Leadership

Video: Understanding what users say and what they really mean

Work in IT long enough and you'll notice that users repeat several key phrases. Novice techs may take these expressions at face value, but IT veterans know that these phrases often have hidden meanings. Bill Detwiler takes a lighthearted look at what users say and deciphers what they often mean.

As someone who's taken hundreds of support calls on both enterprise and small-office help desks, I can attest to the fact that IT pros hear several key phrase over and over again from end users. These expressions sound harmless enough but often have hidden meanings. During this IT Dojo video, I take a lighthearted look at some of the things you hear from your users and try to decipher what they often, really mean.

For those of you who prefer text to video, you can click the Transcript link that appears below the video player window or you can also read Jeff Dray's download "10+ things users say (and what they really mean)," on which this video is based.

You can also sign up to receive the latest IT Dojo lessons through one or more of the following methods:

About

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 supp...

121 comments
mak126
mak126

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pworlton
pworlton

User: I can't get on the internet! Translation: My neighbor locked down his wireless and I can't afford my own internet service. User: I can't get on the network shared drives! Translation: I created my own local user account so I can download porn. User: I can get on the internet from home, but I can't get on the shared drives. Translation: VPN? What's that? User: My computer takes forever to do anything and I keep getting pop-ups. Translation: I accidently downloaded some malware with my porn but let's pretend it was magic. User: Is there any way to recover a lost file? Translation: I've been ignoring your advice to back up my data. User: I can't get my emails to download to my cell phone. Translation: I bought an oddball, unsupported cell phone and didn't bother to ask my cell provider how to set up my email because I'd rather invconvenience you. User: I don't need a docking station with my laptop. Translation: I'm going to try to save a few dollars and order a 3rd-party dock from eBay and hope it doesn't fry my laptop. User: The conference room projector isn't working. Translation: I don't know what Fn+F8 is for. User: My keyboard isn't working. Translation: I spilled an entire a cup of coffee in my keyboard, but rather than tell you I'm going to let you pick it up and spill coffee down your pants.

jheidman
jheidman

About 20 years ago I was working for a software company using an IBM System 36. A user had called one of our techs with a problem and the tech asked to be sent a copy of the diskette from the nightly backup. A few days later a copy of the diskette showed up but but it was a paper copy! They had taken it out of the sleeve and copied it in the office copier!

darren.meyer
darren.meyer

Ask a doctor once how often he/she hears idiotic self-diagnosis, non-sensical complaints, and outright lies ("I haven't touched it!" => I tried to cut it out with a pocket knife; "I fell on it" => I was doing something kinky with the potato, and now I'm embarrassed that it's stuck; etc.). If people do those kinds of things with their own health, we're doomed -- we're only trying to fix their computers.

geniusthemaster
geniusthemaster

these guys are saying this because your not solving their problem! lets see what i would do as tech support / a questionee:: 1 i havnt touched anything. i've left my computer alone since last time a tech support helped me.. perhaps your the same one? 2 hows the network. my internet has been down for the last 3 hours do you know when its coming back / my internet gaming is not working i have issues with networking 4 i cant waist anymore time. IM GOING TO GO DO IT MYSELF BECAUSE YOUR IGNORING MY REAL QUESTION 5 my screen is getting blurry and giving me headaches.. are you kidding!! yea im thinking about a new monitor when my computer wont start / my computer is infected with a virus / running in safe mode / wires are lose. friends with ceo is probably true. fyi ive manually removed viruses made networks et et myself by myself. shame on you for expecting a double meaning for someone coming to you in earnest pls email me for about a reply.. if u can ;)

Jeff Dray
Jeff Dray

Bill, what can I say? it was a real treat to hear those phrases acted out by real people. Some of them sounded very familiar!

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Boy would those problems disappear.

svgdrkness
svgdrkness

Had a user that was trying to print to a network shared printer and could not understand that the computer that the printer was connected to must be powered on to use it's shared printer.

