crap count

(no subject)

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.


Things I Am Not Allowed To Do At Work, Part 9

(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..?

Skyp-ing Mother Moment

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."

VMware what?

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."


Users that make you go 'AAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!'

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.