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A Week At A Computer Helpdesk

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Seeing as many of you work in IT I thought you may find this relatively amusing!



User called to say they forgot password. Told them to use password

retrieval utility called FDISK. They thank me and hang up. God, we let the

people vote and drive, too?


Accounting called to say they couldn't access reports database. Gave them

Standard Sys Admin Answer #112, Well, it works for me. Let them rant while

I unplugged my coffeemaker from the UPS and plugged their server back in.

Suggested they try it again. One more happy customer...


Quiet for last few hours. Decide to plug phone back in so I can call my

girlfriend. Says parents are coming into town this weekend. Put her on

hold and transferred her to janitorial closet.




Return from lunch.


Yet another user calls. Wants to know how to change fonts. Ask them what

chip set they're using. Tell them to call back when they find out.



Support manager arrives. Wants to discuss my attitude. Click on PhoneNotes

SmartIcon. Love to, but kinda busy. I yell as I grab for the support

lines, which have(mysteriously) lit up. Walks away grumbling.


Team leader from R&D needs ID for new employee. Tell them to hang on.

Transfer them to janitorial closet in basement.


Perky sounding intern from R&D calls and says she needs new ID. Tell her I

need employee number, and marital status. Run @DbLookup against parole

board database, CDC database, and my Oprah database. No hits. Tell her ID

will be ready tonight, I offer to personally deliver ID to her apartment.


Janitor stops by to say he keeps getting strange calls in basement. Offer

to train him on Notes. Begin now. Let him watch console while I grab a



Return from smoking break. Janitor says phones kept ringing, so he

transferred them to cafeteria lady. I like this guy.


Big commotion! Support manager falls in hole left where I pulled floor

tiles outside his office door. Stress to him importance of not running in

computer room, even if I do yell Omigod -- Fire!


Legal secretary calls and says she lost password. Ask her to check in her

purse, floor of car, and on bathroom counter. Tell her it probably fell

out of back of machine. Suggest she put duct tape over all the airvents

she can find on the PC. Grudgingly offer to create new ID for her while

she does that.


Janitor comes back. Wants more lessons. I take off rest of day.



Irate user calls to say chipset has nothing to do with fonts on form. Tell

them of course, they should have been checking Bitset, not chipset.

Sheepish user apologizes and hangs up.


Support manager, with foot in cast, returns to office. Schedules 10:00am

meeting with me.


Call Louie in janitorial services to cover for me. Go to support manager's

office. He says he can't dismiss me but can suggest several lateral career

moves. Most involve farm implements in third-world countries. I ask if

he's aware of new bug which takes full-text indexed random e-mail

databases and puts all references to handcuffs and Bambi in Marketing on

the corporate Web page. Meeting is adjourned as he reaches for keyboard,

Web browser, and Tums.


Tell Louie he's doing great job. Offer to show him mainframe corporate PBX

system sometime.




Return from lunch.


Shift change; Going home.



New guy (Marvin) started today. "Nice plaids" I offer. Set him up with IBM

PC-XT. Tell him to quit whining, Notes runs the same in both monochrome

and color.


New guy's PC finishes booting up. Tell him I'll create new ID for him. Set

minimum password length to 64. Go grab smoke.


Introduce Louie the custodian to Marvin. Nice plaids Louie comments. Is

this guy great or what?!


Beat Louie in dominos game. Louie leaves. Fish spare dominos out of

sleeves (Always have backups).


Shift change. Flick HR's server off and on several times (just testing the

On/Off button...). See ya tomorrow.



Night shift still trying to replace power supply in HR server. Told them

it worked fine before I left.


Marvin still not here. Decide I might start answering these calls myself.

Unforward phones from Mailroom.


Yep. A user call. Users in Des Moines can't replicate. Me and the Oiuji

board determine it's sunspots. Tell them to call telecommunications.


Good God, another user! They're like ants. Says he's in San Diego and

can't replicate with Des Moines. Tell him it's sunspots, but with a

two-hour difference. Suggest he reset the time on the server back two



E-mail from corporate says for everybody to quit resetting the time on

their servers. I change the date stamp and forward it to Milwaukee.


Milwaukee calls, asks what day it is.


Support manager stops by to say Marvin called in to quit. So hard to get

good help... I respond. Support manager says he has appointment with

orthopedic doctor this afternoon, and asks if I mind sitting in on the

weekly department head meeting for him. No problem!


Call Louie and tell him opportunity knocks and he's invited to a meeting

this afternoon. Yeah, sure. You can bring your snuff I tell him.




New user calls. Says want to learn how to create a connection document.

Tell them to run connection document utility CTRL-ALT-DEL. Says PC

rebooted. Tell them to call microsupport.


Finish changing foreground color in all documents to white. Also set point

size to 2 in help databases.


User calls to say they can't see anything in documents. Tell them to go to

view, do a Edit -- Select All, hit delete key, and then refresh. Promise

to send them document addendum which says so.


Another user calls. Says they can't read help documents. Tell them I'll

fix it. Hang up. Change font to Wingdings.


Plug coffee maker into Ethernet hub to see what happens. Not (too) much.


Night shift shows up. Tell that the hub is acting funny and to have a good

weekend. Che

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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