vucliriel
vucliriel

I've been into computers and computing since the days of the PDP-11 when users were actually taught to write code on punched cards to solve their own problems, and I truly resent the general tendency of all major software corporations to consider users idiots. EVERY TIME I need help because of poorly written software of deliberate obfuscation of features, such as is the tendency nowadays at Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Google and Yahoo, basically all AMERICAN software companies, I'm being told to do things I already know and have already tried. When I dare say the problem is NOT with user error, but with the design of the software that PREVENTS the user from being able to solve the problems himself (just you try with Vista and all the hoops it makes you go through), the CSR simply repeats the same useless BS that does nothing at all, and totally ignores the real problem. "It's a feature, not a bug"... Yeah, right! I do understand that many users are plain ignorant and shouldn't even be using computers, but please! Stop taking ALL of us for IDIOTS!!! Better yet, get some truly smart people in there to troubleshoot problems instead of drones that simply recite from a checklist!!! Here is MY list of what CSRs truly mean when they answer user problems... What users say = what users mean -- What CSRs are told to say = What management really means "I haven't touched anything" = "I have no idea why it's not working" -- "Uninstall the application and reinstall" = "This app doesn't uninstall everything because we like to know what you do with. You are in fact trying to do stuff with it we don't want you to do. It keeps hidden settings in your registry by design. Your business is OUR business from now on, as described in the license agreement you haven't read and we won't allow you to interfere with that" "I really truly haven't touched anything" = "I am trying to explain in simple words that I have tried everything I know, as I was supposed to, and this poorly written piece of $*** just doesn't work on my computer and tries do to stuff I won't allow any software to do" -- "Uninstall and reinstall the software" [it's getting really old by now] = "Dumb user, just follow the instructions and let it do what it wants - If it needs to be connected to the internet to work, it's so that we can better understand what your consumer habits are so we can figure out how to sell you stuff you don't really need to make more money off of you" "What would happen if" = "I've done this and discovered the software wants to connect to the internet without my permission - I'd be interesting to see what the reasons for doing this are" -- "It will connect to our servers so that we may better help you resolve this issue and give the user a better computing experience" = "We couldn't care less about your problem but want to know how you use our software so that we can better target your habits for future sales down the road" "I'm a personal friend of the chairman" = "I'm fed up being given the run-around, being told what I know already and want a straight answer" -- "You have been routed to the right person to solve this issue" = "We have strict guidelines to stall intelligent users from getting straight answers to known problems that would be disastrous to our bottom line if known by the general public" "I'm running windows 97" = "There are so many versions of software that interact poorly with each other and have been written with no apparent benefit to me I can't make heads or tails of it all" -- "You mean Office 97, which is different from Windows" = "Users really have no clue and should be told how to think. We should design software that is more convenient with many safety features to hide the fact we want to maximize revenue by switching from a license model to a monthly service fee model, so that user will have to fork that money every time they use the software. Our CEOs will love that, since 10 or 20 billion dollars in their pockets is not enough for them" "Of course everything is plugged in! Do you think I'm stupid?" = "I am fed up being treated like an idiot by a drone with a list of dumb questions I've obviously checked for myself already. Am I talking to an intelligent human being, or some automatic machine that appears human with its human voice?" -- "We do this to make sure nothing obvious is forgotten" = "Users are idiots and have no clue... Maybe we should design software in such a way that there is no real input from the user and we'll add all those fancy buttons to give the illusion he still has control" "I really can't waste any more time on this, goodbye!" = "I've been given the run around for hours, been transferred from department to department instead of being transferred to a troubleshooter who can actually think about the problem at hand and for himself without having to refer to a complicated guideline which essentially says to spend as little time as possible with the user and most importantly, to make sure to not admit to any real problems" -- "We have done everything we could to solve your issue. The pro version has the features you seem to require to make it do what you want". You should upgrade." = "That's why we have a pro version for. By the time the user notices he really needs the uncrippled pro version, he'll be so accustomed to ythe interface that he'll REALLY want to upgrade and we'll be making more money" "My screen is blurred and I get headaches." = "I've has this darn monitor for the past 10 years and have had to wear glasses since, and no one seems to care, using that blurry monitor for days on end, how much it really costs the company in reduced productivity" -- "Your monitor settings are wrong" = "We don't want to upgrade the monitors, it would cost too much money - let human resources deal with the loss of productivity" "Is there a problem with the network?" = "Why is the network so congested?" -- "Your settings are wrong and our network is fine" = "Of course it's fine, dumbass, we are simply throttling your usage so that your high bandwidth application will not interfere with our CEO's videoconferencing with management from his hotel in the Bahamas" "It won't let me in and I know I entered the password correctly." = "The network insists that I should reenter the information again, but they know full well who it is from my IP and MAC address and do this checking so as to appear to maintain network security" -- "It's done for your safety" = "We do that so we can better monitor what you do so we can maximize profits from your work/better target publicity based on your habits" "Has this problem been reported by anyone else?" = "I've seen it mentioned in many forums but the company won't admit there is a problem for fear of bad publicity" -- "We are not aware of any other issues such as yours" = "We've been told expressly to deny the problem and not to discuss this issue with end users" As you can see, users are NOT idiots and IMO, it's high time for the whole industry to fess up, stop the bloatware and featuritis whose only design is to generate revenue and hide the fact that good, smart software has been written a long time ago and works just perfectly fine as it is (I bet you that if users were given a choice between office 97 and office 2007, they'd chose office 97 over that piece of $*** pretending to be software 8 times out of 10!)

N9MDX
N9MDX

You forgot to mention under professional behavior not laughing uncontrollably when you know what they did as soon as they tell you the problem.

jkgray
jkgray

Not real informative and as someone with 20 years direct support involvement did not feel it rang true. Many users today are much more knowledgeable than even a few years ago. We in tech support often assume all users are clueless, this is not helpful and often results in the support call taking longer than necessary. I find if you listen carefully the user often has valuable information concerning the problem. They may not know the technical words needed to describe the issue but have information that leads to the correct determination of the problem and therefore the solution. JKG

alex.murray
alex.murray

"It's doing nothing" is one I often hear but here is a good one: User calls our helpdesk and says they can't log on whilst at a help desk and the computer is "doing nothing". Desk-side support went running up, only to find the user was sat at a laptop docking-station hotdesk....with no laptop. Bless 'em!

delphi9_1971
delphi9_1971

My favorite was "My computer won't boot up, it's not getting any power at all..." Which for me has meant several things. Usually, it means "I have to much crap stored under my desk and I moved something which switched off my power strip or pulled out my power cable..." However, the best one was when the user called and said that to me and it meant "I just spilled a bottle of water on my laptop and I'm too embarrassed to tell you..." Like I wouldn't figure that out when I picked up the laptop to have the watery contents spill out across her desk...

RockyTopJeep
RockyTopJeep

I just did what I always do! Meaning : I forgot what my daily functions are, probably from last nights 12 pack.

TexasJetter
TexasJetter

Just love it when I get this question. Closely followed by, and sometimes interchangable with 'are we having problems with the server?' - umm I only have seven of them. Could you be any more vague?

newcomb@metroparks.net
newcomb@metroparks.net

The end user code phrases you highlighted ring true in some organizations I've seen, but I'm lucky to be working in a relatively small agency where this doesn't happen very often. Our "culture" doesn't place blame or punish for errors, so folks usually own up to mistakes. A bigger problem for me as an IT support tech is that so many folks seem to think they need to diagnose the problem for us. They call and tell us what the problem is, and at least half the time they're dead wrong. I've given some basic training to groups of end users in troubleshooting and diagnosis so that they might solve some of their own problems, but when they call, I try to remember that their diagnosis still may be wrong. It always helps me to start with the most basic questions, explaining that since I can't be there and see things for myself, I need to go through the whole process - nothing personal, you understand. This is my mantra: Reality check, reality check, reality check.

oblivion62
oblivion62

A surprisingly common phrase I hear is: "I've been away on holiday and my account expired while I was away." Natch, that really means "I've been away on holiday and had such a good time that I forgot everything I ever knew about my job, including my password." Another surprisingly common one: "I reset my computer and it's still doing it" really means "I switched the monitor off and it was still displaying the error message when I switched it back on." My favourite ever user call, though, was "My mouse doesn't work anymore. I spilled orange juice on it and it got all sticky and didn't work too well, so I washed it in hot water and now it doesn't work at all." I don't think I managed to reply.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Work in IT long enough and you'll notice that users repeat several key phrases. Novice techs may take these expressions at face value, but IT veterans know that these phrases often have hidden meanings. In this IT Dojo video, I take a lighthearted look at what users say and decipher what they often mean. Original post: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=335 Have you heard any of the phrases mentioned in the video? Are your end users fond of an expression with a hidden meaning? Note: During the video we've poked a little fun at end users. In the next IT Dojo, I turn the tables and look at some of the phrases IT pros use and the hidden meanings behind those.

bob
bob

You're = contraction of "you are"; e.g. you're reading this message Your = something that belongs to you; e.g. this is your hat --------------------------- Waste = (v.) throwing something out unnecessarily; or (n.) that which is thrown out Waist = middle of the body circling the abdomen, between belly button and hips --------------------------- Question = statement of inquiry Questionee = not sure, it kind of sounds French --------------------------- etc. = "thus and so forth" et et = sound made by a chicken --------------------------- I won't even bother with the rest.

gcdimarketing
gcdimarketing

Case in point being, the VP here, having downloaded and paying for a copy of Avast4 called me complaining that he was unable to enter the registration code. The instructions clearly say copy the code and paste it in the text box to register. His problem was that he didn't bother to read the instructions and was trying to type it in instead. Luckily we have a nice laid-back company and he is pretty cool too, otherwise I'd probably not get the laughs I do from him and the President, at least not out loud and in front of them.

