IT Pro vs. Telemarketers

Years ago, in the burgeoning age of 900Mhz cordless phones, I was working a desktop support job with a major industrial/agricultural equipment manufacturer.  Since this was my first foray into corporate IT, I learned many skills that could be utilized for a number of different purposes, and became the foundation on which all my skills now rest.

I would on occasion make some phone calls in the morning on the cordless phone, then leave it sitting on the table when I left – not in the charging base.

Since I lived pretty close to home, I would often drive back to the apartment for lunch and would notice that the phone was beeping; i.e. a completely drained battery.  Huh.  That was odd, I thought.  I had a nearly full battery in the morning.  Well, I found out pretty quickly what was going on – – I had a sick day not too long after the battery issues started – and realized that I was getting a TON of marketing calls – we’re talking around 10 or more per day.

The constant ringing was killing the battery over time…

So, after awhile, I got fed up and did what any IT person would do – use my skills to work around a major problem.

  • I plugged my analog line into my PC and then installed WinFax (remember that?) to become my answering machine.
  • Configured WinFax to answer only between the hours of 7:30 and 4:30 on 1 ring.
  • Found a phone number that was not in service, recorded the “bu-du-beep” tones on my computer and set it up as my answering message.
  • Left this set up for about 2 weeks.

After the two weeks were up, I received NO further telemarketing calls.

By far this has to be my proudest achievement with regards to clever uses of tech at home.

[Picture Source: Coto (CC)]

Sometimes you just gotta troll with it.

I get a call – the usual: “The computer is slow.”  After finding nothing wrong with the machine, the user states “this needs to be fixed now, the Internet is too slow.”

After 5 mins of listening to this…I finally stated: “Ms. the Internet is slow because you are too far from the power line. You’re not getting enough power to your computer. Her manager is standing right there, and he comments “Yes, I will submit the request to move you closer to the power line.”

8 months later and this employee still doesn’t have a clue; she still states that management “will not move her closer to the power line so her internet goes faster.”

Next one involving the same employee

Her: My keyboard is not working.

Me: Okay I’ll go ahead and replace it.

Her: ? what happens to everything I typed on that keyboard?

Me: What do you mean? Nothing will happen when I replace this.

Her: No sweetie you don’t understand. All my memory is in that keyboard, if you replace it how will it know what I have typed?

Manager: I’ll have the IT place the memory in the new keyboard for you.

Me: Following with his lead: “Yes I will get right on that. I won’t have anyone losing memory in this office!”

Gotta love it when the managers go in on the jokes.

via: [Spiceworks Community]

Maybe HR shouldn’t hire developers?

From the Daily WTF:

“At my company, the powers-that-be determined that, because we rejected a lot of job candidates, my group was ineffective at hiring new employees,”Kendall writes, “thus, the responsibility of hiring new developers was shifted to a group much more proficient at hiring: human resources.”

“That has been going about as well as you might expect, and to make a long story short, we were told to handle any ‘knowledge gaps’ with training. And thus, one of the very first training jobs I give to new employees is to develop a method that translates Roman Numbers to Decimal Numbers. Most struggle with the challenge, but one new hire actually managed to solve the problem:

public string rom2num(string r)
    if (r == "I") return "1";
    if (r == "II") return "2";
    if (r == "III") return "3";
    if (r == "IV") return "4";
    if (r == "V") return "5";
    if (r == "VI") return "6";
    if (r == "VII") return "7";
    if (r == "VIII") return "8";
    if (r == "IX") return "9";
    // Snipped LOTS of "code" here
    if (r == "MMVIII") return "2008";
    if (r == "MMIX") return "2009";
    if (r == "MMX") return "2010";
    if (r == "MMXI") return "2011";
    return "E";

Kendall continues, “when I asked him why the method returns a decimal number as a String, he gave me a disbelieving look and said ‘For returning the error indicator, of course.'”

“I can only hope that the powers-that-be will determine that we are ineffective at training and shift the responsibility of teaching programmers to program to corporate training.”

via: [TheDailyWTF]