The Receptionist Test

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  • Raiko 2008-10-22 11:03
    We should use this at my college.
  • anonymous_coder() 2008-10-22 11:05
    Hmm. Converting your body to enervy. e-nervy.

    The mind boggles.

    Whoops, typo fixed! -Ed.
  • LuckiNite 2008-10-22 11:10
    Unfortunately, this test (or something similar) is needed for many jobs.
  • mp 2008-10-22 11:11
    The real WTF is that they interviewed the candidates after those receptionist tests.
  • zip 2008-10-22 11:12
    I can't wait for someone to explain how real developers don't need to have the common sense to check that a printer is on, and how they'd walk out of the interview if you tried this on them.
  • campkev 2008-10-22 11:14
    Sounds like a job interview I had. I walked in and the guy immediately walked me into a room where there was a table with a completely dissassembled (as in case open, ram, processor, IDE cables, etc sitting next to it, not as in keyboard mouse and monitor not plugged in) computer. "Make that work, I'll be back in 20 minutes" Despite being the only one of the 5 candidates that day without on A+ cert, I was the only one who got it working. Interviewer said the other guys didn't even come close.
  • phleabo 2008-10-22 11:16
    I like how you managed to fit in the Linux bigot stereotype. Very subtle.

    I think the real WTF is that this story is largely fictional.
  • frustrati 2008-10-22 11:17
    zip:
    I can't wait for someone to explain how real developers don't need to have the common sense to check that a printer is on, and how they'd walk out of the interview if you tried this on them.
    I like the idea behind the test and it works well for a job that entails support, as the poster mentioned.

    I suppose it does reveal the candidate's problem solving skills regardless. I like the "just download and install Ubuntu" one. Now you have <insert huge number> problems.

    In fact, now that I think about it, this test would work well for any tech job. Great idea!
  • tim 2008-10-22 11:18
    Coming here and reading these makes me feel more confident about my ability to get a job when I graduate
  • Leo 2008-10-22 11:20
    campkev:
    Sounds like a job interview I had. I walked in and the guy immediately walked me into a room where there was a table with a completely dissassembled (as in case open, ram, processor, IDE cables, etc sitting next to it, not as in keyboard mouse and monitor not plugged in) computer. "Make that work, I'll be back in 20 minutes" Despite being the only one of the 5 candidates that day without on A+ cert, I was the only one who got it working. Interviewer said the other guys didn't even come close.


    Was there anything wrong with it, or was it just assembling the parts together? Doesn't speak well of the A+ cert, either way.
  • shepd 2008-10-22 11:21
    Why is it these applicants even make it there?

    Oh, I forgot. Like most places, I'm guessing the hiring (okay, resume review) process is based on how many degrees the person has, how many languages/operating systems/insert-unrelated-thing-here they've worked on, and how long they were in their last job, rather than the basic items the job actually requires; such as, in this case "Can work with a computer running windows properly".

    It's sad, but I rarely get to the interview stage from a resume application. It's because my resume doesn't look like a million bucks (It's not *bad* per se, it's just I didn't complete post-secondary, I owned my own store and I tried a new career; it seems HR considers these "risks", or so I'm guessing--colleagues and managers consider them perks, though, once they realize how valuable outside experience is). However, every single interview I've ever had has resulted in a job offer. Although, I usually need to apply to a few dozen jobs to get an interview. Oh well, at least I'm in a job that keeps my happy now! But it was rough getting here!

    (And yes, I've had lots of people review my resume. Even people "trained" to check resumes over. They think it's okay, although they'd wish I'd embellish to the point I'm actually just out and out lying. It's my unwillingness to flat out lie [unlike the candidates you got] that's the issue.)
  • Troy 2008-10-22 11:22
    I've used Ubuntu, it's pretty lame;
    I had to have ink, paper, AND power to print!
  • snoofle 2008-10-22 11:24
    Jake:
    His solution? Hit Control+P harder

    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!
  • Jay 2008-10-22 11:24
    I just want to say, fictional or not... the Tales from The Interview stories are always my favorite.

    Did anyone else think of Nick Burns when the guy kept trying to get it to print. "Just hit Apple-P and it will print... GAH!"
  • Milton Waddams 2008-10-22 11:29
    Damn write-protect tabs!! I hated those things!

    captcha: genitus
    I think that's plural for genitals. Or maybe singular for genitals.
  • K&T 2008-10-22 11:29
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.
  • Dave 2008-10-22 11:35
    zip:
    I can't wait for someone to explain how real developers don't need to have the common sense to check that a printer is on, and how they'd walk out of the interview if you tried this on them.


    Thats IT's job..as long as I can failover onto one of the other printers in the cluster why should I care? :D
  • Nick 2008-10-22 11:36
    I'm having some trouble reading this WTF.

    Wait...
    <switch monitor on>
    that's better!
  • Endo808 2008-10-22 11:37
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    To be fair I'd write off some slow speaking, loud shouting american as worthless too. You'll find the french perfectly helpful if you talk to them like people instead of retards.
  • dave n 2008-10-22 11:40
    Funnily enough I got my first IT job via an interview with a test like this.
    2 of us interviewed for an entry level support position, via a back to work scheme.
    Other guy had experience in office apps, could hack up a decent spreadsheet in excel that looked pretty enough, but id he check the power cable on the desktop pc?
  • derula 2008-10-22 11:42
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    Okay just that you're happy, the German method would be to concentrate the ones we don't understand in camps telling everyone else they were evil while secretly killing them.
  • snoofle 2008-10-22 11:43
    Endo808:
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    To be fair I'd write off some slow speaking, loud shouting american as worthless too. You'll find the french perfectly helpful if you talk to them like people instead of retards.

    Having been to both Montreal and Paris, I'd have to say that in Canada, I got more politeness by attempting (and failing) to speak French than trying to get by with English, whereas in Paris, I got far more politeness by just sticking with English than trying to speak French (I only know a few words).

    I guess it depends on the day and the place...
  • mauhiz 2008-10-22 11:46
    Well basic support is the main dish of every tech support, I remember a client complaining his speakers did not work and she had not connected them to the computer.

    If this WTF is true, I'm amazed how many candidates can fail such a basic test. I mean, the fact they apply to a tech support job implies they ought to be ready in their mind to do that kind of work. I'd never consider working in a position I don't even know the basics of. (Unless the boss is real hot, or the pay is real high, well I'll say I'd consider in some cases...)

    captcha : haero (someone who plays gauitar?)
  • brodie 2008-10-22 11:50
    phleabo:
    I like how you managed to fit in the Linux bigot stereotype. Very subtle.

    I think the real WTF is that this story is largely fictional.

    Do you have some inside knowledge about this story to back up that assertation? Or is this just a case of "gut feeling"?
  • incognito 2008-10-22 11:51
    Wait...I'm having trouble placing the time period - what with the talk of Ubuntu and Wikipedia. The PC still had a floppy drive???? Honestly - do you think an 18 year old kid has grown up with a floppy drive at all?
  • Zecc 2008-10-22 11:53
    snoofle:
    I guess it depends on the day and the place...

    Well, I guess it depends on whether they care if your insulting their language or not.
  • DaveAronson 2008-10-22 11:56
    Hello, tech support? I'm having trouble writing a comment, could you come take a look at it?
  • mauve 2008-10-22 11:58
    Ubuntu: making Linux accessible to morons since 2004.
  • Just Some Guy 2008-10-22 12:00
    campkev:
    Sounds like a job interview I had. I walked in and the guy immediately walked me into a room where there was a table with a completely dissassembled (as in case open, ram, processor, IDE cables, etc sitting next to it, not as in keyboard mouse and monitor not plugged in) computer. "Make that work, I'll be back in 20 minutes" Despite being the only one of the 5 candidates that day without on A+ cert, I was the only one who got it working. Interviewer said the other guys didn't even come close.


    That's one way to save on labor expenses.
  • iToad 2008-10-22 12:02
    Some of the smarter companies take management candidates out to dinner, and then arrange for the restaurant to make a small error in the candidate's order. If he flies into a screaming rage, he doesn't get the job.
  • bd 2008-10-22 12:03
    DaveAronson:
    Hello, tech support? I'm having trouble writing a comment, could you come take a look at it?
    Have you tried turning it off and on again?
  • Osno 2008-10-22 12:06
    Did anyone at all pass the test? I mean, when I am at a job interview, I try to make as little eye contact as possible with anyone not interviewing me. If you go solve the problems that people are actually being payed to solve (and with no context at all), you may end up looking like a showoff.

    I once had an interviewee who stormed in the middle of a discussion and made a very obvious suggestion not because he wasn't smart, but because he didn't know what was being discussed. I showed him the door mainly because of that.

    I would gently suggest that she call IT, but nothing more.
  • Kl4m 2008-10-22 12:06
    snoofle:

    Having been to both Montreal and Paris, I'd have to say that in Canada, I got more politeness by attempting (and failing) to speak French than trying to get by with English, whereas in Paris, I got far more politeness by just sticking with English than trying to speak French (I only know a few words).


    That's because of "particular" relations between english and french people in the province of Quebec, particularly in Montreal.
  • Neil 2008-10-22 12:07
    I think the biggest WTF is that they were using floppy disks in the same timeframe that someone could use Wikipedia and download Ubuntu.
  • Satanicpuppy 2008-10-22 12:09
    incognito:
    Wait...I'm having trouble placing the time period - what with the talk of Ubuntu and Wikipedia. The PC still had a floppy drive???? Honestly - do you think an 18 year old kid has grown up with a floppy drive at all?


    I can understand screwing up the dead tech: a write protect tab? How quaint.

    But step one (assuming you didn't immediately think write protect tab) should have been to try another disk, to see if it was a drive problem or a disk problem, not to spend 10 minutes blowing on it. That shows a fundamental lack of understanding: magnetic media doesn't have dust-related errors of that sort.
  • BobB 2008-10-22 12:19
    I had a similar test when I was applying for a city job involving repair/maint of their desktop PCs. They brought me to a PC that would boot, but nothing displayed on screen. I checked the power cord on the monitor, it was loose. Plugged it back in. PC booted up with display. Total time, 10seconds.

    Didn't get the job, but not sure I would have wanted it. Got another one so I wasn't too heart broken.

    I will still fix a PC for friends, but I gave up doing anything like that on a professional level or as a moonlighting attempt. People will break something else totally independent of what was fixed, hand it back to you and expect it to be fixed for free since 'you touched it last'. "My internet doesn't work anymore and you hooked my CD drive in last week, so fix it for free, since you touched it last!"

    Things like that made me want to piss all over their keyboards and take a dump in their printer trays. Not that I had thought the scenario through or anything.
  • SomeCoder 2008-10-22 12:20
    Osno:
    Did anyone at all pass the test? I mean, when I am at a job interview, I try to make as little eye contact as possible with anyone not interviewing me. If you go solve the problems that people are actually being payed to solve (and with no context at all), you may end up looking like a showoff.

    I once had an interviewee who stormed in the middle of a discussion and made a very obvious suggestion not because he wasn't smart, but because he didn't know what was being discussed. I showed him the door mainly because of that.

    I would gently suggest that she call IT, but nothing more.


    Yeah, while I like this idea for an interview test, I don't think I would really even take it. I could probably pass it, but, as this poster said, I'd probably just suggest she call IT and let them look at her computer.

    It's a good test, for sure, and these people in the story are obviously morons but what would you do if a candidate just said "oh well, better check with IT?" rather than offer to help?
  • Dave 2008-10-22 12:25
    Paris is hardly representative, FWIW my gf spent a year in france (Rennes) and I found the french obnoxious no matter what language you spoke to them in.
  • Aleks 2008-10-22 12:26
    zip:
    I can't wait for someone to explain how real developers don't need to have the common sense to check that a printer is on, and how they'd walk out of the interview if you tried this on them.


    But of course! That is a hardware problem. Assuming you are thinking of real software developers. Remember how many of them are needed to change a light bulb?
  • justin 2008-10-22 12:27
    I think it would have been great had you assembled it, put a bios password on it, and walked out with a note saying, break this, ill be back in 20 minutes
  • DaveyDaveDave 2008-10-22 12:28
    SomeCoder:
    Osno:
    Did anyone at all pass the test? I mean, when I am at a job interview, I try to make as little eye contact as possible with anyone not interviewing me. If you go solve the problems that people are actually being payed to solve (and with no context at all), you may end up looking like a showoff.

    I once had an interviewee who stormed in the middle of a discussion and made a very obvious suggestion not because he wasn't smart, but because he didn't know what was being discussed. I showed him the door mainly because of that.

    I would gently suggest that she call IT, but nothing more.


    Yeah, while I like this idea for an interview test, I don't think I would really even take it. I could probably pass it, but, as this poster said, I'd probably just suggest she call IT and let them look at her computer.

    It's a good test, for sure, and these people in the story are obviously morons but what would you do if a candidate just said "oh well, better check with IT?" rather than offer to help?


    Personally - I'd think, 'what an unfriendly, unhelpful person, I wouldn't want to work with him/her'.

    It's very true that you can tell an awful lot about a person from how he/she talks to the receptionist (or waiter, porter, other service staff).
  • Kermos 2008-10-22 12:29
    Finally, there was Bob. Bob's task was another easy one. The receptionist had a file that lacked an extension. She even offered some help, saying that she had opened it before in Word. Bob took over the keyboard, right-clicked on the file, and quietly said to himself "Type of file: file? Wha...?" Whatever the problem she was experiencing, he had the skills to identify the meta-problem. "Yeah, this is pretty frustrating for you, isn't it?" She nodded in agreement. "Windows sucks and Microsoft sucks. You'd never have this problem if you were on Ubuntu. In fact..." he continued on a six-minute spiel about how much better Ubuntu is. When he finished his lecture, he had her go to the Ubuntu site. "Go to the downloads section and get Obnoxious Orangutan." This is when the interviewer stepped into the room, so he helpfully added, "It should take a while to download, but I'll come back after my interview to walk you through the installation!"


    While I agree that he couldn't have picked a worse solution to a very simple problem, the guy wasn't completely without a valid point.

    Windows' dependency on arbitrary file extensions to decide what to do with a file and by default hide known extensions is a major WTF. That's after all where spammers success with postcard.gif.exe comes from.

  • rbonvall 2008-10-22 12:30
    They should have hired the recepcionist for the position.
  • Anon 2008-10-22 12:30
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?
  • Zero 2008-10-22 12:30
    snoofle:
    Having been to both Montreal and Paris, I'd have to say that in Canada, I got more politeness by attempting (and failing) to speak French than trying to get by with English, whereas in Paris, I got far more politeness by just sticking with English than trying to speak French (I only know a few words).

    I guess it depends on the day and the place...
    The difference is that the Canadians are proud they speak French whereas the Parisians are proud they speak French.
  • SomeCoder 2008-10-22 12:32
    DaveyDaveDave:
    SomeCoder:
    Osno:
    Did anyone at all pass the test? I mean, when I am at a job interview, I try to make as little eye contact as possible with anyone not interviewing me. If you go solve the problems that people are actually being payed to solve (and with no context at all), you may end up looking like a showoff.

