Seven Things Your IT Department Wishes You Knew About Tech Support

Seven Things Your IT Department Wishes You Knew About Tech Support

Working in the IT department is often a thankless job. You're like the invisible behind-the-scenes worker who is only noticed when something breaks — and then you're blamed for it. Here are seven misconceptions about tech support reps and the IT department you should know so you can work better with the IT guy or gal.

Illustration by Tina Mailhot-Roberge

Recently we asked you what you wish others knew about your occupation, and many in the IT field chimed in — system admins and tech support specialists among them. We're including many of their answers here, as well as info from other sources. (I used to work as an IT admin, and now that I'm out, am free to help reveal some secrets.)

1. We're Not Magicians Or Mind Readers

Lifehacker readers tend to be their families' tech support person. You know how annoying it is when a family member asks you out of the blue about an obscure problem with an obscure piece of software or technology and expects you to have the solution at the top of your head? It's like that, except a hundred times worse for those in IT. Now you have dozens or possibly hundreds of employees expecting a quick fix to an infinite number of problems.

The truth is, the same way that a lawyer doesn't know every law or legal ruling ever made, but uses research and critical thinking skills to form an understanding of a case, IT people are trained primarily in problem-solving skills. The knowledge part is gleaned from the info you provide, knowledgebases, prior experience, and, yes, Google.

That means a bit of patience on your part is much appreciated, and the more details you can provide about an issue, the better. Also, be honest. Lifehacker commenter echo125488 says:

I work in customer support for a software company. I wish people would understand that I'm really here to help you, I'm not going to blame you for your mistakes, so when I ask you if anything changed with your system, just admit it. I don't care why you deleted your database and I'm not going to rat you out to your boss. Heck, I don't even know your boss. Just be honest, and be as detailed as possible when stating your issue. I don't have psychic abilities, I can't read minds, and I don't have a mind reading app.

Go through enough tech support sessions and you'll find a universal set of questions and recommendations: Did you try restarting your computer? Plugging and unplugging the device? Clear your internet cache? Try another browser and incognito mode? Etc. Jot down the steps you took and have the specs for your system on hand and everything will go more smoothly for everyone.

Also, as OrangeGello points out, there's a limit to what the IT department can do:

If corporations like Oracle never supported their software for Macs, don't ask us how you can run Oracle's software on your Mac. Get a PC like a normal person.

There's an expectation now that work environments have to support every type of consumer device and product — as soon as it's available (now!) — but it's not always easy or possible for the IT department to make everything work for everybody.

2. Please Don't Ask Us To Fix Your Personal Computer

Back when I was working in IT, I'd get requests almost every week from a co-worker or my bosses to work on their personal technology — and sometimes even fix their friends' or family members' laptops or phones. Sometimes promises of a pizza or a small payment would be suggested, but even then it seemed inappropriate. It's like asking someone you know in the accounting department to do your taxes for you or someone in HR to revise your resume. If the person has a side business repairing PCs, by all means, ask. But otherwise, look for personal tech support advice or repair work elsewhere.

3. There Are Reasons For Slow Tech Adoption (It's Sometimes Not Our Fault)

IT is often ridiculed for antiquated practices, like continuing to use Windows XP beyond its support life. (Seriously, it is time to move on.) Not long ago, a small business executive told me that his company buys all of the PDAs it can find on eBay (I think it was a particular Palm Pilot model) because their critical, proprietary company software could run only on that device and operating system. They thought it was better to stick with a dying technology than to invest in moving to a new platform.

That's the extreme example, but I don't think it's uncommon. Organisational inertia, Big Men Content points out, plays a huge role in this problem:

Once a process is in place it requires much more force to remove it simply because those running the current system are predisposed to want to keep it the same.

There is certainly a level of job and turf protection but I believe these get blamed for far more than they are actually responsible for when it comes to introducing more technology. At the heart of it all, even in IT, there is a closely-held belief that whatever you change is going to be more work not less. Probably because in the past we have done a terrible job of turning off the old way of doing things.

