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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.

The final straw
Before I moved into IT training I used to be a network administrator, and aside from the usual system maintenance and monitoring stuff I acted as a helpdesk for around two hundred users.

One day I received a call from one of the users on the floor above me. “I’m having problems getting pound signs on my keyboard,” he said. My immediate thought was that he probably had his keyboard set to US English, which moves some symbols around, so I said I’d go and have a look for him. On my arrival I asked him to explain the problem. “I’m trying to get pound signs but I keep getting 3s.”

I looked at his keyboard and noticed that the pound sign and the 3 were the same key. “You are pressing shift aren’t you?” I asked. He looked blank. I fired up Word on the PC, held the shift key down with one finger and pressed 3 with the other: £££££££££££££££££££££££££££.

“How did you do that?” he asked. I explained, and he was extremely grateful. Confused, I headed back to my desk, but as I stepped into the stairwell one of the man’s colleagues approached me.

“Do you know what he’s been doing as a workaround? When he’s written letters to customers and needed pound signs he’s been putting an extra space in before the number, printing the letter out, and then he's drawn the pound sign in with a black biro.” The man had been doing this for six months, and do bear in mind that we worked for a major high-street bank.

That was it. I had to leave.
(, Tue 29 Sep 2009, 9:47, 5 replies)
Printers, they creep me out man...
From the moment I got my shiny new HP Deskjet I hated it.
It printed things ok, but badly, it fed paper at an angle even if I made sure that it was going in straight.

One bright morning sometime through second year I woke up and thought "I'll print my essay before going up the pub".

Oh no.

**PAPER JAM**
"Hmmm that's weird, even after checking for paper blockages the error message still comes up."
*Removes all paper*
**PAPER JAM**
*turns off and leaves it for 5 minutes*
**PAPER JAM**
"Ok, my assignment's due in shortly and you won't print? There's no good reason why you won't print. Why won't you print?"
**PAPER JAM**
So I phone HP technical support. Would you like to guess what they told me what the problem was? "The paper is jammed in printer, please check it and remove and paper before retrying".
Genius.

Apart from the face that THERE WAS NO PAPER IN IT.
Eventually it gets to the point where I go
"Fuck it, I'll print using the uni's computers."

Then, suddenly, one fantastic day. It prints something when asked to!
This gives me hope, as I'm coming up to disseration time and printing off copies and drafts would be expensive.
Disseration time rolls around and my printer and I are best pals, it prints when I ask it to and we're both happy as I'm not going mental at it every day.
I come to print my disseration out (I was running up against the deadline here for other reasons).
The clouds darken overhead.
**PAPER JAM**
I take out all the paper and try again.
**PAPER JAM**
I start to cry.
"GEORGE" I weep. "Why would you do something like this to me? I thought we were friends!"
I run to Uni, pay all the money in the world to an understanding techie friend to use a uni comptuer as (understandably) all the ones in the computer rooms are taken by people printing their dissertation.

Then came the glorious summer when I finished Uni. What would I do to celebrate such an achievement, get drunk, propose to my girlfriend?

I went to town with that bad boy with a hammer and my shoes of pain.

Have you seen Office Space? Well imagine Michael Bolton without anyone to hold him back from destroying the printer and you've got a good idea of what I was like.

I still don't trust printers.
Or shredders.
(, Tue 29 Sep 2009, 9:30, 5 replies)
Those Who Can...
Not actual IT support, but hey. I teach computing and occasionally cover workshops for the IT team introducing people to computers. The stories could be endless but this is my favorite:

Teacher: If you could click on the program icon on your desktop
Student: How?
Teacher: Can you see the Word Icon?
Student: Yes
Teacher: Ok move your mouse across the screen...
Teacher: .... No, you don't actually need to put the mouse onto the screen...

Geez.
(, Tue 29 Sep 2009, 8:11, 4 replies)
PWNED
A few years back I spent a year doing a film-making course at the local community college (Hagley if you're in Christchurch too). It was actually pretty cool; basically a year of dicking around with cameras. The course was split into three classes, one of which was Editing.

Editing class was in the spanking new computer room that was equipped with about 20 G4s (flash for the time, and we had unlimited internet access, which was unheard of then) with Final Cut Pro installed for our usage. If you haven't used Final Cut, the way it works is that you take your digital 8 camera footage, transfer it to the computer, then dick around with it until you're done. Andrew, the teacher, constantly advised us to keep backups and to always put whatever footage we'd edited back onto the camera at the end of a class so that we wouldn't get caught short if something happened to the computer.