    I once had an interviewee who stormed in the middle of a discussion and made a very obvious suggestion not because he wasn't smart, but because he didn't know what was being discussed. I showed him the door mainly because of that.

    I would gently suggest that she call IT, but nothing more.


    Yeah, while I like this idea for an interview test, I don't think I would really even take it. I could probably pass it, but, as this poster said, I'd probably just suggest she call IT and let them look at her computer.

    It's a good test, for sure, and these people in the story are obviously morons but what would you do if a candidate just said "oh well, better check with IT?" rather than offer to help?


    Personally - I'd think, 'what an unfriendly, unhelpful person, I wouldn't want to work with him/her'.

    It's very true that you can tell an awful lot about a person from how he/she talks to the receptionist (or waiter, porter, other service staff).


    That's a pretty terrible assumption to make. You would assume that the guy, nervous as hell, coming in for an interview would immediately jump to his feet to fix a receptionists computer while not being paid for it and having no prior knowledge to how their network, IT, etc. works?

    Again, I like this test, but it has some flaws. I really liked the test that someone posted about having the computer lying in pieces on the ground and said "fix this" though.
  • rumpelstiltskin 2008-10-22 12:33
    zip:
    I can't wait for someone to explain how real developers don't need to have the common sense to check that a printer is on, and how they'd walk out of the interview if you tried this on them.


    I would help the receptionist out of hornyness if she were hot, but if I had any reason what-so-ever to believe it was part of the interview, and that was actually work I'd be expected to do, I'd tell them to get corned.
  • Mr B 2008-10-22 12:34
    Osno:
    Did anyone at all pass the test? I mean, when I am at a job interview, I try to make as little eye contact as possible with anyone not interviewing me. If you go solve the problems that people are actually being payed to solve (and with no context at all), you may end up looking like a showoff.

    I once had an interviewee who stormed in the middle of a discussion and made a very obvious suggestion not because he wasn't smart, but because he didn't know what was being discussed. I showed him the door mainly because of that.

    I would gently suggest that she call IT, but nothing more.


    I stormed in the middle of a discussion once.

    In another one I winded, and then drizzled everywhere, much to everyone's consternation.

    I think it's a perfectly valid test. If you're content to do your job, only your job, and nothing else, then you're not the sort of person I'd hire, certainly.
  • xtremezone 2008-10-22 12:35
    mauve:
    Ubuntu: making Linux accessible to morons since 2004.

    Seconded. :D
  • Kluge Doctor 2008-10-22 12:35
    derula:
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    Okay just that you're happy, the German method would be to concentrate the ones we don't understand in camps telling everyone else they were evil while secretly killing them.


    I was born an American citizen, but I have a German heritage, and I'm also fluent in French. I don't know which part of myself to hate.

    And, for the record, I think the German insult was (a bit) over the line. It's more Third Reich, than German.
  • rogue 2008-10-22 12:37
    Ha! Obnoxious Orangutan! HA HA!! That one had me rolling.

    Seriously though, I use Ubuntu almost exclusively, and it is great, except it doesn't support my Lexmark printer. Grr. Also, a lot of Linux users I know are pretty obnoxious.

    Still laughing...
  • eth0 2008-10-22 12:37
    I've almost sprayed coffee all over my computer when I read the Obnoxious Orangutan part. I would have called it, as Linus Torvalds said about Digg users, Wanking Walrus.

    And I'm a Ubuntu user. ;-)
  • seamustheseagull 2008-10-22 12:38
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?
    That kind of logical thinking won't get you far in support. Every user will claim that "it only broke five minutes ago" and "No, I haven't made any changes, I've just been doing what I normally do". Even under waterboarding, they won't crack.

    Inevitably when you find the problem, they'll "remember" the useful and descriptive message that popped up 30 seconds before they called you.
  • SysKoll 2008-10-22 12:40
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    IBM uses the term "IPL" (Initial Program Load) as a synonym for reboot, especially for mainframes.

    At IBM, the term "French IPL" used to mean "yank the plug and reconnect". The French themselves were using it too!
  • jonnyq 2008-10-22 12:41
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?


    Exactly what I was thinking. I don't think there's a button in Windows you can accidentally press to change keyboard layout.

    The rest were simple mistakes, but the keyboard layout thing is a WTF by itself. How did the keyboard layout get screwed up? Since I don't work here, I assume you have it set that way on purpose as it's not really something you can do by accident.

    Making a palette of quotation marks isn't the right thing to do, but it depends on how the question was presented. Also, since it's not my job (yet) I wouldn't touch the PC's settings (while turning on a printer is no big deal). After asking a couple questions, I might actually make a palette of quotation marks temporarily until I go tell the boss what really happened and explain what I think might be the real solution.

    But yeah, the rest are just silly.
  • Rootbeer 2008-10-22 12:43
    [quote user="DaveyDaveDave"][quote user="SomeCoder"][quote user="Osno"]It's very true that you can tell an awful lot about a person from how he/she talks to the receptionist (or waiter, porter, other service staff).[/quote]

    It's also very true that "grass, gas, or ass, nobody rides for free".

    A response of "I'm sorry, since I'm not an employee I don't think I should get involved wtih that; have you tried contacting your Tech Support team?" would be entirely appropriate, and yet I suspect it would get the applicant dinged at this place.

  • alegr 2008-10-22 12:43
    Zecc:
    Well, I guess it depends on whether they care if your insulting their language or not.


    "Your" insulting the English language here.
  • xtremezone 2008-10-22 12:44
    Kermos:
    Finally, there was Bob. Bob's task was another easy one. The receptionist had a file that lacked an extension. She even offered some help, saying that she had opened it before in Word. Bob took over the keyboard, right-clicked on the file, and quietly said to himself "Type of file: file? Wha...?" Whatever the problem she was experiencing, he had the skills to identify the meta-problem. "Yeah, this is pretty frustrating for you, isn't it?" She nodded in agreement. "Windows sucks and Microsoft sucks. You'd never have this problem if you were on Ubuntu. In fact..." he continued on a six-minute spiel about how much better Ubuntu is. When he finished his lecture, he had her go to the Ubuntu site. "Go to the downloads section and get Obnoxious Orangutan." This is when the interviewer stepped into the room, so he helpfully added, "It should take a while to download, but I'll come back after my interview to walk you through the installation!"
    While I agree that he couldn't have picked a worse solution to a very simple problem, the guy wasn't completely without a valid point.

    Windows' dependency on arbitrary file extensions to decide what to do with a file and by default hide known extensions is a major WTF. That's after all where spammers success with postcard.gif.exe comes from.
    Which makes you wonder why an alleged Linux user would have been confused by a file extension in the first place. I call bullshit.
    Zero:
    snoofle:
    Having been to both Montreal and Paris, I'd have to say that in Canada, I got more politeness by attempting (and failing) to speak French than trying to get by with English, whereas in Paris, I got far more politeness by just sticking with English than trying to speak French (I only know a few words).

    I guess it depends on the day and the place...
    The difference is that the Canadians are proud they speak French whereas the Parisians are proud they speak French.
    No, the French Canadians are proud they speak French. The rest of us hate it. >:(
  • ContraCorners 2008-10-22 12:46
    Zecc:
    snoofle:
    I guess it depends on the day and the place...

    Well, I guess it depends on whether they care if your insulting their language or not.


    Seems like you're the one insulting my language.
  • pitchingchris 2008-10-22 12:47
    jonnyq:

    Exactly what I was thinking. I don't think there's a button in Windows you can accidentally press to change keyboard layout.

    The rest were simple mistakes, but the keyboard layout thing is a WTF by itself. How did the keyboard layout get screwed up? Since I don't work here, I assume you have it set that way on purpose as it's not really something you can do by accident.



    I totally agree with what you are saying, but I do think that the prospect should be able to recognize that the locale settings are set incorrectly and explain to the receptionist that this is the case, even if she doesn't know how to properly configure them. Besides, in this case, that might be sufficient, as the settings will probably be locked out on a school computer anyway.
  • Befuddled 2008-10-22 12:47
    jonnyq:
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?


    Exactly what I was thinking. I don't think there's a button in Windows you can accidentally press to change keyboard layout.


    alt+shift if you've got multiple keyboard languages set up.

    Quite an annoyance if your desktop has to be setup multi-lingual and you alt+shift by accident when trying to unlock the screen and then get locked out because your password is wrong.
  • sgakagiz 2008-10-22 12:48
    jonnyq:
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?


    Exactly what I was thinking. I don't think there's a button in Windows you can accidentally press to change keyboard layout.



    ALT+Shift does the trick. Handy if you are used to both US and UK keyboards (the # is in the right place, just like the £ key is). I use this often.

    It's a bit of a pain when the university insists on installing Japanese, Chinese, Korean etc. (good reasons for doing it, I understand), but accidentally pushing that key combination is *not* an obvious one for most people

    EDIT: Beaten to it
  • elias 2008-10-22 12:48
    Nick:
    I'm having some trouble reading this WTF.

    Wait...
    <switch monitor on>
    that's better!

    Hire this guy!
  • Kermos 2008-10-22 12:52
    jonnyq:
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?


    Exactly what I was thinking. I don't think there's a button in Windows you can accidentally press to change keyboard layout.

    The rest were simple mistakes, but the keyboard layout thing is a WTF by itself. How did the keyboard layout get screwed up? Since I don't work here, I assume you have it set that way on purpose as it's not really something you can do by accident.


    Actually no, they keyboard thing isn't a WTF.

    I use Japanese keyboards myself and Windows absolutely half the time will NOT get them right. It'll randomly all of a sudden add a Chinese layout to the keyboard layout list and then go use that. Or, the layout will revert to standard US which I may not even immediately notice as the roman alphabet layout is identical to the US keyboards. However the moment I go hit my key to switch to direct input Kana mode you'll hear me cursing. This happens several times a week.

    I then have to go into regional settings, and simply *look* at my keyboard layout settings and hit OK. The settings will still be set to Japanese, but windows just somehow uses US layout.

    So no, seeing how I personally suffer with windows not being able to get my keyboard layout straight on multiple completely different computers, both Vista and XP included, I don't see it as a WTF.

    Oh and before someone mentions possible driver issues, manufacturer incompatibility, etc. these are Microsoft keyboards.

  • rbonvall 2008-10-22 12:52
    derula:
    Okay just that you're happy, the German method would be to concentrate the ones we don't understand in camps telling everyone else they were evil while secretly killing them.


    Yeah, that's what Germans do all the time.
  • Boolean 2008-10-22 12:54
    jonnyq:
    Exactly what I was thinking. I don't think there's a button in Windows you can accidentally press to change keyboard layout.


    There is, actually.

    Check out the Regional and Language section of the Control Panel. There's an option in there to specify a key sequence for switching between several keyboard layouts, and IIRC, it was pre-set on my company craptop when they gave it to me. Something as simple as pressing Ctrl+Shift in order to hit a shortcut, then letting it go because you've changed your mind, would switch the keyboard setting.

    For maximal confusion, Windows maintains a different language setting for each window you open.
  • xtremezone 2008-10-22 12:57
    I've never ever played with locale settings because I'm a Canadian (a sane one; I speak only English and programming languages, TYVM) so I would be very hesitant to claim to know what I was doing them with the keyboard configuration.

    More so, I agree with the "contact IT" suggestions. The printer could be off for a very good reason, IT might have very strict rules about configuring workstations, etc. Basically, if I've not been instructed to help I'll probably try to be polite and helpful without getting my hands dirty. IT is there for a reason.

    If the boss or whatever came over and gave me permission to help then I'd do what I could and be honest about not liking printers (they're evil, ffs) and not having any experience with locale settings.
  • Ren 2008-10-22 12:57
    iToad:
    Some of the smarter companies take management candidates out to dinner, and then arrange for the restaurant to make a small error in the candidate's order. If he flies into a screaming rage, he doesn't get the job.


    What happens when they "accidentally" bring something he's deathly allergic to?
  • cellocgw 2008-10-22 13:00
    Yeah, well at MY company, if they don't fly into a rage, they don't get hired.
    Or at least, considering our management, that's what seems to happen.
  • Code Dependent 2008-10-22 13:00
    Zero:
    The difference is that the Canadians are proud they speak French whereas the Parisians are proud they speak French.
    Since that makes no sense whatsoever, I'm going to guess you meant to say this:

    The difference is that the Canadians are proud they speak French whereas the Parisians are proud they are French.
  • Strum Rincewind 2008-10-22 13:02
    Doesn't anyone think it strange that the receptionist lets someone unknown to them have access to a company computer? The last thing I would want is someone with a techie background having access to a company computer until I had a chance to check them out.
  • Ken 2008-10-22 13:06
    Kermos:
    jonnyq:
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?


    Exactly what I was thinking. I don't think there's a button in Windows you can accidentally press to change keyboard layout.

    The rest were simple mistakes, but the keyboard layout thing is a WTF by itself. How did the keyboard layout get screwed up? Since I don't work here, I assume you have it set that way on purpose as it's not really something you can do by accident.


    Actually no, they keyboard thing isn't a WTF.

    I use Japanese keyboards myself and Windows absolutely half the time will NOT get them right. It'll randomly all of a sudden add a Chinese layout to the keyboard layout list and then go use that. Or, the layout will revert to standard US which I may not even immediately notice as the roman alphabet layout is identical to the US keyboards. However the moment I go hit my key to switch to direct input Kana mode you'll hear me cursing. This happens several times a week.

    I then have to go into regional settings, and simply *look* at my keyboard layout settings and hit OK. The settings will still be set to Japanese, but windows just somehow uses US layout.

    So no, seeing how I personally suffer with windows not being able to get my keyboard layout straight on multiple completely different computers, both Vista and XP included, I don't see it as a WTF.

    Oh and before someone mentions possible driver issues, manufacturer incompatibility, etc. these are Microsoft keyboards.



    When I was using a mac for a while, I had all sorts of comedy auto-switching between US and UK. It was a right royal pain. However, I can't say it was any worse an OS than Windows or Linux - I hate them all..
  • Tapcon 2008-10-22 13:06
    Ren:
    iToad:
    Some of the smarter companies take management candidates out to dinner, and then arrange for the restaurant to make a small error in the candidate's order. If he flies into a screaming rage, he doesn't get the job.


    What happens when they "accidentally" bring something he's deathly allergic to?


    ... then he doesn't eat it and politely informs the waitstaff? I'm not deathly allergic to anything but I can only assume that's how that situation should be handled.
  • AboutToFly 2008-10-22 13:10
    rogue:
    Ha! Obnoxious Orangutan! HA HA!! That one had me rolling.

    Seriously though, I use Ubuntu almost exclusively, and it is great, except it doesn't support my Lexmark printer. Grr. Also, a lot of Linux users I know are pretty obnoxious.

    Still laughing...

    Are you sure? I use Ubuntu with a Lexmark printer and while Lexmark doesn't provide drivers for Ubuntu, it does provide Red Hat drivers which can be converted with alien. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=49714 gives instructions for how to do this. Then again, they don't say that it works for all Lexmark printers so maybe yours isn't on that list.
  • Jeff L. 2008-10-22 13:17
    Floppy WHAT? Write protect wha...?

