U: “hello, my notebook does not work anymore” A: “Well, bring it to me, we will have a look” U: “Here we are. I’ve done nothing” (Why do we not wonder about this phrase…?) A. “I see. Let’s check power etc.” After plugging in, a fine smell fills the room… A: “What the hell - BUBBLE BATH????”
What does that mean...?
U: When can I have my computer back? SA: The machine is at service and will be returned within 2 days. U: What does that mean? SA: So. What do you want to hear now…?
Hopefully your user's passwords are not in the... →
Webmaster from Hell
I don’t code— I’m the Webmaster! I have students for that! -an ex-“Webmaster”
Keyboard from Hell
I once worked with a user whose lunch habits consisted of buying a to-go meal from the nearby cafeteria each day, eating her lunch at her desk, and letting the food crumbs and waste fall onto the keyboard. We’re talking, mac-n-cheese that would fall, hit the keyboard, and not be cleaned up- leaving dried-up cheese sauce all over the keys. Touching her keyboard was not an option. The...
Which part of “This is prohibited by law.” did you not understand?– Random sysadmin trying to understand why $CEO tries to insist on certain unethical practices.
We don't need no stinkin' subscriptions!
User: I cannot see the appointments of $colleague in my calendar application.
Sysadmin: Are you subscribed to her appointment calendar?
Oh, I am supposed to actually read that dialog?– Random user…
I wonder what that “Cancel” button does
If you want to do something and you get a dialog that offers you two buttons with “do it” and ”cancel” then pressing cancel will very likely not do what you want to do.
Just a Fad
Back in 1991 I bought a PC from a guy who did custom builds in his basement. As a freshman in college, I became exposed to the internet and realized that it would be “the future”. When I suggested that my PC builder guy expand his business by becoming an ISP (There were no ISP’s in the region at that time), his response was, The internet is just a fad! It’s just like CB...
What's in a name?
clientsfromhell: Client: Can you update my Adobe? Me:Sure. Which program are you using? Client: You need to listen to me when I speak! ADOBE Me:Yes, I got that part. Adobe is the publisher, they make quite a- Client: Adobe! I want my Adobe updated. I have no idea what you’re talk about… Me: Adobe makes lots of programs. Like, you wouldn’t say, “I just updated my Microsoft - “ ...
Not having a SysAdmin is a great way to learn. The main thing you learn is why...– Wise words spoken easily by @richquick on Twitter
What have you done?
SysAdmin: What have you done?
SysAdmin: Okay. What have you done before you did nothing?
Thanks to Gerhard for the submission.
Sysadmin's Protip: Photo Applications
Always ask permission before opening a user’s photo application. If they say “Yeah sure, no problem!” ask for confirmation. You’ll spare your user a lot of embarrassment about their pr0n collection opening up.
It seems that print-jobs get stuck and cause chaos after some time. Does that...– A user describing a problem to their Sysadmin.
Dear User: When you receive a Test-Email to test your new account which asks you...– Sysadmin after discovering she obviously asked impossible things from a user.
Dear users: “But it’s bitching every now and then” is neither an error...– Random Sysadmin after receiving a complaint about a printer.
Users expect Sysadmins to work 24/7, have no private life whatsoever and also...– Sysadmins thoughts when receiving an email to create a new email address on Friday 8PM and getting an urgency email on Saturday 7AM from a customer who does not have any SLA.
Please, just copy my data including all my important photos to the new laptop.– What sounded like simple instructions given by random user before the sysadmin would find out that the “old laptop” had already been freshly formatted by the user himself.
No, I am sorry. We cannot support the “web browser” of your old...– Random sysadmin when confronted with a prehistoric communications device.
Party Party Nagios Party o.O– Why SysAdmins often are not that relaxed during parties explained by @astera on Twitter.
Just copy all the programs from my laptop on to my new iPad! Is that so hard?– Random user who has a lot to learn about computers.
I needed a password with eight characters so I picked Snow White and the Seven...– Nick Helm via @leyrer on Twitter
clientsfromhell: Client: (Calling our computer store for assistance) “I turn on my computer, but all I can see is the green LED on! The screen is still black!” Me: “Your computer is here. You have only the monitor”.
See, he is trying himself. Men never believe what a woman says.– Sysadmin getting insulted by a female user while trying to comprehend the problem she vaguely described.
Have you tried turning it on?
User: We cannot reach the server.
Sysadmin: Let me have a look. I cannot access the server from here either. Are you online?
User: I don't know.
Sysadmin: Please try to go to a website and tell me if that works.
User: Now we cannot get email as well.
Sysadmin: That is something completely different. For the moment, please answer my question if you can access any websites.
User: No that doesn't work.
Sysadmin: Ok, let's try an IP. Please enter into your browser's address bar.
User: Now I see a site names .
Sysadmin: Ok, great. Seems the internet connection if functioning but somehow the server doesn't respond at all. Have you checked if it is running?
User: Yes, I have checked and it is running.
Sysadmin: Ok, thanks. I'll be at your place in about an hour.
--- Later at the customer site:
User: Wow, we're already getting emails. How did you fix this so quick?
Sysadmin: Have you tried turning it on?
