Working in I.T can definitely have its ups and downs. The key to survival in the IT industry is you need to take a step back and see the lighter side of the job. I have compiled a list of small funny tech support stories of what it can be really like as an I.T professional. Some you may have heard before but they happen to all of us. Enjoy!
Funny Tech Story 1 – Water feature
Starting with a basic Tech story that I am sure most Tech support staff have seen at some point. I once had a user come up to me and ask why their computer would not turn on. I ask the normal questions like is it powered up, is there lights on the front of the PC etc. Back and forth to try and gain more information. I decided to go over to the desk and notice a pool of water so I immediately unplug the computer and lift it up. Water came pouring out of the side vents so the user says “oh ya I spilled water on my desk, could that be the problem?”
Funny Tech Story 2 – Hacked
I once had a guy complaining that his computer had been hacked (of course every time anything strange ever goes wrong, it’s been “hacked”) because whenever he booted the computer, opened a program, closed a program, whatever, the entire theme song to Star Wars would play. The computer hadn’t been hacked, he had just left it unattended and someone came by and set every single Windows sound to play the whole song. I changed the theme and was done. Lesson learned: never leave a computer unattended because there are tricksters out there!
Funny Tech Story 3 – Wrong Password
A new user called on the first day saying her password wasn’t working. I reset her password but she kept saying her password was not working, so I finally asked what the error message was. She said that there was no error message, but when she was typed her password it only showed stars instead of her password. I calmly explained that this was to prevent people from seeing her password, and she said, “oh, that is a really smart idea.”
Funny Tech Story 4 – Wireless Power
“It was the last day of the quarter and we normally expect a significant number of orders to come in. We’re always careful to avoid any IT projects, updates, or changes on this day. Well… the power went out in our building and the surrounding blocks downtown for about 35 minutes. The Sales VP was irate. Nobody could get online in the office. He stomped into our desk area and kept on rambling on and on about the importance of our wireless network and if we had simply supplied everyone with access to it that power outage wouldn’t have been so disruptive. When the power went back on he proceeded to email the CEO requesting somebody gets fired on our team. I guess he didn’t know that wireless networking also requires electricity. He was fired for poor performance 4 months later. Every time the power goes out we joke about it.”
Funny Tech Story 5 – The Reboot
“We had a server that rebooted every morning around 4:45 am. It happened day after day. Weeks went by. We tried everything. No known software or hardware error could be found. No scheduled tasks or other processes were culprits. Nobody could figure would what might cause it to hang at that specific time. We simply couldn’t find anything wrong with it. One morning, a few help desk staffers were in the office really early, having pulled an all-nighter to complete some emergency patching. What do you know… at 4:30 am, the cleaning crew started working our floor. Around 4:45, we saw what was happening right before our eyes… a crew member unplugged the server so she could plug in her vacuum! Once she was done cleaning the area she plugged the computer back in. We probably wasted over a hundred hours trying to figure it out over the three month period it was happening. Crazy!”
Funny Tech Story 6 – We have all worked with one of these guys.
Not all stories are about the calls you take from users. This one is about a colleague I once worked with. This guy would have to be one of the laziest and most arrogant people you could meet. He had no qualifications but he would say he was the most technical person on the team. One day he wanted to take initiative and demonstrate that he was more than level one helpdesk by doing something outside of the scope of his role. He wrote a long-winded email to myself (engineer) and the I.T manager, in an attempt to sound with seniority and boasted that he had emailed Adobe for licensing costs/ and or permission to install Adobe Reader and Shockwave. He recommended that we looked into this immediately as this software is used on all machines at the organization.
Funny Tech Story 7 – Ridiculous Expectations
I once received a call from a customer who recently purchased software (Office365) through our online store. They wanted to know when we’d be installing the software. I explained I could assist with downloading and installing the application but that we don’t actually do it for customers. The guy seemed like this was unreasonable and actually expected us to install the Office applications on 60 computers in their office. He was like “what am I paying you $900 a month for”? I explained that’s for email, office applications, and other collaboration tools like Teams. His response was “well how do I use them if you don’t install them?!?” Where the hell do these people come from? What software do you buy and the reseller come to your office and install it? Except for expensive speciality software that requires thousands in professional services to get up and running. If he bought office from Walmart would he have expected them to install it for him?
Funny Tech Story 8 – Your software caused a fire and we need you to pay for damages.
A customer who uses our software had never-ending network issues called us threatening legal action if we didn’t reimburse them for damages resulting from a fire. This was a small restaurant and one workstation was always freezing, needing to be rebooted, its connected printers never worked, etc. We always recommended they hire an IT professional to come out and check the computer and network connection and one day they finally did.
The only problem was that this IT professional was the restaurant owner’s brother and was neither knowledgeable in IT nor professional. In the course of his troubleshooting, a fire started inside the wall near the network jack and they had to smash the wall to get to it and put it out, at least that’s the story they gave me. In his professional opinion, our software had sent several high voltage pulses through the network and caused the fire. I tried explaining to the restaurant owner that what she was telling me was impossible and she got irate and I assume started yelling at me in Hindi and after I tell her I can’t understand her she tells me she’ll have her brother call me and hangs up. A few minutes later her brother calls and he starts yelling at me and wanting an apology for calling him a liar and that he has a PhD and he knows exactly what happened. He gives me the same story, that our software sent out this high voltage pulse and started a fire. I’m not even sure where, to begin with, a rebuttal so I just use my standard question when speaking to an incompetent IT guy, “Have you consulted with an IT professional?” This set him off in the most glorious way and after yelling and cursing at me for a bit he hangs up. About a week later the restaurant owner calls and says she has a new computer and wants our assistance installing the software on it.
We hope you enjoyed our funny help desk stories. We know that life can get rough in IT in the face of so much user error, but at least you’ve developed a great sense of humor to deal with it.. right?