the caller from hell
from the you-thought-the-bofh-was-bad department.
written by alan on July 28, 2003

Music: Radiohead - Bullet Proof / The Tourist / Sail to the Moon / How To Disappear Completely / In Limbo

So today I finally experienced first-hand why tech support is probably the worst job you can get in the computing field. It's not as if I really wanted to have a bad call, but it was bound to happen. Murphy was right, you know :)

This guy calls up wanting a little support for a product that runs well with the particular software that I currently maintain. Now, why would I support something that I don't directly maintain or that my employer doesn't produce? Simple. We like to make the customer happy. And I can dig that. If they're happy, then they'll keep giving us money...that makes my boss happy, which in turn makes me happy when i see an increase in my paycheque.

Right away I know there's going to be trouble as his English isn't as clear as most people, and his phone volume likes to fade in and out. I've dealt with small things like that tho, so I kept on going. I did with him what I do to all the calls I take. I try to walk them through the steps to locate the source of the issue. As soon as I start this, this guy starts snapping at me saying I'm acting all condescending and assuming that he's some sort of idiot whose never used a computer before. While this is certainly not the case, I like my instructions to be as basic as possible. The majority of calls that I take are really from consultants, etc that have no real experience setting up internet services. This particular guy made it completely clear (after 5 minutes of telling me that I don't know what I'm doing) that he wants his instructions short and to the point. So I comply...the customer has to be kept happy.

After going through a few possible issues, I keep hitting walls. I have no idea why this program isn't working for him. From what he insists on telling me, everything sounds like it has been set up correctly. And indeed using an internal test script, I can see that some of the things he needs to do have been correctly done. By this point, the guy gets completely frustrated with my lack of getting the problem solved quickly. Oh, well excuuuuuse me for not having 100% access to your COMPUTER instead of 100% access to your ignorance and lack of appreciation for support. I'm doing the best I can with the knowledge I have and the knowledge you're giving me. After this point, he hung up. I was glad to hear him get off the line. I was pretty damn close to losing it with him. Needless to say, my boss heard most of the conversation and offered some guidance for future calls of that nature...having had a very nasty call himself earlier in the day. This was one of the few times that my boss has said something that made me feel a bit more relaxed. If only he did that more often :)

So, I had a kinda crappy day. In other news, I now have tickets to see Delerium (!!) and R.E.M. (!!! FINALLY !!!) in September. Those will be two concerts that I definately can't wait for. I've been a major R.E.M. fan ever since my aunt played a copy of their Green album on her tape deck wayyy back when she lived in Toronto. I had to be like 7 or 8 years old then. It would be nice if Bill Berry (former drummer for R.E.M.) was still in the band, but I doubt he'll come back just for me ;) No music has influenced me greater than that of R.E.M. I'll be happy if they keep making albums till they can't physically do it anymore.

Oh, did I mention that I liked music? :)

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