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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)
Pages: Latest, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Switching it off and on again
is never a proper solution. It doesn't stop the problem happening again. It's something only lazy fuckers (i.e. IT people) suggest.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 13:39, 23 replies)
A Few Years Back
I did a contract where I just happened to working in the same area where they were developing the army's battlefield laptop. This was in 2001. The laptop was based around a 286 processor. Yes, you heard that right. The yet-to-be-deployed laptop was based around technology that was at least 5 years out of date. That's what happens when you let committees argue about specifications.


So me and a mate were working late and were the last ones in the office. So we decided to take a look at the battlefield laptop. Man, it was a work of art. A standard laptop but had been encased in an armoured shell and painted khaki-green. It weighed a fucking ton.

Then we had a bright idea, implemented it and went home.

Next day, hell broke loose at work. The head of the battle-field laptop project was stalking the office demanding to know who'd placed a big red sticker over the Enter key so that it now said "Launch!"

(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 13:30, Reply)
WAR! – (Hurrgh!) – What is it good for?...

In my youth I used to work for Army intelligence, Based at Port Stanley just after the Falklands War. I was one of the lucky ones, sent to help mop the mess and conduct some additional recon of the area.

After the clean-up op and the threat level had been evaluated, I was assigned to be a drone helping assist the weapons development team. Whilst I was there I was fortunate enough to bear witness to some highly advanced, controversial and incredibly experimental work – One of which I will never forget – and it is something that constantly reminds me that the finest computers still reside within our own minds.

The Army were trying to develop a highly atuned sensory recognition system that initially could warn and aid the islanders in times of future crisis, but the capacity with which the project grew was exponentially greater than anything we could have anticipated.

We started off by setting up a sensor array following the signals given off by impending vessels. However, we could soon tune it to such a degree that we could even monitor the optic synapses of a ships crew. Essentially our scopes could track a possible invasion by the unique signatures given off by the soldiers’ eye movements – even miles off shore.

We had our early warning system in place but the optical recognition breakthrough led us to further developments. We experimented with different expressions to detect different responses for possible automated mechanisms. For my sins, the system seemed to respond to my movements more than other members of the team and I was chosen as a test subject. We set up a base off shore for further progress and we set up special ground based communications units to monitor and react to different warnings.

It was a boring and thankless job. However, one night, when I remember the sea was calmer than normal, I was in my usual position on the floating base with the spray gently lashing against my face. And as usual, I was told to simply ‘stare out towards the shore’ while the clever folk tinkered with scopes. Not realising the potential of what I was participating in I stared out glumly.

Yet this time something was different...

Incredibly, we could hear machines spring to life, and data being recorded around me to show that my retinas were being recognised. It was truly a sight to behold and an experience I could not believe that I was part of. As I stood, staring into the distance I was given different instructions on how to look so that the automated defence system could respond in different ways.

“Look angry!” The Team commanding officer shouted. I fixed a glare and was informed over the radio that the warning gun turrets had sprung into place. Success!

More tests were required…

“Look friendly” the CO barked his instructions ferociously. I smiled coyly, my eyes veritably twinkled and lo and behold, we were soon informed that the status of the on-shore weaponry had switched to ‘offline’.

Although we were collectively dumbfounded at what we had achieved, I have no excuse for what I did next. Perhaps the elation of success clouded my judgment, but I’m afraid to say I had a rather mischievous idea.

I thought: ‘What happens if I try to look sexy?’

The next moment I fixed a smouldering glance towards the shore…squinting just a little and giving the most suggestive look I could muster. ‘What do you make of that?’ I thought to myself, fixing the whole Falklands with a saucy ‘come-to-bed’ grin.

Next thing I knew – the system had gone totally batshit mental! – Lights flashing, alarms buzzing and complete pandemonium breaking out all over the place! To our disbelief, we were quickly informed that the entire Island was splitting in two! – The Port was detaching itself from the remainder of the island and was heading for our base!

We were all gripped with panic. “Look away!....LOOK AWAY!” The CO ordered – the strain in his voice noticeably different from his regular unflappable tone. I immediately looked directly at the floor and almost straight away could feel the vibrations subsiding. I was later informed that the land mass had slowly moved back and rejoined with the rest of the island.

