There's never a boring day on the job for IT workers, as many issues can arise. No matter how annoying they might be.
IT workers on Reddit share the irritating situations they've had to deal with on the clock. Content has been edited for clarity.
She Forgot The Most Important Step
“I think one of the most annoying things that happens all too frequently to me is when someone calls in, I try not to insult their intelligence (or lack thereof) but I always ask, ‘Is it plugged in? Is it turned on? Check the connections?’ Just the basic stuff.
So, a lady called in as her printer had arrived (I only deal with employees of the company) and wanted my help hooking it up. Knowing it was a Windows 7 machine, I told her to just plug the USB cable into the computer and it should automatically do the rest.
She called me back and said it wouldn’t show up, it was not doing anything, etc.
I asked, ‘Is the power plug-in plugged in?’
She said ‘Yes, of course.’
So, I talked to her for over an hour doing different things (it happened to be a computer that was not on our domain, and I had to instruct her step by step where to click, she didn’t know what a taskbar was, nor what the start menu meant, so this was rather difficult)/
After about an hour, she said, ‘I’ll have to call you back.’
She never did, a day later I called her back and asked if we could finish setting up the printer and she said, ‘Oh. I didn’t call you back because when we got off the phone, I realized that I didn’t plug the power into the wall, once I did that it worked. Thanks though.’
I was speechless and I just hung up.”
Good Idea To Always Get Permission
“I once got a call from a user saying they were unable to access a certain file on the shared drive. I always ask for the user’s permission before remoting into their screen, but this time I thought, ‘It’s inevitable I will need to connect, I’ll do so right now whilst she is still explaining the issue.’
So as she was explaining she couldn’t get on to some work-related website, I had connected to her screen and saw a series of tabs open in her browser.
The first one was something along the lines of, ‘How to deal with persistent diarrhea and heavy period flows.’
Now I should have just clicked away and wiped that from my memory, however in a nervous fit of idiocy I closed that tab.
She then angrily said, ‘Oh right, you’ve been looking at my screen?’
As she said it, I was already reading the next tab, which had a title similar to, ‘Heavy periods and intimacy with your partner.’
By then I was trying to just desperately close the page and disconnect from her screen, and every time I moved the mouse to close the VNC window, she moved the mouse to try and click the tab away. So there we were both panicking, her slightly angry and embarrassed, me slightly horrified and even more embarrassed.
I finally managed to close the connection, and then nervously mumbled, ‘sorry.’
Thankfully she then said, ‘I’ve got another call coming in, is it ok if I call you back later?’
I was so happy, said yes and put the phone down.
At that moment, I thought, ‘What have I done?’
I decided to head out and take an early lunch. I walked downstairs and told my colleagues I WAS going out for lunch and asked if anyone needed anything. Just as I was heading out the door the lady with heavy periods and diarrhea came running out the office, thrust a £5 note into my hand, and said, ‘please can you get me some Immodium Instants?’
I, still a little shocked and surprised, just said sure, and I didn’t even really take in what she was saying. But sure enough, 10 minutes later I was standing in the chemists buying her anti-squits tablets.
That was about a year ago, we still work together and it is still pretty awkward. And I never ever remotely connect to a user’s PC without their permission after that day!”
Thirteen Hours Of Pure Chaos
“I work in my Companies NOC (Network Operations Center) and usually the job is pretty chill. The best thing I can think of happened just this last Saturday night. One of our 7609s decided it was time to lose a card (CPU card, fantastic). This instantly caused massive issues all over the state with our e911 system, our connectivity between our CO here in town, and our Data Center where the 7609 is. Our SAN lost all visibility to the outside world (it hosts the email and DNS servers for about 15 ISPs here in Montana) and also to the inside world (our local LAN lost all DNS, IM, phones, internet, etc).
I called up our Net admin to tell him what’s going on. This was actually the second time the CPU card decided to mess up that day. This time though it didn’t just fail and lock itself, it failed and completely died. So we called one our of transport techs who could go down un-slot the card and replace it with a spare and then hard reboot the 7609.