    Oh, right, this must be one of those modern universities. By gum, you should give 'em a *real* test. You know, have an Altair 8800, and flip the A0 switch *down* instead of *up* and see if anyone notices that it doesn't apply when the machine is in unprotect mode! Har! (Whatever.) Dad-blammit, that'll show 'em up!
  • snoofle 2008-10-22 13:20
    justin:
    I think it would have been great had you assembled it, put a bios password on it, and walked out with a note saying, break this, ill be back in 20 minutes
    I'd hire you in a second!
  • Squitz 2008-10-22 13:20
    I work tech support/sysadmin and close to half of the workstations at here have floppy drives, albiet combination floppy/flash card reader drives. However, since the office supply of floppy disks is right by my desk I know that no one uses floppy disks except for me.

    I only need a floppy disk when I need to add RAID drivers to a server installation, and I was momentarily stumped by the lack of a write protect tab* because the floppy I was using was formerly a driver disk for a Microsoft mouse of some sort. I fixed it with a bit of scotch tape after checking which hole to tape over against another floppy.

    *for those of you unfamiliar with floppy disks: the sliding tab can be removed to permanently protect the disk from being overwritten. There is a similar system on VHS tapes so that you don't accidentally tape over your Original Trilogy Star Wars tapes, and then have to get the special edition DVD's.
  • akatherder 2008-10-22 13:20
    Strum Rincewind:
    Doesn't anyone think it strange that the receptionist lets someone unknown to them have access to a company computer? The last thing I would want is someone with a techie background having access to a company computer until I had a chance to check them out.


    The receptionist logs out and logs back in as guest (or some limited access account) when she sees the applicant coming.
  • Ken B 2008-10-22 13:21
    Osno:
    Did anyone at all pass the test? I mean, when I am at a job interview, I try to make as little eye contact as possible with anyone not interviewing me. If you go solve the problems that people are actually being payed to solve (and with no context at all), you may end up looking like a showoff.
    You may have missed this part of the post:
    During this time, the receptionist stages a minor tech support problem and asks for the applicant's help.
    I suppose one could simply say something like "sorry, I'm just waiting for an interview", but you certainly couldn't simply "not make eye contact" and ignore her.
  • campkev 2008-10-22 13:21
    Leo:
    Was there anything wrong with it, or was it just assembling the parts together? Doesn't speak well of the A+ cert, either way.


    Nope, nothing wrong with anything, just assembling the parts.
  • campkev 2008-10-22 13:23
    shepd:
    Why is it these applicants even make it there?

    Oh, I forgot. Like most places, I'm guessing the hiring (okay, resume review) process is based on how many degrees the person has, how many languages/operating systems/insert-unrelated-thing-here they've worked on, and how long they were in their last job, rather than the basic items the job actually requires; such as, in this case "Can work with a computer running windows properly".

    It's sad, but I rarely get to the interview stage from a resume application. It's because my resume doesn't look like a million bucks (It's not *bad* per se, it's just I didn't complete post-secondary, I owned my own store and I tried a new career; it seems HR considers these "risks", or so I'm guessing--colleagues and managers consider them perks, though, once they realize how valuable outside experience is). However, every single interview I've ever had has resulted in a job offer. Although, I usually need to apply to a few dozen jobs to get an interview. Oh well, at least I'm in a job that keeps my happy now! But it was rough getting here!

    (And yes, I've had lots of people review my resume. Even people "trained" to check resumes over. They think it's okay, although they'd wish I'd embellish to the point I'm actually just out and out lying. It's my unwillingness to flat out lie [unlike the candidates you got] that's the issue.)


    I'd be curious to see your resume
  • SarcasmFTW 2008-10-22 13:23
    jonnyq:
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?


    Exactly what I was thinking. I don't think there's a button in Windows you can accidentally press to change keyboard layout.

    The rest were simple mistakes, but the keyboard layout thing is a WTF by itself. How did the keyboard layout get screwed up? Since I don't work here, I assume you have it set that way on purpose as it's not really something you can do by accident.

    Making a palette of quotation marks isn't the right thing to do, but it depends on how the question was presented. Also, since it's not my job (yet) I wouldn't touch the PC's settings (while turning on a printer is no big deal). After asking a couple questions, I might actually make a palette of quotation marks temporarily until I go tell the boss what really happened and explain what I think might be the real solution.

    But yeah, the rest are just silly.


    Microsoft Language bar.

    I forget the default shortcut, but its pretty simple, which changes the keyboard layout. I have seen it a number of times.
  • webhamster 2008-10-22 13:26
    mp:
    The real WTF is that they interviewed the candidates after those receptionist tests.


    I'd interview them, but solely for the entertainment value.
  • Bappi 2008-10-22 13:27
    Tapcon:
    Ren:
    iToad:
    Some of the smarter companies take management candidates out to dinner, and then arrange for the restaurant to make a small error in the candidate's order. If he flies into a screaming rage, he doesn't get the job.


    What happens when they "accidentally" bring something he's deathly allergic to?


    ... then he doesn't eat it and politely informs the waitstaff? I'm not deathly allergic to anything but I can only assume that's how that situation should be handled.

    Doesn't work. I had a project at the Seattle school district, and someone in the office was mortally allergic to seafood. You couldn't even bring seafood in the building or his allergies would be triggered.

    You can imagine what would've happened if you'd put a plate of fish in front of him.
  • jimheem 2008-10-22 13:28
    How about "I'm sorry, this is really something you should call your IT department about. I don't work for this company and I don't want to violate any of your policies"

  • webhamster 2008-10-22 13:29
    Code Dependent:
    Zero:
    The difference is that the Canadians are proud they speak French whereas the Parisians are proud they speak French.
    Since that makes no sense whatsoever, I'm going to guess you meant to say this:

    The difference is that the Canadians are proud they speak French whereas the Parisians are proud they are French.


    The problem is that Canadians don't speak French. We speak 'Quebecois'. They're almost two totally different languages. And don't even get started on 'Acadian'...
  • Dirk Diggler 2008-10-22 13:29
    Squitz:

    *for those of you unfamiliar with floppy disks: the sliding tab can be removed to permanently protect the disk from being overwritten. There is a similar system on VHS tapes so that you don't accidentally tape over your Original Trilogy Star Wars tapes, and then have to get the special edition DVD's.
    The tab on vhs tapes can also protect your porn.
    In the 90's we had some Gateway2000s that had programmable key boards. It was kind of a pain because people would record macros on regular keys.
  • bucket 2008-10-22 13:31
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?

    Well I know that in the Netherlands, most computers get configured with a Dutch and a US-Intl layout by default. If you press some combination of keys, it magically changes. So if this were, say, Canada you could want to press CTRL+S to save a document, accidently press CTRL+SHIFT+S, and you changed your keyboard layout. So yes, it's quite possible. And also: I'm no tech support guy, but when I press a key and it unexpectedly turns into a squiggly kind of character, the first thing I do is check the keyboard layouts.
  • Procedural 2008-10-22 13:31
    snoofle:
    Endo808:
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    To be fair I'd write off some slow speaking, loud shouting american as worthless too. You'll find the french perfectly helpful if you talk to them like people instead of retards.

    Having been to both Montreal and Paris, I'd have to say that in Canada, I got more politeness by attempting (and failing) to speak French than trying to get by with English, whereas in Paris, I got far more politeness by just sticking with English than trying to speak French (I only know a few words).

    I guess it depends on the day and the place...


    Wow, strange, me too; I had a totally different experience speaking with someone from Spain than I did with someone from Cuba. How come ? (The mind boggles)
  • tbrown 2008-10-22 13:32
    Zero:
    snoofle:
    Having been to both Montreal and Paris, I'd have to say that in Canada, I got more politeness by attempting (and failing) to speak French than trying to get by with English, whereas in Paris, I got far more politeness by just sticking with English than trying to speak French (I only know a few words).

    I guess it depends on the day and the place...
    The difference is that the Canadians are proud they speak French whereas the Parisians are proud they speak French.


    Ummm... you mean "the Parisians are proud they are French." don't you?
  • bucket 2008-10-22 13:33
    SomeCoder:
    DaveyDaveDave:
    SomeCoder:
    Osno:
    Did anyone at all pass the test? I mean, when I am at a job interview, I try to make as little eye contact as possible with anyone not interviewing me. If you go solve the problems that people are actually being payed to solve (and with no context at all), you may end up looking like a showoff.

    I once had an interviewee who stormed in the middle of a discussion and made a very obvious suggestion not because he wasn't smart, but because he didn't know what was being discussed. I showed him the door mainly because of that.

    I would gently suggest that she call IT, but nothing more.


    Yeah, while I like this idea for an interview test, I don't think I would really even take it. I could probably pass it, but, as this poster said, I'd probably just suggest she call IT and let them look at her computer.

    It's a good test, for sure, and these people in the story are obviously morons but what would you do if a candidate just said "oh well, better check with IT?" rather than offer to help?


    Personally - I'd think, 'what an unfriendly, unhelpful person, I wouldn't want to work with him/her'.

    It's very true that you can tell an awful lot about a person from how he/she talks to the receptionist (or waiter, porter, other service staff).


    That's a pretty terrible assumption to make. You would assume that the guy, nervous as hell, coming in for an interview would immediately jump to his feet to fix a receptionists computer while not being paid for it and having no prior knowledge to how their network, IT, etc. works?

    Again, I like this test, but it has some flaws. I really liked the test that someone posted about having the computer lying in pieces on the ground and said "fix this" though.


    It's not like you need major network knowledge to fix a keyboard layout or whatever. Even if someone at a random place would know I could handle computer stuff well, and would ask me, I would at least try and help to think of a solution or the cause of the problem, and then try to solve it or suggest a solution. And I don't really care I don't get paid for those 5 minutes of work. It's called kindness.
  • bucket 2008-10-22 13:34
    rogue:
    Ha! Obnoxious Orangutan! HA HA!! That one had me rolling.

    Seriously though, I use Ubuntu almost exclusively, and it is great, except it doesn't support my Lexmark printer. Grr. Also, a lot of Linux users I know are pretty obnoxious.

    Still laughing...


    If your printer on?
  • jtwine 2008-10-22 13:35
    DaveyDaveDave:
    SomeCoder:
    Yeah, while I like this idea for an interview test, I don't think I would really even take it. I could probably pass it, but, as this poster said, I'd probably just suggest she call IT and let them look at her computer.
    It's a good test, for sure, and these people in the story are obviously morons but what would you do if a candidate just said "oh well, better check with IT?" rather than offer to help?
    Personally - I'd think, 'what an unfriendly, unhelpful person, I wouldn't want to work with him/her'.
    It's very true that you can tell an awful lot about a person from how he/she talks to the receptionist (or waiter, porter, other service staff).
    That is a serious leap to make just from someone not offering to help. This guy has no knowledge of what OS they are running, what privs/rights are available, if/how actions are logged, how secret their data is (not wanting to be accused of trying to get access to something confidential, etc)., if the receptionist would freak out if he accidently bumps his hand into her thigh, etc. In today's world, a lot of things can go wrong.

    Just my $.02...

    Peace!
  • Gorfblot 2008-10-22 13:37
    snoofle:
    justin:
    I think it would have been great had you assembled it, put a bios password on it, and walked out with a note saying, break this, ill be back in 20 minutes
    I'd hire you in a second!


    Don't you mean in 20 minutes?
  • SomeCoder 2008-10-22 13:40
    bucket:

    It's not like you need major network knowledge to fix a keyboard layout or whatever. Even if someone at a random place would know I could handle computer stuff well, and would ask me, I would at least try and help to think of a solution or the cause of the problem, and then try to solve it or suggest a solution. And I don't really care I don't get paid for those 5 minutes of work. It's called kindness.


    What I meant was not technical knowledge of networks, but rather, policies.

    Every company I've worked for has some really insanely paranoid people running IT. For someone to come in and jump on a receptionists computer to fix something... they would probably call the FBI immediately ;)

    Seriously though, I would be afraid of breaking some policy, unknowingly, and then being automatically disqualified from working there.

    This is an interesting idea to screen candidates and it seems to have worked but they need a back up plan just in case someone politely tells the secretary "Maybe you should call your IT department?"
  • blunder 2008-10-22 13:41
    incognito:
    Wait...I'm having trouble placing the time period - what with the talk of Ubuntu and Wikipedia. The PC still had a floppy drive???? Honestly - do you think an 18 year old kid has grown up with a floppy drive at all?


    Businesses don't upgrade their computers every year.

    I have a couple guys that still use the floppy drives. I've suggested that they back up to the file server, but the files in question aren't anything critical so I don't care enough to harp on them.

    I had a recent hire gawk at our tape drives (LTO...not that old), he hadn't expected to ever see one, like it was a relic from the past. I had to give him the whole "well, it's not glamorous but it works and I'm not replacing it until it stops working, and you'll find most businesses have the same approach" speech.

    But secretly I was embarrassed since I wish we had a cool NAS box or something.
  • bucket 2008-10-22 13:41
    bucket:
    rogue:
    Ha! Obnoxious Orangutan! HA HA!! That one had me rolling.

    Seriously though, I use Ubuntu almost exclusively, and it is great, except it doesn't support my Lexmark printer. Grr. Also, a lot of Linux users I know are pretty obnoxious.

    Still laughing...


    If your printer on?


    I'm pretty sure the forum software inserts typo's into my posts... I always check them before I press Submit and two of my posts suddenly had a typo in them when I read them back. :( And no edit button that I can find as well.

    Captcha: uxor... don't you mean suxor?
  • Ken B 2008-10-22 13:44
    Bappi:
    Tapcon:
    Ren:
    iToad:
    Some of the smarter companies take management candidates out to dinner, and then arrange for the restaurant to make a small error in the candidate's order. If he flies into a screaming rage, he doesn't get the job.
    What happens when they "accidentally" bring something he's deathly allergic to?
    ... then he doesn't eat it and politely informs the waitstaff? I'm not deathly allergic to anything but I can only assume that's how that situation should be handled.
    Doesn't work. I had a project at the Seattle school district, and someone in the office was mortally allergic to seafood. You couldn't even bring seafood in the building or his allergies would be triggered.

    You can imagine what would've happened if you'd put a plate of fish in front of him.
    I would hope that someone who is that allergic would, prior to going out to eat, mention something like "by the way, I'm deathly allergic to X". (What would happen if the pan next to the one cooking their food was cooking the other food?)
  • Thunder 2008-10-22 13:45
    Mr B:

    I stormed in the middle of a discussion once.

    In another one I winded, and then drizzled everywhere, much to everyone's consternation.

    Holy crap dude - I've often heard the phrase "you owe me a new keyboard" but never actually had cause to say it until I was drinking my soda while I read this beaut.
  • Procedural 2008-10-22 13:57
    Procedural:
    snoofle:
    Endo808:
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    To be fair I'd write off some slow speaking, loud shouting american as worthless too. You'll find the french perfectly helpful if you talk to them like people instead of retards.

    Having been to both Montreal and Paris, I'd have to say that in Canada, I got more politeness by attempting (and failing) to speak French than trying to get by with English, whereas in Paris, I got far more politeness by just sticking with English than trying to speak French (I only know a few words).

    I guess it depends on the day and the place...


