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Tech Types

These are the types of people I deal with at work, as a student technology help desk rep.

1) HOLD MY HAND.
These people need every single action validated for them before they can proceed. "Where do I go when I'm done with this?" "It says to enter my date of birth, should I do that?" "I had an email that walked me through this process, should I go find that email and read it?" "I put my username here, right? [points to field that says 'username']"

2) BUT IT'S HAAAARRRRRD.
They can't believe how many hoops they have to jump through just to get their shit straight (when they have a checklist that was mailed to them for convenience). And "SO many passwords to remember" (yes, a PIN for your records, and one single password for literally everything else).

3) LOST THE ABILITY TO EVEN [AKA: CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE]
Why do they even have to set up an email when they'll never check it?! (Answer: it's how we tell you your class is canceled, but more importantly, it's how you log into the campus computers and onto the network) These students (or parents of students) also can't be bothered to read documents sent to them in the mail, and assumes everything is hunky-dory until they realize they should have read things after all, and all I hear is "TL;DR so I threw it away! Why didn't anyone tell me I needed to learn to read!" Oftentimes, they're not even at a computer when they call, because they think we'll just magically do what needs to be done for them.

4) LET ME TELL YOU MY LIFE'S STORY
These people will spend the next 10 - 20 minutes of my time explaining all events that lead up to their problem, what extra problems they're having now because of this problem, as well as side-stories they think I should know for some reason as some kind of double-back-story, before I can ask them what their actual problem is (which usually entails me asking what the error message says to finally match up what they're trying to do). These are often re-directs. Transferred to someone who can also hear their life's story.

5) I'M LISTENING
These can go a number of ways. Sometimes they are good listeners and all I have to do is get them to the form they need to fill out, or explain what a certain error means, and how to correct it. Sometimes they turn into HOLD MY HAND students, or they just want me to stay on the line while they fill out the form themselves, because they probably won't read the error message they get and want me to read it for them (I can see the error messages they get on my end). Sometimes they aren't at their computers, but have a pen and paper ready for detailed instructions (which, from me, will just be the website to the proper form and what details are needed). The satisfying part is that they listened to the directions, even if they didn't read the directions.

6) I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING
Another that can go either way. Some are related to the CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE students, and refuse to listen when I tell them what they need to do, because they "already tried that ['that' being some completely different process than what I am telling them]". "You need to click on the-" "I AM CLICKING!" They're also, often, not even at a damn computer when they call.
Then there are the rare birds... the ones that ACTUALLY DO know what they're doing! They are tech-savvy and their problem is usually real, and not just some PICNIC error. They state their problem immediately, without filler, and have the error message already at hand (and they read the whole thing). These are the precious few I love to help, but also hate to help (because it means there's an actual issue, and that's bad).


7) THANK YOU SO MUCH
99% of the time, everyone from each category above are very grateful, and that's the part I like about my job. It'd otherwise be very soul-crushing.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
pax_athena
Dec. 2nd, 2014 07:23 pm (UTC)
A thank you can change so freaking much!

Also: PICNIC as an abbreviation is just awesome!
(The one I know is alike: "problem exists between keyboard and chair", but it does not have such a nice abbreviation :D)
diello
Dec. 2nd, 2014 07:34 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, but "PEBKAC error" is one you can say TO the guilty party, and they won't know. I think a lot more people are catching wind to the PICNIC error ;)
touchofgr3y
Dec. 3rd, 2014 01:25 am (UTC)
Hahaha - YES! This is 100% right on for my students too :p
diello
Dec. 9th, 2014 08:36 pm (UTC)
Working on moving on up to Faculty help desk... Hoping that Faculty = more competent (or at least less likely to keep me on the line for 40 minutes because they "just aren't computer people" and can't type).
touchofgr3y
Dec. 26th, 2014 03:50 am (UTC)
Lol, oh dear...I think the faculty may be worse than the students :p
meathiel
Dec. 3rd, 2014 06:22 am (UTC)
Tbh ... a lot of my colleagues aren't much different ... *lol*
diello
Dec. 9th, 2014 08:37 pm (UTC)
Not helpful, considering I'm trying to move up to the Faculty help desk... you mean I'm in for MORE of the same?! ;)
meathiel
Dec. 9th, 2014 08:53 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid so. ;-)
diello
Dec. 9th, 2014 09:19 pm (UTC)
BWAHAHAHA, YOUR ICON.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )