Tech Support = Chain Smoking And Alcoholism

There have been many times when I have been called upon for tech support from various members of my family, yet this one incident will always stand foremost in my mind as one of the most excruciating as it was very simple yet made difficult due to the user’s ignorance and stubbornness.

I was instructing my mother in how to copy music she had downloaded to her IPod, but when I realised that I needed to see the suffix of the file (you know, the file format) to see if it needed to be converted into a format readable by the IPod. Okay, no problem I thought, I can show mum how to bring this up in a minute or two and once it’s done we need never deal with it again, and then we can get to business of the ITunes library and all of that. After explaining what I needed to do and why I gave a very simple list of instructions. “Ok mum, go into My Computer (done in a blink of an eye). Now click the Tools pull down menu, click Folder Options, and then the View tab.” – “Hay hay hay! Slow down!”. I was shocked, even more so because mum works as an office manager. Slow down? Its three mouse clicks to open the window we needed to get to to actually start doing what needed to be done! And that’s before we even began doing what she wanted with her IPod!

So mum is a very sequence orientated thinker, she needs things spelt out in a step by step format with all of the details given to her and that’s exactly what I did. She was sitting at the PC, mouse in one hand and pen and paper not far away so she could write the instructions down. I explained to her that what we were doing at that moment in time didn’t need to be written down, that once done we need never think about it again. But no, mum wanted me to be her free personal PC trainer. All my years of teaching myself by trial and error and studying at great cost of not only money, just given away for nothing, sorry but that’s just not going to happen. If that sounds cold hearted oh well, if every IT techie just gave away their knowledge then we would be of no use, we wouldn’t have a job.

After attempting, and failing, to calmly explain to mum that this was a five minute, at the very most, operation and that I wasn’t going to spend 20 minutes explaining the ins and outs of how to click three bloody commands, she (understandably) got angry at me and gave up. Giving up on something as simple as computing has always pissed me off to no end, THREE MOUSE CLICKS FOR ***** SAKE, JUST CLICK THE BLOODY THINGS AND QUIT ASKING IRRELEVANT QUESTIONS, THAT’S WHAT GOOGLE IS FOR, NOT ME!

I have had so many experiences of similar stories to this one, and not only with my mother. Now I have to say I do love my mother, but we are so similar in many areas (such as being stubborn) and yet so different in other topics, that we clash on a regular basis. My inability to be patient with users is the primary reason why I will never EVER apply for a tech support job. I can see myself coming home after another day of dealing with people I would eventually consider to be utter morons to drink an entire bottle of scotch and chain smoking a twenty pack of cigarettes on my lunch break. Bugger that! I love computers but I just can’t deal with people who can’t grasp the most basic of computing concepts, even more so when they are using computers on a regular basis.
LordNothing LordNothing
26-30, M
2 Responses Feb 18, 2011

I used to have a phone support job. It is worse than you think. You can spend over thirty minutes just trying to find out what window the user has open because they just can't seem to read the name of the window in the upper left hand corner. Not to mention the fact that they are positive they can print when their print server is turned off. And positive that their network will work properly if they turn on all computers except the server.