This went well. The new card was in, and our Net admin was on the phone with Cisco to get a ticket opened and find out what happened, and to get the spare card configured. Meanwhile, I was the overnight tech and I was getting absolutely hammered with calls. Our e911 sites were getting ghost calls and ANI failure calls left and right, the ISPs we support was calling me asking why they have no email and customers can’t browse, and then most the companies who we do broadband transport for calling in asking why they lost visibility to their locations that route through that 7609. About an hour later our Net admin comes running into our NOC and tells me he and Cisco couldn’t figure the Spare card out. It locked itself, they couldn’t get into it and thus couldn’t configure it. He said he will need to drive down and swap it with another spare in the AM. He was able to fail the 7609 over to the secondary CPU and everything was back up and stable.
Things were good finally. Everything calmed down and was back up and working. We declared the outage over and the night became nice and quiet again. Then an hour later, it took a hit again.
The spare that was swapped into the 7609 was in the primary spot. These things are designed to use the primary if it is active and if not switch to the secondary. Well, the locked spare they could not get into and configure had decided to wake itself up, unlock its config, and tell the secondary ‘Hey. I’m alive. Send me your config and I’ll take over,’ like it’s supposed to. This would’ve been fine, except the spare that was swapped in had an older iOS on it, they tried for an hour to update. When the primary re-activated itself, it copied the config over from the secondary card. When it did this, the outdated iOS had no idea what all these VRFs and VLAN configs it was receiving were and basically deleted all of it. Once again, we were down, everything was broken, and I was once again one man answering 6 phones as fast as I could. Well I lied a bit, I was answering calls for 5-10 minutes because our phones once again went down and we were completely dead in the water.
I called out net admin back. He came back into work. Failed the card over to the secondary and had the on-site remove the spare card from the 7609. When they got that all done he couldn’t figure out why things were broke. Well, when the spare was removed from the primary slot, the secondary kicked back in. Except since the primary had taken its config and dumped all the VRF/VLAN info it had, the config was copied back over when the primary was removed so the secondary lost 90% of its config. Our net admin spent an hour reconfiguring the CPU by having to copy/paste all 800+ lines of programming back onto the card. He got that all done and he jumped in a car with the head of our Netops group and they take off with two brand-new cards that are configured and ready to go.
This all began about seven pm on Saturday and finally at eight am Sunday the card was swapped in and everything came back up. After thirteen hours of chaos, I was able to go home. As I mentioned before I am the overnight guy and getting 100 calls a month is about average for me. I toll over 160 calls just that alone.”
Not The Best Place To Keep Files
“I wrote a script to do some maintenance on the computers on the network after hours (clear temp/garbage files, defrag, etc..). Since I was having to manually do it on a few computers, I figured I would script it out and do it to everyone and get it all done at once over the weekend.
Monday morning, all heck breaks loose. Apparently, the #2 in the office had been storing all of her important files in the recycle bin. Not on the network share like everyone else, but files created on the desktop and then deleted. In which she would open the recycle bin undelete and they would be back on the desktop.
Unfortunately I had no backups as the backup procedures I had done not in fact back up the Recycle Bin on all the computers. I ended up pulling a 50-hour shift redacting and trying to manually put the files back, of which I got about 80% of them despite the defrag.
I was in deep trouble for two months after that.”
He Should Have Double-Checked Again
“I was in Australia managing the installation of a city wide high-speed wireless backbone. All our equipment was mounted, racked, and checked out. We were ready to integrate with the larger backbone infrastructure, but needed a few fiber ports on a switch to connect it.
We called up one of the network admins and asked him what ports in the rack were ours into the backbone. He rattled off a rack and some ports. Those ports were in use, and we traced the cables back to some other racks of gear that we felt had to be the main landline-based backbone.
I called him back and asked him, ‘Those ports are in use and going to some competitor gear, are you sure about those ports?’
He double-checked his spreadsheets or whatever he used and said, ‘Use them, unplug whatever is in them and plug your gear in.’
So we did, and took a walk out onto the roof of the building for a smoke and pint, while everything came up.
About 10 minutes later, our phones started ringing. Their network guru was frantically screaming, ‘Put those back, those the wrong ones, use these other ports instead.’
We found out later back at the office, most of Australia experienced an internet outage unplugging those cables.”
The IT Guy Didn’t Break Anything
“This summer I worked for my local school-board upgrading their systems and computers;
I was at a school and had to upgrade the operating system of the staff computers. As I was about to leave for the day, one of the teachers came down the hall screaming at me, ‘What have you done?! Nothing works! I can’t see my files! Do you know what you have done!’
