Thursday, August 12, 2004

Making more than I do.

I received a call today from M****, who is one of the deskside technical contractors. (We at the Help Desk are contracted as well, so I don't hold that against him.) He had just completed replacing a hard drive and re-imaging a user's PC and was calling for a Windows password reset.

"Is the user signing into the workstation or into the NT Domain?"


I had to ask the question again and could tell things weren't going to be going well. M***** told me that it was for the domain so I asked him to put the user on so I could do the standard identity verification with the user and reset the password.

Except that the user did not have an account on the domain. It's not unusual but, as it was a workstation password issue on a newly installed PC, it really should have been his responsibility to set up.

Except that he didn't know how to signon as the Administrator. Oh, he knew that you entered an Administrator password but didn't know what was.

"Don't you need to know the Administrator password to re-image the PC?"

Apparently not. It's all handled from the install CD. *sigh* OK. We at the Help Desk have access to the utility that generates the Administrator passwords. Technically, we're not supposed to have it but since we are required to reset user's passwords, we have to have the utility. I have M***** give me the computername, read it back to him and then plug the name into the utility.

The password it gives me doesn't work. It's pretty complex with upper case, lower case, numbers and special characters so I carefully talk him through it again, using the standard phonetics. Still no luck. And again with no luck.

I can tell he's having problems because he's calling from a cell phone and trying to type one handed.

"Did you just mumble 'caps lock'?"

In typing one handed, he couldn't hit the shift key and the character key at the same time to do a capital letter so he was hitting the caps lock key. That's all well and good, but the password contained a percent sign. Putting the caps lock on and hitting the % key actually enters a 5.

He solved that problem by having the user type. But it still wasn't working. After a few more failed attempts he realized that he hadn't selected "Workstation Only" and was thus trying to connect to the NDS tree rather than signing into the workstation.

We fixed that and it still wasn't working. After more frustrating attempts I read the computername to him. He confirms that it is correct. I read it to him phonetically and realize that what he had agreed was correct twice wasn't actually correct. *sigh* So, I feed the correct name into the utility and get another password.

Which doesn't work. And then doesn't work again. Well, this is pretty much the limit. Everything that he could do wrong he did do wrong. He was going to have to contact Network Services. I was surprised that he hadn't locked the Administrator account.

I carefully read off each character of the password phonetically and had him type each one as I read it and. . . .

It worked.

Now this whole, process took nearly 20 minutes on me reading the password off to him and him typing it in again and again. I want this man's job. I mean, I do this stuff all the time. I'll lean back in my chair with my hands behind my head and eyes closed and talk users who didn't even know that they HAD a workstation password at all through resetting one. And here is this pinhead, making a lot more money than I do, unable to do something so simple as type what I tell him.

So, why don't I have his job? Because I'm contracted, too. And in my Employer's contract with The Bank it says that neither The Bank nor anyone contracted by The Bank can hire me away from my current position. And being a major bank, that means that half the jobs that I might apply for are probably contractors with or clients of The Bank.

Five years I've been here.


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