• ZoomST (unregistered)

    Frist rescue

  • TM (unregistered)

    Indian support drones... always a joy!

  • Peter (unregistered) in reply to TM
    TM:
    Indian support drones... always a joy!

    So much empathy and ownership of the problem, so little actual help resolving it.

  • Maciej (unregistered)

    My guess is that HP has employed the No Quack Neural Network.

  • Meep (unregistered)

    Our support staff at the client site to us: "hey, the shit's broke, it don't work."

    This could mean anything from "the webpage doesn't load at all" to "major functionality is timing out" to "you changed the text on a link."

  • Leo (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Alex (unregistered)

    The blown away bits are not at all strange. In the place I work the internet connection is provided by a point-to-point radio link and the antenna sits on the top of our water tower. When it is too windy, the antenna shakes, the alignment is jeopardized, the reception level falls and the system switches to a lower modulation, more robust with lower bitrate.

  • russ0519 (cs)

    When I was on in Turks and Caicos, there was a definite slowdown of the internet during bad weather. Not sure if it's because they might've had satellite internet, or just increased usage during bad weather, but it was definitely slower.

  • Ollie (unregistered)

    Don't laugh. I've had serious problems with customer telecommunications at the time when winter turns into spring.

    Waterlogged outdoor coax cables work acceptably well when the water is frozen. But when it thaws, fail!

    So, weather can make a difference to big software system.

  • Franky (unregistered)

    Wind can actually be an issue ... a friend of mine lives in some remote village and before they had a cable connection they were connected through a directional radio link -> with shitty wind the antenna would sway a little and severely reduce signal quality resulting in dropped packages and so on.

  • Gomez Addams (unregistered)

    The "windy" story might not be a WTF, depending on the era and geography. Years ago, we had a facility just across the Mexican border. Wide area networking into the small Mexican town was not an option, so we put up microwave towers at the facility and on the US side of the border. Our voice and data ran over that.

    This worked fairly well unless it was really windy. The wind would cause the towers to flex just enough so that the microwave link would go into spasms.

    Users would call our help desk when these problems happened. When our help desk people saw a Mexican extension, the first question they'd ask is "What's the weather like there?"

  • Pock Suppet (unregistered) in reply to Meep
    Meep:
    Our support staff at the client site to us: "hey, the shit's broke, it don't work."

    This could mean anything from "the webpage doesn't load at all" to "major functionality is timing out" to "you changed the text on a link."

    We have non-IT personnel telneting in to a server (TRWTF) via PuTTy. If anything changes, or is slow, or is fast, or doesn't load, or anything else that doesn't match their memory of what should happen, we end up with half a dozen phone calls and/or personal visits to inform us that "PuTTy's broken". I think there must be some sort of user mass mind that enables them to quickly determine the least helpful bug report possible.

  • Popeye (unregistered)

    HP is one of the worst companies out there for technical support. Just wait until you have them for software development and support. It only get worse...

  • Treble C++ (unregistered) in reply to Gomez Addams

    I had a similar situation; I monitor a remote GPS station and when it gets windy I lose connection with it. The same reason, a microwave connection.

  • SamC (cs) in reply to Gomez Addams
    Gomez Addams:
    Users would call our help desk when these problems happened. When our help desk people saw a Mexican extension, the first question they'd ask is "What's the weather like there?"

    Similar thing happened to me, as a Comcast customer— Any day the wind picked up, Internet service would become sporadic.

    For years, Comcast support remained solidly convinced that a faulty cable modem was to blame for these strongly-weather-dependent outages. After replacing two perfectly good modems here, and several for each of the neighbors as well, they finally gave in and replaced the loose overhead coax lines to the neighborhood.

  • anon (unregistered) in reply to Popeye
    Popeye:
    HP is one of the worst companies out there for technical support. Just wait until you have them for software development and support. It only get worse...
    Years apart, I worked twice as a 3rd party developer for HP projects, one for internal product, another one for a (massive) client. Both were total trainwrecks, led by "experienced" HP analysts and such.

    Just as I joined the second project, I inherited the new "enhanced password protection" feature. The implementation was forced by the analyst: XOR each password char with a constant system-wide char. I asked the previous developer "why not a hash?," he said "he says they are useless, because we won't be able to recover the original password to do the matching." I kicked and screamed, to no avail. The solution was perfect and needed no sure-fail hash crap.