This, of course, was an astonishing breakthrough far beyond anything we could comprehend. The ramifications were biblical – It was as if the entire ground could respond to the cognitive signals sent from my thoughts and expressions. I was immediately confined to a lab and a whole specialist crew was set up for further testing into this miraculous discovery. I was there for five years and I'll never forget the time I spent working in the ‘Eye tease a port’ department. Bit of a strange name for it if you ask me, but that's the army for you.

So now then, gentle reader, I can only apologise if you consider that this post has been a total waste of your time…but my experience has led me to believe that anything is possible…

…if you’re bored enough.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 13:21, 6 replies)
I tell you what really gets on my wick
the fact that i have to change my fucking windows password every couple of weeks and the fact that my new one must in no way bear any resemblance to any of the previous ones, must contain uppercase, lowercase and numerical characters, with a smattering of other characters chucked in, and must be at least 10 characters long. after a few times HOW THE FUCK AM I MEANT TO COME UP WITH ANYTHING I STAND THE REMOTEST CHANCE OF REMEMBERING? that combined with all the applications i need for my job having a similar security policy means there's no way i'm ever going to actually be able to do any work without having a password vault thing set up on my phone with an easy to remember password that renders the entire exercise pointless. if i set my password to wankycockwobble and keep it as that - WHERE's THE FUCKING HARM?

and breathe
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 13:13, 16 replies)
Direct Line
This is vaguely related to the question but only vaguley. And it's actually not that interesting it's just something I felt like writing.

I've been a computer contractor almost all my working life. And, as I'm one the the good contractors, I often get called back to companies I've worked at before. My favourite was Direct Line. It used to be a fucking marvellous place to work. I did four stints there over the years.

DL was different to anywhere I'd worked before because of the company ethos. They had no dress code as we never had to see any actual customers so they didn't give a monkey's what you wore as long as you weren't too OTT. The management structure was so relaxed as to be almost non-existent - yeah, I had a boss, but he was just another one of the team. My boss was cake-boy or fat-boy. I was nick-named SwampRat as I was from the North and so must have lived in a swamp. You've heard of managers/directors who boast "my door is always open" and then you have to make an appointment ten years in advance if you actually try to see them? Well DL wasn't like that. The IT directors door really was always open and, if I needed to see him, I'd just nip up to his office and ask "Dicky? Have you got a minute?" and he always had.

One of the refreshing things about DL was that if I needed anything or had an idea that might make life faster or easier I could just pop into Dickies office. Tell him what I wanted and why. Tell him how much it would cost and what the benefits were and he'd make a decision on the spot. A yes or a no but normally it was a yes. If it was expensive (more than 50k) he might ask me to send him an email laying out what I just told him but I could still go ahead and order it the same day. He'd deal with the bean-counters.

Another thing I *loved* about DL was their recruitment policy. They employed legions of call-monkeys (actually, they invented the call-center) who were pretty low-paid but DL recruited people from the call center for almost any post in the company where possible. They realised that some people in the call centers were smart but perhaps didn't have any recognisable qualifications for whatever reason and the company was flexible enough to capitalise on this. Several senior managers had started in the call centers and several of the IT staff had got their break there. One of my PFY's was one of them.

Don (AKA pig-sticker but that's another story) was a young black kid who'd recently started in the Croydon call center. He didn't have any decent qualifications in IT but he did have enthusiasm. Every break, every lunch time and most nights he come to the IT floor and hang around making himself useful. He'd ask questions and just burn to be taught. After a month or so he'd stopped being a distraction and was actually doing useful work. Low-level useful work but still useful. So my boss at the time created a post for him. I think he was originally hired at not much more than call-monkey rates but that changed after a few months and he was on decent money. When I rejoined to head up a new project he was assigned to shadow me so he could take over running the system when I left.

Don wasn't the only one though. The guy who ran the fiendishly complicated callcenter systems had started as a call monkey as did the guy who ran the Lotus Notes systems.

DL had an active social scene and it was all encompassing. Drinks after work was the norm and it was normal for a director or so, several senior managers, some of the IT crew and call-center monkeys to drink together after work. It was at one of these pissups where the head of IT (not the director but the senior manager) told me why DL was so successful.

"We're not an insurance company" he explained "We're an IT company that just happens to sell insurance"

And he was right. DL was ridiculously top-heavy with IT bods.

Sadly, that company and those days are gone. DL was making so much money that the parent company, RBOS, decided that they needed much more hands-on management and reeled them back into the corporate fold. They stifled the madman who used to come up with the innovations and imposed their version of order on the company. Almost all of the old-hands left. Some of them had been there since the company started but this new banker-led organisation just wasn't fun any more.

Guess what? DL aren't making anywhere near the money they used to during the days of anarchy.

Sigh. I miss that company. It was so nice to actually look forward to getting into work and having fun while still getting paid.


This self-indulgent rambling was sponsored by a rather cheeky bottle of Shiraz..
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 13:10, 2 replies)
For donkey's years....
we had no access to good websites, specifically B3ta, but also ebay and a few others, so to get them you needed to go through a proxy server (thank you brucer/isbaronessonheat whoever you are etc), even then depending where images were hosted - such as b3tards - it wouldn't always display stuff. Recently though we can get allsorts of stuff. There's still some we can't - like facebook - so clearly IT still have issues about what we look at, or maybe they're just trying to give us enough rope so we can hang ourselves rather than them having to get rid of us.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 13:09, Reply)
"You do all this technical stuff, right?"
What I always hear as an IT support person is that dreaded phrase: "You're technical, so you can fix...." (insert non-computer object here). The lights. The microwave. The toaster. The vacuum cleaner. Even the occasional non-electrical item (the toilet or whatever) because "well you're technically minded so you must know how to fix it".

Worst thing to do is to get dragged into it and fix it with Google (almost anything can be done by Googling it). Confirms their misconception that an IT person also automatically knows how to get the loo to flush.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 13:09, 7 replies)
Confuse a geek
Geek: Ohhhh! New NAS device is working and has DHCP picked up a good IP address

Me: So it is not in IMAServer mode?

Geek: IMAServer - what's that?

Me: I Am A Server ...

Geek: Ah ha! ah ha!
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 12:33, Reply)
I work in IT support and I am not a virgin.
Honestly I'm not even lying because its QOTW. In fact I have had sex with several real life ladies and not just my hand and a chat room.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 12:10, 3 replies)
Returning customer..
A gentleman come in with a dead laptop, one of the engineers fixed it all fine and dandy. Customer comes back and says his wireless is not working, worked fine for the engineer so we ask him to go away and test it to make sure. He does so and returns 7 minutes later. When asked how he returned home so blazingly fast he responded "i was checking my wireless in your car park".
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 12:00, Reply)
Our email system is down today and I sit next to our 1 lonely IT support guy who has had a constant stream of calls and visitors all saying

"Patrick, i can't access my inbox"

I've counted 16 calls and 7 visitors just this morning. He's starting to get pissed off.

How do you IT monkeys put up with this? it would drive me insane!
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 11:50, 5 replies)
Fire! fire!
1. I am working for a customer at an un-named hospital. The IT office is like an ante-room to the server room, visible through a window.

During the morning I see a building services guy coming and going to the server room with a small vacuum cleaner. The room is a bit dusty apparently so they are having a clean up. You are by now way ahead of me.

After lunch the IT team heads off to a meeting, leaving me under the supervision of a lowly tech who whiles away the time playing solitaire.

An hour passes, IT team leader is first to return from meeting and goes straight into the server room, from which he emerges a few seconds later with a face like the proverbial. "Have either of you two been in here?" "No." "The air conditioning is off!" This was confirmed after another few seconds when the heat tsunami rolling out of the server room door hit me. Of course the dust had triggered the smoke detectors which turn off the air con but other than that do nothing (sounding the fire alarm might have been good you'd have thought).

Never mind, both aircon and fire detector control panels are in the IT office. Just a matter of pressing a reset button. But the system had been changed recently (perhaps explaining non sounding of alarm) and the panel was new and there were no instructions. Half an hour later everybody from IT and building services, including management was assembled in the room, scratching their heads and unable to work the panels. Fans were deployed to try and suck the hot air out of the room and non essential servers had been powered down, including mine, so I had the rest of the afternoon off (result!).

I arrived the next day to find that it was late evening before they had managed to get everything switched on again. Except for the couple of external aircon units which had failed to power back up again, never having been switched off before, ever.
The vacuum cleaner bod was banned until the smoke detection problem could be solved - which it was by temporarily taping hospital issue latex gloves over the detectors.