The "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality isn't just with the IT department who might not want to replace an entire system or change anything that could mess up the rest of the infrastructure. End users and the people who hold the purse strings don't like change or relearning how to use things either. Remember the resistance to the Ribbon in Microsoft Office?

So try not to get angry at your IT department when you can only access your company website with Internet Explorer and Java installed. It's not entirely their fault.

4. We Have to Assume You Know Nothing

Sometimes, as a regular end user needing tech support, I get frustrated calling the support line and going through torturous conversations like this:

CS: "So your screen is blank but you have horizontal lines going through it?"

Me: "Yes, I see grey horizontal lines"

CS: "The lines are grey?"

Me: "Yes, as I said. They're like thick dotted lines, four of them at the bottom"

CS: "OK, are these dotted lines or continuous?"

Me: Please shoot me.

It's frustrating to go through multiple hoops and a scripted checklist with a tech support specialist when it feels like a waste of time. The uniform approach, though, makes sure nothing gets ignored — and often tech calls are "recorded for quality purposes" so tech support reps have to go through all those steps, as painful as they are for both the caller and the rep.

Having been on both sides of this, I think there's room for tech support to not treat end users like they're idiots, while still (necessarily) assuming they could be.

5. IT Policies Aren't Arbitrary Rules

Turn on two-factor authentication. Use a VPN when you travel. Make your password secure. The IT department isn't trying to torture you. These are the best practices that cover both our asses and yours (and they're a PITA for us as well).

In some industries, these are legal requirements to protect everyone from the serious consequences of data breaches and the like. But even when they're not legally required, these policies help protect all of us.

6. We Know What You're Up To

Always assume you're being monitored, even if you're not sure.

7. We're as Frustrated as You Are

Sometimes we have to enforce policies we don't agree with, such as how frequently passwords have to change or which programs you have to use. The software and hardware we're all working with makes us pull our hair also. It's not that we really hate you but that the IT department and other departments tend to have a dysfunctional relationship. Big Men on Content says:

You break rules but hold IT accountable for them — […] IT by charter is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the data and they do so by a number of means, many of which prevent you from doing whatever you want. So naturally you circumvent those rules (or turn a blind eye when someone else does) yet when a security breach occurs or a system fails because a rule was broken it is the IT manager responsible for maintaining it that is often the one to pay the price politically and professionally.

This is not to say that the IT department doesn't make mistakes or that the system couldn't be improved. While it might seem like a "you versus us" situation, though, I think we're all on the same side. We all want things to work...and, perhaps, to never need to talk to each other unless necessary.

WATCH MORE: Tech News

Comments

    Most hated IT phrase:

    "Quick question"

      sorry !!

      "While you're here..."

        Reminds me...
        Last place I was at: Rummaging around with power cords under the desk for the HR girls, ask - perfectly innocently - from under the desk, "Need anything else while I'm down here?"
        No joke: "I can think of one thing, but you might get carpet-burn on your cheeks."

    "Our whole network is down!!"
    - do you still have network connectivity?
    " NO! the computer is not even turning on"
    - uh, is it plugged in or is the switch at the wall turned off?
    " YES! BUT NOTHING IS HAPPENING, THE SERVER IS BEEPING PLEASE SEND SOMEONE OUT HERE ASAP, WE HAVE A BUSINESS TO RUN BLAH BLAH"
    - Is anyone else having the same issue?
    " YES WHY DOES THAT MATTER, THE LIGHTS ARE NOT EVEN TURNING ON!"
    - *google power outages for clients particular area*
    - looks like there is currently a power outage in your area, have you called x power company?
    " NO WHY WOULD I DO THAT, THAT'S YOUR JOB!"

    My IT exp in a nutshell.

    ps - story is true.

      Yerp pretty much my 10 years IT experience as well.