    Captcha: minim ... the analyst's brain.

  • DrPepper (cs)

    Would someone explain the Fire Rescue story? I totally don't get it. And it would help if you were not a HP_droid while doing so.

  • anon (unregistered) in reply to anon
    anon:
    new "enhanced password protection" feature
    If that wasn't obvious enough, they were plaintext. For the last 8 years the project was live, web facing. Dealing with equally high profile clients of the client, doing stuff worth millions per day.

    Of course, the app security had a similar quality level...

  • Lazlo (unregistered) in reply to Gomez Addams

    I had the same sort of thing once, had a client that linked several of their buildings with free space optics. It avoided using the extortionate local carrier, had good bandwidth, and was generally pretty reliable... unless it rained.

    Amusingly, a few years into that, there was a building built near their line of sight. The building didn't get in the way, but the way they parked the construction crane overnight had about a 10% chance of blocking the lasers until they started back to work in the morning.

  • operagost (cs) in reply to DrPepper
    DrPepper:
    Would someone explain the Fire Rescue story? I totally don't get it. And it would help if you were *not* a HP_droid while doing so.
    I'm guessing that there was a fire at the customer site, the fire department arrived and, for whatever reason, was told to call the app vendor instead of the facility on-call staff for that customer. Instead of correcting the firefighter, they just recorded the call and paged the poor bastard who was on-call. So, besides waking up someone who couldn't help, they put the customer in danger by not helping to get the right people involved (presumably to shut down the power and perform repairs).
  • HP_nagesh (unregistered) in reply to DrPepper
    DrPepper:
    Would someone explain the Fire Rescue story? I totally don't get it. And it would help if you were *not* a HP_droid while doing so.
    DrPepper, I greatly appreciate that you have forwarded your concern and have given us a chance to assist you on this matter.

    As needing Fire Rescue story explanation myself, I can certainly understand your frustration.

    DrPepper, I would like ot inform you that we do not have the correct expertise on the not a HP_droid requirement.

  • Roby McAndrew (cs)

    A friend of mine worked for a major oil company in Southampton. Their office was in the city, and they had a data cable across Southampton Water to Fawley refinery. The data connection would fail whenever a sufficiently large ship sailed over the cable. The theory was that the cable must have had a hairline crack, and the ships would open the crack enough to drop the signal for a few seconds.

  • Tim (unregistered) in reply to Gomez Addams

    Anyone with experience supporting a WAN knows to ask about the local weather. If have any experience you have come across that t1 that gets wet when it rains for example. It happens.

  • Ironside (unregistered)

    I once worked in a marmalade factory. One day I was given the unenviable task of climbing into one of the vats to retrieve a clipboard that a worker had dropped. Of course back then the phrase health and safety was unheard of so they didn't bother emptying the vat, nor shutting down production.

    I only wish there was a site like DailyWTF that covered WTFs in the fruit preserve industry.

  • moving through space (unregistered) in reply to Popeye
    Popeye:
    HP is one of the worst companies out there for technical support. Just wait until you have them for software development and support. It only get worse...
    I agree. Yet, our company still seems to find reasons to sign multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts for products and support. My only guess is that our infrastructure people are worse than theirs.
  • dgvid (cs)

    I think the "windy" story ended up looking like a WTF to some because we like to forget that our nice clean digital world runs on top of messy analog substrate. Atoms are the Real WTF.

  • ZoomST (unregistered)

    Hey! Coincidentally, it is a windy day today here, but I didn't notice any network failu

  • C-Derb (unregistered) in reply to Ironside
    Ironside:
    I once worked in a marmalade factory. One day I was given the unenviable task of climbing into one of the vats to retrieve a clipboard that a worker had dropped. Of course back then the phrase health and safety was unheard of so they didn't bother emptying the vat, nor shutting down production.

    I only wish there was a site like DailyWTF that covered WTFs in the fruit preserve industry.

    I once ate a tuna sandwich.

  • Ozz (unregistered)

    We have people here who blame proxy for everything. There is one guy in particular who I'm sure would blame proxy for his car running out of gas. Another favorite here is Them: "The internet is down!" Me: "Works for me - can you get to www.google.com ?" Them: "Of course I can!" Me: "Then the Internet is not down" Them: "But I can't get to www.completelyunrelatedtowork.com" Me: "That's because CompletelyUnrelatedToWork's internet is down..." Them: "So when are you gonna fix it?"