NOW, Andrew was pretty tight with Paul, the IT guy. Hardly surprising since they were both mellow, fun dudes and very easy to get on with. Everyone in the class liked them, except for Jamal, this thick, annoying arsehole who was filming himself and his buddies skateboarding for his big end of year project. He was constantly disruptive, but the final straw came for Andrew when this exchange happened in front of the class after Andrew had been absent for a week:

Andrew: Sorry I was away everyone, my partner just had our third child.
Class: Awww/Congrats etc.
Andrew: Thanks everyone. His name's George is you're wondering.
Jamal: WHAT KIND OF NAME IS GEORGE?
Andrew/Class: ...

As well as being a damn stupid thing to say, it was also a pretty insulting thing to say to a guy who never presented any problems for anybody.

Fast forward to the next Monday, when Andrew has some bad news for the class:
"I'm really sorry to the people who use this computer (points at Jamal's G4 - note: the editing class was split into two and we shared machines), but I'm afraid there was a server crash over the weekend and everything on this computer was wiped."
Jamal: "So I've lost all my footage?"
Andrew: Yeah, but don't worry, you made back-ups, right?"
Jamal: ...

Stupid Jamal had to restart his "documentary" from scratch.

I could never prove it, but to this day I'm convinced that the "server crash" was more of a deliberate sabotage by Paul. PWNED BITCH. Still makes me laugh when I think of it - I fucking hated that guy.

/apologies for length
(, Tue 29 Sep 2009, 2:10, 1 reply)
i figure
That of all the people i know you guys would be the best to advice me on remote access. Any helpful words.

To actually stick to the QotW

(please not stolen, but made me laugh)

hm. I've lost a machine.. literally _lost_. it responds to ping, it works completely, I just can't figure out where in my apartment it is.

from bash.

StyX
(, Tue 29 Sep 2009, 0:38, 9 replies)
My computer just turned off!
I go over..
laptop power brick - plugged in, green light on. Good so far.
Follow the cable, to find the laptop end gently resting inside the network socket.
After doing the reacharound, I point out that it's a much tighter fit in the rear and she's been turned on ever since.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 23:58, Reply)
Rubble
Friend of mine works in local government and all contracts are put out to tender by email. Building contracts proved a bit of a problem when every email with a reference to "Hardcore" as in rubble got instantly rejected by the IT filters.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 22:38, 13 replies)
Arrogant user or what?
A colleague was working on a project involving those tablet PC's and a mobile broadband connection to the office.

Our team was delivering the lot, building the tablet machines and even the backend servers. We knew what we were doing and we were pretty much spot on when we offered technical guidance to the rest of the project team.

Muppet rings up and aggressively asks colleague for detailed techincal help and was particularly arrogant and rude.

We actually recorded the outburst in a little book of random quotes:

Techie: ' so you will need to configure your tablet PC to use the URL of the web dispatcher since you are now connecting via the internet instead of the local ethernet blah blah blah...'
Muppet (Rudely interrupts): 'I have a degree in Biochemistry, you don't need to tell me about IT'

I mean seriously, WTF? If he knew the answer how come he couldn't get it working the twunt?
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 22:02, 2 replies)
In the land of the blind, the IT man is king...
I used to work for a large charity for the blind in London, and despite not being at all connected with IT support was the 'house techy' due to the fact that we were 20 minutes on the tube from head office and therefore obviously in a land far far away...

I ended up supporting all my local colleagues both those who could and couldn't see.

Got a call one morning from the PA to the Assistant Director, now bearing in mind these are the days of DOS and WordPerfect.

K. "I've turned on my PC and it made all the right noises, but nothing is happening"
J. "OK, I'll be up in a minute"
Went upstairs and lo and behold a machine which appears to be on, whirring happily away with all lights blazing. Then I noticed the post it note tagged nonchalantly on the top left of the screen. Pulled it off and ta-da a C: prompt waiting for the user.

The assistant Director called one day to say he had a floppy disk stuck in his machine, when I arrived there was a 5.25" drive with no disk in sight but he pleaded that he had definitely put it in and he needed it NOW! After a few seconds thought I unscrewed the case and there resting below was the floppy disk he'd just posted through the slot *between* the floppy drive and the blanking plate below. He was registered blind, but that didn't explain the whole pile of disks below that one that he'd presumably written off as 'eaten'.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 21:56, 1 reply)
More stories from IT support.
OK, lets see what I remember...

First one:

I had one guy where the call notes went as follows:

Helpdesk: User reports PC will not turn on.
...10 minutes pass...
Helpdesk: I think the user is trying to take it apart. Get there quick!

The problem: The power switch has come away from the inside of the case, leaving the plastic button on the front of the case still there but with nothing to push against. By the time I got there he had somehow managed to tear out the button, tear out the silver plastic surround to the button, tear off the floppy drive cover and finally tear the whole front off the case: this being a compaq where if you pull the big obvious lever on the side the whole thing comes apart. I had to put the thing back together with superglue.