      [Insert many, many stories about being yelled at regarding devices apparently being ICT's responsibility because they contain some form of electrical charge, i.e shredders, batteries for keyboard/mouse, sliding doors, label makers, etc.]

      TL:DR I'm looking to make a career change.

        True story: I am tasked with replacing lightbulbs at our office.

        if it runs on electricity, people go to IT when it breaks.

        Last edited 25/05/15 4:19 pm

      Me: we're developing a system and need to adjust the clock.
      It: No
      Me: We need to be able to adjust the time, otherwise we can't progress with development.
      It: You can fill in a form for 24 hour ability to change your PC clock.
      Me: Can we buy our own PCs?
      It: No
      Me: Can we get longer than 24 hours permission?
      It: No.
      (My Boss in the background)these people are asses. Well just buy pcs for the team and work around the problem.
      Me: that's a big cost for no benefit.
      My boss: it's progress or IT.

      My 1st experience with IT.

    Got a call once with the work colleague saying, "The wireless mouse isn't working, I think the batteries are dead. We need help now were doing a presentation to clients".

    I grab a pair of batteries and run my way up and down 200m worth of stairs and ramps. Get to the meeting room half dead. My colleague says, "See it doesn't work." while moving the mouse around. I deadpan look straight through her soul and say, "That's a whiteboard duster" while another colleague walks through the door and drops to the floor ROFLing. The caller swiftly resigned out of embarrassment since the story spread like fire throughout the site.

    To make matters worse I've since had other calls about the same thing, suffice to say the whiteboard duster and mouse now have labels on them stating what they are. The labels must be working, I haven't had a call from that meeting room in 3 years.

      What is it about meeting rooms that turns people into complete morons?
      At my work, the first thing people seem to do when they get into the room is go around unplugging everything. Then i get a call 5 mins later that there's a problem...'come down and help'...
      I swear... the number of times i've been called down there just to plug a power cable back in...

      Also, my favourite... 'come help us with video conference'. I cringe and go down to take a look. It's all connected, looks fine... audio with black screen.... *looks at screen a bit closer*.... "Boss I think they just have something sitting over their camera on the far end".....
      .
      5 seconds later the far side took the cover off their polycom gear....

      "Will there be anything else you need help with?"

        I'm really curious to know where you work, I can't imagine people being so stupid.

      Oh god. I feel so bad for that person. Almost enough to not upvote.

    I wish people remembered to restart their computer BEFORE calling up. First thing I'm gonna do is restart your computer. Even if you said you did, because to some people, a restart is shutting the lid of the laptop and opening it back up.

    I also wish that people would be honest when reporting a computer issue. I work in IT at a school and I know that when a student says "nobody in the class can log in", it means that only two people out of thirty are having troubles.

    Also, don't tell us "I didn't install anything" because we know you did. We're not going to roast you alive for installing uTorrent on your personal device, but we need to know so we can work out why your computer won't connect to the internet.

    Finally, take our advice. We don't tell you "back up your files" because we're secretly working for Seagate or Western Digital and make money for each drive sold. We tell you to back up your files because we know that you're going drop your PC (because you never keep it in your padded bag, like we suggested, Emily!), come to us with a hard-drive making the "click of death" noise, ask us to recover your data, then get upset when we ask if you made a backup.

      Yes, two of these particularly. No one knows what restarting means. Word has crashed horribly and will not close. Tell them to restart their computer. Comes in the next day "I restarted my computer and look, Word is still open."

      And students backing up data. They never ever do. We provided mapped network drives to the server. Didn't use them. Moved to Google Apps, now they have unlimited storage in Google Drive, still don't use it. Sorry, but when your HDD dies, you lose it all.

        Couldn't agree more about the restarting thing. I remoted into someone's computer once to have a look at an issue and ended up asking him to restart. I watched him log out and log back in.
        him "ok restarted and logged back in"
        me "that was quick"
        him "yeah, fast computer"
        me "mind if we actually restart it this time" (i then took control and restarted it for him)
        him "oh, could you still see that?"