  • Nexzus (cs) in reply to Ironside
    Ironside:
    I once worked in a marmalade factory. One day I was given the unenviable task of climbing into one of the vats to retrieve a clipboard that a worker had dropped. Of course back then the phrase health and safety was unheard of so they didn't bother emptying the vat, nor shutting down production.

    I only wish there was a site like DailyWTF that covered WTFs in the fruit preserve industry.

    I'm picturing that episode of the Simpsons when the school (except Bart) gets to go to the chocolate factory.

    "Play sanitary, kids"

  • DCRoss (cs) in reply to Popeye
    Popeye:
    HP is one of the worst companies out there for technical support. Just wait until you have them for software development and support. It only get worse...

    I have forwarded your concerns to the appropriate help desk:

    > Hello, I am HP Technical Support. 
    * HP is one of the worst companies out there for technical support.
    > Don't you ever say Hello? 
    * Just wait until you have them for software development and support.
    > We were discussing you, not me. 
    * It only get worse...
    > Can you elaborate on that?
  • cellocgw (cs) in reply to Lazlo
    Lazlo:
    I had the same sort of thing once, had a client that linked several of their buildings with free space optics. It avoided using the extortionate local carrier, had good bandwidth, and was generally pretty reliable... unless it rained.

    Amusingly, a few years into that, there was a building built near their line of sight. The building didn't get in the way, but the way they parked the construction crane overnight had about a 10% chance of blocking the lasers until they started back to work in the morning.

    Install a more powerful laser (not on a shark). Burn thru crane. Problem solved.

  • Some Damn Yank (cs) in reply to Maciej
    Maciej:
    My guess is that HP has employed the No Quack Neural Network.
    Running on Linux, no doubt.
  • ptau (unregistered)

    Was I the only one picturing HP_bod as a robot with really good muscle definition?

  • eViLegion (cs)

    Nowhere are any of the details of that first WTF made clear.

    Who is paying who for what to happen? Who created that ticket, and why? Where was the fire? What caused the fire? What actually happened regarding the extinguishing of the fire, and who did it? Why do we care about 40000 more users, sub-contracted SLAs, 3rd parties, or any of that shit... what relevance does it have to a stupid fucking fire ticket?

    Are we to understand that a group of firemen failed to respond to an electrical fire because they were busily trying to submit a "we've got an electrical fire to respond to" ticket in some ticketing system?

    Or, are we to understand that they had an electrical fire themselves, and decided to submit a ticket to their IT guys instead of putting that fire out?

    Or, are we to understand that some subcontractor had the fire, and submitted a ticket to the developers instead of calling the fire brigade?

    Or was there some other user of this service that had the fire, didn't call the fire brigade but submitted a ticket to the sub contractor guys who forwarded it on to Karls company, but not before debating its priority?

    Is this the real wtf: "WTF ACTUALLY HAPPENED?"

  • RichP (cs)

    I wonder how many canned "I'm happy to help you with your $PROBLEM" responses are available to the chat reps. You can usually tell when they're mashing a button to print a generic response and when they're actually typing.

  • chubertdev (cs) in reply to RichP
    RichP:
    I wonder how many canned "I'm happy to help you with your $PROBLEM" responses are available to the chat reps. You can usually tell when they're mashing a button to print a generic response and when they're actually typing.

    living, breathing chat reps actually exist? I just always assumed that it was just text generated by Markov chains.

  • tweek (cs) in reply to DCRoss

    We have an IT guy who infamously comes up with 'problems' that don't fit the scripts that people or chatbots have to follow so that he gets to someone live who has the ability dispatch.

    Some that I remember:

    When I turn on the system, I smell green smoke. The flux capacitor isn't fluxing. These DIMMs don't taste like the other ones you sent.

  • herby (cs)

    Online "help".

    Is it just me, or do most online help dialogs seem like they are a conversation between 'PARRY' and 'ELIZA'.

    The canned responses seem very much that. Are they supposed to fail a Touring Test?

    Maybe there should be a feature of a browser (plugin) that creates responses we users can click to generate verbosity on demand.

    It might even be helpful.

    Example: I am having problem with $PROBLEM, and I have tried powering off and rebooting my computer. My operating system is $OS and my browser is $BROWSER. I have also tried $TASK1 and $TASK2 to solve the problem. I am sure that you can own the problem as much as I can, but can you provide a solution as well?

