Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tech Support Rules

OK, if tech support people do not seem to believe what we are told it because we don't.

A general rule of thumb is, if it defies logic, it isn't logical, it's a bug.

Bugs are not as frequent as one would think. Honestly the majority of reported problems are people overlooking something simple because their mind tricks them into thinking it is correct (it happens to all of us, me included). Or taking something for granted and not checking it yourself.

This is why we are all skeptics at heart.

For example:
If you are trying to do something which requires you to do step A to Z in order and you don't do them in order, the first thing we will do is make you do them in order. The next thing we will do is make you do ALL the steps.

I also learned long ago to never ask a question like, "You remembered to do Step H, right?"

Instead the proper tech support way to ask the question is, "After Step G, what did you do next?"

Anyway, more rambling when I have a few minutes.

Tummy Tuesday

OK, so appealing to the Cat fans out there, here is my contribution to Tummy Tuesday (the brainchild of LisaViolet).

This is my Psycho Kitty "Boo" who is anxiously awaiting a chance to open a vein in me.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sarcasm has not yet returned

I am mildly depressed.

Still hanging in there.

Think about what you are asking for.

OK folks. This is specifically for when you call tech support, but it applies to all aspects of life.


One of the guys I work with came by and asked if I had a document for hooking up ISDN. I say sure and proceed to email it to him. He then tells me the tech doesn't have email access and he will have to read it to him...

Let that sink in...

Tech is on site... no documentation... doesn't know how to do what he is there to do... is asking us for help... By READING THE MANUAL TO HIM!

Really now...

Does anyone really expect a company to tie up a support representative for hours helping them put in something they are not prepared for?

For those of you who answered yes to that, keep this in mind the next time you are on hold FOREVER when you call in for tech support somewhere.

Crappy mood

Well. I just got some news which put me in a crappy mood about a friend of mine.

I am amazed at how selfish some people are. I know I have been there and I will do things which are selfish, but I am still amazed by what people do.

I am going to go mope for a while. Sorry.

Hopefully sarcasm will be back in full force shortly.

My town is number 69

Lewisville, Texas is ranked 69th safest city in the U.S.

I can sleep a little better at night.

Now, nobody come here and screw it up please.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Weekly Challenge is up

Wow. Apparently I was pretty dark this week at the Weekly Challenge. As well as for my 100 word story I submitted outside of the Challenge.


Oh well. It is Halloween you know.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Another day in the salt mines

HA! Actually today isn't too horrible. I have actually fixed a thing or to, which in tech support isn't a horrible thing. I haven't had any of my high profile sites explode yet (another good thing) and no Directors (Management Directors, not Hollywood Directors) yell at me.

Leftovers for lunch and it's time to fill my waterjug and record my Weekly Challenge story.

Got DEMOLISHED last week in the Challenge, but hey, there was some fine fine competition (not to mention I think someone has a lot more friends to vote for them than I EVER will).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Loading, Loading, Loading

Loading Fedora Core 6...

OK, how geeky is this. I am blogging about loading a PC with Linux...


I need a hobby... other than blogging... so I can blog about it.

But then that takes away from valuable blogging time. But otherwise I am short on things to blog about which are interesting. But if I lead an interesting life, I don't have time to blog.

What a quandary!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Another day another... 95 Cents?

OK, so while I didn't save the world, I am moderately pleased with the fact I found a nice Serial Port Monitor program. This happened while I troubleshot a twenty year old preinter not working right on our PBX.

Apparantly Okidata doesn't place well with (0x03 for you true geeks).

So also, besides finding the nifty program which captures the data being transmitted between any application accessing a COM port or modem and the COM port or modem itself, I also got to tell the tech WHY he had to have the customer get a new printer.

Of course I have to confess I was WRONG, as to the best of my knowledge we hadn't changed our RS232 method for the last 20 years.

Oh well. The dragon got me today. I was too busy to put up my post for Tummy Tuesday too. Good news is I have volunteers for voice talent for my 100 word stories. I need to record a batch and get them into Laurence.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Arrrr... Here There Be Pirates

OK, so Long John Silver the pirate calls in and is complainingbecause his PBX won't allow him access becuase he has not registered it, but he can't register it because he is using another site's software because he had to do a rush install.