It turns out this guy had a history: A tech dropped by to do a ram upgrade one day and got an urgent phone call as he got there. He left the packet of ram on the desk saying he'd be back in 10 minutes after he rebooted a server or whatever. By the time he got back the guy had opened the case, laid the stick of ram on top of the motherboard (not actually inserting it anywhere) and powered on, killing the ram and the motherboard in the process...

Second one:

I've had someone with an NT4 workstation box moaning about performance. While he is yacking..

c:\psinfo \\10.fuck.socks.whatever

blah blab blah
Uptime: 200 days 3 hours 17 minutes

I try to tell him to reboot but no, he is a trader and never reboots his machine as he runs shit on it overnight...

3rd one:

I've had a site moaning about network performance and it turns out they are all trying to open a huge MS access database over the WAN. Access reads the entire file on open so 100 people opening a 2 gig file over a 10 meg WAN link was doing some serious havoc.

4th one:

Roaming profiles! Such a fantastic idea for people to download all their settings when they log in, until they go to a site which consists a shed in a field with a couple of PCs on it. This is hanging off a single channel ISDN and when windows tries to download their 1.6 gig PST file and the DVD image on their desktop it may mean that they took hours and hours to eventually log in.

I have some nice screenshots to add here:

Someone in the press office was feeling particularly poetic. It certainly brightened my day :)



The email filter worked on fleshtones so it liked blocking ID card mugshots and baby pictures as well as actual porn. We rarely got requests to release the porn but when we did we then had to explain to the user that we were not releasing "bangbox.jpg" despite the user purchasing 60k's worth of hardware from the sender, and that it certainly wasn't something work safe. He only conceided when we explained what it was a picture of...

I would have thought a PA should know how to open a picture.



The serious bit: The most harrowing day I had at work was when I was working for the company that owns Powerlink. This is the company that provides electricity to the London Underground and sends sparkies into the tunnels to keep things working during the small hours. I arrive for the early shift after being pulled over by the plod thanks to an admin error by my insurance company. I should have taken that as a sign that it was not going to be a good day. I am on a call when suddenly things start going batshit. "Something's happened! We're being told a power cable exploded. Is the (whatever that was a quick fix) going yet? I need to find out what's going on."

It turns out it wasn't a power cable; it was the first of the 7/7 bombs going off.

We did what we could to keep that branch of the company's stuff running as best we could for the rest of the day. I later worked for them directly and heard the stories of that day from the tube sparkies first hand. At least i'll know the answer when I get people asking "Where were you?"
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 21:35, 2 replies)
We had someone
Send a message to our helpdesk cos his pc was slow. He said the system idle process was near enough killing his machine with 99% processor usage.

[END]
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 19:34, 4 replies)
But it disappeared!
Many years past I spent two summers in a half-development, half-support job to help build the University beer^W education fund.

My favourite call came through one afternoon, when one of our users made an urgent and somewhat panicked telephone call.

"My mail. It's just gone. All of it."

Getting ready for a long afternoon ahead, I wandered out of the IT office and on to the work floor. Said user was staring at a desktop, looking confused and worried. All of the applications were minimised to the taskbar. (The desktops being Win98 PCs of varying vintages.)

"I don't know where it's gone," she said. "It just all disappeared."
"Okay," says I. "Open the mail program back up, and I'll take a look."
"But it's GONE!"

I decided it would be quicker for me to re-open the minimised mail application than to ask her (now in some state of distress) to open it for me. Click, and the window opens.

"Oh, it's back. How did you do that?"

...
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 19:31, 1 reply)
Just for fun
Take a screenshot of the desktop background. Then set the screenshot as the desktop background. Then hide all the icons.

Old ones are the best.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 19:27, 3 replies)
Dear user
When you expect an IT guy coming over to your house to fix your computer, please remember to change your desktop wallpaper to something "standard" like Bliss, and spare the young (straight) techie from staring at a recent snapshot of your lily white buttocks for the next hour.

Much appreciated...
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 19:12, 2 replies)
Total utter fuckwittery
In a previous employ I worked for a firm of chartered accountants as IT Support. They had two offices based in two quite major northern cities. I worked in one and the majority of the partners (bar two) worked in the other along with my boss, who was on leave. One morning I'd arrived around 8.20am with the intention of making a leisurely brew, having a chat to the friendlier accountants, eating a few rounds of toasts before firing up my laptop and awaiting the day's usual exciting IT Support calls including such favourites as "I've forgotten my password" and "My printer is broken".

However I had no such luck. My phone starting ringing while I was making a brew and before I'd even had time to have a whistle wetting sip the jarring ear drum shattering tones of the Managing Partner torturously warbled down the earpiece. "MY LAPTOP IS TOTALLY BROKEN!! I HAVE A VERY IMPORTANT PRESENTATION TO GO TO AT LUNCHTIME WHICH I NEED TO WORK ON AND I CAN'T!!!!!!!!!!!". "Okay, I'm sorry, in what way is it broken?" "IT'S TYPING GIBBERISH!!" "How long has it been doing this for?" "FOR THE PAST FIVE MINUTES!!! I CAN'T WAIT!!! YOU MUST COME HERE AND FIX IT!!!"

