Lame Helpdesk Rant.

I don’t know what it is but the beginning of the month seems to bring out the ost annoying characteristics in my users. In the last week I have had to answer calls for everything from a major virus outbreak (caused by a program called “sex.exe” :rolleyes: ) to people neglecting to plug their machines in then wondering why they won’t boot.

These aren’t the problem. I’m used to that by now, been used to it since before I ever started working in the field. The problem is that some of these people have the fucking audacity to call me for assistance and then say “No, your wrong, that’s not it.”

No big deal, maybe they tried the solution I gave and it didnt work but that’s NEVER the case, I’ll ask “What have you tried to do to fix this?” and they say “nothing, that’s your job”

So…its my job to fix their problems when ever something goes wrong never knowing if I should expect and unplugged printer or smoke pourring from the monitor but…when I give you the solution…when I “do my job”


God why can’t I have the balls to play a little BOFH?

Sorry about that…go about your business.

I sympathize with ya!

I’m often tempted to ask these know-it-all callers that if they’re so damned sure of what’s wrong with their computer, why they didn’t fix it themselves.

“lemme put it to you this way, lady. I’m up here in the operations center with my nice comfy Aeron chair, 22” flatscreen monitor and my own stereo, bopping along to the B-52s and you’re on a teller line somewhere in South Yuma with a 14" amber terminal, no chair and listening to the tinny Barry Manilow drifting down from the ceiling. I’m gonna guess that you know how to count money and operate a calculator. Hell, I’l even wager that you can run that calculator better than me. BUT YOU DON’T KNOW SQUAT ABOUT THE MAINFRAME THAT LOST A PROCESSOR BOARD 45 MINUTES AGO, CAUSING SOME TRANSACTIONS TO FAIL AND OTHERS TO BE SLOW AND THAT WE HAVE A CRACK TEAM OF IBM’S FINEST ENGINEERS ARRIVING IN ABOUT 10 MINUTES WITH REPAIR PARTS. THE PROBLEM IS NOT WITH YOUR COMPUTER, SO PLEASE STOP MESSING WITH THE CABLES AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP POKING RANDOM BUTTONS ON THE PRINTER!!"


One of my wife’s co-workers had a problem with her Windows box. My wife suggested rebooting. That fixed it.

A few weeks later, the co-worker protested of the same problem, and said, “I’ve rebooted about fifteen times this morning, and it’s not fixing it this time.”

My wife looked at her for a minute and said, “You know, it’s not like it’s going to build up muscles if you keep rebooting it…”

No fair, gotpasswords! I want an Aeron chair!

Forget the Aeron chair…I want the 22" flatscreen!

When my users start causing me trouble, I just start enforcing the draconian Computer Usage Policy. Gets 'em every time.

God, I love my company’s CUP. It gives me unlimited power and the users none. :cool:

Forget the flatscreen, I want IBM’s crack team!

Meros, I hear ya on that one.

Another thing that pisses me off about calls I get is when people won’t tell you what the symptoms are, or won’t answer your trouble shooting questions. They just want you to pass it on to another area. So you’re telling me that you would rather wait up to a day for someone to get round to calling you back than maybe spend 5 minutes with me? :rolleyes:

I wish we had something like that but we’re stuck under University IRT for much of our policy and their Acceptable Use Policy is a little on the lax side to say the least.

On the bright side…should they happen to actually be in my building and REALLY annoy me I can always cause them to have a slight “network outage” localized to their office :smiley:

In the light of RickQ’s post. Has anyone got the wonderful e-mail saying nothing except “My Computer won’t work” or even better simply “It doesn’t work” ?

Well, there was the phone call I got a couple months ago:

me: Information Security, this is Gotpasswords.
screaming she-bitch: The fucker is stuck!
me: Excuse me?
her: I don’t know if I’m in the right place, but the fucking thing is stuck!
me: Ma’am? What’s stuck?
her: This goddamn computer! It’s stuck!

Needless to say, her tone didn’t improve, especially when I told her that we don’t handle LAN passwords and had to call a different support group.

And yes, I get a bejillion emails along the lines of “Please reset my password” (And this is in which of 45 systems we support?) or “I can’t su” (To what application and on what server?)

Given there was a pretty good response on this thread I think I might hijack m own thread (is that allowed?)

You can’t be in the field of IT without having at least one or two stories that demonstrate the profound stupidity of some of our users.

My personal favorite is one of our faculty has the ability to thoroughly destroy each and every computer he touches. Each of them meets its own unique and interesting fate bbut my favortie was with the laptop the department loaned him after his was stolen.

Said professor, let’s call him P, calls me with a problem. Conversation as follows.

M:Biomed IT, Meros speaking.
P: I’m having a problem with my computer, I think its a virus
M: Can you tell m exactly what’s wrong?
P: Well I was trying to run IE, Word, Excel, and Acrobat all at once and my computer froze and now it won’t let me click on anything.
M: Your bogging your system down, you need to kill at least one of those programs. Hit Control-Alt-Delete and if any programs say “Not Responding” next to them select them and hit “End Task”
P: It didn’t work.
M: Well, if your system is bogged down enough it might take a few moments for the dialog to come up. Call me when it does.
(15 min. later)…

P: It still hasn’t worked, but I think the problem is my keyboard.
M: Ok, brin it down and I’ll take a look at it.

P brings his laptop down to my office and I open it to reveal a truly horrific sight. The keys that are still present are warped beyond use and the rest of thm are completely gone. The obvious question is what the hell did he do to this thiing.

M: What on earth did you do to this machine!?!?!?
P: Well I spilled some water on it the other day and used the haiir dryer in my office to dry it out.

