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'Elitist Computer Nerd Posse'

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(34 fixes | TECH IT!)

Crowning moment of WTF... [20 Mar 2016|04:00pm]

In a shameless attempt to revive this old, dusty place, I want to know what your crowning moment of WTFery at the workplace you've experienced. I'll start.

I've been at $company for nearly ten years. This is somewhat strange for this particular industry (Tribal Gaming) as usually people get fed up with management, fed up with the pay(1), or just want a change of scenery.

I think the worst WTFery I've seen was last summer. We had seen a couple incidents of Cryptolocker poking around, and I had taken initiative to lock things down via a group policy so that I didn't have to spend several hours every couple days restoring department shares because some turkey borked their machine.

The CIO commended me for doing this. My direct boss forced me to undo those changes a few days later because I 'didn't perform a full risk assessment of the effects of locking down the machine's ability to install harmful software.'(2)

The fecal matter hit the fan shortly thereafter which ended with the CIO ordering me to re-implement my changes after a final infection damaged one of the front of line applications and took it offline for several hours before a weekend.(3)

Haven't seen a single instance of cryptolocker affecting the systems since.

Your turn!

1. The company has a *lot* of cash for buying pretty shiny hardware; not so much for retaining the talent to drive it.
2. Boss's way of saying "You didn't say 'mother may I' before taking steps to maintain system integrity", the buttplug.(4)
3. I don't *think* that final incident cost us any revenue, but it gave the boss a nice black eye.
4. And that's being insulting to all buttplugs. At least those don't drive people to mental breakdowns in front of their co-workers.

(1 fix | TECH IT!)

Huh. [31 May 2015|05:36pm]

I just dropped in to see what happened with the n00b who asked for help with their old and busted computer. I wanted to see if anyone other than me responded, etc, etc....

It would appear that they deleted their post.


(4 fixes | TECH IT!)

Things I Am Not Allowed To Do At Work, Part 10 [30 May 2015|12:48pm]

[ mood | amused ]

(Previously. Recap: University sysadmin.)

  • Change my job-title to, "Knight Errant, Keeper of the Bits, Guardian of the Unwary, and Defender against the Internet Hordes".
  • ... "Claims of accuracy are not a compelling argument. You're not allowed a better job title than I have."
  • Update the GECOS field for my user account to a value other than that held by HR.
  • To not circumvent this restriction by updating testing accounts instead.
  • To also not update the GECOS field for other users contrary to User Administration policy. Take the suffix "(Killjoy)" off my account at once.
  • ... "No, you not allowed ask the head of User Administration for special permission. She'll say yes."
  • The University's Graduation ceremonies should not be referred to as the "Semi-Annual Batman Cosplay Convention."
  • ... "moreover, you will only be admitted if wearing the traditional formal robes. Your sloppy clown make-up and purple jacket is completely inappropriate."
  • You are not to invent your own hazard glyph that asserts "THIS OBJECT IS COMPLETELY HARMLESS".
  • ... particularly if it has a post-it added that adds, "... unless provoked."
  • No, the Vice-Chancellor is not a Cylon.
  • You are not empowered to set condition one throughout the department.
  • The departmental fire coordinator is responsible for managing the building's fire wardens, not for calling in airstrikes on targets of interest. Send that radio equipment back.

(11 fixes | TECH IT!)

Wow 2 years since last post [26 May 2015|11:32am]

[ mood | bored ]

I keep forgetting LiveJournal exists.  Then I get an email stating that some one that's not a member tried to post spam.   On a medical leave of absence from tech support right now, though when I was last doing it it was more of techsupporting the customer instead of the equipment (complaint management where I'd have to tell people "Yes, you are going to have to talk to some one from India, no I am not able to help you fix your registry".

(10 fixes | TECH IT!)

There must be a logical explanation [08 Nov 2012|05:12pm]

This morning my girlfriend's father asked me to fix the Kindle App on his iPad. I did.

And learned that the only ebook he owns is Fifty Shades of Grey.

(6 fixes | TECH IT!)

This is why I can't have weapons at work. [17 Apr 2012|07:04pm]

[ mood | enraged ]

Cut for hatredCollapse )

(2 fixes | TECH IT!)

