Two Truths and a Lie: ‘IT Stories’ Edition

Do you remember playing Two Truths and a Lie in school? You’d tell people two true facts about yourself and make up one lie, then everyone had to guess which one was the lie. It can be pretty entertaining, so we thought we’d throw together a little round based off of IT Stories submitted by our customers.

On the Interchange IT Podcast, McKay and Steve played a few rounds of the game. Play along with them below. Keep track of which story you think is made up! (Answers at the bottom.)

Round 1: A magnetic vault, a power switch, and a floppy disk

  1. Back in the old days, I knew a system administrator who took care of the backups. He was very thorough with his plans and even tested the procedures after backup. He kept the backup tapes at home for offsite storage in an electronic vault. One day, he needed to perform a restore of some very important data, but when he tried to restore the data from the tape, it was scrambled. Apparently, the magnets in the vault ruined the tapes.
  2. A colleague accidentally turned off the power to the whole company when he flipped a switch. He thought he was just turning off the light in the room.
  3. A user submitted a help desk ticket saying he couldn’t get his files off his drive. I went over to witness him trying to find a spot to insert a floppy disk into his 2017 MacBook Pro.

Round 2: A logoff notification, a printer mistake, and a crying baby

  1. I once sent a logoff notification to a user, who then didn’t logoff. When I called her to ask why she didn’t logoff when she received the message, she replied, “I thought the message wasn’t for me.”
  2. One of my colleagues was asked to disable a printer in a workspace console. He disabled all printers in the building by mistake.
  3. I got an emergency help desk ticket. When I got to the woman’s office, she was holding her crying baby. She informed me that her nanny was sick and she had to jump into a very important meeting. I guess she assumed IT doubled as the babysitting department.

Round 3: A fly, a misspelling, and a migration gone bad

  1. A user complained that there was a buzzing sound coming from their computer. I could hear the buzzing, but I couldn’t figure out what was happening. After a while, I realized the buzzing was actually coming from her filing cabinet next to her computer. I opened the drawer and a fly flew out.
  2. When I started with my current company, the IT skills were lacking for our users. I wanted to get the IP from them and asked to ipconfig and then enter. After a few minutes, nothing happened. I asked them to spell what they typed, and they responded with “I-P-C-O-N-F-I-G-E-N-T-E-R”.
  3. Once day, we were doing a major migration from one data center to the other. Right in the middle of it, the internet got disconnected due to weather conditions. It was a nightmare.

Round 4: USB keyboard troubles, stress relief, and a rogue mouse

  1. A remote user was in town with their laptop. They had no problem connecting to the WIFI, but for some reason, the USB keyboard at the desk wasn’t working. When I arrived to troubleshoot the issue, I found that the user had plugged the keyboard into his laptop Ethernet port.
  2. At my last helpdesk, I received a service request from someone saying that their laptop didn’t come with the software they wanted. I asked him what software he’d like and he responded “Just Microsoft Paint, I use it to decompress at the end of the day.”
  3. I received a support ticket from a user who received a new laptop a few days before. She said he mouse wasn’t working. When I arrived, she was aggravated that her mouse wasn’t working and she yelled at me, demanding that I take her new laptop away and bring her a new one. Without saying a word, I grab her mouse, replace the batteries, and power cycle it. The mouse immediately started working. I gave her the mouse and walked out of her office without saying a word.

Round 5: A gemstone, a bridge port, and fresh batteries

  1. I received a help desk ticket from a remote user who couldn’t get their trackpad to click anymore. I tried reinstalling the trackpad software, but it still wasn’t working. The user brought their laptop into the office the next day and I immediately saw the issue. The user placed a 5mm tall gemstone over the webcam. When you closed the laptop, the gemstone would jam into the trackpad and keep the lid from fully closing.
  2. It was my first day and they asked me to patch a user’s machine, so I connected a patch cable from the user’s port into an empty switch port. I thought nothing of it, as it was in the middle of the switch that all other machines were plugged in around. Turns out, this was a special bridge port that if connected to defaulted the entire building’s internet connection through that port. I brought down the company’s email, intranet, and databases on my first day in a record time of 30 minutes.
  3. I once received an email from a remote employee saying their laptop was dead. They asked what type of batteries they needed to fix it, Double AA or Triple AAA batteries.

Round 6: A virus, printing a movie, and a reptile aficionado

  1. One day, I received a frantic email from a user saying the thought their computer had caught a virus. They had heard many other co-workers talk about catching the virus too. Worried, I went down to his desk to check what was going on. Turns out it was just flu season and people were out sick with a virus.
  2. At the helpdesk, I received a ticket one day about a user having printing issues, but with no specific details. When I visited him, he showed me a printed picture and said he was unable to print the entire file, it just came out as one picture. I asked him what he was trying to print and he replied, “A movie file that my daughter enjoys.” “Print a movie, why???” I ask. He stated he wants to be able to watch the movie from the piece of paper anywhere. I informed the user that that’s not how printers work and he’ll want to buy a tablet to watch movies.
  3. While working on the company helpdesk, I once got a call from an employee telling us there was a snake in the parking garage. I’m not sure what he expected the IT Help Desk to do about that, but luckily, my supervisor happened to be a reptile aficionado. He grabbed an empty box and went outside to catch the snake.

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