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The Top 89 Admin Pet Peeves

on June 29, 2012

Pet peeves, annoyances, irritations, grievances, vexations…if you are an IT admin, I bet you have a few. We all do. There are just some things that can set one admin off on a wild tear, while others go on nonplussed. Here is our completely unscientific, unranked and arbitrary list of the top 89 admins’ pet peeves. Some may give you a chuckle; others may strike a sympathetic chord. Read through the list, and then leave a comment letting us know if we nailed your personal biggest hate, or missed it completely.

1. When a user reports that they got “some error” but not what the error was.

2. Horrible hold music for conference calls that are late to start.

3. Describing the issue three times in a row as you are transferred from one support engineer to another. Doesn’t at least one of them type it in first?

4. Getting the vendor call back just as you are trying to eat lunch.

5. People who schedule meetings for 16:00 on a Friday, and then are late.

6. When your PC goes to “sleep” right in the middle of some critical long running process because you forgot to disable the policy.

7. When you run a search in Active Directory Users and Computers, you start typing and hit enter, and only they realize you didn’t click in the search box first.

8. That you have to actually browse down to the object to use the Attribute Editor tab, even though every other tab is visible when you right-click in search results.

9. When just after you enter your search you realize you needed to select Computers, and it clears the search.

10. When someone’s email signature does not include their phone number – but it does include some inane quote or tag line…

11. Or worse still, it contains an image of their business card, but you cannot select the text from it.

12. When someone emails you an attachment that you have to open, only to then see three or four lines that could have been the body of the email.

13. Websites with ads that autoplay with sound.

14. Websites that don’t have a mobile version.

15. Websites that require you to type the www to get to the homepage.

16. Websites that require Flash to view the basic content.

17. Websites that make you download and open a PDF to see content that could easily have rendered in HTML.

18. Copying a command from a webpage and pasting it into something that tries to use smart quotes.

19. Websites that require you to register in order to leave a comment.

20. Companies that think their Facebook page is more important than their homepage.

21. UAC prompts -‘nuff said.

22. Trying to do stuff in a standard cmd prompt when you should have been in an admin command prompt.

23. Needing a micro USB cable when all you have is a mini.

24. People who still use two digits to represent the year. Did we learn nothing during Y2K?

25. Buffering…buffering…buffering…buffering.

26. You search on an error message, find eight results that look just like your problem, but seven are just mirrors of the first, and no one has posted a solution.

27. In one of those, the OP posts that he found the problem and fixed it, but doesn’t say how. Ten follow-up pleas to post the resolution go unanswered.

28. Trying to find that one missing quote, parenthesis, bracket, or semicolon where a colon should be that’s breaking your script.

29. Having to configure a server to show hidden and system files, extensions, etc., even though you are on as an admin.

30. IE ESC!

31. When the default hotkey isn’t on your ultrabook’s keyboard.

32. When Word insists on formatting something completely different from what you want, and have successfully done the previous eight times in the same document.

33. Getting your datacenter wiring just neat enough to make everyone happy, only to come back the next day to find some idiot has strung a wire across the patch panel and it now looks like…!

34. When a user tries to email a 20MB attachment that jams up the entire system.

35. When you find out that 20MB attachment was a PDF at a bajillion DPI, which would have looked just fine at 96 DPI and 100KB.

36. Written down passwords.

37. Non-standard ports.

38. Developers who don’t know what firewall ports the application they wrote needs open to work.

39. Anything running on your network that requires its own usernames and passwords separate from your domain.

40. Anything you have to register for externally that won’t let you use your email address as your login name.

41. Or forces your password pattern.

42. Any application that has to run as a domain admin to work.

43. Change control forms that take longer to fill out than it will take to make the change.

44. Help desk tickets that take longer to fill out than it did to solve the issue.

45. Trying to remote into a server to find all the sessions are in use.

46. Then finding that they are all disconnected, and have been for days.

47. When someone uses a 10’ cable where a 3’ one would do.

48. When you actually need that 10’ cable and cannot find another one.

49. Giant power bricks for small laptops.

50. Laptops without Bluetooth.

51. Laptops with less than four USB ports.

52. That you still cannot access a USB device from a Hyper-V guest.

53. Acronym reuse.

54. Use of undefined acronyms that are either obscure, or could mean more than one thing. USB and PDF are okay, CRQ and CQD are not.

55. IT “professionals” who don’t know the ITU spoken alphabet.

56. “Web” applications that are actually EXEs.

57. Users who forward email chains and don’t use BCC.

58. Users who reply-all when they shouldn’t, but slightly less than

59. Users who then reply-all complaining about people replying all!

60. People who use funky NAT and bizarre routing because they just don’t understand split DNS.

61. When things use proprietary protocols or algorithms when perfectly acceptable open standards exist.

62. That there are eight different versions of Windows 7.

63. Meeting invites that don’t include the dial-in number.

64. Or when the conference ID is ten digits long and all crunched together without any digit grouping.

65. When you have to dial into the meeting, and the people in the room start three different side conversations so you cannot hear anything. So you start to drift…

66. …And then your boss asks you a question.

67. When you try to copy something you need from an email or a website and when you paste it in, you then have to delete out all the garbage characters that came along for the ride.

68. That you still cannot use your mouse to click in a CLI to position your cursor where you need it.

69. The first time you have to use someone else’s computer and cannot find a darn thing.

70. When you are asked to explain something by someone who obviously did not read the email you sent last week explaining everything.

