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(InfoWorld)   The 12 most dreaded help desk requests   (infoworld.com ) divider line
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17208 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Sep 2012 at 2:26 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-13 04:09:25 PM  
I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to the IT guys at my company.

I'm a relatively competent computer user, used to do IT myself, although not for years, and never on large scales.

But until recently I was a corporate trainer, and I was the one who would call in with 25 password resets 4 or 5 times a day. Because my new hires were apparently scraped off of the bottom of the gene pool, and can't seem to remember the password that they personally set not 2 minutes ago.

Now I'm sure you weren't in charge of the policy, and while the password rules are exacting to satisfy, how freaking hard is it to come up with a password that has a capital letter, is 8 characters long, and contains at least one number and one symbol.

"Pick a six letter word, and add a number and symbol."

"It's not taking my password."

"What did you put in?"

"Mystupidkidsnameistoolongtouseasapassword123"

To a person fresh out of filling out HR paperwork, it's like you've asked them to talk a chimpanzee through landing a 747 over the radio.

So I apologize, IT guys. I apologize on behalf of the class of new hires who should probably have been hired to work in a car wash instead of a call center. Believe me when I try to prevent as much drama as I can, but no matter how many times you tell them:

'Don't try the password again if you get an error twice, that will just lock your password and you'll have to call to have it reset. Use the Forgot Password link. No.. don't click OK, that will... OK. you're locked now. OK, who locked themselves out?" (25 hands go up, and one more in a facepalm gesture.)
 
2012-09-13 04:10:41 PM  

wmoonfox: Stig2112: I've seen most of those over the years. They left off the one that really irritates me: The "we just hired a bunch of new people and they started today. We need you to get them set up with user accounts and email addresses right away." calls. Mind you the decision to hire these people was made weeks ago and no one thought to ask IT to set up the accounts ahead of time. Thankfully our complaints to HR took care of most of these calls eventually.

Oh gods, I had forgotten about that. Finding equipment for them was also a nightmare. We had multiple contracts working out of the same facility, so each contract had its own equipment allowance. No single contract wanted to keep more than one or two spare machines to cover new hires, contracts refused to share or transfer unused equipment, and requisitions could take upwards of four weeks.

So, depending on the availability of computing equipment, RSA tokens, furniture (oh yes, you're good with a screwdriver... go put that desk together), network drops/capacity, etc... users brought in without prior notice to IT could sometimes end up sitting on their hands for a month or more. And, of course, it was always my fault.


that's me right now. Working a help desk supporting a client, the client's infosec needs to add me to 4 AD groups so I can start doing my job. I started on jun 18th, still sitting with my thumb in my ass. whatever getting paid.
 
2012-09-13 04:11:19 PM  

Dimensio: Observing the disdain that many technical support staff have evidently developed for their end-users makes me grateful for my employment servicing individuals who are consistently friendly.

I suspect, though I cannot confirm, that my ruthless policies toward system security may be responsible for my reduced workload.


They probably still hate you. They're just good at acting nice.
 
2012-09-13 04:11:20 PM  

Carth: 13. Absolutely anything

I'm convinced the IT here spends all their time browsing fark since getting them on the phone takes hours and it is easier to just bypass their protections and install whatever I need myself.


This is probably why it takes hours to get the help desk on the phone. They are taking care of other jack wagons like you that installed unapproved software on their systems and now are having all types of conflicts and issues.
 
2012-09-13 04:11:34 PM  

sure haven't: Gone In 26 Minutes: I highlighted the relevant part of your post that should've answered your own question. We're obligated to help you, but we'll be a lot nicer and quicker (that is, we might actually get up an go to your desk and do something quickly for you that might take you a bit longer on your own) if you're nicer to us. If you treat me like shiat, you get the bare minimum that's required of me to solve your problem. If it's a ticket system, your ticket may end up 'accidentally' ending up lower priority on my queue.

Well personally I am very nice to IT people, and am friends with the two I work with.
However their defenses go shooting up like a missile whenever there's an issue. I'm always very cordial and professional, and I never blame them for anything. But for some reason they get "IT'S NOT MY FAULT TRY THIS" with everyone.
I guess reading your post annoys the sh*t out of me because I do treat everyone kindly.

Also, if you do the bolded line above instead of actually addressing your issues with people, then you're being passive-aggressive, and just as guilty of the ongoing issue. If you confronted every single person that treated you like shiat in a way that encourages a solution, people would most likely lay off it a bit.


