HEY IT PEOPLE: Send In Your IT Horror Stories + Big Giveaway! #getthroughit [Sponsored by Canon] (Updated)


Edit: You still have about 24 hours left to send in your stories and get a chance to win a Canon ImageCLASS color laser printer! (a value of $1299!)

IT horror stories: we’ve all heard about (or experienced firsthand) helpdesk tickets that provide absolutely no logical explanation to system admins. They provide fodder for stories that get retold again and again and make the whole IT community laugh and learn. They help us become better at what we do by teaching us valuable lessons about what and what NOT to do when it comes to supporting users or working on valuable equipment.

Since everyone love these stories, we’re asking you, IT people and sysadmins of this world, to send us YOUR favorite original IT horror stories. Naturally, real names (companies or people) should not be disclosed. And thanks to Canon, who is partnering with us for this project, we’ll be giving away one Canon Color ImageCLASS MF820Cdn multifunction laser printer (A value of $1299.00) to a random participant.

The MF820Cdn is a new model to the imageCLASS line up. It adds a 3.5″ Color touch panel with adjustable angles. The MF820Cdn combines all print, copy, scan and fax needs for small and medium business users. This machine has several different hardware and software configurations to fit the specific needs of its users.

You’ll also have the opportunity to have your IT horror story featured alongside others on Canon’s website (coming soon!)

All you need to do for a chance to win is send your stories over to stories@geeksaresexy.net. You can also share your help desk ticket on social media (tag @geeksaresexy on Twitter or Geeks Are Sexy on Facebook) using the hashtag #getthroughit. Brownie points to those who upload a video of themselves reading their IT help desk ticket! (multiple submissions will not increase your likelihood of winning the giveaway)

Good luck to everyone!

[Picture Source: Drew Coffman on Flickr (CC BY 2.0 License)]

2 Responses to HEY IT PEOPLE: Send In Your IT Horror Stories + Big Giveaway! #getthroughit [Sponsored by Canon] (Updated)

  1. I have IT horror stores every day :)

    Yesterday was funny:

    Me: please click on the start menu, type “cmd” and in the black box, please type “ipconfig”

    a minute goes by….

    User: ok, I shut the computer down.


    20 minutes later, I asked said user to look next to the clock on the computer for an icon with a red X through it…I hear a lot of shuffling around, so I ask is everything ok and realize she is looking next to the PHYSICAL clock sitting on the desk.


  2. About 15 years ago I worked for a now defunct IT company. At the time the major source of high speed net access (a whopping 1.5mps) was through a local DSL provider. Unfortunately the provider went bankrupt and was forced to rapidly shutdown and Nynex (Verizon’s predecessor) could not keep up with the demand for replacement lines. What they did do was provide customers to utilize older ISDN lines which could be maxed out at 288kps.

    One of our clients needed to get back on line ASAP because they sent a weekly newsletter out each Monday to all of their customers via email, about 25,000 copies.

    Aside #1 – The guy at the customer’s office that sent the letters out was named “Bucky”, and he was the most technically illiterate person you would ever meet. The guy couldn’t even remember how to log in to his computer – he had to have his secretary log him in every day. The man infected the company network with the Melissa virus three times while we were cleaning out the computers and servers (long story, but the short of it was the AV signatures were not propagating due to problems in the config of the AV server). The best part of the whole thing is that the guy was the VP of the company.

    Aside #2 – The owner of the company was the second most technically illiterate person you would ever meet. The guy did a lot of business with the Russians, as Mikhail Gorbachev was one of the company’s contracted agents. One day one of his Russian friends told him that he had a friend that had a friend who could upgrade his whole network for $1000. The guy swapped the hard drives in their Win NT 4.0 based serves into a couple of P3 dualie workstations and ended up taking out the entire domain. It took us three days to rebuild the whole thing, about 15 hours per day on a holiday weekend at $250/hr. He never made that mistake again.

    After I had setup the ISDN adapter and reconfigured the router, I sat down with the owner, the President, Bucky and the local IT contact. Because the company relied heavily on the internet, they needed to know that the connections were going to be very slow and only the power users should be using the internet for the duration. I also explained that the bulk email needed to be sent out at the end of the day on Friday to ensure that the messages could trickle out through the ISDN line over the weekend and not tie up the company’s internet connection. This was on Tuesday.

    At 9:05 on Friday morning, we get an emergency call that their network was down. Our dispatch manager was panicking, thinking we had improperly configured the network and were going to take a bath on this. I calmly told her that we did nothing wrong, it was the customer’s fault and that if they wanted to fix this, it would be on billable hours. The manager didn’t believe me, so I called (on speaker phone) the customer contact back and explained the situation to her that before we came to her site, she needed to confirm with Bucky that he hadn’t sent the email out .

    She said there was no way that he would have done that as she was right there when I explained the situation to the senior staff. I told her to ask him, reminding her it would be billable – not contract hours – if I got there and found out it was Bucky behind the network shutdown. She argued for a few minutes more that even Bucky wasn’t that stupid before she finally relented.

    Two minutes later she got back on the line and told us to never mind, Bucky did it.

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