A Week at the Computer Helpdesk, the REAL story...

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Monday 8:05am User called to say they forgot password. Told them to use password retrieval utility called FDISK. They thank me and hang up. God, we let the people vote and drive, too? 8:12am Accounting called to say they couldn't access reports database. Gave them Standard Sys Admin Answer #112, Well, it works for me. Let them rant while I unplugged my coffeemaker from the UPS and plugged their server back in. Suggested they try it again. One more happy customer... 11:00am Quiet for last few hours. Decide to plug phone back in so I can call my girlfriend. Says parents are coming into town this weekend. Put her on hold and transferred her to janitorial closet. 12:00pm Lunch 3:30pm Return from lunch. 4:23pm Yet another user calls. Wants to know how to change fonts. Ask them what chip set they're using. Tell them to call back when they find out.

Tuesday 9:00am Support manager arrives. Wants to discuss my attitude. Click on PhoneNotes SmartIcon. Love to, but kinda busy. I yell as I grab for the support lines, which have(mysteriously) lit up. Walks away grumbling. 9:35pm Team leader from R&D needs ID for new employee. Tell them to hang on. Transfer them to janitorial closet in basement. 10:00am Perky sounding intern from R&D calls and says she needs new ID. Tell her I need employee number, and marital status. Run @DbLookup against parole board database, CDC database, and my Oprah database. No hits. Tell her ID will be ready tonight, I offer to personally deliver ID to her apartment. 10:07am Janitor stops by to say he keeps getting strange calls in basement. Offer to train him on Notes. Begin now. Let him watch console while I grab a smoke. 1:00pm Return from smoking break. Janitor says phones kept ringing, so he transferred them to cafeteria lady. I like this guy. 1:05pm Big commotion! Support manager falls in hole left where I pulled floor tiles outside his office door. Stress to him importance of not running in computer room, even if I do yell Omigod -- Fire! 2:00pm Legal secretary calls and says she lost password. Ask her to check in her purse, floor of car, and on bathroom counter. Tell her it probably fell out of back of machine. Suggest she put duct tape over all the airvents she can find on the PC. Grudgingly offer to create new ID for her while she does that. 2:49pm Janitor comes back. Wants more lessons. I take off rest of day.

Wednesday 8:30am Irate user calls to say chipset has nothing to do with fonts on form. Tell them of course, they should have been checking Bitset, not chipset. Sheepish user apologizes and hangs up. 9:10am Support manager, with foot in cast, returns to office. Schedules 10:00am meeting with me. 10:00am Call Louie in janitorial services to cover for me. Go to support manager's office. He says he can't dismiss me but can suggest several lateral career moves. Most involve farm implements in third-world countries. I ask if he's aware of new bug which takes full-text indexed random e-mail databases and puts all references to handcuffs and Bambi in Marketing on the corporate Web page. Meeting is adjourned as he reaches for keyboard, Web browser, and Tums. 10:30am Tell Louie he's doing great job. Offer to show him mainframe corporate PBX system sometime. 11:00am Lunch. 4:55pm Return from lunch. 5:00pm Shift change; Going home.

Thursday 8:00am New guy (Marvin) started today. "Nice plaids" I offer. Set him up with IBM PC-XT. Tell him to quit whining, Notes runs the same in both monochrome and color. 8:45am New guy's PC finishes booting up. Tell him I'll create new ID for him. Set minimum password length to 64. Go grab smoke. 9:30am Introduce Louie the custodian to Marvin. Nice plaids Louie comments. Is this guy great or what?! 11:00am Beat Louie in dominos game. Louie leaves. Fish spare dominos out of sleeves (Always have backups). 5:00pm Shift change. Flick HR's server off and on several times (just testing the On/Off button...). See ya tomorrow.

Friday 8:00am Night shift still trying to replace power supply in HR server. Told them it worked fine before I left. 9:00am Marvin still not here. Decide I might start answering these calls myself. Unforward phones from Mailroom. 9:02am Yep. A user call. Users in Des Moines can't replicate. Me and the Oiuji board determine it's sunspots. Tell them to call telecommunications. 9:30am Good God, another user! They're like ants. Says he's in San Diego and can't replicate with Des Moines. Tell him it's sunspots, but with a two-hour difference. Suggest he reset the time on the server back two hours. 11:00am E-mail from corporate says for everybody to quit resetting the time on their servers. I change the date stamp and forward it to Milwaukee. 11:23am Milwaukee calls, asks what day it is. 11:25am Support manager stops by to say Marvin called in to quit. So hard to get good help... I respond. Support manager says he has appointment with orthopedic doctor this afternoon, and asks if I mind sitting in on the weekly department head meeting for him. No problem! 11:30am Call Louie and tell him opportunity knocks and he's invited to a meeting this afternoon. Yeah, sure. You can bring your snuff I tell him. 12:00am Lunch. 2:39pm New user calls. Says want to learn how to create a connection document. Tell them to run connection document utility CTRL-ALT-DEL. Says PC rebooted. Tell them to call microsupport. 4:00pm Finish changing foreground color in all documents to white. Also set point size to 2 in help databases. 4:30pm User calls to say they can't see anything in documents. Tell them to go to view, do a Edit -- Select All, hit delete key, and then refresh. Promise to send them document addendum which says so. 4:45pm Another user calls. Says they can't read help documents. Tell them I'll fix it. Hang up. Change font to Wingdings. 4:58pm Plug coffee maker into Ethernet hub to see what happens. Not (too) much. 5:00pm Night shift shows up. Tell that the hub is acting funny and to have a good weekend. Che

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CR2R_A Week at the Computer Helpdesk, the REAL story...

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