Don't Let Crazy Help Desk Questions Cramp Your Summer Style

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2016-06-24
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    1 - Don't Let Crazy Help Desk Questions Cramp Your Summer Style

    Don't Let Crazy Help Desk Questions Cramp Your Summer Style

    Help desk requests coming into IT can be a bit crazy and off the wall all year-round. Based on SolarWinds research, we present some examples.
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    2 - If You Knew the Answer, Why Did You Ask?

    If You Knew the Answer, Why Did You Ask?

    IT: Have you rebooted it?
    End User: I knew you were going to ask that!
    IT: Well, have you?
    End User: No. I'll call you back if there's still an issue after I try that.
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    3 - Have You Tried 'Wi-Seven'?

    Have You Tried 'Wi-Seven'?

    End User: My "Wi-Five" is being really slow. Can you upgrade it?
    IT: Do you mean your WiFi?
    End User: No. The Wi-Five. It's been slow all week.
    IT: We could upgrade you to Wi-Six?
    End User: Yes, please. Thank you.
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    4 - 'Wireless' Just Means It Runs on Magic

    'Wireless' Just Means It Runs on Magic

    End User: My mouse doesn't work.
    IT: You recently got a new one, is that right?
    End User: Yes, and now it doesn't work, so I need another new one.
    IT: Did you check the batteries? Maybe they just need to be changed.
    End User: It doesn't have batteries.
    IT: But isn't it a wireless mouse?
    End User: Right. So why would it use batteries?
    IT: I'll be right there.
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    5 - End User: My Monitor Is Broken

    End User: My Monitor Is Broken

    IT: OK. Can you tell more about what you're experiencing?
    End User: It turns on, but there's nothing on the screen.
    IT: Can you please confirm that the cable from the monitor to your computer is securely attached?
    End User: I already did that; it's connected.
    IT: Does the settings menu pop up when you press one of the buttons off to the right of the screen?
    End User: Yes.
    IT: Try looking at the brightness setting. What is it set at?
    End User: Oh. Never mind, it's working now.
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    6 - Cup Holder Not Included

    Cup Holder Not Included

    End User: Can you help fix my cup holder?
    IT: Cup holder? We are a technical support desk for your servers and PCs.
    End User: I know that! The cup holder I am having issues with is part of my PC.
    IT: OK. Can you describe the issue to me?
    End User: When I press the button that normally opens my cup holder, it doesn't open. It just flashes a little green light at me and makes an odd grinding sound.
    IT: Can you read what is written on the front of the cup holder tray that usually opens?
    End User: Yes, it says DVD ROM. What does that mean?
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    7 - Pretty Sure That's Not an Email Domain

    Pretty Sure That's Not an Email Domain

    End User: My email isn't working. Can you help?
    IT: Sure. What's happening?
    End User: It keeps giving me an "undeliverable" message.
    IT: What's the email address?
    End User: 1234 County Road.
    IT: That's a postal address.
    End User: I know. That's what I'm saying. It won't send.
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    8 - Don't Get Your Wires Crossed

    Don't Get Your Wires Crossed

    End User: Neither my mouse nor my keyboard is working.
    IT: OK. I'm sorry. Before we bring new ones up, we just need to try to troubleshoot real quick. Can you please check to make sure they're plugged into the back of your PC securely?
    End User: Sure—one second. Oh. I think they'll work now.
    IT: Had they just come unplugged?
    End User: Uh, no. They were plugged in.
    IT: So, what did you find that appears to be the issue?
    End User: Well, they were plugged in, but I guess I plugged them into the wrong place?
    IT: The wrong place? There really should only be a couple of USB ports on the back.
    End User: Yeah, they were plugged into USB ports, just not mine.
    IT: Do you mean they were plugged into the workstation next to yours?
    End User: Uh, yeah. I guess so.
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    9 - Size Matters

    Size Matters

    IT: OK. Let's insert the first disk.
    End User: OK, done.
    IT: At the prompt, press enter.
    End User: It says it's not found.
    IT: OK, no problem. Let's try the next disk
    End User: It says "disk read error."
    IT: OK, we'll try the next one.
    End User: OK, but it's a very tight fit, and I'm having a hard time closing the door.
    IT:  What?
    End User: Should I be removing the other disks?
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    10 - Dark Side of the Monitor

    Dark Side of the Monitor

    End User: My Internet isn't working.
    IT: OK, when you open your browser, what happens?
    End User: Nothing.
    IT: Does the browser open? If so …
    End User: No, it doesn't open. In fact, there's nothing on my screen.
    IT: Okay, I understand. Is the monitor powered on?
    End User: No. There's nothing on the screen at all. I can't even see the power button.
    IT: It should be located on the bottom right side of the monitor and it looks …
    End User: I know what it looks like, but it's dark in here.
    IT: It's dark?
    End User: Yes. All of the lights are off.
    IT: Uh, is there currently power at your site?
    End User: No. The power is out.
    IT: I think that could be the problem.

Longer days, shorter nights, higher temperatures and vacations. Yes, summer is in full swing, but that doesn't mean the IT professional's job gets any easier. Every day of the year, IT pros must handle tasks big and small, including the occasional unbelievably wacky end-user help desk request. So, to celebrate the start of summer—and perhaps remind end users that even though the month of June signals the beginning of fun in the sun, IT professionals are still hard at work—SolarWinds asked its THWACK community of more than 125,000 IT professionals to share some of their craziest help desk requests. Based on the SolarWinds survey responses, eWEEK compiled this slide show. Some of these requests may sound familiar, but all will probably make you cringe. Whatever your reaction, it's important to remember not to let end users cramp your summer style. Some of the best practices gleaned from the study include being in the know; measuring and providing feedback; documenting every interaction; automating as much as you can; clearly defining and communicating your help desk process and service-level agreements; and enabling end-users to help themselves.


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