'It's Not My Job To Plug Things In' And Other Nightmare IT Stories

Working in IT is no picnic. You're overworked, over-stressed and overwhelmed by an onslaught of stupidity from Luddite customers and colleagues. We recently asked our readers to share their worst experiences from the front lines of IT. Your stories were so terrifying that we may need to wipe and reboot our brains to recover. Here are some of the worst.

Photo: Channel 4

Strange customers

Ari Harrison: "I told a woman that she needed to plug in her monitor to the wall as the cleaning people had accidentally pulled it out. She told me that "it is not in her job description to plug things in." I had to get a maintenance person to drive over 60 kilometres to plug the damn thing into a wall outlet."

spidermann: "Man came in. He was seriously pissed but also seemed a bit drunk. He plopped his G4 tower on the counter, complete with keyboard, and proceed to yell that he couldn't boot the thing and access his porn. Checked the machine in and he left.

My co-worker and I left the keyboard on the counter. We booted his machine and were immediately met with some of the hardest hardcore porn ever. The dude's computer was filled with it. Desktop picture was something that was only possible during a porn shoot.

We quickly shut the monitor off because we had windows into our tech area so that customers could see what we were doing. I marked the machine as an after hours fix.

About an hour later the manager grabbed the keyboard and started asking why we had left it here. We laughed our asses off and told him it's because he was too cheap to buy us latex gloves to touch that thing. He didn't quite get it until we told him which customer the keyboard belonged to. He promptly dropped it and washed his hands for fifteen minutes.

The reason he couldn't access anything? The keyboard wouldn't work anymore. Too much 'liquid' had been spilled on it."

Paul Lubbock: "There was a time I used a garden blower to blow out this lady's computer. It was so full of dirt that when the blower (I think they are around 70mph) hit it, it was like an explosion of dust! I wish I had recorded it because I almost fell over with laughter how the thing just went "poof!" in a gigantic burst of dust and dog hair. I made the mistake of telling the lady and she was horrified and embarrassed. I just thought it was funny."

inventedthenumber0: "I worked in IT for a Federal Government office for about 2.5 years while in university. One woman called, complaining that her mouse stopped working. Rather odd that an optical mouse would fail in under several years. So I went to check it out.

She was, apparently, a rabid muffin fanatic and managed to cake enough pastry under the mouse buttons and in the scroll wheel to render the unit useless."

Wadelikewater: "One of our regular patrons was a drug dealer/addict who would on a quarterly basis come in 15 minutes before we closed and buy close to half of all the merchandise in the store. His credit cards always worked so we just put up with his insane twitching and ranting. On more than one occasion he called the store to say his car had broken down and asked us to come pick him up. Of all the things he bought, he only ever brought one thing back. It was a tower that didn't turn on any more. I take it in back to inspect.

The "condom caper" (which is another story) had taught me to be cautious so I was wearing latex gloves when I opened it. No exaggeration, the entire open cavity inside that tower was filled with hair. I gave him a store credit, put it in a garbage bag, and wondered why I didn't just join the goddamn navy like my parents wanted me to."

Annie Boots: "I used to work for a bank, and every once in a while we'd get called out to one of our branches to replace a server/router part. If there was time at the end of the job, I'd usually go out and give the ATM machine a wipe down just as a courtesy to the branch manager. On a call like the ones I've just described, I walk outside with my dust rag and spray bottle ready to tackle this ATM, when I notice that there's something on the display. And the quick select buttons. And the keypad. And filling the card slot.

Some disturbed individual mistook this ATM for a toilet and shat all over it. What the hell kind of person does this?? That was the last time I showed initiative with regards to ATM cleanliness. It was also the day our bank started outsourcing a company to clean each of our ATMs on a weekly basis."

Spence900: "I worked in a large university IT department. A very highly placed executive (not gonna identify him further than that) kept calling us up and angrily demanding that a tech be dispatched to look at his expensive (official use) phone, which was "useless." If it had been anybody else, we would have told them to bring it to our front desk, but for this guy, I dispatched. For phone after phone. They kept breaking.

Yeah, he was throwing them on the floor of his office when he got frustrated with them."

Tim Knowles I have the winner. I used to work in ISP customer support. One night, at around 10 pm this guy calls me up and says, "Hi! I need help connecting my computer up wirelessly."

