Jul 24

Sometimes I am a Dick

*Phone rungs*

Me:Good afternoon, Insane Asylum!

Caller:Hi. can I speak to Joan Crawshore please.

Me:Who? Sorry no one of that name here.”

Caller:Sorry it’s who I have down as a contact there, well who can I talk to about changing your power supplier.”

Me:Humm. that would be a Dave Jones”

Caller:Can I speak to them please?

Me:Sorry, He’s on holiday atm. He’ll be back in 2 weeks.

Caller:Thanks, I’ll call back then.


Two weeks later :-


*Phone rungs*

Me: “Good afternoon, Insane Asylum!

Caller: “Hi. can I speak to Dave Jones please.

Me: “Who? Sorry no one of that name here.”

Caller: “Sorry it’s who I have down as a contact there, well who can I talk to about changing your power supplier.”

Me: “Humm. that would be a Thomas Evens”

Caller: “Can I speak to them please?

Me: “Sorry, He’s on holiday atm. He’ll be back in 2 weeks.

Caller: “Thanks, I’ll call back then.


Two weeks later :-


*Phone rungs*

Me: “Good afternoon, Insane Asylum!

Caller: “Hi. can I speak to Thomas Evenss please.

Me: “Who? Sorry no one of that name here.”

Caller: “Sorry it’s who I have down as a contact there, well who can I talk to about changing your power supplier.”

Me: “Humm. that would be a Susan Jenkins”

Caller: “Can I speak to them please?

Me: “Sorry, She’s on holiday atm. She’ll be back in 2 weeks.

Caller: “Thanks, I’ll call back then.


This may have been going on for several months now….

I’m slowly running out of made up names.


Dec 17

Conversations with Customers

CodeNinja: “Hello!”

Customer: “Hi, I am on holiday…..”

CN: *interrupting* “You phoned up to tell us you’re on holiday? that’s a bit of a Dick move isn’t it?”

C: “What?? No I’m on Holiday at the minute……”

CN: *Interrupting again* “So you thought you would phone us to rub it in, thanks…”

C: “but…”

CN: *Interrupting and speaking to DemonPengu who was in the room* “Hey, this is great, he’s phoned up just to boast he is on holiday the git!!”

C: “No i didn’t….”

DP: “Who is it?”

CN: *To DP* “X from X”

C: “hello???? I’m still here”

DP: *speaking loudly at the phone* “GIT!!!”

C: “hey, I’m on holiday but customers keep phoning”

CN: “They do that.”

C: “Yes, it’s annoying”

CN: “Yes it is, you are trying to do something and they keep phoning you, and they are always whining about some trivial thing or another”

C: “exactly. it’s very annoying…….” *Pauses as he realises in this conversation he is the whining customer* “err, anyway they have broke their emails, can you disable SPF checks for them for now”

CN: “Not a problem, just drop the request to us on an email, we need a paper trail”

C:But I’m on holiday? everything’s shut down for xmas, can’t you just do it.”

CN: “Yes, as soon as I get an email request I can do it.”

C: “Come on, don’t be an arse”

CN: “says the guy who phoned us to boast he was on holiday”

*INSERT 10 minutes general grumbling as he goes to turn on his home computer, logs into his work account to send the request all the time insulting me*

C: “Right, I sent the bloody request, when will you be able to do the change?”

CN: “Oh that, I did it 15 minutes ago when you first asked.”


CN: “Happy Holidays!”

Dear Constant Reader I should point out that the customer in this conversation is one who often laughs and jokes around with us here, and often phones me for advice/help with his personal engineering/electronic/computing projects.

Sep 25

Customers are Special

So the other day the Support Guys were a bit confused over a request in the Ticketing system.

Subject: Website URL’s

Please could you set the following websites to point to IP


******= to protect identity.

The more observant amongst you will have noticed that is a Local IP address, and if Websites are pointed at it they will not work for anyone else in the world. So We queried the IP, and asked them to double check.

Imagine our surprise when they responded telling us that was what their IT company was saying needed to be done, or they would not be able to create email accounts on the exchange server.

