You should rethink your degree…

At a previous job at a university, one of the student assistants in charge of running a computer lab called in and told us that several machines in the lab hadn’t been working for over a month and he didn’t know why. When I went to check them out they were all either unplugged or the monitors were unplugged.

The funny part? The student assistant that called was several years into a computer science degree.

via: [Spiceworks Community]


Well, you’re right about one thing, cords do NOT unplug themselves.

I work in a network operations center for a small ISP that offers VoIP. Since the place is kind of small, our department also handles a bit of general tech support for internet and phone issues. Most of it is really simple problems and/or really dense people. Today I had a good one:

Me: NOC, this is Kendall.

Customer Service Rep: Hey, I’ve got <account number> and they don’t have a dial tone. I reset the modem (Arris units with built in ATAs) and the provisioning looks good. Can I transfer?

Me: Go ahead…..<click>…..Network Operations, this is Kendall. How can I help you?

Customer: We don’t have phone service.

At this point I’ve verified that the provisioning is correct and have noted a Ringer Equivalency failure, usually caused by nothing being plugged into the ATA.

Me: Yes ma’am, I do see an issue. It doesn’t look like the modem is seeing anything plugged into the correct telephone port. Could you please tell me how many cords are connected to the back of it?

Customer: What’s a modem?

Me: It’s a small, black, rectangular box with some green lights on it. It’ll probably be close to a computer and will say “Arris” on it.

Customer: Let me go see.

A few minutes pass…

Customer: There are three cords connected to the back.

Me: Are you able to get on the internet?

Customer: Let me see……….Yes.

This means that only the power, coaxial, and Ethernet were connected and that the phone cord is probably laying on the floor behind whatever piece of furniture the modem is sitting on.

Me: There needs to be four cords connected. Would you mind checking to see if there’s a stray phone cord on the floor close to the modem?

Customer: I don’t understand. There’s only ever been three cords plugged in and it was working fine this morning. Nobody’s been back there to mess with it.

Me: Ma’am, the phone service can’t work without a phone cord connected to the modem. Would you please check?

Insert quite a bit of back and forth about this and she eventually gets frustrated and hangs up. About an hour later her husband calls in and I get the transfer.

Me: Network Operations, this is Kendall. How can I help you?

Husband: We ain’t gotta dial tone. Can you guys zap it or whatever you do to fix it?

Me: From the notes it appears that the issue is with a disconnected phone cord. Would you mind telling me how many cords are connected to the back of the modem.

Husband: Three. Why?

Me: There needs to be a total of four cords. One for the power, one for the cable, one for the internet, and one for the phone.

Husband (in a more aggressive tone): My wife went through this earlier! There’s only ever been three on the back!

Me: Sir, I believe you may be mistaken. Without that fourth cord the phone service will not be functional.


Me: Sir, it is quite literally impossible for this to work without that cord also connected to the modem. Please, for the sake of being thorough, check to see if there’s a stray phone cord on the floor behind the modem.


Me: I agree with you on that point, however we still need to check for that phone cord.

I hear him set the phone down and then utter some curses about the quality of our service and that this is a bunch of crap, but I can hear movement so it’s obvious he’s doing something.

Husband: Alright, I got a dial tone. <click>

via: [Reddit\TalesFromTechSupport]

Picture Source: [Philippe Put (CC)]

The System Idle Process is Too High…

I just got this email from one of my stores…

Customer has been in 3 different times with his laptop and he is not satisfied with the service. We are running his service a 3rd time and he called to make sure we check the system idle process (it is running at 90+) or at least give us some explanation as to why it needs to run that high. He is under the impression that using that much of the CPU isn’t allowing him to run any other programs. 

This would be like walking to the fire station to announce that your house is on fire.

Ahhh – “old ladies and IT”… my favorite.

She barged into our room with a snobby “HELLOOO?”. I turn around to see a disgruntled old woman with a disgusted look on her face.  “Oh sh…”

I notice the sign strapped to her chest that reads “CAN ANYONE FROM IT HELP ME??” and with my advanced knowledge of problem solving skills, I asked her “Do you need help?”

She exclaims, “YES, and no one around here will help me. I need someone to grant access to these shares for these users. They don’t have accounts or email and blah blah blah.”

“Okay, can you please send us an email with the user’s name and what share they need access to?” we ask politely.

“NO, I have sent too many emails about this and nothing has been done, I am going to walk around the atrium (with her signs) until someone helps me with this!” and she leaves.


- slightly edited for (although very appropriate) language – Rob

via: [Reddit\TalesFromTechSupport]

Picture Source: [Greencolander (CC)]