back to article Help desk declared code PEBCAK and therefore refused to help!

Why hello there Friday and hello there, also, this week's instalment of On-Call, The Register's weekly column that recounts readers' tales of tech support terror. This week, meet “Ben” who told us he once worked for “a large three-letter-acronym IT company, which at the time had their hands in just about everything IT related …

  1. macjules Silver badge

    Memory Issues

    I doubt that ServiceNow have a classification for UK Government staff incompetence but in my day we used to have quite a few, IIRC some were:

    LUBE: Lacks Understanding of Basic English

    BIOS: Basic Intelligence Operator Subnormal - Knows what a computer looks like: can't start it.

    EULA: End User Lacks Ability - Knows what a computer looks like: gets as far as "Enter Password"

    RAM: Read Ability Missing - this for users who classify an issue as "Critical: Department Dependent" (something nasty will happen to the whole department if this is not solved!) but fail to respond to IT requests that they answer their phone/email. This means that someone has to physically go to that office.

    SCSI: "Can someone please Solve/Complete this Stupid Idiot's ticket?" - see RAM above

    My favourite was always:

    CAMEO: CAse Made for Extermination of Operator

    Beer: It's Friday.

    1. NorthernCoder

      Re: Memory Issues

      TCP: Thumb Centrally Placed (The Swedish idiom for "all thumbs" is "having [your] thumb in the middle of the hand").

    2. Tsurotu

      Re: Memory Issues

      The old ID:10(T) issue often rears its head at my workplace.

    3. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Memory Issues

      We used to have one when I was in the Ambulance service, I've never seen it anywhere else:

      PENCIL: Patient Exists, Not Considered Intelligent Life

      and the more common one:

      NFN: Normal For Norfolk

      1. lglethal Silver badge

        Re: Memory Issues

        I remember chatting with a doctor friend of mine and he described some of their acronyms, I dont think I've laughed so hard in ages.

        My favourite - for a really fat Person - DTS - Danger to Shipping.

        1. Kevin Johnston

          Re: Memory Issues

          A couple of medical ones from round our way were

          Acopia - Inability to cope

          TBC - Total Body Crumble

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Memory Issues

        A friend's paramedic's friend additions after I read yours:

        MAC - man's a cunt

        IT angle obvs.

    4. barstewardsquad

      Re: Memory Issues

      FOCUS for those times when they expected you to fix the free/shareware/pirated software that they had installed themselves, and they would want it escalated as you wouldn't fix the problem.

      F**K Off C**t Unsupported Software

    5. DrAJS

      Re: Memory Issues

      Wetware failure.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Memory Issues

        FFS - Fat Finger Syndrome.

    6. NoneSuch

      Re: Memory Issues

      We like to use:

      I. D. Ten T

      Write it out as you say it.

    7. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Memory Issues

      One I saw:

      CIE - cerebral interface error (more polite than "fuckwit")

    8. Thunderbird 2

      Re: Memory Issues

      We also called these PICNIC

      Problem In Chair, Not In Computer

      Often used in the phrase 'Have you had a picnic yet?'

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Memory Issues

        We use

        I/O error - Incompetent Operator

        DNS CIF - Do Not Supply Computer In Future


        OTAKE - Opinionated Twat. Always Knows Everything.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    he he he, at last, OS/2 featuring in OnCall...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Reg is Warped.

      1. James O'Shea Silver badge

        "The Reg is Warped."

        Always has been, always will be.

  3. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge


    Problem in Chair, Not in Computer.

    1. Jedit
      Thumb Up

      Re: PICNIC

      That's the one we always used to use, as it was easier to slip into the reports unnoticed. "Resolving this ticket was a picnic", and similar.

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: PICNIC

        I usually diagnosed it as a hardware problem: a nut loose on the keyboard.

        1. Spacedinvader
          Thumb Up

          Re: PICNIC

          Thanks, this is getting used!!

  4. jake Silver badge

    Early symptom of the demise of $BIGCO?

    The obvious answer is no ticket at all, but rather a simple "take the floppy out, doofus". But if that is completely against corporate policy and procedure (or if there is no floppy), how hard would it have been to ask the appropriate desk to call the user?

    I'm as hard-nosed as the best of them in certain cases, but some things are easier to just fix and move on. This is one of them.

    1. A K Stiles

      Re: Early symptom of the demise of $BIGCO?

      This is true, and probably the course of action I'd have taken, but when the user launches in to being an arse when you suggest the most appropriate course of support then it does tend to make one less inclined to be the most helpful possible.