2. We are monitoring equipment at an un-named council and see it disappear off the radar. We phone the customer who advises "we are having problems with false fire alarms, leave it with us". A day later no change and customer calls us: "Can you have a look at our servers, they keep setting the fire alarms off" (which in this server room causes the servers to be shut down). Our engineer toddles off to site. Draws customer's attention to sulfurous haze enveloping the machine room. "Could this be anything to do with it?" he enquires, pointing to the UPS with the fault light (and the gently bubbling acid). "Ahh...". Meanwhile all the manual switching on and automatic switching off of the servers had wrecked half a dozen power supplies and even spreading the redundant ones around left at least one server powerless until spares could be ordered (from a 3rd party support outfit who was rather suspicious of the quantity of simultaneous failures...).
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 11:50, Reply)
Error Counting
I working for largest company IT in great nation of Iran. In time past not long I installing election software from western imperialist infidel pig company. But decadent westeners not writing logic true. We are getting many complaint from government. I having to correct system by adding code:
if (_vote != "Ahmadinejad"){
_vote = "Ahmadinejad"
Then all working according holy plan, and my children release from prison!
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 11:48, 1 reply)
Very loosely related
At school – ‘higher’ school, GCSEs and A-levels, my local had achieved ‘technology college’ status. This basically meant they got a fucking massive stack of money from the government every year, to spend on whatever they wanted, technology-wise. This resulted in a very nice CADCAM studio, and in hundreds of (back in the day when they were new tech) LCD workstations. You could smell the headmaster wanting to show off his new, cash-rich pockets. Never mind the fact that this was still a school populated almost exclusively by little bastards who would think nothing of battering the TFTs until the screen cracked. Nevertheless, we had, I would estimate, one of these new workstations for every 3 students in the school. They were fucking everywhere.

There was a kid a year above me who was uber-geek. He got a hard time from a lot of kids, especially the bastards in his year. He was a bit of a misfit. He was also pretty nifty with a mouse.

He got access to the network (by exploiting a bug in MS Word, which everyone eventually learnt how to do in order to play Solitaire and Pinball) and installed a copy of Quake II. Result? Hundreds of brand spanking new workstations, being used across the school network to play massive LAN games. Just amazing.

Length? Lasted about 6 months before they clocked. But Worms stayed for a while longer…
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 11:46, Reply)
IT monkey meets IT monkey
I am a mid-range IT monkey. I support the software we sell and maintain the networks we have in the office.

I don't mind helping customers with silly little problems they have. It's only when they call me for the 20th time with the same problem they called about yesterday that I get narked.

The people who REALLY piss me off are the developers of the software and their outsourced IT support somewhere in India.

They are obviously used to customers calling them up with silly little problems, solving them and sitting smugly back in their chair. However, if I have reason to call them this means it's a larger problem and the solution is something they've only chosen to tell the good Lord about and no-one else.

I once had a problem with reporting. I called them up, exaplained the situation and they said "send it over, we'll edit it and send it back to you". Fine, marvellous. Did so, got it back and they'd buggered the report up completely. I explained that the report was wrong and they offerred to try again. They send it back and it was buggered up in a new and interesting way.

Cutting a long story (approx 50 emails) short I ended up having to send over screenshots of the report showing what I wanted highlighted in magenta, looking not dissimilar to a CDC.

They still couldn't give me an answer.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 11:42, Reply)
On a related note
If you are in a relationship - the kind where monogamy and trust are involved - and you are having an affair with someone else that you want to keep secret, DON'T DO IT VIA EMAIL. OR TEXT MESSAGE. OR FACEBOOK.

Seriously, my friend just found out that his girlfriend is cheating on him BECAUSE SHE LEFT HER EMAIL OPEN ON HIS LAPTOP. I mean, for fuck's sake, she might as well have written a post-it note reading "I'm fucking someone else" in backwards writing and stuck it to his forehead so he could read it in the mirror.

If you are going to conduct an affair, don't document it in glorious detail through a relatively easily-compromised medium. In fact, don't write anything about it at all, you know, keep it a SECRET. It gets even more retarded when you work in an office with an IT department because they can see everything you do on your computer anyway - if you're going to conduct your private life through the work's servers, it's a fair bet that the people employed to look after those servers know about their contents.

When I was in IT support I knew exactly which of our clients (Hedge funds and private banks in Mayfair) were having affairs, which used 'escorts', which had a 'secret' fetish for big cock pictures and which had such extensive porn collections on their desktop machines that they were crashing the backups every week.

