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My scariest IT job ever...

By Jay Garmon Contributor ·
Reddit just showed me an InfoWorld article with this title: My scariest IT job ever

Here's a telling excerpt:

"After three weeks on the job, I asked Maria where the large team of tech support staffers was. 'Why are you so concerned with my engineers?' she yelled. I explained that I was driving across three states trying to keep my clients satisfied and could use some help. She glared at me and said, 'I had to fire them all.' That was probably the point where I should have walked out, but I needed the paycheck."

What was your scariest IT job ever?

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I have a great

by zlitocook In reply to My scariest IT job ever.. ...

One, I went to a family reunion on my wife?s side. That?s scary by itself, but when we came in the door we were hugged and stuff. But the next thing I knew six of the people there, and I did not know any of them. Brought their computers with them and wanted me to fix them before we left.
My wife really talked me up to them and now I had to show my stuff!
I just about ran for the door but two hours latter five were working great the last was shot the hard drive was bad. And I stayed in a back room the whole time so I did not have to mingle.
I was going to send a bill for the work but my wife put a stop to that. :)

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yeah - i hate that too

by stantman98 In reply to I have a great

Every couple of weeks one of my relatives wants me to "look at their computer." They don't know why, but something weird is happening. I it usually something easy, but there are times it takes a couple of hours to figure out. They are never much help either because they deny doing something or can't remember.

It's getting to the point I want to become a hermit.

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YES it really sucks

by Joao Carlos Lima In reply to yeah - i hate that too

I get hit by this all the time from family, friends and even strangers. I've go to a point that even the bank teller saw on one of my checks "computer services" and started asking me questions on how she can fix her computer while the line was growing behind me. I should be wearing a T-shirt that says " no, I will n ot fix your computer!" but I gess I'm too nice of a person for that! funny how everyone likes it fixed but nobody likes to get a bill. even though they say "I will pay for it" hoping you will say. "nah no big deal"

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Your Move

by macghee In reply to YES it really sucks

If family and friends constantly hit you up for computer work, demand pay. That simple. Either cash or equivalent in products or services. They don't do anything that is useful to you? How about manual labor around the house, painting, cleaning gutters, cleaning grease traps, yard work, hardscaping (that stone patio you always wanted, with the stone retaining wall...) Their time is worth what? Hey your time is valuable too. You're the one who determines what that value is.

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You want scary - try walking into a building to

by Deadly Ernest In reply to My scariest IT job ever.. ...

fix their computer, takes 20 minutes to get through the security procedures. Then the fellow says follow me AFTER he has two burly MPs walk up and position behind you once they have checked their pistols are loaded and ready to use.

For a moment I wasn't sure I was coming back out.

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This happened to me

by OnTheRopes In reply to You want scary - try walk ...

Some driving jobs demand that you pass different levels of security screening.

Try a midnight delivery via 18 wheeler to a industrial site at the end of an alley with no-name. Two Hummers come out of their hides to block your path, one in front and one in back.

Note: MP's with weapons in the ready arms position will put a big friendly smile on my face and my wifes face in a big hurry while we show empty hands.

Show all paperwork, both my wife and I get out when asked and are "wanded". MP's search the tractor, (real friendly to my wife-not so much to me), check the seals and locks and sign the B/L's. I then drop the trailer, park the tractor under escort as directed, wait inside in the front seats, hook up the trailer when they bring it back, and smile and wave when we leave.

I wish I could tell you what they did there and where it is but unfortunately I've lost all memory of the event. It's that old age thing, probably.

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Asleep at the wheel.

by BreakFix In reply to My scariest IT job ever.. ...

The scariest job ever was when I realized after I was hired that the Sys Admins before me have the network so rigged that I might as well be useless, when the mail server has 28 MB left on the primary mail store and not everyone is running anti-virus software. (That's ok right? Heck no I say!) Oh yeah the firewall is a Nokia Internet Appliance not worth the time it took to build it. Yep and nobody remembers how they configured the darned thing. Now that's scary.

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by zlitocook In reply to Asleep at the wheel.

That was sort of the thing I walked into at a bank. I was hired as a network support specialist and my first duty was to learn how the feds sent us imaged checks and implement it with a 5 year old server they bought from a company that went out of business. Still running NT 4 and never patched. They had Norton Corp. but setup to update it self or the network computers. And I was the person to close the day for the bank, I ran the feds image file impute to the banks computer. Which collected all the tellers and ATM files, and then had to make sure it all matched before I could leave?
All this for $15.00 an hour, I lasted nine months. The people after me stayed for two.

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Worth Trying !

by bdc_aca In reply to Asleep at the wheel.

The worst thing I encountered was when I became a floating employee. I was new to the company I was working a few years back. It seems everyone there knows how to create a program, repair a pc and administer a network. Some employee's even tested my ability to trouble shoot. One of the company's supervisor also decided to downgrade himself as a plant supervisor to an EDP Staff - Programmer. The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Company and the Labor Union was at a deadlock stage. I had no one to turn to but I stayed to prove my worth.

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Great Link Jay to something that no longer exists

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to My scariest IT job ever.. ...

But I haven't had a Really Scary IT job ever a few off putting, like walking into Prisons and the like but I knew that I was going there anyway.