I don't do that sort of shiat on the first offense. I only do that if you're consistently very rude and unpleasant to me. I understand people are frustrated when things happen especially if they're having a bad day already and I empathize. I wish some people wouldn't take it out on me, but I've found most people that are normally nice do come back and apologize for it. That's all fine. It's when you're consistently an asshole that I start being an asshole back out of spite. I don't have to be nice to you either, remember. I just have to fix your problem and if there are more 'important' things for me to do that are already on paper, welp, guess who's going to have to wait.

The IT defense you're describing is generally due in part by the above-mentioned assholes that treat us like constant shiat. Some know well enough to be able to mentally separate the good guys from the dicks in their head, but well, we have bad days too. Sometimes you just have day after day of things constantly going wrong and you can't seem to do anything right.

As far as I personally go, as long as you're cordial and polite to me, you'll get the most I can give to you at that moment. If you're nice to me, I'll even help you with things that aren't work-related without a fuss. If you're a dick, you get the bare minimum.
 
2012-09-13 04:13:05 PM  

flaminio:

Yeah, the "I'm not a computer person" line always sets me off. The computer is a tool that you use for your job. Can you imagine a carpenter saying "I'm not a hammer person" as he's building your house?


I'm not in IT, but as a member of our library's Core Technology Competency committee, I look forward to using that line at our first meeting tomorrow.
 
2012-09-13 04:13:13 PM  
I think the "biatching" generalization comes from the fact that IT people document their processes more so than other departments. This lends to frustration when people refuse to read documentation IT has provided for them.

Personally, I have no problem with users contacting me with, "I can't do this," "So far i've tried this," or, "When i attempted to read the documentation, i didn't know what this meant." It's the ones who don't give a crap that you spent hours of taking screenshots and documenting common problems....and you need to remind them time and time again...that we seem to biatch about.

It works both ways. I don't go to finance and say, "Hey look, I'm not good at finance...so can one of you fill out this 10 page capital request form so i can order $100k of computers." The first time i filled out a capital request form, it took me two hours to read the documentation and 2 hours to attempt to fill it out. At that point i went to finance and said, "Hey, I think this NPV is off. Do you mind helping me understand where i went wrong?" They were happy to help because they could tell i read the instructions and noted i used the wrong schedule on one of the sheets.

I don't barge in and say, "You're finance people, it's your job!"....like some folks here seem to treat IT.
 
2012-09-13 04:14:24 PM  

red5ish: In fact IT help desk workers may be the most whiny biatchy group of people on the internet outside of the politics tab on Fark.


Where do you think those politics tab commenters come from?
 
2012-09-13 04:15:27 PM  

Girion47: Gone In 26 Minutes: fluffy2097: Gone In 26 Minutes: I meant lie about things like rebooting your PC, checking connections, etc. If you're absolutely confident you've already done those things and we ask you to do it, just say you're doing it so we can cross it off the list. If you're not sure, of course, then it pays to err on the side of caution and just do what's asked. Remember, we're trying to get people back to work ASAP. We're not making people jump through hoops for amusement.

DO NOT TEACH THE USERS TO LIE!!!

All you are doing is teaching them that it is OK to not follow your instructions. Then they will lie about rebooting their computer anytime they believe that a reboot wont fix the problem.

/are you dense? telling users it's OK to lie about the problems they're having?
//I cannot count the number of times I've been told "I already rebooted it" Only to check the system up-time and it's been on for the past month.

Look, I know reading is hard and all, but try.

IF.
YOU.
HAVE.
ALREADY.
DONE.
THING.
ASKED.
OF.
YOU.
REPEATEDLY.
THEN.
JUST.
HUMOR.
US.
OR.
LIE.
WHEN.
WE.
ASK.
YOU.
TO.
DO.
IT.
AGAIN.

Example: You are having a problem with your router. You have already power cycled it five times. When we ask you to power cycle your router again, just say 'ok.' If you actually want to power cycle it again just to be sure, you can go ahead and do that, but if you've already farking done it five times before you called me, I won't begrudge you if you say you did, but don't since, well, you already did before you called.

In your example, I'm saying it's okay to lie if the user had already rebooted before the call. If I'm able to verify uptime, though, I'd skip that step entirely anyway.

I lie all the time when I call my ISP, I used to work for them, I know how to do all the user side fixes, I wouldn't call unless I needed to know if the DNS servers were down, there was a local outage, or my modem can't obtain sync.