I hope. [07 Apr 2012|09:54am]

I hope, the next time I'm re-installing PCs for a company whose equipment budget is so tight they have to re-use machines that have been doused by a burst sewage pipe, that they'll be courteous enough to tell me this before I come back from lunch.

Thank god I'm not permanent there. Luckily, I've made a habit of sterilising my hands after touching customer equipment. Users are filthy.

(22 fixes | TECH IT!)

[24 Mar 2012|04:22pm]

I've got a poll for all of you who do end-user support.... 
Poll #1828676 Entitled

Which group, generally, is most irritatingly entitled?

Something else, which I'll rant about in the comments.

(6 fixes | TECH IT!)

Things I Am Not Allowed To Do At Work, Part 9 [22 Mar 2012|01:09am]

[ mood | amused ]

(Previously. Recap: University sysadmin.)

  • Name servers after meta-syntactic variables.
  • The correct strategy for coping with a contagious illness is not, "Continue to come in and cough on all the users, so that there's no work for you to do when you recover.”
  • Configure the undergraduate lab workstations to object verbally when someone tries to wander off with one of it's peripherals.
  • Change the graphical login shell on April Fools Day to mimic the Windows 95 desktop, complete with Mac start-up chord.
  • Tell a user that all of their data – and all of the backups of their data – are gone, "Just to see the look on their little faces."
  • Reduce load on the home-directory servers by implementing "rolling SIGSTOPs" on end-user terminals.
  • Keep sharpened CD blanks in my desk drawers.
  • Say, "Ooops, that's not the button I meant to press." while in earshot of, well, anyone.
  • Explain to undergraduates that "the git revision control tool" is an implement used by authoritarian lecturers to make them prepare harder for exams.
  • Publish notices in public spaces claiming that "It's not just you. Technical support really are out to get you. Yes, you."
  • ... or add a footnote claiming that the ire of technical services can be placated with chocolate.
  • Well done, however, for passing your first-aid training. Hopefully you won't need it. While you're at it, could you take over as the local fire coordinator as well..?

(4 fixes | TECH IT!)

Skyp-ing Mother Moment [16 Mar 2012|05:22pm]

So, it's been about...umm FOREVER since I've posted or even looked at this community. I recently got back into the support world after an 8 year stint being away from anything support related. Luckily, we don't have a lot of WTF moments for the software company I work for in relation to EUs. So, now I get most of my support funnies from my mother.

I go to my parents' house and my mother asks, "Have you ever Skyped before?" I actually have not. Just haven't had the need or desire to. I tell her no. She says, "Oh well. I have before and now I just can't get it to work. It was working yesterday. I just can't seem to find how to launch it on their website."

So, I sit down at her computer and glance for keywords about launching from the site. I see nothing. So, I immediately go to the help section where I discover it's software. I close all her windows. *Meanwhile she's behind me asking what am I doing frantically* I go to Programs, launch the program, then get up and leave. I can hear my mom laughing as I leave. She then shouts to me, "You must really think I'm an idiot!"

"No, mom. I just don't think you remember how to read when faced with a computer."

(9 fixes | TECH IT!)

VMware what? [11 Mar 2012|12:19am]

Background: Small investment company.

CTO Partner: I have a special project for you, so I need you to have VMware VCP 5.0 certification ASAP!

Me: Sure! (Thinking that he wants in-house server consolidation...The company pays for the class, materials and exam...So why not?)

Months later...This last Friday.

Me: Well, now I'm a VMware Certified Professional. What is this project?

CTO Partner: The company partners all want to use iPads like their laptops!

Me: Wait. What?

(CTO Partner shows me a VMware View Client for iPad youtube video.)

Me: I'll get back to you.

So the presumption was that the VCP certification would also include training in deploying VMware View and VMware ThinApps.

The "special project" was imagined that the company partners would be marching around the office halls poking and prodding their iPad 2's (and, most likely, all iPad 3's by April) virtual Windows desktops.

On Monday, I have the joy of informing the CTO Partner that I will need a couple more months to learn how to deploy the in-house VMware View/ThinApp environment that he originally expected.

It's not a "That's a firin'" event...But I definitely need to manage and better define the CTO Partner's expectations about his "special project."


(8 fixes | TECH IT!)