I went up to his office to investigate and found the offending “hair-dryer”. It was a heat gun which pushes air at upwards of 400º F…

I just want to know why he didnt think something was up when the keys started to fall off…
Anyone else have a juicy story?

Well, a story about me along those lines, Meros

My keyboard was dirty so I wanted to clean it. Did I use the air in a can to spray the dirt out? No. Did I use alcohol swabs to get the residue off? No. Did I even bother to ask anyone what the suggested method of cleaning might be? Hell no.

I popped every key off my keyboard, piled them all up, and dumped them into pot of boiling water.

It did clean them. It also ensured that about 50% of the keys would no longer fit back onto my keyboard because the heat of 100 degree water seems to do something to plastic that is undesirable. WHo would have thought?

In retrospect, I’m amazed that I managed to salvage even half of the keys. I still have the keyboard and a baggie full of letters that shall never be.

Worse: I’ve had phone calls like that.

Dijon: Operations, this is Dijon.
User: Yeah, my computer’s not doing anything.
Dijon: What do you mean exactly?
User: It’s not doing anything.
Dijon: Is it dark, like it’s without power, or is the screen locked?
User: No, it’s not doing anything.

Okay, that was weird. Who knew I had a posting key?

Dijon: Can you see anything on the screen or is the screen dark?
User: No, it won’t do anything. I was doing something, I don’t remember what I was doing, and then something weird happened and now it won’t do anything. Could you come and look at it?
Dijon: So the screen is completely black?
User: No, it’s got stuff on it. Up at the top, it says (rambling verbal screenshot follows) but now it won’t do anything.

He’d kicked the mouse cable loose. :rolleyes:

Here’s a hint: if I ask for more information, then it’s likely that “It’s not doing anything” is insufficient to tell me what the problem is…no matter how many times you repeat it.

I like this much better. :slight_smile:

The visual of both parties waiting for the other to say something that makes sense to them is great.

And it happens all the time to me, Anonymous Coward. I will just sort of sit there trying to figure out what the hell they’re talking about.

Actually, I have two pet peeves. Oneis a user (whose very sweet) who smokes. Just looking at her office makes want to shower. Its filthy. The keys are encrusted with a black slime. Ick.

I don’t get the type pf people most listed (the super-moron). What I get are the Utterly Ignorant.

Me: Hello, this is XXX at XXXX.
Them: Yes, my thingy won’t work.

I walk them over my standard questions trying to figure out what’s up.

Me: OK, I want you to open your AOL (as if we didn’t have six signs saying AOL won’t work right with the system) and then miminize it.
Them: What’s minimize.

Pause while I try to figure out at which point this woman decided it was my job to teach her to use her PC

Me: Explains task OK, now open Internet Explorer.
Them: What’s that?

Me: Explains task, which she does wrong PLease click the back button, Ma’am.
Them: What’s that.
Me: Please hold.

*I sit at my station and relax for a few moments. I imagine I’m kill her painfully. I stretch out.

Me: OK, now leave it until it gets done downloading.
Them: Starts asking boneheaded questions about her ISP, etc.
Me: I stare in shock. Why does she expect ME to tell her what ISP she should get. She’s across the fricking country. Look, go learn how to use a computer, then buy one. Morons. She doesn’t even know the difference between a browser and ISP.

May I hijack…JUST for a second…to let you know that not all the Boneheads are on the Luser side of the phone…

A company I worked for (who shall remain nameless) instituted a helpdesk email system. Problem with the computer? Submit an email through this process using THAT form and we’ll get back to you within an hour.

Works great…except the one day my computer LOCKED UP. It’s a UNIX workstation and I can’t shut it down - the power button is hidden behind a locked panel.

so I have the audacity to CALL the helpdesk.
Helpdesk: “Hello, this is the helpdesk.”
Me: Yes, this is kfwilkinson, and my computer is locked up. Can you reboot it?
Helpdesk: Submit an email from the affected machine and we’ll get to it right away.
Me: Um…I can’t submit an email, that’s why I called. My computer is completely frozen up. Locked up. Nothing moves. Nothing works.
Helpdesk: right, so just submit an email from it and we’ll reboot it immediately.
Me: Look…I can’t send you an email from a computer that WILL NOT WORK. Can I send one from my co-worker’s computer?
Helpdesk: No, then we’d reboot theirs instead. Send us an email from the affected machine and we’ll reboot it immediately.
Me: OK. I’m only going to say this one more time. Listen carefully. ** The. Machine. Is. Completely. Locked. Up. I. Cannot. Even. Get. the. Mouse. to. Move. Let. Alone. Send. An. Email. To. ANYBODY. do. You. FINALLY. Understand? **
Helpdesk: You know, you don’t have to get nasty. Just send us an email from the affected machine.
Me: (Stunned Silence):smack:

I finally had my boss call them…


We now return you to your regularly scheduled rant.

Idiot tech support can be just as much fun as idiot (L)users. Might I say that on that front it looks like your company found some true gold kfwilkinson

For some reason I’m picturing your typical (l)user sitting behind a help-desk drooling over his keyboard while reading from a script because he was the one lucky enough to be elected by his department as the most knowledgeable.

Either that or the the bar has been lowered to a subterranean level.

Bad tech support? This incident is almost routine around here.

Mass E-mail messaage from IT guy:
“The mail server will be shut down at 12:30 pm today. Will advise when system is back up.”

3pm rolls around and we’re still waiting for when the mail server will be operational. On a whim, let’s try opening Outlook. Oh look, it works, and there’s an email from the IT guy.

Mass E-mail messaage from IT guy:
“The mail server is back up.”