He needs to get into the PBX. He HAS to get into the PBX. HOW CAN HE GET INTO THE PBX???

Yes you are CORRECT! All together class.


Everthing I touch is broken today

OK, so I get told what I thought was a bug is not a bug. Although I disagree, I say "Yes, Sir!" and go about my duties.

I suggest a work around in porgramming only to find the work around is broken in their software.

So I am setting up and upgrade to fix the work around.

Two steps forward, three steps back.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Breaking News! Cowboys Press Conference

Bill Parcells (The Big Tuna) had a short speech at his press conference today following the Cowboys loss to the Giants. The Tuna was quoted as saying, "Yeah, we SUCK!"

Parcells declined further comment.

Jerry Jones made similar comments, but they were in a rambling incoherant jumble of words which, when summarized said, "Yes, yes we do suck. HARD!"

Meanwhile Terrell Owens could be found on the sidline complaining about not getting more chances to drop the ball during the game.

Check back tomorrow for our full report from the cats.

This Lame Shirt

All I have to say to this is...

"Hey Cali... WILDABEAST!"


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Friday, October 20, 2006

Oh.... My TUMMY

My tummy hurts really bad. I deserve it though. I ate at my favorite resteraunt today with mi amigo Jimbo. (This is the same place that wound up causing me to have my Gallbladder removed, indirectly of course.)

I had the number 23 (Chicken Chimi) and a few tons of chips and super hot and loving Salsa with Bean Soup.

Yummy! But the pain.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dogs on the loose

Wife just called a little while agao and let me know. The City picked up my son's MinPin (the escape artist), but the do not have my wife's dog (the sweet one).

She's pretty upset and has a friend coming over to watch the girls while she gets the boys, looks for the lost dog and gets the MinPin.

Prayers would be appreciated. She loves her dog and I would hate for her to lose her.

As far as how they got out, it looks like someone has been screwing around my house as the phone box was opened up and there are no signs of escape from the dogs. We think someone opened the gate and let them out.

I'll have my baseball bat ready tonight.



The City picked up our second dog also. My wife has picked them up and they are on their way home. Life is better.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

And the winner is...

Not me.... BUT

The bread is gone.

And it ain't in the trash.

Our toilets may need re-enforcing

Amusement at work

OK, so in order to pass the time at work we have devised a game to amuse ourselves.

One of our engineers has a son who can't eat wheat, so last night he baked a loaf of bread made from "Bean wheat." We tried it, and it is a taste explosion to say the least. Rather unique in both texture and flavor... In other words, TERRIBLE.

So we decided to put it in the break area and see how long it takes to disappear.

My guess is 1:20 PM. The maker of the bread predicts on piece left at 5 PM.

I think he underestimates our gluttony.

Updates to follow.

Back to the grindstone

Well. So far a quiet day. It's early still, but the problem looming over my head at work is quiet this morning. No problems at this moment. So that puts me in sit and wait mode.

Which means I could have a boss run by my desk any minute and want to know what is going on.

Oh well, enjoy the peace while it lasts.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Carribian Jerk?

OK, we have a guy here at work who does nothing but training. Never did PBXs before he came here.

This guy is giving one of our newbies a hard time.

He pops in and interrupts class and tells the guy he is wrong in front of all of his students.

Don't get me wrong, if someone is incorrect, they need to know, but you NEVER EVER bust on another instructor while they are teaching a class. All you do then is kill the guy's credibility as well as you make the students not trust what he says.

Time for a Blanket Party I think.

Tummy Tuesday

It's Tummy Tuesday and the catblogger in me has been unleashed.

Here is Boo and her vicious Tummy.

Well well well

OK, funny thing from yesterday.

I get a visit from one of my programmer buddies upstairs who asks me if I worked with a certain tech on a question about message waiting lamps and QSIG.

I say yep. Told the guys we didn't do message waiting lamps with QSIG and we would be happy to create a feature for them for a fee. Programmer buddy says they decided they wanted to, but couldn't explain how they wanted it to work in technical terms and there are about a KABILLION ways to do it using QSIG. (For you techie Telecom people you know QSIG is VERY vague at best so 50 people can interpret something 50 different ways.

Oh well.

On a side note it looks like a site that was dumped on me yesterday is escalating. I may have to go on a road trip.

It's too cold up north. CRAP!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Is this normal?