    Wow, strange, me too; I had a totally different experience speaking with someone from Spain than I did with someone from Cuba. How come ? (The mind boggles)


    You'd be surprised but I hear they also speak French in the Congo... and that totally different people live there ! There's something screwy with this world, but we are two brillant people. Maybe we can figure it out.
  • spellingnazi 2008-10-22 14:02
    rumpelstiltskin:
    I would help the receptionist out of hornyness if she were hot, but if I had any reason what-so-ever to believe it was part of the interview, and that was actually work I'd be expected to do, I'd tell them to get corned.


    It says at the beginning of the story that this is sort of thing is part of the job. You would have gone out of your way to apply and interview for a job that you knew you didn't want.

    I don't think it's any secret why we see lots of stories like this: there's a lot of grunt work in IT, and someone has to do it. Keeping inventory of software licenses, making sure you have enough patch cables on hand...just stupid work. People go to school, get their certs, and what ideally would be concrete for them is really a jumble of facts that they memorized long enough to pass a test.

    They apply for IT jobs because someone lied to them and said there was money in it. Then, not only are they frustrated to be doing what they consider to be menial work, their employer gets frustrated because they can't troubleshoot basic things.
  • Craig Matthews 2008-10-22 14:04
    The real WTF is allowing people who don't work for your company to touch a computer which has access to corporate information.

    Everyone involved in administering the "receptionist test" should be fired.


  • Some Wonk 2008-10-22 14:05
    Ren:
    iToad:
    Some of the smarter companies take management candidates out to dinner, and then arrange for the restaurant to make a small error in the candidate's order. If he flies into a screaming rage, he doesn't get the job.


    What happens when they "accidentally" bring something he's deathly allergic to?


    They save a bundle on life insurance.
  • Code Dependent 2008-10-22 14:08
    bucket:
    I'm pretty sure the forum software inserts typo's into my posts... I always check them before I press Submit and two of my posts suddenly had a typo in them when I read them back. :( And no edit button that I can find as well.
    Hint: try pressing "Preview" instead of "Submit". And if you use a registered username, you get the "Edit" button.
  • Engywuck 2008-10-22 14:13
    If you are *able* to do anything "evil" to the network or computer config with a *receptionist* login on a computer that can be accessed by anyone coming in the building if the receptionist is (mentally) away then your companys security policy is sh*t (or your security officer).

    Not counting being able to f*ck with the Semi-Sensitive Data the receptionist needs to access/change, of course (really sensitive data shouldn't be accessable on a reception anyways...)

    Yes, I know... "should" and "is"...

    but hey, just saying "try another disk this one's write protected" or "your printer is offline, is there a reason for that?" can't *possibly* be security-relevant or dangerous. Powering the printer on when it's offline for a reason (say, emitting smoke when on) is another case, but even then the tech guy should have put it away or at least stick a HUGE warnig sticker to it.
  • Tapcon 2008-10-22 14:18
    Bappi:
    Tapcon:
    Ren:
    iToad:
    Some of the smarter companies take management candidates out to dinner, and then arrange for the restaurant to make a small error in the candidate's order. If he flies into a screaming rage, he doesn't get the job.


    What happens when they "accidentally" bring something he's deathly allergic to?


    ... then he doesn't eat it and politely informs the waitstaff? I'm not deathly allergic to anything but I can only assume that's how that situation should be handled.

    Doesn't work. I had a project at the Seattle school district, and someone in the office was mortally allergic to seafood. You couldn't even bring seafood in the building or his allergies would be triggered.

    You can imagine what would've happened if you'd put a plate of fish in front of him.


    That's a rather extreme case, and the interviewer would obviously have to be made aware so they themselves didn't order seafood.

    Also, I think it's safe to assume that any "small" change to a dish isn't going to include adding items that people are commonly severely allergic too.
  • Steve 2008-10-22 14:18
    When they told me to fix the computer, I would have grabbed my crotch and said 'fix this'.

    When calling for the interview, I would have said 'Should I bring my F^&#in' tools?'
  • Alan 2008-10-22 14:21
    If I were hiring and someone refused to help the receptionist I would probably not hire them either. I need people who can get stuff done. Not people who make excuses about how that function isn't in their contract, or they are so afraid of breaking something or doing something "wrong" that they are doomed to inaction. If they are smart enough to cover their own asses by saying "I will try, but I do not know your system and can't do much without risking damage" then so much the better.
  • jtl 2008-10-22 14:23
    zip:
    I can't wait for someone to explain how real developers don't need to have the common sense to check that a printer is on, and how they'd walk out of the interview if you tried this on them.


    Where have you gone TopCod3r? The Daily WTF turns it's lonely eyes to you. Woo woo woo.
  • TimmyEvil 2008-10-22 14:23
    xtremezone:
    No, the French Canadians are proud they speak French. The rest of us hate it. >:(


    Some of us are proud that Francophones speak French and disappointed that everyone west of Cornwall is so lazy (and yes, that includes me.)

    On Topic:
    Now that we have an HR department that insists on weeding through the resumes before anyone useful gets to them I can see this as being a pretty good way to weed out the functionally lazy: those people who have enough gumption to understand that they may need a TLA or two, but not motivated enough to actually know the stuff the TLA covers.

  • Craig Matthews 2008-10-22 14:23
    Engywuck:
    If you are *able* to do anything "evil" to the network or computer config with a *receptionist* login on a computer that can be accessed by anyone coming in the building if the receptionist is (mentally) away then your companys security policy is sh*t (or your security officer).

    Not counting being able to f*ck with the Semi-Sensitive Data the receptionist needs to access/change, of course (really sensitive data shouldn't be accessable on a reception anyways...)

    Yes, I know... "should" and "is"...

    but hey, just saying "try another disk this one's write protected" or "your printer is offline, is there a reason for that?" can't *possibly* be security-relevant or dangerous. Powering the printer on when it's offline for a reason (say, emitting smoke when on) is another case, but even then the tech guy should have put it away or at least stick a HUGE warnig sticker to it.


    The same receptionist apparently has the ability to go to arbitrary websites and download software if the Ubuntu story is to be believed. Sounds like there's hardly any security on these guys' network at all, and yet they let potential employees who don't work there yet get in front of a computer. Hell, they even had them handling removable media.

  • Cybercat 2008-10-22 14:28
    Saying "I will try, but I do not know your system and can't do much without risking damage" covers your ass about as much as a piece of toilet paper will protect you from a flame thrower in the legal world my friend. People are scared because someone MADE them scared, not just because they're pansies (although that's a possibility). Someone asked for something, and then fucked them later on when they messed up a portion and then that boss or whoever blames it on them. Refusing to do a SECRET task like this (unless done rudely) that is not implicitly part of the interview process by no means shows a lack of social graces OR ability. You'd be a moron to base your hiring procedure on that.

    Now if they refused to do it after the interviewer came out and said "hey, do you know how to fix this problem" it's COMPLETELY different. (obvious tag here)
  • jtwine 2008-10-22 14:29
    Engywuck:
    If you are *able* to do anything "evil" to the network or computer config with a *receptionist* login on a computer that can be accessed by anyone coming in the building if the receptionist is (mentally) away then your companys security policy is sh*t (or your security officer). [...]

    Just because an I.T. security policy is in place does not mean that it was well conceived or even makes sense... At some places, developers have to fight with I.T. just to get enough privs to debug a process, and at others a PC acting as a print server had an automatic login and access to just about all file servers on the network.
  • Franz_Kafka 2008-10-22 14:39
    DaveyDaveDave:

    Personally - I'd think, 'what an unfriendly, unhelpful person, I wouldn't want to work with him/her'.

    It's very true that you can tell an awful lot about a person from how he/she talks to the receptionist (or waiter, porter, other service staff).


    Honestly, I was expecting the content to follow that track - have the receptionist take candidates to lunch and report back on their behavior.
  • danixdefcon5 2008-10-22 14:44
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?
    Any Spanish-speaking person (especially in Latin America) would be aware of b0rked keyboard layouts. For some weird reasons, there are two Spanish layouts: 'es' and 'la', respectively. One of these layouts swaps around most punctuation marks, and most people are too lazy/stupid to change the keyboard layout. So I sometimes get people writing stuff with the french "backwards" accent (à) instead of using the acute accent (á), which incidentally, is the only one used in Spanish.

    So yes, maybe because of this, seeing weird punctuation/symbols when pressing punctuation keys will immediately tell me "damn, they keyboard layout's wrong!". But that may be because of the aforementioned layout duplicity.
  • xous 2008-10-22 14:46
    In an interview I did for a "Information Technologist 3" position at a local university a they had a practical issue for me to solve.

    They had laptop setup and plugged in but didn't have any network connectivity. They said it had be brought from one building down to do a presentation in this building.

    First thing I did was took a look at the ipconfig /all and noticed that the network settings were statically configured. I did some quick mental subnetting and confirmed that the IP address and gateway were in the same subnet and the broadcast was correct. I said "If I recall correctly your currently migrating some of the buildings to static dhcp, is this building using DHCP?"

    The tech on the interview panel said Yes and I was done. I did "excellent".

    The real WTF is that I probably would not have got that question had I not learned a bit on how their network was setup prior to the interview.

    In the end I didn't get the job because an "internal candidate" applied. -_- Unions.
  • pweegar 2008-10-22 14:57
    Why is that in any way a WTF? I have a friend who works at a university here in az. He asked me not long ago why he was having problems saving his Excel files to a floppy. And yes, he has internet access.

    Then again, at the company I work at, we got in several new Dell's. Guess what they had in them. That's right. FLOPPY DRIVES. So, it really isn't all that weird.

    What I found strange was there was only 1 person there to interview at a time??? I don't remember ever being the sole person wating for an interview. And, not being an employee, I wouldn't have touched the receptionist's pc. Wouldn't want to take the chance of really messing up spmething. As already posted, I would have politely told her to call the IT department.
  • Sigivald 2008-10-22 14:57
    Incognito said: Honestly - do you think an 18 year old kid has grown up with a floppy drive at all?

    Yes.

    Many K-12 schools still use floppies for student work, though USB keys are the way of the future.

    Someone who is 18 now was 8 when the iMac came out as the first commodity PC with no floppy drive.

    They've had plenty of time to see a floppy disk in their lives.
  • anonymous 2008-10-22 15:04
    Satanicpuppy:


    I can understand screwing up the dead tech: a write protect tab? How quaint.


    Yeah, because my new tech SD card doesn't have a write protect switch.
  • RetroPR.com 2008-10-22 15:18
    I had an interview at a university back in 2001, and while I was waiting to be interviewed for a Sysadmin/ Helpdesk/ Computers Handyman, they were struggling with the Nimda virus (or one of those that wouldn't let you work because of reboots), so after seeing the "expert" fighting with it for about five minutes, I stepped in, aborted the shutdown, and used that "magic" removal tool that Symantec, McAfee, and everyone else were providing, and voila....

    Of course after talking for 5 minutes about my previous networking experience, and migrations from NT to Win2K I got the job!
  • Dirk Diggler 2008-10-22 15:20
    xous:
    static dhcp

    What is that?
  • Gleb 2008-10-22 15:21
    Actually, the last candidate was right: in Konqueror file type is determined by headers if the extension isn't associated with anyting.
  • Engywuck 2008-10-22 15:26
    the same thing that Microsofts DHCP server calls "reserved addresses"?
    Gives the same computer always the same address despite using DHCP (and as such being able to give DNS, Gateway etc. information to the client computer)
  • Bobble 2008-10-22 15:31
    Dirk Diggler:
    xous:
    static dhcp

    What is that?


    I would guess it's a fancy way of saying hcp :P

  • Dan 2008-10-22 15:38
    Satanicpuppy:
    incognito:
    Wait...I'm having trouble placing the time period - what with the talk of Ubuntu and Wikipedia. The PC still had a floppy drive???? Honestly - do you think an 18 year old kid has grown up with a floppy drive at all?


    But step one (assuming you didn't immediately think write protect tab) should have been to try another disk


    Actually, I'm pretty sure step 1 would be to pay attention to the error. I assume it's a Windows PC, and (I realize it has been a while, but) its error message should be something like "Write protect error writing the file". That should be an immediate clue to check the write protect tab.

    Of course I quit using floppies long before they fell out of use, simply because they became completely unreliable. Take a brand new floppy out of the box and half the time the drive would tell you it's unreadable. The other half, the file would likely not last long enough to be transferred to another drive. I typically resorted to writing multiple copies of a file to multiple floppies, hoping one would work.

    I'm just happy for flash drives.
  • Waiter of Death 2008-10-22 15:41
    They hire someone else. Duh.
  • Anon 2008-10-22 15:47
    DaveyDaveDave:
    Personally - I'd think, 'what an unfriendly, unhelpful person, I wouldn't want to work with him/her'.

    It's very true that you can tell an awful lot about a person from how he/she talks to the receptionist (or waiter, porter, other service staff).


    Yes you can tell that they value company IT security, do not wish to put themselves into legal risk, do not wish to cause potential headaches for the actual IT staff, etc. For all I know this is a desired behavior of the system (by the powers that be) that the receptionist is trying to bypass for their own benefit (ie: it’s easier for them, who cares how it impacts others).

    I’d personally be a lot more worried about the ones who did offer to help since they quite visibly have no idea about what can go wrong. What other systems will they unthinkably touch on the job to “help someone” without knowing the whole picture or going through official channels?

    Tapcon:
    ... then he doesn't eat it and politely informs the waitstaff? I'm not deathly allergic to anything but I can only assume that's how that situation should be handled.


    That’s assuming he realizes (before taking a bite) what has been served to him and that whatever he asked to have removed hasn’t been removed. See the odd thing about having an allergy is that you don’t usually get close to food that contain that product so it’s damn difficult sometimes to realize it can take on certain appearances once processed.

    Bappi:
    Doesn't work. I had a project at the Seattle school district, and someone in the office was mortally allergic to seafood. You couldn't even bring seafood in the building or his allergies would be triggered.

    You can imagine what would've happened if you'd put a plate of fish in front of him.


    Yeah such people would (or rather should) generally avoid going out to eat period since too much could go wrong in such a setting. If they have to go out then they’d first need to be very explicit in what they can’t be near so other people in their group don’t order it.
  • moz 2008-10-22 15:52
    Strum Rincewind:
    Doesn't anyone think it strange that the receptionist lets someone unknown to them have access to a company computer?

    Not really. The receptionist can watch the interviewee throughout, and has to be fairly computer literate to assess the less dreadful candidates.
    SomeCoder:
    This is an interesting idea to screen candidates and it seems to have worked but they need a back up plan just in case someone politely tells the secretary "Maybe you should call your IT department?"

    If you said that in this context, the receptionist would almost certainly ask you again. If you decline to try completely, but also avoid sounding too rude or weird, it shouldn't count against you.
  • MoreExperienceThanYou 2008-10-22 16:00
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?

    About 99.9% of the time people call IT and just say "It stopped working, I swear I didn't do anything." This situation is no different...they tell you the problem and it's your job to fix it. If they knew what may have caused they would probably figure it out for themselves and they wouldn't be calling you in the first place.

