Things That Amaze Me

Monday, June 28th, 2010 | IT

I’m planning on making this a normal thing, this whole posting thing that people talk about.  So in an effort to post more, I’m going to start posting things that absolutely amaze me.  This could range from idiotic things coworkers say or do, or things that end-users say or do.  So I’ll try and make this a daily, or every other day, regular segment of my blog.

Let’s start off with something all end-users do, and logic never once sinks in as to why they should do it the right way.

Me: Well, what’s the error on your screen say?

User: It says, “An error has occured in…”  You know what, it’s just really long and I don’t understand what it means.

This makes me slap my forehead every time.  Guess what, you called IT, numbnuts.  I don’t care if you don’t understand what the error means, but you have to use that brain of yours and actually read the error to me so I can fix it for you.  It may be crazy, complicated moonspeak, but it’s still in English.

Here’s one from a coworker, and this one absolutely blows my mind.  We use Microsoft Communicator to chat and ask questions of the rest of the group, and get different ways to do things.  This particular question, to me, is unacceptable for someone who calls themself a tech.

“Tech”: How do I check if someone’s spooler services are running?

Maybe I just expect too much from my own team, but how to check if a service is running in Windows is a pretty rudimentary task.  It’s actually in the software portion of the A+ exam; that little tiny exam that says, “You’ve shown enough skill to call yourself a competent computer technician.”

Here’s my last item that amazes me, and it’s something many many people do no matter what industry you’re supporting.  I blame this on simple people having computers at home that are way too advanced for the user.  People who only surf the web and check e-mail at home, shouldn’t be spending money on i7′s or even quad-core hardware.  We don’t run old hardware here at work, pretty much everyone is running a core2duo @ 3GHz w/ 3GB of RAM.  The issue is that there are some applications out there that are just poorly coded or not optimized, or even worse, coded in shitty Java code AND not optimized, like the following program the user was trying to run.

User: So I try and run the application, and I double-click it, but nothing happens, so I double-click it again, and nothing still happens.  I wait a little bit, and then double-click it again, but then if I do it one more time, it finally opens.  After that, it runs really really slow.

Me: So how long do you typically wait for it to open the first time you click it?

User: About 15 seconds.

Me: …  Well, you see, what happens is that you have to give it time to load.  That fourth double-click didn’t cause it to load, the first one did, and then it runs slow after that because you’ve double-clicked it three more times, causing three more versions to load in the background.

User: My computer at home would never take that long…

At this point, I just remoted in to her PC and showed her how to properly do things.  I double-clicked the icon once and told her to give it a moment.  It wasn’t more than 10 seconds that I see her start to move her mouse to the shortcut to click it again.  I had to move the mouse away off screen and ask her to leave it alone.  Then, would you believe it, 20 more seconds pass and the program loads up.  Amazing!