If I got paid by the complaint and not the hour, I’d be a millionaire. I lost count my first week here with all the “my internet’s not working” calls. I’d say only about 1/3 of them come from actual network outages; mostly because we let everyone know when it happens so they DON’T call us. Because what I want while I’m trying to fix everything is answer a million phone calls from angry people who can’t get into the systems. Most of the time, people take it personally when the internet or intranet is down, and they are not happy. If I’ve got an angry person yelling at me every 5 minutes, I’m clearly not going to have time to get my job done and actually fix the problem…
Most of the time, it’s for something dumb like they accidentally turned off their wireless capabilities (I’m looking at you, telecommuters). You have to tell them where to look for the little network icon and they get all indignant. Then you get them to turn it back on and it miraculously solves the problem. At that point, though, they’re usually so relieved that they haven’t accidentally broken the computer and they now have everything back up that they will either apologize or thank you. I don’t mind those calls because they only take a few minutes to work through.
Then there’s my favorite, the network cable being unplugged. You would think people would check that before they call me but you’d be wrong. Sometimes it isn’t the employee’s fault—they’ve moved desks or something and tech is supposed to reconnect everything and they just…don’t for some reason or other. Maybe the cleaning people accidentally knocked something loose. But a lot of the time people get fidgety and kick it out, drop something and go digging blindly around under their desks, or decide to rearrange their desk and the stupid little plastic thing on their Ethernet cable pops out or breaks off. I’ll usually hold up the cord and say, “See this?” before explaining what it is and why it needs to be attached. I would imagine these people have computers at home so I am not sure how they get anything solved there. Those people usually just mutter an embarrassed apology and I can go back to the tech dungeon where my office is located.
Every once in awhile, we have to shut everything down because people have done something awesome like clicked on a phishing link or something equally as stupid and infect their computer. We have a shutdown procedure while we get the infected computer disconnected and that’s always fun. People call to find out why their internet isn’t working and we’re all, “Yeah, tell your idiot coworker that there’s no Nigerian prince looking for money…” Usually they can’t believe it happened again—we can’t, either—but that’s out of our hands. Then we usually all have a good laugh at their coworker’s expense and get on with our days.
Sometimes, though, we get complaints that the internet is down but it’s really the firewall. “I can’t get online.” Yeah? Try this site. “Oh that works.” OK, so where were you trying to go? “Facebook.” Uh. That’s a violation of employee conduct. “But it’s for work! I network there!” Yeah, I don’t care. No facebook for you! Check it on your phone like a normal person, would you? Oh that’s right—you can’t because we don’t allow cell signals in the building (insert evil villain laugh here). So go outside on your lunchbreak and check it on your phone then! Get some sunshine and leave me alone!
Take me, for example. I’m writing this on my tablet while I eat my lunch out here in the sunshine.