My office brought in a consultant the other week –
a former full-time employee – to help with a big project. I didn’t know
anything about this person, but was told that he “liked to work on paper” and
asked to “set him up with a computer so he can print things out.” This
description already set off some of my alarms, but whatever.
I got him set up by leaving a printed copy of the
local username and password on the desk. I even and taped a small copy to the
monitor. Going even further, I downgraded
the machine to Windows 7 and removed it from the domain, so that when he
turned on the computer, there would be a big button with the username right in
the middle. I thought I’d baby-proofed everything more than adequately.
Client: When you get a minute, can you stop by and walk me through everything?
Me: So, what’s the problem?
Client: I just need to know how to get to my email.
Me: How do you usually get your mail at home? Do you use Outlook, webmail,
He stared blankly at me. I swear I heard crickets.
Me: Never mind. What is your email address?
Client: It’s XXX@earthlink.net.
Me: Oh, okay, then you can just open IE or Chrome and log in to webmail.
Client: Great! How do I do that?
Long story short, he didn’t know the webmail
address, wasn’t sure what his password was, and didn’t understand how to print
anything. I had to remove everything from the taskbar and desktop except
Chrome and set the home page as the Earthlink webmail login page. The next
morning, he asks me to come back, complaining that he can no longer access his
The computer auto-locked overnight, and he didn’t
understand why the “little multicolored thing” was no longer at the bottom of
the screen. Again, he used to work here. Full-time.
Thank god I have an isolated guest vlan.