Posts Tagged ‘support’

Damn vague clients….

October 24, 2009

It seems that vagueness abounds in the IT world. People are so narrow-minded and narcissistic that when they email their incredibly general requests (“It’s not working….” Or “I get an error message…why?”), they actually think that their words have the stupendous ability to convey everything that they did, including a mental screen shot of the error message, to a technician through email! And us ‘lowly techs’ are nothing but their serfs who can simply fix it with one single click of our roller-ball mouse (that is if the dirt accumulated by the ball let’s us move the freaking cursor up that 1/8th of an inch to click…..dammit…move!!!). So I’m thinking of following suit and conforming to society’s stupidity and being just as vague. I’m going to open up a ‘General Store’ where if anyone comes in and asks for bread, I’ll look confused. The moment they ask for ‘dough, long, baked, sliced’ I’ll know immediately what they want! None of this ‘specific information that actually helps’! Give it to me as vague as possible so we can converse on the same level of low-intelligence.

See, as users they think that when they contact a company, that the person they are speaking to has all the client’s information at his finger tips. Their products, their serial numbers, their address, their contract information, their registration date, their contract end date, and the reason why something is missing. Pfft. Everything listed there is on a different system where each tech has to bounce around 15 different screens to pull up that info. This is the most maddening part of the job, finding all the information needed. Oh if only things were so simple that we had the entire client’s info in one window…..life would be grand.

Next request that comes in and asks “Why don’t I see my products on my screen?” I’m going to reply “Because you need to be looking at the screen!” That’ll be just as helpful as their request.

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You are NOT worth it!

October 21, 2009

One of the biggest problems that society, at least in the western hemisphere, is that people don’t even know their own worth. They are simply not even educated or given a clue that they are individuals in their own right and are more powerful than they realize.

Our education system has zero latitude for allowing people to think on their own. They simply don’t want you to think. Don’t believe me? How many times have you heard of a child being disciplined for contradicting a teacher but was labeled as ‘insolent’ or ‘rude’. We are forced to believe everything we are told and demanded that we never, ever question ‘the system’. See, I have a problem with that. I have always questioned the system because it is flawed. The educate system simply does not allow you to think for yourself. You are told to memorize facts and given the illusion of free-thinking when they give you a question to solve on ‘your own’ but in reality, you are simply coming up with solutions that have been implanted in your subconsciousness by their indoctrination of the system. It is so insidious that it is near impossible to believe. The movie The Matrix really isn’t that far off from the truth. To use a cliche, “Truth is stranger than fiction”.

So back to self worth, or lack thereof.

A friend of mine goes to school in another city that is about 45 mins away by car. A bus route was planned out and while it would take at least 90mins to get there, it was at least doable. First day of class she meets someone who lives 8 blocks from her place! Stroke of luck or what?! So they agree on a fair price to pay for gas and the other person drove(although, apparently it was more like “Gotta get there for let’s do 30% above the speed limit shall we?” from what I heard).

Let me digress for a moment, but it is related I promise. This person speeds like there has never been enough time in her life. This chick changes lanes ever 30seconds to get into a ‘better lane’. She speeds well above the speed limit and complains bitterly when she can’t as well as curses loudly when she gets cut off (Oh, the irony there!). This is such a sign of lack in her life, not to mention the sheer arrogance of her putting her petty little insecurities ahead of every other driver on the road. I take great pride in knowing full well the capabilities of my car (both in how fast it CAN and CAN NOT go!) but this chick is one of those people who actually scares me. The fear-based, ego-sized mentality is staggering. I’m waiting to read about her death in the local paper from a horrible crash that also killed 15 others.

Back to the story.

Since my friend drives with her, and she seems like a nice person, she mentioned that she was having printer problems. My friend tells her that I am really good with computers (such an understatement…) and that she was ask me if I could take a look. So I do. Your gonna love this.