Do not adjust your set... my cat is licking a window.

Don't ask.

(OK, so I guess technically this is catblogging.)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Cowboys win

The Cowboys win a decisive vitory over one of the worst teams in football.

Oh well. At least we got to see Tony Romo throw his first pass so now instead of listening to the sportscaster talk about Romo being a guy who's never thrown a pass in the regular season, he'll now be a guy who's thrown TWO (I think, maybe three) passes in the regualar season.

On the flip side, I am now convinced by the Saints. I think they are the real deal now.

How do I help my friend in need

My friend who's name I will change to protect the guilty (lets call her Buh-Bekka) is WAYYYY too onto Tuna Casserole. How do I help her?

I am from the south. If it ain't deep fried, it ain't cooked.

Besides, Tuna isn't even like a real food is it? Chicken, Beef, Turkey, Bass, those are things you can shoot and eat for yourself (yes even the bass, it's a long story, I'll tell you later).

Suggestions for expanding my friend's pallette?

Friday, October 13, 2006

CBGBs is closing

Well it looks like CBGBs is closing.

I never ent there, but I had a couple of friends who did that told me about how it was just a drity little club in a bad part of town. But man that dirty little club held a LOT of good bands at one time or another.

Just for the record, I am one of those freaks who likes live albums. One of my favorites was recorded there called Trailblazer by a band called ALL which I love.

Oh well. One more landmark in New York I will never get to see the inside of.

Tech Support Root Canal

OK. As I have already Whined to Laurence and Deskmerc, I am now at 1 hour and 38 minutes on the same support call.

This is one of those, "Why is the PBX doing this, it makes no sense, everything is right but it's not working, oh crap we got people moving in, it works in the lab, jeeze what do we do?" kind of calls.

I just had the tech reconnect all the connections from the CPU to the actual slots and this seems to have cleared it.

I don't trust it. I think I'll leave his advance replacement authorized.

Either that or find a witch doctor to shake a chicken foot at it.



OK 1 hour and 48 minutes. Laurence has advised me not to stab myself to try to escape. Also, just for you folks who call into tech support who has programmed something completely FUBAR, don't ask us why your PBX does something strange while you try to remove the programming... This falls under, "Uhhhhh... don't know. I useually program it correctly, so I have never tried to program it wrong to see what happens while you try to fix it."


Update number 2:

So we get the system back online. I tell the guys I have authorized new parts. He is worried the system sill crash again and is asking me if there are other things programmed that shouldn't be. I am sure there is, but it is beyond my job to babysit and tell him how to do everything.

2 hours and 19 minutes I'll never see again.

You are the wind beneath my sheets

Oh Al... This is so sad. Too bad all those evil conservatives can actually MAKE MONEY by airing their opinions.

Wonder why if the majority of Americans are liberal, they can't...


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thinking of my friends

I just read an email from a friend of mine who has had a rough go lately. It's good to see her getting back in the swing of things.

I'm trying to help her man to land a job with me here in JOB-TOPIA so we'll see how things go. This time I am sending him straight to HR. I keep bringing up that I think he should get interviewed, it's just tough since we have lost so many experienced people.

We'll see what happens. If I keep pushing I think the boss will finally listen.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Sorry, obscure Kool Aid reference there.

I am just partaking of the Kool Aid again as I am once again assisting with something which is supposed to make life easier, make our software licensing safe and doesn't work worth a crap.

I have complained and moaned and groaned for three years about this and it doesn't get any better. Usually we wind up bypassing what the tech is supposed to do and do it ourselves because we can't waste the man hours to troubleshoot what we have troubleshot time and time again. Since we bypass the faulty crap, they stop getting complaints, so they never imporve the junk. BUT if we don't bypass it and continue to spin our wheels troubleshooting and not getting anything fixed we can't get anything else done because we are tying up valuable man hours.

This is a true catch 22.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I am so proud

OK, it's TUESDAY night and I have my 100 word story in to Laurence for the weekly challenge AND I have gotten some work in on my churches webpage.


I am almost productive as well as I put in a full 8 hours at work with no goofing off.

Must be this North Korean Nuke thing.

It's Raining... er... Rain

OK, most of you don't get excited by rain, but I do. It almost never rains in Dallas, but it is today.

It is a gift from God.

