IT Rule #3: Things Don't Change

As an IT support tech, my skills are constantly improving and I am learning new things. Troubleshooting Outlook was challenging and interesting two years ago, now it is easy and boring. Internet Explorer has its quirks, but once you’ve fought through them once or twice, you understand how it works and move on.

However, one thing about IT is that customers don’t change. Individual customers learn and improve and have less problems over time (at least some of them), but in general I always get stuck going back to covering the basics with users. You know, things that seem mundane and simple to me, like installing Firefox, sometimes aren’t totally obvious to people that don’t do it every day. So, while my job is interesting and exciting sometimes, there are days when I am stuck clearing browser cookies and updating drivers, because for people that don’t do these things every day, it isn’t completely obvious. This is job security for me. My brother sent me a video clip that is funny and true on so many levels:


TrabbaMay 4th, 2007 at 10:44

Oh man, this is my last week on the helldesk.

After this I switch companies and go to 2nd Tier support… which means I don’t have to talk to users anymore, just helpdesk monkeys.

The horror stories I could tell of scary wharehouse workers trying to log into windows etc… sometimes I just can’t believe my ears.. I do get to hear interesting accents though as we do support for all of Europe and sometimes Africa. (“I neda noo keyborrd. [then, after asking what he is trying to do and some trouble shooting]I kinna feynd the bloo’y ‘Eny Key,’ meht.” Which means, I need a new keyboard, I can’t find the bloody ‘Any Key,’ mate”)

The thing is: that video isn’t exagerating in the least. People hang up sometimes because they are so embarrassed about what the solution was sometimes. (like caps lock is on, the computer is not plugged in or they don’t know what a ‘right click’ is. My buddy got hung up on, because after 5 minutes of trying to get the luser to check the network cable he finally did. [the luser just kept saying “do you think I’m stupid? Of course the network cable is fine, I didn’t touch it”]Lo’ and behold…)

I really am happy. I’m not sure how much longer I would last.. Not to mention the extra agony of being called “mate,” “star” and “luv.”

I’ve taken to opening a ticket, and when someone calls, I lean back in my chair, close my eyes, and LITERALLY try to solve things in my sleep… it actually works. (“Is caps lock on?… did it work before?… did you check the cable? No, I’m not Czech… the one that looks like a phone one?… hmm is the domain “GB?” Oh, it’s not? yeah, it should be… oh it works now? No worries, mate. That’s what I’m here for, cheers, bye…. yes I like Prague, it’s nice…. yeah the weather is fine… oh, raining, you say? Wow, no it’s sunny here… Well it’s better than Oregon… that’s on the West Coast… No worries, cheers, bye.”)

jabbaMay 4th, 2007 at 10:58

It’s true. My job entails both tier 1 and tier 2 functions as well as some back-end User, Computer and Network management. I will be glad to move on to some more behind-the-scenes support. I hope you like it better up there in Tier 2… Just beware, that dealing with Tier 1 can sometimes be as bad as dealing directly with Users.

EvensonMay 4th, 2007 at 15:22

First off, it would be a lot more helpful if they printed the manuals for books onto scrolls. How the hell am I expected to work my book if I have to read the instructions off of another book? Good going geniuses.

Secondly, you IT guys are a bunch of assholes when it comes to book customer support. Listen here, I don’t want to own some fancy, new-fangled encyclopedia; I just want a simple, easy-to-use book. No index or “bookmark” (whatever the hell that thing is), OK? Sometimes I just want to look at pictures of my sister’s cats; I don’t need to be able to write my own pages. I’ll leave that to you open-scribe geeks.

jabbaMay 6th, 2007 at 09:36

Yes! “Open-scribe geeks”. Evenson, you are and always will be a true genius of the written word. Thank you.

Fadda MonMay 9th, 2007 at 22:46

Well, now. I am back working in Tier 2/3 for a while, but all of this is be avoided – if you want to *enjoy* the IT world for most of your working life – then there have to be more challenges than just the basics of installing things and fixing configuration problems (my current job for a few months). However, I find programming a challenge (not business-related Java-weenie apps). That has remained fun for me for over 30 years :-)

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