The prospect of travelling to the other office in another county via public transport was not appealing, and would take at least an hour and a half so I gently tried some more troubleshooting. "Could you try plugging an external keyboard into the laptop to see if the problem lies with the laptop or the keyboard?" "NOOOOOOOO YOU'LL HAVE TO COME HEREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" I stifled a sigh. Despite how annoying this was sighing audibly to the Managing Partner would have been employment suicide. "I'm on my way now".

~~~~~Wavey lines forward an hour and forty minutes later~~~~~~~

I arrive at the other office and atmosphere was quite chilled. I thought this was strange as usually if the Managing Partner was on a rampage then the rest of the accountants were trotting around wild eyed like frightened horses. I donned my best professional smile and approached the office of the Manager Partner. I knocked on the door. "COME IN!" was shouted. I entered. She looked at me like I was a trifling inconvenience and I realised she couldn't place who I was. "I've come to fix your laptop?" I said apologetically. "Oh yes. Well, it's taken you so long to get here that's Mike's (another partner) fixed it.

Inside I begin to die.

"What was wrong with it?". "Well," she says snootily and in the tone of voice that somehow I am to blame "the number lock key had been pressed, so unbeknowst to me I was typing numbers".

OH.MY.GOD.

I resist the temptation to bang my head against the door frame until I am rendered unconscious and will no longer have to live faced with this awful truth.

"Oh well I'm glad it's fixed," say I.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 19:07, 1 reply)
Against the elements
Once upon a time there was an IT Team, this IT Team was comprised of 'Technical' and 'Developers'. There was also a building, a horrible blue and concrete building.

One day the IT Team were working in their office. Anyone with any managerial responsibility was either in a meeting off site, on leave or unaccounted for as happens fairly frequently. Attention was drawn, as it invariably is, out of the window. Comments were passed, as invariably is the case for office workers, about the weather and its gloominess. The sky had turned a deathly grey. The same colour as Norman's face and he'd been smoking 80+ fags a day for years.

Long hard rain splashings began to pound the windows, the sky became darker. Someone put on a cardigan. I decided to turn the lights on despite the mutterings from the rest of the photosensitive team. A bright flash of light illuminated the gloomy skies. I counted the seconds, "1...2....BOOM RUMBLE RUMBLE", went the thunder. "Mutter mutter," went the team. The rain began to belt the fuck out of the windows and stray water rivulets began to trickle down the inside of the window frames. A few more coats and jackets were put on, it was beginning to get a bit parky. We stood up and shuffled to the window to have a look at the ferocity of the rain. Another bright flash, enough to cause those of us at the window to squint and those who weren't to pity our poor retinas. The thunder clap followed almost instantly and we took a step back from the windows. Another two bright flashes, the latter one causing sparks to 'jump' from our building and a loud bang.

"Fuck..." said I.

"That just hit our building..." said someone else.

My attention was drawn to the phone on a nearby desk: the display was blank. A quick scan of the office revealed half the computers had rebooted and were showing the Windows XP splashscreen. We exchanged glances. Someone mumbled something about the disaster recovery plan. "SERVER ROOM!" we all shouted simultaneously and in a stunning show of athleticism rarely seen by those who work in IT we walked, rather quickly, to the server room. The developers stayed sat in their chairs mumbling about hardware issues not being their area of responsibility.

The phone switch's LEDs were flashing red-green-red-green as it does after a reboot. We were all stood in the doorway not venturing in, in case one of the servers was somehow going to explode. Suddenly there was another flash of light and a bang.

"CLICK," went the fuse box.

"WOMMMMMMM" went the UPSs (It was a very peculiar noise, and very loud. I can only describe it as the noise that you hear when Sonic the Hedgehog gets a shield).

Our eyes were lifted to the fuse box in the corner, and the three switches that were tripped. Noone moved. Suddenly Dangerous Dave leapt forward asserting himself as the only who hadn't shat his pants. "Need something.... something... rubber" I said helpfully. A plastic cover was unclipped from one of the rack mounted servers. "Close enough," said Dave, and deftly pushed the plastic fuse box covering open. Standing on tip-toes he edged the plastic server cover towards the switches. The rest of us edged closer to the the exit.

Dave pushed the three tripped switches on, we closed our eyes. There was no loud bang and Dave was still alive. The charge lights began to move upwards on the UPSs. Suddenly the Director of IT, realising that all the danger was over, appeared in the doorway of the server room. "What's happened?" the IT Director asked accusingly. My colleagues all exchange a look of WTF and Dave sensibly replies "Lightening hit the building, tripped the electricity and knocked the phone switch off". I volunteer myself to check on the status of the phones.

I sidle out of the server room and wander from department to department unplugging and replugging the cables in the IP phones. I tell people not to panic, which was quite laughable as I clearly looked petrified. Satisfied that the phones are coming back on I make a quick escape back to our room to check on the rest of the infrastructure. As I sit down at my desk and quiveringly open the page to our network monitoring tool my phone starts to ring. 'It's still working then,' I think.

"Hello IT Fireyfox speaking?...."

It's my manager. "Hi Fireyfox, I was just watching the thunder and lightening with my son when I realised those last few lightening strikes were very close to the building. Now I hope that everything is okay..."

"Well.. the electricity trip..."

My manager cuts me off before I can finish "Look, the reason I'm phoning is that I was told I couldn't have the day off so if questions start being asked about my whereabouts say I've gone home sick, thanks" and puts the phone down. Hanging up the receiver with exasperation I look at the screen and thankfully all systems are fully operational. My phone starts ringing again, without looking at the display I pick up the receiver and quite tersely say "Yes?". It's Dangerous Dave.

