Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Security steals the answer from your brain

Students have a security set up that we can check to verify them in case they need a password reset, etc.

Me: Before I can reset your password, I'll need to check you on your security word
Customer: I don't have a security word
Me: Oh, there's one listed on your account
Customer: Well I didn't set it up, I've never set one up, someone else must have entered it
Me: Only you can set it up, unless someone else knows your password?
Customer: No, I haven't told anyone
Me: Right, well shall I check you on your security word just in case it is yours?
Customer: Ok, but I haven't set one up
Me: Can you tell me letter X and letter Y of your mother's maiden name?
Customer: *gives letters*
Me: Correct, let me just get your password reset for you...

Perhaps just stick to alphanumeric characters

The customer was spelling out their personal address so that we could get in touch with them...

Customer: ...lowercase hyphen...

She meant an underscore.

An IQ of 0 or O

When resetting passwords I always read out a "0" as "zero" so they don't get confused with an "o", or that's the plan.

Customer: When you say "zero", do you mean the number zero or the letter zero?

Monday, 29 March 2010

Some human input required

Colour printing costs 35p per sheet of A4 (compared to 5p for black and white). We deliberately make it slightly more difficult to print to to avoid countless students complaining that they have accidentally used up all their print credit from printing to the colour printer by mistake. Sometimes we do get students ask how to set up the colour printer to be able to print to.

Customer: Hi, I've just tried to print to the colour printer, but I'm not sure if I've done it right
Me: Ok, what have you done?
Customer: *explains step-by-step what she's done*
Me: It sounds like you've done it right...hasn't your work come out of the printer?
Customer: Oh, shall I check it?
Me: *facepalm*

Turn off and on again...or not

Turning the PC off and on again is indeed one of the most regular things we ask people to do and one of the things that fixes a lot of problems (save firing the people who cause the problems), this doesn't always go according to plan. This customer had been on the phone a few minutes previously and was told to restart her PC as it had been sitting "loading startup scripts" for ten minutes

Customer: Hi, I was just on the phone and was told to restart my PC but I'm still having the same problems
Me: Ok, so you've rebooted your PC, it's loaded up again and the same thing has happened?
Customer: Yes
Me: How long has it been like this since you switched it off? (She'd hung up literally a few minutes previously)
Customer: About ten minutes
Me: Right.. and this is since you turned the PC right off and back on again?
Customer: Well, I turned the monitor off and that went off but when I tried to turn the hard drive off that didn't do anything.
Me: So you've only turned the monitor off?
Customer: Yes

Had to advise customer that to reboot the PC she had turn the actual PC off and not the monitor. After actually rebooting, it worked!