IT War Stories – Front Line, Sob Line, Laugh Line and Supply Line: Part 4 of 10 – Sob Line Examples

While many help desk horror stories will make you laugh, some of them are just plain sad. Sometimes it’s disappointing a user, sometimes it’s something important not working, and sometimes, unfortunately, it’s clients making techs feel sad. We have rounded up various ‘sob line’ stories that will tug at your heartstrings and maybe give you some sympathy for the next IT pro you encounter.

A Sad Story with a Happy Ending

An internal helpdesk worker was dealing with a user’s work phone that was cracked. The damage was so bad that the tech could see the hardware below the display in one spot! The user explained that their child had dropped the phone. No problem. The company allowed for one replacement a year.

However, the tech soon encountered a sad issue. The photos were on the phone’s internal storage, not the cloud. The phone would no longer register most button presses, which meant keypresses couldn’t unlock it. The tech could not even access the photos by plugging the phone into a computer. It needed to be unlocked to access the data in File Explorer.

As the tech worked on getting the phone to register button presses, the user burst into tears. She had just returned to work from parental leave and all of the newborn photos were on the phone. 

However, this story ends well thanks to the ingenuity of IT professionals! The tech had a flash of inspiration and plugged an external keyboard with a numerical keypad. With various workarounds, they unlocked the phone and saved the photos leading to happy tears, this time.

Unsaved Changes

Sometimes IT takes the blame for things that aren’t their fault, leaving everyone feeling sad. 

A user called the help desk to say their changes to a file were not saved. The tech asked if the user had used the save command or clicked the save icon. They responded that they were unsure but that the file would always auto-save. While the tech was hopeful they were saving to a system with auto-save, it turned out they were saving to a network folder that hadn’t been modified since the day prior.

The IT worker explained that the file wasn’t saved and couldn’t recover the changes. The user, of course, was unhappy because they were sure the files were auto-saved. The tech was unhappy because the user blamed them continually. Hopefully, the user learned an important lesson about saving!

A Moment of Terror

This IT horror story left the worker feeling like they wanted to hide under their desk and cry from the trauma. 

Having been out of the office for several weeks while construction and moving happened, the tech went to work to find a facilities employee casually mentioning the power to the server room would be cut at some point that day. Of course, the IT tech panicked, immediately explaining that there is a process for downtime and that the server room electricity can’t just be cut.

They went into crisis mode, messaging management to find out what was happening. Asked if the server could run on a generator, they ran to the facilities manager and electricians to find out. At that point, the electrician said they weren’t turning server room power off. Instead, they were cutting electricity for a small part of the front office that had nothing to do with the data center.

Again, this story turned out well, but not without many worries first!

Boxes Everywhere

This is another story of an unfortunate user whose day was improved by a quick-thinking tech. A user called in to say that their critical document was missing. The tech figured out they couldn’t get to their desktop. The user panicked, stressing how important the document was.

The tech asked them to boot up the computer and log in. The user described a green background with swirls with ‘boxes everywhere’ and started to sob. The tech realized the user was on Windows 8 and was clearly unfamiliar with the start menu. They pointed the user toward the desktop button. All was saved!

At GroupLink, we offer cloud-based e-workflow and work-from-home solutions that benefit organizations of many kinds. Our solutions include GroupLink everything HelpDeskSafestSchools and Workflow Process and Incident Tracking. With these platforms, you can increase efficiency, collaboration, and accountability.

Connect with us online or call us at 801-335-0700. You can also email us at for more information.

Related Posts