Addons and DLC will not help you here…

Wow… so good to see all the familiar nametags again… Used to be TrueTenacity… but times and life have changed…


Just had a call from a user working remotely that managed to lock out the password. User needs the password reset yesterday as he’s on a deadline and needs to work.

I verify and reset the password only for him to still be unable to log in.

“Are you putting in the password I just gave you?”
“Yes, it’s not working though”
“What password are you using?”
“$password I gave him plus extra characters pulled from the ether”
“The password is $password, not what you’re putting in, try that one.”
“Wow… it worked! Thanks!”

Apparently They Think They’re Famous

A breed of starfish that is getting worse (in fact, it’s pretty much all of them now) are those who literally think that if they tell me “Hi, it’s Dave from Luserville”, I’ll know exactly who this is and there is no need to tell me their last name.

We might have three Dave’s in one location alone. Or, failing that, we might have three to five locations in Luserville that “Dave” might work at. And for whatever reason, it’s getting increasingly annoying to have to ask them for their last name, not because it takes so much effort to do so, but because it takes so little effort for them to just tell me their full name when they call. I also detest the assumption that I’ll know exactly who they are. There are maybe five users whose voices are instantly recognizable, or who work in a small enough location that I will instantly know which of them is calling.

But here’s an example of why they should never assume I know who they are: I have a user who calls frequently and for the longest time she was the only one with her name who called, so “Hi, it’s Brunhilda” was usually enough to go by. For the record, Brunhilda (not her real name) was the designated liaison for IT in her office, not just a trouble-magnet or -maker. However, one day I was well into a call with another Brunhilda before I realized I wasn’t talking to the one I generally hear from (even their voices sounded alike!).

So, please, starfish, tell me your first and last name, please!

Strange Cheetah Behavior

“Strange Cheetah Behavior.” I don’t work in a zoo, but that was the title of a trouble ticket assigned to me. Now Cheetah is the code name for one of our internal systems, so that was actually the only word in the title that conveys any meaning, and it did fall within my purview.

I studied the details in the ticket, and it sounded like a genuine bug to me. I kicked it over to the developer who supports that software, and he replied with this unhelpful but probably accurate disposition: “Works as designed.” I then discussed it with the developer’s manager, who filled me in on the background on why Cheetah was designed the way it was.

So I closed the issue and told the submitter three things:

  1. Works as designed. The designers did not have your use case in mind and I can see why you want changes. If you want to pursue this, reopen it as an enhancement request rather than a bug report.
  2. Your department has a history of ignoring some of the data coming out of this system. Unless there are changes on your end, all we’ll accomplish would be ignoring the data faster. (Yes, I actually wrote that in my comment in Jira.)
  3. This last one I didn’t put in writing. But I told them to give the new issue a more descriptive title than “Strange Cheetah Behavior”, or else I would have to assign it to a wildlife psychologist.

People really do think we’re magicians…

It’s early. I’m the only one here. Hardly any offices are open, but we have to have an early guy both in case someone does call and also to work on imaging computers, and this week that’s me.

I’m in the middle of imaging three different machines when I notice there’s a ticket in the queue, and it’s not one of those automatically generated warnings that I can essentially ignore. It’s a VIP asking me to remote to a user’s computer and figure out why she keeps losing connection.

Okay, a few things…

First, I cannot remotely connect to a user’s computer without their permission. Even if I wanted to. Our program prevents this. And needless to say, this VIP did not have the login credentials I would need to get into her computer.

Second, even if I could, an issue like random disconnects is something that should really be looked at in person. Sure, I can check settings, change any that look wrong and do a network analysis, etc., but chances are good that it’s something environmental causing this issue (and the fact that she’s the only one having it doubles the chances that it’s something physical and near her).

Third, if she really is losing connection like this, and I’m connected to her remotely, I’ll lose connection as well, and that means getting her to log me back in, etc. once her connection is restored. Even doing something like an IP release/renew would cut me off from her computer.

I called the VIP, who seemed surprised to hear from me. She literally thought I could remote into that computer, work my magic and fix it. In fact, she specifically wanted it done now because the user is in meetings all morning and she thought it would give me all the time I needed to root around looking for a solution! Yeah, sorry, but the user not being there makes things harder, not easier. Even for issues that aren’t about connectivity, there might be restarts necessary, and I might need to login as the user, meaning the user has to be there in case I can’t get reconnected or we need their login.

But apparently I’m a magician and I should be able to figure out a way around these things…