Back in the days when computers were still new to most people, I was the sole volunteer technical support provider for a small computer lab on campus. My method: users filled out trouble tickets and left them in a spiral binder. I checked the binder and wrote responses. One trouble ticket went like this:
Trouble Ticket: #125Computer: 4User: MelanieProblem Description:10/3/92: Mouse don't work. Fix it.10/3/92 Sorry, I wasn't able to find a problem with the mouse on computer 4. Please describe the problem in more detail. Use another computer until we can resolve the problem. Thanks.10/4/92: No mouse on any computer works. How am I supposed to get my fucking work done. 10/4/92: Sorry for the difficulty. I'm not able to find any problems with any mouse on any computer. Please describe exactly what is happening when you use the mouse. This will help me resolve the problem more quickly. In the meantime, please use the lab at Goodwin Hall.10/5/92: Great. Now I have to walk all the way to Goodwin because you can't do your fucking job. Unreal. THEY DONT WORK. I MOVE THE MOUSE. NOTHING HAPPENS. Fix it!!!!10/5/92: I'll be at the lab tomorrow from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Please stop by and show me.
The next day when Melanie arrived, she was at last able to demonstrate the problem. While I watched, she picked up the mouse, pointed it at the screen, and began clicking buttons.
I explained calmly and patiently that the mouse had to be dragged across the mouse pad to make the pointer move across the screen.
10/6/92: Problem resolved. Cause: User error. Ticket: Closed.
I must have a hundred technical support stories like that one, involving everything from weed whackers and snowstorms to dog piss and lawsuits, to house fires and illegal child pornography. It never gets old.
Dammit. I thought my mouse was broken.
I've used computers for over 30 years now and have on most occasions have solved my own problems. So, when I reach the point where I need tech support, I find it frustrating that I get treated like an idiot and am forced to do things like check connections or rebooting my machine, things I've already done. I often end up doing it anyway just so the guy on the other end knows that it's been done.
With Google, luckily, it's become far easier to solve many issues because someone else has had the problem and the solution has been documented.
They don't know who they're dealing with, Unseen. You could be a competent user who is mildly offended or a caveman who is still trying to figure out his VCR.
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