Ceci n'est pas une pipe. →
Where do you actually turn this computer on?– Random user after working on that iMac for about 2 months.
No, we don’t want to pay for fixing the problem. Just get us rid of the...– Random user feeling annoyed.
Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day! →
Our mail server is broken!
User calls in: Our mail server is broken!
Sysadmin: It looks fine in my monitoring. What is the problem?
User: A customer has been trying to send us an email, but it doesn't come through.
Sysadmin: Do they get an error message?
User: Yes, and every time they try again, they even get the same error message.
Sysadmin: Can you tell me what the error message says?
User: They are getting it, not me.
Sysadmin: I need the contents of the error message to be able to help you. Can you please try to find out?
User: I'll try.
User: They faxed us the error message, shall I read it to you now?
Sysadmin: Yes please! What does it say?
User: …The server replied: No subject given. Please add a meaningful subject to your email!
User: Oh… does that mean they should enter a subject in the email program?
Sysadmin: That is what the error message suggests.
User: Oh, these stupid users cannot even read. I'll call them immediately!
Sysadmin: I'm glad I could help you. Have a nice day!
You can contribute!
Send in your Users from hell stories and photos! http://usersfromhell.tumblr.com/submit
Protip: Error messages are meant to be read, not to be trashed immediately!– Random Sysadmin
I should write a script to automatically delete all occurrences of Passwords.doc...– Random Sysadmin’s thought after realizing that it might be illegal to simply shoot users who create such files.
Thank you for turning off the computer while I was remotely working on it to...– Random Sysadmin delighted by a user’s dedication to save power.
Reading is a virtue!
Random user is back from holiday and get's a callback from random sysadmin.
Sysadmin: I still have an open ticket from you regarding your access to $service since you've been on holiday.
User: Yes, I need access to $service for the $devices. I need your help to set that up.
Sysadmin: You have received a detailed guide with setup instructions and screenshot about two weeks ago.
User: Oh, but I haven't read that.
Clients From Hell: A couple days after a software... →
clientsfromhell: A couple days after a software install, a client called and complained that our product was completely broken. He threatened to cancel payments and drop the project. Fuming, he refused anything but on-site support (not part of the contract), and claimed the instructions we left him were useless….
Users need passwords.
Random Sysadmin emails a user guide with detailed instructions, screenshots and requirements to new users to instruct them about a new service in the company.
Random User: Thanks for the user guide. Please send it to my cell phone at .
Random Sysadmin sends the password to the cell phone of the user.
Random User: I'm still waiting for my password.
Random Sysadmin: According to my logs you have received your password on /.
Random User: No, I haven't. Please send it again, this time use this other .
Random Sysadmin sends the password again, to the other cell phone of the user.
Random User: Thanks for sending me my password. I now recall already receiving it last week.
Can’t you just come by the office and fix our internet connection?...– Random Sysadmin getting a panicking emergency call by random user on Saturday night around half past eight.
Random User: (Via email) Dear Sysadmin! Thanks for sending me the username and guide. I just need my password.
Random Sysadmin: As described in the email, you should have received your password via SMS to your mobile phone.
Random User: Oh yes, but I have deleted that SMS.
The network is down
Random User: We just connected this new device to the network and now nothing is working.
Random Sysadmin: So then disconnect it again.
Random User: But we want to use it.
Random Sysadmin: Well, if you want to use your network, you need to disconnect the offending device.
Random User: Ok
Random Sysadmin: So you have disconnected the device, so I can login remotely to diagnose what is happening?
Random User: Yes.
Random Sysadmin: (Trying to SSH into the server) The server isn't responding. Did you really disconnect that device?
Random User: No.
Random Sysadmin: Then why did you say yes you did when I asked you the moment before?
Random User: Shall I disconnect it?
Random Sysadmin: Yes, please disconnect it now.
Random User: Ok
Random Sysadmin: (SSHs into the server) Ah, now it's working.
Random User: No it's not working. The network is down again.
Random Sysadmin: (the network stalls) Did you just reconnect the device?
Random User: Yes, you said it was working now, but it's not.
Random Sysadmin: I meant that my connection was working. Please disconnect the device again, so I can prepare some tests to see why your device affects your network.
Random User: Can't you just do that now? You don't need the network to setup something on the server!
Random Sysadmin: How do you expect me to remotely connect to the server from kilometers away without a network?
Random User: Well, use the internet!
OH: “Pastebin is the new Full Disclosure…– Jake Appelbaum posted this overheard sentence on Twitter
If you want me to help you, you need to help me by listening and answering my...– Random Sysadmin almost giving up on a panicking user without a backup who just won’t listen.
Don’t send emails to your sysadmin that look like an inquiry if they are...– Random Sysadmin after receiving an email complaint.
Dear Servers, I am getting on a plane now so go ahead and crash.– Paul Ford via Twitter.
On the phone…
Random User: My login is my surname in lowercase is that correct?
Random Sysadmin: Yes, that is correct.
Random User: And my password is .
Random Sysadmin: Please never spell out your personal password aloud! Other people will overhear it.
Random User: But I am alone her. (people chatting in the back, phonecalls taking place…)
Random Sysadmin: Despite the fact that I can hear other people in your room from across the phone… _I_ might not be alone.
Random User: Uhm…