Tales of the id-10-tic: True Tech Support Stories

Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2004 04:34 pm
(Mods: if this fits better in Jokes, you are welcome to move. --PD)

With all of the requests for computer help on the forum lately, and considering my own experience not long ago with my constipated Outlook Express program ("Hellloooo, Webmail! Nice to meetcha!") I thought that Craven, fishin', timberlandko, Monger, Murray S. and others probably have some pretty funny stories to tell about their more intriguing technical encounters.

Here's a couple to get us started from a site I stumbled across:

A customer called, and said that he had spilled some liquid onto his laptop keyboard - and needed it looked at right away! Since the caller ID indicated "US Government," we understood the potential emergency... he needed it fixed fast without his commanding officer knowing something had happened.

When he got into the store, he explained what had happened: a coworker was at his desk and knocked over his "spit cup". (For those of you who don't know, a "spit cup" is where nincompoops who use snuff or chewing tobacco dribble out the noxious, grotesque tobacco juice, when they can't just slobber on the ground. Kind of a poor man's spittoon.)

The boss wrote up the service order as "Toxic Spill", and put it in the queue. I got in late that day, so the repair was assigned to me. (lucky me!) Approaching the system with due caution, and a pair of latex gloves, I checked the system, noting that a) the keyboard was a sealed unit with membrane switches, and b) nothing had gotten underneath it.

The system was returned to the customer, with the notation that "No trouble found, with the exception of a minty-fresh smell." Let him explain the smell to his sergeant on his own.

Back in the mid to late 1970's I was employed by a firm that was on the cutting edge of office computing. We had a very large government installation in Baltimore, Maryland. Shortly after installing a system and two Memorex disc drives (a whopping 20Mb each) for the site, I received a phone call that the system was crashing. Arrived on site, ran diagnostics, nothing wrong. Client ran software, programs ran fine. Ran for the day. Next morning, system crashed overnite. This went on for three days. Decided to sit in the office and watch the night run. I should mention this was in a "computer room", raised floors, controlled temp. About 2100, the door to the room opened slightly, a hand with a plug reached in and pulled the plug to the sytem from the wall and plugged in another cord.

Walked out into the hallway and there was the janitorial staff preparing to buff the floor. Following morning, they changed the lock on the door and moved the outlets away from the door. System ran without another problem during the time I was with the company.
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Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2004 04:37 pm
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Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2004 06:27 pm
Back in the '70s, I was involved with a centralized inventory/cashlane setup for a major chainstore outfit ... one of the first in the country to implement what is now found even in Mom-'n-Pop stores. Anyhow, back then it was a big deal that a cashregister in Indianapolis could remove an item from an inventory list as it was sold, notify the purchasing, accounting, advertising, and sales departments in Denver, and request a shipment of replacement item from either the Chicago or Louisville warehouse, as appropriate to the item in question, when a preset on-hand level was reached ... the number of replacement items determined by the rate-of-sale. Another wonderful feature of the system was that it was able to do weekly, monthly and quarterly sales and inventory tracking, as well as provide a highly accurate year-end summary of all the data. Several months of data input and program tweaking {COBOL, of course} were required, but at last it all worked as it should. Then came the end of the year, and the year-end report was requested. Dutifully, diligently, the big central machine, with all sorts of spinning disks and shuttling tapes and blinking lights and tractor-printer clacking, spewed out the hundreds of pages, unceasing and untiring to the very end of the process, pausing only when it became necessary, as it did many times, to feed a new box of tractor paper to the printer. The machine then cleared itself, announced via one last clatter from the tractor printer "Test Successful", and indicated it was ready to be programmed.
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Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2004 06:47 pm
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Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2004 05:30 pm
Just thought I'd toss this in ... its an absolute every day occurrence worlwide, I'm sure:

User: "I have a problem with (whatever}"

Desk: "I'm sorry you're experiencing that difficulty. To resolve it, would you please (whatever}"

User: "I've done all that, and it didn't work!"

Desk: "I know, but lets go through it one more time, together, one step at a time, and verify each step as we go along"

User: "Well, OK, but I already did all that"

Desk: "I know, now, step 1 ... etc"

Desk and User, back and forth: <lots of etc>

Desk: "OK, that's the last step. Now try it and tell me what happens"

User: "Hey! How 'bout that! It worked this time! I wonder why?"

Desk: "Thank you for calling"
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Turner 727
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2004 09:51 pm
Bastard Operator From Hell
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