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March 04, 2003

Sysadmin Guide

You too can help your sysadmin. Here are a few of the best ways:
• Never write down error messages. Just click OK, or restart your computer. Ralph likes to guess what the error message was.
• When talking about your computer, use terms like "Thingy" and "Big Connector." Ralph likes it when you use such technical terms.
• If you get an EXE file in an email attachment, open it immediately. Ralph likes to make sure the anti-virus software is working properly.
• When Ralph says he coming right over, log out and go for coffee. It's no problem for him to remember your password.
• When you call Ralph to have your computer moved, be sure to leave it buried under a year-old pile of postcards, baby pictures, stuffed animals, dried flowers, unpaid bills, bowling trophies and Popsicle sticks. Ralph doesn't have a life, and he finds it deeply moving to catch a glimpse of yours.
• When Ralph sends you an email marked as "Highly Important" or "Action Required", delete it at once. He's probably just testing some new-fangled email software.
• When Ralph's eating lunch at his desk or in the lunchroom, walk right in, grab a few of his fries, then spill your guts and expect him to respond immediately. Ralph lives to serve, and he's always ready to think about fixing computers, especially yours.
• When Ralph's at the water cooler or outside taking a breath of fresh air, find him and ask him a computer question. The only reason he takes breaks at all is to ferret out all those employees who don't have email or a telephone.
• Send urgent email ALL IN UPPERCASE. The mail server picks it up and flags it as a rush delivery.
• When the photocopier doesn't work, call Ralph. There's electronics in it, so it should be right up his alley.
• When you're getting a NO DIAL TONE message at your home computer, call Ralph. He enjoys fixing telephone problems from remote locations. Especially on weekends.
• When something goes wrong with your home PC, dump it on Ralph's chair the next morning with no name, no phone number, and no description of the problem. Ralph just loves a good mystery.
• When you have Ralph on the phone walking you through changing a setting on your PC, read the newspaper. Ralph doesn't actually mean for you to DO anything. He just loves to hear himself talk.
• When your company offers training on an upcoming OS upgrade, don't bother to sign up. Ralph will be there to hold your hand when the time comes.
• When the printer won't print, re-send the job 20 times in rapid succession. That should do the trick.
• When the printer still won't print after 20 tries, send the job to all the printers in the office. One of them is bound to work.
• Don't use online help. Online help is for wimps.
• Don't read the operator's manual. Manuals are for wussies.
• If you're taking night classes in computer science, feel free to demonstrate your fledgling expertise by updating the network drivers for you and all your co-workers. Ralph will be grateful for the overtime when he has to stay until 2:30am fixing all of them.
• When Ralphs's fixing your computer at a quarter past one, eat your Whopper with cheese in his face. He functions better when he's slightly dizzy from hunger.
• When Ralph asks you whether you've installed any new software on your computer, LIE. It's no one else's business what you've got on your computer.
• If the mouse cable keeps knocking down the framed picture of your dog, lift the monitor and stuff the cable under it. Those skinny mouse cables were designed to have 55 lbs. of computer monitor crushing them.
• If the space bar on your keyboard doesn't work, blame Ralph for not upgrading it sooner. Hell, it's not your fault there's a half pound of pizza crust crumbs, nail clippings, and big sticky drops of Mountain Dew under the keys.
• When you get the message saying "Are you sure?", click the "Yes" button as fast as you can. Hell, if you weren't sure, you wouldn't be doing it, would you?
• Feel perfectly free to say things like "I don't know nothing about that boneheaded computer crap." It never bothers Ralph to hear his area of professional expertise referred to as boneheaded crap.
• Don't even think of breaking large print jobs down into smaller chunks. God forbid somebody else should sneak a one-page job in between your 500-page Word document.
• When you send that 500-page document to the printer, don't bother to check if the printer has enough paper. That's Ralph's job.
• When Ralph calls you 30 minutes later and tells you that the printer printed 24 pages of your 500-page document before it ran out of paper, and there are now nine other jobs in the queue behind yours, ask him why he didn't bother to add more paper.
• When you receive a 130 MB movie file, send it to everyone as a high-priority mail attachment. Ralph's provided plenty of disk space and processor capacity on the new mail server for just those kinds of important things.
• When you bump into Ralph in the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon, ask him computer questions. He works 24/7, and is always thinking about computers, even when he's at super-market buying toilet paper and doggie treats.
• If your son is a student in computer science, have him come in on the weekends and do his projects on your office computer. Ralph will be there for you when your son's illegal copy of Visual Basic 6.0 makes the Access database keel over and die.
• When you bring Ralph your own "no-name" brand PC to repair for free at the office, tell him how urgently he needs to fix it so you can get back to playing EverQuest. He'll get on it right away, because everyone knows he doesn't do anything all day except surf the Internet.
• Don't ever thank Ralph. He loves fixing everything AND getting paid for it!
• Send Ralph hundreds of pages of documentation relating to a dozen obscure applications he's never heard of (and still in Beta), and get him to provide a review within a couple of days...he's got nothing better to do.

Posted by Peskie at March 4, 2003 12:00 PM