        Last edited 25/05/15 7:59 pm

    I recently had the CEO call to say they couldn't turn the monitor on, it was just black. Turns out the computer itself wasn't on. He normally never switches it off and his secretary turned it off one Friday.

    Another favourite; our HR Manager calls all his problems "CAP's Lock" problems. He had an issue with an Excel spreadsheet once. Turns out he had scroll lock on.

    Complaint went up the chain about IT not helping a particular person. They wanted something installed but they were using an ancient old Mac and the software was never made for the old version of the OS they were using. This was clearly explained to the user.

    When IT was asked about this it was explained and also added "This user just salary sacrificed a brand new macbook, it would work fine on that". Apparently that went to their daughter for school, so they ended up having to pay the difference (salary sacrifice is only for work gear).

    As for fixing people's personal devices, yes, I'll have a look sometimes. Have gotten paid much higher than my usual hourly wage or given alcohol etc. Well worth the time if you have it.

      oohhh, repairing people's stuff is a dangerous road. If the user creates another issue with it within 6 months 'it must have been your fault - please fix again'. Never fix people's stuff unless you are happy to keep fixing it again and again for free.

        Choose carefully and if people try that bullshit, be firm.

        I often just do a cost-benefit analysis. If it is:
        -Advice
        -A 5 minute fix
        -Something I can leave running in the background
        -A personal device you use for work sometimes
        Then it's probably better value to the company if I just do it and you don't spend half the day thinking about it and googling attempted fixes.

        Your son dropped his laptop and now it needs a new drive, fresh install of windows, and attempted data recovery for his schoolwork? That'll have to happen after hours and cost you a carton or two.

      I love when you get into shit for things you had no control over. "People are complaining about you because [big software company] refused to rewrite their software to support Windows XP. As you're the software guy, it's clearly your fault"

    Im in Tech Support, and once I got a call with a lady screaming at me saying that the computer was not booting. I cringed my teeth and asked "is the power cable plugged in" (asked this as they just finished moving offices) and as expected she just screams even louder saying that it is and it was a stupid question

    Went onsite to check it out and went to her desk, the power cable was lying there, on the keyboard, in plain sight, not connected at all. Plugged the power cable in between the computer and the wall socket right in front of the woman. Walked away questioning my life choices.

    People really make this job hard lol.

    Last edited 25/05/15 3:34 pm

      Had someone with a laptop. They left us after 3 years, handed the laptop back in, mentioned that it was broken. It sat for awhile and then was tested, worked fine. We made contact to ask what was wrong and apparently after a few days it just stopped turning on. We asked if they tried charging it. They were not aware this was something that you had to do.

        OH dear god, lmao

    Not to have a go at of any of the Tech Support operators here but I have been on the other side calling or interacting with corporate I.T departments and found them to be very unhelpful most of the time.
    I often need their permission to do things on their network or computer system and find it hard getting help , probably because they are busy with some of the ridiculous problems listed above.

    I did have one instance where I had set up some software on a pc and configured it , someone within the company decided they wanted that information logged to a database on their internal network. I.T remotely connected and put the pc on the business domain , installed anti virus ect.

    In the process they completely messed up all of my DCOM communication settings and local security policies which I had spent countless hours refining for my application running on the pc.
    I spent time on the phone with them which was all spent trying to make them release that the only interaction with the PC was them and me , somehow it still was my problem and they wouldn't give me any information on what they had actually done while they configured the PC.

    He couldn't recall everything he had done , took the pc off the domain and left me to go through and find the problem. From then on they wouldn't help and said because the pc wasn't on their network it wasn't their issue , which the employees wouldn't argue with.
    In the end they paid me another 2 full days of work to sort out what their I.T department had buggered up and set up local data logging for them copy to a USB stick and move to the network via a flash drive.
    All because this I.T department didn't want to leave their comfort zone and learn a bit about my side of things.