71. People who share the blame but claim the glory. You’re either on a team, or you fly solo. You don’t get to pick and choose.

72. Arbitrary requirements that serve no technical purpose.

73. When someone changes something that makes more work for you and doesn’t stick around to assist.

74. And then asks why you missed a deadline.

75. When someone on a conference call forgets to go on mute… That might actually be quite amusing.

76. When you hear the words “hey, you know about computers, right?”

77. When the email has six people on the TO line, talks about how “you” need to do something, but doesn’t make it clear which of the six the “you” is directed to.

78. Any PowerPoint presentation greater than twenty slides.

79. Talking into the blinking red light (AKA the mute button.)

80. Network gear that puts the connections on the front, but the power and console ports on the back.

81. When that one device in the rack that is only six inches deep is sandwiched between two servers that require the full depth of the cabinet.

82. Or when someone leaves a 1/3 of a U between devices they racked.

83. Or sets a heavy piece of gear on top of the piece you are trying to remove, and didn’t use brackets.

84. IP KVMs.

85. Firewalls that cannot use domain names in ACLs.

86. DNS TTLs greater than 300.

87. That painfully long interval between the moment you rebooted a server (hoping no one would notice), and when it finally starts responding to pings.

88. Being required to attend a meeting where all you really did was say “Hi” at the beginning, and “Thanks everyone” at the end.

89. When you send an email in a hurry and don’t notice that the autocomplete function in Outlook autocompleted the wrong person.

So leave us a comment and let us know what winds you up. If we missed your #1 hate, share it with us. Now’s your chance to sound off and find a sympathetic ear – we’re listening!
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About the Author:

Christina is Web Marketing Content Specialist at GFI Software. She is a keen blogger and has contributed content to several IT sites, besides working as an editor and regular contributor to Talk Tech to Me. Christina also writes for various publications including the Times of Malta and its technology supplement.

Jack Potter June 29, 20128:25 pm

“Needing a micro USB cable when all you have is a mini.” Amen! Why bother with a UNIVERSAL type of cable if the other end is going to vary more than the indecisive man at the front of the deli line at lunch time?

I also hate when a group elects one person to send a support ticket, but cc’s everyone affected – then each individual person will peep up from time to time to see if it’s done yet. I guess it’s the thought that counts, but if one sender was good enough for the ticket, then that sender can track the progress!

laura pierre June 30, 20127:25 pm

User forgets password or tries too many times and gets locked out

Joe Smithers July 1, 201212:56 am

Oh, there are just so many to mention. But you started this, and I’d really like to share mine too. Among others, the two things I hate the most are:

1. when someone wants you to troubeshoot their PC and while you’re at their desk, they stay seated at their chair and you work on their PC (for quite a long time) standing and they don’t even offer their seat;

2. when you’re hard at work at your desk hunching over something, and it’s quite clear that you’re busy and someone disturbs you for some “urgent emergency” that he can take care of himself. Worse, you lost your momentum when you were disrupted.

Richard Robertson July 1, 20125:59 pm

Operating Systems that take focus from what you are typing to some notification window that you couldn’t care less about at that moment. Linux and Windows I know both do this crap. Umm. Flash something?

Matt July 2, 20123:51 am

Abbreviations!! People who abbreviate all the time are either to stupid to spell the word or just to damn lazy!!

lZl Jody lZl July 2, 201210:41 pm

“to stupid to spell the word” hehe

Mark July 2, 20129:06 pm

Users which start by saying “is the network down?” when they actually meant “I cannot find a file”.

Cryptic error messages (looking at WSUS and SCCM) which don’t make any sense.

shane July 6, 201211:18 pm

People who don’t answer calls or return calls. Especially business owners who think they are too important. Also when you are troubleshooting a little known app where there is no documentation or online help and you have to call and wait hours on end waiting.

Steen July 8, 201212:22 am

When undocumented software pops up with an error code and nothing else…

But yeah, I too love forum threads claiming to have solved the problem without telling you how!

Roberto July 8, 20123:21 am

When you tell a user “type in the address bar,”, and they reply, “www?”.

Cuddles November 10, 20123:55 pm

Absolutely cannot differentiate between the address bar and the search bar and inevitably clicks on an advertisement instead of the actual site.

Konraden December 2, 20128:15 am

And they don’t know the difference between the search bar and the address bar, so you spend five minutes trying to explain to them to click THE OTHER white box.

Cuddles November 10, 20123:59 pm

Boss / CEO that insists on using a Mac when the entire company is using Windows. Constantly complains about compatibility issues.

thomas December 8, 20121:32 pm

Users complaining they tried to login 20 times all ending in (unmentioned) errors, while the log shows the gave up after 2 or so attempts and they actually tried to (auto?)login with their password…

Users who complain they can’t print. Arriving at the scene, all the furniture is moved and the printer is placed in a location without a connection or a empty wall socket. Your patchrack list room-socket-device just became useless…

Users moving office, taking phone with them, and complaining loss of connection or different number at best. Arriving you find the phone connected to a former pc socket…

Users telling you they tried to do something, and even without telling how they tried it, asking you what they did wrong…

Users complaining about a big error on the screen they can’t click away. In reality it is a error look-a-like banner in a website they try to click away.
Idem with messageboxes as ‘printer out of paper’

and on, and on, and on….