So I asked her to show me her computer, which I tested over the network. Everything seemed fine, programs had been reinstalled, data backed up, drivers installed, but she was still freaking out saying she couldn’t see any of her old files. It got to the point where she was mocking and yelling at me. I have worked retail so I was able to handle it calmly but it was starting to get annoying.
So I asked her where she stored these files, and she says ‘You know!, on that sand thing!’
‘You mean SanDisk? Like a USB dongle?’ I asked.
‘Yea! The computer won’t accept it after you changed everything without my permission!’ she yelled
I ask her to show me her USB, which she pulled out of her pocket and attempted to plug into a USB port.
‘See! What did you do?! It doesn’t even fit anymore!’ she screamed at me.
At this point, I literally facepalmed, took the USB, and pushed it open, so the male adapter actually stuck out.
I plugged it into the port and walked out, while she went, ‘Oh.’
The next day I returned to the school and I walked past a class and heard her telling another teacher how ‘That IT guy broke my computer and expected me to fix it.'”
“I was a network admin at a DOD installation, and we were doing a major upgrade to our network infrastructure. We were replacing the entire network core, while most of the access layer switches were staying the same. I suppose because our network engineer and I had never done this type of upgrade, they decided to bring in a Cisco engineer from our vendor to help with the design and build.
We planned and tested for a while, and the Cisco guy was actually on site for about a month testing and planning. The day before the actual cutover, his boss comes into town. We were starting early (around seven am) on a Saturday, and his boss said something like, ‘If we aren’t done by six pm, he (Cisco guy) is fired!’
Since we were scattered to different buildings around base, we all had two-way radios. Soon, problems started showing up. Around 7pm, my annoying co-worker (our network engineer) gets on the radio and says, ‘It’s seven am…does this mean (Cisco guy) is fired now?’
He told us he was thinking about it.
Then came the dreaded call on the radio, we couldn’t hit any of the access switches. So, my co-worker and I picked one and consoled into it. It was sitting in ROMMON mode (what happens when a Cisco switch can’t find its iOS). After some investigation, it turned out Mr. Cisco Engineer had sent out the command to remotely wipe the configs to the switches, but forgot to enter the commands to tell it where to find its new config. On all 150+ switches. We had to manually go out and re-load every one of those switches, which were scattered all over the base. We called it a day at about eight am Sunday morning, went home to sleep a bit, and came back Sunday afternoon for another few hours.”
Yeah, Not How That Works
“My favorite ‘oh no’ moment was when we were going to upgrade a Netware server to a new machine and new version of the OS. We got to the point where we were figuring out data migration, and I can’t recall if this was before Netware made tools to make it easier, or if the version we were upgrading was so old it wouldn’t matter, and my boss told me to use the beta version of Ghost for Netware. I was reluctant, as it was a beta, but he assured me it was fine and that he’d done a test run with the versions we were going to hit. My plan prior to that was to copy everything over and re-do permissions, the server wasn’t that complicated, and rebuilding their schema from scratch would be a breeze.
They had mirrored drives, so I broke the mirror, pulled a drive, and started Ghost. It got a little way through the process and crashed. Somehow, during the crash (or perhaps it caused the crash), the Netware partition on the drive crashed. No big deal, I had the mirrored drive in the old server. Only that’s corrupted too.
I ended up having to restore everything from a tape on to the new server, and go back through and double-check all the permissions. From that point on, I almost completely disregarded what the boss told me to do.
My funniest moment was talking someone through why their fax modem wouldn’t work. Everything sounded right; the configuration was good, it connected to our fax machine, but nothing came through. I finally had him talk me through exactly what he was doing.
When he said, ‘I’m holding the piece of paper up to the monitor,’
I nearly lost it. I had enough composure to ask politely if I could put him on hold for a minute, and then spent a couple of minutes laughing my butt off. Once I got sane again, I politely informed him he’d have to fax from within a program, and life was good.”
That Is Really Good Timing
“I’ve been in IT for quite a few years now, but I started on campus while in college. There are two distinct times I should have been fired.
The first time, there was this guy that we worked with almost everyone hated. A regular buzz light year. A real piece of work. Just the perfect guy you want to punch in the face to get rid of his smug smile. We used HEAT to enter tickets, which would be attached to our log-in identities. This guy decided to write a new script to make tickets ‘easier.’