    Last edited 25/05/15 4:17 pm

      I used to have sympathy from the stories I used to hear from a friend who worked for bigpond.
      But with the current IT company my employer uses, I've lost that sympathy they are clueless and talk down to everyone on some vain attempt to look competent.

    Article summed up as per XKCD:
    http://xkcd.com/627/

    I worked as an IT Account Manager for a casting agency and called an end user as i heard from other staff that she was complaining about IT not getting back to her. She answered the phone angry... "It took you long enough to call me back! I've been sending the error report to Microsoft for weeks now !"

    "The file on my desktop is gone.."
    What do you mean it's gone?
    "I had a file and now I can't find it"
    Did you delete it?
    "..no, why would I bloody do that"
    (Checks trash can or previous versions)
    Ahh here it is.. Looks like it got deleted.
    "Well who did that!?"
    You're the only one with access to that computer..
    "It must have been a virus"
    ..(long sigh)

    Or!

    "Hey can I move this icon thing in to that folder?"
    I don't know, can you?
    ".....yes! I can, it worked!"
    Congratulations.... (Long sigh)

    Luckily I'm only part time IT support.

    Last edited 25/05/15 9:01 pm

    I had to setup an app on the work iPad so that we can take a pic of a document, it converts it to a PDF and then we put it onto Google Drive, the setup documentation we were sent with it at one point instructed the user to go to their desktop computer to rename and move the file to another folder in Drive even though it could all be done on the iPad, anyway, the rename instructions where along the lines of "Using the mouse, select the file you want" "Using the computer keyboard press space to clear the name except for .pdf which will remain"

    The instructions were laughable that they went into that sort of detail, but I guess the person who wrote them has in the past experienced people trying to use the ipad keyboard to type to the computer, I feel sorry for some of the crap IT has to deal with.

    I'll paste the contents of an email once sent to me. This is basically IT support at its core.

    1. Is it a virus?

    No.

    2. Are you sure?

    Yes.

    3. My Microsoft is error!

    Reboot.

    4. I already did!

    Disconnect all cables and peripherals, remove the battery and hold down the power button for 60 seconds.

    5. Oh, am I doing this to discharge the capacitors on the motherboard?

    No, you are doing this to ensure that you actually reboot the machine rather than browse Facebook for 5 minutes and say that you did.

    6. Is the email down?

    No. Flip the WiFi switch on the side of the laptop.

    7. Is the server down?

    No. Flip the WiFi switch on the side of the laptop.

    8. Is our website down?

    No. WiFi switch.

    9. Is the WiFi down?

    No. Flip the WiFi switch!

    10. When I my microsoft then it goes and goes not and then it doesn’t.

    WiFi switch… Probably. Then reboot. Then turn on grammar-checking in Outlook.

    11. My computer is slow!

    No problem. Someone will pick it up tomorrow and it will be re-imaged.

    12. Will I loose all my stuff?

    Yes. Your stuff will be loose. Also, everything not work related and stored on network share will be gone.

    13. Ok, my computer isn’t slow anymore. No need to re-image.

    Too late!

    14. Ever since I upgraded Java/Adobe nothing works.

    That was actually a virus. Good job.

    15. Lawl, you forgot to renew corporate antivirus. I had to use my credit card.

    Call credit card company, demand charge-back then cancel that card.

    16. Can you set up away message on my email?

    No problem. Also, enjoy all the the SPAM in the world.

    17. I’m getting too much spam now! Increase spam filters!

    Ok.

    18. Someone said they sent me an email but I didn’t get it. Is it spam filters?

    No.

    19. Are you sure?

    Yes.

    20. I think spam filters make my computer slow!

    Nope.

    21. Spam filters ate my TPS report!

    No they did not. We actually lied when we said we increased the sensitivity. Please stop obsessing over it.

