Since we started Resolve in 2001 there have been one or two things that have happened that have made me chuckle. Before I go any further though – if you’re looking for me to take the mickey out of our customers – it isn’t going to happen -sorry!
So what was in that computer in the farm in the Forest of Dean?
I was once asked to go and help set up some IT kit in a farm in the Forest of Dean. One computer in particular seemed to be really unreliable. I remember it was a particularly old one located near to the area where they milked the cows. We decided to open it up and take a look to find it had a rather large, flat and dried out (and also very dead)……frog. It was too big to have got in, so it must have been in there for some time before it finally ….croaked!
Other odd things we’ve found – money, plastic tea sets (usually inserted by toddlers via the DVD drive), dead insects and probably most alarming of all – rodent droppings. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when most of the equipment we install comes complete with a mouse!
Things spilt on laptops
- Red wine
- White wine
- Coke (the liquid variety as far as we know)
- Nail varnish
- Ice Cream
- Whipped cream – yes, really.
- Contents of ashtrays
- Icing sugar
- Soy sauce
- Big Mac (contents of)
- Soup (various varieties)
We regularly get asked to repair laptops, and our advice is definitely do not drink or eat and type! We’ve had destruction caused by all manner of spillages. In fact our very own Carol, the company secretary and financial head honcho, decided to make a splash only this Christmas when, for reasons known only to herself, she emptied a complete mug of tea over her lovely new laptop. A laptop which is now very, very dead!
We’ve seen many smashed laptops, usually through accidental drops though I know from many years past a customer that was so frustrated with his poor connection to the Internet that he threw his laptop out of the window, not once but twice. The only saving grace was that the window was open.
A wide variety of locations – a few farms, laboratories, nuclear power stations, factories, building sites, hotels, garages, shops, chemical works, basements, attics, church spires, trees (yes, trees! I’m not barking mad. Those WiFi points have to go somewhere!). Scottish Highlands, Northern Ireland, USA, Thailand, Belgium, France and if you count doing remote support, from the Nurburgring – Germany! Plus the occasional bit of telephone support from Barcelona.
Running cables for a hotel speaker system in a ladies changing room was an odd one (I hasten to add it was empty).
Number of my family members that have worked at Resolve?
1 Older brother
1 wife (so far!)
Most stupid thing said by me to a customer?
This one was quite recent: I needed to use the (female) customer’s computer, so it made sense to sit in front of it. Rather than say “Do you mind if I sit there for a minute?” I asked:
“Do you mind if I just grab your seat?”
Cue the tumbleweed. Fortunately she didn’t call the police, and I didn’t leave the building by the nearest window!
Highest place I’ve worked
In a cherry picker, putting in a CCTV camera on the roof of a hospice. Somewhat embarrassingly, they thought I was possibly too heavy to use it as the tilt alarm kept going off. Don’t look down!
Most surprising correspondence received.
Never underestimate the possibility for confusion in non-verbal communication. Many years ago, we had a client with some software that was misbehaving. We asked him if he could put the data on a disk, make a copy of it and send it to us. We were somewhat surprised when a letter arrived (this was a long time ago) with a photocopy of a floppy disk attached. Saying – “Copy of disk as requested”. In fairness he did exactly what we asked!
If you’re a programmer, never put stupid error messages in a computer program.
A developer once put a message in some software thinking there was no way it would ever be displayed. What he hadn’t taken account of was that the software would find its way to Norway and consequently fail.
“Major meltdown in the pre-core causing a rather large wobbler!”
Sadly for the engineer in question (but also luckily too) the customer had limited English. His call asking in a wonderful Scandinavian accent why he had a “rather large wobbler” was somewhat amusing. I hasten to add we didn’t write the code! Even though part of me wishes we had….
No, I’m not having an affair!
In the very early days, we used to work out of a single room that we rented from a larger company. As we were often working away at customer sites, we had a call management company answer our calls for us (note – this company ceased to exist in 2006. We now use the wonderful Professional Call Minders who are ace!). On a particularly sunny day I decided to take the day off, so I rang the call minding company to tell them I would be out for the day. My wife rang me shortly afterwards and the call was diverted to the call handlers, and for some reason they assumed I hadn’t told her I was having the day off. Not knowing how to put a call on hold, my wife was able to overhear them saying “It’s Tim’s wife…whatever shall I tell her!” in a somewhat stressed but indignant voice. The truth is probably the best bet!
iPads and iPhones
Please don’t drop them down the loo. They really don’t work too well afterwards! My son and youngest daughter – please take note (though you are far from alone)!
The rugged computer with rubber edges that they were so convinced was indestructible it was decided to drop test it. The bounce was quite impressive, the after-effects less so.