We have our jobs for a reason. We know what we're doing and what our jobs are. Listen, and listen carefully, for we are purveyors of wisdom and the only people that will be able to help you with your problem unless you can find a friend that knows what they're doing.

Listen. Listen. Listen. Follow along carefully.

Lessons in listening:


    What we say is the end-all. Whether it be the pure truth, a white lie, or tweaked into "idiotese," what we say is the final word. Please do not question us in our methods. If we say the best way to save a document to your floppy disk is to save it to the desktop and then copy it to the disk, just do it. Don't say, "Wouldn't it be easier to save it directly to the disk?" Nine times out of ten the answer is going to be a resounding "NO," because guess what! We know what we're talking about.


    Ever been in a restaurant and heard the following?

    "Hi, what's the soup du jour?"

    "It's cream of mushroom."

    "Are you sure?"

    "Yes, it's cream of mushroom."

    "Because some chicken noodle would be really nice."

    "Sorry, it's cream of mushroom for today."

    "Well, can you check anyway?"

    "I've already checked, and we only have cream of mushroom."

    "Well... is there any way I can get you to make me some chicken noodle? I could really go for some chicken noodle."

    "Sorry, we don't have any chicken noodle. We only have cream of mushroom. The only soup we have today is cream of mushroom."

    "Because some chicken noodle would be really nice. I know you're saying you don't have any chicken noodle, but you know, I was wondering if you could make me some anyway..."


    If tech support looks you squarely in the eye and says, "No," don't second guess them. We don't second guess you. No means no.


    There are a lot of ways to ask more than once, but all of them are annoying and will get you nowhere. When we answer your question the first time, do not ask again if you don't like the answer you received.

    "No ma'am, we don't support Adobe Photoshop. Users of that are expected to know how to use it."

    "Oh, well, do you know how to use it?"

    Like I know how to use a 12 guage cluestick, you stupid bitch. "Yes, but it's not a supported application."

    "Oh, okay..."

    Five minutes later

    "I know you said that it's not supported, but since you know how to use it, can you do it for me?"


    "Why not?"

    "Because it isn't supported in the labs" and I don't do people's homework for them, you stupid cunt.

    "Oh, okay..."

    Thirty seconds later

    "If you just did this for me it would save me like an hour and a half of work..."

    "Ma'am, I answered your question for you already. Ask me again and you'll be walking funny for a week and trailing a mouse cord."

    Answered once is answered for the last time.

I know there are other problems with listening, such as having to tell someone five times before they understand how to do a single task. I've not a problem with that. I understand that it takes repetition and if someone wishes for me to tell them twice or five times or fifteen times how to save a document, I will, because I know sooner or later they'll no longer need my help.

They listen.

After spending my fair share of time on the phone with tech support, I've learned how to listen to tech support:

Me: "Hi, my name is Ryan. I'm installing foo for one of our clients on their decently detailed description of client's computer, and I'm having a problem getting bar to work."

Them: "Okay," sounds of typing as tech guy/gal pulls up info on software / os / hardware configuration, "have you tried baz" (where baz is actually something I maybe haven't tried yet)

Me: "Lemme give that a shot" sounds of me trying said solution..."Hmm, isn't working"

Them: "Hmm"

This is the point where the tech support call becomes a waste of time, along the lines of "did you try restarting?" or "try reinstalling it." You can almost certainly ignore the rest of the conversation.

just a different experience

Whether you get a tech who know what he's doing or not is luck of the draw, but for most non-techies, you can assume that they know a lot more than you do. So, just do what you and told, and above all- don't try to second-guess us. That will make everything take longer and generally piss us off.

Even more important: do not fuck with tech support. Simple. Don't do it.

Don't ask to speak to a manager- you will only get someone who's been on the floor maybe a couple months longer than most of the others, and he/she has the power to give you almost nothing. Their job is to tell you that you can't get what you want.

The best course of action is to be nice, polite, and easygoing. You'll always get better support that way. Trust me.

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