"OK, sure thing. What operating system are you running on your computer?" (This is due to the fact that we only supported certain versions of Windows and Mac OS; we didn't have any Linux machines, Android devices, etc. at the time that we could reference)

"Wetware."

"Sorry, did you say Netware? Like, Novell Netware?"

"No, Wetware. I have a computer in my head; I'm a cyborg."

The guy said it with such absolute conviction and certainty that I didn't laugh - I just got a little creeped out, and in my head started to panic a little. All of our calls were recorded, and there was a good chance my manager could be listening to this call to grade me on how I handled it (and they were looking for excuses to get rid of people for ANY little thing).

I just paused, took a deep breath, and said, "Well, sir, I'm sorry, but unless that computer has Windows or Mac OS on it, I can't provide support for it. You might want to go back to the people who installed it, since it sounds like a custom OS; they might be able to help you get it connected wirelessly."

He thanked me and hung up.

Really? REALLY?

budgetrockshowcase: "My SIL asked me to diagnose a problem with her Macbook. She forgot to warn me that her Macbook was filled with photos of her in a three-way with two guys in a hotel room. She looked like she was genuinely having the time of her life in those pictures, so I was simultaneously shocked and proud of her for it."

IainND: "I once witnessed a co-worker use Bing to find Google to do a search. She was on the Support team."

bangishotyou: "I had to fix a friend's desktop, an ancient eMachines machine he got back when we were in high school (so some time between 1999 and 2003). It basically would perform slowly and sound like a jet engine in his room. Roughly around 2009 was when I started getting into messing with computers and stuff, so one day I'm there and I mention we should check out his desktop and see what's up with it.

First thing I do is say let's clean the inside. I open it up and layers upon layers of dust. I mean piles of dust inside it. I clean it out and notice something near one of the fans that I assume he'd disconnected to not work. Well, since the computer had been acting up and being the baby and only boy of the family (he had three older sisters) his parents spoiled him rotten, so they just bought him a much newer machine before that one just kinda sat on his floor. Apparently it was used for "contraband" storage. We found some weed, some coke, a few razors, a straw, and a nice "portable" mirror. I started laughing when we found all that. "Dude! I totally forgot I used to stash shit in here!" That was his exact response. It was hilarious and sad at the same time."

Kul:

Mum: "My daughter's phone stopped working."

(hands over a three-year old burnt phone)

Me: "OK.. any idea what happened?"

Mum: "Nothing happened, it just stopped working."

(I go through the process of taking the battery out (which is WET) and that's when I see the water sensor is triggered)

Me: "It looks like there was water damage"

(Mum looks at her daughter)

Daughter: "It fell into the toilet while I was going this morning! My mum told me to dry it and bring it here."

(I drop the phone immediately)

Me: "I need you to take this and leave, there's nothing we can do to help you with this. Your warranties void, it was in a toilet."

(I tell my manager what's going on and walk away. I then spend what feels like 45 minutes trying to wash my hands clean.)

Let's help 'em out:

"Hello, how may I help you"

"Yeah, my cup holder is broken!"

"....ah, I'm sorry, did you say your cupholder is broken?"

"Yup"

"Your computer has a cupholder?"

"Yeah - I push the button, and it pops out. It's not very sturdy though!"

Do you even computer, bro?

dnr: "I have a few stories. Working in a warranty store room, guy brings his PC in as its "stopped working a couple of days ago"... we had to pry off the side of the case and once we do we find the ENTIRE computer is basically rust.... ANYTHING and EVERYTHING metal in the case is a solid chunk of rust.. but the client was adamant that it was working until the Friday before. Turns out he had it on his boat running his fishing systems, suffice to say that guy didn't get warranty.

Working in the same place, we opened a PC and found a nest of red-back spiders, something like 12 of them. I'm lucky I didn't get bitten.

Another time I was repairing an old CRT monitor and was in the process of removing a faulty controller board (at the request of the head electrician). After about 30 minutes of removing solder and fiddling inside a recently used monitor he comes piss-bolting back into the room yelling "Stop! Stop!"