      He did exactly what the user demanded - log the call with networks support as it's clearly a network problem. How much more helpful could he be!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Early symptom of the demise of $BIGCO?

      And if you took your car to an expensive engine specialist and started screaming at him because you couldn't open the car door, then it would be a reasonable response to tell them, that since it's not an engine problem, to take it to the garage. Just because he might know how to fix it, doesn't make it his problem especially once you've been told who can.

    3. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: Early symptom of the demise of $BIGCO?

      Listening to some of the calls our support staff get is scary. Getting some of them to the point where our staff can remotely access their computer can be like pulling teeth. There are people who don't know what is meant by 'Could you open a web browser please?'. Others that don't seem to know what or where the address bar is. On one memorable occasion it appeared that one of the guys was struggling to get the user to type a six digit number.

      And the one time when a caller said her microphone wasn't working. Turned out it wasn't plugged in. Now that isn't all that unusual (despite our software being geared around audio). But when asked to plug it into a USB socket it still didn't work. Eventually it turned out they'd plugged it into their colleague's monitor 'because it was the nearest socket'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Early symptom of the demise of $BIGCO?

        at the same time, the "idiot" user would ask you how to do something "simple" they do every single day (for example for a receptionist put the phone into night mode) and you to would look like a complete idiot.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Early symptom of the demise of $BIGCO?

          Well that's very true. Occasionally I've needed to do that and I don't have the faintest idea how to activate 'away from desk'. I also don't know how to redial the last number or get the company phone directory to display. Bloody Cisco phones.

          On the plus side my old desk phone went doo-lally last year and was removed along with those of my colleagues as part of a streamlining exercise. I think everyone was happy about removing the ability of us software developers to talk to the outside world :)

          1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

            Re: Early symptom of the demise of $BIGCO?

            I am glad that it is not just me who is baffled by completely unusable phones. Mostly people need to answer a phone, transfer a call, accept a transferred call, include someone else in a call, mute a call. Can I do this without a three-page crib sheet? No.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: Early symptom of the demise of $BIGCO?

              I've got a Panasonic phone here. In order to divert calls to another number, I have to type in 17 digits - to be fair that does include the phone number - but is still ludicrously long.

              There are 12 named buttons on the phone, none of which does this and a further 12 programmable buttons, where the only way to program them is with these silly codes.

              Cancelling divert is 8 numbers!

              I don't know who designs these phones, but I do know that nobody can bloody use them!

              There is of course no button for divert to voicemail, or pick up voicemail. What a pile of shite.

            2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

              Re: Early symptom of the demise of $BIGCO?

              It's a reflection on the uselessness of telephone system design that nobody ever says "I'll transfer you". They always say "I'll try to transfer you".

            3. Daggerchild Silver badge

              Re: Early symptom of the demise of $BIGCO?

              Hah! My replacement deskphone is now about the size of a laptop, and this week it forcefully rebooted in the middle of a call in order to install patches. Because it is a laptop. That I only use to make phonecalls. The pills help.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Early symptom of the demise of $BIGCO?

            "Bloody Cisco phones" - 100% agree.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Early symptom of the demise of $BIGCO?

        > There are people who don't know what is meant by 'Could you open a web browser please?'

        I have had to explain how to close a window more than 5 times in 15 minutes - whilst on the SAME call.

  5. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Corporate systems

    That issue, and many more that I've helped to resolve over the years, mostly at a human rather than IT level, comes from a system that is computer centric, not user centric. Even at a "three letter company" ( Of which there have been more than a few in IT - marketing like the three letter combo) most users just want the problem to go away and are not IT experts themselves. As soon as you introduce the element of users having to choose where to report the problem there's an element of auto-diagnosis. And the more basic the issue (e.g. floppy in drive) the more likely for that to go wrong. A little bit of user knowledge doesn't help here, tending to mislead. A generic support desk with expertise to direct calls to the right person ( you don't even have to tell the user who that is) is more useful. (Only not a generic support desk with a script reading non-technician, please)

    1. Martijn Otto

      Re: Corporate systems

      Interestingly, this is exactly what the article describes. Sometimes customers can be stupid as well as foolhardy.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: Corporate systems

      Indeed, and that is why they came up with the notion of the generic service desk that logs calls for every IT problem as well as all facilities problems from a broken coffee machine to a crack in a supporting wall.

