RogerBW's Blog

Still more tales from Tech Support 17 May 2014

The last Helldesk stories. For now.

I got a bloke who "hadn't changed anything", but now his computer wouldn't connect. It eventually transpired that he'd upgraded from Win3.1 to Win95, but didn't like it, so downgraded again by opening the Windows directory and deleting every file he didn't recognise by name. Apparently he hadn't noticed any problems until he came to dial up.

Overall it was about one in ten "good" calls, people I could make really happy; about one in ten "bad" calls, people who were fed up with the whole business and would give me a hard time over it; and the rest just grey and neutral, stuff people could have worked out for themselves if they'd had the few pages of basic training material that we had.

That was what got to me in the end: as in most jobs that involve brief interactions with people, every call started at the beginning, and there was no way for me to teach the voice on the phone anything. I could say things that would get the immediate problem solved and mean that that person could recognise it in future and fix it without needing to call for help, but the next call would be someone else with what seemed like the exact same problem.

These days what we did would probably be called second- or third-line support. We weren't on a script, though there were certainly standard things we'd ask for a given set of symptoms; we were there to try to solve problems, and the typical user in those days was able to do basic troubleshooting for himself.

Tags: anecdote

See also:
Tales from Tech Support
More tales from Tech Support

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