SysAdmin Horror Stories

*Cue wolf howling in the background

We’ve all heard spooky tales of hardware stored in rooms where the temperature was up to 140 degrees, servers drowning because someone left the window open during a rainstorm, and IT tickets that made the hair on the back of an admin's neck stand up..

Tell us about the strangest request you’ve ever gotten, the dumbest question a user ever asked, or those days when Murphy's law seemed to only apply to you.

Write a short SysAdmin horror story in the comment box below to complete this activity for the July Mission and earn 150 points!

Anonymous
Parents
  • Ok so I've been asked by a friend about this story and I told him that I would post it here for all to enjoy.

    So backstory. I was in the Navy (Firecontrolman 'FC') working on USS Big Ass Carrier on the weapons network. The operations specialists (OS) sat at Q70 consoles (reference: http://www.q70.com/products/cnd1.htm) and would call us about all kinds of stupid problems (one time I pulled a completely intact gummy bear out of the keyboard...no idea how it got there! but I digress).

    One day I was in the shop manning the phones and our maintenance console while we were doing a complete system reset after transitioning the system from training to tactical. (A full system reset takes 30-45 minutes to complete) After the system was back up in tactical the phone rang:

    OS: Hey the VAB screen (the touch screens to the left and bottom of the main monitor) went out.

    Me: holding my hand over the phone Hey guys...you just did a system wide reset right?! So the Q70s have been idle for 30ish minutes right?! OK!

    (note that these touch screen monitors have a default screen timeout if not disabled. the screen is asleep)


    I grab our "tool kit" (a large old brown briefcase fool of completely random tools and screws and stuff) from our shop (on the 03 level) and decide to go visit this console on the 08 level.


    Supervisor: The VAB screen timed out? Did you ask him if he TOUCHED the screen lately?

    Me: Nope

    Supervisor: Why are you taking the WHOLE tool kit? Up 5 levels?

    Me: Oh I don't know...just cuz

    I get up there and ask the OS what the issue is.

    OS: The VAB screen is black I have no buttons!! It needs replaced!!

    Me: yup it's black alright.

    I take the large briefcase and throw it up on the plotting table and open it up and stare into the abyss of tools and crap inside. I reach down into the bottom and grab a handful of of random screws, nuts, bolts, washers and then cup my hands together around them (like I were going to shake a pair of dice). I walk over to the console and look at the two OS's standing there watching me.


    Me: You're going to want to stand back.

    I tilt my head back, take a deeeeep breath and then start chanting and speaking in tongues while shaking the handful of screws and nuts around over my head and over the console and over the screen.

    Me: "AAHHHHH SHAAAAMALAMALAMA DING bang shammmooooon" etc

    OSs: eyes wide, mouths partially open

    I then opened my hands and threw the handful of junk along the keyboard so they basically went everywear. I took my finger and quickly jabbed it at the touch screen, at which point it flickered back on (waking the monitor up from sleep mode). Without saying another word I scooped up the screws and bolts and threw them back in the case, closed it and walked about of the room to stunned silence. By the time I got down the five sets of laders to my shop my supervisor was standing there and just looked at me as I walked in.

    Me: What's up FC1?

    FC1: I just got a call from OS1 up in TOP...

    Me: oh?

    FC1: FC3, were you doing....voodoo up there?

    Me: yup...VAB screen went to sleep had to wake it up in a creative way

    FC1: I think you really freaked them out.

    TL;DR If your user calls you all the time for stupid stuff...fixing their stupid issue using black magic will probably cause them to call you less

Comment
  • Ok so I've been asked by a friend about this story and I told him that I would post it here for all to enjoy.

    So backstory. I was in the Navy (Firecontrolman 'FC') working on USS Big Ass Carrier on the weapons network. The operations specialists (OS) sat at Q70 consoles (reference: http://www.q70.com/products/cnd1.htm) and would call us about all kinds of stupid problems (one time I pulled a completely intact gummy bear out of the keyboard...no idea how it got there! but I digress).

    One day I was in the shop manning the phones and our maintenance console while we were doing a complete system reset after transitioning the system from training to tactical. (A full system reset takes 30-45 minutes to complete) After the system was back up in tactical the phone rang:

    OS: Hey the VAB screen (the touch screens to the left and bottom of the main monitor) went out.

    Me: holding my hand over the phone Hey guys...you just did a system wide reset right?! So the Q70s have been idle for 30ish minutes right?! OK!

    (note that these touch screen monitors have a default screen timeout if not disabled. the screen is asleep)


    I grab our "tool kit" (a large old brown briefcase fool of completely random tools and screws and stuff) from our shop (on the 03 level) and decide to go visit this console on the 08 level.


    Supervisor: The VAB screen timed out? Did you ask him if he TOUCHED the screen lately?

    Me: Nope

    Supervisor: Why are you taking the WHOLE tool kit? Up 5 levels?

    Me: Oh I don't know...just cuz

    I get up there and ask the OS what the issue is.

    OS: The VAB screen is black I have no buttons!! It needs replaced!!

    Me: yup it's black alright.

    I take the large briefcase and throw it up on the plotting table and open it up and stare into the abyss of tools and crap inside. I reach down into the bottom and grab a handful of of random screws, nuts, bolts, washers and then cup my hands together around them (like I were going to shake a pair of dice). I walk over to the console and look at the two OS's standing there watching me.


    Me: You're going to want to stand back.

    I tilt my head back, take a deeeeep breath and then start chanting and speaking in tongues while shaking the handful of screws and nuts around over my head and over the console and over the screen.

    Me: "AAHHHHH SHAAAAMALAMALAMA DING bang shammmooooon" etc

    OSs: eyes wide, mouths partially open

    I then opened my hands and threw the handful of junk along the keyboard so they basically went everywear. I took my finger and quickly jabbed it at the touch screen, at which point it flickered back on (waking the monitor up from sleep mode). Without saying another word I scooped up the screws and bolts and threw them back in the case, closed it and walked about of the room to stunned silence. By the time I got down the five sets of laders to my shop my supervisor was standing there and just looked at me as I walked in.

    Me: What's up FC1?

    FC1: I just got a call from OS1 up in TOP...

    Me: oh?

    FC1: FC3, were you doing....voodoo up there?

    Me: yup...VAB screen went to sleep had to wake it up in a creative way

    FC1: I think you really freaked them out.

    TL;DR If your user calls you all the time for stupid stuff...fixing their stupid issue using black magic will probably cause them to call you less

Children
No Data