      There are two problems that have crippled the notion of "service desk":

      1) A truly generic service desk rarely resolves problems on first call, which irritates some users and looks bad against a key performance metric of the services it replaces: calls resolved on first contact.

      2) Many companies create their service desks by simply rebranding the IT helpdesk; giving them extra work and no extra staff. This leads to a longer backlog of calls, and it's the desk staff that get it in the neck, as their performance goes down against key performance metrics... including calls resolved on first contact as while they can reset user passwords online, they can't exactly unblock the third stall on the right in the gents lavs over a phone call....

      So yeah... service desk is a dream. I'm sad to live in reality.

  6. chivo243 Silver badge


    Frequent Flier of the HelpDeskSystem

    or as the plods would say: "One of the usual suspects."

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I.D 10T error.

    chair to keyboard interface error

    And my all time fave, for those of you with real balls: Computer User Not Technical.

  8. wolfetone Silver badge

    "The user asked if she could access the appropriate help desk ASAP, but Ben's colleague “simply said 'No' and hung up.”"

    Torn on this line. While the user quite clearly has troubles wiping their own arse, not sure that line was the best thing to help solve her soiled arse.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Luser was being shitty (pun intended) and refusing to help herself.

      1. Allan 1

        Or maybe the user was just tired of being passed from desk to desk.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I work in the network group here at $Co. While I won't say that our level 1 support staff is entirely useless, our group has gone around a few times with their group on how to properly escalate a ticket.

          We've also had a problem with our customers (i.e., employees in the other departments) calling us directly for help because either they've gotten the run around with the help desk, or they put in a nice verbal request over the phone, and the level 1 staffer put into the ticket essentially 'it's broken, they need help' and dumped the ticket into our queue.

          Fortunately, things have gotten better. Mostly.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            "level 1 support staff is entirely useless"

            They're not usually hired for their intelligence or problem solving skills, but merely for their ability to stick to a script and explain how to close the coffee cup holder.

            The problem is when they either escalate too much or too little and this gets compounded when oversight is done within the group, so manglement try to avoid admitting they're cocking up.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Oh God. At times over the years I've made a support call for stuff that I couldn't solve by using the limited resources and tools available to me as the user who was responsible for the team's IT (Often as simple as a permissions issue where the protocol was that I didn't have routine access to the server because of the presence of confidential data from other teams). The central IT team knew me, listened to the steps I've taken to identify/resolve the issue and usually came back with either a suggestion or a solution.(And sometimes I was able to call them with a workaround I'd found for a more general problem that we were all having that they could and did roll out elsewhere). But then a few years back a new corporate system appeared. I had to go through the "helpdesk" - seldom the same person that I'd spoken to before. Who'd take me through the usual script before passing the request on. But they never passed the information on that I'd given them . Which meant that a technician had to come out to answer the ticket, get the whole explanation again and then tell/allow me to resolve the problem, often in seconds because it was a relatively simple fix to a purely local issue. Of course soon after this started the IT guys just gave me their direct numbers - simpler for everyone and we logged the support call after the fix.

          4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Fortunately, things have gotten better. Mostly.

            And, in entirely coincidental news, a number of level 1 staff have reported mysterious workplace accidents recently..

    2. Christoph Silver badge

      Hopefully it makes it rather more likely that the next time she has a problem she will listen to what the technician tells her, rather than insisting on overriding the person who she has called specifically because he knows more about it than she does.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pebcak? I used to work for him.

    His name was actually spelled differently, but it was Polish & sounded so close that's how most of us pronounced it. It was years before he

    finally learned what the IT acronym stood for & that his picture was probably in the dictionary beside the definition.

  10. israel_hands

    My favourites:

    FUCKED: Field Unit Checked - Known Error Detected


    CUNT - Computer User - Non Technical (alternatively Can't Use New Technology)

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Fun, but...

      If this was shunted up to the senior executives, would they be equally amused? If a customer did a FoI request and saw this, would your company suffer a reputational hit?

      PICNIC etc are always much safer.

  11. Vagnerr


    Why PEBCAK?

    Surely if this was a network team they should have been closing these tickets as an OSI Layer 8?

    1. dahle llama

      Re: PEBCAK?

      As a network admin here, I use Layer 8 for users and Layer 0 for management.

  12. Dave K Silver badge

    I've seen PRATFO used before now. It's normally a medical one (Patient Reassured And Told to Fuck Off), but can be applied to IT calls to (replace Patient with Person). Often used when the person calls in about a complete none-event, such as a user calling because they've received a Windows Update message telling them they need to restart their computer - is it a virus? That sort of thing.