Yes. Apparently an IT form needed websites pointing to a 192.168. Local address before they could create new accounts on an Exchange server on a different IP range/network.

This leads us to a conflict of interest.

Professionalism V “The Customer is always Right”

Vote in comments to help us decide!!

Jul 10

Funny Support Emails

Dear Constant Reader,

I got into the Insane Asylum this morning to find the following email on your support system, and it was too amusing not to share 😉


F*cking iPhones. His iPad has exactly the same settings as his iPhone. iPad connects and retrieves email. iPhone does not. Have advised him to test it against a brick wall.

iShit really is the spawn of the Devil. You would NOT believe the problems I have with them (or perhaps you might). Wi-fi connection seems a favourite one. Happy to connect to one AP but not another (same manuf, same encrypt etc…).

They are as shi**y as a very shi**y thing.

You can tell I’m not happy.

Ps. Until a few months ago I had a mac. Just for testing purposes. I need blood pressure medication and I had to get rid of it for medical reasons. The day some dork won the eBay bid was one of the happiest of my life…

Apr 11

Internet? We don’t need no Stinking Internet!

So We have a slight issue here at the Insane Asylum. The ADSL Line that out VoIP server is on can not keep a sync, The second it connects up it then disconnects. It has been doing this for two days now.

This is bad enough, but not something we could not deal with since we have two internet lines coming into the building. But Our main line is behaving just a “Tad” better. It can stay connected for a whole FOUR minutes before dropping the connection.

Hey, The Internet in four minute segments is not that bad right? How about the speed of that line has dropped due to the constant disconnects and is now syncing up at a WHOPPING 0.5Meg.

This is no where near enough to supply the amount of people here trying to work. So even thought we were able to do a bit of creative patching and got an old style phone working (One phone for all the numbers coming into the building) We do not have enough of a connection to the Net for us to do any work even if you were lucky enough to get us on the phone.

There is just one question remaining.

Who has the board games?

Feb 13

Conversations with Support – Updated

This morning as I was in the Support Office attempting to dismantle a multimeter using a Swiss Army Key (Long story and totally Irrelevant here) the following conversation happened between OfficeBitch1 and myself. I should point out OfficeBitch1 (A name given him by TheGovernor)  used to be the main Support Guy of the Asylum many years ago, and has recently come back one day a week to get himself back into IT.

OB1: “I cant log in!! Has my password been changed?”

OB1: “Stupid keyboard is broke! the m key doesn’t work, no wonder I cant log into my account”

GN: “The m key is broke? do the other keys work ok?”

OB1:Yes, everything is fine bar shift-m”

GN: “Hang on, lower case m works? just shift-m doesn’t?”

OB1: “yes. m works by itself, it doesn’t with shift”

GN: “Why don’t you use caps lock then?”

OB1: *Typing* “arrgh That doesn’t work either!!!”

GN: “Did you turn caps lock off after you typed the M?”

OB1: *mutters* *types*

In his defence, the issue was that he was using the wrong email address as his username, and he had his laptop set to numlock so the m was in fact a 0. Even still I feel for anyone phoning the Asylum today for support.


I was right in worrying. I just had a simple “add this text to dns record” support ticket escalated to 3rd line Server support on the one day of the week when we have double the normal amount of support guys in. Apparently Cut & Paste is too advanced for 1st & 2nd Line Support.


Sep 20


TheGovernor has recently Implemented a bizarre new security regime here at The Insane Asylum. This basically involved placing a “Hidden Camera” in the Padded Cell of YoYoMan.

Here we spot the lesser spotted YoYoMan in his unnatural habitat.

This may have seemed a Good idea at the beginning. But alas we are not called The Insane Asylum for nothing.

The local Wildlife spot the hidden camera.

Along came Tux and frightened the poor Roo away.

They made friends.

And thats why we can’t have anything NICE!!!!

Apr 11

Customer Rant

Because its healthy to vent the spleen!