He then points at a capacitor about one inch from my left hand that I've been hovering over for the last 30 minutes and says "whatever you do... DO NOT touch that, I forgot to mention we needed to ground out the charge first." Apparently the capacitor held enough of a charge to kill a herd of elephants. I just stared at the dude for like three minutes.... and then walked out."

meatloafplease: I act as tech support for a university's saas and in-house systems. There are a few people of varying ages between 40-80 who send me hand-written requests via inter-office mail. On notebook paper. As in, "Hi, can you help me reset my password?" They are perfectly willing to wait the full day (sometimes more if I'm out of office) just to avoid the 'hassle' of using modern tech."

saintofwalnut: "I was inventorying computers for a university I work at after hours. I had keys/badge access to anything and everything and I was supposed to go everywhere to find computers. Go into an office, old VIP lady comes in and told people that I was hacking her computer (The computer was not on.) Fun meeting the next day."

joebahoe: "A chancellor of university I was working with called and wanted to show off his new website to me. He said he'd email me the site. Three days later I received an email with a PDF attached. He had printed out the homepage on paper, scanned it, and emailed the scan as a PDF to me with an apology for sending it so late. He was really proud of how he had figured out to send it and I didn't want to burst his bubble."

4thdeskontheright: "I got an email from another teacher who complained her MacBook wasn't charging. Turns out she thought that the MagSafe connector was a FLAW and she doused the connector and port with superglue to "fix" it. That's the most boneheaded thing I've seen from staff. From students it is a whole other story."

HerbertHasCandy: "We once had a Network administrator that complained that our DNS servers were down since he could not ping an IP number. The double facepalm followed shortly after that comment."

Jean La Fitte the Second: "I got a call from my manager because she was unable to save a PDF document to her computer. I figured it must be one of those forms that Adobe Reader won't save after filling it out. I was wrong. It was a basic document she had scanned.

I went to her desk and the document was open. See, when you scanned a document the file was sent to your email. Sure, she could have dragged and dropped it to her desktop, but for some reason that didn't occur to her. Since she had the document open already, I told her to hit the "save" icon and then save it to her desktop."

SHE REFUSED!

She said, "No, I don't want to save it to a floppy disc. I want to save it to my desktop." I explained to her that clicking on the floppy disc icon would give her the option to save it to her desktop. She continued to argue with me about the significance of the floppy disc icon! I kept telling her to trust me and to click it. She refused. She insisted that I was not understanding what she was trying to do. I kept telling her to click on the damn icon. I offered to click the icon for her. NOPE. She was getting upset with me and raised her voice, insisting that I was wrong.

Finally she lifted her hand off the mouse for a brief moment and I grabbed the mouse and clicked the floppy disc icon. Sure enough, a window popped open asking her to save her document to the desktop.

Her reply was, "Oh."

allezvians: "Part of my job includes training nurses to use computer software. Some of these nurses have never used a computer before. At one point, I told the nurse to click. She clicked. I then said to right-click, she right clicked. Then I said to click, and clarified to left-click. She reaches over with her left hand to click the mouse."

tauwyt: "One fine morning a lady called in about her internet not working. I was asking her to run through the normal steps of asking which lights were blinking and whatnot on the modem when suddenly I hear a bloooop sound. She said "Oops! I dropped the modem in the bucket of water. What do I do now?". I had to ask, "What bucket of water?". The reply "Oh we always keep a bucket of water next to the computer equipment in case it sets on fire." This is what the mute button was invented for. After laughing for about a solid minute I came back on the line and asked if we would need to put in for a modem replacement for her. She proceeded to reach in the bucket with the modem apparently still plugged in to both the phone line (DSL) and the power. I heard a swift BZZZZZZT sound a couple of times, a short bang, then the line went dead.

I was honestly afraid the modem might have exploded or something for a good half hour or so. I had kept the notes page open and she eventually called back from another line... she was shocked (literally) that she was going to need her equipment replaced."

The5thHorseman: "I had a customer once that changed websites by going into settings and changing the default home page every time. They understood what an URL was. However, they did not understand how to type it into the URL bar and just did it in settings instead. They had no interest in learning the right way either."

The customer is never right

poweredbyme: "Tying to get clients to go to specific web addresses, mainly a url that allows us to remote into their systems. Such a simple task can take up to an hour when the client has about 20 toolbars and does not realise that said URLs need to be typed into the address bar and not fucking bing.com."

G3istbot: "I used to do tech support for a Quick Service Restaurant, an operation that ran 24 hours for most, and required overnight support, which I was part of (since the small group, I served as a 1st level tech, 2nd level tech, pseudo-manager, call monitor, etc.)