People can be pretty stupid sometimes.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 11:41, 5 replies)
zomg a girl!!!
being a female support technician working for a property developer, i am quite often greeted by snobbery. property development staff are complete toffs and are very demanding.
the worst of which is that when i answer the phone they basically ask for any member of staff who isn't female. they're of the opinion here that all women can do is take messages, anything else we do is too taxing for their pathetic misogynistic little brains to understand. little do they realise i out-qualify every member of staff on the support team and am probably the most helpful, friendly and useful one of the lot. i am not boasting, it's just that the rest of my team are complete and utter imbeciles. and i don't like being rude to people no matter what they say to me it's like i'm compelled to be pleasant.

having said all that i have handed my notice in, new job next week w00t!!!

some amusing calls/questions recently:
what/where's the tab key?
type up and correct this document for me
what's a back-slash?
i need to order a new modem, my pc won't turn on
my computer is broken (meaning their monitor)
my monitor is broken (meaning their computer)
i've lost a file. i don't know what it's called or where i saved it or when it was deleted.
my document won't open i want a new computer
i want an iphone Simon in accounts has an iphone and i want one also and i want all my emails on it (manical laughter ensues)

mostly it's laughable but grrrr!!! i most dislike people telling me what they want me to do to fix it. i don't ring them up and tell them how to do their job, and they're usually wrong.

and just for the record, i'm only in this job because i transferred offices and they totally and utterly shat on me big-style by lying about the position and then sticking me on the support desk. i suppose that doesn't help matters!
if i get any more lols this week i shall post them
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 11:07, 10 replies)
round the world support
I used to work for a large money-grabbing-motgage-brokering-fucking-us-all-with-125%-mortgages company.

The powers that be decided to outsource all IT support to their own subsidiary in India, and they provided support to all of the comapnies in the "family".

So in order to log a ticket, users dial 6000 on the phone, get put through to an operator in India who takes thier details, fails miserably to provide first line support, logs a ticket and send it tot eh on site technician, ho gets up, walks 20 feet and talsk to the user to find out the problem.

And this saves money?

The funny thing is, I love watching the US comedy "30 Rock" by NBC a member of the same "GE Family" as I used to work for, it makes me giggle to think that "Liz Lemon" has to dial 6000 to get an IT monkey.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 10:15, 1 reply)
And one from this very morning.
I just received an email from a friend in Australia, the body of which was sent as a Word attachment "because my internet's not working". That's going to be a fun support call for someone.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 10:15, Reply)
"But it wasn't doing that before!"
It frequently happens that you'll get a frantic cry for computer help, but turn up on the spot to find that the problem has magically gone away.

"But it wasn't working before!" is the usual plaintive cry from the user. "Look - " and they try again, and once more everything works fine. "It didn't do that before! Honest!"

To amuse them out of the disappointment of failing to find a problem - because users love to catch you out - I'd explain this in terms of Faith Computer Healing. To demonstrate the process I'd hold my hands over the once ailing computer and intone "Oh foul spirits that have broken this PC BEGONE". Bless 'em, they'd laugh every time.

I had to stop doing that when I caught the resident Christian giving me suspicious looks. Didn't want to end up burned at the stake or anything.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 10:12, 1 reply)
This is happening now
Monday morning. Hungover. Four high severity calls. Phones ringing off the hook. Can't do a damned thing about it. HELP!

(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 9:59, 1 reply)
One thing that's always slightly annoyed me
is when people say there's something wrong with their computer (for instance, it won't connect to the internet, or Windows keeps crashing) and then say "I think it needs a defrag, innit?"

No, it doesn't fucking need a defrag. A "defrag", despite sounding like something really intelligent, just means that the files on your disk will be reorganized. Possibly useful if you have noticed that your hard disk is slow accessing files, but it won't fix any old random problem with your computer.

It annoys me. Grr.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 8:42, 8 replies)
After my last few rants I'd like to take a moment
To raise a glass to some of the people who have helped me most in my IT career, Adam, Andrew, James, Jackie, the other Adam and Rob van der Woude.

Adam was contracting when I started my first real IT job and was a fun and patient teacher who always had time for the PFY that I was and helped ignite a real passion and understanding for IT as a service and a vocation.

