikc*

"But you haven't got any files in your account!" I say, mock surprise leaping from my vocal chords.

"Yes I have, you must be looking in the wrong place!"

So first he spoils my x-tank game, and *now* he's calling me a liar...

*clickety click*

"Oh no, I made a mistake" I say

Did he mutter "typical" under his breath??!? Oh dear, oh dear..

"I MEANT TO SAY: That USERNAME doesn't exist"

"Huh? >wimper< It must do, I was only using it this morning!"

"Ah well, that'll be the problem, there was a virus in our system this morning, the... uh... DE VINCI Virus, wipes out users who are logged in when it goes off."

"That can't be right, my girlfriend was logged in, and I'm in her account now!"

"Which one was that?"

He tells me the username. Some people NEVER learn..

"Oh, yeah, her account was just after we discovered the virus." *clickety clikc* "..she only lost all her files"

"But..."

"But don't worry, we've got them all on tape"

"Oh, thank goodness!!!"

"Paper tape. Have you got a magnifying glass and a pencil? SEE YOU IN THE MACHINE ROOM!!!! NYAHAHAHAHAHA!"

I'm such a *****!
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Old 12-19-2009, 1:34 PM
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It's a thursday, and I'm in a good mood. It's payday. I think I'll take some calls. I put the phone back on the hook. It rings.

"I've been trying to get you for hours!" the voice at the other end screams

"Not, it can't be hours" I say, putting "Blade Runner" back into it's cover and looking at the back, "it was more like 114 minutes. I was on a long phone call with the big boss, trying to get you users some better facilities"

Hook; Line; and Sinker...

"Oh. I'm sorry."

"That's ok, I'm a tolerant person" I make a mental note to change his password to something nasty in the next couple of days.

"Um, I need to know how to rename a file" he says.

Oh dear... Hang on, it's payday isn't it?! I'm in a good mood.

"Sure. You just go 'rm' and the filename"

"Thanks"

"No worries" (Now I'm in a REALLY good mood. I think I just might write that script to make saving impossible on rogue at random times like I've been think- ing about)

The phone rings again.

"Hello?"

"Hi there" I say

"Is this the Operators?"

"Yes it is" I say, nice as pie

"Could you get my printouts out please. I need them urgently, and I printed them over 5 minutes ago"

"Your username?" I ask

He gives it to me, and I write it down for later. "No worries at all!" I say, and head to the printers.

There's a HUUUUUUUGE pile of printouts there, and sure enough, his is at the top of the pile. I pick it up, split it out of the rest and pour our ink- stained cleaning alcohol all over it, run it over a couple of times with the loaded tape trolley then slam it in the tape safe door some times as well.

Beautiful.

"Here's your printout" I say "Sorry about the delay, we've got a few printer problems."

He takes a look and ****s himself.

"Well, can I print it again?" he asks, worried

"Sure you can" I say "But no promises, the printer's a bit stuffed today"

"Well can I print it on laser - is that working?"

"Yeah of course, but that'll cost you" I say, oozing compassion for the geek

"It doesn't matter about the cost, THIS IS URGENT!"

I slide-on back into the printer room and put in the toner cartridge we save for special occasions - the one that prints thick black lines down the middle of the page and is all faint on one side. It took me quite a while to make it like that too. The printout shoots through and I bring it out immediately - I don't want to miss this!

"W-w-what's happened to my printout?" the geek squeals at me.

Lucky I wrote that username down - I'm really starting to develop a taste for torture.

"Well nothing. I mean sure, it's a little soiled, but that cartridge has already done 47 thousand pages and been refilled 17 times. It's quite good compared to some we get"

Geek pays up and starts blubbing.

"Hey now. There's no reason to cry! Have you got a disk with your work on it?"

He gives me a box of diskettes and I step inside and run them across the bulk eraser. I come back out again.

"Sorry, I just remembered, our machine is on the fritz, you'll have to take these to the other side of campus to the machine there, it'll print them ok, and it had a brand-new toner yesterday."

"GREAT!"

"No worries. Oh, and hold the disks above your head the whole way there, the arth's magnetic field is particularly strong today."

"Huh?"

"No arguements, just do it."

He wanders off, hand held high. ****, I hate myself sometimes!
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Old 12-20-2009, 9:42 AM
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jnojr jnojr is offline
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