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This is a question IT Support

Our IT support guy has been in the job since 1979, and never misses an opportunity to pick up a mouse and say "Hello computer" into it, Star Trek-style. Tell us your tales from the IT support cupboard, either from within or without.

(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 12:45)
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This question is now closed.

Kind of IT support-ish...
Overheard in PC World at Heathrow Terminal 5 two weeks ago:

German-sounding customer pointing at iMac: Excuse me, is the monitor included with this price?

PC World "technician": Ummmmmmmmmm..... I'm not sure. I'll just have to check with someone.

(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:31, Reply)
A little work based relaxation
Back in the mists of time (about 4 or 5 years ago) I worked in the IT department for a failing healthcare company. My team 'leader' was a fat foolish man who only occasionally came into the office. I didn't really care for the job and I was only there as it was close to home and easy, and I guess I was just lazy.

For example:

* Tired? Go into the server room and fall asleep behind a rack of servers. Mmmm warm.

* Bored? Time to go to the unused office with the contractor and play football with a large roll of tissue paper, or frisbee CD's about the place.

* Angry at the failure of a boss? Again with the frisbee CD's only with a bit more thrust.

* Simply can't be arsed? Go to lunch 5 minutes after the boss and saunter in about an hour and 45 minutes later, claiming you went just before he got back.

Upgrade time! Sending malicious packets to the file server to make it crash, which usually resulted in one of the above, plus putting a request in to the IT director for spanky new hardware with all the extras. It arrived a week later. Result!
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:30, Reply)
I'm not sure - does this count as IT?
Yesterday I had to call a bod at Tesco Mobile to find out why I hadn't been able to top up my phone in America.

He tried to make me believe that my bank wasn't able to receive the transaction request because I was, and I quote, "too far away".

This man may not have been an IT bod, but in some way he is licenced to give technical information and advice to customers. And we're talking about the sort of chavs that use Tesco Mobile (myself not included obviously, as I am the exception that proves the rule).

Also, my last phone was a clam-shell. It was really god for doing old Star Trek communicator thing impressions. Not that I ever did that.

(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:29, 5 replies)
Fowarded email
A client once wanted to forward me an email she had received.

So she printed off the email, scanned it and attached the document in a new email which she then sent to me.

A process, bizzarly, more complicated and technically demanding than locating the 'Forward' button in Outlook.
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:29, 2 replies)
We used to have an IT guys in the office called Mohammed who was a nice enough chap, but it gradually because clear he had a unique approach to IT Support, and indeed life, and was possibly a little bit barking.

His approach to most problems was the traditional 'turn it off and on again', but when that didn't work, rather than try anything else, he'd normally just say 'OK, we'll just get you a new PC.' No attempt to sort the problem out - he just told you to save anything you wanted to keep on tan external drive then sent someone down with a new drive.

I asked him about this after getting through two new PCs in twelve months, and he just said 'most of the time, these problems don't go away - they just recur. I reckon for the amount it costs us in effort and time to sort it out, you might as well just have a new PC.' OK. not sure how the Finance Director would have felt about this....

Anyway, the true oddness only developed gradually.

It began to become clear that Mo wouldn't answer the phones and would only respond to certain people. If someone he didn't like phoned him, he'd just forward them to another IT guy. This annoyed the other IT guys, as Mo had decided he liked about 20 people out of 300 in the company. I was one of them, and when I phoned him he'd still not answer, but he would turn up at my desk with a cuppa for a long chat (whether or not we touched on my IT problem or not was entirely unpredictable, and I'd often just have to ring someone else afterwards anyway). Also, if he lost interest in a conversation, he'd just walk off mid-sentence, which was a tad un-nerving.

I gradually noticed during our chats that Mo was getting scruffier and a little smelly. I found out after a while that this was because he was living in the office, sleeping on the floor in the IT room in a sleeping bag each night. 'It's a bit inconvenient, yeah, but the savings you make on rent are amazing!'.

Then, one day, I went to phone him, and a different name came up on the phone -I think it might have been 'Mike Fish' - it was definitely Fish as surname:

'Oh, sorry, I was after Mo'
'Oh, hi Snowy, it's me.'
'Oh - it says Mike on my phone'
'Yeah - I got fed up of being Asian so I'm Mike Fish from now on.
'Do you like it?'
'Ermm.. suppose so.'

He left the company soon after. Officially, it was apparently voluntary - nothing to do with him not doing any work for the last 6 months and gradually going off his rocker in full view of everyone in the office. Don't know what really happened as I've never heard from him since.

Apparently though, on his last day, he stole the 'mascots' and cuddly toys from everyone in IT's desks and took them to the pub for a drink, where they later needed to be 'liberated' from a drunk Mo/Mike by the Head of IT.

I quite miss him.
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:27, 3 replies)
Oh god....
I've been on the sick for 6 months, and am being re-trained in work next week to re-join our IT Support team.

Those poor poor fuckers, I'll be spending most of my training time trying to find a decent proxy to get to b3ta rather than learning :D
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:27, 3 replies)
I expect to see this many times

I've seen it in printed out in both our site's IT departments.

