A Week at the Computer Helpdesk, the REAL story…

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Monday
8:05am
User called to say they forgot password. Told them to use
password retrieval utility called FDISK. They thank me and hang
up. God, we let the people vote and drive, too?
8:12am
Accounting called to say they couldn’t access reports database.
Gave them Standard Sys Admin Answer #112, Well, it works for me.
Let them rant while I unplugged my coffeemaker from the UPS and
plugged their server back in. Suggested they try it again. One
more happy customer…
11:00am
Quiet for last few hours. Decide to plug phone back in so I can
call my girlfriend. Says parents are coming into town this
weekend. Put her on hold and transferred her to janitorial
closet.
12:00pm
Lunch
3:30pm
Return from lunch.
4:23pm
Yet another user calls. Wants to know how to change fonts. Ask
them what chip set they’re using. Tell them to call back when
they find out.

Tuesday
9:00am
Support manager arrives. Wants to discuss my attitude. Click on
PhoneNotes SmartIcon. Love to, but kinda busy. I yell as I grab
for the support lines, which have(mysteriously) lit up. Walks
away grumbling.
9:35pm
Team leader from R&D needs ID for new employee. Tell them to
hang on. Transfer them to janitorial closet in basement.
10:00am
Perky sounding intern from R&D calls and says she needs new ID.
Tell her I need employee number, and marital status. Run
@DbLookup against parole board database, CDC database, and my
Oprah database. No hits. Tell her ID will be ready tonight, I
offer to personally deliver ID to her apartment.
10:07am
Janitor stops by to say he keeps getting strange calls in
basement. Offer to train him on Notes. Begin now. Let him watch
console while I grab a smoke.
1:00pm
Return from smoking break. Janitor says phones kept ringing, so
he transferred them to cafeteria lady. I like this guy.
1:05pm
Big commotion! Support manager falls in hole left where I pulled
floor tiles outside his office door. Stress to him importance of
not
running in computer room, even if I do yell Omigod — Fire!
2:00pm
Legal secretary calls and says she lost password. Ask her to
check in her purse, floor of car, and on bathroom counter. Tell
her it
probably fell out of back of machine. Suggest she put duct tape
over all the airvents she can find on the PC. Grudgingly offer
to create new ID for her while she does that.
2:49pm
Janitor comes back. Wants more lessons. I take off rest of day.

Wednesday
8:30am
Irate user calls to say chipset has nothing to do with fonts on
form. Tell them of course, they should have been checking
Bitset, not
chipset. Sheepish user apologizes and hangs up.
9:10am
Support manager, with foot in cast, returns to office. Schedules
10:00am
meeting with me.
10:00am
Call Louie in janitorial services to cover for me. Go to support
manager’s office. He says he can’t dismiss me but can suggest
several
lateral career moves. Most involve farm implements in
third-world countries. I ask if he’s aware of new bug which
takes full-text indexed random e-mail databases and puts all
references to handcuffs and Bambi in Marketing on the corporate
Web page. Meeting is adjourned as he reaches for keyboard, Web
browser, and Tums.
10:30am
Tell Louie he’s doing great job. Offer to show him mainframe
corporate PBX system sometime.
11:00am
Lunch.
4:55pm
Return from lunch.
5:00pm
Shift change; Going home.

Thursday
8:00am
New guy (Marvin) started today. “Nice plaids” I offer. Set him
up with IBM PC-XT. Tell him to quit whining, Notes runs the same
in both monochrome and color.
8:45am
New guy’s PC finishes booting up. Tell him I’ll create new ID
for him. Set minimum password length to 64. Go grab smoke.
9:30am
Introduce Louie the custodian to Marvin. Nice plaids Louie
comments. Is this guy great or what?!
11:00am
Beat Louie in dominos game. Louie leaves. Fish spare dominos out
of sleeves (Always have backups).
5:00pm
Shift change. Flick HR’s server off and on several times (just
testing the On/Off button…). See ya tomorrow.

Friday
8:00am
Night shift still trying to replace power supply in HR server.
Told them it worked fine before I left.
9:00am
Marvin still not here. Decide I might start answering these
calls myself. Unforward phones from Mailroom.
9:02am
Yep. A user call. Users in Des Moines can’t replicate. Me and
the Oiuji board determine it’s sunspots. Tell them to call
telecommunications.
9:30am
Good God, another user! They’re like ants. Says he’s in San
Diego and can’t replicate with Des Moines. Tell him it’s
sunspots, but
with a two-hour difference. Suggest he reset the time on the
server back two hours.
11:00am
E-mail from corporate says for everybody to quit resetting the
time on their servers. I change the date stamp and forward it to
Milwaukee.
11:23am
Milwaukee calls, asks what day it is.
11:25am
Support manager stops by to say Marvin called in to quit. So
hard to get good help… I respond. Support manager says he has
appointment with orthopedic doctor this afternoon, and asks if I
mind sitting in on the weekly department head meeting for him.
No problem!
11:30am
Call Louie and tell him opportunity knocks and he’s invited to a
meeting
this afternoon. Yeah, sure. You can bring your snuff I tell him.
12:00am
Lunch.
2:39pm
New user calls. Says want to learn how to create a connection
document. Tell them to run connection document utility
CTRL-ALT-DEL. Says PC rebooted. Tell them to call microsupport.
4:00pm
Finish changing foreground color in all documents to white. Also
set point size to 2 in help databases.
4:30pm
User calls to say they can’t see anything in documents. Tell
them to go to view, do a Edit — Select All, hit delete key, and
then refresh. Promise to send them document addendum which says
so.
4:45pm
Another user calls. Says they can’t read help documents. Tell
them I’ll fix it. Hang up. Change font to Wingdings.
4:58pm
Plug coffee maker into Ethernet hub to see what happens. Not
(too) much.
5:00pm
Night shift shows up. Tell that the hub is acting funny and to
have a good weekend. Che

100580cookie-checkA Week at the Computer Helpdesk, the REAL story…

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