Alright, you primitive screwheads.
kitten   September 18, 2006

I'd like to offer some valuable advice to customers and computer users the world over who seek assistance in some way.

I don't require an editorial about how angry, upset, or annoyed you are about a problem. The fact that the problem exists is enough to make me fix it -- your irritation about it is irrelevant. Do you want to bitch and bitch, or do you want me to go fix the problem?

Similarly, I don't need to know how important it is for your business that the problem is rectified.

To you, your problem is of earth-shattering, monumental importance. To me, you're just one of fifty other people who want my services, and I have to prioritize. Phrases such as "please hurry", "immediately", and "urgent" should not find their way into your communication with me. I am capable of determining the level of import of your problem without your opinion, especially since you are biased and I am not.

Asking me for a status update is not going to make me work faster, or provide you with any useful information. When it's fixed you'll know.

Computers and networking are not tasks to be taken lightly. We in the IT world try to make things as simple as possible, but some things require specialized knowledge, which is why professionals in the field exist. Do not assume you can handle everything, or that it is a simple matter to deal with over the phone or email. Sometimes you'll have to actually spend money to get a local professional to do something, particularly if what you're doing is unusual. However, you could just head to your nearest college, pry a geek away from the computer lab, and offer him a case of beer to do it for you.

If it worked before, and it doesn't now, something has changed. Errors on our part will occur from time to time, but usually, the problem can be traced back to you messing with something you should not have been. Put it back how it was. And if you call me for help, tell me what you changed. I'll probably tell you to put it back how it was.

I don't respond well to threats.

You're an adult; act like one. This includes a professional tone of voice, and spelling as though you graduated high school. It also means controlling your temper. I don't like things being broken any more than you do, but I have yet to yell at the people who can help when my stuff is broken.

When you are calling me, you are calling someone who knows what he's doing. Do not interrupt me with your wild guesses as to what I'm going to ask you to do. When I'm speaking, you're not.

I can tell when you've done something I asked you to do, and when you haven't. Don't lie.

When you hear me saying "Okay, yes, alright, okay" in a bored tone of voice, that is your cue to shut your word hole. I've heard everything I need to hear. Be quiet and await my instructions.

I am only one man and my duties are varied. I will not always be at my desk just because you chose that moment to call. I may be on the phone with another customer, or busy with another task, or busy with any number of other responsibilities I have. My voicemail exists for a reason -- leave a message and await a callback. Hanging up on my voicemail and calling back right away is not going to help you, but it will make you look like an immature twit.

I'm good at what I do, and that includes making sense of your barely-coherent descriptions of the problem. I am not, however, omniscient or omnipotent. Sometimes your problem is going to require some investigation. Contrary to popular belief, we in the IT sector do not possess magic wands we can wave to fix any problem, nor can we "just log in remotely" and cure any ailment. Be patient and accept this.

Your parents should have instilled you with the notion that instant gratification is a myth. If they did not, allow me to do so now.

If you purchase a car, it is not the dealership's responsibility to teach you how to drive, or to ensure that the roads you intend to use are in good condition, or to put gas in your car and keep the tires inflated. Similarly, if you buy technical equipment, it is not my responsibility to give you a crash course on TCP/IP networking, security, cabling, or to configure it for you, or to make sure your internet connection is solid.

High tech is a small town, but believe it or not, not everyone in the IT industry knows everyone else. I have no special influence with your ISP, I cannot grease the wheels with your router manufacturer, and if you purchased equipment from a third party to use with our service, that third party is responsible for it, not me.

I do enough of this at work. I don't want to do more of it outside of work. Unless you are a family member, close friend, or I am sleeping with you or have slept with you or want to sleep with you, don't expect me to care about your computer problem.

"There was some kind of error" is not a useful starting point for me to diagnose. You wouldn't bring your car to the mechanic and tell him "The car doesn't work", so why are you trying this with me?

If you're using a system that you can change around, feel free to try something and see if it works instead of calling me and asking. At worst, it doesn't work, and you can put it back to how it was. You don't need my approval for everything.

When I'm doing you a favor that goes beyond what we normally offer our customers, be grateful. Do not pester me that I'm not doing it fast enough, because I'm under no obligation to do it at all. For more information go back to first grade and consult the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie".

If you have a problem with our management, billing, sales, pricing, or other non-technical aspect of our service or company, take it up with the appropriate person, not me. I'm just the guy who chews on keyboards all day.

Any questions?