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"I've broken my coffee cup holder" ...and other tales of helpdesk woe

Are people really this stupid?

Are people really this stupid?

All summer silicon.com has been running a competition asking you, our readers, to let us know your worst, and most embarrassing tales of helpdesk woe. Urban myths abound about people using the drawer of their CD ROM drive as a coffee cup holder - not to mention the infamous woman whose PC had cut out and failed to restart. The helpdesk worker on the end of the phone went through a comprehensive checklist - baffled by the failure. Eventually, when asked whether everything was plugged in around the back of the machine, she admitted she couldn't see too well as the office was dark. 'Why?' asked the helpdesk worker. "Because there has been a power cut" came the reply. Whether these are all true is unclear. They almost certainly happened to somebody once - but if everybody who claims them as their own is telling the truth then the world is a far more dangerous place than even the most cynical had ever feared. However, as well as various retellings of these two tall tales, we received a number of others - some of which appear below: First up, some problems with a floppy disk... "A woman rang up to say she was having trouble installing the software on a floppy disk and it kept giving her errors. "Can you send me a copy of the disk I asked?... Sure enough, two days later, I received in the post a photocopy of the floppy disk." And if you thought that was bad - try working with somebody like this... One worker told their desktop support: "I want to move the pointer on the screen to the right. I have moved the mouse to the right-hand edge of the mouse mat, but the pointer is still near the middle of the screen. Can I get a bigger mouse mat?" One helpdesk worker told us: "A user wanted to change the backdrop on their computer, so instead of taking them through to the control panel, they were asked to right-click on their desktop to save time. The user replied that she didn't see what good that would do, but did it all the same. Turns out after investigation that she had got a pen and written 'Click' on her desk...." And then there's this timeless classic - true of offices everywhere: "A user called the helpdesk because they had not been able to print for six months. After the usual troubleshooting had no joy, an engineer called at the user's desk, and switched the printer on..." To everybody who deals with these kinds of problems and queries - we salute you.


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