This guy calls up, and all he says is "My registers aren't working". So I go through the basics, ask if he's getting an error message "My registers aren't working" is all he responds. "OK!" I think, and go about trying to get in remotely. I ping out to the server in the store - no response. I try to connect - no response. So now I know something might be going on with the server.

I tell him this, and ask if he knows where the server is "Yes", that's it - just "yes". "OK, can we go to the server?" "You want me to go to the server?" "Yes, we need to go to the server, to check a few things out" "It's in the basement" "OK, great!" "But, it's in the basement" "Yep, that's good, we need to go down into the basement to check out the server".

10 minutes later, I finally convince him to get down to the basement. I than begin to explain to him what the server looks like, where it might be located, etc, all he says is "OK".

I wait, I figure he's trying to find it, maybe 2-3 minutes later I say "Did you find the server?" dude freaks out, "HELLO?! Who is this?!", this is the same exact guy, the same guy I've been on the phone with 25 minutes. I explain to him "This is <name>, I'm with your service desk - did you find the server?" he replies back "It's in the basement".

30 minutes later, he still hasn't found the server, I'm not even sure if he's in the basement, the registers are still down, and there's just silence on the other end of the line. After 5 minutes of dead air and continuously saying "Hello?" I had to disconnect."

Moonshadow Kati aka Lady Locksmith: "A man called in about 15 minutes before I was supposed to leave. He was having a legitimate issue, and it was quite frustrating for both of us because our remote software is crappy and we have too little bandwidth to properly support it, so I was having real issues staying connected. However, he would switch back and forth between a normal (if slightly frustrated) tone while being agreeable to ear-rendingly-loud whining like "UGH THIS IS SO STUPID! I WANT TO GO HOME! RRRAAGH!" **every other sentence**. No exaggeration. I had to turn my phone down. In the end, we both ended up staying 20 minutes past our end time simply because he wouldn't stop whining long enough to let me troubleshoot and doubled the amount of time it should have taken."

Maybe you should quit smoking

concretesailors: "I had a lady I worked with who needed help with her computer. The computer would over-heat and blue screen, shut down and then wouldn't start correctly without BSing. I told her, out of the kindness of heart, I would come and see what the issue might be (thinking regreasing the CPU and bolting it back down). When I looked into the case of the computer, it was completed covered in some thick, sticky, goo. As it turns out, she was a chain smoker, and the ash-tray sat in front of the PC. The intake fans brought in all the smoke and caked everything in tar. I told her it was time for a new computer, and I would take the other off her hands for $100. I actually took the PC home, carefully cleaned everything with swabs and alcohol, then sold the PC online for 300. A nightmare turned happy."

Rampage_Rick: "Oh god, the PCs from smokers' houses. When I got out of high school circa 2001 I did the back room gig at a computer store. I could handle dust bunnies that could fill a shoebox, but when the dust bunnies were oozing tar, that was just gross.

"The first week at that job I got the straight-faced "I broke my cupholder" that I had previously read about on the internet. Of course it was an IBM with a non-standard bezel/faceplate so you couldn't just swap in a generic 48x CD-ROM. I did manage to find a similar drive amongst our piles and swap all the IBM custom plastic bits over."

RougeRogue: "If you think dust bunnies are yuck you should see the inside of a computer after the nicotine has built up for a couple years. Pretty much everything is covered in what looks like brown, sticky hair. Smells like an ashtray."

Wild Kingdom manifestations

Mr. Atkins: "Got a call from the Engineering guys about a "Mouse problem". When I looked up the location, I found it was the dreaded "lab under the stairs." These guys were complete uber-geeks, who took IBM 3270 chassis and turned them into Cray 1's. So, over and down I went.

"You guys got a mouse problem?"

"Yep, dead mouse". He pointed to a 3270.

Checked. No mouse attached. Got real suspicious and removed the case.

Sure enough, There was the dead mouse. As was very common with PC's, some of the slot covers were missing. The mouse got in, and couldn't get out. Another casualty of the computer revolution.

fontgod: "I work as a typographer from home. A couple of years ago my trusty old IBM keyboard became not so trusty so I pulled it apart one night and found a bit of a surprise inside, it was chocca full of meat ants... big buggers, they had set up a satellite colony inside the keyboard complete with eggs. This video shows the aftermath, when I first opened it there were a heap more than what is shown. Luckily they arent aggressive ants, quite shy little guys actually.