    22. I’m unable to install iTunes.

    Good.

    23. Can you help me install iTunes?

    No.

    24. Can I haz Admin?

    No.

    25. But I need it!

    No you don’t.

    26. I convinced my boss that I need admin.

    Sigh, ok then.

    27. I tried installing iTunes and now my computer won’t boot.

    Good job. Admin revoked.

    28. Can I has Windows 8?

    No.

    29. But I need it!

    No you don’t.

    30. I convinced my boss that I need Windows 8.

    Sigh, ok.

    31. WTF IS THIS SHIT!????

    Windows 8.

    32. I don’t want it anymore.

    Tough, deal with it.

    33. Windows 8 is now hurting my productivity.

    Ok, you are now upgraded to Windows 7.

    34. Can I haz new computer?

    No.

    35. But I need it!

    No you don’t.

    36. I convinced my boss I need a new computer.

    Ok.

    37. New computer too bulky. I want a thin one like MacBook Air.

    All employees get same model. Sorry.

    38. But I need it!

    No you don’t!

    39. I convinced my boss that I need it.

    I unconvinced your boss by giving him detailed outline as to how many man-hours it will take to test and deploy all custom software for that model, create and test images and etc…

    40. Can I haz iPad?

    No.

    41. But I neeeeed it!

    No you don’t!

    42. I convinced my boss I need it.

    Ok.

    43. Help, can’t install games on company iPad.

    Good.

    44. What is it good for then?

    Work? You said you needed it for work.

    45. I bricked my corporate iPad while trying to jailbreak it. Can I haz new?

    ಠ_ಠ

    46. I accidentally sat on iPad. Can I haz Android tablet as replacement?

    That will be locked down too.

    47. Actually, I no longer need tablet or iPad.

    Good.

    48. I think I got that upside-down screen virus!

    It’s not a virus. Just do: Ctrl+Alt+↑

    49. Can I have an extra power strip that I can plug into the power strip under my desk?

    No.

    50. Why not?

    Fire code.

    51. Microwave oven is broken.

    Not an IT issue.

    52. Office refrigerator is running.

    Not an IT issue.

    53. Elevator is broken.

    Not an IT issue.

    54. Lights in the hallway are flickering.

    Not an IT issue.

    55. AC Units in Server Room stopped working.

    Not an IT issue. Wait, yes it is. FUCK. FUCKFUCKFUUUUuuuuuCK! SHUT! DOWN! EVERYTHING!

    56. Can’t access webmail!

    Don’t type in the www in front of the URL.

    57. Can’t access intranet site!

    Type in URL into address box, NOT into google.

    58. Can you show me how to hack into someone’s Facebook?

    No! Also, shame on you.

    59. I think some virus put all these porn websites into my browser history.

    Cool story, bro.

    60. My laptop was stolen from my car. Can I haz new one?

    No problem. Let me just log in to Prey, enable geo-tracking and information collection and…

    61. Wait, you can do that? Did I say stolen? I meant my dog… Err… dropped it…

    ಠ_ಠ

    62. My USB port is not working!

    That’s an Ethernet port.

    63. My Ethernet port is not working?

    That’s a telephone cable.

    64. CD stuck in the drive!!!

    Paper clip it.

    65. My laptop has no CD.

    Yes it does, it’s slot-loaded. Eject key is above main keyboard.

    66. It said “do not shut down your computer” so I shut it down. Now it won’t boot. What do?

    Work on your reading comprehension. We’ll pick up the laptop for repair in the morning.

    67. How come my laptop wont turn on when I remove the battery?

    Physics.

    68. What do I need to access files on these 5 1/4 inch floppy disks?

    A time machine.

    69. My Excel is broken. I literally can’t anything!!!

    Press Scroll Lock.

    70. I wrote 100 page report, then it asked me if I wanted to save so I said no. Now I can’t find it.

    Your computer appears to be working correctly.