    I could go on, but why bother.

  • jay (unregistered)

    In the bad old days, tech support people were mostly people who had little or no technical expertise. They were given some crash course on the most common problems. So customers with problems that can't be solved by rebooting or making some simple entries on a preferences screen would get endlessly frustrated.

    Then vendors came up with a creative solution: Let's outsource tech support to foreign countries with low wage rates. So now tech support people are not just people with little or no technical expertise, but they also don't speak the customer's language. Now no one can figure out that they don't really know anything, because they can't understand what they're saying. Problem solved.

  • Miguel (unregistered) in reply to Lazlo

    I had a similar experience with FSO where, due to building placement, the only reasonable place to mount the laser was in the CEO's corner office (we did not have access to mount on the roof). All worked well, until one bright sunny day he decided to lower the blinds...

  • da Doctah (cs) in reply to tweek
    tweek:
    We have an IT guy who infamously comes up with 'problems' that don't fit the scripts that people or chatbots have to follow so that he gets to someone live who has the ability dispatch.

    Some that I remember:

    When I turn on the system, I smell green smoke. The flux capacitor isn't fluxing. These DIMMs don't taste like the other ones you sent.

    When I press ENTER, a swirling maelstrom opens up next to my desk, and I hear the agonized shrieks of the damned.

  • Matt Westwood (cs)

    There's a little arrow on my screen that I can't get rid of, but I can get it to move away from what I'm looking at if I move the mouse.

  • Matthew Vilter (unregistered) in reply to Maciej
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Popeye (unregistered) in reply to DCRoss

    OMG that was too funny!

  • gswe (unregistered) in reply to Pock Suppet
    Pock Suppet:
    Meep:
    Our support staff at the client site to us: "hey, the shit's broke, it don't work."

    This could mean anything from "the webpage doesn't load at all" to "major functionality is timing out" to "you changed the text on a link."

    We have non-IT personnel telneting in to a server (TRWTF) via PuTTy. If anything changes, or is slow, or is fast, or doesn't load, or anything else that doesn't match their memory of what should happen, we end up with half a dozen phone calls and/or personal visits to inform us that "PuTTy's broken". I think there must be some sort of user mass mind that enables them to quickly determine the least helpful bug report possible.
    To be fair, that's the problem with no IT people reporting IT issues. To them the issue is with the product they're using, not what they are (often unknowingly) trying to do with the product - and I think that's reasonable to a degree.

    (think about when you have issues in fields you're not the expert in - do you make assumptions about what the problem? how accurately do you report the problem (from THE EXPERT'S perspective?). Unfortunately, most of us seem to have the habit of explaining problems based on what we think the problem is - not based on what we experienced.)

  • neminem (unregistered) in reply to Ozz
    Ozz:
    Them: "But I can't get to www.completelyunrelatedtowork.com"
    Hey! I can't get to www.completeunrelatedtowork.com either! Our IT department is really dropping the ball, websense must be totally borken.
  • mick (unregistered) in reply to Popeye
    Popeye:
    HP is one of the worst companies out there for technical support. Just wait until you have them for software development and support. It only get worse...
    Having dealt with HP/EDS (software not hardware admittedly), IBM, Accenture and Fujitsu/KAZ I can assure you that at least two of the others are a LOT worse....
  • Norman Diamond (unregistered) in reply to Pock Suppet
    Pock Suppet:
    We have non-IT personnel telneting in to a server (TRWTF) via PuTTy. If anything changes, or is slow, or is fast, or doesn't load, or anything else that doesn't match their memory of what should happen, we end up with half a dozen phone calls and/or personal visits to inform us that "PuTTy's broken". I think there must be some sort of user mass mind that enables them to quickly determine the least helpful bug report possible.
    At work I get "Yahoo's broken." At home I used to get "Yahoo's broken" but now get "Facebook's broken." At both places sometimes I get "There was an error message" -- of course the person doesn't know what the message said, but often they don't know what they clicked on before getting it.
  • Norman Diamond (unregistered) in reply to Some Damn Yank
    Some Damn Yank:
    Maciej:
    My guess is that HP has employed the No Quack Neural Network.
    Running on Linux, no doubt.
    I wonder if the people who developed CUPS were allowed to keep their jobs. Anyway, people who understand Linux aren't allowed anywhere near the help desk, let alone interacting with customers.

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