Strangely I rarely eat at the keyboard so no crumbs etc and would only ever see an ant on my desk every few days so had no idea what was lurking inside the keyboard. Im guessing they liked the electrical field from the wired keyboard."

stevjosco: "Although I work in IT my nightmare happened at home. My son says, 'Dad! There's ants on the Xbox!' So I go take a look and see this... What the HELL!!! That smear on the carpet behind the Xbox isn't poor housecleaning, it's a bazillion ants. I shook out about another bazillion then opened up the hard drive bay and got the vacuum cleaner noodle in there and around all the vents. I then sprayed the bench with Raid and sat the Xbox on top, more ants fell out and died.

The funny thing is, the ants didn't touch the Wii sitting only a couple of centimetres away. I guess ants prefer the Xbox. "

TUALMASOK: "A customer once had a serious medical ailment requiring him to be hospitalised, and paid my boss a fortune to have me go to his place, recover his IT equipment and then copy the data and settings he needed to a new laptop so he could run his businesses from hospital. The issue was that he was a vile hoarder. I say 'vile' because he had cats and was a smoker, so this chalet of shit and filth was very hard to deal with. I recovered his PC which wouldn't work. Upon an internal inspection I found cat piss inside, somehow sprayed in through a fan vent. Combine this with the oily, brown and filthy smoke dust in the case and it made for one horrible sight. In the end I got it all working and reported his arse to the RSPCA."

marcd: "I was working for a really dodgy PC repair place and one day I received an Epson dot matrix printer for repair (this was at least 20 years ago). I started dismantling the printer and discovered a dead mouse inside. I'm guessing it was hiding inside when the user printed something and it got squashed by the carriage. The worst part was that the young female receptionist decided to have a look at the mouse, just as I removed it with a pair of pliers. To our horror, underneath it were live maggots crawling around.

Needless to say, we declared that printer a write off and it went straight to the industrial bin. It wasn't pleasant and the receptionist never set foot in the workshop again."

bangishotyou: "Once I agreed to repair an old machine for a female friend of mine. She cautioned it was "pretty old" which was an understatement. It was so old it didn't have an Ethernet port. So I figured I'd just install one like I did on my old family PC back in the day. I sit her computer down on the floor and just sit down and open it up. All I got was the side off before I saw what I clearly recognised as the moulted skin of a snake at the bottom. I screamed and ran away from the desktop. I am scared of two things: spiders and snakes. I nope'd the fuck out of there and after explaining how I refused to work on a machine that had at one point clearly had a snake living in it (I refused to check if it was gone or still in there) and she just told her mum it was too old and they bought a new one."

Paullubbock: "Several years back when I was but a youngster, I used to supplement my income by doing side jobs fixing and upgrading peoples computers. There was this lady I met sort of as an acquaintance of an acquaintance type thing. She said her computer wasn't working very well and neither was her scanner. She was wondering if I could take a look at it.

I got her address on an a bright Saturday morning I drove to the address, which turned out to be a very low income area which was known for prostitution and drugs. I found the address, a small paint-peeled house and was met by a young guy with bright red hair and a big smile. I went into the home and was immediately taken aback by the piles of dirty laundry and trash in what appeared to be every room. The computer was in the kitchen area in a corner. I immediately noticed the food encrusted dirty dishes piled high and the floor was a weird shade of brown. I also noticed movement on the walls and then floor. It was cockroaches that were literally crawling around all over everything in broad daylight.

My instinct was to just run but my twisted sense of responsibility made me stay. I mean the lady was just as nice and polite as you could imagine. Her son was just as cordial and so was her daughter. There were even two small filthy little children sitting next to a mangy dog on the floor. The whole family was a sweet as could be and completely oblivious to the absolutely disgusting and deplorable state of their home and lives.

I made a quick analysis and troubleshooting holding my feet of the floor afraid roaches would crawl up my leg and told the lady I had to take her computer to my shop to get a better idea of what was the problem. I fortunately had trash bags in my car (a Porsche 928S) and put her computer in a bag, tied it tight and took it home.

When I got home I grabbed a can of RAID for roaches and dumped half a can in the bag and left it outside in the hot sun for several hours. After about 3 hours I figured whatever was in there should be dead. Even after 3 hours I still had to stomp on a couple of roaches that somehow survived. I proceeded to take the computer apart outside. I took the entire thing apart and the reason it was failing was the power supply was filled with cockroach faeces and the floppy drive was stuffed with roaches that had been caught and squashed from the movement of the drive. I took the PS apart as well as the floppy drive.

