Wednesday, November 16, 2005

P C Hell !

“God could not be everywhere so he created System Administrators”
Not so ancient saying

There is this enduring legend in IT companies. It’s called the Legend of the System Administrator(sysadmin). Everyone has heard about him but no one has actually seen him. And like the other people in this company including the management I have never seen him. There are random reports of sightings, which are however not confirmed to be actually a sysadmin. The management is sure they have hired a sysadmin. The Security guys complain that someone keeps slithering in and out of shadows and stairwells. The Housekeeping guys have reported that they have seen something move in the wiring. In fact Muniyamma from Housekeeping performed a Pooja to smoke what she termed was an evil spirit in the Network cables. Whatever was in there coughed up a storm making the systems crash.

It is rumored that he comes out in the open in the nights when no one is around to attend to our complaints. Of course this is a rumor mind you. A lot of people here believe that He is our God keeping an eye on our Network, PC’s and protecting our data. And like God, we blindly believe in Him and His abilities to tackle our problems. We have even kept aside several auspicious days where we offer ritual sacrifices to appease Him. Last Monday we created a Folder called Network Problems and sacrificed it by Shift + Deleting it. Then we sang His praises and went back to work.

This week the sacrificial folder is called systems_not_rebooting.

Next week I anticipate a sacrificial folder filled with complaints called: oppenoffice_is_driving_me_crazy_somebody_please_helllllllllp.

Of course there are doubting thomases in our company too. These infidels do not believe in the existence of a sysadmin and say that the Network is a result of a big bang though I must admit it usually looks like a big bang did take place in the networks! These unbelievers do not understand that like God the sysadmin tests your faith and patience in him from time to time by frequent Network crashes. It keeps us on our toes and makes us believe in the mortality of our labor and frequent back ups on removable drives.

We even believe that there is a PC Hell to which we are confined if we are bad and spared if we have been good.

Bad behavior according to sysadmin is:

1. Sending mails to the sysdamin asking for help. (It disturbs his concentration while playing Solitaire)
2. Changing the settings on your PC and making it crash. (because he has to leave the cricket match commentary and come to attend to your PC)
3. Mailing him with complaints about the EPABX (Because by force of habit he will come down to repair the EPABX and then realize that it does not come under his job description)
4. Swearing at the computer when it hangs and thus abusing his profession (Because he thinks no one likes him and everyone pokes fun at him, which is actually true)
5. When you send huge attachments to everyone jamming the mail server etc.( because he realizes that he was not in the mailing list)
6. Mailing him probing questions about your PC problems (because he himself doesn't know)

Good behavior according to a sysadmin is:

1. Never asking for help
2. Using Do-It-Yourself-Manuals or Online help
3. Waiting for his help for five seconds and then calling the AMC guys of your home PC for help
4. Doing a short course in System Administration so that you can help yourself
5. Sending him occasional e-cards telling him how much you appreciate his services.

Those of you who fall in the good deeds category will be left alone in peace to deal with your PC problems. But those of you have been naughty and have troubled your sysadmins, will experience the horrors of a PC Hell.

P C Hell is described below for the uninitiated.

1. Messengers do not work your system and the sysadmin replies to your mails saying that he will look into it in a year so, because he has important things to attend to now.
2. You cannot access your Yahoo Mail, Rediffmail or any other free of paid mail services that you are using for no apparent reasons. But you get regular mails from the sysadmin informing you how much he has enjoyed the jokes in your various personal mail accounts.
3. You also get mails expressing sympathy at your bank balance.
4. You are mailed complicated instructions to Install OpenOffice like “ Take a deep breath, Exhale, do this for twenty minutes then mail me again for further instructions”
5. You are tersely informed via mail that for the security of your PC you will now have to use 45 character passwords.
6. Every site you try to browse invariably leads to

Never mess with your sysadmin.


Geo said...

Ha ha ha....

So you belong to the group which believes the Sys Admin created the network in 7 days... first day, he laid the lan cables, second day he connected the printers, third day he configured the mail server and so on and so forth... and on the 6th day, he created the user accounts, first one for a gent called Adam and the next for a lady called Eve... and he took rest on the 7th day, enjoying his Bacardi.

PC be with you!!!

Praveen said...

LOL :)

Looking at the serious side,I feel that a system administrator has a very hectic schedule almost every day. I have a friend who is a system admin and he is the only sys admin in the company , so he has absolutely no leisure time.

Anonymous said...

This had me rolling on the floor laughing as I am an unfortunate System Administrator.My friends take similar digs at my expense but yours was infinitely more cute and damn cheeky.

SIT India

Ganja Turtle said...

You can say what you want but having the sysadmin on ur side is like having the IT Gods on ur problem with messengers, no more firewalls blocking amazon, getting new laptops,getting latest upgrades...and above all dirty and delicious gossip about what stupid bosses do with their computer system apart from spreadsheets...Sysadmins of the world,am on ur side!

Arun R said...

I used to be the pet of the sys admin in my college... so my computer had all the admin rights....

There were a lot of things which I cud do, while the others could not.

