Tips for being a better user

-or- "My former life in IS support"

When you call us to have your computer moved, be sure to leave it buried under half a ton of postcards, baby pictures, stuffed animals, dried flowers, bowling trophies, and children's art. We don't have a life, and we find it deeply moving to catch a fleeting glimpse of yours.

Don't write anything down. Ever. We can play back the error messages from here.

When we say "I'm coming right over", go for coffee. That way you won't be there when we need your password. It's nothing for us to remember 300 screen saver passwords.

When we send out an e-mail marked important, delete it at once. We're just testing.

When I am eating lunch at my desk, walk right in and spill your guts right out. IS exists only to serve.

Send urgent e-mail in UPPERCASE. The mail server picks it up and flags it as a rush delivery.

When the photocopier doesn't work, call computer Support. There's electronics in it.

When you're getting a NO DIAL TONE message at home, call computer support. We can fix your telephone line from work.

When something's wrong with your home PC, dump it on an IS person's chair with no name, no phone number and no description of the problem. We love a puzzle.

When an IS person tells you that computer screens don't have cartridges in them, argue. We love a good argument.

When an IS person tells you that he'll be there shortly, reply in a scathing tone of voice, "And just how many weeks do you mean by shortly?" That motivates us.

When the printer won't print, re-send the job at least 20 times. Print jobs frequently get sucked into black holes.

When the printer still won't print after 20 tries, send the job to all 68 printers in the company. One of them is bound to work.

Don't learn the proper name for anything technical. We know exactly what you mean by "my thingy blew up".

Don't use on-line help. On-line help is for wimps.

If the mouse cable keeps knocking down the framed picture of your dog, lift the computer and stuff the cable under it. Mouse cables were designed to have 20 kilograms of computer sitting on top of them.

If the space bar on your keyboard doesn't work, blame it on the mail upgrade.

Keyboards are actually very happy with half a pound of muffin crumbs and nail clippings in them.

When you get a message saying "Are you sure?", click on that Yes button as fast as you can. Heck, if you weren't sure, you wouldn't be doing it, would you?

Feel perfectly free to say things like "I don't know nothing about that computer crap". We don't mind at all hearing our area of professional expertise referred to as crap.

When you need to change the toner cartridge in a printer, call IS support. Changing a toner cartridge is an extremely complex task, and Hewlett-Packard recommends that it be performed only by a professional engineer with a master's degree in nuclear physics.

When you have a lock to pick on an old file cabinet, call IS Support. We love to hack.

When something's the matter with your computer, ask your secretary to call the help desk. We enjoy the challenge of having to deal with a third party who doesn't know anything about the problem.

When you receive a 30 MB movie file, send it to everyone as a mail attachment. We've got lots of disk space on that mail server.

Don't even think of breaking large print jobs down into smaller chunks. Somebody else might get a chance to squeeze a memo into the queue.

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