I cleaned it all out and tested and surprisingly once free of roach crap and roach carcasses, it worked fine. I took it back and told them it should be working fine now and that it was just full or roaches. I figured it wouldn't be long before it was messed up again and I promised myself not to ever go see them again."

Garrett Davis: "I was working IT for a medium sized (130+ locations) restaurant company and we were travelling to various locations to install all new computers and POS systems. At one point I was running cat 5 through the hung grid ceiling. I'm standing on a rather shoddy step ladder and I push up one of the ceiling tiles to have a sticky critter trap fall inches in front of my face, suspended by a cable that was stuck to it. What was caught in this trap, you ask?

A half decomposed rat with yellow maggots pouring out of the giant hole in the rib cage and fly larva wiggling from its mouth and eyes. Yeah, it had been there a while.

I sort of stumbled back, my ladder falling to the side and I manage to not fall on my arse as I land and back away. The look on my face must have been priceless. The manager walks in after hearing the racket and drops her tablet, screaming. Ouch, those iPads aren't cheap."

special_k_side: "My horror story involves roaches in a Laser Printer from a high end restaurant. Work Order was closed with "Printer Debugged". Shipment of fax machines from California, most of them did not work so the company that was reselling them, sent them to us for warranty repair. Issues? They were all filled with roaches. Fire one up, smashed roaches in all the gears. Another time, a starving college student brought her old Apple IIe in. She had stored it in her mothers attic and really needed to do some WP. Opened it up to find 3 mummified mice. I couldn't charge her for the work/cleaning. A nest of spiders in a touch screen bingo machine. (They hatched while sitting on the incoming shelf) Cat pee in a keyboard. Human poop in a Performas' CD drive (Damned kids) Blood soaked 3400ce laptop (Request by police to recover data) oh the list goes on..... :) A workmate last year found a classrooms missing Hamster while trouble shooting a Smart Board. Hamster 1, cables, 0."

duckfoo: "My girlfriend at the time called to ask if it was normal to have ants nesting in her flatbed scanner. "No" I said and went to check it out. Due to the rainy weather, they'd found their way in along the wiring, through the power outlet, along the power cord, right into her scanner. Queen, eggs and all. What a mess! But turns out, they will clear out completely if you take it outside on a hot day and leave it in the sun. They pick up their mess, eggs and all, and clear out."

RougeRogue: "One word: Spiders. I used to run a small mum & pop computer store with a service department. Once we had someone come in with an older computer that was shutting down randomly. Of course, we figured it was a heat issue and boy were we right.

Our tech opened up the side panel on the counter to take a peek inside expecting to see dust and such, but much to his surprise a WHOLE NEST OF SPIDERS came skittering out and took off in every direction. All over our counters, floors, equipment. It was a nightmare. The computer itself was so full of webbing that the thing could barely run. We and the customer agreed at that point to literally throw the thing out the back door. We chucked it out in the dumpster and locked the door. I had to call in an exterminator after that... Still gives me the heeby jeebies."

Sweet revenge

Guesty McGuest: "I'm writing this as a guest as I am somewhat ashamed of this one. I was working as a retail sales assistant/minor repair tech at an Apple Reseller in a really rich part of Sydney a few years back. We had a young guy come in with his older iMac, which was in perfect order, saying that he wished to upgrade to a newer machine, and have us transfer and clear the data of this older iMac, and this older machine was going to be sent up north for his mum to use.

All was good until we had to discuss the price, at which he baulked at the relatively modest fee we had to apply to have me do the work in transfering the data. He kicked up such a stink that the manager over-rode company policy and waived the charge which would count against me and my sales and KPIs (the manager was a dick). The guy had such a smug look on his face as he swiped his AmEx Black card for the new machine.

I was not happy about having to do the work for free, but being the professional (and poor young person) I am, I did the job. The customer has asked we set up a user account for his mum so she could get started on using the machine straight away. As I was going through, I noticed the hard drive was full of porn. Gigs and gigs of it.

And being the spiteful little bitch I am, I left a few choice morsels for the customer's mum to find. And the customer's tastes were weeeeird.