The Daleks
The Daleks

One user asked me if the computer had to be powered on when the backup runs. Another asked me if the computer had to be powered on to get anti-virus updates. It seems that many people still have an 18th Century view of the world, where they don't understand what electricity is all about. To them, computers and other electronic devices are magic boxes.

bob
bob

OMG.

hpsundance
hpsundance

I have read a large number of these posts and am responding in general. Insulting end users and calling it "good humor" is not good humor. It is rude. Next week when you plan to poke fun at CSR's, will you be as hard on them as you were on end users? If so, call it what it is, you are insulting them, it is not good humor. The relationship between end user and support is adversarial enough without making it worse. Maybe you (Bill) should do a series of videos on how to communicate, how to ask reasonable questions, how to understand the business you are in (not just the tech side), AND, most important, encourage support staff to get out of their cubes and get to KNOW their users and the jobs they do. Don't assume that you know them better than anyone else, your view is very skewed. One post was right on track, if the CSR asks better questions and tries to understand better what is going on, the end user is better served. Training? Most problems users encounter would not be covered in "Training" anyway. And before you accuse me of not knowing IT or support, I do. As the IT liasion (and trainer) for IT with other departments, AND having managed a quirky system for 7 years, I have seen more than both sides of this fence. No one is without fault or a need to understand the other side better. More than once, an angry tech team has demanded I train "those expletive end users" on something only to find out they were only half the problem and that the tech team needed to solve some of their own issues before pointing fingers. And vice versa, I have worked with business teams to help them understand and use their technology differently, becuase what they were doing was not working AND they had not been told by anyone what the issues really were, the alternatives, the repercussions, etc. They were glad to do it differently and get back to being productive. Better communication is needed, on both sides.

lucien86
lucien86

I agree with 40 - 50% of what you say but from a lot of what you say you are using a lot of older software and hardware. I have to say that you need a breath of fresh air, both software and hardware have improved immensely in the last ten or twelve years (thinks of XP or having 4GB ram or multi-cores or 24" monitors etc). Using a 10 year old monitor? company to cheap to replace it? just knock it off your desk and onto the floor - with depreciation its worth less than a dollar anyway. Ask for a new one, or go find a job in a company that doesn't treat its employees so poorly, or at the worst go and buy yourself a new one and smuggle it in - they are very cheap. The other thing- the reason you have a user name and password is A to prevent others using your workstation if you are absent, B to give you a separate and independent disk space that others cant invade, and C to let you use any workstation on the network as your own. Those IP settings and MAC things are pretty low level and can be pretty weird and complex, in many networks things like local IP addresses are generated randomly on each session. Network security is also specifically layered so that IP and MAC settings are not enough on their own - since they can be stolen and spoofed or used in other ways by hackers. Have to agree with you on the software though, particularly about them sneaking vital features into the Pro or Enterprise versions. Particularly nasty when the 'feature' is only part of the license not the software. As for online support afraid we are all stuck with it, the worst thing is that most software now ships in Beta form until you install the online patch. - You did register and install the patch didn't you? Finally in the WP arena there are plenty of alternatives to Microsoft - ie Open Office. Just download it off the web page and run the installer.

usa.sot611
usa.sot611

I'm sorry you have had so many problems with tech support and software. But your novel-length post tells me many things about you: 1. You have never worked in any type of IT support. If you had, you would understand that even the most intelligent people we know sometimes forget to check the power cables or that rebooting will clear many issues. Aside from that there are, in fact, many many idiots out there that own computers and call Tech Support for help. As support specialists we have no idea at the start of a call if we've been connected to an idiot who really has no idea of what's going on or an intelligent person who may have overlooked a possible easy fix. Hence we have to start at steps that may seem elementary. We are not sorry. 2. You are sick and tired of relying on others for help. In this case I would suggest taking courses (online are available) to expand your own computer knowledge. Take things into your own hands and fix the thing yourself- this will save you the considerable headaches you apparently get from tech support. 3. You have not had enough training for the software you use. If you had been properly trained, on Office 2007 for example, you would know that the updated platform is much more useful to users who actually know the program. (This may fall under the catagory "You can't teach old dogs new tricks".) You did post that you have been using computers since PDP-11, could you possibly be reluctant to learn new software? 4. You seem resentful of American Capitalism. Don't worry, so are most of our own citizens. We'll be socialists soon, so just wait for that. Again, I'm sorry that you've experienced so much trouble with tech support.

ckelly
ckelly

the day they copy files on the Internet, so it'll be slow for a while but pick up later. Or some variation of that, the typical response being "Oh!"

yawningdogge
yawningdogge

I was walking a user through password reset. He was in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. THe user was some really old, atavistic guy who stood guard in a shack somewhere. He was only using the computer at all because they told him he had to, and not at all happy about it. Me: "Your password has to contain at least one capital letter." User: "How do I make a capital letter?"

