It’s that time of year again. We’re asking our TechRepublic members to relay their dumb user stories. We started this contest in 1999 and received an overwhelming response. TechRepublic members inundated us with e-mails and stories of end users who just didn’t have a clue. Below is one of our 1999 winners. If that whets your appetite, download the entire list of 1999 Dumb User Stories.
Water, water, everywhere
This story comes from Jonathan Forman, a network administrator in Boston: "All right, here's one for the record books. I had a user who consistently had problems with her monitor. I visited her PC multiple times, and every time she complained that the monitor was malfunctioning, she asked for a new one. I replaced the monitor twice before getting suspicious. After the last call, I pretended to walk away, only to turn and see her stand up and water the plant that she had just put back ON TOP OF THE MONITOR! She will be waiting a long time for a replacement now."
Too good not to share
I know it’s not exactly polite or politically correct to poke fun at our coworkers, and I’ve heard the adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” However, some stories are too good not to share. We’ve all heard of the user who thought the mouse was a foot pedal or the person who used the slide-out CD tray as a cup holder. Stories like these are legendary in the IT Support community, and sharing them helps stressed-out techs blow off a little steam. So come on TechRepublic members—you’ve got stories and we want to hear them!
Share your story
Can you nominate someone (anonymously, of course) for the "Dumbest User" award? E-mail me your story. If I choose your story as the winner, I'll send you a TechRepublic T-shirt.
By submitting a response, you agree to let TechRepublic publish your thoughts on its Web site. You also agree that TechRepublic may adapt and edit and authorize the adaptation and editing of each submission, as it deems necessary. TechRepublic may or may not publish a submission at its sole discretion.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.