    71. My computer is freeze or error but sometimes is not.

    These could be early symptoms of a failing memory chip or an issue with the memory slot on the mobo. Please drop laptop off at the IT cave and we’ll run memtest overnight.

    72. Every website tells me the SSL certificate has exprired?

    The date setting in Windows is in the future.

    73. Windows update is error.

    The date setting in windows is in the past.

    74. I downloaded pirated Windows 8 and installed it on company laptop. Now all my data is gone and stuff is weird.

    Please pick up replacement laptop with booting from CD/USB disabled in BIOS at the front desk.

    75. My computer shuts down for no reason.

    Remove cat fur from the fan vents – it’s causing it to overheat.

    76. My computer doesn’t even Microsoft only black and hyphen is blink.

    Sounds like boot sector got corrupted. Drop it off at the cave.

    77. My computer is blink!!!

    Probably memory or mobo issue – we’ll be able to tell from the blink code. Drop it off.

    78. I got hacked! My computer is beep when turn on!

    No. RAM chip got dislodged. Slam the laptop on the table harder, why don’t you.

    79. I got hacked! Keyboard doesn’t even like crazy all the time!!!

    Shorted laptop keyboard. We will replace it right away.

    80. Fox fire is error!

    You have been trying to access a black-listed malware attack site for the past three hours. Please stop.

    81. Help, government is reading my email!

    No it doesn’t. Yep. :(

    82. Printer is jam! Says open front cover.

    Open front cover. Then close it. Printer is un-jam.

    83. Outlook is slow!

    Your PST file is 99 GB. It is physically impossible for Outlook to be fast.

    84. Dominos relationship trust is fail when laptop turn on.

    Ah, yes – the domain relationship trust issue in Windows 7. Workaround: unplug Ethernet cable, log in, plug back in. Actual solution: leave domain, then re-join it.

    85. Can I haz Powerpoints?

    Already installed.

    86. Powerpoints is hard. I will dictate, and you make slides, yes?

    No.

    87. My laptop display spontaneously shattered for no reason.

    I’m assuming the impact marks and cracks on the side also developed spontaneously and not as a result of the laptop being dropped, right?

    88. I deleted a file six months ago, then defragged and ran CCCleaner with the feature that zeros-out empty space on the HD twenty seven times in a row. Can we still recover that file?

    No. But check your email. I’m sure it’s in that 99GB PST file at least twice.

    89. I am physically incapable of replacing the toner in my desk printer.

    Flag down closest intern and hand him/her the following instructions: “PLS REPLACE TONER”. They’ll know what to do.

    90. Word is compatibility error!

    Save as XLSX or XLSM.

    91. Our website was hacked!

    No it wasn’t. You managed to pick up some redirect Trojan though.

    92. Can I disable the nightly backup script? It is annoying.

    No.

    93. I convinced my boss nightly backup is hurting my productivity.

    Ok, but you are responsible for backing up your work from now on.

    94. My stuff isn’t backed up automatically anymore, WTF? I lost work!

    Automated backup script has been re-enabled.

    95. What’s a good home theater system for my living room?

    Not an IT issue. Also, I wouldn’t know.

    96. Can I use that TeamViewer software to spy on my girlfriend without her knowing?

    No. Also, you are a terrible person.

    97. When I shake my laptop really hard it freezes on me.

    Stop shaking it.

    98. I gave my work laptop to my two year old to play with, despite you warning me not to do that and now the computer is completely destroyed. Can I haz new?

    ಠ_ಠ

    99. I opened up the laptop and I tried to jam this random memory module I found into some card slot on the motherboard. It wouldn’t fit so I forced in but it still won’t work. Also, second completely unrelated issue: laptop won’t boot up now.

    Yep, completely unrelated.

    100. Is it a virus?

    Still no.

