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Ilia
in my own little world...
I love writing fantasy and retail-hell stories.
Recent Activity
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From jon6, TalesFromTechSupport I graciously admitted defeat in the face of managerial apathy. I accepted my diminishing responsibility as I set about my regular duties, visiting desk sides and dealing with the various whims and fancies of the user base. In one way it was a relief to detach myself from any view of the perpetually turning cogs of the rollout. I engrossed myself in some other issues which had come to plague the user base, most notably a problem visiting reps had experienced with their laptops and smartphones failing to maintain a stable WiFi connection in the office. I made my way past some familiar faces as I strolled around intrepidly, laptop in hand, waiting to catch the moment when the Wi-Fi would drop. Just as the signal dropped, my investigation was put on hold as one of the Sales managers caught my attention. His artificially whitened teeth seemed to surrender every line of imperfection under the light as he smiled his well-practised salesman smile. As he casually enquired about the rollout, I deflected his attention towards Angie as the new go-to person. I was only in a consultant capacity as needed. His smile took on a slightly apprehensive expression; I knew full well that BHIT had sung my praises right from the start. To hear this dramatic change in events appeared disturbing. Maintaining a professional demeanour, I simply assured him of my belief that the project was in capable hands… the first time I’ve ever flat out lied on the job. He disappeared back into the hustle and bustle of the office, leaving me to my WiFi investigation. An oddly airy Wednesday afternoon surged into view. ITS felt clean and clear. We could at long last breathe a hearty sigh of relief. Angie and Roland had disappeared off... Continue reading
Posted 2 hours ago at Retail Hell Underground
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From RHUer Tech Support: "I need you to click on the 'Start' button." Customer: "Where is that?" Tech Support: "It's on the bottom left hand corner of your screen." Customer: "..." Tech Support: "Did you find it?" Customer: "Ahhh.... No. I don't see it." Tech Support: "Look closely at your screen. In the bottom...left...corner." Customer: "I don't see it. I only see button that says 'Control'." Tech Support: "No ma'am, that's on the keyboard. The 'Start' button is on the bottom left corner of your screen. You know, the monitor. The thing that looks like a TV." Customer: "Aaahhhh, yes!!! Ok." Tech Support: "..." Customer: "..." Tech Support: "Well, did you find it?" Customer: "No. I still only see 'Control'." --RHUer Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Retail Hell Underground
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From jon6, TalesFromTechSupport Roland’s amalgamation to 2nd line was arduous. His physique, just as pious and wretched as Angie’s, slithered over MAFG’s old desk space in exultance, his mannerisms and movements unnervingly similar to his Mother’s. His keyboard and mouse glistened as though he would secrete some sort of mucus as he worked, as if to chemically claim permanent ownership. Roland’s voice, though weedy and undeveloped, bore all the same neurosis and vile overtones which Angie would spit out on a daily basis. His eyes almost serpent like, as if they would pierce the skin if he stared long enough. I had just spent a glorious week on annual leave, putting finishing touches to my band’s album. The ugly situation at work had been far from my mind as I enjoyed every minute of my creative freedoms. Sunday marked the penultimate day of my freedom by bringing with it the feeling of impending doom. By Monday morning, my commute to work seemed ghostly as my attention was constantly attracted to the clock in my car. It ticked by the minutes towards 9:30am and my arrival back in this gloomy pit where Angie stood Lord and Master. My foot barely wanted to touch the accelerator pedal; these thoughts did something to my subconscious which I felt forced to fight. My entrance into ITS was barely noted by the inhabitants whose faces seemed fixated on their own screens, as if to break for a moment would feel the wrath of some frosty dominator. Roland’s bleak personality radiated throughout the small department like a bad smell, only amplified by Angie who sat mere meters away. Fighting through this black air, I sat at my desk. As Outlook churned into life, the email traffic of the previous week waterfalled down my unread pane, the... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Retail Hell Underground
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Normal People: "ZOMG this could have been a terrorist attack! I hope they evacuated nearby buildings just in case!" Entitled Bitch: "Yeah but I had to walk a short distance! How dare they not drop everything and call me?!" --Entitlement is still a Disease Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Retail Hell Underground
