I work in tech support for a fairly popular computer manufacturer. I really like my job. i get to help people all day long. I get to deal with literally thousands of different problems, and I’m constantly learning. It’s a great feeling when someone calls you in tears because their computer ‘doesn’t work anymore’ and ten minutes later, they think you’re a SuperGoddess. The job also has other little perks to save for the folks at home:
“So I was on the phone with my computer and…”
“The internet doesn’t work anymore.”
My personal favorite-
“AOL is my ISP”
I don’t even mind most of the irate or angry customers. Maybe they’ve been flailing around cluelessly for a week and just made the problem worse, and so they’re pissed off, defensive, frustrated, and raging when they call me. Maybe they’ve dealt with three or five or nine different techs, and now they just want to yell at someone. Maybe it’s their very first computer ever and they’re scared to click anything and convinced lightning will strike them if they admit they did something they shouldn’t have, so then they start lying about what they’ve done.
I don’t mind. I let 'em vent. They need that. And when they’re done, I tell them that it’s over now. Everything stops right here. We will start at the beginning, and we won’t quit until your problem is solved, and I’ve told you how to prevent it from coming back, and what to do if it does. I can’t control how they’ve been treated before, and I can’t click my heels together and make it so the problem never happened, but whatever it is, whether it takes three minutes or three hours, I can fix it. And if it’s hardware that I can’t fix over the phone? It’ll take me three minutes to set up a service order to fix or replace whatever it is. I’ve never yet sent away a customer who was within my support boundaries without solving the problem. So no matter how angry they are at first, I am not ruffled, because I know deep in my wittle heart that I’m the dude that can help. See?
However. I can’t do a fucking thing for you if you refuse to do what I ask you to. I’m not quite sure how you expect me to fix it if you won’t TOUCH the EVERFUKKING COMPUTER. I don’t give a rip what your tekkie friends told you. It does not help me to hear ten minutes of how Joe down the hall said not to ever, ever shut it off, and for godssake don’t ever, ever, ever press any keys if they tell you to.
And no, I’m not sending you a new goddamned machine without doing any troubleshooting first. After I’ve asked you fifty fercristsakes times if you’ve seen ANY error messages, you finally admit to well, just that one…which tells me your WHOLE PROBLEM. Yes, I understand that you didn’t feel it was pertinent because the last three techs had never heard of it. but I really do want to help. really. And when I ask you if you’ve installed any new software, I do that for (surprise!) a Purpose.
And no, that twenty year old DOS program you like so much is not going to work on your XP machine. Not now, not ever, not this one, not a new one, not even if you do think I’m ‘a little young to be trying to tell you about DOS’.
And after I’ve wasted an hour trying to explain this to you, and explaining your options, and explaining the steps I can take toward getting you back up and running, you want a supervisor. Fine with me. I’m tired of wasting my lifeforce on you. Then you get me back on the phone, and you’re mad because the supervisor said the same things I said, because he was reading my case notes, because I was right.
And you tell me you’re trying to run a business there, and that all you really want is for me to tell you how to fix it, right now, today, then send you a new computer. So I thank you for your patience, and tell you that the first thing I need is for you to shut your computer down and when you turn it back on…and that’s as far as I get. you’re not doing anything like that. Did I really think I was going to “trick” you into doing that.
Actually, I had hoped to.
So, fuck you. Fuck you, and your friend Joe, and your uncle who has been working with computers for twenty years. And fuck your son, who installed the same software on a computer at Christmas and had the same problem. And fuck the tech who told him he had never heard of that error, and sent him a new computer, which is still sitting in a box in the closet. And fuck your customers who depend on you, and who have a lot of business information stored on your machine, and fuck their friends who referred them to you in the first place. And fuck the poor, misguided sales clerk who sold you the computer in the first place. And in case you missed it the first time, most importantly, from the bottom of my heart, fuck you.
This pathetic rant has been brought to you by your favorite unheard of Customer Interaction Agent, and the letter F.