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‘How Do I Start the Internet?’ and Other Strange IT Help Desk Requests

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Andreas Rentz, Getty Images

I have a world of respect for our IT department. Every day, all day, they get bombarded by delinquent Disc Jockeys with dumb questions and requests. And they take it all in stride.

I don’t even want to fathom the crême de la crême of idiotic questions they’ve been asked. Instead I’ll refer you to a recent study done by Robert Half Technology, a provider of IT professionals.

They interviewed more than 1,400 chief information officers at U.S. companies with 100 or more employees to find out some of the more interesting questions asked to the IT help desk. The results are astounding.

The CIOs were asked, “What is the strangest or most unusual request you or a member of your help desk or technical support team has ever received?”

  • “How do I clean cat hair out of my computer fan?”
  • “How do I remove a sesame seed from the keyboard?”
  • “I need help drilling holes in the wall.”
  • “Can you come over and plug in this cord for me?”
  • “I need you to install a video monitoring system.”
  • “Can I turn on the coffee pot with my computer?”
  • “I dropped my phone in the toilet. What should I do?”
  • “I want to download software to change an audio file to video.”
  • “How do I pirate software?”

Help desk professionals are known for going the extra mile by trying to answer all questions, even if a request falls outside their job description, but these employees might of went a little too far:

  • “We need you to fix the microwave in the lunchroom.”
  • “Can you recommend a good dry cleaner?”
  • “Can you help me fix my chair?”
  • “Can you help us get money out of the vending machine?”
  • “I can’t find my packages online! Can you help me?”
  • “Can you help me fix my toilet?”
  • “My car’s cup holder is broken. Can you fix it?”
  • “Can you help me repair a washing machine?”
  • “Where can I find a video of Elvis Presley online?”

Help desk professionals are willing to answer just about any technical question, but some users may need to get a “Computers for Dummies” book:

  • “I’d like to download the entire Internet so I can take it with me.”
  • “How do I start the Internet?”
  • “Will you show me how to use the mouse?”
  • “My computer won’t turn on or off.” (The computer was unplugged.)
  • “How do I send an email?”
  • “How do I click on different files?”

Gosh, I hope I never asked any of these! Well, at least I know how to jiggle the handle instead of asking the computer guy.

 

 

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