"Er... I think you need to come to the server room" he says, his voice full of concern. I spring from my seat and this time run (yes run) to the server room. I realise that we're in trouble when I can hear water. Dave is stood in the doorway looking concerned. As I look into the server room I can see water, and not an insubstantial amount, pouring out of the air conditioning unit into a puddle on the middle of the floor. Fortunately it is not hitting anything electrical at that moment. Instinctively I grab a plastic bin and place it under the air con.

"Better go and get the IT Director..." says Dave. I nod. Dave bounds off in the direction of his office. I get out my mobile and dial my manager's phone number. He answers. "Bit of a problem, water pouring out of the air con in the server room" "Shit," comes the reply. I pause. My manager says "I'm on my way back in, if anyone asks where I am... you don't know... I'll think of something...." As he's still bleating excuses I hear the voice of the IT Director approaching, he enters the server room looking extremely angry. I thrust my mobile phone into his hand and say "It's.... It's.... [insert name of my manager here]".

IT Director takes mobile from me and booms into the phone "Where the fuck are you when the end of the world is coming, and which one of these fucking monkeys have you left in charge?" I couldn't make out what was being said at the other end, only that it sounded pathetic and wheedling. The IT Director dismissed me with a flick of his hand. Dave and I shuffled back to our desks white faced and sweating with fear. Someone phoned the air con repair people.

Time passed.

More time passed.

The bollocking we were waiting for never arrived. Neither did our manager.

He's been on "long term leave" ever since. Funny that.

Apologies for length and any real lack of funnehs. But it's all true that. FACT.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 18:33, Reply)
Some of my worst experiences.
User: "I've filled it [the printer] up with paper, but still nothing is coming out!"
Me: *Opens paper tray, looks inside*
Me: "Yeah... you have to take the paper out of its packaging first."

Me: "Why is your monitor upside down?"
User: "Someone rotated the display, but I don't know how to get it back"

User: "For the last week half my internet screen has been missing, it's your system, you need to come up here and sort it out."
Me: *Goes upstairs*
Me: *Closes favourites bar*
User: "Oh..."
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 18:26, 2 replies)
Are all IT support guys mental?
The IT guys at my 6th Form are as follows:

Mr H - formerly of M.O.D; now using his special training to ruin teenager's internet-related fun (curiously b3ta is unblocked?)

Mr A - Sadly left for pastures new, Bruce had a fetish for Flumps and even made his own. Permanently on the edge of a nervous breakdown he would remain inaudible for the entire lesson as the class destroyed the classroom, and then Scream at the top of his lungs for a fraction of a second. It was awe-inspiring, and enough to shut us up - if only for a few seconds.

Simon - Uber geek. Pizza face, flabby flabby man chest and a whiny voice that doesn't seem to be completely broken. In our minds, Simon lives in a cage in the server room, neither human nor animal. The lack of respect for Simon knows no bounds, and numerous attempts by the teachers to get us to take him seriously as a member of staff have proved pointless. This is proved by the intense desire to mount Simon piggy-back style and force him to transport us round school every time we see him waddling down the corridors.

Noting the torture received and unbalanced mental state of seemingly every IT Guy, I think it might be time to prepare ourselves for the Uprising of the Nerds as they decide to take over the world.

Here's hoping my code has disguised the identities of the above enough that b3ta remains gloriously unblocked at school!
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 18:14, 5 replies)
Had an interesting case once...
Had just started as workshop manager in a new company back in late 90's, when this PC came in, bad sectors on hdd. Found out this one came back 3 times previously for the same problem prior to me starting there, and I am tasked with sorting this mistery out once and for all.

So I replaced hdd (4th one since the machine was brought), replaced psu, and sent it back. A week later same machine, same problem. Right, let's investigate...

It turns out the PC was installed and used on a farm, in the dairy. Right next to the generator for the electric fence, it turns out. Instructed client to relocate PC, no more problems, lots of respect earned in workshop. Result!
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 17:10, Reply)
There are 3 types of people dabbling in IT...
1- The normal user who knows very little or enough, and admits as much, and follows your advice.

2- The power user / guru / techie who obviously knows just about everything, or at least enough to get the job done.

3- The stupid pretentious toss who knows buggerall about computing or anything outside his experience of playing games or browsing pron, but who will argue a point with you armed only with snippets of some ill-aquired jargon and a pigheadedness to rival a troll, to prove his superior knowledge or whatthefuckever.

Just. Don't.
Not.Today.Not.Ever.

/rant
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 16:58, Reply)
...No paper or paper loaded incorrectly....
"Bollocks" thinks I. I can see an abundance of crisp white A4 sheets just waiting for Mr Printermabob to eat up and spit out covered in whatever bollocks my boss had requested."

I take the paper out. I put it back in. I turn everything off. I turn it all back on again. I check for errant stationary, staples, sandwiches and sex toys that might be clogging the feed mechanism: All fine...

"No paper or paper loaded incorrectly"

"STUPIDFUCKINGBASTARDCUNTPRINTER!" Quoth I

Right - time to check everything again...
Paper? Check
Nothing stuck in the printer? Check
Everything plugged in? Check
Correct printer selected? Check
A4 paper selected? Check
No flashy warning lights? Check

*PRINT*

"No paper or paper loaded incorrectly"

"FACKINGCAAAAAAAAAAANT!!!!!!"

I am now in a rage, the like of which has not been seen not since Bruce Banner stubbed his toe as he found his wife had upped and left while simultaneously receiving a rather nasty paper cut from the repossession notice left on his Honda Accord.

I helpfully informed TheBoss: "Its fucking fucked. Stupid bastard cheap shit printer you bought is officially bollocksed. You used it last - you fucked it. There must be something wrong with the paper feed. If you want that fucking list you just fucking have to write it out by fucking hand. And I'm too fucking busy trying to get this cunting thing to work so don't fucking ask me."

Two minutes later I found it was set for to A4 roll paper not sheet.

There is now a swear box in the office


Yeah, its not actually about IT support - so sue me
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 16:51, 1 reply)
Not funny, and not interesting
