The Top 89 Admin Pet Peeves

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 a 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.

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.



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