    So...no, the keyboard thing isn't tricky, it's perfectly legit for anybody that is WORTH hiring for their knowledge....which you obviously aren't.
  • The crowd 2008-10-22 16:01
    bd:
    DaveAronson:
    Hello, tech support? I'm having trouble writing a comment, could you come take a look at it?
    Have you tried turning it off and on again?

    Ha ha, awesome!
  • akatherder 2008-10-22 16:09
    Craig Matthews:
    Engywuck:
    If you are *able* to do anything "evil" to the network or computer config with a *receptionist* login on a computer that can be accessed by anyone coming in the building if the receptionist is (mentally) away then your companys security policy is sh*t (or your security officer).

    Not counting being able to f*ck with the Semi-Sensitive Data the receptionist needs to access/change, of course (really sensitive data shouldn't be accessable on a reception anyways...)

    Yes, I know... "should" and "is"...

    but hey, just saying "try another disk this one's write protected" or "your printer is offline, is there a reason for that?" can't *possibly* be security-relevant or dangerous. Powering the printer on when it's offline for a reason (say, emitting smoke when on) is another case, but even then the tech guy should have put it away or at least stick a HUGE warnig sticker to it.


    The same receptionist apparently has the ability to go to arbitrary websites and download software if the Ubuntu story is to be believed. Sounds like there's hardly any security on these guys' network at all, and yet they let potential employees who don't work there yet get in front of a computer. Hell, they even had them handling removable media.



    Downloading a file is one thing. The ability to run it is a completely different story.
  • Walleye 2008-10-22 16:17
    webhamster:
    Code Dependent:
    Zero:
    The difference is that the Canadians are proud they speak French whereas the Parisians are proud they speak French.
    Since that makes no sense whatsoever, I'm going to guess you meant to say this:

    The difference is that the Canadians are proud they speak French whereas the Parisians are proud they are French.


    The problem is that Canadians don't speak French. We speak 'Quebecois'. They're almost two totally different languages. And don't even get started on 'Acadian'...


    ... and then there's 'Joual'.
  • foo 2008-10-22 16:18
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?


    Simplest explanation is that the second shift receptionist is French.
  • MM 2008-10-22 16:18
    Engywuck:
    If you are *able* to do anything "evil" to the network or computer config with a *receptionist* login on a computer that can be accessed by anyone coming in the building if the receptionist is (mentally) away then your companys security policy is sh*t (or your security officer).

    Not counting being able to f*ck with the Semi-Sensitive Data the receptionist needs to access/change, of course (really sensitive data shouldn't be accessable on a reception anyways...)
    If she were only a receptionist, then she probably wouldn't have even needed to have a computer in the first place. Very few places, however, can afford to hire someone to just babysit the reception area. Nearly all receptionists have to do at least some secretarial work as well. There are a lot of companies where the "receptionist" is really a secretary or assistant who got stuck with handling reception in addition to her main job, and secretaries need access to a lot of sensitive data.

    As to it being accessable to anyone coming in the building when the receptionist is away, presumably she'd have the sense (and a directive from the company) to at least turn on the screensaver whenever she stepped away from her desk, so someone would need her password to easily get in. A combination of that and having the computer itself in a locked cabinet would provide reasonable enough security for most places.
  • MM 2008-10-22 16:18
    SomeCoder:
    Every company I've worked for has some really insanely paranoid people running IT. For someone to come in and jump on a receptionists computer to fix something... they would probably call the FBI immediately ;)

    Seriously though, I would be afraid of breaking some policy, unknowingly, and then being automatically disqualified from working there.
    I wouldn't touch a computer at a company I didn't work for yet without a clear indication that I was permitted to do so (something much clearer than the receptionist asking for help). I would, however, try to help her by suggesting things that she could try checking.
  • fruey 2008-10-22 16:19
    Dan:

    Of course I quit using floppies long before they fell out of use, simply because they became completely unreliable. Take a brand new floppy out of the box and half the time the drive would tell you it's unreadable. The other half, the file would likely not last long enough to be transferred to another drive. I typically resorted to writing multiple copies of a file to multiple floppies, hoping one would work.

    I'm just happy for flash drives.


    I used floppies for years. 5.25" and 3.5" at various densities from 320Kb to 1.44Mb per floppy. Never had issues like that. But then, floppy drives used to be well built too. Newish drives exist to read the occasional floppy, and the quality probably isn't there any more. But floppies were reliable indeed, I had hundreds of them with games, programs, software packages and documents on them, and they all still worked a few years ago when I last got nostalgic.

    It's like cassette tapes. They will fade given enough time and poor storage conditions, but they can still play great. But you can't buy a decent tape deck these days unless you go for a specialist deck or second hand for a well looked after piece of equipment...
  • North Bus 2008-10-22 16:23
    shepd:
    Why is it these applicants even make it there?

    Oh, I forgot. Like most places, I'm guessing the hiring (okay, resume review) process is based on how many degrees the person has, how many languages/operating systems/insert-unrelated-thing-here they've worked on, and how long they were in their last job, rather than the basic items the job actually requires;

    How did they get there? It's a university. They're trying to find one of the few undergrads who possesses the trifecta of willing to help, able to help, and willing to put up with common, menial tasks that an undergrad in university IT will be doing all the time.

    I got an interview for a lab-repair-guy/network admin/teaching assistant position because I asked about it (yes, this was all one job). That's often all it takes in college. I got the job because I demonstrated my ability to actually use the skills in test situations.

    Oh, and my "previous network experience" that got me the job? Setting up and debugging networks at LAN parties. (That was actually something to be proud of before Windows XP came along and made it comparatively easy.) But it worked!
  • snoofle 2008-10-22 16:27
    Gorfblot:
    snoofle:
    justin:
    I think it would have been great had you assembled it, put a bios password on it, and walked out with a note saying, break this, ill be back in 20 minutes
    I'd hire you in a second!


    Don't you mean in 20 minutes?

    No, I meant in a second - the really good folks get snapped up quickly!
  • MM 2008-10-22 16:36
    Ren:
    iToad:
    Some of the smarter companies take management candidates out to dinner, and then arrange for the restaurant to make a small error in the candidate's order. If he flies into a screaming rage, he doesn't get the job.
    What happens when they "accidentally" bring something he's deathly allergic to?
    It's probably best for that "error" to be ommitting something from the order rather than adding something to it.
  • Ilya Ehrenburg 2008-10-22 16:38
    Dave:
    Paris is hardly representative, FWIW my gf spent a year in france (Rennes) and I found the french obnoxious no matter what language you spoke to them in.

    You may just have been unlucky. But in my experience most of the french are like other people, friendly to the friendly and obnoxious to the really obnoxious, so it may have been you.
  • Dan 2008-10-22 16:47
    fruey:
    I used floppies for years. 5.25" and 3.5" at various densities from 320Kb to 1.44Mb per floppy. Never had issues like that. But then, floppy drives used to be well built too. Newish drives exist to read the occasional floppy, and the quality probably isn't there any more. But floppies were reliable indeed, I had hundreds of them with games, programs, software packages and documents on them, and they all still worked a few years ago when I last got nostalgic.


    Yep, that was my experience. In the days of 5.25 and the early days of 3.5", all was well. But somewhere in there, disks and drives were made cheaply and from then on, only disks supplied by software companies had any reliability. Then Zip disks took over, but eventually they too lost the reliability battle.
  • Neef 2008-10-22 17:20
    I'd be loathe to actually touch a machine that wasn't under my purview (ie : If Im not employed by a company, Im not going to start fucking with their machines), and I'd be surprised to find a company willing to do that.

    Mind you, after having worked for a university for the last year and a bit, I can easily see someone at this place thinking this is a fantastic idea...
  • Technical Thug 2008-10-22 17:33
    UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT B A SELECT START
  • Technical Thug 2008-10-22 17:42
    SomeCoder:
    That's a pretty terrible assumption to make. You would assume that the guy, nervous as hell, coming in for an interview would immediately jump to his feet to fix a receptionists computer while not being paid for it and having no prior knowledge to how their network, IT, etc. works.
    You touched The System?! You don't have authorization to touch The System!!!

    Seriously, I do a hell of a lot of tech support, but the primary thing to do is make the proper person is doing the job. IT hates the guy who home-brews his laptop.
  • Lincoln 2008-10-22 17:43
    While not pre-arranged tests (one of them I wasn't really looking for a job, nor did an opening exist at the time), I got both of my two "real" jobs, in part, by jumping in and helping solve a problem.

    I've also scored an upgrade to First Class for fixing the printer at the gate (no one at the airline's help desk was answering, and in the conversation I overheard, the issue was threatening to delay my flight). Offered to take a look at it. Beast of a tractor-fed Dot Matrix printer with one heck of a jam...cleared the paper jam, still refused to print. Offline/online-- unhappy beeping, no printy. Power cycle the printer and out comes the flight manifest, weather, etc. and I walk away.

    Agent walks up to me before I board and tells me I "forgot" my "correct" boarding pass.
  • Bob 2008-10-22 17:54
    Linux will not stop you from accidentally renaming a file whatever from whatever.doc. Windows displays a warning message saying that renaming a file extension might make it unusable.

    Some file managers may associate .doc files with openoffice/abiword/ms office in wine/whatever word processor you're using even if it does not have the extension.

    Nautilius appears to be able to do use both file-extensions AND magic numbers , because it tried to open a .docx in the archive manager (by using magic numbers to see that it is zip-compressed), but I was able to change .docx to open in my word processor.
  • Technical Thug 2008-10-22 17:59
    fruey:
    I used floppies for years. 5.25" and 3.5" at various densities from 320Kb to 1.44Mb per floppy. Never had issues like that. But then, floppy drives used to be well built too. Newish drives exist to read the occasional floppy, and the quality probably isn't there any more.
    I used flopped for at least 10 years. They were pretty good, but by the end it was damn painful.

    One thing I've heard (maybe apochraphyl) is that the floppy drives that aren't used accumulate dust, which affects all the floppies that are put into it.

    I bet most of my 5.25" are still good, but my pile of 3.5" are mostly crap.
  • rec 2008-10-22 18:00
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?


    If you have two languages installed, pressing "shift+ctrl" will toggle (or rotate, if you have more than two languages) the language for the current application.
  • Technical Thug 2008-10-22 18:04
    Tapcon:
    Also, I think it's safe to assume that any "small" change to a dish isn't going to include adding items that people are commonly severely allergic too.
    No, it is not safe to assume that.
  • BOB 2008-10-22 18:12
    incognito:
    Wait...I'm having trouble placing the time period - what with the talk of Ubuntu and Wikipedia. The PC still had a floppy drive???? Honestly - do you think an 18 year old kid has grown up with a floppy drive at all?

    Obviously it is in the future: they mentioned Ubuntu Obnoxious Orangutan. Ubuntu releases come out every six months and are in alphabetical order. Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex will be released in 8 days. So it is 36 months from now.
  • havokk 2008-10-22 18:15
    Osno:
    I would gently suggest that she call IT, but nothing more.


    Same here.
    "Look, I'm a visitor here, not an employee of your company, so I'd feel very uncomfortable about doing anything on your company equipment."

    I'd also use the response as an indicator of whether I wanted to work there or not. Does she say something like "Oh I'm not going to call IT, they are helpless"? Does he phone the helpdesk and spend 10 minutes on hold? Does my interviewer take time out from me to help the receptionist?

    B
  • Steve 2008-10-22 18:42
    Floppy disk? What's that?

    Oh, I'd flunk number four, too, since I avoid touching Windows at all costs. Of course, I may be pretty dumb but I'm not dumb enough to apply for a Windows support job. Eeech.

  • pong 2008-10-22 19:10
    If I were in the receptionist's position, I might accept it, but I also might say, "Aren't you going to be doing this kind of thing if you get hired?"

    As far as I'm concerned, a polite answer seals the people test portion of the test and I just want to see if you're a braggart. If you continue to refuse, then default back to having the interview screen you.
  • Athteist 2008-10-22 19:11
    The good old aproach to malfunctioning hardware:
    If brute force doesn't solve your problem, you're not using enough
  • tekiegreg 2008-10-22 19:12
    As well they should. Failing this test IMHO shouldn't just get you thrown out the door (though I'd admit the problems are fairly simple as described here). See how the candidate stacks up otherwise and evaluate them as a whole. Maybe they just plain didn't know what was wrong and never dealt with the issue?
  • BeenThere 2008-10-22 19:17
    phleabo:
    I like how you managed to fit in the Linux bigot stereotype. Very subtle.

    I think the real WTF is that this story is largely fictional.


    Of course it's fictional, they're M$ fanboys, and everything by M$ proponents is fiction. Like that rumor about Bill Gates not biting the heads off of puppies for the pure pleasure of it...all those distasteful works of fiction.
  • bramster 2008-10-22 19:49
    Dan:
    Satanicpuppy:
    incognito:
    Wait...I'm having trouble placing the time period - what with the talk of Ubuntu and Wikipedia. The PC still had a floppy drive???? Honestly - do you think an 18 year old kid has grown up with a floppy drive at all?


    But step one (assuming you didn't immediately think write protect tab) should have been to try another disk


    Actually, I'm pretty sure step 1 would be to pay attention to the error. I assume it's a Windows PC, and (I realize it has been a while, but) its error message should be something like "Write protect error writing the file". That should be an immediate clue to check the write protect tab.

    Of course I quit using floppies long before they fell out of use, simply because they became completely unreliable. Take a brand new floppy out of the box and half the time the drive would tell you it's unreadable. The other half, the file would likely not last long enough to be transferred to another drive. I typically resorted to writing multiple copies of a file to multiple floppies, hoping one would work.

    I'm just happy for flash drives.


    Before the flash drives, floppy drives were a lot more expensive, and a lot more reliable than now. I did a lot of work with floppies.

    Then again, maybe the candidate should have asked the receptionist if she had dual floppies. . . might he try the other one?

  • vadi 2008-10-22 19:54
    interestingly enough, I tried removing the extension in ubuntu and it -did- work.

    but wtf at failing to listen and using such a convulted solution.
  • Franz_Kafka 2008-10-22 20:05
    Bobble:
    Dirk Diggler:
    xous:
    static dhcp

    What is that?


    I would guess it's a fancy way of saying hcp :P



    Nah, it's dhcp where all the allowed hosts have static mappings. easier to manage that way.
  • Jim Beam 2008-10-22 20:52
    LOL, talking about BUSTED! Wow.

    www.internet-privacy.pl.tc
  • more randomer than you 2008-10-22 20:55
    the real WTF is that anyone would even think about getting involved with helping with these odd jobs when:

    (a) they are supposed to be waiting for an interview - what if the interviewer is pushed for time, comes to grab the interviewee and the interviewee is halfway through changing something. Do they leave the system in a possibly inoperable state, or do they waster the interviewers time? not a good position to put yourself in.

    (b) If you don't know a system then you shouldn't just rush in and change parts of it. Those floppies don't just lock themselves, perhaps there is a very valid reason why it is write protected, such as .. gee I don't know.. someone doesn't want the file to be written to? I'm sure the boss would be delighted with you if you helped the receptionist to overwrite his floppy disk which had crucial unbacked up information on it.
  • FLQ 2008-10-22 21:15
    xtremezone:
    No, the French Canadians are proud they speak French. The rest of us hate it. >:(


    C'est bien correct, nous detestons votre langue aussi. :)
  • Cheong 2008-10-22 21:20
    Actually, if you've been working as support staff at any organization where multiple people (possibly from different country) share the same PC and everyone login as administrator, you know that every possibility need to be considered - no matter it's possible to be changed accidentially or not.
  • Bob... Billy Bob 2008-10-22 21:58
    Obnoxious Orangutan.... hahahahahaha. That. Is. Awesome.