    1. Fading Silver badge

      Could be a symptom of an even worse event...

      Such as an un-requested Win 10 installation......

  13. Tigra 07 Silver badge

    PEBCAK indeed

    I've got a dumbass at work this morning who has spent the last 1 hour and 45 minutes trying to fix his computer because it won't print.

    I told him last night the printer was out of paper so i've been watching in amasement as he switches things on and off randomly to fix it...

    PS: It's a bit basic (both the staff member and the printer) and doesn't report being out of paper or ink

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward








    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: PCMCIA

      What about the Computers Often Make People Quite Angry advert from John Cleese?

      1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        Re: PCMCIA

        "What about the Computers Often Make People Quite Angry advert from John Cleese?"

        That almost spells COMPAQ.

  15. Vetis

    daily i wish

    The favourites I have experienced are:

    User: The hard drive hasn't finished loading. Me: that's the used and free space not a loading bar.

    User: I can't type, the keyboard isn't working so I can't login. Me: connects, clicks in the username box. Try now.

    User: This box says to close Outlook for this install to finish, what do i do?

    User: I can see your remote connection request, do I click allow or deny?

    1. Spacedinvader

      Re: daily i wish

      Remote connection request. I actually asked one of my HD guys if anyone clicks "deny" on Tuesday. "yeah, ALL the time!" O_o

      1. The Indomitable Gall

        @Spacedinvader Re: daily i wish

        " Remote connection request. I actually asked one of my HD guys if anyone clicks "deny" on Tuesday. "yeah, ALL the time!" O_o "

        Interesting... I wonder what's so special about Tuesdays that makes them do this...

    2. lesession

      Re: daily i wish

      "I can see your remote connection request, do I click allow or deny?"

      I get asked this every single time when using Quick Assist to help my mother.





      1. bobajob12

        Re: daily i wish

        Hey it's your mom. Be nice. And draw some comfort from the fact that you are not going to get a call that says, "a nice man called from Microsoft and said I needed some security updates. You're always telling me about hackers so I thought I'd let him in. And you always seem so frustrated when I ask about the remote connection thing so I clicked Allow. Aren't you proud of me!"

        1. FredDaggg

          Re: daily i wish

          Be nice to your mum.

          I spend countless hours with mine sorting out stuff on the phone, for her phone. I get often frustrated. Then I remember she taught me to use a spoon and use to the toilet. (not at the same time, obviously).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: daily i wish

        I'd normally decline before the remote connection request is sent, but if this was done without warning I would absolutely decline.

        I saw the damage done by IT support on a colleague's C:\ drive once... I mean if you're in large IT company, with a 3 letter acronym, and internal IT support in India, you'd be crazy to accept any remote connection request from a L1 agent.

    3. Lilolefrostback

      Re: daily i wish

      As far as the login prompt issue goes, I actually blame the programmer as the focus should have been put in the username box automatically.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: daily i wish

        There's also that thing I sometimes see/experience when the cursor is flashing in the box, but the computer needs you to actually click in the box for it to be there properly.

        1. Muscleguy Silver badge

          Re: daily i wish

          On the Indy's comment system I can click in the comment box and start typing but the Post button doesn't appear until I click really positively in the comment box.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You know when the user is so thick they are never going to be able to use the kit, box the lot up and send it back.

  17. Chris King Silver badge


    Tough Luck Mate, You're On Your Own.

    Occasionally used for chancers who tried to get support on personal kit, or when they'd screwed up after ignoring advice (usually the "if you break it, you get to pay for both pieces" sort of advice).

  18. iron Silver badge

    PEBCAK for a mobile world

    A few weeks ago I invented a new version of PEBCAK for a mobile world...

    A few days after a Moodle upgrade I received a call that a user was unable to login to the system. I was unable to replicate the issue so went back to the training dept. for more info and was told the user was on a phone, in a caravan and had since managed to login. I closed the call with my new acronym:


    Problem Exists Between Screen And Fat Fingers!

  19. adam payne Silver badge

    I heard this one used by a 1st line servicedesk person.

    DNS - disappointing network support

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Title: Helpdesk Operator

      Position available due to an accident involving the previous post-holder, the network team and several rack-mounting rails.

      Must be knowledgeable, diplomatic, and know better than to piss off their new colleagues.

      Bring Your Own Helmet.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, never slag off people who's job it is to help you, even if they are bad at it.

