Scary Stories in IT Support
In honor of Halloween I thought this week’s blog could be a compilation of some scary stories in IT Support. Some are crazy, some are scary, some are kinda gross. It can be a crazy world that we live in, and there are some good stories. I asked my techs for their best stories and found out that they are consummate professionals. Apparently i.t.NOW is so reliable with how we manage our networks its boring. There were a few good stories from other places they’ve worked over the years that I’ve included. I decided to also take to reddit and the internet to compile some great stories from the web. I got some great responses and have compiled them below for your enjoyment.
Morgan from i.t.NOW
“I worked for a company years ago that was called in to do an evaluation on a network because they thought that there was something strange about their internal IT guy. They were also having performance problems on their server that they wanted us to investigate.
Our team got to work and soon found that he was hosting a website all about poop on their servers. It was some weird fetish thing. He was quickly fired, the website was taken down, and their server performance problems were solved.”
“We actually had one recently where we were fixing some networking that had been done by a competitor. They had a fiber switch that was wall mounted at eye level. Our technician went over to it to work on it and got hit directly in the eye by a laser. Apparently, our competitor had left a live fiber run uncapped. Our technician had to seek medical attention and the doctors are concerned he may have some permanent damage to his retina.”
Jeremy from i.t.NOW
“When I was younger, I worked with my Dad. He was an IT guy too and had his own small business. One day we were working a job that required us run some network cabling from one side of an office building to another. I got the job of going into the crawl space to run the wire. While I was creeping along down there, I saw a bra and panties that looked like they had been hastily discarded to the side. Made me wonder what goes on in this place.”
Stories from Gizmodo
-The time a lady had me look at her home desktop computer, which would no longer power up. It reeked of cigarette smoke. As I was unscrewing the door on her case, I said that cigarette smoke can damage electronics. She insisted that she never smoked around it (because she had quit smoking, you see). The door came off and the entire inside of the case was coated (dripping, actually) in dark brown sludge, which is what happens when smoke and dust spend a lot of quality time together. She then admitted to maybe smoking “one or two” cigarettes around it.
-Was cleaning malware off of a (married) guy’s computer, which had been preventing the computer from booting up. He wasn’t around, but his young female (not wife) assistant was in the office with me, at her own desk about 10 feet away doing whatever work it was that assistants do. I finished removing a rootkit and Windows booted up. He had his icon settings set to display large thumbnails. When Windows loaded there was a large photo thumbnail, on the computer’s desktop, of his naked young assistant (who, again, was not his wife and who was sitting in the same room with me), that had clearly been taken in the office. Without saying a word, I quickly drug it into the My Documents folder, told her I had fixed the problem, and swiftly left. A couple months later he fired that young woman, and his wife was hired on as his assistant. Probably a coincidence.
-I opened up a PC that had become so full of dried bug carcasses that they had begun falling out of the power supply’s rear fan.
I worked in the IT department for the Sahara Hotel & Casino in the late 80’s. At that time they had a System 36 and System 38 in the basement.
The casino was in disrepair and the drains from the buffet would leak into the computer room. Also there was no ventilation, so the whole place smelled like the rotting sewer under an old Burger King. The walls were coated in a thin layer of grease and filters on the cooling fans dripped this brown sludge.
Exponential Grapes wrote:
– I had a lawyer say his computer was broken, every time he opened a document it just started scrolling. He was flipping out. I went over and moved the notebook off his enter key and left as he was telling me not to tell anyone.
– One of the VPs was a real jerk at this one company. One day he called us and said his computer smelled bad. We were like: okay…we wandered over and took a look. We took apart his computer, everything looked fine, nothing burnt out, no strange smells. I lean a little bit in one direction and smell something awful. It was coming from the subwoofer of the massive speaker system he bought for his tiny computer. The jackass set the subwoofer on it’s side so the air hole was facing up. A mouse had crawled in there and couldn’t get out and died over the weekend. He had us throw the whole speaker system away.
Garrett Davis wrote:
I was working IT for a restaurant company (used to be a great company that went down hill due to the investment company that now owns them), and we were put in charge of a new POS system roll out. We were a small team of only 4 people including the VP of IT, so we went out personally to all ~130 locations to install the new systems as well as back office servers ourselves. The difference in how a manager runs their store becomes immediately apparent when traveling between all of these locations, and it was pretty easy to spot the ones who really didn’t know what they were doing.
I was running some CAT5 through the hung grid ceiling between the office and the closet in the back where the router was installed (lazy ass cable installers…). I would have fixed this better, but I only had a limited amount of time to get everything up and running before they opened and I had to be at another store. I climb up on a stool and open up the very first ceiling tile and a sticky rat trap that was caught in some loose wiring fell down right in front of my face, nearly causing my to fall over backwards off the stool.
Contained in this pleasant surprise rat trap, was a half decomposed rat the size of a growing kitten. The rib cage was exposed and maggots and larvae are oozing and dripping out of the gaping chest cavity onto the floor and my shirt. I hop down and immediately grab the nearest trash can because I thought I was going to throw up violently — but luckily I managed to hold it in.
Before the day was done I managed to find 4-5 more occupied traps and even got to meet some of their still living brethren, which was nice. Needless to say this manager ended up being fired just a few months later, and was already under review when I came to her store.
I was the new guy at an engineering firm. Given recent quit/fire desk and equipment. Strange smells from computer – only when running.
Long story short…office prankster put a small round of fancy (stinky) cheese inside of comp case – 3 years ago…
We found the foil wrapper, under a 2 lb pile of dead and dried up roaches. Disgusting cheesy roach nest in my old computer.
I discovered a wad of petrified cat poop tangled around the CPU fan on an older Dell desktop. It also smelled like old cigarettes. We had to clear out the tech room for a solid 30 minutes and Febreeze the place over and over.
Stories from Reddit
KaizenTech writes –
>> manager who instructed tech to “put tape over the buzzer” instead of replacing failed server drive
>> same manager wouldn’t buy AV because 10 year old trendmicro was apparently good
>> same manager who thought allowing internet RDP to desktops was a good idea (VPN much?)
>> tech who couldn’t figure out site2site vpn, opened holes in firewall to the printer (this was for confidential PII insurance agency paperwork!)
>> net admin who put windows FTP server on Internet to allow HR to upload confidential employee benefits info (guess what happened next)
We had clients that we took over who:
- was running their entire organization off a Windows 7 Ultimate machine that was hacked so everyone could RDP into it and run their LOB app (about 30 users)
- stored the server in the same room as the flour and cooking oil, and the entire room was coated with a fine film of both. Was literally a bomb waiting to go off.
FancyPants2Point0h writes –
Off the top of my head, the following come to mind:
Everything in 1 OU in AD, with a handful of random objects and OUs sprinkled everywhere along with it.
500 unused Windows 10 licenses under an SA because techs didn’t know they had them. They had everyone on a really crappy Linux distro instead that hasn’t been updated in god knows how long.
Same client, hundreds of servers that haven’t been patched in 8 years. Including DCs.
Andygauge writes –
I went out to a company who had lost their quickbooks database. I could see from the event logs that it was deleted and from another computer in the office. That computer was used by their previous IT vendor who had warned them that you can lose files if you don’t buy our backup solution.
Their previous IT had deleted a file because they didn’t buy their backup system.
All these scary stores in IT support tell me that good IT guys can be hard to find. We would love to take the fear out of managing your network. Call us today before you get on this list of IT horror stories!