Revealed: Secret words used by IT professionals to describe YOU

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I used to be in technical support. It is a difficult, frustrating and often ungrateful job that tests the limits of your patience. But it can also be gratifying when you fix what seems impossible to the user.

Some technical issues have simple fixes that you can try on your own.Click or click here for five easy solutions to everyday technical problems.

Like most professionals, IT professionals have their own language. Here are 10 insider words you might hear describing you.


An IT professional fully understands smartphones, computers, networks, tablets, routers, Wi-Fi, operating systems, firewalls, Bluetooth, accessories, updates, security and many additional devices and technologies.

If an IT professional says in front of you, “I would love to help, but it’s an EEOC issue,” they secretly mock you. They think you will never, ever, ever be able to use the device you called them about.

EEOC is an abbreviation for “Equipment Exceeds Operator Capabilities.”

Person using computer.

Person using computer.


This verbal short code is similar to EEOC, but stands for “Equipment Smarter Than Operator.”

If you hear someone say that about you, try not to get hurt. Neither EEOC nor ESTO will burn as much as this next password.

3. ID10T error

When you hear an IT professional say, “I’ve seen this problem before. It’s an ID10T error,” it does not sound bad.

Here is an example of an ID10T error. Say your mouse is not working, call IT and ask them for help. In a second, the culprit is obvious. Bluetooth is turned off on your computer.

It is pronounced ID-10-T. Read them as letters with a number of 10 in the middle. And yes, it certainly looks like the word idiot.

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Code 18

How about a clue as to what this secret IT code means? The 18 refers to inches.

Let’s use it in one sentence. An IT professional might say to a colleague, “I’ve reset Jim’s Gmail filters five times, given him a dozen lessons, and still get code 18.”

Code 18 means the problem sits 18 inches away from the screen.

(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)


You might think this is a sweet way of saying, “I should have taken a picnic basket because it was so easy to solve that problem!” Unfortunately, when an IT person says PICNIC in connection with helping you, it is not their mood.

They use an acronym for “Problem In Chair Not In Computer.”


People use the terms gearhead, nerd, technocrat and technophile interchangeably. IT professionals do the same with PICNIC and PEBKAC.

Sometimes the problem exists between the keyboard and the chair or PEBKAC. Yes, they say you caused your technical problems.

Layer 8 edition

You may not get this if you do not understand the OSI model for networking. Computers connected via a network use complex architecture. There are seven layers in the OSI model for networking.

So the eighth layer has nothing to do with the hardware. It has to do with human interaction with the computer system. In other words, “Layer 8” refers to you!

8. Card between the headphones

Think about what’s in between a pair of headphones. When you put on a headset, it’s your brain.

You might hear an IT professional say, “She’s usually pretty good at this, but she had cards between her headphones. There was no paper in the printer.”

Person wearing headphones using computer.

Person wearing headphones using computer.

9. IBM error

This term has nothing to do with the computer company. But when you learn what this acronym means, you mightwishthat was the case. IBM means “Idiot behind the machine.”

It is another acronym that refers to human error. Your machine is not at fault. Your problems are caused by yourself, according to the person saying this.

If you ever hear this about yourself, make a plan. Say, “I know what it means, so the ‘I’ does not apply!”

10. Biological interface error

There is nothing biological about a computer. It’s a machine. Once again we are talking about a human being.

“Yes, I could not fix it. It’s a biological interface error.”

Pro tip:When you need help with your technology, our team of experts is on hand. Ask a question in the Command community. We promise not to call you any of these terms.

Podcast: Wi-Fi on the moon, Russian cyber attacks and a Google tip to save gas money

Did you know that Wi-Fi is coming to the moon? Yes really. In this section of Kim Komando Today I will teach you how to find an airplane seat with the most legroom, save gasoline and a few other technical tips you will need time and time again. I also have an action plan you can use to protect yourself from Russian cyber attacks.

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Listen to the podcast here or wherever you now get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Command.”

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