Opposites Attract: Stupid Employees And Smart Techies

, , , , , , | Working | April 9, 2020

Back in the late nineties, I was an IT manager for a radio station conglomerate. 

I had a sales rep email me and tell me that her desktop computer was acting funky and to please look at it. I asked her to bring the tower to my office. She did. I ran a diagnostic on it and it was indeed acting weird: programs not running, missing files, the like. 

The HDD was reporting fine, so I reloaded all the programs that she needed and told her to come pick it up.

Two days later, she emailed me, yet again, that the computer was wonky. I told her to bring it back to me and I’d sort it out. Same issues. This time I replaced the HDD and sent it back, confident that it was okay now.

Two days later, she emailed me, my boss, the general manager, and the owner, and said that I was incompetent because her computer was dead yet again, I should be fired, I didn’t know what I was doing, ad I was costing her lost sales, I couldn’t keep the computers running, and I was useless. 

I agreed to meet all of them at her cubicle and sort it out then and there.

We all met there at 1:00 pm on the dot. 

Her desktop case was covered with refrigerator magnets! All sides, front and back! These were removed before she brought it to me, as she “didn’t want me stealing them.”

Herein lies the rub: these people making a lot more than me didn’t realize that magnets can screw up HDDs. 

I had to rebuild the machine, yet again, test it with all programs that she needed, and put it on my test-bench with a commercial demagnetizer — used for bulk tape erasure in a radio environment — to prove that magnets were kinda bad for a computer. 

The chick still argued that the magnets didn’t do anything wrong to her machine.

I got out of IT soon after. I don’t have much patience.

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