I go on over to help her set up her printer. I get there and the printer is missing the power cord! Umm….kinda hard to set it up like that. Well, I set up the driver any ways and we talk about replacing the printer. We go over the options and pros for ink jet versus laser printers. We browse online and I find her a good deal on a laser printer from a local computer store. We call them, make sure they have it in stock and have them set it aside with her name on it. I spent about 30mins with her and we agreed for me to come back after she picks up the printer.

My friend worked out a deal that she would pay me the money instead of paying her gas money for my work. My friend also didn’t know I only spent 30mins. When her ride asked for gas money my friend was confused. The driver bitched that I was ‘only there for 20 mins!’ implying that my time wasn’t worth the $40 is gas money she received every week from my friend. My friend said, no problems she’ll give her the money. This arrogant bitch had the nerve to say “You will need to find another ride to school from now on.” She took offense and thinking that she wasn’t getting her gas money and that my ’20 mins’ wasn’t worth $40!

Are you freaking kidding me? Knowing the tech field like I do, I know for a fact that if I was working under one of the companies I sometimes contract with, that call would have cost her $50 + taxes. Another company would have charged her $100. This clueless wench had the audacity to think I wasn’t worth ANY money for my time. She had better pray that we never meet up in public as I’ll tear her the biggest strip!

In retrospect, I might have expected that given the description of her driving and the complete disregard for anyone else on the road. Still….the whole idea of completely taking advantage of my good nature is absolutely stunning. In essence I was told “You’re not worth the time you spent with me.” Ya know, that just doesn’t sit right in my world. I well know what I am worth and how much I give but shit like this irks me to no end.

The upside to this story, my friend found another ride who is significantly nicer and much more conscientious when driving.

I don't know, I just clicked ok

August 19, 2009

There are many types of people that the ‘tech support industry’ really can’t stand dealing with.

You have the type that say

“I got an error message.” and when you ask “Ok, what did it say?” they reply “I don’t know, I just clicked ok. What do I do next?”.

These you want to just throttle their air-passage bandwidth to nill!

Then you have your polar opposites.

“I got an error message.” and when you say “Ok, hit the escape key.” and they reply “Oh wait wait now, slow down……where’s that?”

These ones you want to give them a system that more to their speed.

Those types are part of sub-groups from the globally regional people that I have dealt with over the years. Being in Canada there is a group that every single tech cant’ stand…….Quebec. There is such an attitude that it’s unbelievable. It’s like “We have to call English Tech support….pfft….what do they know…..they only speak English…..they can’t help me…”. These idiots actually have the audacity to insult techs on the phone in french! I was working for a company and the girl beside me knew French but would not speak it because of the problems dealing with Quebec clients. She put this client on ‘hold’ (which was actually mute….a word to the wise to you people calling support….pay attention here…). While on ‘mute’ this my fellow workmate said “She just called me an idiot!” See, the clueless client thought we couldn’t hear her and so voiced her displeasure at our ‘obvious’ incomeptence. It was funny when my workmate went back and asked “Did you just call me an idiot?”. Geeze.

At the company I currently work for, each client has the ability to manage their own products and who they can allow/remove access to. I get this request from this clown to add him to some products(and the primary manager) and remove this other guy. I add him to the product and then get him detailed steps on how to manage them (i.e. click here, click here and then click there, done). He says he doesn’t have the ‘remove button’ and sends me a screen shot. What is totally mind blowing is the fact that this guy does not send me a whole screen shot…..he sends me a screen shot that is cut off RIGHT ABOVE where the buttons are! Buddy is so dumb that he believes that “I’ll just send him a screen shot and not show the remove button and he’ll believe that I can’t actually do it….”. Seriously?? I send him back a screen shot WITH the button showing then closed the case.

It is absolutely stunning that someone tries to pull such dumb-ass stunts over the people who are trying to help them. As bad as cliches like ‘dumb Americans’ are, I can tell you….from dealing with people all around the world here, it is the Americans who are usually the worst to deal with. Actually, there is one group is more annoying….the American Sales Guys for this company. Call them a sub-group if you will, but damn people. It’s no wonder you love Canadians and their ingenuity so much because y’all are dumb as stumps most of the time!