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From RHUer Tech Support: "Ok, what can we do for you today?" Customer: "Every time I touch this @#$% computer is shocks the @#$% outta me!" Tech Support: "Oh, ok that's just static electricity. There are devices you can get to stop that from happening. No big deal -- I'll send someone out there to take care of it." Customer: "No, it's not static electricity. I know what static electricity feels like, and this ain't it. This computer is shocking me! And I know exactly why!" Tech Support: (dying from curiosity) "Oh ok, tell me why." Customer: "Greg Parker is always over here messing around with my computer when I'm not at my desk. I told him to keep away from it, and he got mad, so he put a program on my computer that shocks me whenever I touch it! I can't even enter my lot numbers!" Tech Support: (trying not to laugh) "No, it's gotta be static. There are no such programs. There's no way it could sense who you are." Customer: "YES THERE IS! I SAW HIM DO IT! A few days after I told him to keep his filthy hands off of my computer, I saw him over here with one of them computer disks. That's when he did it! It started shocking me just after that happened!" Tech Support: "No, he was probably just copying his files off your computer since you wouldn't let him use it any more." Customer: "LOOK! I'M TIRED OF GETTING SHOCKED! ARE YOU GONNA DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT OR NOT!?" --RHUer Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
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From jon6, TalesFromTechSupport A month had passed since MAFG's passing. Morale was at a low point and apart from Angie's bipolar temper, things seemed to slog along as they were, each day proving to be more and more difficult to get through. The IT Cupboard slowly relinquished its isolation as Angie seemed to track our movements with animal-like instinct, imposing ridiculous policy after policy. The battery indicator on MAFG's mouse had at some point faded to nothingness having spent its remaining energies fruitlessly lamenting its master’s disappearance. MAFG sacrifice was guarded in its reasoning. Many theorized the lost machines from the meeting room had made it to his car; some theorized he’d wronged some director in a drunken moment of sincerity; there was even a rumour he had put Angie in her place in some magnificent fit of comeuppance, bathed in the flabbergasted stares of twenty faceless onlookers. The reality was far more boring and told to me over a weekend pint of fine ale. MAFG’s wife had previously worked with the company in their research division. She had left under explosive circumstances for a competing pharmaceutical company. Management felt that MAFG’s continued employment was incongruous and had compelled him to take a PILON agreement to end his tenure. It seemed odd that MAFG’s wife had left the company over six months ago; we felt that this discrepancy stank of Angie’s involvement. For a while though, a specific date had shone brightly in my Outlook calendar. It had acted as a target, representing a reprieve from the mundane trivialities support had to offer. I had prepared for it arrival with jubilation. It finally arrived and my audience with several heads of sales/marketing, BHIT and the software vendor was mine to shine in. The purpose was to set into motion the... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
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I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware my co-worker was magical and could magically shoot the hoodie you want in size medium out of their fingertips. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
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From RHUer Customer: "Hello, is this tech support?" Tech Support: "Yes, it is; what is the nature of the problem you're having?" Customer: "I can't seem to power this thing up." Tech Support: "If you are unable to boot your computer, sir, I suggest you contact the manufacturer. This is Internet technical support." Customer: "Computer?" Tech Support: "Yes, your computer." Customer: "I don't have a computer." Tech Support: "What is the item you are having difficulty with?" Customer: "My new lawn mower." Tech Support: (stifling a giggle) "Sir, you have reached Internet technical support. I suggest you double-check the number and try again." Customer: "No, I'm sure I got it right. Are you going to send anybody out to fix this damn thing?" Tech Support: "Sir, we do not support lawn mowers. Please check the number and try it again." Customer: "What kind of *@#%! service is this? *&$#^ you! I wasn't born yesterday, you know!" (click) --RHUer Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
