I was going to post this in the lounge, but then I realized this probably deserves its own damn thread…
Until I can find full-time work, I’m doing jobs as a contract IT worker. It pays decently, and I can have some really good weeks with a lot of work. I handle both residential and business calls, working on anything from printers, to laptops, to desktops.
I see some pretty weird shit on these calls, like a lady with domesticated chickens that actually came up to me and were really friendly. She also had a rooster the size of a car tire.
Today really takes the cake, though.
This morning, I get called about a residential service call. Replacing a motherboard. No problem. I arrived onsite, and it’s in a rough neighborhood. Several broken down cars, tires in one person’s front yard, and the door to the house across the street was literally a large piece of plywood with a door handle. This still is not a problem. I’m short but hardy and wear an eye patch, so I at least LOOK like a person who doesn’t need to be messed with. I knock on the door, and this black dude answers the door with a sleeping 2-yr old on his shoulder and a big-ass boxer in front of him. I’m already thinking this couldn’t get any more stereotypical, but he opens the door and I can already smell the stink of some skunk-ass weed. I have an intolerance to weed, meaning I’ll get a really bad headache if I’m around it (which yes, I do now), but this is for money so I put up with it. Anyway, the dude says the lady isn’t home, but knows I’m coming and lets me in. The inside of the house is one long hallway lit by a red lightbulb, and there were several rooms off to the side of the hall (some of which were boarded up, and others that have no door at all). He can’t find the laptop I’m supposed to be working on, so he calls the lady, apparently one of four women who live there. She says it’s under the couch. That’s red flag #1.
He fishes it out from under the couch, and hands it to me. Top looks okay. I flip it over, and see that the bottom of the thing is literally held together with blue painter’s tape. I set it on the makeshift table that he made for me, and he goes and grabs the motherboard I’m supposed to be replacing from the top of the fridge, then hands it to me. No box. He says she threw the box away (note: I’m supposed to return parts in the box they came in, so this is a big inconvenience for me). I continue looking at the laptop. There’s a loose wire hanging from the side that I realize is a ground wire from the DC inverter from the LCD. If I repaired the board and the 2 yr old touched the wire while the laptop was on, it would kill him. As for the screen itself, one of the hinges was broken, and the remaining hinge was warped. The screen wouldn’t stay up on its own and was barely hanging on. So a obviously mistreated laptop was red flag #2.
Here are some pictures:
Procedure said I had to go to a place away from the client and call it in before proceeding with the repair. I took pictures of the damage and went outside to call. During the 20 minutes it took to get through the tech support queue, I kept seeing people drive up to the house next door, then people would get out of the passenger side, go up to the door, and then come back within less than a minute. I saw a preppy-looking white dude, then a black lady in a nice dress, and then a middle-aged guy do this, and then it finally dawned on me… “Holy shit, did I just witness three drug deals?” That was red flag #3. It was time to leave.
It was about this time that the support agent answered. I explained to him the situation with the damaged laptop and the neighborhood I was in, and said I wanted off the job. They agreed, especially since the laptop had no accidental coverage. I was told to reclaim the part, tell them that the home office would have to check on the screen that needs replaced, and that they’d call them later. I did that, and went home. When I called the CSR in charge of the call, she was amazed that I went through all that, and they said they’d give me full pay for the job.
This still doesn’t beat the time I discovered hardcore gay porn on a Fire Chief’s computer. It’s safe to say that I’m pretty much only doing business calls from now on.