TheAncient
TheAncient

I have been the IT business for over 35 years so if I run into a problem, I will try everything that I possibly can from my end. Starting with reboot, cable check, settings check,and running appropriate diagnostic utilities. For example, If I cannot reach ANY website but can ping the router, chances are, there really IS something wrong on "their" side. Only after I have completed my diagnosis, do I call support (that might be general IT support, support for specific software, the ISP or whatever else is appropriate). In virtually each and every case, I have to spend a good half hour, ask for the next higher support level, for supervisors or anyone who might actually know what they are talking about. Once I do find that person, it's usually just a minute to resolve the problem. I wish there was some sort of code phrase that told the support person "that guy knows his stuff - if you don't get it, put him through to someone who does"....

anionic
anionic

I take a user's initial statements with a large pinch of salt, then ask: What was the first thing you noticed which was different from usual, as in: I can't read my email What was etc. It said "Disk not found" when I switched it on, so I can't read my email

chris.leeworthy
chris.leeworthy

My absolute favourite came from a person working at a big inurance brokership. "I have 7 broken keyboards that need replacing" This was code for "I thought the keyboards were a bit mucky so I left them soaking in a bucket of hot soapy water for a few hours, then tried plugging them in without ensuring they were completely dry."

info
info

This is the funniest call I ever received. I didn't record it, so this is my recollection of the call. Them - "Um, is it normal to see a little smoke coming out of my computer, because I overclocked it last night." Me - "No, is it smoking now?" Them - "Yes." Me - "Can you unplug it and move it outside?" Them - "I am already outside. We were gaming outside last night and we left it all hooked up. Guess we should have moved it inside after." Me - "Sounds like it got wet or overheated. Did you unplug it yet?" Them - "Oh crap, my extension cord is burning..." User hung up. I never heard back from him. Never found out more information, but you can fill in the blanks.

mark
mark

I was working at a used computer store in the late 90's when I received this call. I asked if he had the right store because I didn't remember selling a computer with a CD-Rom drive the week before. He said yes he recognized my voice and his CD-ROM drive wasn't one of those fancy ones that opened when you pushed a button; his had a lever. It was at that very moment I realized that he was putting his CD in the 5 1/4" floppy drive! I'll bet it WAS chewing them up...

richardp
richardp

Practically all of these points simply come down to times when the tech does not know. These can buy time to gather information or think through the issue (or brush them off hoping they don't call back too soon). Still, being too honest and transparent can hurt the relationship. ***No one seeking help wants to hear "I don't know.."! If we have their trust, though, then we can work it out.

dick.ot
dick.ot

Still my fav after all these years. Back in the summer of 1987 I got a call every Monday for 6 weeks from a user that her word processor would not boot. I would send up a new disk and sure enuf it would boot. Finally I brought it up myself and asked her to show me what she did - put in the disk and booted, then pulled it out and stuck it to a file cab with a magnet...!

Jimmy.McFart
Jimmy.McFart

We had a problem one day where we ran out of disk space on a server. My boss took a screen shot of the error, attached it to an email and sent it to all of the users. A few minutes later, I got a remedy ticket reading.. "I opened an email attachment and now it's saying that my computer is out of disk space!" Wahahahahaha! Another time I was teaching a user how to use the VPN. The PCs at the time were using Novell Client. I was explaining to her that she had to check the "Workstation Only" box when logging in from home. She proceeded to put the cursor over the box and hit the "X" key on the keyboard!

balaatcount
balaatcount

Hidden meanings are left open to let the user decide and understand on his/her own capacity / knowledge. So really they have a lot of meanings as per the user level.

kim.hall10
kim.hall10

Working at a call center supporting phone, internet, and TV service: "It worked yesterday." I fail to see the relevance of this. This is today. "Nothing has changed." ...Meaning, I didn't see my kid unplugging my computer or TV to use his XBOX. "From Day 1..." Favorite expression for people who just can't get their noggins around how this high tech stuff works. Still trying to figure out how to use the universal remote and get both the TV and the converter on at the same time. "You people..." We have seen the enemy and he takes our money. "The internet is slow. Why am I paying for all this speed?" Usually accompanied by a PC that takes 10 minutes to boot up running Windows with 256MB of memory and 3 anti-virus programs. "I can't get on the internet" What do you see on your screen? (blank) "You want me to turn on my computer?" "What button do I push?" Old people with remotes. "The last person fixed it for me." OK, what did he do? (silence) What kind of cables are you using from your converter to your TV? "I don't know, whatever the tech set up." "Can't you just flip a switch and turn my services back on?" For those who hadn't paid their bill for 2 months and expect it to come back on the moment they write a check. Do you know where your router is? "What's a router?" "I'm not very computer savvy." Meaning I don't take the trouble to learn this stuff so the burden is on you.

melekali
melekali

Phone rings, "My cup holder is broken." "What?" "My cup holder is broken." "Be right there." Thinking, 'I gotta see this!' Get to the user's desktop. Brand new CD-ROM (first computers to come with them at this point) extended and snapped off with a 64-oz coffee mug partially spilled moved off to the side. After belly-filled laughter, I pointed toward the broken CD and said, "You may have to pay for that," and left. Priceless.

Samuel Leung
Samuel Leung

I have on a few occasions had "Google has been removed somehow, can I have it re-installed?" and on one occasion "Can I have the internet loaded onto my computer again?". Oh there are so many...

Cerebral*Origami
Cerebral*Origami

I don't have to much of an issue with what users say. It's the same old I don't know how to use a computer, I'm trying not to look totally clueless or I'm covering my butt. The thing I hate the most is when I am trying to walk a user through what they need to do and they start running ahead click on buttons I didn't tell them to click on or "Oh oh I know what to to do!" *click* only to have them call back an hour later. And of course the most common problem where they didn't re-boot before calling me and don't want to re-boot unless I'm standing there.

TX Old Sarge
TX Old Sarge

User calls you and says there is something worng with the system and you walk them through the steps slowly and when you should be at a resolution the user says that nothing has changed because they have not done all you have told them to do. What they are really saying is "Get off your butt and get down here and earn your money since I work three times as hard as you and get spit for pay." Or, "This is not MY job description twit so get down here right now." Or, "Oh no, you aren't going to blame me when the screen catches on fire!"

dreamersland
dreamersland

I work for Desktop Support and we use a program called Proxy to get onto the user's computer and help them out when needed. We first need to let the person know wea re going to proxy onto their machine. The funniest part of that though is the user thinks we can ALWAYS see what he/she is doing. One user called the support line and proceeded to tell me about their problem they had yesterday and wanted to know if I could fix it. When I asked what the problem was he said - "Did'nt you watch what I was doing yesterday????" Umm... well.. sure. I watch all 5,000 employee's computers all day.. But then I think, without them, we wouldn't have a job! THANK YOU!!!

grimstl
grimstl

I have a user who tells me that an "Edit came up" whenever she sees a dialog box. This is the same user who says "Mozilla doesn't work" when there is a problem connecting with a website.

butkus
butkus

I have a web site of film camera manuals. Many of these manuals are in different languages, hence I only scan the English directions. The non-English instructions are on ever other page. On the PDF you can see the pages skip (2,4,6, 8, 10) but received an E-mail stating his printer is only printing every other page. "Can you send me the other pages of the manual". What can I say ! I've had to state on the main page where people get these manuals that the pages skip due to multiple languages. Even though the text follows the skipped pages correctly.

