Articles about on-call

Huh? key on keyboard

If this laptop is so portable, where's the keyboard, huh? HUH?

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, in which The Register tries to liven up Fridays with reader-contributed stories of tech support traumas. This week, meet "Norman" who just last year took a frankly astounding support call at the law firm where he then worked. "One of my users called to complain about her upgrade from an old desktop …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2018
touched by the hand of electrical gods

Secret weekend office bonk came within inch of killing sysadmin

On-Call Welcome once more to On-Call, in which The Register celebrates users' many, many failures by sharing your stories of being asked to clean up behind them. This week, meet "Matt" who sent us a story from 2004 when he "worked for a company who specialised in building high speed printers." Matt was the new kid on the block, so …
Microsoft store opening

Shopper f-bombed PC shop staff, so they mocked her with too-polite tech tutorial

On-Call Welcome yet again to On-Call, The Register’s weekly reader-contributed story of the brutal business that is tech support. This week, meet “Ant” who used to work for a prominent UK PC retailer. Folks who work in such situations dread the days after major holidays because they mean a flood of product returns. One Boxing Day ( …
A grandmother gives cash to grandson. Photo by Shutterstock

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register’s weekly column in which we provide a little therapy by letting readers share their stories of horror tech support entanglements. This week, met “Vince”, who “during 2002, unwittingly took on a contract with my local council to setup and operate a community cyber cafés.” Vince told us he …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Jan 2018
European flag with sad face

User had no webcam or mic, complained vid conference didn’t work

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register’s weekly reader-contributed tales of facepalm-worthy failures in the field of tech support. This week, meet “Pete”, who shared three stories from his time working at the European Commission (EC). His first tale concerned a scientific advisor to one of the EC’s general directorates, a …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jan 2018
Bahamas trees photo via Shutterstock

PC lab in remote leper colony had wrong cables, no licences, and not much hope

On-Call Welcome back to On-Call, The Register’s weekly tale of – ahem – challenging support jobs that readers have encountered around the world. This week, meet “Mick” who told us about his visit to New Ireland, a remote province in Papua New Guinea. There’s decent surf out there, nice kayaking and dive sites featuring World War II …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jan 2018

'Twas the night before Y2K and a grinch stole the IT department's overtime payout

On-Call Not just the week but The Register's working year has drawn to an end, and that means it's time to wrap things up with the last of our slow-news-week festive editions of On-Call, the column we compile after kind readers send in their stories of support jobs that went south. Today: tales of tech support over the holiday period …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2017


On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, which we are running daily this week because lots of you have sent submissions that deserve an airing and also because there's SFA news to write this week. "What's SFA?" you may be asking at this point. It's an acronym for Sweet F*** All, that's what, and we've used it so we can introduce a few of …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2017

'Please store the internet on this floppy disk'

On-Call Welcome again to another edition of On-Call, which we run daily during the news drought that is the week before Christmas to share the tech support stories that readers sent in earlier in the year. Today: Especially dim users who asked for especially simple fixes. One such story came to us from "Jim", who was once given the …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Dec 2017
Frost-covered hard disk. Photo by Shutterstock

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the data centre temp's delightful

On-Call Here is the latest festive instalment of On-Call, the place to be for techies with tales to tell. It might be cold outside but this may just make the blood boil as it goes to show what happens when bean-counters take over the asylum. Meet P, who told El Reg about troubles at a brand spanking new data centre that he managed in …
Paul Kunert, 20 Dec 2017

Hot chips crashed servers, but were still delicious

On-Call Welcome again to festive On-Call, in which we delve into the mailbag of not-quite-worthy-as-standalone contributions to keep the site busy as the world runs out of tech news before Christmas. Today: Sparky tales of electrical issues. Such as one from reader "Zeke", a sysadmin for a fleet of a few hundred PCs. One of Zeke's …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2017
Art of Fighting featured a story... of sorts

'I knew the company was doomed after managers brawled in a biker bar'

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call,The Register's regular... hang on, isn't On-Call a Friday thing? Why yes it is, but in the week before Christmas there's so little news around we need something to run on the site. And it's only fair that we empty out the On-Call mailbag, which is full of fine stories that aren't quite enough to …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Dec 2017
Steve Martin dentist Little Shop of Horrors

Engineer named Jason told to re-write the calendar

On Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Reg’s Friday column celebrating readers’ stories of being asked to fix the unfeasible. We usually anonymise the names of those who contribute On-Call stories, to protect the guilty and save some recriminations. But this week’s story came from a chap named Jason and that’s relevant to his story. …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Dec 2017
Hard disk drive with hand grenade

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

On-Call The working week's winding down once again and that means it's time for another edition of On-Call, The Register's Friday tech support tale recounted by readers. This week, meet “Tim” who in the 1980s worked for Data General. Yes, that Data General, the one that EMC acquired for US$1.1bn in 1999 so it could make hay with the …
One and two keys

User dialled his PC into a permanent state of 'Brown Alert'

On-Call Why hello there, dear readers, and welcome once again to On-Call, The Register's Friday folly in which we recount readers' tales of being asked to undo the messes that users leave behind. This week, meet “Rick” who told us that in the 1990s he “worked in a security centre that had bespoke hardware and software for monitoring …

Boss made dirt list of minions' mistakes, kept his own rampage off it

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's Friday column in which we share readers' tech support morality tales. This week, meet “Omar”, who in the early 1990s worked as a developer for an engineering company powered by a pair of ageing Digital Equipment Corporation mainframes. The workplace had another odd feature: an IT …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2017
Typing icon

Help desk declared code PEBCAK and therefore refused to help!

On-Call Why hello there Friday and hello there, also, this week's instalment of On-Call, The Register's weekly column that recounts readers' tales of tech support terror. This week, meet “Ben” who told us he once worked for “a large three-letter-acronym IT company, which at the time had their hands in just about everything IT related …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2017
Please ignore this sticky note

User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, in which The Register christens each new Friday with a reader-contributed tale of being asked to fix the unthinkable. This week, meet “William” who told us about “a call I had whilst working on the IT Service Desk at my local Hospital.” “A lady called me up to say she had been to lunch and when she …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Nov 2017

Create a news alert about on-call, or find more stories about on-call.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018