Things That Amaze Me

Monday, June 28th, 2010 | IT | Comments Off

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!

Biggest Pet Peeve

Friday, May 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This is my biggest pet peeve ever when it comes to helping people, and really it applies to any field, not just IT.  If you’re in a position where people call you for help, then they should really have to listen to you and take your answer to heart.  Why call some place up for help if you’re just going to question it, and throw your opinion into the mix when you have no knowledge what so ever that pertains to the problem at hand.  If you actually knew shit about your issue to the point where you can fix things, you wouldn’t be calling someone else in the first place.

These people that call up for computer help are calling me to have something fixed, and then when I tell them what the issue is they disagree and say, “Well, I don’t think that’s the problem, I think it’s this.”  I just feel like saying, “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you worked in IT, by all means, don’t let me interrupt you, I’ll hang up now and you can go about diagnosing and repairing the problem yourself.”

It’s even worse when they disagree and offer up their answer that makes no sense at all.  Here was the issue at hand:

Me: So what’s going on exactly?

Nurse: Well, I have dual monitors, and I run this same application in Internet Explorer on both screens.  When I open this form in one window, it won’t let me open the same form in the other window.  I need to be able to open two instances, one in each window, at the same time.

Me: Ok, I see exactly what’s going on.  From what I’m seeing, either the web app itself, or the Java code, is making it so that the first time you open that window, it’s *requiring* you to do something with it before you can open another instance, or even click on anything else in Internet Explorer.  It’s called a “persistant” window.  You have to hit ok or cancel on it before you can move on.

Nurse: No, I don’t think that’s right.  I’m pretty sure it has to be something with the dual monitors.

Me: … Well…  Monitors are hardware, and they only deliver video signals from the computer.  They play no part in affecting software like Internet Explorer, Java, or the web app that you’re using…

Nurse: No, I’m pretty sure that the monitors are what’s breaking this.

How do you argue with that infallible logic?  I simply just said, “Oh, ok, if you think so.” and I sent a ticket on over to the appropriate analyst for the application she was using, since they’re the ones who code it, and would know if something is broke with the app or Java.  I think the Nurse is just going to keep standing their waiting for a tech to physically walk over to fix her “broken” monitors.

E-Mail is Hard, Part 2

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Just wanted to share this e-mail I received from someone who fails at life, and e-mail.

I have been having a hard time getting my email to work, messages won’t send. 

 Thanks, M

This was an e-mail sent from the e-mail address that was supposedly not sending.  When I called them back, it was a call full of cryptic talk and a huge lack of straight-forward answers.  Bottom line is that they believe their e-mail is not sending, even though I received it, and even replied to it, so they could actually see that it did indeed send.

I’m amazed these people have jobs that help people live.

E-mail is Hard, Folks.

Friday, March 26th, 2010 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

I was really hoping that I’d never run into a single person in my new job that would make me feel like I had to write a blog post about them.  That to me just means one of three things; They’re absolutely retarded, they frustrated me to the point of heavy annoyance, or it was a hilarious situation.  This woman was just retarded and frustrating.

I’ll start by saying this, if you don’t know how e-mail works, how to send it, or just the basics of what’s needed to send an e-mail, grab a hammer and hit yourself in the face.  Right now.  Just grab hold of that thing, and as hard as humanly possible, hit yourself right in your stupid face.  Oh, and don’t worry, hitting yourself in the head with a hammer isn’t going to do any kind of brain damage, because you already don’t have a brain, so there’s nothing to damage.

For those of you that for some reason have the mental capacity to read my blog, but still don’t know how to send e-mail, here’s a brief rundown of what you need:

  • An e-mail client
  • An e-mail account
  • The e-mail address of the person you want to send to

This is really all you need, you don’t even need to have something to say, people send blank e-mail all the time.  Those people are retarded too, just not as retarded as the ones who don’t know how to send it to begin with.

So on to the actual dimwit I talked to.  We use Outlook Web Access for folks that are at home and need to check work e-mail.  This nurse calls me and she’s using it while at work because she says she doesn’t like the full Outlook client.  Now, if you’ve ever used webmail of any sort, it’s never as functional as an actual robust client.  OWA is the same, it’s just not as good as the Outlook client, but it’s still a good webmail client if you’re not dumb as rocks.  So this nurse starts out talking about how it’s not working and it’s broken because it won’t send e-mail, and OHMYGOD WHY DOESN’T IT KNOW WHO I WANT TO SEND TO?!

Me: Ok… So who do you want to send the e-mail to?

Nurse Ratchet: Amanda Rwaraviahadfwhatever, but I don’t know how to spell her last name.

Me: No big deal, if you know part of her last name we can check the Outlook Directory for it.

NR: That’s too much work, why doesn’t it just figure it out for me?

Me: Well, it tries to, but if there’s more than one person that matches the search, you have to be the one to tell the computer who you mean to send it to.

NR: That’s stupid.  I don’t see why it doesn’t just pick the right one.  What if her name is Cathy, and I don’t know whether it’s with a C or a K.

Me: … Then you need to ask Cathy how she spells her name.  The computer only knows the information that you tell it.

NR: Well this is definitely too much work then and it’s stupid.  This isn’t helpful at all.

Me: It’s just like a phone, if you don’t know how to spell the persons name, how are you going to look them up in the phone book to call them?

NR: That’s nothing like this, and I don’t appreciate you trying to explain it to me like that.  Calling someone is nothing like sending an e-mail.  Anyways, you’re not helpful at all.  *click*

I was completely dumbfounded at that point anyways, and felt like I had lost IQ points just talking to her, so I’m relieved she hung up.  Hopefully she’s smarter when it comes to dealing with patients, because she fails at computers.  I can just imagine her saying, “Ma’am, you need to be very specific where the pain in your spine is, is it L1 or L3, YOU HAVE TO BE SPECIFIC WITH ME OR I CAN’T HELP!!!”