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Backups Only Have Your Back If You USE THEM

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: LcRohze | March 29, 2023

I receive a call from a user.

User: “My laptop isn’t working.”

Me: “Can you elaborate for me?”

User: “It just keeps going to a white screen every time I restart instead of to the login screen.”

Oh, no. I know exactly what’s happened, and it’s the first time this has happened at this job.

I go to the user’s location and take a look at their laptop. Sure enough, the laptop is sitting at the boot menu. The solid-state drive isn’t listed as a boot device, only a PXE (Preboot Execution Environment) boot. Well, no big deal; all of our users are set up to have shortcuts to shared folders over the network and are instructed that anything important should be saved there.

I inform [User] that the machine should be under warranty and that I’ll just go retrieve a new one for them. Before I go on my way to get a replacement baselined for them, they seem to start panicking.

User: “So, you’re saying all the data on the drive is gone?”

Me: “Yes, it seems like the solid state failed. This is not a common issue at all, but all of your documents saved to the shared folders are on a server, so you shouldn’t have lost anything.”

User: “…”

Me: “You were saving your work to your shared folders, weren’t you?”

User: “No, I wasn’t. It was taking forever to transfer documents onto it, so I just saved them to a folder on my desktop.”

Me: “That’s weird; it shouldn’t take that long to transfer documents onto the server. And you know that the IT disclosure form you filled out when you were hired said to save your work into the shared folders.”

User: “Well, it was taking forever because I was working from home over Wi-Fi! This is a huge problem! I just lost four months’ worth of work!”

Me: *Internally facepalming* “So, you were working from home for a while and didn’t think to save all your work upon getting back?”

User: “I got really busy and didn’t think about it! This is completely unacceptable. I have so much work to catch up on! Can’t you do anything?”

Me: “Like I said before, no. This is why those shared folders are set up. Sorry.”

At this point, I couldn’t tell if they were ready to blow a fuse or completely break down, and I didn’t care to stick around and find out.

I got back to the office and got their new machine ready to go for them pronto, and I finished setting up a service request on the old machine. I then made sure to send out a PSA to every user reminding them to back up any documents they have if they haven’t done so already. Then, I told my boss that we should start sending out similar PSAs every month to drill it into our users’ heads.

When I got back to [User], they accepted defeat and begrudgingly took the replacement laptop from me. I felt bad for them, gave them my condolences, and went on my way.

Please use your shared folders. It will save you heartbreak and it will save us headaches.

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What is the absolute most stupid thing you’ve heard a customer say?

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