Users that make you go 'AAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!' [11 Feb 2012|01:01pm]

I guess what I hate most about my job (AD/Exchange/Backup/COAT* Administrator for a company of ~1400 users/3000 employees) is not the support folks throwing stuff over the fence at me, not departments pulling the 'oh, we need to contact HR to finalize an employee transfer before you'll re-provision their account entitlements, even though we did this weeks ago?' card**, not even the legitimate problems (such as the PDCE domain controller becoming increasingly stupid until I moved it to freshly resurrected server***).

What I hate the most of when groups of users are moved. Such as when a group of five users are moved from one organizational unit to another, with little or notice to the IT group. Especially when said five users are taking up more space on the SAN then the entire department they are moving to. Oh, and world+dog still needs access to their files (but refuse to say WHAT FILES). Oh, AND they absolutely, POSITIVELY REFUSE to use the interdepartmental share that's designed for such nonsense, even AFTER we've told them about it. Multiple times. And then have shit kittens when half their stuff disappears because their workstation decided to cache their files locally (despite the corporate group policy stating otherwise****) instead of using the SAN's ~1 TB or so of storage*****.

Plus, this is not the first time this group has been moved, and since they have upwards of half a TB of crap, I said 'fuck it!' and put them into their own damn group. It's not perfect, but if the rumors of them getting moved again are true, then it'll be less work for me to move them around.

So, what's the nastiest user horror story ya'll have run into?

* Cat of All Trades - generally, I'm generally the poor bastard that gets pestered first before the other senior network administrators, only because of my time in the place and knowledge of almost every system in use.

** I blame the lack of a solid process that's enforced with an iron spike covered fist for these debacles. At least I'm on good terms with the HR staffer that handles all these changes- she's a bit of a dragon when provoked.

*** At one point, we had it from one of the top support engineers at M$ that one could virtualize all the domain controller in an AD forest. We found out about two weeks ago during a risk assessment profile that we paid for that this was not the case. My best guess is that was the straw that broke the cat's back, as the domain controller in question went pear shaped the day after the assessment was finished. Fortunately, I had not pulled the old, out-of-warranty physical domain controllers out of the rack, so a little techno-necromancy later and we have a temporary DC running as the FSMO and nothing BUT the FSMO until we get a brand new pizza box in.

**** I blame the support group for dumping their machine or user account into the "excluded from ALL GROUP POLICIES" group which is supposed to be used for troubleshooting a group policy problem to begin with, which has the effect of breaking stuff on the local machine, which, oh by the way, violates a couple regulatory controls that are part of the compact which allows us to exist. Gawds, I love tribal gaming!

***** At least, until the snapshots for said SAN ran the thing out of space overnight; thank BOG the next morning was our monthly change window, and I came into the business being at a DEAD HALT because the support tech didn't bother calling us in a panic like he should have, and our automated systems don't scream in that manner (yet). That was a FUN morning.

(4 fixes | TECH IT!)

Dear extended family, [21 Dec 2011|10:48am]

If you want some help with your internet issues this Christmas then please, for my sake, make an effort to hide your porn.

Last year was pretty awkward.

(9 fixes | TECH IT!)

My shortest (and best) Field Service TAP ever [21 Nov 2011|05:00pm]

[ mood | frustrated ]

"Investigate server shaped brick."

Really. I have absolutely NOTHING to go on with this case. AT ALL. That is honestly the best I can do with this one :(

(5 fixes | TECH IT!)

[18 Oct 2011|06:26pm]


Hardy har har.

(20 fixes | TECH IT!)

Things I Am Not Allowed To Do At Work, Part 8 [15 Oct 2011|04:41pm]

[ mood | amused ]

(Previously. Recap: University sysadmin.)

