Cool Solutions

“My Computer Doesn’t Use Power,” and other true stories


October 7, 2010 1:35 pm





Mark M. wrote: This contest is great; it’s like a support group for IT folks. Here are some of the things that have happened to me and I’ve shared with colleagues in about 10 years in the field…

1. PHP was a manager with the largest mailbox in the system at 19GB and always complained about the email system being slow. GroupWise indexing became corrupt and needed to be rebuilt which is when we started looking at the mailbox sizes and found that we had 3 email accounts that used over 50GB of the email system. After spending several weeks archiving the top 10 largest accounts, the PHP commented how great email was working with whatever the last fix was, completely unaware that it was archiving 10+ years of his email off of the system…which he hasn’t missed.

2. PHP calls saying that they are out of disk space on their home directory. I told them that they needed to delete anything files or archived messages that they didn’t need any more. PHP replied, “How am I supposed to know what I don’t need anymore?” I ended up having to spend some time with them and ask for each file, “Do you need this?” until she finally got the hang of what she was supposed to do. For some reason the PHP wanted to save 8 years of company newsletters but couldn’t give a reason why the needed to know the weather and who was out of the office for every day back to May of 2002.

3. After setting up load balancing on our Citrix servers I got a call from a PHP complaining that their files kept disappearing. It ends up that they were saving everything to the Citrix desktop instead of network drives.

4. One of the company managers is a PHP who always portrays themselves as being tech savvy and never needing training because “tech stuff is easy and I learn as I go.” So PHP takes their laptop to a meeting and my personal phone starts ringing around the clock. PHP can’t get any work done because they can’t connect to Wi-Fi. After calling and complaining to everyone else in management how PHP can’t do their job because the computer isn’t working we find out that they never turned the Wi-Fi toggle switch to “on.”

5. We upgraded our firewall from a physical server to an appliance based solution and went live. The next day I was pulled to the side by a PHP asking about a website. The conversation went something like this:

PHP(whispering)- I’m being blocked from a site that is very important for me to do my job.

Me- Send me the site’s address so that I can verify why it is getting blocked and open it back up.

PHP (looking nervous)- I can’t tell you what site it is, you just have to make it work again.

After the conversation ended I ran an IP traffic check on the PHP’s system and found that they were having trouble accessing a site to purchase clothes for their dog.

6. PHP’s office is being moved. On the positive side she took the initiative and helped by moving her laptop and docking station on her own and even reconnected some cables. Unfortunately, she never moved her power cord. PHP never removed her laptop from her docking station so when I was called down to fix her computer because it kept turning off; I asked where her power cord was. She replied, “My computer doesn’t use power.”

7. I like GroupWise IM and think it is a very useful tool for quickly contacting someone and getting an answer. I just wish some people knew how communicate using an instant message. One PHP will use IM to type a full letter explaining how a system isn’t working how they think it should be running and gets mad when you don’t respond within 5 seconds of receiving their version of “War and Peace.” The other PHP never gets to the point. The message goes a little like this-

PHP: Hello

Me: Whats up?

PHP(a few min later): Are you busy?

Me: I’m in the middle of something, whats going on?

PHP(another few minutes later): I’m having a problem

Me: What are you having trouble with?

PHP(yet another few minutes later): My printer isn’t working –(or something else that the PHP should be contacting the PC tech to do)

Me: What is it doing

PHP(so much later that I’ve already closed the message window and moved on to something else): It is out of paper/toner

It’s taken about 2 hours at this point to say they need something replaced that they know is stored in an accessible cabinet outside of their cubicle.

8. Back in my early days when I just started in IT, I was working in a school and got an odd call. Before I started at the school there wasn’t a permanent PC tech and it was up to the staff to try to get a hold of the Network Admin, or call support themselves…which was apparently what happened. As a result the call that I received was from a local window repair company that an older PHP shop teacher called after talking with the computer manufacturer’s support and being told that their Windows 98 was broken. He apparently thought that a window repair person would be able to fix it, and gave my name to coordinate the repair. The repair guy was under the impression that there were 98 broken windows. I wonder what would have happened if he was running Windows 2000.

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