Becca Alice
Becca Alice

Person calls and says their login is not working. I ask them what their user ID is. They say they don't know. I ask them what they were typing in the user ID space a moment ago when they tried to log on. They say they don't know. What is weird is that I have gotten more than one of these. On one of them, I actually got enough nerve to ask "You just typed it, and you don't know what you put in?" Response: "Um, no." I am completely at a loss to understand how they can not know, and sound very sincere about not knowing, what they were typing thirty seconds before when they were trying to log in. Or why they would even try typing anything there if they knew to start with that they don't know their user ID. Are they putting strings of gibberish in there to start with before they call to check what their login is? It would be one thing if this were just one person, but it has happened a surprising number of times. It makes me start looking for a candid camera...

annec
annec

A long time ago I got a service call for a little desktop Laser 8. The end user said it was printing on the wrong side of the paper. I tried to explain to her how that wasn't really possible but she wouldn't hear me. I said that perhaps she should just not print on Letterhead paper until I got there and that I would be over straight away. She replied that it was printing fine on Letterhead but on plain white, it printed on the wrong side. I guess it was me who did not understand but I went over right away. When I got there, I realized the problem. The output tray had broken off the printer and the paper was landing face down instead of face up. I ordered another tray and advised her not to use plain white until it came.

Roc Riz
Roc Riz

...is what I often hear from my users who refuse to learn about the programs that they are using, or even use the help file. Would it be out of line to say, gingerly, that I am not a doctor, yet I know how to keep myself in good health, or I am not car mechanic, but I know when to change my oil? I wonder.

rhoffman
rhoffman

One of the most commonly things I hear from a user, or group of users, is that nothing is working, or everything's down, or some version of that. Many times I've heard "The entire facility is having issues" and in fact it's only one device in one area, with a user who encountered one issue and was still able to continue, but thought he'd mention it. Most end users don't really know what the problem could be and make sweeping statements like "the network is down!" , or my favorite "Is the internet down?" Yes sir, the whole internet just crashed, give me a second while I reboot it..."

gizembudur
gizembudur

- I need to get a print out but I cannot send e-mail. - Errm... Sorry? This is one of my favorites! She insisted on this phrase, told that I am ignorant, stupid, etc.. Hell, it was really easy... She had just wanted to get a print out of a pop-up window with a big "print" button. However she hadn't defined our big color network printer, and decided to send the page one of her friend with color printer definitions. Since it was a pop-up, she couldn't found the "send page by e-mail" option! How I couldn't see this...

richard.ots
richard.ots

This happened back in the mid 90's so arguably computers weren't quite what they are now. Still..... The secretary of the director called us to request a new computer. She was concerned with all the typo's in the letters she was writing for the director, and concluded that it must have been because the computer couldn't keep up with her speed of typing.

celerITas
celerITas

An amusing compilation that must be heard on many a support desk around the globe. Less amusing though is one phrase that I think is heard more than any other: "It isn't doing what I want it to do..." Translation: "I need training..." Who hasn't wondered just where on their job description it says 'Support Analyst _and_ Personal IT Coach'? Many organisations offer some form of training on core IT applications and services, be it internal workshops or access to on-line tutorials to externally run events. Unfortunately, too many employees feel that their time is too valuable to 'waste' on training and that the tech support team obviously have nothing better to than hand-hold them through the most simplistic of tasks. Grrrr... (Takes deep breath - puts on 'happy-smiley' voice - and for the umpteenth time says "If you were to use tabs rather than spaces....") Sound familiar? ;-)

richard.mcloughlin
richard.mcloughlin

Working for an organisation that had just migrated from type writers to PC's running Windows 3.1. A training agency had showed staff how to customise their PCs Windows colour schemes. The amount of support calls it generated because people had accidentally set white text on a white background wasn't funny at the time. Trying to talk a frustrated user through rectifying the problem and persuading them that clicking on a "blank" area of the screen would resolve the issue, required some serious self restraint.

MikeGall
MikeGall

User opens every application on the system and then says things are slow. At my last job we had a lot of P4 2.0's with 512MB of RAM. We had an application suite that needed about 130MB per instance to run. I can't count how many times I heard from users their system was slow and went up to look at it and saw 5 of these apps open, plus a browser, Outlook and music. Another one: "my storage space is full, I need another 2TB in an hour or my $20k experiment is going to crash". Hmm you think you could have estimated the data better or talked to us first so we could help you estimate it? Nope. It is "only" 2TB of RAID space way can't you give it to me within an hour?

keith
keith

Once while supporting laptop users I had one sales person who I wanted to open Windows Explorer. To make it simple I told him to hold down the Windows Key (the one that has the windows flag on it) and press E. After 2 to three minutes of being told that nothing was happening, he finally admitted that instead of pressing the Windows key he was pressing on the little sticker that says designed for Windows XP. I don't know what I found more amazing. The fact he was pressing on the sticker, or that he actually admitted doing it to me.

ascott
ascott

"there is no signal on my internet" = the PC is not turned on and the monitor says "no signal"

gdewrance
gdewrance

All of the phrases are 100% spot on. Had them all, the most annoying though is that some users will have for example a problem with IE, the next day a staff member who was off yesterday gets a logon error and reports that this is the same problem everyone was having yesterday because someone else told her they where having problems. It drives me nuts.

geniusthemaster
geniusthemaster

#2 watch who your messing with. i have more than 300 virii in tow and hack tools. im just an ethical hacker. and i only use them for good purposes. far be it for me to find some porn and your hard drive serial ####-####-####-#### intel. bob ive seen you post crap on other posts. troll. keep it up and ill just loic you so hard your cpu fan stops. and your computer will be so busy handling tcp udp and http requests that your thermal shutdown will fail. something along the lines of 0x000000c8 . but you wont get to see it =(. remember think twice. ☼ :)

pworlton
pworlton

That was what I was thinking! I would definately remove "genius" from my forum name if I couldn't spell, punctuate, or form a sentence.

