True Life Tale: Telepathic Updates

User believe mind readers are hired at the help desk.

I had a user call up to query why his Symantec AV wasn't updating with the latest virus definition files. I explained he either had to use the LiveUpdate option or the scheduled updates to schedule Symantec to download the updates at a given time automatically.

The user said that he had set all the PCs to update via a scheduled update at 6 p.m. each evening.

I said, "I assume you just lock your PCs each night," to which he replied, "Oh, no, we turn them all off, old boy, to save power."

I nearly fell off my chair laughing and spent the next 10 minutes explaining that the PCs must be turned on to physically download the updates.

[The preceding "True Life Tale" was submitted by Roy Partington, of Swindon, England, as part of a Help Desk Support contest we ran in January/February. For his effort, Roy received a copy of The Ultimate Windows Server 2003 System Administrator's Guide, by Robert Williams and Mark Walla, courtesy of Addison-Wesley. To submit a "True Life Tale," send you 500-words-or-less story on any IT topic to Published tales will win a book from our burgeoning tech library.]

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Reader Comments:

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Sun, Nov 28, 2004 Roy Partington Swindon England


Fri, Jun 18, 2004 Brandon Tennessee

Sorry but the end user is an idiot if they think ANYTHING can work while it's turned off. It's not a matter of IT or computer knowledge, just general common sense.

It's my opinion that by now if you work in an office there is an expectation of having atleast basic computer literacy. This is equivelent to a UPS driver not knowing that the truck won't move while the engine isn't started.

Thu, Jun 10, 2004 Lol Anonymous

Users - Can't live with 'em,
Can't Nuke 'em

Tue, Jun 8, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

sometimes it doesn't matter how much training users get, theyre still clueless and believe me when we say we sometimes get the same request over and again from the same person and sometimes from more than one person. maybe we're not speaking the same language? or maybe theyre not listening.

Fri, Jun 4, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

old joke new face (ok a little more politically corect) but what 2 year tech support techie has'nt heard that in a form or another , ask the seniors around you for the wordperfect joke

Fri, Jun 4, 2004 Anonymous WI

We "self-proclaimed IT geniuses" are in the most hated department at some companies because the end user needs someone or something to take out their computer frustrations. Most of us are overworked and stress to the limit. When we make a mistake it could be catastrophic to the business. So users should find it in their hearts to maybe forgive us when we find a little humor in the everyday missteps of the inexperience user.

Fri, Jun 4, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

I think that Anonymous that hates IT should stop and think about how rude people are to IT when they call for help. Not to mention trying to train anyone is laughable because no one has time...'besides, it's your job to fix it not mine' is usually the comment I hear.

Fri, Jun 4, 2004 Loren MacGregor Shoreline, WA

Actually, accountants DO laugh with each other about the silly things their clients request -- but in general treat the client with respect. The same is true of tech support. My colleagues and I frequently go to great lengths to treat the customer well in phone or email support, and the patience and concern I see daily is extraordinary. But there comes a time when you need to relax and see the funny side of things, too -- and it cuts both ways, because the customer often will see the humor in OUR actions as well. I remember in particular trying to resolve an issue where a client could not log into a meeting as expected. Nothing seemed to work ... until the customer called back after a few minutes and said, "Well, I solved the problem. Neither you nor I noticed that the meeting I was trying to join today isn't scheduled to start until tomorrow."

Thu, Jun 3, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

I find it infuriating to read emails and stories about the "dumb user" from these self-proclaimed IT geniuses. This is the reason why IT is the most hated department in each company, the end user wants to be treated respecfully, not as an idiot. It is up to the IT department to "train" the end users without ridiculing them. Imagine if all accountants laughed at you when you needed their help with your tax return!

Thu, Jun 3, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

I think it should be renamed TelePATHETIC Updates

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