Friday, 7 June 2013

Anything ELSE for the weekend?

So, most of you know that I work in IT, and you've read some of the stories about the sort of things I've had to put up with in the past.  Some of them were from genuinely stupid people, some were from people who just didn'y know any better and still more were from people who shouldn't be allowed to eat with a fork.

Others of you will know that I work for (Not as) a hairdresser... Can I just point out that I cannot and will not cut or style your hair... Although I'll quite happily have a blundering, all thumbs, attempt at a vajazzle for you. Can you imagine the sort of IT problems that hairdressers create?  I share an office with the IT Support team, and the quality of support calls that their team have to deal with is... Well... I'll let you decide for yourself.

Please note, these things all happened in the last week, and it's not been a particularly busy week.


I've told a story similar to this one before, and I include it just to let you know that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Our salons are split into regions, each of which is overseen by a Regional Manager.  These are often hair stylist who've 'climbed the ladder' and been given more and more responsibility until they're deemed powerful enough to hold other peoples' careers in their hands.

We had an R.M. (as they're known, colloquially) come into the office with the printer from her 'home office' - (Please note, this particular young lady has a thick, Liverpudlian, accent - Bear that in mind, I feel it adds something to the story.)

'This thing doesn't work!' She said, dropping the printer down on the table.

'What seems to be the problem?' Asked one of our guys, very politely, and after a good ten minutes of 'It doesn't work / What exactly do you mean' roundy-roundy type questions, he ascertained that it did everything but actually print.  She'd tried everything that she possibly could, she'd changed the toner (twice), replaced the drum, sacrificed a chicken but nothing would make it spring into life.  By the time that she'd explained all this, she'd decided that she had too much to do to stand around watching someone trying to fix an obviously broken printer - and went off for a coffee.

So, the printer was plugged in, connected to a PC and tested - It didn't print (Please tell me you've figured out what was probably wrong with it)

I'll give you another few minutes, what could possibly be wrong, with a printer, used by someone who has hiring / firing responsibility for 60 or so people, that was so technically intricate that she had to haul it a hundred miles to get it fixed by a tech?

That's right, there was no paper in it.

He put some paper in it and ran a few test prints... Then did the same when she came back to check on his progress.  She had the decency to go a rather fetching shade of scarlet, and swore us to secrecy - And none of us have ever told another living soul. *cough*


I recently overheard on of my other colleagues on the phone to a real, live, hairdresser who was having a huge problem with the printer in the salon, I can only imagine that the poor girl was on her own, had a huge queue of customers and was flustered to the point of turning into... Ah... Something that's notorious for being easily flustered.  Obviously I only heard his half of the conversation, so I've decided to fill in hers from my 'Great Big Book of Things Users Say'

Him: OK, so what's happening when you try to print?
Her: Nothing
Him: Nothing at all, no sounds?
Her: No [To Customer] Sorry to keep you waiting...
Him: Does anything come up on the screen when you try to print?
Her: Yes
Him: [Waits for a few seconds] Well, what does it say?
Her: I can't remember - It doesn't print so I've stopped trying to print things
Him: OK, can you try and print something and tell me what it says?
Her: OK [To Customer] Yes, that'll be £75, I'm sorry the printer's broken, I can't give you a receipt. [To Him] It say 'Printer Not found'
Him: Right, are there any flashing lights on the printer?
Her: No
Him: We're going to need to check if there are any lose cables, can you get to the back of the printer?
Her: Erm... Not really [To Customer] No Madam, I don't think there should be a tingling sensation, but I've only ever used it on my head... [To Him] It's all a bit jammed in.
Him: Are there any lights on the printer at all?
Her: No, not that I can see
Him: Really? Right, was there any noise when the lights went out? or a funny smell?
Her: No, it's been like that since we turned it off.
Him: [Facepalms quite expressively] There's a switch on the front with a 1 and a 0 on it, can you press the side with the 1?
Her: Oh! that seems to have fixed it, well done!

Then he went over to the kitchen and put his head in the microwave, luckily though our microwave is electric and not gas, so he just got a bit of a tan.


And today's final foray into the world of the slapdash shampoo and set is about one of our compatriots in the office.  She has no staff to worry about, but nevertheless, is in a position of some power.

We have just issued everyone who has a workphone with a brand-spanking new iPhone 5 - There have been teething problems, as you would expect, but this one sticks in my mind.  Please also keep in mind that this particular person, relies on her phone more than she relies on her left leg.

She came into the office claiming that her phone had stopped working, and she'd appreciate it if we fixed it.
Her phone was duly examined and found to be working perfectly well, she was asked to demonstrate the problem... She rang her desk phone, which forwarded the call to her iPhone, which remained silent - But the screen lit up and flashed that someone was calling her.

'Ah, this happens sometimes!', explained the same gentleman who 'fixed' the printer in the above story, 'You just have to do this:' He stiffly banged the top of the iPhone, whilst surreptitiously switching off the Mute button.

'Try it now.'

So she did, and it worked (Well, it would, wouldn't it.?)

'Yeah, just a loose connection... I wonder...' He gave it a brisk tap (and switched the Mute on again). 'Try it again?'

Which she did, and of course it didn't ring... Tapped... Unmuted... gave it back to her.

Now, the plan is, every time any of us sees it unattended on her desk, we're going to mute it, then wander past and see if we can catch her beating the crap out of her phone trying to unmute it.

We've planned an upgrade to this jolly jape... We're going to try and convince the next person who had this 'problem' that you can mute and unmute the iPhone by voice control - See if we can get them to re-enact the Scotty 'Invention of Transparent Aluminium' Scene from Star Trek: the Voyage Home.

Have a nice weekend kids, I'm going to be a bit busy myself... Whilst I'm on the subject - I don't suppose any of you have a radiator that'd fit a 2002 Citroen Xsara Picasso have you?

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