It was also Adam that first introduced me to advanced scripting and www.robvanderwoude.com where the author has scripts to do almost anything or at least an example that can be adapted.

Andrew is amazing, a giant of both intellect and stature who will fix everything that's wrong with your network and could quote you the RFC document word for word when you ask how it works and then explain it understandably too.

Jackie and the other Adam came as a team later on in my time there and both helped me in different ways, Jackie for helping me recognize my own developing skill-set and Adam for being the voice of reason when I had one of my wilder ideas.

Last but not least is James who was both instrumental to my development from PFY to the professional I ended up as and for helping to curb my spending when he saw me browsing gadget sites and saying "No Bill!" when I was about to buy yet another toy I didn't need!

There should be many more people listed in this rather self indulgent post but I should have gone to bed a while ago so I'll leave off here with a quiet *chink* of my raised glass and a drink to all the good IT people out there, you know who you are!
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 3:53, 2 replies)
You utter Fucking Cunt!
As I just told in Blaster, Beer and the Disaster Recovery box we were unfortunate enough to get the Blaster worm. This was quite a surprise to us as knowing the network was vulnerable to things like this due to the OS requirements of some of the more mission critical servers (e.g. A transmission Video server that will remain nameless which would only work on NT4 Workstation Service Pack 3) we had shit hot network security at the border and were as locked down as was practical at the time internally.

Then along came Mike Griffin*, Mike was a contractor that the Boss had reluctantly taken on as "the best of a bad bunch" as he knew management wouldn't sign off on the expense of another round of advertising and interviews. He was a lazy and smarmy idiot but could just about be convinced to put in about half a days work when it was required of him so he'd stayed around for a while. However that Friday wasn't one of those days, instead he had spent most of the day downloading porn on a PC kept off the network and instead connected to IT's private ADSL line (For testing VPN's and so visiting engineers had a connection for their own VPNs without getting on our network, honest boss).

OK, it was something we all had a connection to but this is where the problems started, as he hadn't bothered to keep his "play machine" patched it inevitably got infected while he was surfing the day away. Then at the end of the day he connected it to the work network to copy some stuff across to his work PC with the DVD writer so he could peruse it later in private.

So stupid but not evil, the cunt maneuver was that he saw what had happened and just as everything started to crash he went home and switched off his phone.

Luckily I didn't find out that he was the source of infection till he had already left or I wouldn't have been held responsible for my actions.

*Name not changed, he deserves the shame
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 3:28, Reply)
Blaster, Beer and the Disaster Recovery box
Like a lot of unfortunate companies despite our best efforts we were unlucky enough to get hit by the blaster worm. Tracking back the path of infection the time it started to spread was Friday, 5:57PM however I didn't hear about it until 11:05 when my boss phoned me just as I was leaving the pub. This was when I said the one sentence I have probably regretted most

"I'm just in the pub round the corner"

"Brilliant, you can go back and help then"

"No I can't fella, I can barely fucking stand"

"Oh, come on. You'll be fine, the op-eng can help you if you need him to"

So I reluctantly agreed to go back and help with the clean up, arriving 40 minutes later after having had some problems with the 5 minute walk back I fell out of the lift and into a wheelie chair helpfully provided by said operations engineer to get me to the server room.

I then spent a few hours typing very slowly with one hand while I held the other over one eye in an attempt to see only one monitor instead of 3. Eventually I began to sober up enough to remember the Disaster Recovery box, this was a big gray crate holding a copy of all of the install discs ready to be grabbed in an emergency. What I had remembered was my personal additions to the box which were like a shining beacon to me at 3AM, two four packs of Red Bull and a carton of 200B&H. Between those and ordering deliveries on the bosses credit card I somehow survived the next 52 hours until we finally had cleared the infection off every machine we could and ring fenced the ones we couldn't patch.

Leaving the building at about 5 Monday morning and getting the first tube home was such a good feeling at the time that I can't even begin to describe it.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 3:09, 2 replies)
"Well it's not my fault"
Part of my job was dealing with phone setup requests from an employee of the company we provided services for who tried to get me fired for ignoring her requests for a week. Now this was news to me as she hadn't emailed me anything never mind the fact that she could have called me or walked down 2 floors if she wanted to speak to me directly so when I heard this I called her and got her list done as quickly as possible then started to look into why I hadn't received her emails.

