There’s nothing stranger than the truth, and at no time is that more accurate than when describing some of the ridiculous users that IT support staffs must try to help. We bet that at some point in the last year, you encountered a user who seemed too strange to be real.

There you were at an end-user’s workstation, hoping to be helpful, when you realized that the user was doing something so stupid, so dumb, and so crazy that you could hardly find the words to straighten him out. Well, now it’s time to share that hilarious story with all of TechRepublic’s members.

Since we first conducted our Dumbest User contest in 1999, TechRepublic members have flooded us with e-mail nominations when we’ve asked for them.

Now it’s time to begin the cycle all over again and share your best dumb user stories for 2001.

And the envelope, please!
If you want a sample of previous winning submissions to the contest, you can download the entire list of 1999 dumb user stories.

One of our favorites came from Patricia F., who wrote:

“A woman working for us kept complaining that her mouse would only move an inch or two on the screen and then just stop, and she said the buttons on the mouse were impossible to use. After two mouse replacements and several visits by our on-site support people who swore there was nothing wrong, I insisted the technician have her demonstrate the problem. (We are a 24-hour operation—hotel/casino—and the user wasn’t usually on-shift when the technicians were available to work on the equipment.) The tech called me back absolutely hysterical. Turned out, the woman, who works in the middle of the casino, had the mouse on the floor and was pushing it around with her bare foot because she thought it looked just like her sewing machine pedal. She works with at least three other people who use mice on their workstations within five feet of her, but she apparently never thought to use her mouse the way they used theirs.”

Look for our upcoming release of the 2000 Dumbest User award winners, compiled from more than 1,100 entries. For a preview, see “2000 Dumbest User award preview.”

Share your story
The time has come to send in your entry for the 2001 Dumbest User award! Send us your story by e-mail, and if it wins, we’ll send you a fabulous TechRepublic prize.
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.