Friday, July 25, 2014

Fifteen hours to find…

The last two days have gifted me with the happy knowledge that I made a really good call about, oh, eighteen years ago, when I briefly considered going into regular help desk support before going, “…nah…” and sticking with database-stuff.

Good move, Me.

Yeah, I spent the last two days (re)loading one or another program, rebooting my laptop, and watching it still not work. I have twiddled my thumbs while updates (re)ran. I have checked and unchecked boxes, then tried the same thing again, which amazingly…still didn’t work.

Not the fourth, fifth or sixth times. Well, darn.

It has been ever so much fun. Really.

Apparently, what happened was this: Windows was running an update. Meanwhile, the corporate antivirus was happily running its normal scans using a brand new set of definitions. These happened to contain the suggestion that certain Windows-based files were very bad indeed, and needed to be immediately quarantined for my protection.

Automatically, for my convenience.

What I actually saw was an antivirus screen whooshing past me saying “Cool I caught something don’t worry I got this k-thx-bye!”

I had just enough time to go, “…wut…?” before all hell broke loose. My laptop started telling me I couldn’t look at the email I was already looking at because the file was missing or I wasn’t authorized.


Then it rather curtly told me it had to restart itself to finish an update and three minutes later – with no option for me to say “hang on just one darned minute…!” – it did so.

Thus sealing its own fate. Windows was thoroughly confused. It couldn’t find anything. It viewed the bank’s own internal domains as “untrusted sites.”

It was a hot mess.

I spent, kid you not, almost nine hours altogether between the two days on the phone with the help desk (and we don’t want to discuss how many hours tinkering with it on my own); I had a few moments where I wanted to just start banging the receiver on the desk while shrieking incoherently.

I mean, I know how it is: You have a checklist of fast and easy things that fix a good 85-90% of the problems people call in to the help desk. They’re fast and easy so you want to get them out of the way first – nobody wants to spend an hour on the phone with someone, only to have it end up being that their keyboard cord had wriggled itself out of the USB port.

The old “ha ha, I guess it wasn’t actually plugged in, ha ha” gag loses its shine pretty fast.

But at the same time, when you’ve been on the phone with five different people over two days time, when the fourth and fifth ones want to start alllllllllllll the way back at Step One, well, you’re kind of wanting to scream, “WILL you please look at the notes from the last {three, four} calls?! We already TRIED that. Like, EIGHT TIMES today alone!

“I understand your frustration, ma’am, but if you would please just bear with me and try rebooting real quick…”

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!” {throws laptop out nearest window}

Eventually, it occurred to me that in addition to “corrupt user profile,” the symptoms also sounded a bit like a file – or, folder? – being locked.

About three minutes later, I was logging into all the systems just fine: Somewhere in All That, something had flipped a bunch of internal folders to read only.

I know. I’m still a bit bemused by this. I cannot fathom why anything – even a Windows update which might conceivably want to put a lock or two on specific files – would end up making an entire folder read-only.

It defies all logic.

But that’s what it was.

Welcome to Tech, y’all. This is our glamorous life. Hour upon hour of frustrating, hair-rending, teeth-gnashing misery, followed by inexplicable solutions that magically work, a few high-fives amongst ourselves and being able to feel mighty clever for a few minutes…until the next insane, improbable, should not even BE a thing thing ambles out of the woodwork and stands there grinning at you. Go ahead. Figure out what I AM, and how to make me into a pretty little butterfly instead…

Fifteen hours to find…fifteen minutes to fix. Woooooo, who DOESN’T love computers, am I right?!?!


CeltChick said...

I've always believed that true frustration doesn't begin until you have computers. Gotta have 'em, don't gotta love 'em!

Michael Irwin said...

Windows? That's been going downhill since they put the graphics code into the kernel area :( (sometime around Win2K). I'm fighting Win8 on someone's laptop - it's how I keep my frustration and blood-pressure levels up at 1 am :)

Oh for some nice simple SQL, right now!!! I'm in withdrawal!