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Funny Story today


newbi3
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For one of my jobs I work as a sub contractor for technicians and today I was fixing up a desktop and this lady told me that she thought her hard drive was failing in her laptop becuase she couldn't turn it on. She had been dealing with this issue for a few days now and didn't know what to do... The battery was dead. That the only problem. All she had to do was charge the battery.

Anyone else got a funny IT story?

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  • 1 month later...

This probably shows my age...but 15 years ago I recall my assistant telling me of a help desk call he received where the user could not turn on their computer. After going through the usual diagnostics to no avail, he asked the user what happened prior to their discovering the problem. The user said that they were in the back of the building (not near the computers) for most of the morning when thunderstorms rolled in. During the storm, the power went out and everyone shuffled to the front of the building because of light from the windows (this is also where the computers were located). After about 20 minutes, the user decided that they could at least get something done while everyone was standing around. It was then that they discovered that the computer wouldn't turn on. At this point, my assistant got one of those "ah ha" moments and ask the question, "Are you still without power?" "Yes", said the user. My assistant kindly told the person that computers need power to work. DOH!! :o

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  • 4 weeks later...

We use a lot of web based apps. These URL's are bookmarked in their browser of choice. This worked for about 90% of our users. However, there are a select few that MUST have the shortcuts placed on their desktop. What's so funny about that you ask? Well, if the user switches computers, we will almost always get a trouble ticket saying, "I don't have access to (web based program) because it's not installed." ... ... ...*facepalm*

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  • 3 weeks later...

Large woman, 400+ pounds complains all week her printer doesn't work. I sat on the issue for a few days to let it resolve itself (like usual). On the third day I went to investigate. I walked into the small annexed room her printer was located in, grabbed 300~ pages off the printer, all the same document. Walked into her room and asked "is this what you were unable to print?" She replies “Oh, you know what I think happened? The door is usually open to that room, so I can hear it print”....

<3 IT Life.

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  • 4 months later...

Somebody actually called the help desk line and asked where the "any key" was on the keyboard. I told the client to "just pick one" and she realized what she had just asked. I barely hung up the phone before I fell on the floor laughing.

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Few years back I was working with a group to develop custom websites for financial institutions. The company also owned a large datacenter, but going through them for the things we wanted to do slowed us down immensely so we had started to put in place a number of servers locally for testing and acceptence testing. Actual production work still went to the data center for obvious reasons. The local batch of servers were administered by our own admin guy who was actually rather competent and knowledgable in both Windows and Unix (fun fact: He's a pretty hardcore pen tester these days).

So we're in the last few weeks of development for this client who's actively testing on the acceptence test machine to make sure everything behaves as it should, when we get a troubled phone call from the customer saying the site went down. As this person is explaining to me what they did to verify that the problem wasn't on their end, I see this admin walk by, from our local server room back to his NOC, with a PC power cable hung over his neck. I put the customer on hold and ask the admin "Say, any idea why ACC-123 might have gone down?". The guy stops in his tracks, looks at with a half-defeated, half-laughing look on his face and says "Damn, it was the LEFT machine after all" and he heads back to put that power cable back into our acceptence test machine while I inform the customer we had a small problem with the power and the system will be back up in 15 minutes.

About that local server room, it was at ground level in the company building. Obviously that's also where the reception is and they had some, apparently from the outside rather spiffy looking LCD screens on the desk there. Now all those windows around the reception were pretty solid anti-intrusion stuff that would take more than a brick to just give way. One night some bright spark decided to try one of the windows to the left of the entrance that was just regular glass. He went in, pushed aside some of the trollies with some humming machines on them, made his way to the reception area, grabbed the screens and took off. We had a few euros in damage and needed to replace a few LCDs but got the scare of our life when we were told that the guy went in through what was now our local server room, actually pushed aside several trolly tables on which a few very, VERY expensive SUN servers resided that were actively being used by our customers. The company quickly upgraded the windows there aswell, but can you imagine the phone call that could've resulted from this?

