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How To Avoid Parking Lot Ninja Attacks In Baby Steps

While on my way to another fabulous day of listening to people shout incoherent questions at me through their noses typically from a cell phone that breaks up every couple of seconds I thought it might be appropriate to dole out a few tips on how to deal with support staff on the phone. This is mainly an attempt to help you avoid the curses laid on you by underpaid and often over skilled people dealing with your lack of understanding and empathy for other humans. You'll get your punishment at a later date:

1. History lessons don't necessarily help me help you: While I'm sure you have fond memories of taking that BASIC class in 1979 it really has no bearing on why Outlook is fucked up at the moment. When you start rambling support staff generally stops listening. Unless, of course, it's an otherwise slow day and the person speaking with you periodically mutes the phone to share choice tidbits with his colleagues.

2. Don't make shit up: This works in conjunction with the last one. Don't invent circumstances or regurgitate jargon you read in PC Bullshit this week. No one's needs are served by this. You may feel like you're doing some retaliatory technology cock measuring but you're arbitrarily obfuscating your question and making it more difficult for the person on the telephone to insure that you're actually a human and not one of those automated phone bots set up by a friend as a practical joke.

3. Be more specific: Sacrifice twenty five seconds that would otherwise be invested in a rousing game of solitaire and write down the error you saw. What application were you using? Were you doing something you haven't really done in the past? Maybe you're seeing unexpected results that you're unaccustomed to? The IntarWeb may not be broken. You might just be looking at it wrong. While your agonising tale of lost productivity might be amusing for several seconds at a time the contents of that error message are pretty important.

4. Angrily requesting a supervisor the moment the telephone is picked up will not save you a second of time. Push me and be assured that I will push right back albeit as politely as possible to avoid the wrath that might be incurred by audibly calling you a pig fucker in a room full of people. If you've had previous contact with someone a couple of tiers up from the help desk and they've requested that you contact them directly then ask for that. I love it when people yell things like that at me. Um, I am supervisor. Please choose which landfill you'd prefer as your final resting place. Thank you. Drive through.

5. If you've made a mistake just admit it. You downloaded one of those smiley emoticon packages of spyware and other filth thinking that seeing incredibly annoying animations in your instant messenger client would be cute and distract you from the fact that you're part of a soul numbing bureaucracy that will eventually smash the spirit out of you. Things like that happen, mistakes are made, errors in judgement take place something like every fifth of a second. That's fine unless you work for some secret government cabal agency where they cut fingers off for this sort of thing so don't lie when you need help cleaning it up. Lying might spare you a little ribbing or even a lecture but it won't help diagnose and ultimately fix your problem. Inevitably someone will figure out what you've done so just clear the air, stop trying to make excuses for all of humanity's stupid mistakes and absentmindedness and get things sorted in the beginning.

Okay, that's all I can think of for the moment. I'm actively trying to pry myself out of this job so I can avoid death by a fatal speed ball of stress and boredom. I'm not the right personality type for this sort of work at all and I've done very little of it in the past so hopefully my relative newbie status will provide a tiny bit of clarity. Probably not but venting is also nice.

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