  • Refer to my office as the 'holding cell'.
  • Remove the world-executable bit from /bin/rm, because "the users can't be trusted to use it safely."
  • Demonstrate my dominion over the undergraduate lab by scripting all of the lab machines to sequentially eject and withdraw their CD drive trays in a continuous mexican wave.
  • Update the service status page to enumerate the current functional levels of the system administrators.
  • ... particularly listing your own status as "low voltage on +5 line, supply more coffee."
  • Reconfigure printers to display as their low-toner message NEED MORE POWDERED CHOCOLATE.
  • ... or have them display the message OM NOM PAPER when loading from the extended magazine.
  • ... never, ever configure the printers to display the message JUDGING YOU at any time. One of the secretaries had to be restrained from beating their office photocopier to death with their shoe.
  • The correct sequence of steps of making a presentation is not, "1: Insert foot in mouth. 2: Aim gun at foot. 3: Fire." Kindly remove this text from the "Helpful advice to undergraduates" wiki-page.
  • Maintain and/or distribute fortunes files containing quotes from University lecturers.
  • Add Aerial Faith Plate markings to the floor-tiles in the machine-room.
  • ... or label individual lecture theatres and labs with test-chamber glyphs.
  • ... or, in any other way, indicate to the student population that cake may be found in the College tutor's offices.
  • I am permitted, nay encouraged, to study the Canons of Effective and Ethical Systems Adminstration. The study of cannons, however, is strongly contraindicated.

(15 fixes | TECH IT!)

[14 Oct 2011|11:53am]

I don't know how 'tech' this is, but hey, it's pissing me off, and I'm a tech, so here goes.

We here at Small Computer Store do sell preowned Pear computers. As you might imagine, this is a horrifically popular service.
We have a LIST, a waiting list.
You sign up for the list, and when we get one that meets your specifications, we call you. Nice, right?
Now, the downside to this, as I have explained to more than one complete asshole today - IF YOU ARE NOT ON THE LIST, YOU GET FUCK-ALL. Why?

Your computer crashed at 11 o'clock last night? Aww, I can try and fix it.
Aha. You spilled beer on it. Nope, that's not going to be fixable. Very sad.
You'd like to buy a preowned replacement? Yes, certainly. PUT YOUR NAME ON THE LIST. YES. AS I EXPLAINED TO YOU ON THE PHONE WHEN YOU CALLED, JUST TWENTY MINUTES AGO. Why would you think you'd get a more-to-your-taste answer if you came in and whined? This is why we have a list - because lots of people have broken their computer, just as you have. I hate whiners. Everyone hates whiners. Why would that ever help?

Jesusmonkeyfuck, people, how hard is this shit?

(7 fixes | TECH IT!)

[06 Oct 2011|09:02pm]

I work with credit card terminals.

One of our "UBER IMPORTANT" (Head up ass!) client calls with an issue hitting an SSL address, keeps failing. I do some basic troubleshooting and tell them I will double check something with the device maker.
They have 2 models of devices that are identical except one is PN #AAA and one is PN#AAB. I have both of those in my inventory so I try to recreate the issue. No dice. Everything works fine here.

Must be their network (they have a jacked up setup). Of course, they say "NO WAY! OUR NETWORK IS UBER! Our IT guy is a god and you are dumb!"

So, they decide that they need to send me the "broken" equipment.

I plug it in. Nope. Doesn't work on my network either. Defective?

Since we didn't sell this specific piece O crap to them...I tell them to get a hold of the device reseller and troubleshoot it.

2 days - crickets.

I email them to see how they want their doorstops shipped back and the EVP has a holy hissy fit on me.
"Why didn't I do more? Why didn't I call their reseller and figure it out??"

Like you assholes are my only client and this isn't costing my company money that we will never get from you.

I take another look. Date's wrong in the device memory.
It's gone back to 2001.

DHCP. SSL certificates expired 11/22/2001.

God they are morons. Who doesn't fix the date/time on something before they even play with it?

Change date/time - renew/release the IP.

Huh, image that. SSL cert date of 10/06/2011 - works fine...

(9 fixes | TECH IT!)

learning to recognize the signs of stroke [22 Sep 2011|03:40pm]

Guy calls our desk and is having trouble with his TV. I let him know that our desk does not handle that, but if he goes to av.domain.com, he'll find some contact information there.

"It won't find that email address."

That's not an email address; it's a website.

"So how do I get there?"

You just type that in the address bar in Explorer.

"But it didn't find that address."

Not in Outlook; in Explorer.

He opens IE and the company's internal home-page comes up.

"Where is it on here?"

You just type it into the address bar at the top.

"It just brought up a bunch of stuff. Which one do I click?"

