A question of nerves

User support, the daily fight with Users suffering from ESD (as in extreme stupidity disorder) – all that are leaving traces on the admins face. Especially if you think that you got things under control, such users kick in with their creative destruction. Let me tell you a recent example.

Remote administration software saves time as the admin can do his work from home as he just logs in at the others computer for doing his work. After getting a slight overview of the situation by just looking at the things, he listens to the user who rants about the computer. Calmly he replies that he is going to manage it all and notices that most of the problems were caused by ignoring error messages and other message boxes.

As windows update kicks in crying for some care, our admin accepts the patches while doing a huge download. As time goes by, the download was not finished, the admin turns away for a second to check a mail he just received and got disconnected from the remote session. What the heck happened?

Our beloved user had his bright minutes and noticed the message box of the windows update next to the progress bar of the download and restarted the computer without giving the admin the chance to prevent it. I guess there is no need to tell you that the download was at about 90% as it was cancelled and that windows doesn’t allow resuming. So he grabs the phone to talk to the user to get back to the remote session.

Readers who know me might have noticed, that the admin I am talking about is me and that I am out of nerves with some users. So I am asking you: Is there a chance to prevent such stupid users from doing those bad things to us? Do we make it too simple for them by doing automated tasks ready for being clicked? I don’t blame them if they cannot install a new graphics card or similar. I just request logical thinking…


3 thoughts on “A question of nerves”

  • 1) Use remote software that allows locking their keyboard/mouse for a while. Pretend you can’t hear them when they ask to ‘have access for just a minute’.
    2) Insist on firefox, and keep fingers crossed that interrupted downloads will resume if they manage to pull the power plug out or something.
    3) Request they install some sort of remote taser device to their mouse. If you see them tempted to do something wrong… ZAP… they’ll learn eventually.

  • The taser is a teasing solution, Chris – definitively.

    Even if locking them out while doing the work seems to be best – they might suspect that the computer just hangs and do a hard reset. I already had that case.

  • True – a sysadmins job is always thankless and ungrateful. If you compare the work to a carpenter or a plumber, the main difference is that his work is noticed as there is dirt and noise made.

    If you fix a computer and it is standing there, nobody will actually see a difference – the main problem is that the user itself doesn’t really see the work done…

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