PEBCAK, Episode IX

, , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: Surtur_176 | September 10, 2020

My father works as a tech support in a hospital. He is sometimes “on call,” which basically means everyone in the hospital can call him at every, yes, EVERY hour of the day if there is a problem with a PC.

It is 3:00 am, and my mom and dad and I are sleeping in our rooms; mine is right next to theirs. We all suddenly wake as there’s a loud noise; it’s my father’s phone ringing and it’s someone from the hospital. It pisses us off but it happens less than once a month, and no one usually calls at night. It’s a nurse calling.

Dad: “Hello?”

Nurse: “Hello, is this [Dad’s Surname]?”

Dad: “Yes, what seems to be the issue?”

Nurse: “I am at the end of my night shift and I need to write a report down before I go home, but the office PC doesn’t start!”

Dad: “Okay, has it had problems in the past few days? The nurse before you said something about it not working well.”

Nurse: “No, nothing! What do I do?! I need to sleeeeep!

Dad: “What does the monitor say?”

Nurse: “‘No signal. ‘What does it mean?”

Dad: “Okay.”

He tells her what “no signal” stands for and tries to solve the problem. This goes on for about fifteen minutes but the PC still won’t start. Suddenly, my dad has a realization.

Dad: “Wait, look under the desk.”

Nurse: “Okay, what now?”

Dad: “Is the charger in the power-point?”

Nurse: “No? Should it be?”

Dad: *Huffs* “Yes, or else the PC has no electricity to work!”

Nurse: “Eww, but it’s gross! There’s too much dust! Can’t you come here and put it in for me?”

Dad: “Are you kidding me? I am here to tell you what to do, not to do it for you! You are a d*** nurse; you should have some gloves! If you’re so picky, use them! BYE!” *Hangs up*

My dad was fuming, and he was super tired and went back to sleep.

The hospital is one hour’s drive from my house, so the nurse wanted my dad to get in the car in the middle of the night, drive an hour, put a d*** charger in, and come back home. Some people!

PEBCAK, Episode VI
PEBCAK, Episode V
PEBCAK, Episode IV

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The Internet Cannot Cycle Up

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: AnseaCirin | September 10, 2020

I work IT support for an optician. They have stores all over France and in a few other countries. They also have a subsidiary with a production site some distance away, but still in Paris. This site is comprised of two buildings.

August is an “off month” for the whole company. Most activities go down, and more than half the personnel is on vacation, including the entire personnel of one building in the distant site, meaning that the building is closed off.

Of course, that’s when the troubles begin!

We get a warning that the Internet has gone down on the production site. Worse, the network material that we need to check is in the closed-off building. Of course, the most mobile tech of the team is yours truly, as I am on a bicycle and everybody else depends on public transportation.

Going there takes me twenty-five to thirty minutes, in 38 to 40° C (about 100-104° F) heat. Sadly, I have to wear dark trousers because of the dress code.

I grab the keys to the closed-off building only to find that, while it opens the metal curtain, it doesn’t open the main door. After searching a bit, the only option is to go back to the main site to find the other key, another twenty-five minutes in the scorching heat.

Turns out the guy who handed me the key thought he had four identical keys. Wrong: he had two sets of two different keys and only gave me one. I gulp down a half-litre of water and stash another in my bag, courtesy of the company. Back to the production site I go. Again, twenty-five minutes of rather intense pedaling under the merciless sun of early August.

Of course, opening the main door and the metal curtain does not end my troubles. The alarm is on, and the guy who controls the alarm remotely can do so only when the Internet works, which, of course, is the one thing that has gone down.

He finally gives me a code that will get me in. Of course, the d*** thing is super-sensitive, and if you take five more seconds than needed, you get your ears blasted. Ah, well. It only lasts less than a second.

Finally able to get to work, I do the usual IT checkups. I power everything down, wait a bit, power it back up, and so on. Nothing budges. I do note that the modem is stuck at a step in its power-up sequence. I take note of everything and then go back to the main site. Once there, I task one of my colleagues with contacting the Internet service provider to see what’s wrong, since that error code is for them. I, for my part, am done with my day and quite happy to be rid of this situation! I’ve spent my whole afternoon either on my bicycle or waiting for stuff to happen, with little or no AC anywhere.

A couple of hours after I get home, my colleague tells me he’s found the crux of the matter:

The contract with the ISP has not been renewed, and of course, the service has been cut. Even better, the service will take up to a week to get back up. It’s a vital part of the still-active production team’s work, and it is now completely inoperable!

