On-Call Welcome once again to On-Call, our regular look at the messes readers find themselves in when asked to go to help out their clients.
This week, we've heard from Reg reader Pat, who tells us about the time he responded to a request for tech help from a user who was puzzled by the strange behaviour of a printer.
"I was minding my own business, when I got a ticket about 'brown spots' appearing on the first printout of the day," Pat recalls.
"This was spewing out from a Laserjet 4000. I hit the JetDirect and rooted around a bit and didn't see any faults, so I scheduled a site visit the next morning."
Pat tells us that the printer was located in the breakroom of a 90-year-old "cold, draughty public school building that had been re-purposed as multiple government offices."
He continues: "The caller printed me a few pages and, sure enough, the 'brown spots' were very noticeable on the first page and faded out completely by the third page."
"The issue quickly became clear," he adds.
"When I opened the printer I disturbed the family of mice that were living next to the cosy warm fuser. They apparently had been using the paper tray as a self cleaning toilet."
Pat reassures us that "the eviction was successful and temporary, I am sure."
But what about the client who had requested IT support in the first place?
"The nice lady thanked me and hurried back to her office to toss all of her poop-stained printouts."
Share your own experience of mouseplop, or other horrors elsewhere on client sites, by mailing Simon Sharwood for possible inclusion in a future On-Call. ®