The following conversation is proof positive that we here on 'the help desk' are fully justified in being skeptical about users who call us.
This specific conversation never took place, but is a composite of all the worst clients I have ever spoken to.
It might be worth mentioning that most people we talk to aren’t like this at all. But it’s the ones who ARE that make you want to KILL.
It might also be worth mentioning that the people who work at the companies we support are mostly I.T. professionals of some sort. It is their job to know the basics about computers. Those of you who said you thought I was being too harsh on someone who was clearly undereducated with computers... take heed, and imagine yourself in my position.
The voice on the left is me, the voice on the right is the user in question, a regular caller whose voice bears a particularly grating Greek/Australian accent.
Hello, this is Michael, how may I help you?
This is one of our mainframe's user id's.
Hello? How may I help you? (said with rather more emphasis)
What? Err... Oh, I can't get into the thing.
Errr, the claims screen. I can't get into it.
Alright, What happens when you try?
Having to use this phrase is my pet peeve.
Well, I get the screen… The first screen, and then nothing happens.
Nothing happens? Did you log in with your user id and password?
Of course I did. What's your name?
First of all, I already told her.
Secondly, this is how people subtly threaten that they don't like my level of 'support' and want to report me to someone.
My name is Michael. Ok, so you put in your userid and password, did you get an error message?
Yes, I told you already, it said 'password invalid', but I know I was typing in the right password. Then I typed it in again and it said my password is suspended. I want to know who suspended it and why!
Well actually, you did.
When you typed your password in incorrectly for the third time, your account was locked automatically.
It's a security feature to stop people from being able to randomly guess your password and mess with your account.
It was probably just a simple typo, we all do them from time to time.
No I didn't! I typed it in right.
Why must they they lie to me?
The mainframe wouldn't just lock you out to spite you ma'am. I'll just unlock your account now so you can try again, so what was your user id?
I already told you!
Yes, I'm sorry, I was expecting you to tell me what problem you were experiencing rather than immediately telling me your user id.
At this point the tone used by the client usually shifts gear to pure exasperation.
AY ZERO NOIN IX FOR XYLOPHONE ZERO SIXTY NINE.
This woman's voice, and her name (brought up by the system as 'Isabella Pothitos') tells me more about her than I care to know.
She is a very large Greek woman with a moustache and 8 children.
I have never asked, but I know it without even thinking about it.
*clicky*clicky*clicky* ok, that's been unlocked, so you can try again with your usual password and it should be fine. Can I have your contact phone number for our records?
9555-2555 *Pause* So what's my password?
I haven't changed it. It's still set to whatever you last had it set to.
At this point I hear another click, and the line goes to a dial tone. I wait for a moment, then call back on the number she provided.
Hello this is Isabella.
Hello, it's Michael from the help desk here, sorry, I think we got cut off there...
Oh... no, I hung up.
Because the problem was fixed and I didn't need you any more...
This is the last straw for me.
It didn't occur to you to tell me that the problem was resolved?
Why? You didn't care.
At this point I have been driven to the point of pure insanity. I mutter a 'thank you and goodbye' through gritted teeth and hang up.
So next time you call us, try a little tenderness. We're on your side, and we don't just do things to piss you off. Treat us like human beings and we'll treat you just the same way.