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Tales From The IT Support Industry

May 31, 2008
Working in the London IT support for many years you tend to pick up a large number of anecdotes from others who work in London. It is only when you can get together with other IT support professionals that you find out about some of the funniest stories that people have accumulated during their careers. While we are professionals and know our stuff in the world of IT, it is still humorous when we get some of the stranger requests from business and domestic users in the London area.

A classic story from the IT support industry comes from the days of diskks and diskettes, a method of data transfer which is pretty much non existent nowadays. Anyway, back in the days of disks a friend of mine was working in his London office when a woman came in requesting IT support help with a five inch disk in her hand asking for information to be retrieved from it. Unfortunately for the hapless user, she was behind the times somewhat and the office had been using 3.5 inch disks for some time. On being told this, and before anyone could stop her, she took a pair of scissors to the disk to 'cut it down to size' so it would fit in the drive.

The IT support industry is especially full of humorous anecdotes, seemingly the majority of them in London. Another of my co-IT workers once told me story that has somehow found a place in the IT support industry hall of fame. During the eighties when computers were becoming popular in the financial district of London, this particular support worker was called by a man telling him that "his computer had frozen". The IT guy, rather jokingly stated that it was probably because the computer was cold. Understandably, after he had headed to see this user to fix the problem the IT support worker was flabbergasted to find that user had wrapped a jacket around the computer in order to keep it warm. At this point the IT guy couldn't help but laugh.

Those poor IT support technicians who work in the phone response centres probably have the worst time of it in terms uneducated users. Phone service are extremely profitable though, especially in the London area where my friend managed to make a mint with a company that sent out technicians and provided phone support for business and domestic users all around the London region. Some of the anecdotes he picked up along the way were also pretty valuable.

One of his workers had a caller who phoned in a state of panic claiming that the internet was under attack. The caller had apparently already called the London emergency services to report his findings and they had said to phone an IT support company instead. After calming the caller down the worker got to the bottom of the problem; the caller had inadvertently turned off the cookies after installing a new internet browser meaning that his internet connection would not work properly. A swift resolution was found and the somewhat sheepish caller then said to forget about the supposed attack.

The phone operator is inundated with rather pointless calls; a great call that has gone down in history came in asking the IT support worker where the computer's other cup holder was. The rather bemused operator asked sarcastically about "the other cupholder?" wondering about the sanity of the caller at the other end of the line. After the caller said it was the one that comes out of the PC it all became somewhat clearer. Once the technician had recomposed himself he told the caller that this was not a cupholder and was in fact used for inserting CDs into the computer.

With great stories like this I don't think anyone will be able to say that the IT support industry is a boring one to work in. There are many in the business who often have to stifle their laughter at the enquiries of users. That said, it is a serious industry that provides a valuable service to computer users who are stuck with a problem.
About the Author
Technology expert Thomas Pretty looks into the humorous anecdotes provided by IT support London services.
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