    That's seriously one of the funniest things I've read here.
  • Lady Nocturne 2008-10-22 23:02
    snoofle:
    justin:
    I think it would have been great had you assembled it, put a bios password on it, and walked out with a note saying, break this, ill be back in 20 minutes
    I'd hire you in a second!


    Give me a screwdriver and I'll do it in under five, and that includes the time to open and close the case and boot.
  • JobCandidate 2008-10-22 23:08
    Whether or not I got the test right and fixed the problem. Think about it, do you want to work somewhere that hires people that can't figure out on their own that the printer is turned off or that somehow manage to change the language on their keyboard and then don't know what's wrong? If you have ever had to deal with these people then you know what I mean.
  • ClaudeSuck.de 2008-10-22 23:26
    Endo808:
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    To be fair I'd write off some slow speaking, loud shouting american as worthless too. You'll find the french perfectly helpful if you talk to them like people instead of retards.


    The problem is to speak Franglais, so you could understand what they're saying.
  • Fsck These Bots Already 2008-10-22 23:45
    Jim Beam:
    LOL, talking about BUSTED! Wow.

    www.internet-privacy.pl.tc


    Hey, Alex, u ban TopCod3r, but u let douchey bots through?

    That's TRWTF™.
  • Braggarts suck dans tous les langues 2008-10-22 23:48
    FLQ:
    xtremezone:
    No, the French Canadians are proud they speak French. The rest of us hate it. >:(


    C'est bien correct, nous detestons votre langue aussi. :)


    bien alors, nous detestons VOUS, aussi. douche.
  • Scarlet Manuka 2008-10-22 23:55
    Oddly enough, I was in a bookshop a few days ago and trying to use their computerised catalogue. When I tried to type in the name of the item I was looking for, the letters on the scrren didn't bear much resemblance to what I'd typed. Saw the Language Bar icon on the taskbar, clicked on it, changed the keyboard layout from Dvorak back to US, and all was well. Except that they didn't have the thing I was looking for.
  • Dave 2008-10-23 00:22
    During one interview I came across as a complete idiot because I couldn't figure out how to copy and paste with a Mac. Ctrl-v obliterated what I wanted to copy and ctrl-z did something completely unexpected...It went downhill from there fast.

    I was so frustrated about halfway through the test that at one point I could not for the life of me remember the correct syntax for setting a unique key constraint in a table def. Worst part about it is that I really wanted to work for the company but I couldn't code out a simple project on a Mac so I must be an idiot.

  • Machtyn 2008-10-23 00:29
    Osno:
    I would gently suggest that she call IT, but nothing more.

    This! Really, if I'm at a job interview and the secretary has a problem. I might say, "Yes, I can fix that, but these are not my systems. Give your tech a call and have them fix it."
  • Jay 2008-10-23 00:35
    At the risk of being a "me too", I'd vote with those who say they would be reluctant to start tampering with a random computer at an interviewer's office.

    Yes, I want to hire people who take initiative rather than saying "It's not my job." But there are limits. If I hire someone to be a programmer I would certainly hope he wouldn't be afraid to turn on a printer. But I wouldn't want him to just decide one day to switch all the production servers from Windows to Linux, or to call the manager of our factory in Atlanta and tell him to move the operation to Ecuador.

    Personally, I would be very reluctant to try to fix a problem on the receptionist's computer in circumstances like this. As others have pointed out, I have no idea how their computers are configured, what software is installed, or what the company's security policies are. It would be quite realistic to worry that the boss could walk in, see me on the computer, and scream, "What the blankety-blank are you doing messing with Sally's computer!" What am I going to do then? If I tell him that she asked me to, I could be getting her in trouble, and I'll certainly sound pathetic. If I try to cover for her, I'm practically confessing to being a vandal or a spy.

    Any employer who would say, "We require a candidate to play a game where we refuse to tell him the rules, and if he is reluctant to play we disqualify him immediately" ... well, I'm not sure I'd want to work at such a place anyway. What other silly games are they going to play on me?
  • bramster 2008-10-23 00:48
    FLQ:
    xtremezone:
    No, the French Canadians are proud they speak French. The rest of us hate it. >:(


    C'est bien correct, nous detestons votre langue aussi. :)


    Can you spell "Fuck You" en Francais ?
  • cak 2008-10-23 01:15
    Anybody who thinks these tests are silly, or wouldn't do them and ask for IT to look at it, you are all fucking tools and should not be working in IT.

    If you can't solve these simple problems, you do not belong here. Go back to the fucking supermarket and look for trolleys. These are some great tests, and anybody, whether in support or Senior Software developer should be able to help out with these. And for the total losers who wanted her to ring support, just start running. If you won't help someone with something this simple, then give up on computers and go back to the trees. It is a disgrace to read some peoples responses to this. Even a Manager should be able to help with this.
  • JobCandidate 2008-10-23 01:52
    To REAL IT people, these piddly problems are the supermarket days....yeaaaahhhh.
  • mitschke 2008-10-23 02:16
    vadi:
    interestingly enough, I tried removing the extension in ubuntu and it -did- work.

    but wtf at failing to listen and using such a convulted solution.


    Yes, the Ubuntu guy is right: the particular problem wouldn't have occurred using Ubuntu, since no file extensionsion is needed to determine of which "filetype" a file is.
  • Procedural 2008-10-23 02:18
    bramster:
    FLQ:
    xtremezone:
    No, the French Canadians are proud they speak French. The rest of us hate it. >:(


    C'est bien correct, nous detestons votre langue aussi. :)


    Can you spell "Fuck You" en Francais ?


    Yeah, racism. Now *THAT'S* cool. No sure why Alex isn`t pruning that kind of crap.
  • lokey 2008-10-23 02:29
    Kermos:
    jonnyq:
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?


    Exactly what I was thinking. I don't think there's a button in Windows you can accidentally press to change keyboard layout.

    The rest were simple mistakes, but the keyboard layout thing is a WTF by itself. How did the keyboard layout get screwed up? Since I don't work here, I assume you have it set that way on purpose as it's not really something you can do by accident.


    Actually no, they keyboard thing isn't a WTF.

    I use Japanese keyboards myself and Windows absolutely half the time will NOT get them right. It'll randomly all of a sudden add a Chinese layout to the keyboard layout list and then go use that. Or, the layout will revert to standard US which I may not even immediately notice as the roman alphabet layout is identical to the US keyboards. However the moment I go hit my key to switch to direct input Kana mode you'll hear me cursing. This happens several times a week.

    I then have to go into regional settings, and simply *look* at my keyboard layout settings and hit OK. The settings will still be set to Japanese, but windows just somehow uses US layout.

    So no, seeing how I personally suffer with windows not being able to get my keyboard layout straight on multiple completely different computers, both Vista and XP included, I don't see it as a WTF.

    Oh and before someone mentions possible driver issues, manufacturer incompatibility, etc. these are Microsoft keyboards.



    Obviously, you missed the problem !

    >>>Oh and before someone mentions possible driver issues, manufacturer incompatibility, etc. these are Microsoft keyboards.<<<

    Micro$oft is a (crappy) software company. They don't make hardware. Duh!
  • Elmar 2008-10-23 02:49
    I've actually found that if I'm speaking to a French person, starting of with speaking a totally different language (I'm Afrikaans from South Afrika btw), they then realize that I'm not brittish, and I'll then tell them that I'm from Africe de Sud, and we converse very happily in English.

    snoofle:
    Endo808:
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    To be fair I'd write off some slow speaking, loud shouting american as worthless too. You'll find the french perfectly helpful if you talk to them like people instead of retards.

    Having been to both Montreal and Paris, I'd have to say that in Canada, I got more politeness by attempting (and failing) to speak French than trying to get by with English, whereas in Paris, I got far more politeness by just sticking with English than trying to speak French (I only know a few words).

    I guess it depends on the day and the place...
  • Drum D. 2008-10-23 03:11
    derula:
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    Okay just that you're happy, the German method would be to concentrate the ones we don't understand in camps telling everyone else they were evil while secretly killing them.


    Oh, and I thought that was the second American method.
  • Reinier 2008-10-23 03:58
    I might hire Lisa.

    She got one thing right: despite her lack of knowledge, she managed to provided a workaround so the user could at least get by, if awkwardly. That's a good attitude. If she follows it up with some research and the real solution on the next day, of course.
  • Ilya Ehrenburg 2008-10-23 04:19
    Procedural:
    bramster:
    FLQ:
    xtremezone:
    No, the French Canadians are proud they speak French. The rest of us hate it. >:(


    C'est bien correct, nous detestons votre langue aussi. :)


    Can you spell "Fuck You" en Francais ?


    Yeah, racism. Now *THAT'S* cool. No sure why Alex isn`t pruning that kind of crap.

    Well, actually it'd be "baise toi" and not "racisme". But I agree, language wars on this site should better stay in the "TRWTF is using VB", "Java sucks" and likewise ludicrous statements department.
  • AnCoward 2008-10-23 04:25
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?


    Well, it actually is something I expect to suddenly change by itself. This is at least the case outside US where my XP has english as a default keyboard layout and our own languages' keyboard layout in addition to that.

    The keyboard language periodically switches back to English without any apparent reason, so you get very used to flipping it back - or removing the wrong layout at the first instance this happens.
  • dag 2008-10-23 04:28
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?

    Your wrong. Alt+shift changes the language. So it happens a lot for me.
  • Alan 2008-10-23 04:31
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    No - they would just go and use thier minitel terminal.
  • vr602 2008-10-23 04:33
    derula:
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    Okay just that you're happy, the German method would be to concentrate the ones we don't understand in camps telling everyone else they were evil while secretly killing them.

    I hope I'm not the only person here who finds this offensive, as well as boringly ignorant?
  • itsmo 2008-10-23 04:38
    Zecc:
    snoofle:
    I guess it depends on the day and the place...

    Well, I guess it depends on whether they care if you're insulting their language or not.


    FTFY - please don't insult my language
  • Jesper 2008-10-23 04:40
    John: "Do you have a hammer?"

    Receptionist: "Here."

    Ctrl + **BANG!!!**

    Still no document from the printer
  • itsmo 2008-10-23 04:49
    Zero:
    snoofle:
    Having been to both Montreal and Paris, I'd have to say that in Canada, I got more politeness by attempting (and failing) to speak French than trying to get by with English, whereas in Paris, I got far more politeness by just sticking with English than trying to speak French (I only know a few words).

    I guess it depends on the day and the place...
    The difference is that the Canadians are proud they speak French whereas the Parisians are proud they speak French.

    and the difference is?
  • Addie 2008-10-23 05:03
    I'm probably too late in the discussion now, but anyway.

    Trust that none of you really remember saving office documents onto floppy disks? Office makes *loads* of temporary files while editing, so you quickly run out of capacity on floppies and get loads of very strange errors, eventually being unable to save the document *at all*, even when you try to on other devices. Or at least, it did back in the windows 3.1 / 95 days when I still used floppies.

    Copy your files onto the network share / hard disk, edit them, close office, copy them back onto the floppy. That way you always have two copies as well, don't rely on a floppy.

    Axxx
  • itsmo 2008-10-23 05:14
    Craig Matthews:
    Engywuck:
    If you are *able* to do anything "evil" to the network or computer config with a *receptionist* login on a computer that can be accessed by anyone coming in the building if the receptionist is (mentally) away then your companys security policy is sh*t (or your security officer).

    Not counting being able to f*ck with the Semi-Sensitive Data the receptionist needs to access/change, of course (really sensitive data shouldn't be accessable on a reception anyways...)

    Yes, I know... "should" and "is"...

    but hey, just saying "try another disk this one's write protected" or "your printer is offline, is there a reason for that?" can't *possibly* be security-relevant or dangerous. Powering the printer on when it's offline for a reason (say, emitting smoke when on) is another case, but even then the tech guy should have put it away or at least stick a HUGE warnig sticker to it.


    The same receptionist apparently has the ability to go to arbitrary websites and download software if the Ubuntu story is to be believed. Sounds like there's hardly any security on these guys' network at all, and yet they let potential employees who don't work there yet get in front of a computer. Hell, they even had them handling removable media.



    This same receptionist is also part of the interview team. How do the inteviewers know how well/badly the interviewee did with this test? Are they being spied upon during this process? Or do the actual interview team have to rely on the receptionist's assessment of the interviewee's perfomance? Could be a bad indicator - I mean the stupid f*ckwit doesn't even know to turn the printer on...
  • BertBert 2008-10-23 05:27
    About all the people saying "Call your tech support!", I would probably do the same thing as I do with family nowadays. I ask questions and give verbal advice and only instructions when specifically asked, but I let them do everything themselves.

    That way they hopefully learn something and it makes it harder for them to blame you if something goes wrong.
  • itsmo 2008-10-23 05:45
    Elmar:
    I've actually found that if I'm speaking to a French person, starting of with speaking a totally different language (I'm Afrikaans from South Afrika btw), they then realize that I'm not brittish, and I'll then tell them that I'm from Africe de Sud, and we converse very happily in English.


    They don't want to know that you are not British - just not English. As an Afrikaaner, you could not be expected to know about the Auld Alliance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auld_alliance), but it is surrpising the reaction an Anglophone gets from the French when they find out you are Scottish.
  • BertBert 2008-10-23 05:50
    Kermos:
    It'll randomly all of a sudden add a Chinese layout to the keyboard layout list and then go use that. Or, the layout will revert to standard US which I may not even immediately notice


    Ubuntu is just as bad. When pressing Ctrl (e.g. to Ctrl-s or so), it switches back to the first layout as long as it is held down. So it is impossible to use these keyboard shortcuts in one of the other layouts. I could not find out an option somewhere to set this behaviour. I think it is a bug.
  • French Candidate 2008-10-23 06:09
    K&T:
    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.
    "Yeah, this is pretty frustrating for you, isn't it?" She nodded in agreement. "Computers suck. You'd never have this problem if you were on an ordinateur. In fact..."
  • r 2008-10-23 06:32
    And there lies the true WTF: article writer was completely unaware of this.

    Besides, Windows tends to hide extensions of known file types, even though that extension dictates the file type... And this is really a WTF too.

    Still, if that "Ubuntu-user" was former Windows-user, it's kinda odd that he couldn't overcome Windows' limitations other than by suggesting use of Ubuntu. Even though it could solve other problems as well, it's kind of a overkill for this simple problem. That obnoxious Ubuntu guy was still the only one to actually solve the problem.
  • derula 2008-10-23 06:33
    derula:
    Okay just that you're happy, the German method would be to concentrate the ones we don't understand in camps telling everyone else they were evil while secretly killing them.


    Kluge Doctor:
    And, for the record, I think the German insult was (a bit) over the line. It's more Third Reich, than German.