Now I’m sure I have Blogged about this customer before, but for the life of me I can not remember what name I gave him (Maybe I should keep track of the names I assign people). Anyway today we shall refer to the Customer/Company/Person as Gillid*

Heres an extract of a Phone conversation that just happened.

Gillid: “Hi, I was told that since TheArchivist* no longer works there you may be able to help me!

CN: “I may be able to, whats your problem?”

Gillid: “I have a website where I upload loads of data to it every few months, and our CMS that RedBack* made does not work so TheArchivist normally does it for me!

CN: “No problem. If you email me the data, and let me know what is what in it, I’m sure I can sort it out for you but getting your CMS fixed may be a good idea. Now I’m not sure what you’ve been charged for the data entry in past…….”

Gillid: “Oh TheArchivist did it all for free!

CN: “Well we won’t be doing that, you’ll have to pay for our time doing it

Gillid: “OH. can you give me TheArchivist’s personal email address or phone number?

CN: “No. I’m not giving out peoples personal info!

Gillid: “ok. I’ll upload it myself!!!!” *Hangs UP*

Thirty minutes after that phone conversation the Support Department get a ticket from Gillid asking for TheArchivists contact details. They guy is seriously trying to get hold of one of our x-employees in the hope that the guy will do work for him for free while no longer being associated to the Asylum?

And after all that If it was just a quick data import into a mySQL DB I’d have probably only charged him £15 or some nominal price.

 As normal Names changed to protect me from lawsuits… err I mean to protect the innocent.


Feb 09

People are Stupid.

Well technically I guess that should be “Customers are Stupid“. You do not believe me? Well here are two examples that happened this week.

Example 1:

I was being nice and answered the phone to help out the support guys, and the conversation went a bit like this :-

CN:Good afternoon How may I help you?

Customer: “Hi, Yes. I can’t send or receive any emails. its broke!

CN: “OK. What error are you actually getting?

Customer:can not connect to server

CN:Ok, are you actually on the Internet?

Customer:YES. I am on the Internet doing things, the Internet is fine, it’s just my emails that is broken

Customer: *noise of many people talking in background*Yes. I’m on the phone to them now. Yes I have email issues. Ok I’ll pass them over to you when my mails sorted

CN: “You got other issues there?

Customer:Yes, they say we have lost the Internet. So Whats the issue with my emails?

She honestly thought the fact they were not connected to the Internet had no connection with her problems in sending and receiving emails.

Example 2:

Now this was a ticket the Systems department had. A Customer had not been receiving any email conformation from their website for the last 3 months. And they knew from the orders that they should have had a fair few.

We had been looking into it on and off for a while since a grep of the site showed that it was not set up to actually send emails to the address they insisted received them.

So after many attempts I finally got them to check the header of an old email and give me the actual email address that the emails go to before being forwarded or downloaded to the end account.

So I have the real email address and decide to test it simply to start with. So I log into the account, and there sat in the INBOX are 50+ unread emails from the website.

Turns out they had forgotten to actually download the emails for the last few months.

Seriously, people get an IQ=IQ-100 as soon as they decide to contact our support department.


Sep 01

Ghost in the Asylum

The Asylum may or may not be haunted.

This morning I was stood in the Support Office talking to ItWerWobbie* when I heard someone walk up the stairs to our floor and saw them walk past the door to the support office as they passed down the hall.

Shortly after @DemonPengu* ascended the stairs, and came to the open door.


IWW: “Who was that?

GN: “I dont know. Hey @Demonpengu who came up before you?

DP: “huh? no one?”

GN: *quickly checks upstairs rooms to see who came up* “Err there’s no one up here?

IWW: “you heard/saw it as well right?

So two of us heard someone ascend the stairs and walk past, we both saw from the corner of our eyes a person walk past the door to the room towards the front of the building where there are NO exits. Yet there was no body there!

Explain away!**

(*) We never use real names here on the Three Ninjas, for security, peoples safety against stalkers, and to prevent any nasty legal action if we accidentally mention little know facts like ItWerWobbies fetish for amputee midgets.

(**) Seriously. Any explanations welcome, comment away if you can explain what may or may not have happened.