Like what? What do you mean, 'a bunch of stuff'?

"The Bing results."

OK, don't type it in the search bar. Type it in the address bar.

"What was that site again?"


(typing)"AV@domain.com.....it's not finding it."


(31 fixes | TECH IT!)

30 Tips from IT to the Kind Users [19 Sep 2011|03:22pm]

1. When we say we'll drop by, log off your PC and take a coffee break. It's no problem for us to gain access to and remember 1500 networks.

2. When you call and want your computer moved, make sure that it's covered under hundreds of postcards, baby photos, stuffed animals, dried flowers, bowling trophies and recipes. We don't have lives of our own and we are deeply touched when you let us get a glimpse of yours.

3. When we send out important emails and relate vital informations, feel free to delete them - immediately and without reading them. We're probably just checking the mailing lists.

4. When we eat lunch at our desk, feel free to interrupt us with your problems, and expect answers immediately. We're here to serve, and we're always ready to solve computer errors.

5. When we're taking a coffee break, having a cigarette or joining the talk at the water cooler, we're also available for technical questions. The real reason for these human activities are that we offer ourselves to people without email and phone.

6. Send all important emails with CAPITAL LETTERS. The mail-server recognizes these as important and deliver them EXPRESS to the recipient.

7. If the photocopier, fax machine or coffee machine doesn't work, call us. There's probably some sort of electronic system in it, which makes it an obvious case for us to solve.

8. If there's something wrong with your home PC, leave it on an empty chair, without name, without phone number, without error message. We love a really good mystery.

9. When we try to guide you through problems over phone, feel free to read the newspaper while we talk. We don't expect YOU to do anything. We're just talking to ourselves.

10. When we offer training in new systems, feel free to ignore them. We're still here, when you need personal training.

11. If the printer doesn't work, send the job at least 20 times. It's a known problem that print jobs disappear into the great kosmos without explanation.

12. If the printer still doesn't work after 20 jobs, send the job to every printer available. There's probably one of them that still works.

13. Avoid using Online help. It's only for complete idiots.

14. If you take IT-classes in your spare time, please update various drivers in your own and your apartment's computers. We're grateful for the chance to troubleshoot for hours after you've gone home.

15. When we help you during lunch, feel free to eat your lunch in front of us. We work best when we're slightly starved and weakened.

16. Never thank us for our assistence. We're fully satisfied with "That's what you're paid for!"

17. When we ask if you've installed any new programs on your computer, lie. It's none of our business what you have on your work PC.

18. If the cable to your mouse constantly knocks over the photo of your hamster, feel free to place the cable under the PC. Cables are made to withstand heavy weights and sharp edges.

19. If your spacebar doesn't work, it's probably due to an update. Keyboards work best when filled with cake crumbs and spilled coffee.

20. If a message asks "Are you sure?" click Enter immediately. Of course you are sure! Otherwise you wouldn't be doing anything!

21. Please tell us that you don't know anything about this "computershit". We love when the need you have for our professional abilities is described as "shit".

22. When you need to change the toner, please call us. Changing a toner is an incredibly complex technical task.

23. When something is wrong with your computer, get your secretary to call IT. Nothing is more exciting than talking to somebody, who doesn't know what the problem is.

24. If you receive a 30 MB movie, feel free to forward it to every other colleague. We have plenty of space on our mail servers.

25. Never consider splitting huge print jobs up into smaller jobs. It would be awful if somebody managed to slip in a small rush job.

26. When you meet one of us at the supermarket Saturday afternoon, you're more than welcome to ask questions. We work 24-7-365.

27. If your son studies IT, feel free to let him use your office PC for his projects. We're always happy to help when his pirated copy of Visual Basic 6.0 makes our SQL databases crash.

28. Remember that it is a huge help for us if you can tell us that last time you had this problem, "somebody just did something and then it worked." This information is the key to everything.

29. When you bring us your private PC so we can troubleshoot it, remember to tell us, how important it is, because your kids need it to play Doom 2. We'll take care of it immediately in our spare time, which is held at the office anyway. Everybody knows, we just spend all day surfing the internet.

30. Feel free to download and install programs from the Internet. If it doesn't work - or destroys your office PC completely - it was probably a useless machine anyway.

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