    Any time something isn't working... or I'm in the middle of fixing someone's stuff....
    Staff: "Are you breaking things?"
    Me: "Nope, I'm the guy that gets paid to fix things."

    Setting up new equipment..
    Staff: "Got some new toys there?"
    Me: "Do you come to work to play games?"

    I have these 2 conversations about once a month.

    Ahhh, IT people... so convinced of user stupidity that when a former-IT person comes to them as an end-user, they immediately suspect you of being one of those 'just smart enough to get themselves into trouble, but dumb enough not to get out of it' users.

    My pet IT peeve is tunnel vision. "That can't happen, it must be something else." I see red when IT folks tell me something 'can't happen' when I'm looking right fucking at it.

    I once drove a man four hours by car to look at a LCD monitor with image burn-in because he refused to believe that that can happen. No. It doesn't normally happen, but it absolutely can because I have fucking proof.

    Apparently proof isn't good enough, though. I learned that IT people will tell you, "That can't happen," while they're physically staring at it themselves.

    Turn on two-factor authentication. Use a VPN when you travel. Make your password secure. The IT department isn’t trying to torture you. These are the best practices that cover both our asses and yours (and they’re a PITA for us as well).

    Unfortunately not every workplace has policies like these.

    Not sure if I'm allowed to link to other websites, but instead Google 'Brighton Le Sands murder' this chick was recently sentenced a couple of weeks ago. My story is...

    She was a Snr project manager for an IT contracting company 'F*****u' which I won't name entirely, but she was contracted to a major airline Q....s. The contracting company sent me in as a tech to work on a bunch of PCs to be imaged as part of her project. She turned up late at 9:45am the first day, I went around the clients office with her & paid attention to her behavior as well. I knew she was on something (apparently she had a $1500- a week coke habit). I went out to the back dock with her & before we went back into the office she put her sunnies back on, trying to hide her eyes. She knew I was onto her because I could see she was a dodgy PM.

    I never saw her again after that 1st day. Apparently she was in SMS contact with me on BS meetings. By the end of the week, while I was online I saw her name come up & I knew it was her. She had killed her flat mate!

    I've worked on & off for this contracting IT contracting company & can confirm that they hire dodgy IT staff. Also, Google 'Pheasants nest murder' - I also worked with the guy who got charged for this & he ended up hanging himself after he got sentenced.

    Another incident with a client stock market code 'WOW' the IT scheduler hired his mate from soccer with no IT experience or education. But because he was Caucasian & this guys mate, he got promoted quickly to a desktop role which he had no interest in from the beginning. Later on WOW found out that he didn't bother turning up to work for 3-4 weeks! He got done for fraud but wasn't charged, just had to pay the client back $.

    If you think that's bad enough, I personally came forward to the office manager of this IT contracting company & to the hiring agency when I was unfairly & wrongly dismissed. I reported another tech for fraud 2 weeks prior because he would turn up when he wasn't scheduled to work & this was suppose to be a secure site for Q,,,,s. He also had a dodgy past & was dismissed by this particular client back in 2004, but he's still working there! My techs & managers know what happened to me - they know he's dodgy too but no-one will speak up after what happened to me. His brother is a network manager so the head office manager kept him onsite knowing that I came forward with info that he also attempted to steal from the client.

    I have a couple to add
    I need a replacement laptop !
    Where is yours ?
    None of your business , No laptop till you tell me where your's is.
    Emails to managers ... Users manager comes in and chew's out the IT department .
    Find out the laptop was left in a foreign country on the hand luggage scanner .

    This was a guy I worked with talking to a (ab) user : I'm in a cafe my laptop has stopped working , I need it fix now ! You need to go to the office plug it into the network.
    We will look at it .I'm to busy for that . What would you like us to do send in I.T support via chopper . WTF is I.T doing with a chopper !!!!!!!!

    Also had a salesperson stumble drop $1200 laptop smashed the screen to save $50 worth of product

    These are just sales staff

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