Torturing Your Users

“Hey Bob, you do desktop support, right?”

“Well, not much anymore, but what’s up? I can probably help, or ask someone.”

“I’m getting accused of hacking my work computer because I changed the desktop background.”

<stunned pause>

“Hacking? You’re serious?” I have some personal experience with stuff like this, getting accused of hacking a network because I knew how to use the Novell “attach” command. Scandalous, I know.

“Yeah. I set it to one of your photos, actually. Our IT morons are claiming I had to break in and change some security setting on the computer to do it. I just right-clicked and picked ‘Set as Desktop Background.'”

“Um, okay. Well, if these are the same guys you told me lock down the printers so you can’t print in the afternoon to certain printers it wouldn’t surprise me that they tried making it so you can’t change your desktop. And if they’re the same guys that you told me let your main file servers be down for a week because they don’t believe in redundant disks it’s not surprising that they didn’t do it right.”

“Yeah, but what do I tell my boss? They’re sitting in her office waiting for her to get back from a meeting.”

“Tell her that you wish your IT guys would help you do your job, rather than torturing and persecuting you for using something they claim was disabled. Maybe you set it before they disabled the function; I bet they didn’t think of that. Frankly, I’m surprised they have time to pester you, are they neglecting their printer Nazi duties?”

“Yeah, no kidding. You think that’ll work?”

“Last time I stopped by your boss had her kids on her desktop. It was the topic of conversation, actually — her kids are all giants. If they’re sitting in her office her monitor probably went to sleep, so they can’t see it.”

“Oh my god, that’s great! Heh, I guess we’re all a bunch of hackers. Maybe our next project should be hacking the payroll system to fire these idiots.”

Moral of the story: if you ever find yourself disabling your users’ ability to change their desktop background you should find something more productive to do, you soul-crushing fascist.

4 thoughts on “Torturing Your Users”

  1. Thanks for posting this cute story, but really, when I read this title in my RSS feed, I was hoping for more tips on torturing my users. I really only got a couple ideas from this post. Anything else you’d like to share? 😉

  2. Thanks folks! Matt, I’m sorry I disappointed you. Though there are some users I’d like to waterboard… (oh, did I just write that down? Damn.). 🙂

    AppGirl, BOFH is classic. I was a lurker on alt.sysadmin.recovery for many years so I’ve seen most of those. I definitely agree that folks should read it.

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