Havening (sic) a lousy day?
April 30, 2002 6:26 PM   Subscribe

Havening (sic) a lousy day? Whenever the IT industry gets me down, I look to this oldy but goody of a link to help me realize that I don't have it all that bad. Have you ever been on any tier of computer support? This is a classic (albeit somewhat cruel) chronicle of working alongside a useless help-desk drone we'll call George.
posted by machaus (25 comments total)
You can't see it, but there are tears running down my face right now.

"she made requested for tomorrow that a lcd printer and cpu with a lan on it,at 3:00pm to 4:00pm"

posted by eyeballkid at 6:46 PM on April 30, 2002

I work with George's linguistic twin. From my logs:

"Far as tell all is well. I am running a ping of every IP on the LAN. Do to having no pacific info on server to test connectivity with."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:59 PM on April 30, 2002

If I *ever* meet anyone that can physically send email from his or her "hole area"...

This is too good. Beautiful indeed.
posted by gummi at 7:01 PM on April 30, 2002

When my ex coworkers and I discovred this site, we were havening laughs for weeks. That's all we would say to each other. Then, we would try to make all inter-office communications as Georgian as possible, and give awards to those most cryptic and vague. God bless George.
posted by adampsyche at 7:01 PM on April 30, 2002

I feel sorry for George.
posted by iconomy at 7:13 PM on April 30, 2002

don't all of us who have to deal with trouble tickets or support emails have a File of Shame somewhere?

Best Bug Ever: I was a developer on a site a few days from launch. QA was still doing bug testing of the front end code. One of the QA staffers put in a bug that said something like 'i think the little girl on blah.html looks sad she need to look happier!!' thank you for finding that bug in the designer's clip art...

I printed out a hard copy of that puppy.

thanks, machaus, I'll be sending this URL around the office tomorrow.
posted by Sapphireblue at 7:20 PM on April 30, 2002

The e-grammar of someone I used to work with degraded exponentially over time. When I started working there, emails came in full sentences. Towards the end, about a year later, they had degraded to things like:

"Hi Tom gd wekend???? Grat can u get the sites done tomorrow and also do the images and put all on server thanks also need the images in adobe ESP when will site be done??????????????? coldfusion not wking?!???????"

Adobe ESP format was consistently called "ESP". Does Adobe have something going on that I don't know about?
posted by tomorama at 7:30 PM on April 30, 2002

That should be "Adobe EPS format..."
posted by tomorama at 7:31 PM on April 30, 2002

Excellent link, thanks
posted by riffola at 7:43 PM on April 30, 2002

A classic, indeed.

having no pacific info

I once had a English girlfriend (don't get me started) who said 'pacific' for 'specific' and 'skellington' for 'skeleton' all the time. She was dyslexic, so I figured it was something to do with that. Since then, though, I've heard many other UK types utter the same malapropisms, but not any Antipodeans or North Americans, and I wonder if it's somehow specifically a UK thing...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:22 PM on April 30, 2002

The Larry Ellison-like CEO of the company I left would always say "expecially." Me and a guy from sales would glance at each other and stifle laughter whenever he did so in meetings.

And our press releases, which the CEO consistently edited up until the last minute, would end up horrible. "Were excited and proud to be partnering with Microsft and..." Sigh.
posted by Tacodog at 9:08 PM on April 30, 2002

Hey, I think this has been posted at Metafilter before. But it's still fun the second time around. My only George-type stories would be about some of the "programmers" that get hired to run some of our customer's web servers, and need to be taught how to ftp. My favorite request:

"Please add ftp access from IP range through 192.168.999.999.999"

IPv6? Well, no, and I have a sinking feeling this guy is making more money than I am...
posted by Loudmax at 9:35 PM on April 30, 2002

I must say that this is exspecially funny if you work in IT. When me and my boss discovered this way back about 3 years ago, we laughed the kind of joy/despair laughter that teeters close to the edge of sobbing.

Jorge - wherever you might as was be, I hope you are havening good luck with until then you are diening.
posted by scarabic at 10:25 PM on April 30, 2002

That was hilarious. A few more words that are exspecially fun: acrost and irregardless.

