Articles about on-call


Faking incontinence and other ways to scare off tech support scammers

ON-CALL If it's Friday, it must be time for On-Call, our weekly column that recounts readers experiences of being asked to dodgy jobs at dodgy times for dodgy reasons. Last week we featured the tale of a tech support chap who took a call from a tech support scammer and managed to keep him on the phone long enough to get him logged in …
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2017
Command line icon

PC repair chap lets tech support scammer log on to his PC. His Linux PC

On-Call Why look at that! Friday is upon us, which means it’s time for another instalment of On-Call, The Register’s weekly column in which readers share memories of being asked to fix odd stuff at unpleasant times of the day. This week, meet “Shane,” who used to do a bit of computer repair work on the side, and kept a phone just for …
Simon Sharwood, 12 May 2017
Broken optical disk

User loses half of a CD-ROM in his boss's PC

On-Call Hello Friday! And hello also to On-Call, The Register's weekly reader-contributed tale of dirty data centre deeds done dirty cheap. This week, meet “Rick” who once worked for a non-government organisation as “both a software dev and part-time support-person.” One fine Friday afternoon, Rick “received a rather panicked call …
Mickey Mouse

Waiter? There's a mouse in my motherboard and this server is greasy!

ON-CALL Welcome again to On-Call, our weekly sharing session in which readers unburden themselves by sharing memories of nasty jobs. This week meet “Charlie” who wrote to tell us he used to have a gig maintaining point of sale systems for a a restaurant chain. Charlie wrote to tell us about the day “I was called to one of the units to …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Apr 2017
Dog waits on a Welcome mat. photo by sHutterstock

Drunk user blow-dried laptop after dog lifted its leg over the keyboard

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our Friday re-telling of readers unforgettable on-the-job experiences. This week, meet “Jim” who once had a manager show up in the IT department and ask for a discreet chat in the colleague's office. When Jim arrived the manager “pushed his laptop bag towards me, whilst giving the bag the kind of …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2017
Paul Winchell and dummy

Boss swore by 'For Dummies' book about an OS his org didn't run

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Reg’s usually-on-Friday column in which readers share tales of being asked to do nasty jobs at nasty times, often for nasty people. And yes, this is Thursday. But Friday’s a holiday (in some places) and lots of you read On-Call, so they made me do one before I started eating too many chocolate …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2017
Danger compressed air sign

Printer blown to bits by compressed air

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, El Reg's regular Friday feature in which readers share their recollections of being asked to fix follies. This week, meet “Bill”, who in the early 2000s did IT support for an engineering company. One fine day, Bill was assigned the task of sorting out a broken inkjet printer. “I visited the site and …

PC survived lightning strike thanks to a good kicking

ON-CALL The sun came up, the world kept turning, another Friday rolled around and so, therefore, did another edition of On-Call, The Register's weekly recount of readers' reminiscences about odd jobs. This week we'll start with “Frank”, who told us about the time a client called with news of a PC gone TITSUP* after a lightning strike …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Mar 2017

Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts

On-Call Ooh! Friday is here! This means it's time for On-Call, in which El Reg acknowledges that misery loves company by sharing stories of jobs gone awry. This week, meet “Allan” who used to work in a place where the server room “had a glass panel wall with a view into the main operations area." "This was sometimes handy," Allan …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2017
Blackberry jam on toast. Photo by shutterstock

User jams up PC. Literally. No, we don't know which flavour

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's weekly trawl through readers' memories of dealing with dim users or dangerous bosses, often at ridiculous times. This week, a pair of sticky situations starting with one sent to us by “Tim”. Tim's tale comes from his first job when he was “fresh faced out of University and on the first …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Mar 2017
Curl of butter

User lubed PC with butter, because pressing a button didn't work

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's Friday foray into a mailbag stuffed full of readers' recollections of being asked to fix things that should never have broken. This week, meet “Bill” who can't forget the time, about a decade ago, when someone from the marketing department “couldn't figure out how to eject a floppy disk …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Mar 2017

User rats out IT team for playing games at work, gets them all fired

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our weekly review of readers' tales of jobs gone awry. This week, a different perspective from “Gordon”, who doesn't work in IT. But one day, about a decade ago, he “had to walk through our IT department to pick up a projector”. “Our IT department consisted of over 75 people at that time,” Gordon …
Man and woman arguing

Sysadmin's sole client was his wife – and she queried his bill

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our weekly look at readers' memories of hibs gone bad. This week, meet “Jared” who tells us that “I have for a number of years worked with my wife in our small company. She sells, and I keep her IT (and the rest of the company) working so she can sell. This all happens in Spain, which Jared said “ …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Feb 2017

Installing disks is basically LEGO, right? This admin failed LEGO

On-Call Welcome to another Friday (!) and therefore to another edition of On-Call, The Register's column in which we let readers vent about jobs gone bad. This week, meet “Ian”, who once worked in a data-centre-for-hire, doing all the stuff that tenants needed done. Of course he's had some mirth-making moments along the way. “In my …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Feb 2017

IT guy checks to see if PC is virus-free, with virus-ridden USB stick

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our weekly therapy session for readers who need to share terrible memories of jobs gone horribly, horribly, wrong. This week, meet “Dirk” who we imagine is carrying quite an emotional load because he's witnessed some horrors created by truly dull-witted users. Take, for example, the crew his IT team …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Feb 2017
Cool dude with big hair and thumbs up like Arthur Fonzarelli

Super-cool sysadmin fixes PCs with gravity, or his fists

ON-CALL Welcome to another Friday and therefore to another edition of On-Call, The Register's regular recycling of readers' recollections! This week, meet “Donald” [Why did that pseudonym come to mind? - Ed] who shared a tale that riffs on last week's dark, magical On-Call. Donald's tale starts with a late eighties gig “doing tech …
Magic act, image via Shutterstock

Naughty sysadmins use dark magic to fix PCs for clueless users

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, the Friday slot we dedicate to readers' tales of odd jobs at odd times. This week: two readers spin webs of illusion to convince users their troubles had disappeared as if by magic. Let's start with “Levi”, who told us of his time “in the third tier role of a customer support department.” One fine …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Jan 2017

IT team sent dirt file to Police as they all bailed from abusive workplace

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, which returns for 2017 with more tales of your fellow readers' experiences of horrible jobs at horrible times. This week, a story of horrible bosses, from “Mike” who tells us he once worked for an investment fund that handled money in a very politically correct way for positively Saintly institutions …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jan 2017

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