This is EXACTLY the type of situation I'm talking about. Personally, I try to get a feel for the person's technical expertise as far as giving them the benefit of the doubt goes. If they sound like they know what they're talking about, I'll generally believe them when they say 'I tried that already.' If it just sounds like they're trying to blame me and haven't actually done anything or know what they're talking about, through the hoops they go.
 
2012-09-13 04:16:43 PM  

UberDave: I can see those as annoying but are they really that big of a deal? Most are simple to solve. The calls that should be "dreaded" are the ones that are legitimate but they can't solve -

"Yeah, your secure FTP site is dumping me every 30 minutes right in the middle of downloading a large database dump, what's the deal?"

If you are connecting via VPN, could be your ISP. Could be your PC.


...or...

"Hi, your profiles are set up to prevent programs from creating local files on the local drive and is instead putting them in the virtual store. Could you release that for admin users?"


First, you don't want normal users to have local admin rights.
Second, if you do, and they start saving everything to their PC, and it goes tits up, their is no backup unless they do it themselves. Of course, it will be IT's fault for not backing up their local drive nightly.



...or...

"Hey, there's several hundred people who are locked out of the work area and having to record their entry/exit data on paper because the access stations have slowed to a crawl. What's going on?"


Not a T1 support issue. That is network. And if that many users are having issues, the admins and engineers probably already know.
 
2012-09-13 04:18:18 PM  
FTFA: 3. "Isn't it time for my computer to be upgraded?"

That's an easy question. The answer is yes. After an hour you bought that computer.

I r so funny
 
2012-09-13 04:18:33 PM  
this article just described every damn day at work.

The comments described Sept 1st 2012 to current. Specifically "The data center's on fire".
 
2012-09-13 04:19:01 PM  

fluffy2097: Gone In 26 Minutes: I do not understand human behavior

You have fun with users lying to you about everything because you have given them explicit permission lie to your face about the troubleshooting process they have done.

/no wonder you can't get no respect.


I get plenty of respect, but it's mostly from people who actually know how to read. I'm not saying 'it's okay to lie and not do it.' I'm saying 'it's okay to lie if we ask you to do it and you already did it.' To most REASONABLE people, it wouldn't be considered a lie, but in the context of a call, it would be. You weren't rebooting the computer while actually on the phone with me when I asked you to, but you rebooted it three times a minute or so before I called.

Do you get it now? I can't explain it any better than this.
 
2012-09-13 04:21:26 PM  

Freschel: FTFA: 3. "Isn't it time for my computer to be upgraded?"

That's an easy question. The answer is yes. After an hour you bought that computer.

I r so funny


Put down the bong.
Get some sleep.
Drink coffee.
 
2012-09-13 04:21:42 PM  

Gone In 26 Minutes: I lie all the time when I call my ISP, I used to work for them, I know how to do all the user side fixes, I wouldn't call unless I needed to know if the DNS servers were down, there was a local outage, or my modem can't obtain sync.

This is EXACTLY the type of situation I'm talking about. Personally, I try to get a feel for the person's technical expertise as far as giving them the benefit of the doubt goes. If they sound like they know what they're talking about, I'll generally believe them when they say 'I tried that already.' If it just sounds like they're trying to blame me and haven't actually done anything or know what they're talking about, through the hoops they go.



I have a great ISP story I called mine because a landscaper cut through my phone line, so I called AT&T to fix it, the guy at the help desk kept saying "Let's reset your equipment and let me ping your modem." I said "Fine no problem but I can tell you there is a guy in my backyard holding 2 ends of a black cable who did not call before he started digging for a french drain."
 
2012-09-13 04:23:08 PM  
My last day as Helpdesk Manager at my institution is tomorrow, so I'm getting a total kick....

/But I will miss my student workers
//and the faculty is pretty good here too
///You want it? EIP for details.
 
2012-09-13 04:23:50 PM  
They missed my favorite.

"Uhm, hi. I think my home computer has a virus and do you think maybe you could..."
 
2012-09-13 04:24:57 PM  
Dealing with DNSBL's- can't get it? My problem. Can't send it? Still my problem.

Explaining to a guy why his virtual domain email that gets converted and forwarded to his home address JUST MIGHT get flagged and dropped, let alone how even though I 'whitelisted' your address, sorry your crappy shared hosting server rolls the dice on if email really makes it somewhere
 
2012-09-13 04:24:58 PM  

Gone In 26 Minutes:
Do you get it now? I can't explain it any better than this.