One of the funnest ones was at a Womans Prison where I was told that my screwdrivers where Deadly Weapons so I couldn't take them in so I suggested that they just bring the Mainframe down to me and let me work on it in the secure area between the 2 gates. So they relented and they was me caring 3 tools boxes and spares into the Prison and being lead by a Trustee who was only in there for a Triple Murder with all my Deadly Weapons in my tool box.

But the worst job that I've ever done was in a Youth Offenders Intuition these are really Prisons for young people and they are Dangerous with adults they are unlikely to attack you so you can have a degree of trust and you know that you are going to be relatively safe while in there but at the Youth Offenders places this is all different as you have out of control children who are capable of anything so you always have one of the Guards to protect you walk you into the area where you are going and then you get locked in. At one of these places their main Computer Room was sort of in the Girls Quarters and as I got there early in the morning I was the first to sign in for the day and I signed in on the last line of the page. I was taken to where I needed to go and then left to work away which I preferred without a Guard constantly looking over my shoulder asking why I'm doing such & such. At these places I worked through the day until the end of the day and then someone came and walked me out of the place and I singed out at the back gate.

On this occasion I was working away quite happily and saw a lot of commotion going on outside but didn't give it a second thought this was sometime around midday and when no one had arrived by 6.00 PM I was getting more than a bit concerned. These rooms are virtually sound proof so it's dark quite and there is no way out because of everything is in place to keep people in I didn't even have a light switch in this room so once Lights Out happened I would have been in the dark in every sense of the word except for the glow from a monitor. Now in these places you couldn't walk in and out as you pleased so you needed to carry in every conceivable part and this was in the days before Cell Phones so I was literally stuck there and besides the sealed windows there was only a peep hole in the door looking in.

Anyway a few what felt like hours latter I heard a very faint noise outside the door so I made as much noise as possible generally trying to kick the door out and I got to see someone look inside the door so I figured that everything was going to be OK.

Several minutes latter the door opened and I was greeted by 2 Trained Gorillas these guys where so big that they had to stoop and turn sideways to get through the door and when they both got inside the room completely blocking the Door I was asked "What Are You Doing Here?" The tools & Spare Parts weren't a good enough reason for me being in there and the Security Badge meant nothing to these two and I wasn't about to start an argument either as I didn't fancy my chances of getting out of the building if I could even manage to get past these two. So I just said "Whatever You Think I'm doing here I'm doing." They then went on to insist that I was not signed to which I had to disagree with then things started to get hairy as they wanted to know how I had got there and I told them that the company car was outside here are the Keys so you can check it out there is a big sign down each side with the company name on it. They took the keys and then asked for the registration number which I had no idea of as we swapped the service cars around with the field techs when they where out on the road we would have one in the office and restock it with parts and then we would just transfer our tool boxes between cars so we never had a regular Company Car. I just said well the one I'm driving now has a number 3 on the upper left Hand Side of the Front Windscreen but I really have no idea of what the Rego Number is. I offered to take them to the back gate and show them where I had signed in but that wasn't going to happen in the short term. They then asked who had signed me in as I wasn't in the book which I insisted I was and I had no idea of who the woman was who signed me in but I could give a general description and time of when I got there. This allowed them to workout who was on duty and she had to come in to verify that I was actually who I said I was and then when I was eventually Identified I was allowed out and then they had to go through all the messing around of finding my name in the Book which they couldn't do as they didn't look back any further than the beginning of the page eventually I had to show them where I had signed in sign out and get the Hell Out of the Place. As I wasn't a field tech but the Service Manager it made it hard to give a phone number for a company contact point to prove that I was who I said I was they needed the persons name who had sent me there and that was me. Which was written n my diary on my workbench at work where by that time everyone had gone home for the day. Apparently the woman on the latter shift had forgotten all about me being in there when a couple of the inmates escaped and I had become invisible to the system. By that time even the woman who had organised for one of our techs to go there for some service work had left for the day and they couldn't be bothered ringing her up as they couldn't disturb a Bureaucrat but my company people where quite acceptable to disturb. I gave then the Sales Managers Name & phone number but because he didn't know where I was actually going that day it wasn't enough proof that I was who I said I was and all the identification on me didn't make any difference either not even the company photo ID or my Drivers License also with a Photo ID and I was accused of forging the official Visitors Card that I was wearing. They acted as if I was responsible for the escape that day or was somehow involved which was ridiculous.

Anyway after 2 of their gate staff had been brought into prove that they knew that I was in the place everything was accepted that I was who I said I was and I was allowed to leave but only after being told Never to Do this Again. It's as if I was to blame that some Id10T had forgotten that I was working in there.

That was the first visit to this particular place and because I always went to these places to make sure that my staff would be OK this made things worse but it also gave me a really good excuse to refuse to allow any of my staff to attend this place ever again until they had introduced some better practises of knowing who was working in the place so that they never lost someone again.

It wasn't actually scary but more worrying as I didn't want any of my staff put into that position and while it was obvious that I wasn't one of the escaped inmates of the place the Security was just stupid. As I said to the woman who rang me the next day to apologise for any inconvenience that I suffered [she actually thought it was one of my staff] I couldn't allow any of my staff to go there again till there was something better put in place to allow everyone concerned somehow knowing who was working in there. Honestly in a prison I never had a problem like that and I said as much. The next 5 service calls I took and I didn't allow any of my staff in there till I was happy with the changed practises so I was sure that none of them could ever be lost again like I was.


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