Courtesy of XKCD
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:24, 7 replies)
I work in IT in a school. It's my last day tomorrow. I/we have a few gems.

One is a french teacher with a incredible lack of skill when it comes to computers. The time when she complained her projector isn't working, the other technician went over, looked at the remote, looked at the projector, looked back at the remote and asker her why the hell she was using a HP remote with an EPSON projector. Her reply? "I brought it with me from my room, cause all projectors are the same". Well, news to me.

Also, before the summer holiday, we replaced her computer with a snazzy all-in-one thing where the screen is connected to the base unit. It's called and RM One, if you know what they are. The keyboard, mice, network cables and screen cables are CLAMPED DOWN and screwed into the back (this is relevant, bear with me) so it's pretty difficult for them to come out. We were called across because, over the summer, someone had "stolen her keyboard". Now, as mentioned above, it's pretty difficult to take this thing apart to get the keyboard out, so we knew somthing was going on. Went across to the room, looked at the computer desk and PULLED THE SHELF OUT with the keyboard on.

others have included
"Screen's not working" - Switch it on
"projector isn't working" - ditto
"sound isn't working" - unmute it, maybe?

finally, "can you fix the internet?" this was by a student. We immediately thought the internet had gone down. But, no, this was her home internet, in a house 10 miles away. Not knowing what OS she had, what her ISP was, even if she was on broadband or dial-up, we couldn't really do much.

length? One year apprenticeship.

EDIT: and please please please no recyled joke from a QOTW in 2004 or the ones that have been on chain mail that we've all read. Ta.
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:22, 5 replies)
Oi, Dover!
You're old and antiquated, and nobody wants to use you any more. And you have this funny smell. Only kidding, just winding you up :-)
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:20, 6 replies)
and cue a million pearoasts including (but not exclusively)









(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:17, 5 replies)
True story
When I was in my mid-teens, the dentist decided I had too many molars and had to have a couple removed to stop my front incisors from sticking out. After the operation, I was forced to wear braces for a couple of years in order to shift everything into place.

You could say that the braces were my eye-teeth support.

...right, now, where's me coat?
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:16, Reply)
I'm not an IT guy by any stretch, but at my old company I was as near to it as you could get, in an office full of 40/50 something crusty chartered surveyors...

That meant that any time the internet went down, crippling the email, they'd send me off to fix it...usually consisting of switching off the router and turning it back on again...obviously this used to take about a minute to fix, but being smart, I'd stay down there for ages, playing games on my phone, with the door locked...

I eventually got it to take a full morning of my time, so that on a wednesday, after a harsh night out, I'd sneak into the server room on my way in, unplug the router, and then go and get my head down for a few hours in the server room, which was lovely and cool, and soothed my pounding head...
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:13, Reply)
I didn't used to take my old job very seriously
Copied and pasted from the internally used chat service which allowed you to change your display name:

[09:29:34] Helpdesk says: Hi Rambo :), I've been looking into the issue you raised about the network problems with server t3p862-b. Do you have a spare few minutes so I could come over to your desk and ask you some questions?
[09:30:09] Rambo says: I am Rambo
[09:32:39] Helpdesk says: No, no 'Are you Rambo or not' was not the question I wanted to ask.
[09:33:07] Rambo says: 2. John Rambo

After this, I didn't hear anything more, I think they gave up.
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:11, Reply)
Repost, but it's from eons ago and deserves to be retold.
The brother of my best friend at school ran a business computer company in the DOS & Windows 3.1 days. one afternoon a customer who had bought a computer called in.

The conversation went pretty much as follows:
Techy: How can I help?
Woman: My computer won't work!
Techy: Can you be more specific please?
Woman: I don't know whats wrong, it's being weird and it won't do what I want!
Techy: Are there any messages on the screen?
woman: Well, it says my himen has been broken.

The phone was subsequently slammed down and the techy burst into fits of laughter, he barely managed to relay the story to his co-workers, who all burst out laughing too.
Moments later the phone rang, they managed to regain their composure and answer. The same woman was on the phone. 'Hello? I think we got disconnected, can you help me with my broken himen please?

She was helped in the end, but i could never look at Himem errors in the same light again.
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:11, 1 reply)
An oldy but a goodie,
Print screen, set as desktop hide icons, watch as infuriated co worker/ boss/ IT support guy, trys to kill colleagues/ buy new computer/ explain problem, always, and I mean always works, even if the victim is a master at it
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:10, 1 reply)
I still amuse myself by thoughtfully stroking my chin and declaring any troubleshooting issue to be a PEBKAC
to the user in question, before fixing it with the aid of Google.

I consider myself a techy, but still find Google an invaluable tool in general troubleshooting.