What this script did was take the ticket form and turn it into a series of pop-ups asking you questions. So, instead of just tabbing through a form, putting in the phone number and username and problem type, you would get a popup asking, ‘What is customer’s phone number'” etc. I think it was just a macro script, but I hated him and I hate it.
So one night after hours I was mocking him with my coworker friend and was showing him the stupid script he wrote. I put in a bunch of answers since it wasn’t a real ticket, but when it came to the, ‘What is the problem?’ box I wrote in ‘You suck a lot,’ because in our minds we were referring to the guy we hated. Afterward, I X’ed out of the script and we laughed about how stupid the thing was, mostly because everyone naturally hates popups, so why not turn the entire thing into a series of them?!
The next day, I came in and immediately got whisked away to the boss’s office. In his hand is an e-mail from the CTO, Chief Technology Officer, a man I have only met once because he works in the admin building with all the big shots. He had received an email, from my email account, with a trouble ticket that told him that he ‘Sucked a lot,’ And was understandably confused.
The guy we hated had written into his macro script an auto-send! Apparently, once you start the script, that ticket WILL be sent out, even if it’s not completed. Completely idiotic script which breaks all GUI conventions. So, I had inadvertently emailed the CTO and told him he is a huge sucker.
Thankfully, the CTO was a rational guy and realized I probably did not mean to do this, and I explained I was just messing around with the new script and I had no idea it was being sent out. I took some heat, but they scrapped that darn macro because of it. So awkward.
The second time, I was at a place where you had to ‘clock in’ and ‘clock out’ by signing in with your email to the time clock server when you arrived. This thing ran off a server from the 80s in the basement of another building, and it could only be accessed from on-campus IPs. I worked Saturday mornings sometimes, and when doing so it was just my friend and me, no management (usually). After drinking Friday, getting to work on time, Saturday morning was difficult. I lived off-campus.
However, I figured out you could VPN in using their client at home, and then I could access the time clock machine. So, one Saturday I was particularly running late, I clocked in from home, told my coworker I would be an hour late, took a shower, and came in to find my boss was in the office! He had come in this morning for some reason.
He was a bit ticked I was late but didn’t give me too much grief. However, now I was stuck with a pretty serious issue. He would see I clocked in on time, but knew I wasn’t there. My heart sank, I spent the next day trying to invent an acceptable cover story.
When, like an act of god, the following Monday, the time clock server burned out! The darn thing just quit. They lost all time clock data, too. We had to fill out our two-week time clocks by hand, on the honor system. I filled it out very conservatively and stopped messing around. Figured it was my big break and I needed to be more serious about my job. The timing of that crash, though, still amazes me.”
He Thought He Was Lending A Helping Hand
“So, I’m working IT at my college, and it’s move-in day at the dorms, the start of the fall semester. We as techs are roaming the hallways of the dorms to help the enfeebled little freshmen connect to our network, set up their computers, and otherwise present a friendly face to the new students and their annoying, overprotective, and overbearing parents who pay our salaries through tuition (I’m not jaded at all from that job… not at all).
Anyway, I’m going about my business and I hear from a student their connection to their desktop isn’t working. Now it’s a simple matter when you’re just plugging in, you connect the cable and enter your username and it just goes. Wireless for laptops is normally where the trouble happens. I go to look at the physical connection and see the cat 5 cable is jammed, rather forceably, into the phone jack, not the ethernet port next to it.
I ask who might have done this particular task, as it doesn’t seem like the girl whose computer it was would have the force required to make that happen. She said a dad was coming around and ‘helping’ people connect their computers. Long story not so short, I track down said ‘helping parent’ and catch him mid-swing using a HAMMER to force the Ethernet into the phone jack.
I then swallow my, let’s call it rage, and tell him that he can’t do that, he’s ruining the cable, port and not doing anyone any good. He argues with me for a bit, I try to avoid telling him he’s a complete moron in front of the group of people who had gathered. He calls me a name of some sort, and wanders off. I tell campus safety and the RA’s that if they see him with a hammer anywhere near, anything to take it from him and walk him out of the building, and then call one of the techs in the back room to come out with some new ports. We figure out he got to about 15 dorm rooms with his hammer before I caught him.”