Some of the nonsense in my head in a readable format ;)

Category: Work

Classic Helpdesk & IT problems

These are the favourites ones I’ve ever dealt with:

“My mouse isn’t working”. Thinking maybe the mouse has packed up or come unplugged, or maybe just windows has screwed up, I walk over to user’s desk to find her moving her cigarette packet around wondering why the mouse pointer isn’t moving. hmmm. Another time it was her glasses’ case. Yup same user.

Asking a user to reboot their PC, it took all of about 2 seconds. Turns out they’d just switched the monitor off and on. That was “how to reboot” and they had never actually shut their PC down or logged out of it in ooooh about 3 years as they didn’t know how to. The only time they ever logged in was after a reboot to apply updates.

No idea how to use a mouse. Picking up the mouse and running it flat side down over the screen. I walked away crying (with laughter) and asked someone else in their team if they could give them a few tips.

Unable to send an email to their work account from home. It just kept bouncing. Eventually I asked them to send me a copy as well, which I received. Checking the mailserver logs, I trakced it down as “user does not exist” and it turns out he was spelling his own surname incorrectly!

There was the user working in a remote office whose machine wouldn’t boot. So the only option then is to gain physical access to the PC. Ask the user to bring the PC in, as they were due in our office for a meeting, and they turn up with the monitor and no PC. oops. The actual fault with the PC was eventually┬átracked down to it not being plugged in ­čÖé

Small branch office where the network kept going offline at 5:30pm every weekday for about 15 mins. The cleaner was unplugging the router to plug their hoover in, and disconnecting all 10 users from the network.

The ageing gent who would ask me probably every 3-4 months over a period of maybe 5 years “is Acrobat reader still free?” and he worked in IT!

Mind you, the same person actually had their name spelt wrong in their email signature for quite a long time (weeks/months) and didn’t notice. Someone else had changed it as a joke.



StupidITy (Don’t blame it on the software… don’t blame it on the hardware)

I work in IT, so I get to see a large number of different types of problems with people’s computers, both at a hardware and software level, on a daily basis.

Many of the requests we receive are for supporting IT staff with their end users, so it’s a sort of escalation of their support processes to assist with them in either a problem they are unable to solve, or because their issue is down to trouble they are having with something that we manage like their email or network.

The shocking thing to me is the sheer lack of detail presented in some of the requests we receive. We have an ongoing joke that we get a request simply reading “something somewhere is broken” and then from that we are expected to diagnose, identify the precise nature of the problem, and fix it.

Common things are “a user is getting an error” and not telling us what the error is, or who the user is! Screenshots people ­čÖé

Also, we have a guy we support who we have decided has a memory which is write-protected. Telling him something once or twice doesn’t help… it’s the same things over and over again. He works in IT supporting end-users!

So, remember that when you have a problem with your computer, and need to report it to your IT department, try and give them as much detail as possible. Don’t report it until you’ve rebooted the PC first and seen if that fixes it.

Really! It IS true that “turning it off and on again” is the most common fix on a computer. Resetting everything back to defaults sometimes just removes whatever has caused a problem to surface in the first place.

Of course there’s nothing better than turning up at someone’s desk, and trying something that wouldn’t work for them and having it work first time for you. That simply serves to maintain your air of mystery and leave them thinking you really are a magician. When someone looks at you in disbelief, there’s a good feeling to be had from being able to simply say “you’re welcome” or “glad I could help” and then walking away. ┬áThese really are the times that I wish I could moonwalk ­čśÇ