You will understand my wisdom after you spend 2 hours overtime trying to troubleshoot an issue that would be fixed with a reboot, but you decided to trust in a user's tech support skills.

/If they knew what they were doing, they wouldn't be calling you.
 
2012-09-13 04:27:15 PM  

China White Tea: They missed my favorite.

"Uhm, hi. I think my home computer has a virus and do you think maybe you could..."


That's where you say 'sure' and get some extra money.

I don't get the aversion to people accepting side work. It's extra, often very easy money and the other person thinks you're doing them a favor (and often are since I tend to give co-workers and friends of friends a break.) It's win/win.
 
2012-09-13 04:28:23 PM  

Gone In 26 Minutes: This is EXACTLY the type of situation I'm talking about. Personally, I try to get a feel for the person's technical expertise as far as giving them the benefit of the doubt goes. If they sound like they know what they're talking about, I'll generally believe them when they say 'I tried that already.' If it just sounds like they're trying to blame me and haven't actually done anything or know what they're talking about, through the hoops they go.


AT&T doesn't have your same outlook. My wife switched us over to AT&T and I noticed after a few days of being on their DSL that I could no longer get email from my webserver. I called AT&T and asked if they had any particular ports blocked that would prevent me from accessing a mail server from outlook.

Sir, did you restart your computer?

Yes, that didn't have any effect. The last time I received an email was before we had AT&T DSL turned on. Are you blocking port 21?

Sir, you have to sign in to AT&T to receive your mail.

I don't have an AT&T email address. I have a personal email on a webserver you don't control. Do you have port 21 blocked, because if you do, I cannot receive emails on that port.

Sir, I'm telling you that you have to sign in to AT&T to receive your email.

And I'm telling you that my email address doesn't belong to AT&T. I've had the same email address for the past umtee-nine years, and I've had AT&T for three days. I can log on to my webserver and see I have mail in the queue, but it will not connect to Outlook. Do you have port 21 blocked?

Sir, you have to go to the AT&T homepage, put in your AT&T account, and then you will get your email from [accountname]@att.com.

Apparently you are retarded. I've been asking you a very pointed question and you are refusing to answer. So I've just now did a port scan, and yes, your router is set to block port 21. I'm going to switch my incoming email port to the alternative port number that you do not have blocked, and my issue is resolved. Thanks for nothing.
 
2012-09-13 04:28:34 PM  

China White Tea: They missed my favorite.

"Uhm, hi. I think my home computer has a virus and do you think maybe you could..."


Oddly enough, I DO that for my employees. Only because sometimes I have nothing better to do, and some of them are doctors. Doctors that make our surgical center money.
 
2012-09-13 04:29:26 PM  

fluffy2097: Gone In 26 Minutes:
Do you get it now? I can't explain it any better than this.

You will understand my wisdom after you spend 2 hours overtime trying to troubleshoot an issue that would be fixed with a reboot, but you decided to trust in a user's tech support skills.

/If they knew what they were doing, they wouldn't be calling you.


I've been doing this for about 10 years. Some people just need you to confirm things or push a button. After a while, you learn who knows what they're talking about by their tone and their word usage. Sometimes they DO know what they're doing, but they just can't do it because they are physically incapable of doing so without admin rights or because it's just out of their hands (ISP issues especially.)
 
2012-09-13 04:33:07 PM  

Celerian: Gone In 26 Minutes: This is EXACTLY the type of situation I'm talking about. Personally, I try to get a feel for the person's technical expertise as far as giving them the benefit of the doubt goes. If they sound like they know what they're talking about, I'll generally believe them when they say 'I tried that already.' If it just sounds like they're trying to blame me and haven't actually done anything or know what they're talking about, through the hoops they go.

AT&T doesn't have your same outlook. My wife switched us over to AT&T and I noticed after a few days of being on their DSL that I could no longer get email from my webserver. I called AT&T and asked if they had any particular ports blocked that would prevent me from accessing a mail server from outlook.

Sir, did you restart your computer?

Yes, that didn't have any effect. The last time I received an email was before we had AT&T DSL turned on. Are you blocking port 21?

Sir, you have to sign in to AT&T to receive your mail.

I don't have an AT&T email address. I have a personal email on a webserver you don't control. Do you have port 21 blocked, because if you do, I cannot receive emails on that port.

Sir, I'm telling you that you have to sign in to AT&T to receive your email.