but I need to vent a bit. Apologies in advance, this is going to be very long and probably incoherent but I've just come off working a 20-hour split shift and am a bit drunk so bear with me.

Anyway, before seeing the light and going to school again (culinary school this time), I used to be the backend guy for a very small ISP. Not a real one, mind you, a virtual ISP, geared towards easy access for older people and students. We piggybacked off a certain quasi-governmental phone monopoly (no names) renowned for charging an arm, a leg and a pancreas for substandard ADSL. Support was non-existent, calling a call centre meant being on hold for anywhere up to (this was timed) FIVE CUNTING HOURS as there was'nt (and still isn't) a business call centre, we had to wait in the queue with Bertha from Brakpan whose Rottweiler had eaten the phone or something. That's not the point, though. This is more about my ex-boss.

De Wet, my boss (name not changed to protect those who will burn) was a study. 6.30AM I'd clock in and he'd be sitting at his desk, soupbowl-sized coffe mug in one hand and Blackberry in the other, playing with stationery and shouting down the phone. You'll hae to imagine a thick, slurred Afrikaans accent: "Ja madam, we offerrr a fool survice, twennyfor eeour sepport and assustid setupps. Douwn't worry, Ah'll jist traansfur you to a techie, end you'll be jist faaahhn" (TRANSLATION: Please hold, madam, while I transfer you to one of our technicians").

A bit of background: De Wet used to be a director of some motor finance company before coming to run our team of IT monkeys. His computer knowledge extended to thumbprint logon and logoff, and iTunes. Literally nothing else... I remember showing him how to turn his machine on about 4 times. He used to sit there, talking on the phone, pretending to work until about 11AM. Then he'd come whizzing round our desks, glancing at our monitors, asking pointless questions to the call centre people and constantly trying to figure out what I was doing. Sample: "Er, Tiktock, why is there no windows on your screen" "Because I don't need them, I'm using text mode" "Whats text mode".

At this point, I would generally need a cigarette or five. The man was a fucknugget of epic proportions. He got his, though. Read on for details.

In this country, internet is charged per gigabyte at ripoff prices - consumers pay R70/GB (about 5 pounds), which meant out internal internet policy could have come out of a gulag. In November last year, our lovely manager called us all in. He slurred his way through a tirade about how our "fucking about on banned sites and circumvention of (company name's internal policies" had cost him and his (mate) business partner R50K+ in excess internet usage. He also mentioned something to the effect of "when I walk out of this room, one of you is going to be leaving, and good riddance". Fat Dinesh piped up "actually, I think you should look at this".

Din turned his laptop screen around, to reveal IpCop logs from the past 6 months. It showed his Mac's IP, going to server23.blizzard.com or whatever it was, plus a couple of ultra-dodgy porn sites (fuckfarm.com anyone?) racking up about 330GB of extra traffic a month. We paid R39/GB wholesale, when most of our geriatric user base was only using about 2GB a month, so this was like having an extra 200 users on the system, all unaccounted for. Apparently, being the IT director had its privileges.

What Din said next was classic though.

"Bru, this was sent to the S (the MD) 5 minutes ago. Maybe you should make a phone call"

Boss turns white. Boss walks out. Vids go up on internal wiki, and were cc'ed to director.

Boss is not seen for 3 days. That friday, the director (class guy, but rather clueless) comes in and says there is going to be some internal reshuffling.

De Wet, wherever you are, you're a cunt.

Still glad I got out of there, though. Food's much more rewarding than computery bollocks.

Laters

TT

EDIT: For those interested, the company's named after a long black seedpod that is used for flavouring various sweet items.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 16:02, Reply)
IT sails
When I was in Sydney 12 years ago on a working holiday visa, the temp agency managed to get me a pretty cushy position for five weeks working in the IT dungeon in a bank headquarters in North Sydney. It wasn't quite The IT Crowd, but similarly laid-back - half a dozen not-quite-mainstream twentysomethings with questionable social skills but irrepressible good humour, and a pretty cool boss (male though, and nothing like whatsherface with the red hair). As best as I can remember we didn't have a Moss (either that or it was me!), but the Roy of the group was probably a guy called Tomislav ("T" to us, as he hated "Tommo" or "Tommy"), who despite the name was the most ocker of the lot, and would revel in being as rude as he could without actually calling the people he had to help a fucking maroon.

Team-building was usually ensured by spending all our dollars at The Pub on a Friday, or random weekdays, or long lunches but the highlight was when the boss managed to swing us an evening's cruise round Port Jackson on a yacht belonging to some bloke he knew (for very small values of "cruise" and "yacht"). The skipper looked like a shrunken version of Captain Birdseye, with a thick Scottish accent to boot, and his safety brief basically consisted of telling us not to get pished and fall in.

Of course, being computer geeks to a man, we all interpreted that as a pure AND statement, and immediately set about attacking the contents of our eskies. As we sailed south back to the berth, with our backs to the boat and the setting sun on our faces, we contemplated the universe and other important philosophical subjects, such as which girls in the office we would or wouldn't "root". Although that particular debate didn't seem to be as filthy as it would have been back in the office.

"Fuck!" shouted one of the guys, "where's T? Stupid cunt can't even swim!" Shocked out of our mellow state, the rest of the team sat up and started looking around like spaced-out meerkats. "Is he on the other side?" Wes (the boss) called up to Captain Birdseye. The weathered old mariner just rolled his eyes and answered "Aye, T's a' port".
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 15:43, 3 replies)
IT adventures
I was once hired by a swanky London meeja agency as their resident nerd because I ‘looked good bending over’. Having great tocks generally doesn’t send a girl geek to the dizzying heights of IT support mastery, but it got me a job and that job paid for beer.

One of the reasons that they needed a fine filly to crawl around underneath desks was because of their high-profile clients. These were international stars, genuinely some of the biggest names in the world. No multi-hojillionaire man with fine taste in silicone and sports cars would ever want a computer monkey that looked like a potato stuffed in a dirty sweat sock, right?