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From jon6, TalesFromTechSupport ITS had a full compliment of staff the following morning. There was work to do - but nothing seemed important enough to leave desks for. We were all were gathered for one purpose. One of our soldiers was in trouble. Though we were powerless to do anything other than offer moral support, we felt glued to our desks. Angie was palpably absent, her familiar black and grey shawl being the only spectral reminder of her presence somewhere in the building. MAFG was quiet; assurances of help to find other work and amending CVs came and went like splashes of water. Soon, Angie and HR Tank arrived at MAFG's deskside. The scene, brief as it was, seemed as if they had taken him into custody short of only handcuffs. They led him to Angie's special place of solitude, situated somewhere far beyond the familiar dimly corridor just barely visible from ITS. A bulb had gone in that corridor some time ago, it just seemed that nobody had ever replaced it. I had seen Angie lead a few people down this corridor when they had hit the height of her displeasure. Today though, they moved artificially slowly. MAFGs limbs moved uncomfortably as if to not let on their progress was impeded by HR Tank's inability to keep up with normal walking pace - a walk that Angie had seemed to perfect. As the figures shuffled around the corner at the end of the corridor, the dim lighting served as a poignant landscape of some mysterious doom, the shadow of Angie's tall thin figure casting on the yellowing walls like some fairytale ghost. A few minutes of disbelief followed in ITS. The team stared at various spots on the floor of our square work area, trying to explain things in... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
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From RHUer Customer: "I'm having trouble installing Microsoft Word." Tech Support: "Tell me what you've done." Customer: "I typed 'A:SETUP'." Tech Support: "Ma'am, remove the disk and tell me what it says." Customer: "It says '[PC manufacturer] Restore and Recovery disk'." Tech Support: "Insert the MS Word setup disk." Customer: "The what?" Tech Support: "You need to insert the disk that says MS Word." Customer: "This is the disk they gave me! It should have what I need on it!" Tech Support: "That disk will help your computer if it crashes. MS Word is a separate program that you have to install. Did you buy MS Word?" Customer: "No..." Tech Support: "That's why you cannot install it." --RHUer Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
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From jon6, TalesFromTechSupport It was a typical Spring day in Britain: unnaturally cold yet the sun shone with retina-piercing rays. It was the kind of weather where you need a few layers of clothing but with sunglasses as well. In fact, it was on this day I pondered, "When people are cold, they wear shirts, jumpers, cardigans, jackets... why never anything on the legs? Why has nobody invented jumpers for legs!?" This eureka moment kept me company all the way to the office that morning, pondering this conundrum! A week had elapsed since the Jon6 vs Angie showdown. We were playing Angie's bluff, abiding her new court rules to the letter and sought permission for every single visit to the IT Cupboard. Sometimes it was a stern and sharp no! Other times it was a reluctant yes but only after waving a ticket number in front of her face. Such a cupboard-bound session would always be followed up with her dropping in at intervals which appeared to be so very desperately random. The mindset was obvious: we were obviously skiving, shirking responsibilities and up to no good! Her grand entrances into the cupboard where the handle was turned even before her security card had finished triggering was as if to catch us in some red act that she could grow fat on! For me, given my near permanent residence there, I devised a rather fun game, trying to estimate when these visits would occur. If I could time it right, I would make a visit to user's desk-side, machine-on-trolley, just in time to pass her in the corridor on her way to the IT Cupboard so I could nonchalantly whistle a happy tune, just going about my business! I managed to pull this off a few times. She would have... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
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From The Bitchy Waiter As Hurricane Florence makes a beeline for the coast of the Carolinas and Virginia, millions of people are being advised to evacuate the area immediately and take shelter from the massive Category 4 storm. Most people will heed that advice, but plenty of others will be forced to stay and weather the storm because they have no place to go or simply cannot afford to leave. Others will make the possibly unwise decision to stay in place because of a reason that is completely out of their control: stupid ass restaurant owners and managers requiring them to come to work. Every time there is a natural disaster of some sort, I’m bombarded with stories from servers and restaurant employees who tell me that their boss made them go to work. Such is the case with Beth who, despite living in a mandatory evacuation zone, will get written up as a “no-show” if she chooses to focus on the safety and welfare of herself and her family rather than the livelihood of her restaurant. “Even Wal-Mart is closed,” she says. And we all know that when the fucking Wal-Mart closes, that shit is serious. I want to take a minute to speak directly to the restaurant managers and owners who are expecting their servers to drive through 125 mile per hour wind and sheets of rain just so they can sit in an empty restaurant making $2.13 an hour: Fuck that. If you want to keep your restaurant open during a Category 4 hurricane, fine, but you better find yourself an apron, a chef’s hat and a clipboard because you should be the one who waits tables, cooks the food and seats the customers. Let your servers, cooks and hosts take care of their own property while... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