But in companies, the scene is different... :(. Our sys admin is a work horse.... always working... sometimes I pity him.... he never gets a moments peace....

Hyde said...

I see my sysadmin almost everyday. Maybe is he is good. Or maybe someone else is doing his work.

QuaTros said...

Nice dig at syadmins! But, hey silverine, I also sometimes feel sorry for them since while we tend to the well being of 1 PC, they end up looking up hundreds! :-))

Admin said...

ur PC-centric post are the hilarious ones.. another good one.

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

guess my SysAd hates me :(((( ....

He apparently doesnt understand my need to have the Latest Flash tools on my sys at office.

HE once offered to reinstall the OS of my system at home ... after which i had to exchange my HD.

I live in the false security that he is not reading my current comment ... but if he is .... " U R The BEst "

silverine said...

@Geo: You can guess which group I belong to with this post ;)
@Praveen.Arun and Quatros: Yeah, my SA works 24/7, 365 days a year:(
@Anon:Thanks for the mail with the addendum on PC Hell ;)
@ganjaturtle:Be careful...tomorrow it will be ur PC that will be the topic of juicy gossip lol
@Anthony: Thank you.Your Manipur blogs are really interesting.Was reading them yday.
@Deepa:Thank you.Self help is the best help, I have learnt the hard way :))

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

am still experiencing his wrath ... only diff being that i know who n where he sits ...

i take my revenge by drawing weird crawly worm like things on any drawable material in his room

hope and love said...


Amit said...

Wow...really hilarious post...keep this up and you'll probably be flooded with book offers pretty soon...lovely! :-)

Leon said...

HOW do you think of these things?..

PC Hell was very imaginative.. So you've been there.. bad girl.

and I loved the start..

“God could not be everywhere so he created System Administrators”
Not so ancient saying

esp the "not so ancient saying" part.. hehe.. way to go.

PS: If you have any more sysadmin related questions feel free to ask me. I shall *ahem* endeavor to answer them.. :-)

Erosimian said...


i guess a sysadmin would be a perfect job for me.

Darth Sysadmin anyone? :-D

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

did u go for the blogger meet on nov 13 ?

Anonymous said...

Great Post. But who has seen the SysAdmin part of story? Well, my theory is that "If you are bad in using computers, your tend to be awfully bad". It took me five days to teach my dad that a CD drive is not a cup holder and that when it says "press any key", do not search for a key with "Any" written in that. So think of the good old SysAdmin who better be invisible.
BTW you must be credited for developing a new genre of comedy which falls between satire, parody or black comedy..


Jiby said...

laughed a lot reading this...but i am seriously thinking of sending the link to this post to a few sysadmin pals. am sure they wudnt mind fixing all ur PC troubles for save their ilk from being blasted at the hands of ur caustic wit...hehe!!!

being a software engineer, requesting help from a sysadmin is the most embarassing part. he gives me a cosy, arrogant look and to hit back i am left talking abt altering PC config files and troubleshooting system errors related to my code not running and then its his turn to go red.

i think there are ego-clashes in most companies between sysadmins and programmers...but fact is i learnt a lot from them...and it helped of places i worked there wuz no sysadmin and i was asked to double up and help other employees.

Alexis Leon said...

Nice post… Was really funny and I couldn’t stop laughing for a while. Have you worked in a Mainframe environment? There the SysAdmin is even more powerful. In your case, if the network is down you could play the games stored on your HDD or do something else with the software on the PC. But with the dumb terminals, the mainframe professional is completely at the mercy of the SysAdmin. And if you are in his good books, you get double your quota of disk space, special privileges, and so on. We used to make it a point to be pals with our SysAdmins.

kickassso said...

I cant believe the crap sysadmins at governmet offices tell the workers (my mom works in one) listening to his exploits at the office made me feel like giving him a piece of my mind too!
@ duttan.... now what would be the power of the dark side then ?

for a sysadmin i mean:D

I'd love to be one too! I definetly was chummy with our's in school , heck got to use free net when it used to be 90 bucks per hr !

Unknown said...

Simply brilliant post!
We have a really cool sys admin in our college now. He helps in setting up our illegal gaming parties!
A far cry from the earlier one who would screw us at every instant.

Lost in trance... said...

45 char passwords? now thaz PC-hell !!!

my sysadmin has gone out of his ways to no complaints :)

Jagan said...

our sysadmin may not be a god ..but she definitely is an angel ;-)

Domesticated Bachelor said...

hilarious!!! Downright hilarious!!!

Now you scared me too.. the company i am joining is an susidiary of an IT Giant involved in creative work... and i already found that the HR female is lost in her own world...and the sys admin is a grouchy man. i had called up to say that i'd use my laptop till the company issue comes thru and iheard a earful about people using laptops for other stuff and then coming to him.... damn! i havent even joined the company!

Unknown said...

nice post madam. i already forwarded it to the sysadmins!

Pratish Menon said...

Does he know ur writing this?? Do we get to read ur sysadmin writing on yr blog. now that wud be a shame :-/

n hey, how do u know it's a 'he' if no one has seen the syssie?

n, Hello.