    Of course it was, but as a born Krautfag who listens to anti-fascistic Punk Rock, I feel legitimate to do such insults.

    vr602:
    I hope I'm not the only person here who finds this offensive, as well as boringly ignorant?


    That's what I was hoping writing that.
  • r 2008-10-23 06:34
    Sorry, my last post was reply to this:

    mitschke:
    vadi:
    interestingly enough, I tried removing the extension in ubuntu and it -did- work.

    but wtf at failing to listen and using such a convulted solution.


    Yes, the Ubuntu guy is right: the particular problem wouldn't have occurred using Ubuntu, since no file extensionsion is needed to determine of which "filetype" a file is.
  • Sudden Change 2008-10-23 06:57
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?
    Such things do happen. Just the other day I managed to lock myself out of my Windows account before I finally realized that the PC was expecting me to type my password using the French keyboard layout for some reason. Now that was fun... (Naturally, there are security policies in place that require all passwords to have special characters in them.)
  • vr602 2008-10-23 07:37
    Actually, this whole thing is utterly unlikely and I call BS: If I turn up for an interview, and someone tries to recruit me to fix their hardware, there's no way I'm going to get involved. There's all sorts of insurance/responsibility/negligence issues.
    For example, if you were to be electrocuted by a faulty power lead, you probably aren't insured. If you go to "fix" their file, and accidentally delete some crucial business information, you probably aren't insured. You shouldn't even be reading their documents. This is why IT contractors have to have Indemnity insurance, at least in the UK.
    Any company that expects me to jump in and work on their systems before they employ me are fooling themselves.

    Addendum (2008-10-23 07:50):
    Apologies for awkward last sentence "Any company...are fooling...". You think of something better.
  • Steve 2008-10-23 08:00
    I really like this interview concept. Sure, there may be some insurance / health and saftey issues if an interviewee starts working on the company's system but realistically, there isn't a whole lot to go wrong if you're just flipping the copy protect tab on a floppy disk. I'm pleased to say that I would have no problem fixing any of these issues (or assembling a box from scratch), even though I'm a dev and not a tech. Nice to know I've got options when I finally burn out from coding.
  • return of the spelling nazi 2008-10-23 08:01
    JobCandidate:
    Whether or not I got the test right and fixed the problem. Think about it, do you want to work somewhere that hires people that can't figure out on their own that the printer is turned off or that somehow manage to change the language on their keyboard and then don't know what's wrong? If you have ever had to deal with these people then you know what I mean.


    If you find me a place that doesn't have anybody like that, please email me, and I will go out there and camp out in the lobby until somebody hires me.

    OK, maybe there's programming shops out there where they don't have a receptionist, accountant, PHB, etc. But even so, look at some of these replies. You'd *think* it'd be a simple thing to check the keyboard/language settings, especially for people who work with computers every day. Enter TRWTF: half the people here say they wouldn't have figured it out, or would have been too much of a prima donna to try to.

    I think what you're really saying is, "don't work at a place where there aren't any helpless morons", and again I really doubt such a place exists. Consultants & freelancers have to deal with their share of idiots, too.
  • foo 2008-10-23 08:46
    mauve:
    Ubuntu: making Linux accessible to morons since 2004.


    Pity they've not made it accessible to the average C developer yet.

    (Not trolling; I've got 2 machines at home running ubuntu, and everytime I need to reconfigure something or access a network share, they cause me grief. There's a severe lack of useful documentation.)
  • icelava 2008-10-23 08:46
    What is a floppy disk? I searched through all my computers and did not find any that possessed one.

    :-)
  • dangerous 2008-10-23 08:49
    shepd:
    It's sad, but I rarely get to the interview stage from a resume application. It's because my resume doesn't look like a million bucks (It's not *bad* per se, it's just I didn't complete post-secondary, I owned my own store and I tried a new career; it seems HR considers these "risks", or so I'm guessing--colleagues and managers consider them perks, though, once they realize how valuable outside experience is). However, every single interview I've ever had has resulted in a job offer. Although, I usually need to apply to a few dozen jobs to get an interview. Oh well, at least I'm in a job that keeps my happy now! But it was rough getting here!


    If you think you would do the job well, then lie to get the interview and knock their socks off once they are there.
  • hikari 2008-10-23 09:34
    SomeCoder:

    It's a good test, for sure, and these people in the story are obviously morons but what would you do if a candidate just said "oh well, better check with IT?" rather than offer to help?


    I'm inclined to agree - if only for liability reasons. I'm not authorized to play around with the hardware belonging to the company I'm interviewing at.

    Although that doesn't stop you offering simple advice like "have you checked the write protect tab?" or "are you sure it's turned on?" If it came down to checking power cables and the like, I'd most like direct them to IS/IT - some companies are funny about who is allowed to poke at cables.

    If someone from a suitable management team asked me, I'd probably do it. In fact I did where I am now; I helped them out with something during my interview, but it was the owner and the IT manager who asked me.
  • KenW 2008-10-23 09:37
    Craig Matthews:
    The real WTF is allowing people who don't work for your company to touch a computer which has access to corporate information.

    Everyone involved in administering the "receptionist test" should be fired.


    The real WTF is you making the assumption that the computer had access to the network. Where did you get that "fact"? I didn't see it anywhere in the original post.

    Also, so what if it was? Nothing says that the interviewee was left alone to do whatever they wanted on the system.

    Everyone who makes stupid assumptions in public forums should be fired, so... You're fired.
  • conservajerk 2008-10-23 09:51
    That's due to the inferiority complex of the Quebecois... Did you ever hear about the guy who tried to bomb a coffee shop because it was named "second cup"?
  • KenW 2008-10-23 09:57
    Gleb:
    Actually, the last candidate was right: in Konqueror file type is determined by headers if the extension isn't associated with anyting.


    No, the last candidate was wrong. After being told the receptionist had previously had the file open in Word, he suggested installing an entirely different operating system on the PC instead of simply renaming the file with a .DOC extension and opening it again in Word.

    You fail, just like the last candidate did. No hire.
  • jonnyq 2008-10-23 10:10
    Heh.. I should have come back to this thread yesterday... =)

    That's amazing that there's really a keyboard shortcut for switching the layout and that some PCs ship with that shortcut enabled.

    You learn something new. I guess I would have failed that test =) (yeah, it's a WTF that the girl didn't even identify the problem, but I didn't see the WTF in not fixing the problem...)
  • jeffg 2008-10-23 11:01
    xtremezone:
    mauve:
    Ubuntu: making Linux accessible to morons since 2004.

    Seconded. :D

    Operating Systems: making computers accessible to people who post moronic comments on thedailywtf since 1969.
  • MM 2008-10-23 11:46
    AnCoward:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?
    Well, it actually is something I expect to suddenly change by itself. This is at least the case outside US where my XP has english as a default keyboard layout and our own languages' keyboard layout in addition to that.
    It's something that can reasonably be changed by mistake on computers with multiple languages installed. That, however, can be extremely rare in many parts of the US. It's quite reasonable even for someone who's very knowledgeable and experienced at working with computers to have never seen that sort of a setup.

    Like many problems, the solution is something that's very obvious to anyone who's worked with that setup, but would be tricky to anyone who hasn't seen it before. Of course, given a little time, even someone unfamiliar with the problem should be able to find the language settings, but I wouldn't expect someone waiting for an interview (which they might be called away to at any moment) to take that time to go digging around in unfamiliar settings on the receptionist's computer. At least Lisa came up with an interim workaround (albeit a rather awkward one) that would allow the receptionist to function until someone fixed the problem.
  • Fiona 2008-10-23 11:53
    Scarlet Manuka:
    Oddly enough, I was in a bookshop a few days ago and trying to use their computerised catalogue. When I tried to type in the name of the item I was looking for, the letters on the scrren didn't bear much resemblance to what I'd typed. Saw the Language Bar icon on the taskbar, clicked on it, changed the keyboard layout from Dvorak back to US, and all was well. Except that they didn't have the thing I was looking for.

    TRWTF is QWERTY.
  • Paul 2008-10-23 12:11
    Blimey.

    I mean, I like Ubuntu and all, I wouldn't ever go back to using Windows by choice, but I wouldn't have employed the guy who suggests fixing a simple problem by changing the entire operating system either!
  • maco 2008-10-23 12:12
    incognito:
    Wait...I'm having trouble placing the time period - what with the talk of Ubuntu and Wikipedia. The PC still had a floppy drive???? Honestly - do you think an 18 year old kid has grown up with a floppy drive at all?

    Um, yes. 18 year olds might not remember 5.25" floppies, but they definitely remember the pain of 3.5" floppies that would go dead after switching computers a few times due to difference in alignment of various drives. I'm 20, so I remember 5.25" floppies from the Apple ]['s we had in first grade...and that DEC Rainbow 100 I had as a kid. Flash drives only replaced floppies maybe 4 years ago. Do you really think they started using computers at age 14? Get real! Besides, who said they were 18?

    Oh, and desktops still have floppy drives, I'm pretty sure. They're unusual for laptops, but hey, having a floppy drive is still usually needed for BIOS updates on desktops.
  • maco 2008-10-23 12:15
    KenW:
    Gleb:
    Actually, the last candidate was right: in Konqueror file type is determined by headers if the extension isn't associated with anyting.


    No, the last candidate was wrong. After being told the receptionist had previously had the file open in Word, he suggested installing an entirely different operating system on the PC instead of simply renaming the file with a .DOC extension and opening it again in Word.

    You fail, just like the last candidate did. No hire.

    Given that Windows hides the file extensions (by default, I think...), it would be reasonable to assume the .doc was actually there...at least at first. Once you get to it not knowing the file type, you might want to turn on file extensions and investigate.
  • rogue 2008-10-23 12:30
    Thanks for the tip - I will check it out. I have a P4350, so not very optimistic, but I will try it anyway!
  • the real wtf fool 2008-10-23 12:40
    MM:
    AnCoward:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?
    Well, it actually is something I expect to suddenly change by itself. This is at least the case outside US where my XP has english as a default keyboard layout and our own languages' keyboard layout in addition to that.
    It's something that can reasonably be changed by mistake on computers with multiple languages installed.


    Indeed. Used to happen all the time on my machine by mistake until I disabled the shortcut key combination (Ctrl+Shift I think which can easily be hit together by mistake).
  • Sir Twist 2008-10-23 12:57
    MM:
    It's something that can reasonably be changed by mistake on computers with multiple languages installed.

    Actually, all you need to have is multiple keyboards. I only have English (US) installed, but I have 2 custom keyboards installed, one that allows typing all of Windows-1252, the other that allows typing iso-8859-1.

    The real WTF™ is the minimized language bar on XP moving to the right side of the task bar every time I focus a MSTSC window. The other real WTF™ is Windows refusing to change the keyboard on console windows from a minimized language bar.
  • Grig Larson 2008-10-23 13:06
    I got a job like this once. At least I think I did. One of the three guys who interviewed me was the lead telecom software guy. While he asked me about my resume and qualifications, his screen saver kept going off. This meant that he had to slap the space bar, hit cntl+alt+del, and log back in. As the interview progressed, this made him angrier and angrier.

    "Gahd, I hate this!" he said. "Every time the stupid screen saver goes on, it slows the computer down, and then the monitoring software crashes." [this was back when a Pentium 75 was a super-fast computer]

    "Why don't you disable the screen saver?" I asked.

    "Because I need it when I don't run the software. They had us upgrade to NT 4.0 and I hate the damn thing."

    "How about adjust the timing to less than a few minutes?"

    He sighed. "Because I am not the kind of guy who wants to do a reg hack or install software to fix that on a company laptop."

    "No no," I said. "Here, try this..." and I showed him where the screen saver settings were. Right click desktop, choose screen saver. It was set to 4 minutes, and I set it to 30 minutes for him.

    He was IMPRESSED. Like more than I would have considered a normal response. "I had NO idea I could do that! My god, man, THANK YOU! This was driving me CRAZY!"

    I got the job, and worked with him for the next year and a half, and he was actually a bright guy who was wonderful to work with most of the time. But after that, he seemed to think I was some kind of Windows wizard and bragged about my skills to others FAR more than I was comfortable with.
  • JLYNN 2008-10-23 13:38
    Any jackass that expects an applicant to "work" for the dumbass receptionist before being hired doesn't need to ever try and get a job in the real world.

  • Jenda 2008-10-23 13:40
    It's sad, but I rarely get to the interview stage from a resume application. It's because my resume doesn't look like a million buck

    The only advice anyone can give you is to make sure the resume goes directly to the people that actually know anything about the job and skips the most use- and clueless department in any company, the HR. For the HR beings writing you helped God to create the world, the animals and the man would not be too embellished.
  • acon1modm 2008-10-23 13:45
    frustrati:

    In fact, now that I think about it, this test would work well for any tech job. Great idea!


    you're right, like for a dev position:

    Receptionist: Oh drat, I was just trying to finish this voicemail message storing script but my regex appears to not parse dates correctly...

    candidate: oh... well, that seems like a perfectly natural problem for a receptionist, let me take a look...
  • halcyon1234 2008-10-23 14:43
    Milton Waddams:
    Damn write-protect tabs!! I hated those things!


    Ah-- early DRM.
  • Nicolas 2008-10-23 15:51
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?

    Dude, have you ever used Windows with more than one keyboard layout in the list? It *does* randomly change between them. Or at least it seems to.
  • Andy 2008-10-23 16:07
    I'd help the secretary, perhaps not by touching her machine, but by suggesting how to fix the problems.

    If I got disqualified for a job for fixing a problem I was asked to fix, then I wouldn't want to work there anyway.

    (If the secretary got in trouble for asking a perfect stranger to fix her computer, then that's too bad, but not my problem.)

    -Andy

  • Amerrickangirl 2008-10-23 16:09
    seamustheseagull:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?
    That kind of logical thinking won't get you far in support. Every user will claim that "it only broke five minutes ago" and "No, I haven't made any changes, I've just been doing what I normally do". Even under waterboarding, they won't crack.

    Inevitably when you find the problem, they'll "remember" the useful and descriptive message that popped up 30 seconds before they called you.


    I had a user call me over to tell me that suddenly, when she typed, nothing appeared on the screen even though her cursor appeared to move.

    Somehow she had managed to change her font color to white (on a white screen). She had no idea how she had done this: "it just happened all of a sudden".

    And don't ask me what prompted me to check that.
  • ljj116 2008-10-23 16:42
    Errrr....there's something wrong here. Ubuntu and floppy disks in the same story? Ubuntu's first release was in 2004, but it really didn't become popular for a few years after that. Let's assume that occured in 2005 - what college student would know about the protect tab on a floppy disk in 2005????

  • ais523 2008-10-23 17:37
    jonnyq:
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?


    Exactly what I was thinking. I don't think there's a button in Windows you can accidentally press to change keyboard layout.


    There is, it's Left Alt + Left Shift. (I just tried it, I happen to be on a Windows computer nowadays.) So not one key technically speaking, but a two-key combination which is not completely implausible.

    Now, that's the real WTF.
  • campkev 2008-10-23 17:57
    what college student would know about the protect tab on a floppy disk in 2005?