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From RHUer Our Hong Kong office had a computer that was infected with a virus. Supposedly they had run antivirus software several times and had been unable to clean it, even after updating their virus definitions. I was asked to diagnose and fix the computer immediately, because it wouldn't even turn on. Me: "Sure thing. When do you want me to fly over?" Him: "Can't you do it from there?" Me: "Sure, just ship it to me." Him: "No, I mean can't you just fix it here, from there?" Me: "Uh... how exactly would you like me to do that?" Him: "I don't know. You're the expert!" --RHUer Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
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From jon6, TalesFromTechSupport Monday came to see the fruition of my power move. Facilities were present and correct at the IT Cupboard, busy fitting brand new desks and trunking. On completion, MAFG and I replaced the Ghost Server in its rightful setting on top of a 12u comms cabinet, as though a rightful leader was being returned to the throne. There wasn't much time for moonlighting as there was a massive backlog of builds to get through and only a week left until possibly the largest induction session I'd ever run. Our Birmingham satellite office had a recruitment drive and were busing down 40 delegates the following Monday for new gear and IT training. It felt good, like we were back in business. I expected some sort of a backlash from Angie. Obviously I had caught her off-guard and she needed time to regroup and plan her strategy. All I could do was wait for the strike. But for now, we all reveled in our little victory. Several laptops were busy building on the build desk as I clicked away making some new AD accounts for my incoming party of inductees. Having received sign-off previously from BHIT to replace the missing desktops Facilities managed to lose with brand new machines, I had them all loaded on a trolley, ready to roll them out. MAFG was busying himself with an inventory of mini keyboards and mice, taking stock for an urgent purchase order. We chatted casually as he made his way up and down the isles; it was a full-on powerhouse of progress. Our short-lived freedoms stopped dead like a body dropping in the middle of a busy street. The electronic lock trigged and the door opened; Angie's familiar musk of coffee and old woman perfume festooned her appearance in the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Retail Hell Underground
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From jon6, TalesFromTechSupport The inevitable consequence of heading to bed the second you get home is that the morning tends to come quicker than you expected. I arrived bleary eyed not truly knowing what fresh hell Angie was about to concoct that day. My fate was postponed as Angie was busy providing a critique of every detail as QuietBlondeGirl rearranged her desk to Angie's preference. It became apparent that Angie had taken issue to some typical girlie deskwear and was ordering it be suitably secreted in desk drawers or disposed of. A grim reminder of another of yesterday's ordeals came in the shape of an email from HR Tank demanding to know when her "new faster" computer would be delivered. Not only was HRT's computer perfectly fine, it was only 10 months old and not due for replacement for two years. This, I knew, was an argument I would have to save for later. I logged a ticket and moved on. BHIT arrived in just after me and made a pit-stop at my desk. He must have felt it his duty to appear interested over my late night last night. His pale head seemed to silhouette against the dimly lit office lighting. I grabbed the opportunity like a child with a new toy and demanded that we resolve this build area problem immediately. With Angie trapped in her reprimand of QBG, I knew I was stealing her thunder! "This is getting just stupid now. Customers are complaining about us doing hardware replacements and rebuilds at the desk side, what's more they're taking longer as we've had to use USB Hard disks for builds since the Ghost server went missing; we have six machines now that nobody knows where they are; the networking gear has also gone missing; What annoys me... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Retail Hell Underground