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Getting To The Garlic Sauce Of Her Problem, Part 2

, , , | Working | CREDIT: scampwild | September 10, 2020

I work at a tiny summer restaurant that’s closing for the season in a few days. This particular table that I am serving tonight has been here a couple of times this season, and one of the customers orders our basic halibut dish.

Halfway through her meal, I check back and she says:

Customer: “Ma’am, I’m sorry but this just… isn’t what I had last time. It used to come with rice and be really lemony and nice. The rice is so spicy tonight; did the chef change things?”

Me: “Oh, gosh, I’m so sorry it wasn’t what you were expecting. I didn’t hear about any changes and I’m not sure what he could have given you that would be spicy, but let me take it back and ask him!”

I take it back and explain it to the chef.

Chef: “I have no idea what you’re talking about; it’s the same as always.”

Me: “To be honest, dude, the rice… kind of doesn’t look very rice-y. Are you sure?”

Chef: “Yes.”

I took my mask off in the back and poked at the “rice” a bit. And then I realized that one of our staff, who is not a cook and has just been helping since our line cook quit, accidentally gave this woman a side of MINCED. RAW. GARLIC.

I had to go to the table and explain what happened while crying laughing, and fortunately, they thought it was funny, too!

Garlic Pilaf is now on our 86, “we’re all out of it” board.

Getting To The Garlic Sauce Of Her Problem

This story is part of our Garlic roundup!

Read the next Garlic roundup story!

Read the Garlic roundup!

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The Final Word On Passwords, Part 7

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Crocodiletears128 | September 5, 2020

I work at the corporate help desk for a mid-sized company with multiple locations and divisions. Thankfully, we can answer our help desk calls from home so I’ve been doing the work-from-home life for the past few months.

Caller: “I hit the wrong key and my computer locked up!”

Me: “Oh, no! Does it respond if you hit ctrl-alt-del?”

Caller: “Nope.”

I see this caller is from a location that uses thin clients – low-performance and remote-only computers that only work online.

Me: “Is this a computer or a thin client?”

Caller: “A thin client.”

This is a potential problem because I don’t have access to that division’s servers. If their session is hung up, someone with admin access will need to log them out from the server. I can do basic user account management, but they have their own IT staff to handle these calls. This caller hit the wrong button on the phone tree, but since I’m with corporate I always try my best to help them instead of passing them off.

Me: “Oh, hmm. I’m not sure what we can do. Does it respond when you click the start menu in the bottom corner?”

Caller: “I don’t see that. All I have is my name and ‘Password’.”

Me: “Oh… and it doesn’t respond when you type?”

Caller: “No, I just have never seen this screen before.”

Me: *Pause* “Have you… tried typing your password?”

Caller: “Which one?”

Me: “Your network password.”

Caller: *Types out loud* “U-s-e-r-n-a-m-e. That didn’t work.”

Me: *Pause* “It sounded like you typed in your username; you should type what you normally try after that.”

Caller: “Oh, okay!” *Tries* “Nope. Let me try… nope! Hmm. Maybe… Nope!”

Me: “Okay, you’re locked out; let me clear it. That confirms it is asking for your regular network password, though.”

Caller: “Okay! I got it, I’m in!”

Me: “…”

Score one for persistent troubleshooting techniques, I guess?

The Final Word On Passwords, Part 6
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 5
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 4
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 3
The Final Word On Passwords, Part 2

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A Picture-Perfect Ending

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: youdontplaycrazywithme | September 5, 2020

My mom is usually chill but has a streak in her that will cause her to be all Karen-y, especially when it comes to being able to get something free out of it. This is unacceptable to me and I usually try and fail to calm and quiet her down.

It is the day of my prom and I am super excited to take pictures at this gated nature preserve close to my house. We are meeting the photographer there and my mom comes with me so that we can get pictures together. 

When we get to the place I realize I don’t have cash on me and can’t pay the $1-per-person entry fee (amounting to $3). While we are still in the car I ask my mom:

Me: “Will be okay if you pay our entrance fee?”

Mom: “That’s fine.”

When we get to the gate she pulls one on me and asks the gatekeeper:

Mom: “Do we really need to pay entry? We’ll only be here for half an hour, and we just want to take some pictures for my daughter’s prom.”

I tried to quiet her down when I heard the direction it was going. Since the money was going to the conservation of the area, I was very embarrassed about her being that stingy.

When the gatekeeper heard “pictures,” he showed us a document that, lo and behold, brought the entry fee to $30.

I laughed in my sleeve and didn’t reimburse her, since she got what she asked for.

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