~~~~~

I was once blindfolded when tasked with fixing a star’s home computer. I was bundled into a van, confused by the driver through some deft swerving maneuvers and manhandled inside this man’s doorstep. It felt a bit too much like a kidnap; I was ever-so ill-at-ease until I was then informed I had to also fix his computer without the essential benefit of sight. He angrily hissed into my face, “There are things on this computer you aren’t allowed to see.” Like, apparently, the screen. I did my best to convince the man that, in fact, I required the sense of sight and couldn’t do my job without it. I was bundled into a car and again sent back to my office. Meanwhile, the lawyers hashed out a contract which would grant me the power of vision. Back I went, again blindfolded. I both fixed his computer and found out why he was so concerned about my peeking in his files – porn. Now, I’m partial to a bit of todger porn myself and, I figured, if the rumours were true, I might just catch a glimpse of a 9+. No, oh no, his entire porn collection was full of the 70+. Ahem.

~~~~~

I received another laptop in from an international star. The laptop was caked in sperm. It was splodged everywhere, and there wasn’t any way I was going to bloody touch it. I decided to have a word with the MD of the company:

“I understand that X is a very powerful man, but he submitted his laptop and it was covered in…white stuff.”
“Ah, don’t worry, TheSnark. He’s got a bit of a problem with cocaine.”
“Ah, erm, ah, no. I meant that every damned inch of his laptop is covered in ejaculate.”

An ungodly amount of antibac wipes and rubber gloves later, I found out that his laptop was well and truly fried after a year of semen seepage. Did he never consider cleaning up after himself?