I have a positive outlook for the day. Hopefully it will not change.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

North Korea's Nuclear Test

Well. Isn't this nice?

I took a few days off from blogging because life was getting too crazy, decide to logon tonight and realize my kids are about to go through what we went through growing up.

I am very torn on this. Any war in Korea would be horrenous (all war is, but unfortuantely life is not black and white), but allowing this madman to fester further is going to result in a new cold war. Oly this time we don't have anyone who is worried about the existance of his people. That goofball thinks we won't use Nukes and is willing to bet his country on it. He is also keenly aware he has China to back him (thanks Bill Clinton for giving those guys guidance technology).

All I can say is pray. There are no good options.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Day off and CHAOS!

So yesterday I took a day off and return to the chaos of work today. Unfortunately due to people moving on with their lives we are down to a minimal staff. The calls are coming in and while the new guys are working hard to handle the calls, it is a bit of overload around here.

We have been spoonfeeding and giving support above and beyond for a long time, it looks like now we are going to have to go back to "point you in the right direction and move on."

Guys may not like it, but it's time for a lot of these folks to realize, they are going to have to think for themselves instead of screaming "FIX IT! FIX IT! FIX IT!"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Question for tech people

OK, as everyone knows I work in a TAC center. We have a tech calling in reporting problems. Panic, alarms (can't specifically tell us what alarms) problems (various). We ask what has he done...

silence... "I NEED HELP! ARRRRGH!"

Is it really so difficult for people to understand we are here to "Help." Keyword is "Help." We ARE NOT a replacement for your own service center. If you have "Engineers" in your company, they should be able to work with minimal guidance and use basic troubleshooting to resolve issues. Same for your "Techs." A "Tech" title implies you are employeed in a "Technical" field and your job is to handle "Technical" issues.

Otherwise you are a "Cable Puller" who move at the guidance of someone with higher brain activities.

I am not a replacement for common sense, basic intellegence or training. You HAVE to do SOMETHING to help resolve your own issue.

Back to the grind.

Sell sell sell

One of the managers around here is looking to buy a new house. This is hinging upon him selling his old house.

7 miles from work... Only 7 miles from work.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Frank J and Sarah K

Be sure to check out IMAO. It's gun totin' fun.

Nuke the moon baby!

New podcast is up also. Quite nice.

Frustration in the workplace

Everyone has those days when everthing you touch falls to pieces.

Today is one for me.

I can't get anything to work. Keep going back and forth on tests I am running AND

I have tried three times to load Fedora Core 5 on a PC to use in the lab and the first box kept failing on disk two (the same disk two which has installed fine on other boxes) and then disk one won't run at all on the second PC.


Now I am loading Redhat 9. The old reliable.

Wish me luck.

Monday, October 02, 2006

So hot

By hot I don't mean sexy hot. I mean friggin' hot. As in I am melting hot.

Air people are coming Thursday. I lost my battle with the warranty people. It's ironic how I work in a service field dealing with people who wouldn't need my help if they would take the time to do their jobs right (ie, read the book). I am still sweating to the oldies because a lazy goob decided he didn't feel like doing his job and said my Air Conditioner failed because I hadn't hosed it off.

On a happier note (sorry to keep complaining about the heat) I did another 100 word story and plan to shoot it to Laurence this week along with my entry in the Weekly Challenge.

If you haven't voted for me, please do. If I get to pick the word, I promise a good one.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Nice day with the family

Got to spend a day wth the family in fun filled Fort Worth. We packed up and took the kiddos to see the Thunderbirds at the aishow.

Unfortunately there wa a long delay with the show getting started because of a failure with the number two plane. He had to actually land and change to another F-16, but we got to see a very nice "High Show."

Honestly, I can't think of a better way to burn a few thousand pounds of jet fuel.

And my 9 year old got his picture taken in front of the A-10 (his personal favorite). Maybe I'll get some photos up one we dump them.


OK. Honestly I saw the biggest ego trip EVER in my life.

At my kids football game the opposing coaches were wearing headsets.

Headsets... Let that sink in.

Pee Wee Football with three coaches on the field. No Offensive co-ordinator or Defensive co-ordinator up in the booth to communicate with.

Three guys within 30 feet of each other.

Being new to blogging I am just begining to realize the comedic gold mine I am missing by not having my camera with me at all times.