Contest! Help Desk Technicians, Be Recognized

Online contest to honor the hard work of the desktop support person.

In honor of the February availability of the Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician, Microsoft's newest title for desktop administrators and help desk support pros, MCP Magazine is running an essay contest. In 500 words or less, tell us your stories of heroism or horror about your work as a desktop administrator or help desk support person.

The most compelling story, as judged and verified by the editors, will be awarded the Grand Prize—one copy of each of the following titles:

Grand Prize retail value is US$415. Five runner-up prizes will receive one copy among the books listed above.

To enter the contest, send your submission to as a plain-text message. (Messages with attachments will be deleted!). The subject line of your message should be "Help Desk Contest," and your story must be between 200 and 500 words. Include your name, address, title, and company you work for (for the purposes of this contest, the winner and runners-up must allow their names and location to be published). Hurry! Submissions should be mailed by February 6, 2004.

We'll announce and publish winner and runner-up stories online in mid-February. (Special thanks to Addison-Wesley, Sams, and Sybex for furnishing the prizes.)

About the Author

Michael Domingo is Editor in Chief of Virtualization Review. He's been an IT writer and editor for so long that he remember typing out news items in WordStar.

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Reader Comments:

Fri, Jan 30, 2004 David Texas

I had a ticket opened from our help desk because a user said there was a problem with her computer. I visited the user to find out what the problem was. She said her cup holder was broken which caused her computer to quit working. I was a little stumped as to what she was talking about so I looked at her machine to determine the problem. Seems she had been using the CD Rom tray as cup holder. This in turn caused the CD tray to come off it's track and would not work. I repaired the problem and educated the user as to the function of her "cup holder".

Thu, Jan 29, 2004 Roy Partington Swindon England

I had a user call up to query why his Symantec AV was not updating with the the latest virus definition files. I explained he either had to use the live update option or the scheduled updates to schedule Symantec to automatically download the updates at a given time.
He said that he had set all the PC's to update via a scheduled update at 6pm 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 & spent the next ten minutes explaining that the PC's must be turned on to physically download the Symantec updates.

Tue, Jan 27, 2004 Liz Haglund

So it was a weekend day and I get a phone call from a LAN user who said he had recieved an email in his mailbox stating his mail was being routed to the wrong Squadren. I asked him if the message was an email and if it was something he had been recieving periodically. He said it was an email but this was the first insident. I then asked him who it was from, but there was no sender... So I asked him how he got this email if it was being directed to another office and there was no sender? He didn't know. I then checked his account to see if for some reason his account had been changed to the other offices profile. It wasn't, so I then asked him for his computar name and used the SMS program to view what he was talking about. Once in, I had him show me where the email was and he looks for the message for about 5 minutes or so saying, "well it was here?"
After a moment he says to me that he thought we were not on the same page. So then he tells me " No see I got this message in my MAILBOX and that my MAIL is going to the wrong office." I'm thinking -no way... I asked him, " got a note in your mailbox about physical mail from the Post Office and you called me?" He then replied with a big "UH HUH." I was so bewildered after realizing I was troble shooting actual mail I told him to call the post office and figure it out with them and hung up! It was all I could do to just sit in my chair dumbfounded! -LH

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