What's the problem? Amusing computer issues

If you're not an IT person, you may want to avoid reading the rest of this article in case you're easily offended. It's just an amusing stab at customers computer issues. Note that most of the below were remote support jobs so we weren't there in person and could only see the users screen.

Three Webdevelopers phone in to say their computers can't view a website properly

"Can someone have a look at our computers because we recently received the new corporate template for our website and it's not displaying properly on my colleague's computers". [Priority 1]

What's a web guru?
Well this might be obvious to some but these are self-proclaimed highly qualified web-gurus in the marketing department. They'd paid around £150,000 for a template designed by a 3rd-party company. Received the zip and uploaded it to their homepage. The 3rd-party company had obviously designed the template to work in one browser only: Internet Explorer version 7. The marketing web-gurus were simply using different browsers. The project leader was on IE7, while their designer was on an Apple Mac using Safari, and a third was using Mozilla Firefox. We told them to go back to the template providers and report the same problem to them...???

Staff member requiring access to a secure application

"So that's all installed for you. I just need you to restart your computer now and tell me when that's done.".

"I've done what you said but it's still not working".

"From my logs, you haven't restarted this machine in a while.".

"No I definitely log off every evening and then back on again".

"You mean you log back on in the morning?"

"No it takes so long in the morning, this is quicker".

Explained how logoff is not the same thing as restart and reminded on both IT and environmental policies. Tech Notes: For PCs: Run a command prompt and type systeminfo: Look for "System Up Time".

A staff member in a partner institution:

"By the way my printer has stopped working, in fact it hasn't been working for ages, could you also look at that".

"Is there a power light on when you switch it on?".

"Yes it's definitely plugged in if that's what you're asking.".

"Is it a networked printer, I mean is there a cable that directly connects the printer to your computer or does the printer plug into the wall? Ok could you please follow the cable from the computer to the printer and tell me.".

"Hang on its on the other side of the room.".

This was a remote support job over the phone. The discussion above was after installing drivers and setting up the workstation with updates etc. as per our standard image. The printer was connected via three usb extension cables. The middle one wasn't connected to anything on either end.

What not to say to IT

"Hi could you find <staff_name> and tell them to unlock the record they are viewing".

"Oh that person isn't at work today".

"Well someone on that computer has locked a database record.".

"Well my colleague who's using that computer is in a meeting but I can login and do this for you".

IT Policy: Do not share passwords. It defeats the whole purpose!

A media student:

"My computer has swallowed my CD-Rom, I put in the disk but when I eject the CD there's nothing in there!".

I can't really have a go at customers as it took 4 IT technicians deliberating over 30 minutes (remote support so we weren't there in person): The computer had two CD-Roms. The user put the disc in one of the drives but was pressing eject on the second drive.

Like these? Share your experiences as comments below :)

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Joel Lipman

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