People In I.T. Share The Worst Thing Someone Has Requested Of Them.

Here, IT people share the most, er... interesting questions they've ever been asked.

1. My keyboard is not working, can you give me a new one?

I replace the keyboard with a new one and as I carry the old one under my arm, I get doused with the leftover cup of coffee that had been dumped into the broken keyboard.

2. Something is wrong with the file on my floppy disk. Can you check it?

When I get to the users desk, she gets me the bad disk that is being held onto her file cabinet with a magnet.

3. I heard that there may be a virus on my email attachment, I ran the file to see what it would do.

You opened a virus because you thought it might be a virus?!

4. I sent an email out to the wrong person 15 minutes ago. Can you stop it?

No. No, I can not stop your email from being sent 15 minutes ago.

5. I was getting an error message for the past few weeks telling me that the hard drive was failing. I kept clicking OK and everything seemed to work fine.

But then it didn't, and... just like it said, your hard drive failed, and now you're here. Do you also not understand why a red light comes after a yellow light?

6. My boss told me that his UPS did not keep his computer running when we had a power issue.

When I crawled under his desk I discovered (Continued)


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that the only thing plugged in was his cup warmer.

7. VP of Development was angry and I was asked to check why our backup system was not working properly.

I waited in the server room after hours and noticed a spike in activity from our software developers on the network. My investigation revealed that they were all playing a multi-user tank battle game flooding the network with packets. When I reported the issue to their boss the next day, he was pretty furious. All of his developers were being paid overtime and the product was way behind.

8: Can you check why Im out of disk space?

On various occasions I have found profiles of Russian women searching for husbands, videos of zoo animals copulating (not kidding, tear my eyes out!), every single email from the past X years (never deleted a single one!), and uncompressed audio files from a CD collection

9. Since we moved our printer has some serious problems. The holes in the paper comes out on the wrong side, can you guys fix it?

There ought to be a mandatory drivers license just to be near a computer and a printer.

10. It wasnt working before!

I realized in the early stages of my 20+ years in IT service, training and support, that I have some kind of magical power/aura because, invariably when I would rock up to someones desk (or site) to investigate their issue (after already trying to trouble shoot it over the phone), their software/hardware would all of a sudden magically start to work.

For the majority of these cases, I would not have actually done anything. Id ask them to take me through the issue and it worked perfectly.

Them: It wasnt working before!

Me: Well, really, because I didnt do anything to it.

Them: You must have done something on the server then!

Me: Well, actually, this is client-based software and doesnt use the server.

Sometimes I would reboot their computer (something they would say theyd already tried ten times before I got there).

Other times, I would see an error message and just click the OK button.

Me (phone support before the visit): Is there an error message?

Them: (Continued)


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No, theres no message but my computer is frozen!

Then Id rock up and right in the middle of their screen - an error message requiring action before you can continue.

Must be an ID 10 T problem!

11. This is SO expensive!

I often hear people complain that computers and computer parts are so expensive, yet they spend hours and hours per day with their beloved machine. Take anything else that you spend a large portion of your day with, the TV, your smartphone, your car etc etc. You rarely hear people complain about those things, but for some reason, the computer is supposed to be cheaper than toilet paper, yet perform like a beast.

12. Can you hack this thing?

Everything you know about hackers you learnt from Hollywood movies. Were aware of that, and theres no harm in asking. Most of the time it wont be possible, or wont be convenient, but again no harm in asking.

Sometimes, we can hack things. Were not criminals though. Be prepared to prove that whatever application, device or system you want to get into is yours and yours only, and you need help.

Think about I lost the keys to my own apartment and I need someone to break my front door lock, not I want to break in my neighbours apartment.

13. Always be nice to the IT guy.

Because we know everything!

Every little thing you have done with your computer or your smartphone leaves tracks, and we can follow them.

Maybe you picked up your home email with your smartphone? Sure you did. Over our WiFi. Ive got a list of all of it. I even get reports showing who your top senders and recipients are.

Oh you browsed the web? My systems have a record of everywhere you have been, even some of what you looked at has been cached where I can get to it.

Our UTM tracks everything you do and will... (Continued)


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block anything evil before it even gets to your computer but the side effect is it is all there for my perusal. I actually get emailed if theres something I should know about your computer. In real time.

You have no privacy at all and you will have agreed to that. Your email is an open book to me. Oddly your social media is better protected, but not if you use dumb passwords any idiot could guess

So now you know that I know everything or could know everything very quickly if I need to. The trick is make sure that I just dont care.

and Im just the IT guy. Dont get the forensic guys interested. Ever.

14. l don't know how that got on my computer!

...As 10,000 files of movie downloads, pr0n pictures, or virus laden stuff is removed. If you did it, just admit it. Actually in the case of pr0n, almost all companies have a zero tolerance attitude and I have seen an employee immediately terminated and walked out no notice, no warnings, just a security guy called to their desk and a walk of shame out of the building.