      I know for a fact I got preferential treatment from some of the (offshore, outsourced) second-line teams because I was always polite, patient (sounding) and gave them all the information they needed in a clear fashion in the original ticket.

      I mean, they frequently fucked things up when they were still freshly outsourced, but they fucked my tickets up far less often than they fucked up anyone else's, and that's all time saved on my part.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        " I was always polite, patient (sounding) and gave them all the information they needed in a clear fashion in the original ticket."

        Meanwhile, at the bank's robo-menu:

        "Enter your account number and the last four digits of your social security number"

        (an eternity going through options when repeatedly hitting "0" doesn't work)

        Customer Service Rep: "Can I have your account number and the last four digits of your social security number?"

        (an eternity discovering that he problem needs escalating to a different department, and a subsequent internal forwarding to wait musak)

        Customer Service Rep #2: "Can I have your account number and the last four digits of your social security number?"

        (Repeat until urge to be polite wears off completely).

  20. Versace

    Customer codes

    I had a client (a wholesaler) who coded his account customers as follows:

    W - W***er

    TW - Total W***er

    RTW - Really Total W***er

    Not very subtle, but transfers well between systems.

  21. Bill M

    WOC: Waste Of Carbon

    User is a Waste Of Carbon, would be more useful if melted down and made into pencils.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £35 to eject a floppy disc.

    Call-out fee when client phoned saying computer wouldn't boot and replied "no" to the question "is there a floppy disc in the drive?"

  23. Josh 14

    When I was working Air Force aviation maintenance, we would (RARELY!) sign off a job as "R2 stick actuator, op check good" = Replaced the stick actuator (pilot), operation check tested normal.

    Needless to say, it was typically not a welcome sign off when maintenance supervision found those, and you had better have a good reason for blaming the officer who reported the problem. Poor thing might get his feelings hurt by being called out for being a useless git, you know.

    1. admiraljkb

      Replaced the stick actuator (pilot), operation check tested normal.

      LOL. I've done similar.

      Had a new employee that kept having problems and turning in tickets. A new ticket came in midday Friday, and by the time I got to their desk on Monday morning, there was a different person sitting there. Verified everything was working, and closed the ticket with "Replaced user, Tests OK.". Waited on an angry call from the help desk manager who'd I'd had discussions with before over resolution comments, but apparently said user had ticked her off as well. :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Replaced the stick actuator (pilot), operation check tested normal.

        To be fair, years ago I had a staff member who kept reporting computer crashes in an office that we shared - Cox and Box style - when I was out she was in. When I checked the PC it was always fine and I never had any problems when I was using it. Until one day I was using that machine when she was in the office and went past -and it crashed. Never did find out why, but we were able to replicate it, several times.

  24. MJI Silver badge


    Why so many down votes near the top?

    1. Haku

      Re: Curious?

      Maybe there's a problem in relation to flat, multi-pushbutton interfaces of some sort?

      *ducks and runs for cover*

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Corrupted memories....

    The chap who uploaded a mystery file full of binary gibberish instead of a plain text file, and, when informed it was binary gibberish, demanded I fix it. When informed that wasn't possible as it's their end, they escalate to management ..

    The person with the technical job title who rang up with a valid but solvable problem, who gradually requests the response in simpler and simpler terms, until you realise they are in fact not just non-technical, but they are in fact a fraud who rings around the company asking other people to 'assist' them with (i.e. do) their work..

    The company that hires the above, because they can't tell the difference between a tech and a random word generator with a tie.

    The company that outsources to the above because they said 'yes', where their own techs said 'no', and then gives that company their techs ...

    The outsourcing deal that defines the service being outsourced, as written by someone who read a book that was once in close physical proximity to an actual book on the subject..

    Bitter and disillusioned? Moi?

  26. Grease Monkey

    I used to run a help desk where I instituted a system of three letter codes on ticket resolutions. These were used in analysis to try to make the service more efficient. Among these codes were the U codes where the cause of the ticket being raised was found to be the user themselves. PICNIC tickets as we used to call them. Problem In Chair Not In Computer.

    Among these were:

    USR - user self resolved.

    UGA - user given advice.

    UTR - user training required.

    The former usually meant the user figured out what they were doing wrong without being told. The second that the desk told the user what they were doing wrong. The last that the user wouldn't take advice and needed to be referred for corrective action.

    Finally there was the ultimate sanction. UFW. I invented this one for situations where the user was beyond redemption. Where nothing amount of training or advice could help. This created a flash against the user account so help desk staff could be warned what they were dealing with as soon as they answered the phone. When questioned by senior management I did hurriedly think of something for the F and W to officially stand for. I no longer recall what those two official words were.

