When you’re in IT, the scares don’t just come on Halloween, but year round. You never know when an IT goblin will surprise you, or when a tech issue will scare a coworker into contacting you to raise their device or file from the dead.
We know that our customers are never short on spooky tales from the job, so we polled our Insider community to find their most frightening support requests.
We had a customer who blocked their phone number from caller ID. The number showed up as all zeros...0000000000. Every time they called, the whole support desk would say...."Ooooh a ghost…ooooooooh."
It’s 5 minutes until my shift ends... it's dark and stormy outside...the phone rings. The caller ID shows that it's coming from inside the building!
I answer the phone, 'Hello, this is the help desk, how can I help you?'
And then the words no one ever wants to hear...'I've been working on an Excel document for 4 hours and I just saved and closed it - it says it's corrupt.'
My blood ran cold. I knew then my evening was spent.
Well, as it turns out - the document had spontaneously corrupted itself during the save process. The user had no backups - and hadn't saved in 4 hours. And since their bill rate was staggering, I jumped into the rescue operation.
I spent the next hour researching the XML documentation for Excel documents, then 15 minutes finding the misplaced XML tag in the document. SUCCESS! I had cracked the code, placed one XML tag back into the right place, and the document opened. NO DATA LOSS!
The user actually cried on the phone with happiness. I, though, had to take the late bus home. That was an entirely different realm of spooky/scary.
At [a client site] in dark time of the day, just 6 or 7 of us working in a large building.
I'd been asked to activate a port. Walking through into the loft was the scariest part. I have no idea how I reached the network closet to activate and run down. The building was dark and so quiet, every step I was taking I could hear the echo.
[We] had a support call where the customer said that the toilets are blocked…as you can imagine I was not able to remote in.
Back in the day when I worked the service desk, I took a call from a lecturer who was quite stressed and angry as the PC and projector weren't working. His rantings continued for quite some time but eventually I managed to calm him down enough to be able to do some basic fault finding over the phone. It was at this point while I was getting him to check cables, etc. that he mentioned that it was a bit spooky in the room with no lights... The building he was in had a complete powercut!
Most recently I received a call that a user put her coffee and laptop on top of her car in the morning and forgot to put the laptop back in the car and drove away. She said all the sudden, she looked in her review mirror and watched her laptop fly behind her and crash into the ground, then get run over by a car. It was a pretty rough call.
Trying to punch down cables on a phone system for the first time and caused an entire store to lose phones when one of the wires sparked. Didn't think it would come back up, but luckily the phone system rebooted and it started working again.
When I worked overnights on a service desk, I once got a call at 3 am demanding that I pull the numbers from the back office computer because the on-duty manager could not pull those numbers. The call went on for a bit until the manager said, “Look I need you to hurry up. The office is on fire and I am waiting for you to finish before I call the fire department."
We had a woman call in that was sure her computer was infected with a virus. She said there were upside down bags floating all over screen. After a lengthy call, we could hear the sound of Pacman over the phone. Google was celebrating Pacman's birthday.
Have any of these haunting events happened to you or your team? If you have a spooky tale that wasn’t mentioned here, share it in the comments below! Happy Halloween!
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