Boss sent overpaid IT know-nothings home – until an ON switch proved elusive

Nobody told me it needed electricity, honest

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On-Call Why look at that! The end of the working week is upon us, which means it’s time to dip into the mailbag to bring you another instalment of On-Call, The Register’s reader-contributed tales of tech support trauma.

This week meet “Abraham” who was once “called in to move a big printer.”

Abraham was a proper techie, not a removalist. And the move was just a few metres across a single floor of an office building.

But this was one of those gigs where the contract said a techie needed to do the job, so in he went to do it.

Not in the contract was the fact that the job would be done under a disapproving eye from the site manager, who Abraham said “hated us for being over-paid and under-skilled.”

The manager had formed that opinion after reading consumer technology magazines that left him convinced that he knew all about IT and that pros knew far too little to justify their pay packets. Or even their existence.

Abraham and his colleagues moved the printer as efficiently as possible. And then they were moved on.

A fiber optic cable

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“The manager told us that there was absolutely no reason for us to be here anymore,” Abraham told On-Call. “The simple task of connecting the printer was not something for which he needed our help.”

So Abraham and his mate left.

Of course when they returned to the office they quickly received an angry phone call.

“The customer yelled all his feelings towards us, stating all the ways he thought we were incompetent,” Abraham recalled. The gist of it was that the printer didn’t work, Abraham must have broken it in transit, which took some doing in such a short move. And now it wouldn’t even turn on!

Abraham went to the first question on any troubleshooting checklist: had the manager connected the printer to electricity after the move?

“OF COURSE I PLUGGED IN THE POWER YOU @#$%&!!” was the response.

But in the background Abraham could hear someone else on site saying “Err ... boss? We forgot to plug in the power."

Cue the manager bellowing incoherently, followed exasperated utterances about something being “WRONG!” and then a nasty crunch as a phone was slammed, terminating a call with considerable prejudice.

“After that incident we only ever received very humble calls from that client,” Abraham said. “So all worked out for the best!”

Have you had a happy ending at work after an unjustified bollocksing? If so, click here to write to On-Call with your story. ®

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