Friday, August 19, 2011

It's all true

6 Reasons The Guy Who's Fixing Your Computer Hates You.

When I was in tech school, some guy from the nursing school (same building) came over and said their new software wouldn't work. The head of our department sent me over to take a look. It didn't take me very long to figure it out.

"Your new software won't run under DOS 3.3," I told him. "It needs DOS 5.0."

"Just make it work."

So I dutifully upgraded the operating system, started the software and played with it for a few minutes to showed him that it worked, and left.

About an hour later he stormed into our classroom ranting about how nothing else worked. I told my teacher what I'd done and we both (correctly, it turned out) surmised that the other software still only ran under the old DOS. This seemed strange to me, but eventually we figured out that it had something to do with the different command.coms.

"You told me to make it work," I said bluntly. "You didn't say anything about the other software you had on there."

He literally shouted his displeasure at me, and then yelled at my teacher "how are we supposed to fix this?" or something like that. He told the guy, "Upgrade your other software. I have a class to teach." And with that, he was dismissed. I never saw that guy again.


  1. As someone who spent several years as a technician and doing tech support, I know exactly how you feel.

  2. Of course, the flip side to this is the jerky IT guy who assumes you know nothing about computers and tells you a load of crap that only clueless grandmas and absolute idiots would fall for.

    Some time ago, the company I worked for had a fully functioning IT department that did not allow users to change anything about their computers without a work request, but they were a bit behind in the OS department. At one point, my computer began crashing regularly, giving me the blue screen of death at least once a day. I would dutifully reboot, and then I would call and report the problem to IT so it could be documented and, hopefully, fixed.

    When I called, the regular techs would always ask me to reboot, and when I had told them I had already, they would told me to write down every single digit and character on the screen (in exactly the same formation as they appeared on the screen!) on a piece of paper and then send it to them through interoffice mail before they could to anything about it.

    I called bullshit on them, but they would tell me the same thing every day when I reported it, never even bothering to actually take a look at my machine. They simply refused to do anything until I played their little game of copying down digits from a blue screen of death.

    Eventually my computer crashed while I was working on something for my boss. While she was in my cubicle, waiting, because it was something that was time-sensitive. When I explained the history of my problem, she called IT herself.

    My computer was fixed before the day was out, and it never crashed again.

    And guess what? They didn't need that piece of paper with copied-down digits to do it.

  3. I know, I've had similar experiences. But this article wasn't written from the point of view of the professional IT guy. It was written from the POV of "the friend who knows something about computers," which is exactly where I am.

    I once had an IT idiot tell me I was crashing the computer because I was navigating by keyboard instead of the mouse. My sister actually is a professional IT guy, and when I told her about this her succinct reply was, "Morons."