We've received some interesting spelling in bug reports:

"never rally existed"
"there should be an option that will determin weather scripts should run"
"so that we can preserver info without have ti completly repartion"
posted by jaden at 11:13 PM on April 30, 2002

As hysterical as this site is, I doubt that I'm the only one whose read George's written output, made note of the times that the site's author mentions that he doesn't speak that way, and thought that George had a learning disability?
posted by Dreama at 11:22 PM on April 30, 2002

huh huh: "...whose..."

posted by paul at 5:21 AM on May 1, 2002

What Dreama said. George looks like he has a serious spelling problem. Who knows? Maybe he's a tech genius who just didn't have the skills to get his ideas across? I'm not trying to be a "turd in the punchbowl" because I thought is was funny but it was somewhat sad as well.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:38 AM on May 1, 2002

I know a really intelligent, well-read guy, who got a college degree, and still can't spell worth a tinker's damn. I've learned not to immediately judge on that basis.
posted by dhartung at 7:51 AM on May 1, 2002

I worked with an installer who wrote like this -- it was enough to make me cringe and laugh at the same time -- and, in spite of his making a fool of himself every time he wrote anything, he was one of the more capable people in our support area. Which may say something about why I don't work at that company now.
posted by alumshubby at 7:53 AM on May 1, 2002

On the FAQs about George page (which, as you'll see, is not really about George at all, but about the other guy): "So, yes, perhaps I am being a bit unfair by hitting him where he cannot respond. But I work my ASS off, every day, and I try my hardest to respond to my customers because I have been in their shoes and I know what it feels like. To have had to work with someone like George was the worst insult that can be hurled at me, both professionally and personally, because it shows that really, I could have sat and fucked around all day long and still gotten paid, and the fact that I tried my best doesn't amount to anything."

I think the guy's a prick. I'll bet he made every day a living hell for George. I've worked with people like this guy and the more I read the more pathetic he seemed.

His ego was bruised by having to share some square footage with someone not up to his standards, and he readily admits that his pride was hurt and he was insulted, which is his motivating factor for the whole website. If I had to pick one of them to work with I would pick George any day, even if he does spell like shit.
posted by iconomy at 8:04 AM on May 1, 2002

iconomy, I might agree with you if not for the guy's explanation of the "You're part of the problem, Mr. Smarty-Pants Webmaster! You should have tried to help him out instead of making fun of him, you moron!" question in the FAQ:

George wouldn't look in the binder unless he was told to do so, repeatedly. He would just sit there and leech. Imagine George sitting with three other guys in the help desk glass bubble, all on the phone, with George badgering EVERYONE with a question he has the tools to solve himself ("She says her computer is slow. What do I do?"). For the first few months, everyone held his hand. We would answer his questions with absolute patience, and guide him to the correct answers. We held training sessions for George and the other help desk guys with little or no experience. Helpdeskers were attached to the hip of a Tier II guy to go with him to fix problems, to get hands-on experience.

The problem is that George didn't learn. He just didn't care. When he was attached to my hip and walking with me on calls, he would stare off into space or not pay attention while I was explaining the problem and the fix to him. He would call in sick on training days, or doodle instead of taking notes. He simply REFUSED to do ANYTHING to improve.

posted by machaus at 8:43 AM on May 1, 2002

I spent all of 1999 working for a woman who, every time the word "computer" was uttered in her presence, asked if we were ready for "that Y-K-two thousand thing". Except, of course, for the times she substituted "virus" for "thing".
posted by donnagirl at 9:01 AM on May 1, 2002

I once worked with a man who stared at the gray screen on a macintosh, waiting for it to boot up, for 45 minutes. (usually that gray screen hangs for about 5 seconds, as the mac performs a RAM test)
posted by schlaager at 10:05 AM on May 1, 2002

The problem is that George didn't learn. He just didn't care. When he was attached to my hip and walking with me on calls, he would stare off into space or not pay attention while I was explaining the problem and the fix to him.

Hmm, inability to concentrate, a desire to try to "coast," a seemingly unwillingness (or inability) to take effective notes or use available manuals and poor written communication skills -- I'm still left thinking that George may have either had a learning disability which frustrated him to a point where he just tried to skate along doing whatever he could, which wasn't much and made him seem like a slacker, or if he was a case of undiagnosed true ADD.

He was apparently employed for at least fourteen months, so either management was completely int he clouds or he was doing some portion of his job right. I wonder how many tickets George logged in 14 months; there are what, 100, 150 on the site, admittedly the worst. That would mean that there are hundreds which were acceptable. But that's not really funny, I guess.
posted by Dreama at 4:32 PM on May 1, 2002

Dreama: It's nice of your to try to defend him, but a quick read of the FAQ explains why he was employed.

Okay, okay, fine. Whatever. If what you're saying is true, how could someone like that have kept a job?

Nepotism. It's sad, and it's detrimental to the health of the company, but it happens. The situation was so bad that users would call the help desk with a problem, and if George answered, they'd hang up and call immediately back so that the phone cycled to a different help desk technician. He shouldn't have been doing help desk work, but he remained where he was because of who he knew.

posted by jaden at 12:55 AM on May 9, 2002

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