Hahaha good comment: "Not a nightmare story, actually the opposite! We had a user, who was known to be a know-it-all, one of those guys who thinks they are a genius because one day they stumbled across Google. Anyway, this guy would routinely tell us how we are using the wrong servers/hardware/software because he read somewhere bla bla bla.

He was a pain in the A for everyone at work.

Anyway, to mess with this guy we employed the good ol' connect a wireless keyboard and mouse to his computer scheme. Now this worked excellent because the user had his computer on the floor tucked away in the corner under his desk, so he never saw the small wireless dongle sitting in the back of his computer. Anyway whenever he would make his "know it all" remarks, for the rest of the day we would move his mouse and write words randomly. Oh boy was that fun! He even came to us many times saying his mouse and keyboard are broken because it is moving/typing on its own. Every time he came to us, we would go to his computer, "take a look" and deem everything working as intended. This guy would get his panties all in a bunch. He even asked us to sit and watch him for half a day to see it happen - which it didn't, obviously. I believe he went as far as bringing in his own keyboard and mouse to prove the current equipment was broken, but that didn't work too good for him as that day we really screwed with him.

Just remember all you office workers, IT can make your life hell too. Treat your IT guy good, and he will do the same to you. Oh, and Karma!"

All pictures from Shutterstock

This story originally appeared on Gizmodo.


Comments

    I was relocating computers for a department where I worked and found it odd that both the computers and monitors (all exactly the same model and size) had post it notes with a persons name on them, but the other peripherals had nothing.

    After loading the computers onto the trolley an older lady came to me and said straight faced "I need to make sure that I get the same monitor I had before as it has all of my desktop icons on it". I stared at her for a second, and after realising she was serious and decided it was easier to smile and nod...

    I used to work with HP enterprise support and had a woman ring up complaining her machine stopped working. We asked for a model number, and she gave us something that didn't come up in any system.

    We tried to get her to retrieve a serial number, but having no idea what the machine was, we couldn't really tell her where to look. We asked her to check the back of the machine, but she wasn't able to get her head around the back of it to find out.

    We tried all kinds of things to find out what the machine was, even asking for a company name, and searching through our support contracts. Still nothing.

    Without a solution in sight, I thought I'd ask her to describe the machine to me - maybe then I could work out what it was.

    Her reply: "it's a bloody fridge - how else do I describe a fridge?"

    Needless to say, we couldn't help her out...

    Personal horror story: Once I was working for an ISP where one of the junior sysadmins was sacked (walked out the door, actually) when it was found that not only was he downloading assorted TV programmes using company bandwidth; not only storing them on company servers; he was also storing them on colocated servers owned by customers. We were asked to change all critical passwords - not the last time I've been asked to do so.

    (On the other hand, as far as I know, none of the companies I've worked for changed passwords when I left. Not that I checked, except when asked to work on systems afterwards.)

    Once I was working for a company where every employee had their own personal PC and whenever they did a desk move (every few weeks) we were required to move around all the PCs and monitors to their new locations. Often the monitors were framed neatly with postit notes.

    Of course, all desk moves had to be done after hours and without overtime. After a few years we negotiated getting time in lieu, at least. Management's position was that after-hours work is normal for IT & so shouldn't be compensated. Eventually we managed to convince them that uncompensated work was only normal for emergencies, not for extra work dumped on us by the company.

    “Oh we always keep a bucket of water next to the computer equipment in case it sets on fire.”

    I'm dying

    I got a printer in for a repair one day at Telecom New Zealand. It was the old style HP printer with a flap in the front where the cartridges sat.

    Ebentually..

    We eventually found a small sparrow (bird) dead and dried out inside the printer under the printer head.

    It must have flown in when it was being built at some factory.

    nothing wrong with bing'ing google to save finger energy

    I work for a University and one day my manager received an email from the I.S manager of the government's department of education accusing me of hacking there systems ( the email was quite threatening). I thought it was very odd and we took the email seriously as you do with security threats.

    Turns out the department of education web service which we had been using (for a considerable time) to retrieve student details was causing their entire network infrastructure to grind to a halt to the point where their own staff couldn't use their own systems and they located the problem to the account I used to access the web service.

    After a few emails back and forth we found out that they had sacked their in-house programmers a week previously and outsourced their development.

    ..... They ended up requesting that we schedule our processes to run after business hours. Government money well spent I guess.

    Last edited 11/09/15 1:29 pm

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