    Originally and to all the help desk staff they always meant one thing.

    Fuck. Wit.

  27. damian fell

    So the thing that confuses me here is :

    Why the hell are there multiple helpdesks that can't pass a ticket between resolver teams?

    Ok it's not a network problem; so just pass it to the desk-side support team in whatever service management tool (or tools) that you are running.

    Basic ITSM process design normally includes how to pass on work that has ended up in the wrong place to a more customer friendly triage team.

    1. js.lanshark

      Many helpdesks will not transfer a ticket between resolver teams due to past football tossing between teams. Bad management forbids it, good management regulates and tracks it for abuse, then beans the offender(s).

      1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        Finger pointing

        "Many helpdesks will not transfer a ticket between resolver teams due to past football tossing between teams. Bad management forbids it, good management regulates and tracks it for abuse, then beans the offender(s)."

        I've experienced that as a user in 2 main forms:

        1) products from different suppliers, where each supplier blames the other one

        2) where the hardware folks blame software, and the software folks blame hardware.

        Both can be difficult to resolve and involve a careful mix of diplomacy and your own diagnostic skills.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sounds simple but probably beyond Maximo’s capabilities at the time.

    3. The Indomitable Gall

      " Why the hell are there multiple helpdesks that can't pass a ticket between resolver teams? "

      The clue's in the title of the software in question: OS/2.

      Corporate thinking on helpdesks (and the architecture of the software supporting them) has changed a lot since the 90s....

  28. ecofeco Silver badge

    Seen them all

    I've seen them all, but unfortunately, we can't even be so much as circumspect because the users see the ticket updates by auto-email.

    However, most places I've worked allow two very good things: a limited amount of response time from the user, usually less than a week. We have to attempt contact every day, but once the deadline is reached and there is no response, we close the ticket.

    The other thing is discretionary authority. If a user is being a real numpty, we can put them off or cut them off if needed. But, we also have to call the boss right right away and explain it. If we follow the process, the boss stands up for us. We have to document that we put in a best effort to resolve the issue before we cut them off.

    Yeah, I've seen it all, but I have no doubt someone will surprise me again.

  29. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    I just want a Taser...

    ...and the authority to use it on the folks that need a bit of electroshock therapy to help energize their brain into functioning.

    It'll never happen so long as the boss is a mean ol' poopyhead.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Error 13

    Error 13 : Insufficient User IQ detected

  31. Richard 126

    Nursing Acronyms

    When I was working as a nurse about 30 years ago the most common diagnosis on a Friday or Saturday night was PFO (Pissed and Fell Over). Management got snotty and it was changed to EA (Ethanol Abuse). Been out of the game too long don't know what it is now.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Nursing Acronyms

      Phil Hammond the comedy doctor has stated that funny descriptions of patients become less funny when you are explaining their meanings during a court case.

  32. salek

    Sa>=O I hate it when somebody pulls the "I'm IMPORTANT" card. So I code the ticket Some Animals More Equal Than Others.

  33. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Well these comments

    just show one thing

    Where the endless supply of fuck wits I have to put up with come from...................

    <<<launches into a tirade about company recruitment policy.. IE snatch random people off the street

  34. JosephEngels

    It's PEBKAC

    It is, and always has been PEBKAC ... between Keyboard and Chair.

    I quick google would have sorted that ... journalists ... minds unclouded by knowledge ;)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's PEBKAC

      It's PBKAC no need for the E, but thanks as I'd have hated to be getting it wrong since the dawn of time and until this rock boils.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: It's PEBKAC

        It's presumably either or both, depending on which you choose to use. And there is no qualitative difference because it's merely an identifier ( of an oblique sort). It's more worrying that people presumed to be logical ( as in techie minded) don't see that.

        1. The Indomitable Gall

          Re: It's PEBKAC

          " It's more worrying that people presumed to be logical ( as in techie minded) don't see that. "

          While at a transistor level, computers are about logic, everything above that level is a baffling mess of arbitrary decisions, and any minor variation results in complete failure.

          If PEBCAK was an assembler opcode....

  35. MJI Silver badge

    One of ours was

    Back in MSDOS exe days, rather than exit normally would kill off in Windows, then wonder why they were locked out for 2 minutes, then wonder why their HDD was filled with swap files.

    They thought they were being clever but just killed the CMD environment leaving a mess and the data connections open.

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