MikeGall
MikeGall

turning it off then on again?

vucliriel
vucliriel

... which may explain why computer OSes are being more and more dumbed down and they've essentially made every effort to keep the hood release under lock and key!

vucliriel
vucliriel

... If I came accross as being abrasive, it was... intentional! Exaggeration aside, I believe there is a lot to complain about toady's software and support services, and this applies to most big corporations, it is not IT specific. Glad I could stir the campfire ;)

vucliriel
vucliriel

And your points are well taken, as a matter of fact, most tech support people do make an effort to solve problems and are far from being idiots, sorry if I came accross in an offensive manner, but like the arcticle said, it's all 'in good humor'... The point I was trying to make is that, basic corporate culture in America constrains the bright into a rigid framework that does not allow novel ideas and solutions to be tried, and, more worrisome, prevents real issues to be addressed. Like I said before, this is not a general issue just with IT or software support services, as a matter of fact I've never had to call for software support, I simply refuse to run buggy or constraining software (and yes, the analogy of "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" IS appropriate, but i have news for you, we're getting to be the largest consumer group in society). The point is, most recent 'improvements' in sofware are mere eye candy and offer no real improvements in productivity. And although i don't run Office 97 (although it would be perfectly adequate for most of my work - I use Office 2000), you simply couldn't force me to use office 2007. The first thing I do, or am asked to do for any of my friends who buy a new computer, is to uninstall this horror. What bothers me is the insistence of these large corporations to "improve" software that, in reality, simply "improves" the bottom line of the company who sells it. Just an example: WHY would anyone want pass through hoops to download a multi megabyte Adobe Acrobat Reader that has very few features when an independently produced reader, that works with any version of PDF, that is more than 20 times as small, can do the same job, and, even better, can even convert that PDF into JPG, GIF or even WMF, for those that don't have high speed internet or have older machines they are perfectly comfortable with, thank you(CoolPDFReader)? Do you have any idea of how MANY people struggle and resent the constant upfgraditis of software companies? For WHAT REAL improvements? I still use Adobe Acrobat 5.05 myself to produce my documents and with full link functionality see no need to upgrade, nor do most peole I deal with. What I'm basically saying is to theses companies, cut the c**p, and, to the progrtammers, make it run reliably. Sometimes I feel software is at the same point now that car manufacturers were in the early seventies before the oil crisis: lots of flash (no pun intended) and very little actual value. So to conclude, don't take it personally. My beef is with the system so many of you are seemingly so entrenched in (I am also in the service industry, fortunately still an independent operator, though). And yes, my intentions were to stir up the pot, but 'all in good humor'... ;)

terry.sampson001
terry.sampson001

A well written, well considered reply. Thanks for taking to time to answer his post. I hear this so often and it is good to hear a response that makes sense and doesn't get into silly arguments. Cheers.

Tin Weasle
Tin Weasle

The problem is, many clueless users insist that they've been using computers for so-many years. There just isn't any way to really know from a help-desk standpoint who really knows their stuff and who is blowing smoke about what they know. Plus, it is usually the ones that THINK they know what they are doing that cause the most grief. The support teams I've managed, the rule was always to ask the user to humor us, and repeat the steps, or at the very least describe in elementary detail what they have done in what order to try to resolve the issue. We just have to know that "rebooting" isn't really monitor power-state switching. On the other hand, most contact management software will let you tag a user record with information, and I've had techs do that for some people to save them some breath. Annotating a user record in the database with "Knows TCP/IP" or "Understands Driver Dependencies" can save everyone a lot of time.

seanferd
seanferd

-What does the message say? I don't remember. -Can you go ahead and replicate that for me now and tell me what it says? I'm not actually at that computer right now. (Ugh. Now it begins...)

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

But that is the way to check a box with MS Office, so she was doing the correct action. Les.

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

But that is the way to check a box with MS Office, so she was doing yhe correct action. Les.

richardp
richardp

That's actually an old joke going back for years, calling the CD drive a "cup holder". Actually tried it personally, but stopped when CD trays started closing automatically.

nathan
nathan

They are saying that because they don't know what you mean by User ID. All the user knows that when they first arrive they type something they have memorized in the top blank(the user ID) and a second line of something in the bottom blank(the password). They can't answer you because "User ID" doesn't mean anything to them and they are afraid to admit that they don't understand it. Worse on most computers that User ID is already filled in so all they ever type is the password.

jmarkovic32
jmarkovic32

I'm serious, I've faced this issue on a rare occasion. People who aren't frequent computer users tend to develop "automatic" muscle-memory type computer routines. One user didn't know what her user name was when I asked her but she could type it in at the computer (she was elderly). So I opened up Notepad and had her do what she did to log in...and there it was. Clear as day. I thought I'd seen it all at that point. But I would soon find out that I was just getting started.

emily.glew
emily.glew

I have found that if I say user ID, they are thinking I want an ID number and they don't know what number it is that I want. But I have still had problems when I have asked what is your user name? or what name do you log in as? I often have to give a hint: it is usually your first name and first letter of your surname!

RebelFlag
RebelFlag

The time a user told me this, I had installed some software and rebooted the computer, and needed to log in as the user to configure it. The user told me that he did not know his user ID or password. I asked him how he had logged into his computer earlier in the day, and he said he didn't remember. It turns out after getting his supervisor involved the user didn't want me to know his user ID and password. I explained that we in IT have a list of all users and passwords of everyone, even the CEO. He then asked to have his password changed so that I wouldn't know it in the future............

seanferd
seanferd

I add some when the light says it is low... :D

emily.glew
emily.glew

Yes, I have had a variation of all the above, the networks down, the server is down, no one can log in. Usually it is that they can't get onto the internet - happened alot when we had problems with the telecom signal not being strong enough and kept droping off. I usually ask: what happens when you try and log onto the computer? User - what do you mean, i'm logged on now. me - Can you get to any of your documents on the server (we have folder redirection, so I often have to explain how to do this - I have no idea how they usually find their documents or files) User - yes I can open a file Me - then the server is ok and the network is not down! User - no the networks down, it's still not working. Me - Whats not working? User - I can't get on the internet, or get my mail, Or I can't do any work, or I can't get to any of my work etc. I have tried to explain the difference between our domain or server and the internet or telecom mail server for webmail, but I must be speaking another language because they still don't get the difference.

petetr
petetr

One of our IT managers, on finding that the Internet was 'down', asked Tech Support if we could switch to 'the backup'... What alternative global network of servers and cables did he think we might use for that!?

