Users say the darndest things

University support pilot fish is hip-deep in problems with e-mail viruses and worms when a Ph.D. forwards an e-mail attachment to him. Fish recognizes the file as the Mytob worm but can’t help chuckling at the user’s message: “OK, I don’t have a Zip drive to open the instructions and I am blonde.”

Uh, No

After a virus scan, user calls help desk pilot fish because his PC is flashing a message: “Please insert boot disk.” User: “Can’t you do that remotely?”

No, But Thanks For Asking

Confused user calls help desk pilot fish: “My floppy drive isn’t working. Is the network down?”

Try the Next Line Up

User can’t log in, and help desk pilot fish suspects that she’s trying to connect to the wrong server. “I asked her to read me the bottom line of the screen, so I could get her server info,” fish reports. “There was a long pause, then the reply: ‘Sony Trinitron.’”

Just Pick One

Government agency issues users SecurID cards, which display a different six-digit authentication passcode every minute. “We provide an instruction sheet with detailed instructions that makes the use of the card a simple step-by-step process,” says pilot fish working there. “But we were unprepared for the note we received from a new user: ‘The six numbers on my SecurID card keep changing. Which one do I use?’

Talking Dirty

User calls support pilot fish. “He was totally lost in his application,” says fish. “He explained, ‘I was trained to enter my data, then hit the dirty key. Someone cleaned the keyboard.’”

Longer Calls?

This business needs some new cordless phones, so pilot fish shows facility manager a brochure about a 2.4GHz model. Facilities guy: “Man, that’s a lot of storage for a phone! What would all that be for?”

Write Only

It’s a slow day, so this IT pilot fish is glad to help a user design a presentation. When it’s done, user asks fish for a new USB key drive to store it. Puzzled fish asks why she can’t use her old key drive. User: “But my key drive is full, so I can’t use it anymore.” Fish sighs, “When I told her that she can delete old files off of the key drive, she turned bright red and said, ‘Please don’t tell anyone about this!’”

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