Have you ever wondered how you can make your
IT support experience at work as aggravating and useless as possible? Wonder
no more – it’s super-easy! Follow these guidelines and you’ll be ensured
poor support, every time!
Now, it's not that there aren't bad tech
support people out there who make support calls miserable with no intervention
on your part – there are! And it's not that I won't help you if you do
any of the things on this list – I will! But (and the same principle applies
to any job), there is a proper way to request technical support. And what
follows isn’t it.
So here, without further ado, is a list of
things you can do to ensure a bad support experience. Okay, just a little
further ado. Use these with caution. Combining them all into one request
may make your tech’s head explode. I cannot be held liable for your actions.
Even if I could, I'd deny responsibility, stick my tongue out, and say "neener
*AHEM* (in the order they occurred to me
and others I've surveyed):
Call when you're busy. Indicate (many
times) that you're busy. Give me a timeline to fix your problem.
Complain if I do not meet your timeline.
- Be vague. "This thing on
my computer isn't doing what it's supposed to do" is descriptive
enough. After all, I should be able to figure out all of the "technical
Always ask if there's a problem with the
server. Because your PC couldn't possibly be having an issue
unless the entire system is.
Tell me there's another way to do something,
other than the way I'm telling you to do it. Tell me that
your way is better/faster/prettier/easier, and ask why I don’t do it
Let a problem go until the worst possible
time for an emergency, then call and demand immediate resolution.
Delete any extra files you don't recognize.
If you've never heard of them, you probably don't need them.
Be sure to request assistance only when
you're away from your desk, so we don't interrupt your workflow.
It's fun to rearrange my schedule to accommodate yours. You could
almost say it's a challenge. It’s also fun to have to find you when
I need a password or other information so I can do my job. Like Hide
Point out many times that you "have
work to do."
Call at 5:29 when the office closes at
Lie, if you've done something to cause
the problem but don't want to admit it.
Call around lunchtime. Insist that the
problem be fixed immediately, and then leave for YOUR lunch.
Approach me in the elevator, or while
I'm eating lunch, or when I'm involved with another issue.
Look at me suspiciously if I ask for a
Clear those pesky error messages off your
screen – they just get in the way.
Explain "it worked until the IT Department
upgraded/patched/moved your system."
Use your terminology instead of proper
terminology. I love technophobes. They make my job so much more
Tell me entirely too much about the document
which is currently causing you problems, including but not limited
to: a) the recipient is a jerk who’s cheating on his wife with his secretary,
and he’s really fastidious and if this letter doesn’t go out the way
he wants it there might be some H-E-double hockey sticks to pay;
b) the letter used to work in WordPerfect, and you just can’t get used
to this stupid Word program – back when you used WordPerfect, well that
was when you were skinnier/taller/smarter/less in denial, whatever and
yadda yadda yadda….
Stare as we explain the fix, and then
ask us to repeat it because you didn't get it the first (second,
third, fourth, fifth…) time.
Have a third party call and try to explain
the problem, so I can try to troubleshoot third party, too.
Don't listen to what I have to say – talk
over everything so you can't possibly remember this for next
Put me on hold or interrupt me to talk
to someone standing near you.
Get upset when I say your document is
gone forever. It's clearly my fault that you didn't save it.
Download a game, then call when it messes
up your legitimate applications and complain that we can't ever
get anything to work correctly.
Hold me on the phone while you walk through
every step of the documentation I just gave you.
If I'm remoted in and controlling your
desktop, keep taking the mouse control away from me. It's a fun game.
If you're not satisfied with my response,
call my co-worker and ask the same question. Better yet, call my supervisor.
Use foul language or generally treat me
like I'm not worth your time.
Specify that YOU HAVE WORK TO DO!
Complain about the policies. Often. Because
I created them.
Call me honey or sweetie (or any name
other than my given name). It really makes me feel special.
Start every call with "I have a question." Wait
for me to ask what it is before you start talking.
Don't read e-mails from IT. Then, call
and ask a question that would have been answered had you read
Eat at your desk, hovering as close to
your computer hardware as possible. Make sure you drop stuff
in your keyboard and on your mousepad. Spill coffee in your keyboard,
and then feign innocence when I pick the keyboard up and brown liquid
pours from it.
Ask for new hardware because yours is
When your request for new hardware is
not warranted (because it's only dirty!), ask me to clean your
Watch me clean your hardware while making
comments like "ew" and "I wonder how long that's been
Pile as many pictures, post-its and papers
on top of your monitor and PC tower as you possibly can. Watch
me closely to make sure I put it back the way I found it.
Complain that I didn't put stuff back
the way I found it. By stuff, I mean that speckle of glitter from last
year’s New Year’s Eve party, which holds so much sentimental value to
Ask me to adjust your thermostat, fix
the fan or move your furniture.
Be rude. Demand assistance.
Ask me questions about the content of
programs we don't use and websites that are not ours.
Ask suspiciously if we touched your computer
over the weekend.
Explain solutions to others, even if you're
not sure what you're saying is right.
Reboot before calling, thereby eliminating
those pesky error messages.
If you know a server crashed or some other
IT crisis is in process, call and ask what exactly is going
on and when it will be fixed. Call back 5 minutes later and repeat
until the issue is resolved. ----OR----
Call and ask the question that you've
been meaning to call about for weeks but just now got around
Customize every aspect of your desktop
(Colors! Themes! Sounds!). Complain that I didn't put everything
back the way I found it. Your “I © Justin” wallpaper is
Insist the computer "does stuff" without
your intervention or direction.
Forget your passwords. Ask me to reset
them. Often. ----OR----
Ask me what your password is. Because
I keep a list.
After I've showed you how to do something
and it worked, repeat that it didn't work for you when you tried
Hover and make suggestions as I work to
fix a problem.
Ask me to do your mail merge/scan job/file
conversions for you because you "don't have the time" or "are
worried about it."
Call, let the phone ring once. Hang up.
Call my supervisor and tell him I'm not answering the phone.
Don't believe me when I say I don't have
access to login to anyone's e-mail account. I really do, I just
don't want to help you.
Ask me to fix your personal home computer,
and then become offended when I request payment for my services,
even if company policy instructs that I should.
This isn’t EVERY possible method of ensuring
bad support – there are far too many of those to list. But these should
get you off to a good start. Happy Hounding!
PS – For REAL support request tips, check
other article in the TechTrax Soapbox!