b3ta.com user Darth Spin
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» IT Support

Why are there fish?
A few years ago I was working at a PR company. The Managing Director, a former lobby journalist, had never got round to using computers - in fact he was a bit scared of them. He got his PA to do all his typing and dictated stuff to her.

Anyway, one week his PA is away on holiday and there is a really important document to write for a client. So he calls me in.

MD "I need to write this document. DS, how is your shorthand?"
DS "I can't write shorthand."
MD "OK, I will write it out longhand and you can type it up."
DS "I'm not your PA, right? Why don't you just use the computer?"
MD "I'm worried I will do the wrong thing and break it."
DS "It's just like a typewriter. You type here, see, and the words come up there, just like on a sheet of paper. But it's better because you can go back and change things if you make a mistake."
MD (not convinced) "OK, I will give it a go"

So I leave him with a laptop in his room. After a while there are happy tapping noises from his direction and I think I have finally won him round to the wonders of modern technology.

About two hours later I hear a lot of swearing and he comes bursting out of his office.
MD (furious and hyperventilating) "I just stopped typing for a bit and something terrible has happened. I have lost EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING is FUCKING RUINED. The computer is BROKEN. It's YOUR FAULT. I shouldn't have started on the computer. NOW I HAVE TO START EVERYTHING AGAIN. FUCK"
DS "Calm down, tell me what happened."
MD "The screen is BLACK and there are STRANGE THINGS"
DS "Hmm, that doesn't sound right. Let me see."

So I go into his office and there is the laptop, with the screensaver on.

DS "Oh, that's just to protect the screen"
MD "Protect the screen from what? Is it some sort of game? what a fucking waste of time. I didn't know we had GAMES on the computers. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON, WHY ARE THERE FISH? THERE ARE NO WORDS - WHERE HAVE THE WORDS GONE?"
DS "The words are...well, they are behind the fish."
MD "Well, GET THEM FUCKING BACK. Get rid of the fish. What do we do to get rid of the fish?"
DS "Well, you just push any key really.."
DS "Because most people would know that already..."
MD (banging various multiples of keys - which mysteriously do not shut the screensaver) "FIX IT, FIX IT. FOR FUCKS SAKE MAKE THE FISH GO AWAY"

After that - I kid you not - he got me to go round taking the screensavers off all the computers in the office so other people wouldn't get freaked out.
(Sat 26th Sep 2009, 4:27, More)

» IT Support

Out of Paper
I was working at a lobbying company in the 1990s. The boss was a lady in her 50s who worked from home, while I was in the office.

Anyway, she had a computer and printer there and a plain paper fax machine.

One day she calls me and says:

"The printer has run out of paper, and I haven't got any in stock. Can you fax me some over?"

Instead of explaining to her, I faxed over some blank sheets, and she was happy.

It was only afterwards I realised she must have thought the fax machine was a sort of teleport which transported physical documents, paper and everything, through the telephone wire...

(note - for young readers, a fax machine is a sort of old fashioned version of email using a dial up connection and paper and ink. For older readers, a fax machine is a really flashy TELEX with pictures.)
(Sat 26th Sep 2009, 4:34, More)

» The most cash I've ever carried

Not cash, but a cheque for £27million
I once worked for a property company which very, very occasionally sold a building.

One day the boss called me into his office and gave me an envelope. "Can you take this down to the bank for me?" he said.

So I put it in my pocket, got on the bus and went down to Nat West.

When I got there the cashier opened it and drew in a big breath, then went to get the manager.

It was an ordinary little corporate cheque but made out for £27 million for the purchase of an office building in Bloomsbury.

Ever since then those big charity cheques they hand over in photographs made out for £300 or something like that just look stupid.
(Mon 26th Jun 2006, 21:15, More)

» Urban Legends

Canary Wharf Legend
I got a job at Canary Wharf and my friend asked me what is under the pyramid on the top of the tower. I told her there is a dry ice machine which creates mist to make the building look more impressive. After a couple of weeks she phoned me and said "That's not true!". So I said yes, you're right, to be honest the secret is that we have a helicopter pad and the pyramid opens up to let the helicopter out. We're not supposed to tell anyone for security reasons.

I wasn't sure she believed me but a few weeks later a friend of a friend of a friend of hers who I had never met before asked me where I worked. "Canary Wharf" I said. "Wow", he said, "Is it true there's a secret helicopter pad under the pyramid?".

But I'm not going to tell you what's really under the pyramid.... and you're wondering now, right?
(Tue 10th Jan 2006, 0:18, More)

» Apparently I'm a sex offender

Too Late
I was at a conference and met this cute girl wearing a suit and very smartly turned out. She was a bit asian and I couldn't tell if she was a student or maybe in her late 20s. I was 29 and had just split up with a girlfriend.

Anyway we got chatting, and she was argumentative and opinionated and we got on really well. We went out for dinner, got a bit drunk and ended up going back to my flat and shagging like monkeys.

Then at 11 pm she said "Oh god, I'd better get home or I'll be in trouble."

At that point I became quite concerned - she was a stunning girl and I thought she meant she had a boyfriend or husband waiting for her. So I asked her if that was the case...

"Oh no, just my mum and dad - but I'm not supposed to be out this late - I should be studying really"

"What are you studying for?" I asked, now really worried

"A-Levels", she said. She had just turned 17.

Amazingly we ended up going out - despite objections from her friends and mine.

The point at which I really felt a pervert was when she took me as her date to the disco at her all-girls school and most of the girls didn't have boyfriends.

Being 30 and the only man standing in a crowded dance-floor of 16 and 17 year old schoolgirls gyrating to "I'm horny, horny horny horny" felt wrong somehow.

She left me for a guy 5 years older than me.
(Thu 24th Aug 2006, 2:53, More)
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