IT War Stories – Front Line, Sob Line, Laugh Line and Supply Line: Part 5 of 10 – Sob Line Examples (continued)

Into every life a little rain must fall — and into every IT help desk professional’s workday, a few tears, too. Whether those tears are coming from the IT pros or a client, not every day on the job is a good one. Of course, we all love happy endings, so rest assured that some of these sob stories turn out well.

As you read these sad stories from the IT war front, be glad it isn’t you in that situation, and learn from others’ experiences!

University Tuition Problems

This sad story comes from a part-time university help desk worker who usually deals with basic student problems. This night, they were a half-hour away from finishing work and the only person left in the office. The phone rang, with an upset student on the other end, locked out of her account and unable to pay tuition.

The problem became worse: the student’s tuition was due the next day. If she didn’t pay, she was going to be kicked out for an entire semester. Unfortunately, the person did not know their username or password.

Unable to assist the student unless they came to the office in person, the IT tech’s hands were tied… especially when the student said they were three hours away. Without proper ID to review, the IT pro suggested the student send an email to the office of student affairs. Abruptly, the call ended. The student called back seven more times, threatening the IT tech.

In the end, the so-called student wasn’t even studying at the university!

Lost Photos

A contractor working as an IT support professional for the US Army took a call from someone who was no longer in the army but wanted access to their email account. These were frequent requests the tech had to turn down. Only those on active duty had an active account.

This time, the former army member explained, sniffling, that he had lost everything in Hurricane Harvey. He was trying to retrieve photos. His wife had sent him pictures of their son while the caller was on deployment. To make matters worse, the son had passed away a year prior. This was the former soldier’s last attempt at getting the photos.

The situation was so upsetting that both the tech and the caller were crying. 

Needing Someone to Talk To

Sometimes, people are lonely. Some IT professionals become the stand-in whether they like it or not.

In this story, an IT tech got a call in the middle of the night while on call. The person on the other end of the line said there was nothing wrong with their program, but their best friend had died and they needed someone to talk to. The tech was kind enough to be a listening ear, which is all the caller needed. 

At the end of the call, the person thanked the tech for listening and being there for them. The tech said it was the least tech-related call they had ever had, but one of the most meaningful. 

Poison Control

In this sad story, a tech took a call from someone having internet issues. As they were fixing the problem, they heard a young child in the background. Eventually, the caller yelled at the child, “Spit it out!”

The IT professional asked if everything was okay, and the caller assured them that everything was fine. Then, however, the tech heard the child saying their stomach and throat were burning and that they didn’t feel good. The tech asked again what was going on. Shockingly, the caller admitted that the child accidentally drank bleach from a cup and instructed the child to try to throw up.

The tech, having recently completed workplace hazardous materials training, stressed how important it was to call poison control or an ambulance. The caller wouldn’t do so. Finally, the tech terminated the call and contacted poison control for the area. Later, the two connected again and the woman was grateful for the caller after finally realizing that the child needed legitimate help!

Here’s how you can avoid becoming part of the sob line — work with us! 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. 

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