I checked everything I could think of, Junk mail folders, The exchange server directly, I sent her a test message which she received and replied to and finally had her forward me the one's I hadn't received from her sent items folder:

To:[email protected]

I then replied and gently pointed out that she had added and extra L to my name and her response "Well it's not my fault"

*Still seethes 5 years later*
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 2:52, Reply)
CPDJ and the upgrade that nearly got me fired
My old boss was a nice guy for the most part, a bit out of his depth but trying hard to increase his IT knowledge as the company grew from a single server up to a multi-site network. However his one failing was a tendency to save his own skin if caught doing something wrong. Which leads us to the upgrade of CPDJ.

CPDJ was our music jukebox, everywhere has something like this, no matter how big or small an IT department there is always a box on the network somewhere, tucked in the back of a cupboard probably packed full of music, games, films, smut and cracked software. Most of the time it's just for the personal amusement of the IT bods but sometimes things get a bit messy.

The problem came when we ran out of disc space, the 4 120GB drives in CPDJ were full so we needed more space and quickly. cue a quick purchase order being signed off by the boss and 5 250GB drives and a nice RAID card being delivered. The issue was what to do with the data while we were upgrading the discs, then it struck him, glancing at the extremely expensive 4TB SAN he decided it would be the perfect place to store things for a day while the jukebox was rebuilt with the new discs.

Unfortunately what he didn't know was that the storage had gone from being a test bed to a live storage area and as such was getting filled up with work content quickly. The copy finished successfully but left the drives about 96% used so when they hit capacity about 12 hours later people wanted to know why. Once the music was found by his boss he told him it was a backup of my iPod and he'd reprimand me later. cue me having to spend a few months carefully rebuilding my reputation and a written warning on my file. The compromise we came to was that he would spent those weeks funding my after work drinking as compensation which seemed fair enough in the end.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 2:38, Reply)
Sitting in a meeting with management
One of whom was querying the cost of our Internet connection and asking if all the usage on the line was work related I took great pleasure in staring him straight in the eye and saying

"Most of the usage is but of course we have everything logged and can provided very detailed reports of who has been accessing what and when if that would help, especially if the content is not only not work related but borderline legal. You might even say Barely Legal"

That was the last time "Mr. Upskirt" ever asked about that.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 2:21, 1 reply)
Mary Had A Little Mouse
Mary got a used computer about three years ago. My late husband and I bought her a copy of XP Home. Since then I've been her IT Girl. She's come a long way. Last spring Mary and I got on the bus to go shopping. This is what she had to say.

"Ugh! My 'Bookworm game froze last night! I had to uninstall it then reinstall it. What a bother!"
"Did you save your high scores?"
"Oh yes. I answered the pop-up thingy so I wouldn't lose them.
Everything was working fine after that....so there you go.
I updated my AVG but boy it took ages. That AOL is so slow. They really have problems sometimes. The other day I had to use the repair thingy and I still couldn't get online. I remembered what you said about booting it...and I do feel like giving the thing a good boot sometimes!"
"You got online after you restarted it?"
"Yeeees, so there you go. I did a defrag too. Huh-huh, I like to watch it sometimes. This morning I typed a letter in WORD to my brother. I put a nice flower gif on the bottom. He'll like that. I printed it....does it ever look nice. Remind me to get stamps will ya?"
By this time a few passengers within earshot are looking at her.
"My god, you type like the wind Mary. I'll never forget the first time
you sat down at your new computer. Where did you learn to type?"
"I took a commercial course in high school...typing and shorthand. Boy, my hands hurt for a while...then I did a lot of typing at my first job when I was 16, at the bank in 1944."

Yep, my Mother-in-law, Mary, will be 82 in November...
'so there you go'.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 2:20, 1 reply)
Having worked in IT for a while now I've got loads of these but for a start lets go with
The Tale of Mike's fucking Password:

Mike was quite a high level manager contracting for a company I worked for but was incapable of checking if caps lock was on before typing in his password 3 times and getting his account locked out for 15 minutes. So in the end I wrote a script to launch ADU&C, Find his account, untick the locked out status, apply the changes and close.

Then whenever his name came up on the caller ID for the support line I'd fire off the script as I was picking up the phone to and before he said anything say

"I've unlocked it, turn off caps and try again"

He'd mumble apologetically and hang up.

At least three times a week for 2 years!
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 2:16, Reply)

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