It's thunderstorm season, and when the power goes out at one branch office, the uninterruptible power supplies kick in, everything shuts down, and this admin waits for power to return. And waits. And waits. "Late evening sees the power restored, and we go about bringing the network back to life," says admin. "Next morning, the phone rings. It's a very irate corporate admin wanting to know why we had an unscheduled outage the day before. I calmly explain about the storm, which I had no control over. His response? 'Next time, put it on the schedule before you have an unexpected outage!'" Ah yes, IT can control the heavens!


Support IT gets a frantic call from an e-mail user: she's not getting any e-mails sent by her boss, so she missed a very important meeting. "The boss is on the warpath and blaming the mail servers," IT says. "We sent several test e-mails from the boss's mailbox with traces running, and the trace routes showed that the e-mails were being delivered. But a careful review of the user's mailbox revealed a rule that put all e-mail from her boss into the trash and deleted it after 24 hours."


User comes to the helpdesk with a simple request: he needs to learn how to use Microsoft Access to create something. He's already contacted Microsoft support for help. He's been told he needs the company's support contract number. That's not necessarily the best idea, IT tells user. If you tell me what you're trying to create, I can probably teach you how to do it. In fact, if you tell me where the database is, I can probably whip up some samples for you to work with.

Turns out the problem is eliminating duplicate records from a large table. But user refuses to tell IT the location of the database.

IT puts together a generic solution to the problem and sends it along to the user with a reminder that he'll happily solve the problem if the user tells him the location of the database. And he finally gets a response: "I ended up removing the duplicates by hand," grumbles user. "I paid Microsoft $35, which I'm trying to get back because their support stinks.

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