~~~~~

There was another man who did always play it straight. Girlfriends, denials of sexuality, kiss-and-tells – he was 100% heterosexual male and he had the credentials to prove it. I received his laptop to fix and was excited with the frisson of hot manliness that came with it. Find out, the hot manliness also extended to the contents of the computer – the desktop image was this gentleman with his boyfriend. I mean, I’m pretty sure they were together, as he had his hands all over the other man’s soldier and submarines. It quickly came to note that the computer was entirely full up. This star had come up with a rather good porn indexing system based on hair colour and sexual acts, i.e., brownhair_fisting001.mov and blondehair_snowball034.mov. It was merely that he overdid it and probably shouldn’t have downloaded that last chain gang penetration video. He can be as gay as he likes, but I’m still rather annoyed when I see him with a new girlfriend misrepresenting himself so he can pull in the big bucks. Girls: consider yourself very fooled. Gay men: oh, you lucky sods, you.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 15:25, 17 replies)
Clint Eastwood
Sparked a major international incident when he phoned IT support and told them his Firefox was down...
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 15:23, 2 replies)
I'm not really ashamed to admit this
I have plugged USB devices into the network port of my PC and spent several minutes trying to work out what's wrong. In my defence I'd forgotten that it has two network ports, and so I assumed that since it was on the network already...

I just love how the ports are just the same width though! Don't know why I find that pleasing... but I do.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 15:07, 3 replies)
Horton hears a WTF?...
In the deep jungle of a Dr Seuss cartoon, The Mayor of Whoville & Horton the elephant are parched and considering their options...


The Mayor of Whoville: “Fancy a cuppa?”

Horton the Elephant: “Indeedy – pop the kettle on me old mucka!”

5 minutes later...

HTE: “Is that brew ready yet?”

TMOW: “Aye...Tea’s up, Hort!”

This is so on-topic it makes my cock blister a bit.

*loses will to live*
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 14:48, 5 replies)
Being a martial arts grand master has its drawbacks
For a start you can't drink beer, go clubbing, or pig out on a nice madras every Friday night. Your body is a temple and its strictly forbidden to waste any of your precious lifeforce spluffing it up the nether regions of some filthy-minded concubine groopie up against a wall round the back of JJB Sports.

Instead you have to survice on a plate of noodles and a bit of mountain dew and teach the students how to do all that karate chop, walking-on-fire, death-grip bollocks.

Its a hard life, the life I've chosen, but someone's gotta work in haiiieee chi support, I suppose...
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 14:30, 7 replies)
Call Center 'IT' Support
Back in about 1998 i worked in IT support for a large insurance company named after a European city. It was a call center and i was paid pennies to talk to the stupidest people on the planet for 8 hours a day. To break the monotony we used to play tricks on each other. The best ruse happened one Friday evening to my mate Derek - he went for a smoke break and didnt lock his desktop. Big mistake!

I downloaded all of his RAM, his proxy firewall and his IP addresses to my USB stick. Once i had all of his information it was simply a case up upgrading my wireless bluetooth headset to linux 7.6. Then i used my blackberry as a makshift firewall proxy(safety first!), installed Sim-City onto my hard disk (The R: drive for all you techies!) and then i passed all the extra processing overheads( remember this was 1998!) onto Dereks PC.

He couldn't understand why his PC was so slow. Me and my other mate Colin high fived each other, we called it high 0101-ing, every time Derek complained about how slow the log file from his virtual processer went below the required gigabyte level of his mainframe. All i had to do was open DOS on my Nokia and i could easily upgrade the HTML for my World of Warcraft elf 'Xelu'. This was all via the read-only file stored on Derek's pentium 4 dual core linux based Operating System!!!

The cherry on the iceing came when Xelu beat Derek's Wizard 'Ian' in World of Warcraft - all because i had bypassed his enchanted sword of Tuman using a simple DOS command 'bypass Tuman -t -a'. Every time Derek hit his space bar it happened again without him knowing! LOL

I moved to sales about two months after that and never did get around to telling him what happened. So if you're reading this Derek, sorry mate! ;-)

Length? About 1 and a half episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 14:13, 5 replies)
Dear god, no!
I'm in IT support as a day job, there was always some stray neighbour/wife's friend etc wanting their virus-riddled computer looking at - until I started charging them just to assess the problems. Hey presto, no more queues of the bemused. Why do people assume 'cos it's your job you'll do jobs for them for free?

Anyhow, the ma-in-law, who is 72, bought a laptop & is now on Virgin wireless. Oh dear God, no!
(, Mon 28 Sep 2009, 13:40, 2 replies)

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