If I tell ya, I'll have to kill ya said...

hehehe...giggled throughout this one. so true.

HR, System Admin, and Logistics - these are the urban legends of the corporate world, and my three pet hates.

waiting for the next installment.

kickassso said...

@ rockus...w00t? illegal gaming parties???? dammit im stuck in the wrong college:(

Dr. Pissed said...

We dont have a sysadmin at our office, but I know the hell some people give them for no apparent reason. Like, i've seen people at sending mails to this one really nice administrator saying "EVERYTHING IS COMING IN CAPITAL LETTERS - SEE"

The guy actually sits down and mails back saying, "your caps lock is on".

Dumb northies!

Anyways, your as funny as hell dude. Keep it coming..

Bluefrogtribute said...

Nice blog, Dai dr.pissed i am northie da har har. Ya ure blogs are really good and fun to read. But i am doing this track down on few some of my fav bloggers, and rumour has it that u live near IIM.
I would like to know is this for real.

Anonymous said...


This Cracked me up. Hooked it to the projector in the meeting room and shared it with my team.Everyone of us agreed with your observations.Cheers!!

silverine said...

@deepa:An eye for an eye yeah? :))
@MM:The type of complaints a sysadmin gets has been so brilliantly highlighted by dr. pissed.I know they don't have it easy.
@HnL and Amit: Thank you :)
@Leon:Thank you for the offer. Now sit back and wait for the deluge of complaints :))
@Duttan:Believe me it's a very difficult job.
@Jiby: I have seen the tensions between sysadmins and the techies here in my co. But I actually have a very good but very busy sysadmin and I do pull his legs in a similar fashion as this post.He has threatened to make me his apprentice:))
@Alexis: Mainframe environment sounds like PC Hell to me :))
@kickasso and rockus:It definitely pays to have the sysadmins as a pal ;)

silverine said...

@joker: Sysadmins are perpetually grouchy. They get a complaint, query or an enquiry per second :)
@nagu:Thank you
@Pratish:I speak to him on the phone :)
@IfItellya:You said it gal, these are urban legends indeed. You just outlined my pet peeves too except for the logistics. I would add the offset printer instead :))
@dr pissed: That was ROFl :))
@jaguu: Thank you
@hyde:If you see him often then someone else is definitely doing his job lol

Sujith said...

hmm a funny account abt the most powerful class in an IT company. btw it seems you are totally against the IT guys!! reflecting in all ur posts :-)

Erosimian said...


as written in my blog, the Dark Side is all about design and control.

Also, the guy in my blogger pic was hard to see by even Yoda.

A sysadmin, as written in this blog, is a hard to see/find out entity who controls everything.

Perfect match with the Dark Side.



Goan Pao said...

I have seen sysadmin...
well this may shock everyone but its a she....
no dont consider this blasphemy it is true..well in my company atleast.
Well the feminists may think that would make a huge difference what with but with the laziness and ineptitude she epitomizes me thinks that a matriachal society is as doomed as a current one..and here i was encouraging womens lib...
Just to feel superior to others i created a home network and became sysadmin..well actually root...god how my roomies miss me when im not at home...insecure me.

Ganja Turtle said...

silverine, you are on ur way to fame - check out bluefrogtribute who says "rumour has it that u live near IIM. I would like to know is this for real" Tew much!;-)-reminds of some of those urban legend/myths which start off like "Rumour has it that in ancient times a secret blogger existed in the forests next to BTH layour near JP Nagar.Known as only as silverine,she was occassionaly spotted only on full moon nights baying for human blood" ;-) Go babe!

Admin said...

Thnks for visiting. Hope it was informative. It was as I see through my eyes.

silverine said...

@Jithu:I write what I experience, but I have no particular dislike against any class of people ;)
@GoanPav: You are the second commentor here with a female sysadmin. as Jithu said they are a powerful class of people :))
@Ganjaturtle:Fame or infamy? ;) lol

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for some time now. I would rate your blog as the best cure for my Monday blues.


Sujith said...

You are the second commentor here with a female sysadmin. as Jithu said they are a powerful class of people :))

hellow, i didnt mean THAT okay ;-)

silverine said...

Jithu said "hmm a funny account abt the most powerful class in an IT company"

That was your comment and Goan Pav and Jagan are the two people with the female sysadmins :)

Anonymous said...

this is blasphemy.. I repeat.. I did not create the system administrators... I shall send Gabriel soon with a supoena for a defamation suit.

silverine said...

@injinuity: LOL even you are disowning the sysadmin! Now that does say a lot about their ilk, doesnt it? ;)

calvin said...

I stumbled upon your blog two days ago. I fiond your writing amusing , very very creative and the kinda books you love to read are , well favorites of mine too...And I read this today at slashdot I think its worth a read.

neermathalam said...

ha ha......i felt not commmenting
so many posts so little no comments after this...lemme com plete..att these...

laddu said...

last week i crashed my system n i had 2 pay d price by giving up my admin rights....system admin didn granted me d rights :(

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laddu said...
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