And I'm telling you that my email address doesn't belong to AT&T. I've had the same email address for the past umtee-nine years, and I've had AT&T for three days. I can log on to my webserver and see I have mail in the queue, but it will not connect to Outlook. Do you have port 21 blocked?

Sir, you have to go to the AT&T homepage, put in your AT&T account, and then you will get your email from [accountname]@att.com.

Apparently you are retarded. I've been asking you a very pointed question and you are refusing to answer. So I've just now did a port scan, and yes, your router is set to block port 21. I'm going to switch my incoming email port to the alternative port number that you do not have blocked, and my issue is resolved. ...


That's what you get from people who ONLY follow the script rather than use it as a general troubleshooting flowchart.

In your case, it's a bit different, though, because my first question would be:

Why are you hosting a POP3/IMAP server on the FTP port?
 
2012-09-13 04:33:26 PM  

LoneCoon: and some of them are doctors. Doctors that make our surgical center money.


And it never hurts to have a doctor owe you favor when you child gets sick at 2 a.m. on a holiday weekend and your choices are wait 5 hours at the ER or call in a favor.
 
2012-09-13 04:33:29 PM  
You guys all forgot "My Microsoft doesn't work."

I get that one a coupla times a month and it always means something different....
 
2012-09-13 04:34:38 PM  

Celerian: Gone In 26 Minutes: This is EXACTLY the type of situation I'm talking about. Personally, I try to get a feel for the person's technical expertise as far as giving them the benefit of the doubt goes. If they sound like they know what they're talking about, I'll generally believe them when they say 'I tried that already.' If it just sounds like they're trying to blame me and haven't actually done anything or know what they're talking about, through the hoops they go.

AT&T doesn't have your same outlook. My wife switched us over to AT&T and I noticed after a few days of being on their DSL that I could no longer get email from my webserver. I called AT&T and asked if they had any particular ports blocked that would prevent me from accessing a mail server from outlook.

Sir, did you restart your computer?

Yes, that didn't have any effect. The last time I received an email was before we had AT&T DSL turned on. Are you blocking port 21?

Sir, you have to sign in to AT&T to receive your mail.


"Ah. You're following a script. Let's short-circuit this: please escalate the call to an actual tech or let me speak to your supervisor."

If they're asking you stupid questions, then you don't need to continue wasting time at that level.
 
2012-09-13 04:35:07 PM  

Gone In 26 Minutes: Girion47: Gone In 26 Minutes: fluffy2097: Gone In 26 Minutes: I meant lie about things like rebooting your PC, checking connections, etc. If you're absolutely confident you've already done those things and we ask you to do it, just say you're doing it so we can cross it off the list. If you're not sure, of course, then it pays to err on the side of caution and just do what's asked. Remember, we're trying to get people back to work ASAP. We're not making people jump through hoops for amusement.


This is EXACTLY the type of situation I'm talking about. Personally, I try to get a feel for the person's technical expertise as far as giving them the benefit of the doubt goes. If they sound like they know what they're talking about, I'll generally believe them when they say 'I tried that already.' If it just sounds like they're trying to blame me and haven't actually done anything or know what they're talking about, through the hoops they go.


I once had a guy at Verizon FIOS try and tell me my modem was bad because I couldn't reach websites via their URLs, only by their IP addresses. He wanted me to wait a week until the new one arrived and was going to remove my modem from the account in the meantime. I hung up, called back, and had a guy check with the NOC, and he confirmed the issue, not only that, it was the first the NOC knew of it.
 
2012-09-13 04:36:03 PM  

Gone In 26 Minutes: China White Tea: They missed my favorite.

"Uhm, hi. I think my home computer has a virus and do you think maybe you could..."

That's where you say 'sure' and get some extra money.

I don't get the aversion to people accepting side work. It's extra, often very easy money and the other person thinks you're doing them a favor (and often are since I tend to give co-workers and friends of friends a break.) It's win/win.


The reason they're asking me instead of just taking it to the Geek Squad is because they fall somewhere on the spectrum of "Don't want to pay at all" and "Want to pay less than is typically charged".
 
2012-09-13 04:36:13 PM  

Gone In 26 Minutes: That's what you get from people who ONLY follow the script rather than use it as a general troubleshooting flowchart.

In your case, it's a bit different, though, because my first question would be:

Why are you hosting a POP3/IMAP server on the FTP port?


