On The System

Everyone so often, someone asks me for help putting photos “on the system”.

From past experience, putting photos “on the system” could mean:

  • Copying photos from the camera to a USB stick.
  • Copying photos from the camera to a network share.
  • Picking a selection of photos from the 150 already on a network share.
  • Uploading a selection of photos to the school website.
  • Uploading a selection of photos to the school cat.
  • All of the above.

I don’t know why the phrase “on the system” holds such an appeal for people who can’t express their problems in plain English, but it is no doubt these people who were the intended targets when the “speaking & listening” element was first added to the English GCSE.

I swear, half my job is working out what the hell people mean when they say “on the system”, “nothing is working“, and “it’s on a go-slow“.

(The other half is looking up the answers to things on Bing).

About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

10 responses to “On The System”

  1. Lukas Beeler says :

    From our administrative staff and customers, i can kind of deal with this. After all, it’s not their job to be good at this.

    What annoys me though, is developers sending me a mail “the server isn’t working”.

    We have 12 physical servers, 20 production VMs, and hundreds of development and QA VMs – no i’m not going to look which one of your QA systems doesn’t work, because i’m not responsible for them.

  2. tmcd35 says :

    “Nothing is Working” is my personal favourite. Really? Would I be wandering around the corridors with a smile on my face if the server room became an overly expensive door stop? Or would be be in there right now wondering if I can reserrect somethin before I’m handed the P45?

    “Nothing is Working” usually translates to – 1 persons word document is corrupt because they removed the USB stick without ejecting it properly. The entire system for everyone else in school is working as normal, and everything on that computer runs as you’d expect, but “Nothing is Working” because said file won’t open…

  3. ICT_Tech says :

    The one I hate is ‘I’ve lost this file (reports.doc) please find it’, of course I know instantly from the 1000s of folders on the network using my Jedi mind tricks exactly where it last was !!

    Thank god for Volume Shadow Copy in any case :-)

  4. Digitaldon says :

    I am often amazed at the way people lose the ability to read when they get an error message.
    ‘My Computer is not working’
    OK, did you get an error message?’
    ‘Yes’
    ‘What did it say?’
    ‘I dont know’

    • Dan says :

      They do that because it doesn’t make sense to them. Yes, they’re that stupid that if they see a message that they don’t understand they don’t think it’s important.

  5. korifugi says :

    I think they state about the ‘system’ as it sounds technical to them. The users are trying to make themselves sound intelligent and getting it wrong.

    Just like the way I mentally commit genocide everytime someone refers to a base unit or tower as ‘The hard drive’.

    • AngryTechnician says :

      ARGGGGH the ‘hard drive’, yes, that does my head in too!

    • bkportal says :

      Oh yes, “the hard drive” ones are a personal favourite. Earlier this week a director complained that his VDU wasn’t working. Monitors have been called “tellies” and only recently I overheard somebody tell an auditor that everything was stored on the mainframe (er, a few racked Proliants does not a mainframe make).

  6. Claudio says :

    I mostly hear “everything is slow” – which is usually caused if too many memory-eating programs run on a memory limited 32bit system.
    Or even better: “everything is slow” while Windows still starts up…

  7. Sanguinor says :

    I was sitting here reading the comments and I just got one those phone calls….

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