Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Real Work Conversations: Why won't my computer work?

This one is a slight diversion, as I wasn't actually part of the conversation; this happened to my father. A few years back, he was working as an IT contractor for the FDIC.

Here's the scenario: one of the upper managers from that particular branch of the FDIC is getting ready to go on a trip. So he contacts IT, they pull one of the laptops and load it up with his usual assortment of software. (They had a system in place that was keyed to people's login identities: when you first signed on to the network, it would compare the software on the computer against the list of programs in your profile, and add or update anything that was missing or outdated.) One of the other technicians runs it up to the manager, and they move on to other projects.

Well, an hour or so later, the manager calls back. He's up in arms because his laptop isn't working. They're a little puzzled by this, since it was working fine when they sent it up. So they grab one of their guys - one who's young, relatively new to the job, and definitely the low man on the totem pole - and tell him to go find out what's wrong with it.

He's up there for maybe fifteen minutes, and then he calls my dad.

Peon: "I'm not sure what to do about this."
My Dad: "Did you figure out what's going on?"
Peon: "That wasn't so hard. He's filled the hard drive with porn. Completely filled it. No unused space on the C: drive at all."
My Dad: "Okay. So what's your question?"
Peon: "What do I do about it? I mean, if I report it..."
My Dad: "Delete all the porn. Then hand it back to him and tell him it's working now."


  1. I saw a guy who, on the day he got fired, had 10 G of porn on his work PC. I only mention it because I was impressed that it was entirely in photos; no videos of any kind. That's a metric crapload of photos.

  2. Oh, my. Yes, that takes dedication.

  3. He'd only been working there for about six months. And he did get most of his projects done in a timely manner. That's the best part. I honestly don't know how he found the time.


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