My fault. It was port 20-something and I didn't feel like looking it up. I'm a programmer / DBA and I know enough to usually figure something out. A few minutes into the phone call with tech support I had a suspicion of what was the cause, and that's why I started asking about the particular port. I don't have a need to remember port mappings off the top of my head like a regular IT or network guy might. Its probably port 25 or something?
 
2012-09-13 04:42:16 PM  

Celerian: Gone In 26 Minutes: That's what you get from people who ONLY follow the script rather than use it as a general troubleshooting flowchart.

In your case, it's a bit different, though, because my first question would be:

Why are you hosting a POP3/IMAP server on the FTP port?

My fault. It was port 20-something and I didn't feel like looking it up. I'm a programmer / DBA and I know enough to usually figure something out. A few minutes into the phone call with tech support I had a suspicion of what was the cause, and that's why I started asking about the particular port. I don't have a need to remember port mappings off the top of my head like a regular IT or network guy might. Its probably port 25 or something?


Yeah, 25 is SMTP. That sounds a bit more like it, but some people really do have weird set ups where they'll set servers to listen on different ports. Oftentimes if it's a service that is often the target of exploits or if it's a service the ISP doesn't want you to have (for example, most ISPs will block ports 21 [FTP] and 80 [HTTP,]) they'll block it by default. It takes a lot to get them to unblock it and they'll almost always require you to go up a tier in service. It's a pointless exercise these days, though, since most any decent hacker doesn't bother with port scans anymore. They just go right for vulnerabilities in software.
 
2012-09-13 04:43:49 PM  

Celerian: Gone In 26 Minutes: That's what you get from people who ONLY follow the script rather than use it as a general troubleshooting flowchart.

In your case, it's a bit different, though, because my first question would be:

Why are you hosting a POP3/IMAP server on the FTP port?

My fault. It was port 20-something and I didn't feel like looking it up. I'm a programmer / DBA and I know enough to usually figure something out. A few minutes into the phone call with tech support I had a suspicion of what was the cause, and that's why I started asking about the particular port. I don't have a need to remember port mappings off the top of my head like a regular IT or network guy might. Its probably port 25 or something?


Port 25? As in the spam drive-through window(TM)?
 
2012-09-13 04:45:01 PM  

China White Tea: Gone In 26 Minutes: China White Tea: They missed my favorite.

"Uhm, hi. I think my home computer has a virus and do you think maybe you could..."

That's where you say 'sure' and get some extra money.

I don't get the aversion to people accepting side work. It's extra, often very easy money and the other person thinks you're doing them a favor (and often are since I tend to give co-workers and friends of friends a break.) It's win/win.

The reason they're asking me instead of just taking it to the Geek Squad is because they fall somewhere on the spectrum of "Don't want to pay at all" and "Want to pay less than is typically charged".


The former is fine in cases of people I like or can pull a favor from in the future. Otherwise I make it a point to tell them I charge for side stuff. The latter is also fine because it's an extra $50-60 for me for maybe an hour's worth of work if that. Some problems are more involved, of course, and I charge more to compensate in those situations, but it's a good way to make friends in the workplace, get a good reputation and get more side work. Building relationships is a good thing - you never know when you'll need a favor.
 
2012-09-13 04:48:22 PM  

Pixiest: You guys all forgot "My Microsoft doesn't work."

I get that one a coupla times a month and it always means something different....


I like it when I get a call that starts with "I think I accidentally deleted a file. I can't find it anymore" Then I ask where the file is normally located, and they answer with "In Word.".

It's not hard to figure it out once it starts this way, but asking them to browse a folder structure is sometimes difficult. Usually the problem is that they were working on a file in a different folder, so when they click Open, it shows the last place they were working in...

So I have them open Word, and then find the recent documents list. It usually has what they are looking for and they think I'm a genius.
 
2012-09-13 04:51:02 PM  
"My iPad can't connect to the network."
 
2012-09-13 04:52:43 PM  
... they also left this sort of thing off.. something I see at least twice a month...

User: "Hi, my computer is broken. I can't do anything.."

Me: "What exactly do you mean? It won't boot? It won't power on? or...?"

User: "It won't work."

... What the user is actually talking about:

benchmarkreviews.com

How many times do I have to tell them, that's a monitor.

...

oh yeah, and THIS is a COMPUTER, __NOT__ a "hard drive"

cybertoothtech.com

Pet peeve, yes... but it gets old after a while, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
 
2012-09-13 04:53:50 PM  
These are lame. The only one that's really an issue here is the "It's not working" trouble ticket. Nothing more in the the ticket, no idea if the computer isn't working, the monitor, the secondary monitor, the keyboard, the mouse, the internet, Citrix, any of the other myriad apps we support, just It's Not Working. Period.
 
