If you’ve worked in IT for any amount of time, you are probably aware of this story: An issue arises—the application team blames the database, the database admin blames the systems, the systems admin blames the network, and the network team blames the application. A classic tale of finger pointing!
But, it’s now always the admins fault. We can’t forget about the users—often the weakest link in the network.
Over the years, I think I’ve heard it all. Here are some interesting stories that I’ll never forget:
Poor wireless range
User: Since we moved houses, my laptop isn’t finding my wireless signal.
Me: Did you reconfigure your router at the new location?
User: Reconfigure…what router?
The user had been using their neighbors signal at their previous house. I guess they just assumed they had free Wi-Fi? However, this was almost a decade ago when people were unaware that they could secure their Wi-Fi.
Why isn’t my Wireless working?
User: So, I bought a wireless router and configured it, but my desktop isn’t picking up the signal.
Me: Alright, can you go to ‘Network Connections’ and check if your wireless adapter is enabled?
User: Wait, I need a wireless adapter?
I was at work and one of my coworkers…let’s call him the hyper enthusiastic newbie. Anyway, the test lab was under construction, lab devices were being configured and the production network wasn’t connected to the lab yet. After hours of downtime, the hyper enthusiastic newbie came to me and said:
Newbie: I configured the switch, and then I wanted to test it.
Newbie: I connected port 1 from our lab switch to a port on the production switch. It worked.
Newbie: And then to test the 2nd port, I connected it to another port on the production switch.
This is a practical lesson on what switching loopbacks can do to the network
Not your average VoIP trouble
A marketing team member’s VoIP phone goes missing. An ARP lookup showed that the phone was on a sales reps desk. The user decided to borrow the phone for her calls because hers wasn’t working. Like I said, not your average VoIP trouble.
One of my personal favorites: Where's my email?
User: As you can see I haven’t received any email today.
Admin: Can you try expanding the option which says today?
Well, at least it was a simple fix.
Dancing pigs over reading warning messages
So, a user saw wallpaper of a ‘cute dog’ online. They decided to download and install it despite the 101 warning signs that his system threw at him. Before they knew it…issues started to arise: Malware, data corruption, and soon every system was down. Oh my!
Bring your own wireless
The self-proclaimed techie user plugs in his wireless travel router that also has DHCP enabled. This DHCP also first responds to a client that asks for an IP. As you all know, this can lead to complete Mayhem and is very difficult to troubleshoot.
Excuse me, the network is slow
I hear it all the time and for a number of reasons:
Me: What exactly is performing slowly?
User: This download was fine. But, after I reached the office, it has stopped.
Me: That is because torrents are blocked in our network.
That was an employee with very high expectations.
Often, our office provides a larger sized monitor to users who are not happy with their laptop screen size. That said:
User: My extra monitor displays nothing but the light is on.
Me: Er, you need to connect your laptop to the docking station.
User: But I am on wireless now!
Due to all these instances, user education has been a priority at work. However, these situations still continue to happen. What are your stories? We’d love to hear them.