Search This Blog

Monday, September 1, 2014


Sometimes, as an IT Professional, one encounters users that are happy to try to reassemble their computer on their own.
Given the reputation of scary IT people and those who are condescending to users, I have always found it important to allow users who wish to try the opportunity to try it out. Nothing reduces fear of the equipment faster and better than demystifying it.

Once upon a time, in my journey through a career as a technology manager, I encounter a user that was happy to reattach all of their equipment after a room move. I was asked, prior to their efforts, if I found it acceptable for them to undertake the effort and I assured them I was. I even stated that  if they encountered any trouble to please let me know.

Later that day the user appeared in my door with an expression of concern adorning their face.

"I have a problem" they informed me, "it won't turn on."

I rose from my seat and escorted them back to their office area. Of course, the first question I asked was "is it plugged in" and the answer was an affirmative.
I began my troubleshooting, examining first, and last, if it was plugged in.

I found, to my acceptance, that all of the necessary cables appeared plugged in to the appropriate spaces. Network to network, USB plugs in USB ports (side note: a USB plug WILL fit into a network jack so "plug it in where it fits" doesn't work for all users). Monitor attached correctly. Everything seemed to be plugged in correctly; that is, until I looked at the wall socket.
There was nothing plugged into the electrical outlet in the wall. I knew, suddenly, that this MUST be the problem but where was the plug that needed to go there?
I traced all of the cables with my fingers until the culprit became clear. One of the plugs that is plugged into the surge protector was also the source cable for the surge protector. I gently unplugged this and slide it home, into the wall socket.
I rose, out from under the desk, and sparked on the system with the power button.
Everything fired up exactly as expected and my user was back in service.

Upon being asked what had been wrong I merely answered "one of your connections was arguing with us. It wanted to take a nap. I woke it up."
My user found this response amusing and accepted it.

I left their office and returned to my own to continue the tasks of monitoring servers and standing by for additional help as needed.

This is another true story tagged as "fiction" due to the story-telling nature of it.

The tale of the office move and the computer that wouldn't turn on because the power strip was plugged into itself

No comments:

Post a Comment