b3ta.com user Trojan Hussar
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» Ouch!

Never unwind a spring
My brother took it upon himself one day to dismantle a pencil which had a small plastic woodpecker on a spring on the side. He sat there thoughtfully unwinding the spring and with a shriek it re-wound itself straight into his thumb. Various efforts by my parents to gently remove the impromptu corkscrew from his finger failed and he was removed to A&E with a small cheery plastic woodpecker bobbing on the end of his thumb.

The doctor in A&E applied an anesthetic cream and did the old 'removing a plaster is better done faster' trick and just yanked it out. A tetanus injection later and a downcast brother returned home with a bandage and no woodpecker...
(Fri 30th Jul 2010, 23:27, More)

» DIY Surgery

Verruca vs. Broken Glass
I must have been about eight and I recall having a sizeable verruca on the side of my big toe. We were on holiday at the time and I was running across the beach heading back to the blanket where my parents were stationed. I felt a sharp pain in my toe and thought nothing of it, when I reached the blanket my mum shrieked at the considerable flow of claret coming from my toe.

We soon established I had a hole the size of a pencil eraser in my toe and once this was stuffed with gauze and capped I hobbled back across the beach following the trail of blood. I found a chunk of broken glass pushed into the sand with a fibrous fleshy lump hanging off of it.

Salicylic Acid Collodion - 0, Broken Glass - 1.
(Mon 24th Jan 2011, 21:31, More)

» Call Centres

Evesham Technology
I spent eight months working as a tech support phone monkey for Evesham Technology and having sat through the pitiful induction we were told we would be set a target of 40 calls a day. Having some rudimentary grasp of math I soon worked out this was an average of 11 mins 30 seconds per call. This all works fine when someone sounding like a retired army major calls up... "Err hello, bought this computer from your shop in Bournemouth and we've just got back from holiday and can't work out how to turn it on". I take the serial number and look up the system and sure enough its a case with a big shiny silver switch right in the middle of the fucking front. "See the big silver circle in the middle of the case..."
"Ahh yes thats the blighter, goodbye"...

I remember regularly getting a bollocking for only answering 20-25 calls a day, mainly because I was actually fixing problems. Not fobbing someone off with dropping to the command line and running chkdsk and then saying "this is going to take about (insert suitably long time here), call back when it's finished". But when Cunty Tom is being held as a bastion of productivity for doing 50 calls a day what can you do.

Well you can say "Fuck it" and have a nice chat with a lady whilst her machine is running a 45 minute defrag, only to find out later when you're taken aside and told that you were "taking the piss" that they were auditing calls that day.

During one of our favoured options of going for the "Format reload" to resolve difficult or insurmountable problems we regularly got asked what the "kernel debugger" was. But one woman spotted this item installing and noted "I've never been debuggered, but I've been buggered a few times"...

Wasn't a bad place to work really, the usual cunty practices like having "Tea Break" passes and not being allowed to have a break unless you had a 'pass'. Except when the call queues were busy mysteriously all the passes were 'out' and nobody got a break.

Also having the worst customer database system called FRANK which crashed on a daily basis greeted by cries of "FRANKS gone down again... dirty bastard", the head office being built on swamp land and every summer being infested by swarms of thunderbugs and having the phones on UPS but *not* the computers. So when the power goes you have to answer calls but don't have the luxury of knowing who the customer is or what computer the customer actually owns...

Ironically despite my taking the piss they offered me a new contract which I told them to stuff...
(Sat 5th Sep 2009, 0:44, More)

» IT Support

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 28th Sep 2009, 21:56, More)

» Ouch!

Do not blow into the BBQ too closely
Trying to breath some life into a past its prime barbeque a couple of summers ago. I bent down close to the coals and blew vigourously onto them to warm things up. One of the buggers 'pops' and a small bit of white hot charcoal ricochets off of my eyeball. To this day I still swear there was a faint hiss as it vapourized a small area of my moist cornea.

I now have a very useful 'reading dot' in my left eye which I can only assume is a small bit of carbon lodged in my eyeball. I often use it when reading to keep my place on a line, shame I don't do karaoke really.

I obviously have a certain attraction to carbon, as I also have a pencil lead buried deep in the middle of my right palm. My reminder from a junior school attempt to defend myself from a schoolmate with a freshly sharpened pencil. Still visible after over 30 years...
(Fri 30th Jul 2010, 23:51, More)
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