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The Help Desk

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8:05AM - User called to say they forgot password. Told him to use the password retrieval utility called FDISK. Blissfully ignorant, he thanks me and hangs up. God, we let these people vote and drive too?

8:12AM - Accounting called to say they couldn’t access expense reports database. Gave them Standard Sys Admin answer #112; “Well, it works for me.” Let them rant a rave while I unplugged my coffee maker and plug in their server. Suggest they try it again. One more happy customer...

8:14AM - User from 8:05 call said he received error message “Error accessing Drive 0.” Told him it was an OS problem. Transferred him to micro-support.

11:00AM - Relatively quiet for the last few hours. Decide to plug the support phone back in so I can call my girlfriend. She says that her parents are coming in to town this weekend. Put her on hold and transferred her to janitorial closet down in basement. What is she thinking? The Doom and Myst nationals are this weekend!

11:34AM - Another user calls (do they ever learn?). Says she wants ACL changed on HR performance review database so that nobody but HR can access database. Tell her no problem. Hang up and change ACL. Add @MailSend so performance reviews are sent to */US.

12:00PM - Lunch.

3:30PM - Return from lunch.

3:55PM - Wake up from nap. Bad dream makes me cranky. Bounce servers for no reason. Return to napping.

4:23PM - Yet another user calls. Wants to know how to change fonts on form. Ask her what chip set she is using. Tell her to call back when she finds out.

4:55PM - Decide to run “Create Save/Replication Conflicts” macro so next shift has something to do.


8:30AM - Finish reading support log form last night. Sounded busy; terrible time with Save/Replication errors.

9:00AM - Support manager arrives. Wants to discuss my attitude. Click on PhoneNotes SmartIcon. “Love to, but kinda busy. Put something in the calendar database!” I yell as I grab the support lines, which have (mysteriously) lit up. He walks away grumbling.

9:35AM - Team leader from R&D need ID for new employee. Tell him he needs form J-19R=9C9\\DARR\K1. Says he never heard of such a form. Transfer him 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, department name, manager name, and marital status. Run @DBLookup against state parole board, Centers for Disease Control database, and my Oprah Winfrey database. No hits. Tell her ID will be ready tonight. Drawing from the lessons learned in last week’s “Reengineering for Customer Partnership” 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 phone kept ringing, so he transferred them to cafeteria lady. I like this guy.

1:05PM - Big commotion! Support manager falls through hole in floor left where I pulled floor tiles outside his office door. Stress to him the importance of not running in computer room, even if I do yell “Omigod – Fire!”

1:15PM - Development Standards Committee calls and complains about umlauts in form names. Apologizing for the inconvenience, I tell them I will fix it. Hang up and run global search/replace using gaks.

1:20PM - Mary Hairnet from cafeteria calls. Says she keeps getting calls for “Notice Loads” or “NoLoad Goats.” She’s not sure, couldn’t hear over the industrial-grade blender. Tell her it was probably “Lettuce Nodes.” Maybe the food distributor with a new product? She thinks about it and hangs up.

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 the rest of day.


8:30AM - Irate user calls to say chipset has nothing to do with fonts on form. Tell him of course, he 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. User calls and wants to talk to support manager about terrible help at support desk. Tell her manager about to go into a meeting. Sometimes life hands you material…

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 with moderate to heavy political turmoil. By and by, I ask if he’s aware of a new bug, which takes full-text indexed random e-mail databases and puts all references to furry handcuffs and Bambi Boomer 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 a 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.


8:00AM - New guy (Marvin) started today. “Nice plaids” I offer. Show him server room, wiring closet, and technical library. Set him up with IBM PC-XT. Tell him to quit whining, Notes runs the same in both monochrome and color.

8:55AM - New guy’s machine 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). User calls, says accounting server is down. Untie Ethernet cable from radio antenna (better reception) and plug it back into hub. Tell user to try again. Another happy customer!

11:55AM - Brief Marvin on Corporate Policy 98.022.01: “Whereas all new employees beginning on days ending in ‘Y’ shall enjoy proper aspects with said corporation, said employee is obligated to provide substance and relief to senior technical analyst on shift.” Marvin doubts. I point to Corporate Policy database (a fine piece of work if I do say so myself). “Remember, that’s DOUBLE pepperoni and NO peppers!” I yell to Marvin as he steps over open floor tile to get to exit door.

1:00PM - Ooooooh! Pizza makes me so sleepy…

4:30PM - Wake from refreshing nap. Catch Marvin scanning the want ads.

5:00PM - Shift change. Flick HR’s server off and on several times (just testing the On/Off button…). See ya tomorrow.


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.

10:17AM - Pensacola calls. Says they can’t route mail to San Diego. Tell them to set server ahead three 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.

11:20AM - Finish @CoffeeMake macro. Put phone back on hook.

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 these days” I respond. Support manager says he has appointment with orthopedic doctor this afternoon, and asks if I mind sitting in on the weekly department 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 can.” I tell him.

12:00PM - Lunch.

1:00PM - Start full backups on Unix server. Route them to Device NULL to make them fast.

1:03PM - Full weekly backups done. Man, I love modern technology!

2:30PM - Look in support manager’s contact management database. Cancel 2:45PM appointment for him. He really should be at home resting, you know.

2:39PM - New user calls. Says he wants learn how to create a connection document. Tell him to run connection document utility “CTRL-ALT-DEL”. Says PC rebooted. Tell him to call microsupport.

2:50PM - Support manager calls to say mixup at doctor’s office means appointment canceled. Says he’s just going to go home. Ask him if he has seen Corporate web page lately.

3:00PM - Another (novice) user calls. Says periodic macro not working. Suggest that she place “@DeleteDocument” at the end of formula. Promise to send her document addendum which says so.

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 he can’t see anything in documents. Tell him to go to “View”, do a “Edit—Select All”, hit delete key, and then refresh. Promise to send him document addendum which says so.

4:45PM - Another user calls. Says she can’t read help documents. Tell her 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 them the hub is acting funny and to have a good weekend. Cheers.

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Paging "Nick Burns, the company comuter guy." (aka Jimmy Fallon)

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hehe...reminds me of my daily job

Now thats scary :rolleyes::)

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