DaBigTrain
DaBigTrain

I love it when someone runs, breathlessly, to my desk and says "The mailserver is down!" No, sir, if the mailserver were down, 300 people would be calling me all at once. You just have a problem on your system.

kari
kari

I used to think some questions would offend my users... But, after troubleshooting over the phone for ten minutes, I went to a user's desk to find that the reason his internet wasn't working was b/c he'd left his wireless card at home. Also had one user who unplugged another user's monitor cable and took it b/c he couldn't find his cable after he switched offices. (His response: She was at lunch.)

dis
dis

Hearing this from a remote user usually means they can't send an e-mail or can not get IE to load a webpage. I have even heard "the server's down" from users on sites without an actual server.

richardp
richardp

"Snagit" provides useful capability to capture screens/windows and Print, send as email, or copy to the clipboard. These utilities fill in gaps where original systems miss. Maybe this (and some training) could help users for scenarios like gizembudur described.

JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

is when they get mad at me and sound like I'm an idiot for not knowing what they are talking about. The other day, a user called and said she needed me to "reset the master." Now, I only use the official abbreviations and designations and I had never heard that term before. When I said "I'm sorry, I don't know what that means" she got all upset and said "that's what everyone calls it." It turned out to be a specific CICS region that had to be bounced (terminated and restarted) that has a name the entire company uses except for her. Grrr.

JohnBeaman
JohnBeaman

This is actually quite true. I have seen it happen and upgraded to a very expensive system for that exact reason. It may sound like a silly excuse, but many times it really isn't.

DesD
DesD

Much earlier, card verifiers were faster than card punches, because the verifiers were optical and punches were mechanical. But the different speeds were constant, so the operators could touch type reliably. When data entry moved to any form of intelligent processor, there was a variable response time to each key stroke, and this is where problems could arise. Picture a smoothly moving lane of traffic on a freeway, and then one car slows down; the disruption rolls out behind it like a wave. Now imagine a slow PC where the touch-typing user has just entered what becomes the last character of a line. The user carries on keying, while the software takes just that little bit too long to align the completed line, insert a newline character, and scroll the display. Meanwhile the user has just tried to hit a key, but there's already an unprocessed character waiting, and now the keyboard is locked. Bingo - typo. I've never managed more than 35 or so words per minute with two fingers, but I've known some ladies (no men!) who could touch type consistently around 135wpm with 100% accuracy and have a conversation with you while doing so. For them, I'd do my best to get them a faster machine.

yesmarklapointe
yesmarklapointe

Silly as it sounds, I have the same complaint. Sometimes when I'm using MSWord I'm also running a bunch of other stuff in the background and my processor gets bogged down. (Usually either Outlook doing a sync or IE spazing out and consuming all resources.) I CAN SEE an extra delay in MSWord between when I type a character and when the character appears on the screen. It is very annoying and does cause more mispellings, or so I think. How so? The truth is that I'm a poor typist who constantly throws in a mistake here and there and I backspace immediately to correct it because I am looking at what I type as I type it. When the computer has an added delay, my fingers keep going on which means I have to backspace over more of my own typing to get back to where the mistake was. Even a delay which allows me to type a single character without showing it to me is a problem. In my mind the extent of me being a poor typist is how much I feel I'm having to backspace on any particular task. So when the delay I'm used to changes, it makes me feel the computer is causing me to be a bad speller. It is very annoying.

elangomatt
elangomatt

I work for a college. We have presentation equipment all over the college and some people never bother finding out how to use it properly so they sometimes turn off the power wrong or leave the volume too high. I had a faculty member recently tell me that the presentation equipment had to be foolproof and that more/better training wasn't the answer. I had to resist asking him exactly why he was teaching for if he thinks training isn't the answer.

amm
amm

I am the trainer/help desk for my company, and I hear "do it for me, I'm too busy for training" ALL the time! A phrase I hear a lot is "I don't know why you computer people have to make things so complicated!" (I'm sorry, I'll try to make 'click the start button' a little more simple next time.)

kari
kari

User says, "My computer is running really slow today. (Pause)". In my mind, I'm thinking, gee, is this the same laptop I've been telling you to replace for three years b/c it was outdated then? Is it b/c your children have installed more games? The alternative is the useless sales manager that says his computer is running slowly after he hears 5 y/o laptop complain and when I go to check on his brand-new computer - he has itunes and solitaire open. I got pulled away from my desk b/c your computer is slowing down your solitaire game? No shame. Related Question: Does your company have a policy that requires users to keep their computers up to date? Our sales agents supply their own computers and they have let them fall into serious disrepair. I provide support but my counsel is always that their next commission check needs to go to a new computer. Two of the users have computers that are 5 years old. All of their sales tools are web-based - it boggles my mind that they don't replace them.

syxguns
syxguns

I have had to call IT techs on numerous occasions needing to find out the necessary information that I need to accomplish the task at hand. On almost all occasions when I have had to call I have gone from the 1st assistant to the 5th assistant that has always responded with, "I'm sorry that you had to go through that. I will get the problem fixed on our end." Is there a statement that I can make to let them know that I know what I'm doing?

Barry 441
Barry 441

I had just replaced an old, admittedly slow PC, with a new Core2Duo, pumped with memory machine for a woman in my wife?s office. I was waiting for the heaps of praise about the newer, faster machine... but what I got were stories of her complaints about me ?losing all her contacts?. I had restored her .pst file from backup and all her emails were there so where were all these mystery contacts that "I" lost? I was finally able to get to their office one day before the woman had left for the day and had her ?show me? what she was talking about. I had her go through the task of creating a new email when I noticed she wasn?t pulling the Contacts from her Address Book. The woman had never actually saved ANY of her contacts to her address book? only relied on the ?auto fill? feature in Outlook to remember email addresses... It?s all in discovery

t34.mod.85
t34.mod.85

Here is an example of the recent funny thing that occurred to some user at my company... Because we run some buggy judicial software, and the thigh just hangs up some time, I told user to pres ALT and F4 at the same time, for it to close... So, the next time it froze up, I hear some user Screaming trough the phone: "What do you think you are? Giving us some random combination of keys, thinking we were stupid... THIS DOESN'T work!!! Come over here fast" ... Ok, as a good Samaritan I come over to see what I did wrong... I told the specific "Screamer user" to show me what she really did... Ok ... I started laughing ! She for a moment looked mad, then embarrassed! The "random combination of keys" she pressed wasn't Alt+F4, but in fact ALT+F+4 ... Heheh... Really cheered up my day! :)

dave
dave

My communication to users is not always clear either, I once told a a user to "move her mouse to the top of the screen to click on the X to close a program". She picked up the mouse and poked it at the screen.

seanferd
seanferd

If they would admit that they don't know what they are talking about, and describe the problem without assumptions...