    One that wants a job doing computer support at a University that still has lots of computers with floppy disks,maybe?
  • Craig Matthews 2008-10-23 20:20
    KenW:
    Craig Matthews:
    The real WTF is allowing people who don't work for your company to touch a computer which has access to corporate information.

    Everyone involved in administering the "receptionist test" should be fired.


    The real WTF is you making the assumption that the computer had access to the network. Where did you get that "fact"? I didn't see it anywhere in the original post.

    Also, so what if it was? Nothing says that the interviewee was left alone to do whatever they wanted on the system.

    Everyone who makes stupid assumptions in public forums should be fired, so... You're fired.


    I guess we'll just have to assume, then, that one of the interviewees got to the Ubuntu website with magic.

    And apparently he was allowed to download software onto a computer that a receptionist uses to manipulate company data.

    Receptionists use email too.
  • Bob... Billy Bob 2008-10-23 22:23
    ljj116:
    Errrr....there's something wrong here. Ubuntu and floppy disks in the same story? Ubuntu's first release was in 2004, but it really didn't become popular for a few years after that. Let's assume that occured in 2005 - what college student would know about the protect tab on a floppy disk in 2005????



    Uhhh... I graduated in 2005 (aged 25), and I still remember the tape drive and 1541 disk drive used on my commodore 128 back in the day. I still have a pile of 5.25 and 3.5 floppys at home.

    Not knowing about the write protect tab most likely means the candidate is someone that never used computers as a kid and "just got into IT because the pay is good". No thanks.
  • more randomer than you 2008-10-24 00:56
    cak:
    Anybody who thinks these tests are silly, or wouldn't do them and ask for IT to look at it, you are all fucking tools and should not be working in IT.


    Anyone who rushes in and 'solves' problems without fully understanding the implications and flow on effects of their changes is a reckless cowboy and won't ever get past helpdesk for a career.

    One day you will find yourself in a position where you work with other people, and you will be thankful that they aren't as careless as yourself about rushing in and changing things which you don't know about.
  • Anonymous 2008-10-24 07:43
    A lot of people have commented that the language test was difficult. I beg to differ. Even if you have absolutely no experience of changing the language on a Windows box, a simple process of elimination will lead you very quickly to the root issue of an incorrect language being active. After all, what else could possibly replace the character map other than the language settings? And considering that Windows has its 'langauge bar' that lets you change languages on the fly from your desktop - this one struck me as a very easy win. Obviously they all did, but I don't see this was any trickier than the write-protected disk.
  • alec 2008-10-24 08:37
    more randomer than you:
    Anyone who rushes in and 'solves' problems without fully understanding the implications and flow on effects of their changes is a reckless cowboy and won't ever get past helpdesk for a career.

    One day you will find yourself in a position where you work with other people, and you will be thankful that they aren't as careless as yourself about rushing in and changing things which you don't know about.
    I'm sorry, are we seriously discussing the "implications and flow on effects of" such massive changes as turning a printer on?

    I've yet to come across a printer which was linked to the nuclear launch sequence.
  • operagost 2008-10-24 10:11
    phleabo:
    I like how you managed to fit in the Linux bigot stereotype. Very subtle.

    I think the real WTF is that this story is largely fictional.

    You wish.
  • operagost 2008-10-24 10:16
    Endo808:
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    To be fair I'd write off some slow speaking, loud shouting american as worthless too. You'll find the french perfectly helpful if you talk to them like people instead of retards.

    Embrassez mon derrière.
  • ljj116 2008-10-24 12:04
    Bob... Billy Bob:
    ljj116:
    Errrr....there's something wrong here. Ubuntu and floppy disks in the same story? Ubuntu's first release was in 2004, but it really didn't become popular for a few years after that. Let's assume that occured in 2005 - what college student would know about the protect tab on a floppy disk in 2005????



    Uhhh... I graduated in 2005 (aged 25), and I still remember the tape drive and 1541 disk drive used on my commodore 128 back in the day. I still have a pile of 5.25 and 3.5 floppys at home.

    Not knowing about the write protect tab most likely means the candidate is someone that never used computers as a kid and "just got into IT because the pay is good". No thanks.


    I think you're missing the point - the fact that the receptionist even had a floppy disk available is somewhat amazing to me. The time line of the story just doesn't match up.

    By your logic I shouldn't hire a C++ programmer because they never learned FORTRAN. How many floppy-disk emergencies are you going to have in the 21st century?

    They invented these new things called CD's a while back, and some bleeding edge technology allows you to store things on flash memory through a USB port. How is troubleshooting floppy disks going to help me make sure my candidate can deal with these new fangled issues?
  • MM 2008-10-24 13:24
    ljj116:
    I think you're missing the point - the fact that the receptionist even had a floppy disk available is somewhat amazing to me. The time line of the story just doesn't match up.
    All but one of the computers I use at work have floppy drives now in 2008, as does my desktop computer at home. You also have to consider that the story taking place in 2005 or so doesn't mean that she's on a 2005 computer. A receptionist at a college is likely to only get a new computer perhaps once every eight or ten years, so her computer could well be from the mid to late '90s, and probably wasn't top-of-the-line when it was new. If so, it probably doesn't have any USB ports or a CD-RW drive. (In any case, CD-RW had enough drawbacks that it never really caught on for transfering small files. That remained primarily done with floppy disks until flash drives became widespread enough to be cheap, which was only a few years ago.)

    In any case, even if the receptionist happened to have a relatively new computer at the time, not everyone in the department would. An applicant who plans to provide computer support had better be reasonably familiar with the past decade's worth of technology.
  • MM 2008-10-24 14:19
    Anonymous:
    And considering that Windows has its 'langauge bar' that lets you change languages on the fly from your desktop - this one struck me as a very easy win.
    Windows may or may not have a language bar on the desktop. It's optional; and even if the option is turned on, a minimized language bar can be (and often is) completely obscured by the system tray. (Which is a WTF in itself, but that's one of M$'s WTFs.)
  • katastrofa 2008-10-24 15:01
    Kluge Doctor:

    And, for the record, I think the German insult was (a bit) over the line. It's more Third Reich, than German.


    Ah, Third Reich. They had nothing to do with the Germans, I know.
  • csm 2008-10-24 17:29
    alec:
    more randomer than you:
    Anyone who rushes in and 'solves' problems without fully understanding the implications and flow on effects of their changes is a reckless cowboy and won't ever get past helpdesk for a career.

    One day you will find yourself in a position where you work with other people, and you will be thankful that they aren't as careless as yourself about rushing in and changing things which you don't know about.
    I'm sorry, are we seriously discussing the "implications and flow on effects of" such massive changes as turning a printer on?

    I've yet to come across a printer which was linked to the nuclear launch sequence.


    Perhaps the printer is positioned right next to the thermostat? :p
  • John Woods 2008-10-24 18:37
    gosh I hate password resets. I work in IT at a very large hospital and would never think that so many "smart" people could not remember a simple password! funny!

    Jiff
    http://www.online-privacy.cz.tc
  • John 2008-10-24 19:19
    xtremezone:
    mauve:
    Ubuntu: making Linux accessible to morons since 2004.

    Seconded. :D


    So the Linux bigotry is at the second level -- not only must you NOT use Windows, you'd better chose the correct Linux distribution.

    I'd like to know which distribution I should use when I next install Linux.

    Wait a minute, I'm using FreeBSD 7.0 now, and it gives me all the programming tools I need. Maybe I'll stick with that.
  • rebecca 2008-10-24 20:40
    Welcome to our website for age of conan and rs gold service.

  • vik 2008-10-25 08:31
    Never heard a story that had Ubuntu **and** floppy disks in it. A little lame.
  • debian user 2008-10-25 21:58
    r:
    Sorry, my last post was reply to this:

    mitschke:
    vadi:
    interestingly enough, I tried removing the extension in ubuntu and it -did- work.

    but wtf at failing to listen and using such a convulted solution.


    Yes, the Ubuntu guy is right: the particular problem wouldn't have occurred using Ubuntu, since no file extensionsion is needed to determine of which "filetype" a file is.


    Come on, telling the receptionist to install Linux on her company computer is not a solution--she probably isn't allowed to do so. Also, the problem (renaming a file!) is absolutely trivial if you're a tech-oriented person who has ever used a Windows computer in the last decade, which is hard for anyone to avoid even if none of their own computers run Windows.
  • Pete 2008-10-26 06:16
    SomeCoder:
    Personally - I'd think, 'what an unfriendly, unhelpful person, I wouldn't want to work with him/her'.

    While I'd probably think: "Clever lad. If you touched it as a non-employee, you'd be risking liability for its breakage and any data loss."

    Frankly, the replies in this thread are truly worrying. You do not ever touch gear without being given explicit authority: either by its owner or an employment contract. No, being there for a job interview does not count.
  • Shinobu 2008-10-26 13:41
    W論g毛yボアrdぁ用t買う秦gウェイrdsくいggぃ絵sーのおお、伊ねヴぇr葉ヴぇてゃtp路bぇm。。。 The stupid thing is, there actually is a setting that allows you to specify the default conversion mode, but it happily ignores it and sometimes appears to randomly switch between the two. So you hit the conversion key when you shouldn't or don't when you should. And the language icon (EN for most of you) always looks the same - to be able to see the conversion mode, you have to turn the extra icons on, which turns the language bar into a huge monstrosity. You can make some, but not all, of them disappear even when extra icons are shown, but that causes other usability problems. The language bar is one of the best examples of abysmal usability out there, which kind of blows because it is sort of central in pretty much anything you do that involves text entry of any kind.
  • Synchronos 2008-10-27 03:55
    csm:
    Perhaps the printer is positioned right next to the thermostat? :p


    Of course it was. They always are. But they are called routers nowadays.
  • Random832 2008-10-28 00:34
    Nicolas:

    Dude, have you ever used Windows with more than one keyboard layout in the list? It *does* randomly change between them. Or at least it seems to.


    If it seems to randomly change between them, you've probably changed it in one application (or on the desktop, which sets the default for new applications) by mistake, and it'll switch as you switch applications.
  • c.r. 2008-10-28 02:39
    Imagine... as a montrealer I get more help talking broken english in paris than speaking french with my accent (or without the parisian's one).. it look like they worship USA, when I think I get a nice diner like 'mousse aux 3 saumon' or a 'bavette' (steak) cheaper than a trio at the mc'donald in paris. (I dont mind, keep it that way;) )

    Could qualify as a wtf I think? lol

    People from the region, 'provincial', are more friendly to their distant family over the atlantic tho


  • c.r. 2008-10-28 02:41
    oops, should have quoted .. was a reply to :

    snoofle:
    Endo808:
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    To be fair I'd write off some slow speaking, loud shouting american as worthless too. You'll find the french perfectly helpful if you talk to them like people instead of retards.

    Having been to both Montreal and Paris, I'd have to say that in Canada, I got more politeness by attempting (and failing) to speak French than trying to get by with English, whereas in Paris, I got far more politeness by just sticking with English than trying to speak French (I only know a few words).

    I guess it depends on the day and the place...
  • ... 2008-10-28 05:07
    Who says they can't solve the problems? They are just intelligent enough to not go mucking around in another companies stuff without prior permission from management. Of course you don't seem to have enough intelligence to realize this. You are just another idiotic troll without the ability to use your brain.
  • OBloodyHell 2008-10-28 09:57
    zip:
    I can't wait for someone to explain how real developers don't need to have the common sense to check that a printer is on,


    Well, duh. Real programmers don't have the needed skills. "It's a hardware problem".


    LOLOLOLLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
  • OBloodyHell 2008-10-28 10:01
    K&T:
    snoofle:
    Well, you know us Americans; if someone/thing doesn't understand us, we just speak slower and louder!


    Yes, and the French method would be to write the computer off as worthless and wax on about how Computers should know french.


    ...And the Russian one would be to put it in a re-education camp?
  • Dr_Legacy 2008-10-28 18:00
    jonnyq:
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?


    Exactly what I was thinking. I don't think there's a button in Windows you can accidentally press to change keyboard layout.



    if the windoze box has multiple languages installed/enabled, alt+shift will do the trick.

    captcha: appellatio .. is that French for eating an apple?
  • Boris 2008-10-29 17:33
    jonnyq:
    Anon:
    To be fair, the keyboard language thing is a bit tricky. It's not something you expect to see suddenly change by itself. If the receptionist's keyboard was happily typing in English the day before, why would it suddenly be set to French?


    Exactly what I was thinking. I don't think there's a button in Windows you can accidentally press to change keyboard layout.

    The rest were simple mistakes, but the keyboard layout thing is a WTF by itself. How did the keyboard layout get screwed up? Since I don't work here, I assume you have it set that way on purpose as it's not really something you can do by accident.

    Making a palette of quotation marks isn't the right thing to do, but it depends on how the question was presented. Also, since it's not my job (yet) I wouldn't touch the PC's settings (while turning on a printer is no big deal). After asking a couple questions, I might actually make a palette of quotation marks temporarily until I go tell the boss what really happened and explain what I think might be the real solution.

    But yeah, the rest are just silly.


    Alt+Shift
  • way2trivial 2008-10-30 10:09
    I'm deathly curious what such would make of me--
    I always eat whatever the error is happily- and consider such 'forced change' an opportunity to try something new that I didn't want to. I also make sure (at least when I'm paying) with the server that the price charged is always the cheaper of the two dishes...

    the only thing I ever really bounce food for is when they get it right, but cook it very wrong... (a rare steak that is brown throughout for example)
  • csrster 2008-10-31 06:20
    Pete:
    SomeCoder:
    Personally - I'd think, 'what an unfriendly, unhelpful person, I wouldn't want to work with him/her'.

    While I'd probably think: "Clever lad. If you touched it as a non-employee, you'd be risking liability for its breakage and any data loss."

    Frankly, the replies in this thread are truly worrying. You do not ever touch gear without being given explicit authority: either by its owner or an employment contract. No, being there for a job interview does not count.


    I don't know if I'm as paranoid as you but I _definitely_ wouldn't flip the write-protect tab on some unknown floppy disk just because a receptionist told me she used to be able to save data on it.
  • Gavin 2008-11-04 07:50
    Those with nothing to lose lie the most. They tend to be recently graduated students, especially those whose visas are about to expire. Many get away with it.
  • Chinaman 2008-11-04 07:53
    You love me long time?
  • vind 2008-11-12 23:22
    Ubunturd gave me a zillion problems. I never have problems with Windows. Therefore Linturd is crap that only masochists can enjoy for masochists.
  • Fixer 2009-01-09 07:41
    Gee you lucked out with your family mate.

    My family doesn't assume that I broke something unless it explodes in my face as I'm working on it... and even then they would query me whether I did it or it happened on its own... and trust my answer.


    /Now if only they would follow my advice and backup every few months. :-)
  • js 2009-02-22 15:34
    jonnyq:

    I don't think there's a button in Windows you can accidentally press to change keyboard layout.


    Alt+Shift or something to that effect. (Can be disabled.) Besides, I think each window has its own keyboard layout setting by default.

    I have witnessed this numerous times. All you need is plug in a non-US keyboard and enable the corresponding layout. Yes, it's very easy to switch by accident. Then you also have a tiny blue square in the taskbar showing the current two-letter language code. This tiny blue square is also a control that enables you to change the keyboard language.
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