2012-09-13 04:54:51 PM  

meanmutton: Or, just say "Hold the Windows key (it is on the bottom left of your keyboard between control and alt) and then press the m key. What's it say for computer name in the lower right corner of the screen?"


I would LOVE to say that's the case, but we had a RAID drive fail in our HP server at work, and our IT support company managed to not get a replacement to us , but only told us that they couldn't get it to us after 6 weeks, and after i asked them where the hell it had got to.

Basically the problem we had is that whenever the server rebooted overnight, due to an update, or just a general crash due to the raid being out, it would never boot up properly..and because the server was the gateway to the internet and the DNS and DHCP server then no one had internet. This displeased the MD (mostly because he lives at work, it's part premises part offices) So I left very basic simple instructions blu tacked to the wall next to the server. Including, push the windows/start key

Lo and behold the server fails...and I get a phone call..which one is the sodding windows key, it's the one that has a windows logo on it...I can't see it, oh don't worry Alex i'll just work from the house.

Next day I GENUINELY had to draw a symbol of the windows key on this piece of paper in pencil.

I work with complete idiots...and it frustrates me, and they wonder why I won't take the offer off a works laptop and prefer to use my own Macbook pro in the corner.
 
2012-09-13 04:57:17 PM  

vernonFL: Forgot password - check

Why is the internet so slow? - check

A classic from The Onion


Password is a piece of cake. I just reset it in AD and tell them the new one. Takes 10 seconds.
 
2012-09-13 04:59:23 PM  

fluffy2097: IT guys do not give a shiat about password resets. They take no time to do.

"whats your username?" *clicky clicky* "ok, your password is now password, and you will have to change it to something else as soon as you login." *close ticket*


They do when that password reset will then knowingly break all the devices they get their e-mail on....

/thejoysof365
 
2012-09-13 04:59:33 PM  

Mikey1969: vernonFL: Forgot password - check

Why is the internet so slow? - check

A classic from The Onion

Password is a piece of cake. I just reset it in AD and tell them the new one. Takes 10 seconds.


...and when they call you back every week or two because they forgot it/lost it, what then? Still cool after the 10th time? Or do you get a little impatient?
 
2012-09-13 05:05:30 PM  
Coworker was crawling around under the desk to plug in the power cords. Some sharp objects poked into his forearm. When he came out from the nether zone, there were toenail clippings stuck in his arm.

/gag story, bro
 
2012-09-13 05:07:09 PM  

sure haven't: Gone In 26 Minutes: It's a give/take process - if you want expedient help then be nice to us and don't treat us like magical fix-it fairies.

That right there is the "scary truth" behind IT attitude.
It's. Your. Job.

There is no requirement, aside from the basic human requirement to treat others as you would like to be treated, to do your job. No one needs to be nice to anyone. Just farking take care of it.

We want expediant help because that's what you're being paid for. Does your contract say "we'll pay you $$, and niceys to fix our computers"?


If you're ever put in a position of authority, somebody made the biggest mistake of their lives. You should treat people with respect because it's the right thing to do. All you're trying to do is justify being an asshole, and it makes me feel sorry for the people that have to work with you.
 
2012-09-13 05:09:26 PM  
Still, after all these years, my favorite tech support call. Somewhere around 1990, I get a call from Nairobi, guy I worked with in Houston (hadn't seen in months), on the phone asking me "How do I get the penguin to pick up the cotton balls?"

Leather Goddesses of Phobos (FTW)
 
2012-09-13 05:10:06 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: YixilTesiphon: TsarTom: "I'm legally blind, but I'm a confident and fiercely independent woman. I'm new on this job and I DON'T want anyone thinking they made a bad hire, so don't even ask me to bring in a co-worker. I can't see my screen beyond a slight glow and have literally never worked with computers before. Now then, I'm told that our monthly reports are not uploading correctly, and that is all I know. What do I have to do to fix it?"

The call that lasted FOREVER.

Come on, you can't leave us hanging like that. Did you immediately send an email to her supervisor? What happened?

Yeah, hopefully she got fired for being handicapped. Those people have all the advantages of special parking (Damned government intervention). What business did she have calling a technical support line anyways?


I know everything I say makes you foam at the mouth with rage, but are you suggesting that they should have kept a woman who can't use a computer at this job which requires using a computer?
 