"Yeah, hi. We're sorry to inform you that we have to cancel your test session for the next few days because....um... the server got stolen."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well... I think we all know this story a bit too well....I have had to use it in multiple scenarios and situations.

Teacher/Lawyer/Parent/IT: My printer doesnt work!

Me: Have you tried turning it off and back on again?

Teacher/Lawyer/Parent/IT: No.

*10 seconds later*

Teacher/Lawyer/Parent/IT: It works!

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My parents' PC had one of those 21-in-1 3.5" slots that could read practically any flash card or similar storage item. So after a while that unit stopped working and I get asked to fix it. Everything was hooked up decent enough so I couldn't find the fault either. Gave up and called customer support for the company that provided the machine.

I explained the situation and the friendly lady replied: "Okay. Could you turn off the power with the switch at the back of the machine (on the PSU) and then hit the on-off button 20 times?"

<silence>

Me: "Excuse me?"

She (dead serious): "Turn off the machine with the switch at the back, then hit the on-off switch 20 times."

Me (reluctantly hitting the button repeatedly): "Oh....kay. I've been messing with computers for over 15 years now and this is the most rediculous suggestion I've ever heard. How is this supposed to fix anything?"

She explained that under certain circumstances when you turn off the machine, sometimes some residual power remains within the device, causing malfunctions (I'm assuming there's some capacitor on there that remains charged or something). Hitting the on-off button briefly connects it to ground so it can offload the power allowing it to properly initialise when the machine is powered on again.

Sure enough, it worked. But it's still the most rediculous fix I've ever heard.

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I solved several problems with this "one finger fix".

Since a few years it's often the first thing I do when I'm helping people with their computers.

Edited by Broti
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My parents' PC had one of those 21-in-1 3.5" slots that could read practically any flash card or similar storage item. So after a while that unit stopped working and I get asked to fix it. Everything was hooked up decent enough so I couldn't find the fault either. Gave up and called customer support for the company that provided the machine.

I explained the situation and the friendly lady replied: "Okay. Could you turn off the power with the switch at the back of the machine (on the PSU) and then hit the on-off button 20 times?"

<silence>

Me: "Excuse me?"

She (dead serious): "Turn off the machine with the switch at the back, then hit the on-off switch 20 times."

Me (reluctantly hitting the button repeatedly): "Oh....kay. I've been messing with computers for over 15 years now and this is the most rediculous suggestion I've ever heard. How is this supposed to fix anything?"

She explained that under certain circumstances when you turn off the machine, sometimes some residual power remains within the device, causing malfunctions (I'm assuming there's some capacitor on there that remains charged or something). Hitting the on-off button briefly connects it to ground so it can offload the power allowing it to properly initialise when the machine is powered on again.

Sure enough, it worked. But it's still the most rediculous fix I've ever heard.

I just tell them to hold the power button down for a minute with the power cable unplugged. Same effect. It's not a Dell is it? That's where I see this the most.

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It was a Medion PC. Those things are very well known here for offering a very decent amount of value for money. You wouldn't be able to buy the parts of the machine for the same amount of money, and you get Windows plus support included. The thing is that anybody remotely resembling a power user in any field will scoff at the idea of having to work on one of those machine because they only provide the bare minimum. It's usually a slow CPU, a small amount of super cheap memory, a super cheap mobo and a proprietary expansion card that provides everything else.

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This one goes way back to '96 when I had my first help desk job for an ISP. The lady was using 3.11 and couldn't get her trumpet dialer to open. So I told her to move the mouse over the icon and double click, she said nothing happened, we did this a few more times, same result. I asked her to describe the icon, to make sure he had the right one, she replied " I can't see it right now, the mouse is in the way". I asked her what she meant, she then said ' I have my mouse up on the monitor over the icon and can't see it". yes, she was holding the mouse to the screen trying to click it......

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This one goes way back to '96 when I had my first help desk job for an ISP. The lady was using 3.11 and couldn't get her trumpet dialer to open. So I told her to move the mouse over the icon and double click, she said nothing happened, we did this a few more times, same result. I asked her to describe the icon, to make sure he had the right one, she replied " I can't see it right now, the mouse is in the way". I asked her what she meant, she then said ' I have my mouse up on the monitor over the icon and can't see it". yes, she was holding the mouse to the screen trying to click it......

