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'I can't handle 17 inches,' admits helpdesk girl

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Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Reg Poll Our Reg Reader Research tentacle recently carried out a survey on behalf of Numara Software, part of which asked long-suffering support operatives for their best work anecdotes.

On offer was the chance to win Reg goodies, and we managed to whittle the contributions down to eleven offerings before deciding that we'd let you, our beloved readers, pick the winner.

And here they are. Just pick one and hit the "Vote Now!" button:

A late-night help desk shift worker once received a wrong number call from a lady complaining that her dog's testicles were grossly enlarged. Rather than tell her it was a wrong number, he proceeded to give advice over the phone, and logged the call on the incident log, with full details of the advice given, namely wash the dog's testicles in warm soapy water, give it some aspirin and see a vet in the morning! This was the only time in my career in which an incident on the incident log was actually deleted - not until I printed off a copy and emailed it to my friends!
A while back a man complained his big floppy drive was eating disks. So I went out, and the gate was up on the 5 1/4 inch drive. There doesn't seem to be a disk in the drive, can I see one you were using?" "Oh, that one, that one." he said pointing at the tiny gap beneath the drive." Not trusting myself to commment, I turned the PC off and opened the case. 5 1/4 disks spilled out. There must have been 20 or 30 of them. I scratched my cheek as I watched them spill out onto the floor. "At what point did you figure out that this drive wasn't working?" "Well," he said, "When I ran out of disks, I figured I'd better call for help." I bit my lip a minute. "Good call. Good call."
Asking a lady to switch her printer off and on again because it wasn't responding at all. Whereupon she said "it's already off, do I need to switch it on before switching it off and on again?" to which I replied, "no switching something on is normally sufficient to allow it to work". This is not made up or anecdotal, I really had that conversation.
Being sent a photocopy of some disks after asking a client to send us a "backup of their software".
End User: "My Rabbit's Dead." Support: "Sorry to hear that sir, how can I help you though?" End User: "No my rabbit's dead, I can't move the pointer about the screen!" Support "You mean your mouse isn't working?" End User: "Yes, I knew it was some sort of animal!"
Girl from HR with large chest walks in to department and says "I'm sorry to bother you guys but I really need to get these out!" Talking about her newest pamphlet.
Hearing a colleague say "and what was the extent of the fire?" when a user was complaining that his PC would not work.
I know it's been told many times in the past, but I really have had a user ask me, while doing a tutorial: "Which one is the any key?" In fact, he asked me the same question three times in succession when the prompt came up the next time.
Someone telling me their "broadbean" connection may be down."
This guy called up and said his monitor was too dim. Talked him through changing brightness and contrast but didn't help so went to see him. Took the sunglasses off his head and the monitor was fine.
When we first got the 21" monitors in, and were unpacking them, one of our helpdesk staff (female) was asked to lend a hand, her reply "I can't even handle 17 inches" - at which point there was silence followed by laughter from female/male colleagues and a very embarrassed staff member - her boyfriend worked at the other site and was informed that "he was a very lucky bloke".

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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