* Posts by Moonrunner

8 posts • joined 8 Mar 2020

I got 99 problems, and all of them are your fault


Modem reset causes printer issues

Working as a Bob for a small ISP, way back when, this was 'Tuesday'. My favourite was when the client blamed powercycling his modem for a laser printer failure at the other end of the house.


Re: Ambush

There maybe a reason for that. Our company's CRM support team has a 6-8 months turnaround time for support requests. No, I'm not kidding. It really is 6-8 months, 25-33 weeks, 175-231 days, 4200-5544 hours.... You get the point... That's why our department (handful of people) also keeps a separate record of open tickets (ticket number, date opened, actual issue), so when we hear back from one of them over something that happened 6-8 months ago, we ambush them and ask them to look into the other dozen tickets that have been piling up since then. That's how we once got a fix for a ticket that's only been sitting for like 3 weeks!

Don'tcha just LOVE meetings? Microsoft does, too, so here are some new Teams features, you lucky, lucky people


Re: Meetings, Bloody Meetings

Some days I'm attending so many meetings, I literally don't have the time to get my ACTUAL work done. This only started when we went remote. Before then, we may have done like 1hr a day, on average. Now, I've had some days where I'm booked up for 5-6 hours.

Pandemic proves just the tonic for PC sales as shipments shoot upwards


Re: "restocking their supplies back to near-normal levels"

Yeah, I'm running an i7-3770 rig with 32 gigs of RAM, that's like 7-8 years old. The only upgrade (other than the peripherals) was going from SSD+HDD to 2xSSD when the HDD crapped out a couple of years ago. Since I don't do gaming, I really don't see myself needing any upgrades for at least another 5 years.

Soft press keys for locked-down devs: Three new models of old school 60-key Happy Hacking 'board out next month


Re: Alternatives?

You could go for a Unicomp. Old-school IBM-style keyboards. Great ergonomics and your typing will be heard by the entire neighbourhood. Their international shipping can get pretty expensive. Periodically they get good deals on international shipping (I think in November) and they appear on Drop, from time to time.

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2


In Canada, it's still 'cheque'... So only one English-speaking country, that I know of, uses the word 'check'

Disk stuck in the drive? Don't dilly-Dali – get IT on the case!


Re: Firebombing

I'm betting that 90's HP printer still works, to this day. Same goes with my turn of the century Brother. If you want it, you'll have to Heston it (*) from me!

(Take it from my cold dead hands - Charlton Heston's NRA speech)


#1 rule of tech support - Customers lie

Starting out in the industry as a Bob for a small, independent ISP, renting the big telco's lines for last mile access, I had a runin with the BLFH (Bastard Luser From Hell). He was complaining about intermittent connectivity and slow speeds. I ran the basic diagnostics, and what seemed odd was that his numbers should look rosy , considering that he was pretty close to 'the good kind of remote', so that usually involved CPE or ISW issues. So, I went through a checklist with the luser...

-Is your modem plugged directly into the phone jack (no splitters, extension cords, etc etc etc)?


-What is the make and model of your modem?

-[I forget which one he said, but it was a good BCM-based modem, that performed well with all types of the telco's remotes]

-Which phone jack is it plugged into [multiple questions, boiling down to this]:

-[The luser indicated the jack that the telco installer put in for DSL Internet only]

-Are you using a 7'/2.1m or shorter phone cord to connect the modem to the phone jack?


We ended up trying various things to get the customer the speed and stability that he was paying for, based on the perfect install, perfect remote, perfect equipment, etc etc etc. The process took weeks, involved us paying the diagnostic fee to the telco since their tech found nothing wrong on their end and even sending out a freebie modem to the customer. I was already getting pissed at having a ticket in my bin for weeks, so I decided to revisit some earlier questions...

-How long is the phone cord from the modem to the jack?

-Oh, about 30' (10m)

-[in my head]: FUMOFOFUIHPUDIEMFFU, etc etc etc

After chucking out that Dollarama grade 30' phone cord meant to allow grandma to use her rotary dial phone while shuffling around the Victorian home, not for 50Mbps DSL Internet, and replacing it with the cord that came with the modem, there was a marked improvement in speed and stability. I did give the client a politely-worded lecture about how cheap Ethernet cables are and how much pointless diagnostics time we would have saved, had he 'given me accurate information' during the initial call.

Lesson for those of you starting out in a helpdesk/support role:

#1 Rule of tech support is that CUSTOMERS LIE

Don't ask them any leading questions. Be very specific (look at the difference between the initial question and the question I asked the second time around) and let them hang themselves. Also document everything. That customer did complain to the management about how long and arduous process of sorting him out was and implied that it was due to my incompetence. Fortunately, I took detailed ticket notes, which the management reviewed and ended up firing the customer, instead. Then they gave me the spiel about the #1 rule.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020