I think that might win the most horrifying IT story award

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I got some. they are from my parents not from clients.

Both my parents are technophobes. My father has stated numerous times that the world would be better off without the internet. cause "you didn't have Chinese hackers breaking into computers when I was a kid in the 60's." Anywho one time he asked me how he could write an email so there were no spelling errors in it. So I told him to open up a word doc and type it in there. He types his two paragraph email and asks me what the red underlines mean in word. I tell him that he spelled the word wrong so he asks me to hand him a dictionary. I try and tell him that there is an easy way to fix the word but he wont listen to me and gets a dictionary. At this time I am laughing to hard and have to leave the room. 30 minutes later he calls me in to ask how he copies and pastes the word doc to an email.

My mom also has done some funny things. After explaining that she doesn't need to do this at least 50 times she still does. (im serious on me telling her over 50 times) Anywho she will log onto facebook then "surf" that website then log out and closes the internet window. She then will open a new window and go to QVC.com and close that window when done. I have tried opening up a new window but she still closes them all.

Anywho if anyone wants to see the world I live in come to south dakota where we have a police station, city works, mayor office, and library in one building and a fire house right next to it on the same block. and the public restrooms in the library have a lovely sign "please do not spit chewing tabaco pieces in the urinals"

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  • 4 weeks later...

My grandpa got really frustrated trying to use Microsoft Word to type a document so he went out and bought a typewriter. At least now I won't get any calls from them needing me to remove adware and update their java...

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My grandpa got really frustrated trying to use Microsoft Word to type a document so he went out and bought a typewriter. At least now I won't get any calls from them needing me to remove adware and update their java...

Nope, now you get all their "My fax isn't working" calls!

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One of our customers came to us in full-on panic mode because an auditor found that the database for the program we provide contains all user data in plain text (not the password, obviously, but name, gender, dob, that sort of thing). The auditor claimed that since this system was accessible from the internet, this is a big no-no.

Now, this app is intended to be buried somewhere within the LAN and very much NOT accessible from the internet, but apparently the customer liked what the app did and wrote some shitty website, housed it in their DMZ and it connected to our box. While us devs and the security people began shouting *DON'T DO THAT* the business people said to the client "no worries, we'll fix that up right away. Just sign this invoice at the dotted line and don't worry about that large number right above it".

So I reluctantly got to work and made sure all the person-identifying data in our DB ended up being encrypted.

One week later I got an email from that same customer asking "You folks did an upgrade last week and now our reporting software fails on your database. Might it be that in the upgrade you change something in the DB?"

Me: "Well, DUH! You made us encrypt all the data because the auditor, given your setup, rightfully demanded we do so."

Them: "Okay, but then could you tell us how we can figure out from the database who these people are?"

Me: "No I can't tell you because, as your auditor can explain to you, allowing this is ILLEGAL."

Customers.....

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hehe. Reminds me of quite a few years ago. You know in the movie The Matrix they had these phones that slid open (when you pressed a button on the back, which you of course DIDN'T see in the movie)? At my place of work at the time we all got the fancy version of that, the Nokia 7110.

That whole sliding open to call thing was absolutely *AWESOME* for about a week at which point everybody you know had seen it and the teething problems starting to appear. Due to the force by which that sled shot out and the absolutely shitty connection it made with the phone, along with a battery compartment that was just a little too large so when the sled locked into place the vibration has a real chance of just momentarily shaking loose the battery, the thing wasn't usable half the time. People quickly learned to just pull open the sled with their hands and tucking in a business card over the battery made the fit snug enough that it would hold.

But, eventually, the thing just started to die on me. I tried calling our phone support guys and each time they'd pick up the phone would completely shut down. Did that 3 times in a row at which point the guy answering the phone was standing next to me, with a new phone (different model) in his hand and a wide grin on his face: "I bet you're wanting one of these..."

If I ever meet the person responsible for caller-id I'm buying him a beer.

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