2012-09-13 05:12:27 PM  

SirTanon: Mikey1969: vernonFL: Forgot password - check

Why is the internet so slow? - check

A classic from The Onion

Password is a piece of cake. I just reset it in AD and tell them the new one. Takes 10 seconds.

...and when they call you back every week or two because they forgot it/lost it, what then? Still cool after the 10th time? Or do you get a little impatient?


Maybe it's a system problem if the password is getting in the way of work.
 
2012-09-13 05:16:13 PM  
They for got the "Since you lock us out of EVERYthing, I absolutely need you to come authenticate this software update/install NOW". These are also the people who, when we had no policy in place, would have the most random shiat like toolbars and such that would bring their computer to a screeching halt. I tell them that we had to enact the policy because we had "people" installing spyware laden and/or buggy apps that were actually killing the whole network at times, and they just give me that knwing look like they can't stand assholes like that.
 
2012-09-13 05:16:34 PM  
Not mine, but it apparently happened: "My USB drive won't work"
img.thedailywtf.com
 
2012-09-13 05:16:47 PM  

Unoriginal_Username: UberDave: I can see those as annoying but are they really that big of a deal? Most are simple to solve. The calls that should be "dreaded" are the ones that are legitimate but they can't solve -

"Yeah, your secure FTP site is dumping me every 30 minutes right in the middle of downloading a large database dump, what's the deal?"

If you are connecting via VPN, could be your ISP. Could be your PC.



Not really. This is a from an IT office with many computers and many clients and secure sites that we are having no problems with. Add to that, I download dumps from them all the time that are rather large. We eventually got the download only to have a corrupt dump. This isn't the first problem I've had with them - usually it is because they change the rules. The admin on their side is new and now we are having "unusual" problems.



"Hi, your profiles are set up to prevent programs from creating local files on the local drive and is instead putting them in the virtual store. Could you release that for admin users?"

First, you don't want normal users to have local admin rights.
Second, if you do, and they start saving everything to their PC, and it goes tits up, their is no backup unless they do it themselves. Of course, it will be IT's fault for not backing up their local drive nightly.


This is at a secure government site that does black-hats on a constant basis. You don't give users *full* admin rights. What they call people with "admin" rights are actually pretty restricted. One site couldn't run the software because their set up wouldn't allow rights to Program Files (pretty standard), another wouldn't let the program write anywhere. This is an enterprise suite and the vast majority of data is written to an Oracle or SQL Server database. But it needs to update local settings, registry, create the occasional document from a template, etc. I had one client (a big Westinghouse site) not figure out what it was so they just started going through the profile freeing up block of permissions until they hit the one that was needed. Awesome.



"Hey, there's several hundred people who are locked out of the work area and having to record their entry/exit data on paper because the access stations have slowed to a crawl. What's going on?"

Not a T1 support issue. That is network. And if that many users are having issues, the admins and engineers probably already know.



Not in this case. This was a power generating site for a fortune 100 company. I was on the phone with 15 members of their "team", mostly IT staff (those admins and engineers). I started at 10pm (from home). The first thing I told them (at about 10:15) was to take a laptop and "walk" the network. I spent the next two hours answering the random question because they thought it was my software. Then, two hours later, between 2-3 in the morning, they're going to take a break and come back at 6am. One of the guys at the site, who had not been talking much but tried to suggest my test, gets me by myself (called him separately). He asks me what was involved with "walking" the network. Five minutes later, he's off. 6am comes and the problem is solved. Within an hour of starting the "walk", he found a bad hub.

FYI - the "users" are non-computer people but various maintenance workers who walk up to an access kiosk and punch in their information. The relatively complex software codes their hardware and makes a brazillion hits to the database while it checks and verifies all of their information (this is the vast majority of network load for that sector). The hardware it activates is used to open a turnstile. There are 80 stations. Yes, bricks were shat.
 
2012-09-13 05:20:06 PM  

Mikey1969: They for got the "Since you lock us out of EVERYthing, I absolutely need you to come authenticate this software update/install NOW". These are also the people who, when we had no policy in place, would have the most random shiat like toolbars and such that would bring their computer to a screeching halt. I tell them that we had to enact the policy because we had "people" installing spyware laden and/or buggy apps that were actually killing the whole network at times, and they just give me that knwing look like they can't stand assholes like that.


my work computer is so locked down I can't even configure my printer to connect to it wirelessly.
 
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