Hope y'all enjoyed the long weekend. Althouh the preceding posts have been code snippets, I figure it's time for some variety. Be cool like Jason A. Mauss (who sent in the following), and send in your WTF-moments, from ridiculous boss-emails to mind-boggling code snippets.


Here’s a summary of an e-mail/WebEx/Phone exchange I had with a “sys admin” from a company we had sold our software to and we were trying to help them troubleshoot some problems they were having. Seriously, he was one of their sys admins. I’ll refer to him as “SysAdmin”. All names provided here are fictional to help keep the person and company that hired this guy anonymous. Before you read this dialogue– open up Task Manager if you’re running Windows…and sort the columns by highest CPU first…it will help add to your reading experience – and no, there aren’t typos in what their sys admin says – he just speaks very poor English.

Day One (e-mail)
SysAdmin: “Hey we having problem on test server that’s hosting the web application.”
Me : (apparently this guy thinks I have “IP telepathy” or something) OK – what’s the problem?
SysAdmin: “The pages are take a really long time to load in the client machine. Do you know how I should to fix it?”
Me : “No, not without taking a look at your web server. How about we do a WebEx meeting first thing tomorrow morning so I can take a look?”
SysAdmin: “OK sure – how about then 7am (your time)?”
Me: “Well…uhm….I usually don’t get into work until 8am but since you’re in a different time zone I’ll make an exception…so…sure…7am my time. See you then.”

Day Two (“The WebEx Meeting”)
SysAdmin: “OK what I do?”
Me: “How about you just share your desktop with me and let me drive…it will take less time that way”
SysAdmin: “OK” – (what ensues next is 10 minutes of me trying to explain to him how he shares his desktop in a WebEx meeting)
Me: “OK – go ahead and try to access the web application from your machine and I’ll take a look at the diagnostics on the server”
SysAdmin: “OK – I log in and I…”
Me: “Hey wait a sec…the CPU usage on the web server here is pegged at 100% by a single process…any idea what that’s from?”
SysAdmin: “Hmmm…I don’t know what process is”
Me: “I looked it up on the web and it’s some kind of anti-virus software.”
SysAdmin: “Oh I remember…we don’t need anymore, I un-install it.”
Me: “OK” (I then wait on the line for about 20 minutes - per his request – until he’s un-installed and verified that things are fixed.)
SysAdmin: “Hey, it appear now!! I think it fix!!”
Me: “No problem, glad I could assist you”

Day Three (e-mail then phone call)
SysAdmin: “Hey, we have some trouble again with the web server – the page are loading really slowly.”
I immediately call him on the phone…
Me: “OK – have you had a look at what’s happening on the server yet?”
Sysadmin: “No…I go look real quick, be right back”
Me: “OK”
About 5 minutes pass and finally he speaks again…
SysAdmin: “I think the virus software is here again.”
Me: “You mean the anti-virus software?”
SysAdmin: “Yeah...I see CPU again is 99%.”
Me: “That’s strange…I thought you had un-installed that before, right?”
SysAdmin: “I do un-install. This time process is ‘System Idle Process’...I am going to un-install it to fix”
Me: “OK – I have another phone call I need to take…please call me back after you have uninstalled, OK?”
SysAdmin: “OK – bye”

The reason I told him I had another call was because I could barely hold my laughter in…after I hung up, I laughed until I cried. A couple other guys came over to my office and asked what was so funny. I told them what you’ve just read. One guy enjoyed the story so much he took me out to lunch that day.