A shining example.

June 24, 2009

I’m pretty fortunate that I only deal with emails for the issues we deal with.  That way I don’t have to force myself to clamp down on the response I really want to say if I was on the phone with some of these people.  Here is a shining example.

This guy emails in his issue at 6am (our time, we deal globally).  I work on it for a couple of days (some issues just take awhile).  I find out that the guy who submitted the problem isn’t the authorized person and the changes he made can’t be done.  I tell him that he needs to talk to the authorized person and give him that person’s name and email address.  On the third day the client seems to ignore me.  I send out the generic ‘if we don’t hear back from you, we’ll assume that your issue is fixed and close your ticket’.

A collegue of mine neeeded some help with one of his tickets.  I go to help him out and immediate notice that the name is exactly the same as the one I’m working on!  All the details are the same, the person, the company, everything.  I check the time this ticket was  created, 7:30am.  That’s right, 1.5hrs after sending in the one i was working on, buddy goes and creates ANOTHER problem ticket.

So buddy now replies saying we need to keep BOTH tickets open!

One thing I have learned is how to bitch-slap people in the most diplomatic way possible without seeming to cross ‘the line’.  I told him that having two tickets open for the same issue will cause problems and even delay helping him fix the issue.  I said ‘Please keep this in mind for the future’.  Combined with my earlier wording I basically said “You are an idiot and a whiny little punk in  opening up two records thinking that it’ll get fixed quicker.  I had to work twice because now I have to manage two tickets instead of one.”

It’s bad enough when you are dealing with companies in other countries because of the time difference.  They send a request, we get  it basically the next day, we reply.  But now it’s their evening and they get it their next day….this all assumes that the client is attentive enough to pay attention and respond in a timely manner.

Now, I know that the logic of ‘getting the problem solved quicker by talking to two people at the same time’ has it’s use on the odd occasion….but in the corporate world of business….it just doesn’t work.  Here’s why:

Let say you got a problem with your computer like it can’t connect to the Internets.  So you call up your local ISP and complain. (Note that people always complain….they never ask if there is a problem….they used to but not any more….damn demanding public). Achmed, the helpdesk guy on the other end of the phone, has an idea on how to fix it but will need a bit of time.  So you hang up and let him call you back when he’s fixed.  The problem is you arein’t a patient person so you call back hoping that you’ll get someone more ‘competent’on the phone who can fix your problem.  Next on the line is Shagunthula (can you tell I’m mildly pissed at Bell and their India-outsourced helpdesk??).  She has an idea as wellon how to fix yoru connectivity issues but it will ‘take some time’ and will have to call you back.  You sigh, loudly and hang up waiting like the dog that needs to go outside and hope you get a call soon.

So now you have Achmed and Shagunthula both figthing with their ‘second level’ people to fix the same damn problem.  Now here’s the fun part.  Both of them have different ideas on how it’s to be fixed.  Confusion reigns, problems are exponentiated, emails, calls and voicemails are left all over the place and you are left sitting by the back door hoping that noone notices the little yellow puddle because this is taking too long.  You’ll probably go chew on the couch next and then blame the two ‘incompetent’ help desk people because they can’t get their ‘act together’ and fix your connectivity.

5 days later you finally get a call back.  It’s Achmed and he’s ‘fixed your problem’ and your connection is now up and running!  You tell them “I know…I just plugged in the loose cable….”.  Achmed commits ritual suicide while you surf for prOn.

I told you so…

June 22, 2009

Boy, I’m going to love working at my job! The amount of material for this blog will be astounding! So here we go:

We license out the software our company makes. A client has a problem with a type of license he is trying to use.
I tell client that it has to be set up a different way than what he is trying. The client says he doesn’t want it that way, doesn’t need it that way, wants it the other way.

Just so we are all clear here. The client is telling ME how our product product works. Umm, I thought he was contacting us to ask how it works….

I tell client how it can work the way I originally told him. 2 days later, still no response from the client.

Nothing is more satisfying that us techies being able to say.. “I told you so…”  🙂