She has troubles, we have trouble tickets, right?

College student pilot fish is working for his school's IT department at the help desk, answering phones and troubleshooting issues for students, faculty and staff.

"One afternoon, I answered a call the same way I always did -- 'IT help desk, this is Fred, how can I help you?' -- and was greeted by sobbing on the other end of the line," says fish.

"'I just...really need to talk to someone,' a woman's voice said. 'It's been a rough week.'

"Confused, I asked if she was a student. She said she was. Then I asked if she was experiencing problems with a lab workstation, personal computer, printer or monitor.

"Immediately, I regretted this line of questioning. She flew off the handle about her roommate, how much she hated being away from home, how bad the food was, how she didn't know anyone, on and on and on.

"I finally realized she thought we were just a general help line. Our number was listed under the IT section of the school's website with the words 'Help Desk' beside it, so she must have searched for the name of the college and the word "help" and been taken to our landing page.

"I cut her off as politely as I could before transferring her to the school's guidance office."

Help Sharky by sending me your true tale of IT life at You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

Get your daily dose of out-takes from the IT Theater of the Absurd delivered directly to your Inbox. Subscribe now to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Computerworld's IT Salary Survey 2017 results
Shop Tech Products at Amazon