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

#2 watch who your messing with. i have more than 300 virii in tow and hack tools etc.

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

.. that alien life exists maybe. I sincerely hope that English is not your first language. Well done for trying, but using Babelfish might produce more intelligible results. Les.

JohnBeaman
JohnBeaman

Yes, the first thing that came to mind was to re-boot and lose all my work in process. Sure.

jmarkovic32
jmarkovic32

It's called the lowest common denominator. I don't know how many times I've assumed that a user wasn't clueless or too busy to go through simple troubleshooting steps like cheking cables or for power. Then a solution that should take all of one minute ends up taking 15 or 20 minutes or even more. The best thing a tech can do is explain to the user that you're going through the standard troubleshooting steps just to be careful.

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

That whenever you telephone customer service, the first thing they have you do is enter your account number through the phone keypad, and the first thing you are asked when you finally get to speak to a real person is "What is your account number?" Les.

TheAncient
TheAncient

I have been on both sides of the fence and understand the frustration of the help desk person. In my previous post, I wasn't trying to rag on the tech support person, I was hoping for a suggestion to solve the problem. When I worked for large companies for any length of time, I was able to establish a relationship with the help desk people and had no such problems. (In fact, I KNEW who the appropriate specialist was and could ask for him/her by name.) The problem arises when there is no such relationship. Let's face it, if you call Microsoft, or Intel, or pretty much any IT company, the first person you get to speak to, is usually a "call screener" rather than a bonafide technician. This is the person who will ask you who you are, what your phone number, address, shoe size etc is and then will start on their script - starting with "are you sure the computer is plugged in?" Then you have to convince that person to let you speak to the next higher support level and that is usually not easy. The next level support then starts over: what is your name, what is your phone number etc. After the fifth such conversation, you are bound to get a bit impatient. I remember one case where I diagnosed a division problem in the column calculation of a spreadsheet program. The behaviour of the program told me that apparently they had coded an exit for a division by plus zero but failed to put in a similar exit for minus zero. The first three support levels did not even know that there was a difference between plus and minus zero. I had to get to the actual "program engineer" who eventually acknowledged that that was exactly the problem. But getting to that person was like trying to get to talk to Bill Gates himself. I have spent countless hours just repeating information and trying to get to increasingly higher support levels in order to get a resolution that - eventually - took the appropriate person virtually no time to answer.

seanferd
seanferd

I think, especially for consumer-oriented technical services, the first escalation should be to someone who at least knows how to gauge a user's general level of understanding. This shouldn't be happening after the fifth escalation, when you now need to waste the time of a highly trained individual who knows exactly what you are talking about in 15 seconds.

ajohansson
ajohansson

indicating urgency, leave a cell number, then go on vacation. That's when they have NO IDEA what the error message was.

RebelFlag
RebelFlag

I did try to get him to log in as himself, which he refused to do. Our IT department keeps a list of everyones log in and password in the event that we need to get into their account. This can be for many reasons.

darren.meyer
darren.meyer

Why on earth do you have everyone's password?! This user was probably - and correctly - told that you don't give anyone your password. It's a little frustrating that he wouldn't share his user ID, but a simple "would you please log in so I can finish this?" would have solved this issue the correct way.

JohnBeaman
JohnBeaman

When the modem is unplugged it says that the server is refusing connection. This might explain why users give false indicators?

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

Especially when you only realise it .. is when you hit 'Enter' and the pop-up disappears. KILL!! Les.

lucien86
lucien86

Thats definitely one where I want to throw the computer through the Window. Grrr

Cerebral*Origami
Cerebral*Origami

My biggest complaint is when I'm typing and a windows pop up notice grabs focus.

rykerabel
rykerabel

Yes, it is very hard to NOT tell them that my 3 yr old can do it, literally.

babznme
babznme

I have a small tech business geared toward helping the elderly and different-abled. Many of them have had techs come to their home before and fix their computer. However the tech never teaches them how to avoid the thing they did to mess it up. If we as techs really wanted to help we would try to explain or at least write down some simple tasks that help, so that the user would stop doing the silly thing that messes up the computer. I have a 5 item list I leave with all my customers. Not only does it help them, but I waste less time fixing their common errors as users.

bwilliams
bwilliams

Recently, I returned a call to someone who was having problems with her computer. I asked "Have you rebooted?" and got the answer "Yes." This usually means that it requires hands-on and so I went up to see the problem for myself. When I get to her office, she says "This error message won't go away no matter what I do." I asked if it went away when she rebooted and she said "No." I asked her to reboot her machine for me. She pressed the power button on the monitor and then pressed it again. Obviously, I hadn't made certain that she understood what 'reboot' meant. When I showed her how to reboot the machine, it did clear the problem.

Gene_Deel
Gene_Deel

Well, part of the serious side to the video (in my interpretation) is that sometimes we technical folks aren't always as good as we could be at decoding what users are telling us. Even when the end user is trying their darndest to communicate, sometimes the impression from both sides of the phone is that we're from different planets. While I don't know your precise situation, I'll suggest a couple things. Be as specific as possible about what you are trying to do, what you did so far, and if the issue happened before and had X resolution, relay that to the technician you are speaking with if possible. If you're not sure what the resolution was, next time the issue occurs and gets resolved, explain to the tech that this happens a lot and ask them to give you some notes you can pass along to the next tech in case it happens again.

PSK_
PSK_

I had an "Automation" person have an absolute fit for a similar issue. When troubleshooting some remote connection web apps, I purged her browser history, temp internet files and cookies. She cursed me up one side and down the other for deleting her "Favorites". She too was relying on auto-fill in IE.

Coss71
Coss71

I've had this happen sooooo many times. Nothing like an office full of females screaming because I lost their address book. I learned from that point on, always copy over the Outlook.NK2 file. But that's only if it isn't a "problem" end user. I occasionally forget to do that part...

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Unfortunately, I've seen this more times than I care to remember. I personally think this is an Outlook design flaw. Auto fill is a nice feature, but confuses many users, who are led to believe the addresses are being saved in their address book.

t34.mod.85
t34.mod.85

Users are all alike... Remember these wise words :)

krawitan
krawitan

ROFL...I had the same...

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

.. it's a cursor, but I have noticed that many people get the 2 confused :-) Les.

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