General good troubleshooting advice:
-strange error message comes up. Google it - chances are, someone else has had the same problem and managed to fix it.
-Think back to the last change you made on your computer before a problem occured - installing a program, changing the resolution, adding a printer. If the two are linked, try undoing whatever change you made and seeing if the problem goes away.
-If graphics are going screwy, then a good place to start is the graphics card - update your drivers, restart. In fact restart first; I know we always say, turn it off and on again, but that's because if fixes 90% of problems.
-Strange things happening when you type? Make sure none of the modifier (shift, ctrl, alt) keys are stuck down - start notepad, bash away at all the keys on your keyboard to make sure their not stuck.
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:08, 1 reply)
Mouse problem
puts me in mind of when i was a computer engineer for a small computer shop when we got this call:

Customer: Hi, i am having trouble with my mouse.
Us: what seems to be the problem?
Customer: Well, the pointer thing is in the middle of the screen but my mouse is at the edge of the mousepad. how do I get it so the pointer thing goes further to the side?

made us laugh, maybe you had to be there.

on another note, a customer had travelled from birmingham to where we were (in east anglia) becuase he couldn't figure out how to plug in his speakers. this was after a lengthy phonecall where i was trying to explain to him that the speakers must have power and the green lead must be plugged in to the green socket on the back.
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:05, 2 replies)
I think Adam is mistaken
From: Jeremy
Sent: 03 August 2009 11:08
To: IS Helpdesk
Subject: Permissions on time tracking themes folder


Neither myself or The Culprit can change files on the time tracking themes sub-folder. Unfortunately, The Culprit has added pictures of Nathan W with his top off, tiled no-less, to the background of many innocent users of the tt system. Filled with remorse he attempted to remove them, but now cannot, neither can I. Please can the permissions on the themes folder be restored so that everyone can write to them? i.e. so that work of The Culprit can be undone by others.




From: Adam
Sent: 03 August 2009 11:31
To: Peter
Cc: Oliver; Tim
Subject: FW: permissions on time tracking themes folder

Hi Peter,

It is not the first time you add IS additional work

PLEASE DO NOT do any similar think (‘jokes’) in future as it is not funny at all and we have to reverse all your changes – which takes time.


(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 13:03, 13 replies)
I remember working for an insurance company once
The new Operations Manager was really big on being informed of when things may be going wrong, and so set up the mainframe computer to page him on a pager every time there was a system message generated.

The first night after setting this up he went to bed, presumably with the pager on his bedside table...

Anyway at 4 am the loud beeping of the pager woke him up in a panic. "What could have happened?" he thought.

Anyway he quickly got dressed, drove the 30 miles or so to the office, unlocked all the doors, deactivated the alarms and made his way to the Ops room. There he switched on the terminal to see what was wrong with the mainframe, only to be confronted by the system message that had been generated:-

"Backup completed successfully".
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 12:58, 1 reply)
There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who dont.

Edit: lol just noticed it had already (bin)dun
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 12:57, 4 replies)
IT Helpdesk: Repost from Call CEnter QOTW
"It's me job. Can be very frustrating and very amusing.

I can fix most problems that don;t require physical tech support over the phone. It's just a matter of finding the level of understanding of the customer without crossing the line into becoming a condescending techy.

The big problem arises from trying to work out what the problem is. No matter what the user says the problem is probably something else.

Some classic ones are:

"I can't access the internet" (monitor turned off)

"I can't print this document" (user has forgotton password to log on)

"My PC is on but the server is off" (The monitor is on but the PC is off)

"I can't send any emails" (the wireless mouse's battery has run out)

"My mouse doesn't work" (The office has been moved round. The users old PC has been disconencted and put to the side to be collected for disposal. The user is sitting at her old desk, infront of her old CRT monitor with a "To Be Disposed" sticker on it's screen, flailing around with an unconnected mouse and keyboard she'd picked up from the rubbish bin. Behind her, her new PC has been connected, powered on and is sitting on her new desk that has her nameplate on)"

*EDITED Seplling
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 12:57, 2 replies)
I've always had to be pretty much self-supporting.
Back in the days of DOS I knew a few people who knew a little more than I did, so when something had to be done I would call them and get tips. This meant that over time I became the IT person for the office.

We had one woman who was in charge of our GIS program, but who was basically computer illiterate. She had access to a support person at Oracle and apparently asked too many stupid questions, because their reply came back on a fax with this cartoon on it:

After that I was the one to call them.
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 12:54, Reply)

(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 12:52, Reply)
I'll have loads of stories this week... and I'd like to see Spanky come up with some filth for this topic!
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 12:52, 3 replies)
Most childish thing I've done?

No first

(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 12:50, Reply)
and the last QOTW closed whilst I was still typing, so I'm going to post it anyways.

After the cup of tea I just had, I burped for about 3 seconds and then hicced at the end. I then realised what it sounded like. You remember when you used to load a game on a Spectrum? You start the tape and you get a carrier note that lasts about 3 seconds, and then a high pitched squeak as the name pops up on the screen? That's exactly what it sounded like, except an octave or so lower.
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 12:49, 4 replies)
I wanted
to tell the story about how my dad made an ice slide down the path on the way to the library

but they closed the question
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 12:49, Reply)
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 12:48, 1 reply)
(, Thu 24 Sep 2009, 12:47, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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