Not Properly Monitoring The Situation, Part 2

, | Evans, CO, USA | Working | October 7, 2016

(We recently had a couple of computers move. To save manual labor on myself, I did not move monitors if there was a monitor already at the new location.)

User: “With the new screen, will my files still be there?”

Me: *hoping that I misunderstood the question* “Yes…”

User: “Are you sure? I don’t think they will be.”

Me: *inwardly dying because I know that I didn’t misunderstand* “Show me.”

(We go to the computer, she shows me a monitor that has stickers on it, where the one that used to be attached to the computer didn’t have stickers.)

User: “This isn’t my screen. This isn’t right. My files will be missing.”

(I turn the computer on, have the user login, and all of her files show up normally.)

Me: “The monitor is like a TV. Regardless of what TV you hook the DVD player up to, it will show the same content.”

User: “Oh, okay!”

(I go back to the office, and proceed to bang my head on the wall.)


Wireless, Clueless, And Hopeless, Part 17

| Boston, MA, USA | Working | July 31, 2016

(I work for a small company as the network administrator. Being a small company our IT department consists of me and my manager, supporting approximately 100 users at four sites across the US. A user’s hard drive had just crashed and I installed a new drive and OS, essentially creating a “new” PC. Now the user is trying to work from home the following day and connect to our VPN.)

User: “I’m having trouble connecting to the VPN. It’s asking for my username and password.”

Me: “Okay, it’s the same user password combo that you use to log in at the office.”

User: “I know that! It’s not working.”

Me: “That’s weird; the VPN client should be giving you an error message. What’s the message?”

User: “It says that I have to select a local connection. What does that mean?”

Me: “Are you connected to the Internet?”

User: “Yes, of course!”

Me: “Okay, try opening the browser and connecting to [Website].”

User: “It’s not working. This computer used to just connect to the Internet.”

Me: “Right, but since I just re-installed the OS, you’re going to have to join it to your home network again. It’s no big deal. Just connect to your wireless connection and put in your wifi password.”

User: “I don’t know it.”

Me: “Okay, all is not lost. Do you have an Ethernet cable? You can just hardwire it to your router.”

User: “What’s an Ethernet cable?”

(I ended up driving out to the user’s house and giving them a cable.)

Racking Up A Lot Of Old Jokes

, | Hillsboro, OR, USA | Working | January 5, 2016

(We’re taking delivery of a new server rack. It’s about seven feet tall, huge, and two shipping guys are trying to wrangle it into an elevator with a pallet jack. We’re in the middle of a busy hallway around lunchtime, and like a good techie, I’m standing there with a coworker “supervising.”)

Me: *looking at the two shipping guys* “Do you know what I love about this situation?”

Shipping Guys: “No, what?”

Me: “This is the only time I can ever admire a nice, huge rack at work and not get in trouble for it.”

Coworker: *literally doubles over laughing*

(I got a lot of mileage out of that the next few days.)

Couldn’t Spell It Any Clearer

, | Greeley, CO, USA | Working | December 28, 2015

(I work IT in a health care clinic. We have multiple sites. I get a call from a user. During the call, this happens:)

Me: *I say exactly this wanting the user to type ‘I:’* “Type I, colon, the slash that goes from the upper left, to the lower right, next to the enter key.”

User: “I, colon, s,l,a…”

Should Desist Assisting

| Frankfurt, Germany | Working | December 2, 2015

(I just signed a contract to start at a well known producer of Network devices. At this point I’ve quit my old job and apartment, and I’m looking for a new apartment in the town where my new job is located, when I get a mail from the HR department.)

HR Assistant: “Dear [My Name], regarding your application, we have decided that we cannot offer you the vacant position you applied for. Even though you are qualified for this position we have decided to hire someone else. This is not a degradation of your qualification. Kind regards, [Name], Assistant to the Head of HR.”

(Slightly panicked I call the number in the email signature of the person who send the mail.)

Me: “Hello, my name is [My Name]. I just got your mail and this must be a mistake. I signed a contract for that position. I start in two weeks. I have already quit my current job because of that contract.”

HR Assistant: *in thick accent* “I’m sorry, who are you?”

Me: “My name is [My Name].”

HR Assistant: “And you got contract? I don’t know about that!”

Me: “Is Mrs. [Head of HR] around? I’d like to speak to her.”

HR Assistant: “No… no… she’s not here. She told me to write mails to everyone. I don’t know about contract. Maybe… Misunderstanding? I don’t know. I am new here.”

Me: “I’d like a confirmation that I still start in two weeks.”

HR Assistant: “This… misunderstanding… I don’t know. I ask her… maybe…”

(Until now it was hard to understand her but at this point I am unable to understand what she is saying or if she is still speaking German.)

Me: “Great, I will write her an email, then; thanks for your help. Goodbye.”

HR Assistant: “Goodbye.”

(I’ve send a mail to Head of HR and it took only a minute for her to respond and ensuring me that it was just a mistake by her assistant. So much for ‘she’s not here’. I’ve never had so much panic in life before.)

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