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Posted Apr 16, 2001

The Lighter Side - Page 4

By Steve Jones


A few samples are below, but you can find more at www.techtales.com.


This one happened to me while working at a university helpdesk. A user came into the office and asked if someone could close a window for her. As I was nearest, I said "OK, lets have a look and see whats wrong", thinking some app must have locked up. I followed her into the computer room next door, where she sat down and carried on working.

As everything seemed OK, I asked her what the problem was exactly, to which she pointed at the open window across the room and said "its cold in here".

Completely speechless now, I just made a few stammering noises, and quickly left (without closing the window) before the stammering turned to expletives.

I have a PhD. I know everthing.

There's one of them at every college. The professor who has a PhD in 'underwater basket weaving' but 'knows' everything about computers. I received a call from this woman who fit this type. She simply wanted to forward her unversity email to her ISP email account. I told her about a university website that has a form for this. Well, she says she already did that, but it wasn't working. She then begins to lecture me on the importance of her email and how it's my fault that it isn't working. Not wanting to argue with a stubborn person, I simply forwarded the information to one of the university's full-time all-knowing techs.

The next day I ran into my supervisor and asked about this case. He told me that he had contacted the professor's ISP and found out that she had set forwarded email from that account to her university account. She had also filled out our forwarding webpage a couple of times. Well, this created a nice looping effect where the email kept getting bounced around. We fixed it for her, but some people don't understand, once is enough sometimes.

Help Desk confusion

I worked the 'Help Desk' for a university. In campus phone books and pamphlets, it's called the "ITSS Help Desk" (Infomation Technology Systems and Service). Anyway, because it's commonly referred to as simply the Help Desk, we would always get phone calls for information not relative to our department. We would simply forward the calls to the 'real' help desk or other departments

One time I got this call from a woman who wanted to register for classes over the phone. I told her the above and gave her the phone number for the Registration office. Five minutes later she calls back and says that the Registration office told her to call the "Help Desk". I immediately saw where this was heading. I told here again our situation and gave her the campus wide information number. About 10 minutes later she calls me back and is surprised to here my voice. It seemed that all the automated forwards gave her back to me. Oh joy. By this time the women was rather beligerant. Not knowing what to do, I simply said to call back tomorrow when someone else could help her.

After coming into work the next day my co-worker told me this exact same story and how she got bitched out before she hung up on her. Oh well.

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