Help!!!! I can't print.
Printers .... sigh ... I hate them. A lot of IT technicians will tell you how much they detest sorting out printing issues. It's one of those things that you cannot always do remotely, and there is never one way to do things. You may have a recurring issue with a fucking printer, but hey ..... the thing you did last time to make it work .... guess what? ... it won't fucking work anymore! Annoying to say the least.
Anyways, this is not about boring printing solutions. I am going to tell you 2 situations.. The first is user issue and the other is the engineer being a dumb-ass. Let's roll, shall we?
It was a quiet day on the help desk. Not much happening, and then the phone rang. It's never a good thing when a client calls towards the end of the day. You get those cold shivers running down your spine hoping it will be a password reset, or just a random question on what mouse we recommend them to buy. Ha! No such luck. It was a bloody printer issue. Of course the user was panicking because she had been trying all day to print an urgent report for her director (if that fucking urgent, why didn't you call earlier? just saying....).
So after asking the usual questions .. does it have paper, a jam, have you restarted the printer, is there an error in the printer, etc? I spent quite a bit trying to troubleshoot. Reinstalling drivers, the printer, etc... After exhausting my options, I was the one starting to "panic". It starts getting personal ... like, this printer is NOT going to beat me! But I must admit, I was struggling. Then I was about to through the trouble when the user says ... "Oh, the printer has an error." In my head I was like ... WTF didn't you say that when I asked you earlier, but you cannot do/say that. I asked the user what the error said. She responds to me "It says it is out of ink. Do you think that may be the issue?" ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ... sigh ... So, she changed the toner and guess what ... it prints! Now this particular issue would have been really obvious if that particular printer brand would have the usual control panel on the PCs showing ink usage ... but nope .. none available for this brand.
Working for a MSP can sometimes be really amazing. The variety of issues and systems are endless. Another great thing is that if you get stuck, you can always consult with a colleague. Of course, you have some people who either are too proud to ask for help, or are just "afraid" that they may look stupid if they ask you a question. There are a lot of "cowboys" in our sector. People who don't know shit, but they know enough to fix things .... or at least make it look like it is fixed. This particular ex-colleague did not deserve to have an IT job. We was a nice kid and all, but for fuck sake he was bloody useless.
Don't get me wrong, you are meant to ask questions when you first start, but after a certain point some things are just expected to be known. In this particular issue we had a remote user who was trying to print and was just not able to. The engineer was spending quite a bit of time trying to resolve the issue and I noticed he just wasn't asking any questions to the user. I had my own shit to do, so I wasn't going to babysit the engineer and tell him what to do. After a few support calls, I noticed he was still struggling to resolve the issue so I sent him an internal chat message to see if he needed any assistance, but he said he had everything under control .... so, I left him to it. A few minutes later, he finished the call and I gave him the thumbs up to see if he had resolved the issue and he nodded and said "Yep, all sorted."
We carried on through our busy day. Suddenly our Technical Director burst into our office screaming his head off at my colleague. I was like WTF!!! Luckily no calls were coming in and all of us were off the phones because I had never seen our Director so pissed off! He asked my colleague to follow him to his office to have a chat. A few moments later our Director came back and told us that our colleague had been sacked. Holy shit! What the hell just happened?! I know he had done quite a few fuck ups, but why was he sacked so aggressively.
A few hours later, our Director was more calm so told us to finish off early and took us all to the pub. After a few drinks, we had the courage to ask him what happened. So basically, that infamous printer issue that he was trying to solve was the last draw. The engineer told the client that he could not fix the issue because he needed to buy some additional hardware to get the printer working. Until then we are like ok ... so what is the prob? Maybe a part in the printer was malfunctioning or something of the sort. Ha! Nope the printer was fine! The engineer was troubleshooting and then the user told him that it was a wireless printer. At that point, the engineer told the user that in order to get the PC printing to the wireless printer, she had to ensure the PC had a wireless card installed. (note: the printer was already on the network). The user did not know any better, so she emailed her IT manager to purchase the wireless card. The client's IT Manager was so shocked that he called our Director and told him off! Oh well ... he was quite useless.