15. The computer said that if I wanted to see my document, I should call this number to arrange payment, I'm on the phone with them now, and they are talking to me about anti virus software too, should I buy it too?

This person had just got a Trojan, encrypting their hard disk and holding it for ransom, and yes, this was a real life call to a friend of mine from his mother. She had her credit card out and was about to pay. Even the parents of tech workers are not very computer savvy sometimes.

16. Please don't say the following to your company's I.T. person...

The Internet is broken!

The coffee maker is busted. Fix it.

Can you help me fix my Excel spreadsheet?

Can you open up an email account for me?

Ive written down my password and taped it to my monitor.

____ is down. What did you do to break it?

I brought in my personal laptop. Its broken. Can you (Continued)


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fix it?

Email isnt working. (in an email message on the same server).

I need you to create a new Intranet this afternoon. With full content.

Oh, before you go, heres a list of ten other problems while youre here.

I need to drop everything and fix my stuff right this second.

Why does my computer keep telling me I have to pay to access my files?

Can you clean my keyboard?

17. Were paying you too much.

On hearing this, most IT staff will just leave. No warning, no discussion, no negotiation. They will simply find another employer. Many will work out their notice period, but not always. Some will simply abandon their job.

Rarely, they will even complete a handover before leaving.

But no IT worker, worth their salt, will remain after being told something like this.

18. We forgot our companys Facebook page password

I dont work for Facebook. There is a link directly below the password field that says Forgot Account?

19. I accidentally deleted a file a few days ago

They deleted the file a few days ago, yet, now its the most urgent issue in the world. Too many times they would have little information as to what drive or folder it was saved in, what type of file it was, what the title of the file was. I had to mute my phone so the client wouldnt hear my audible groan every time I had a call like this.

20. I have a 10 new employees starting tomorrow morning. I need their accounts set up ASAP.

This request would typically come in around 4:45PM the day prior. The request would also, typically, lack any info as to what security groups or access these accounts would need. And of course, the requester would leave work right after sending the request to the IT dept.

I endured a year of IT help desk misery at a Cloud Hosting company before I (Continued)


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threw in the towel. You couldnt pay me enough money to endure another year. I have immense respect for anyone who can keep their sanity while doing that job.

21. Can I get a wind proof router?

Someone once came into our retail store and asked to buy a wind proof router because "the wind keeps blowing my wifi signal away"

pretty sure my eyes started bleeding.

22. "So... I can't store my files in the recycle bin?"

I wrote a script to do some maintenance on the computers on the network after hours (clear temp / garbage files, defrag etc..) as you know nobody does this and I was having to manually do it on a few computers so I figure I would script it out and do it to everyone and get it all done at once over the weekend.

Monday morning all hell breaks loose. Apparently the #2 in the office had been storing all of her important files in the recycle bin. Not on the network share like everyone else but files created on the desktop and then deleted. In which she would open the recycle bin undelete and they would be back on the desktop.

Unfortunately I had no backups as the backup procedures I had did not in fact back up the Recycle Bin on all the computers. I ended up pulling a 50 hour shift redacting and trying to manually put the files back of which I got about 80% of them despite the defrag.

I was in deep doodoo for 2 months after that.

23. I've got an idea and it's gonna be HUGE!

I rarely begrudge someone for not understanding what I do...I'm sure I've said some stupid things about other areas of expertise.

What I do get irked over is when it gets trivialized. I've had a couple of people who barely know me approach me with a "big idea" that they'd like to get off the ground. One guy wanted to make a WoW clone, more or less. He knows I write software...but no idea what I do (I work on Big Data systems and the like). So, to him, a programmer is a programmer. No matter that I know as much about how to make a game like WoW as I know about brain surgery.

But I do know enough to know that one programmer who is not even tangentially related to the end product in expertise is probably not going to get the job done.

He had no CLUE what making a game like that entailed. I think he figured that Blizzard was run by four guys in a garage or something.

Another guy has a brilliant idea for a website. Hint: It's a bad idea. Hilariously bad.

He has no business experience. No development experience. No marketing experience. But he tells me the classic line: "I'll give you 10...no 5..percent ownership!"

Ownership in what? Your pipe dreams?

And then I tell him "No thanks.." and it's always the same: "You have no idea what you're missing out on!"

Oh, but I do. And I'm not really "missing" much.

People have NO CLUE how much work goes into the stuff they use. They figure that, since Google is only a logo and a single text-box, it should be super duper easy to create that part. "I don't need the maps created at first, we just need a search engine! And we can make one that's BETTER than Google! Once it's running, we'll start working on a map thing" (another actual line I've been pitched)

Right, because nobody is trying to do that right now. Search Bing for Google alternatives and let me know what you find. Ya know, besides irony.

The "idea guy" is the most useless person out there. If all you have is an idea, and you're going to pitch it to a developer, save yourself the time and just ask him to say "No thanks" to you in advance. Anyone who agrees, won't be competent. Anyone who is competent, won't agree.


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