Monday, May 6, 2013

Servicing Customers

I am the most technologically savvy person in my office.  I have no special training in computers.  Zip.  My vast experience in computers comes from me just...playing.  That's it. I open files and look at them blindly, try this, click that, and when all that doesn't work, I reboot.  Doesn't that sound completely terrifying? It terrifies me.  I feel like the Wizard standing behind that curtain.  I have a lot of people coming to ME for help who have no idea how clueless I am.  I want to help them, because they are just so pitiful sometimes, clutching their laptops and crying miserably because the document won't open or print or some other terribly awful cataclysmic event.

I always try to fix the problem myself first, of course.  Most of the time, I am happy to say that I am able to figure it all out and get things running.  Occasionally, however, I am stumped.  Nothing works the way it is supposed to, and I have to resort to contacting an application's tech support department.  Contacting the tech department can be an all day ordeal.

I have to find the button on the website that takes me to the tech support department.  This may involve a minute scrutiny of the page, because the tech people do not actually want to speak with real people.  That's why they got into the technology business in the first place.  They likely do everything possible to keep from having to speak with real, live, breathing people, including bribing the company webmaster to hide the link that I am looking for.   And I can't really blame them for that--there are days that I don't want to talk to anybody, either.   Except for today.  There's a problem with the application today, one that I have no idea how to fix.

Today, then, I want the tech support people to communicate with me.  I dig around until I find that 'contact us' link. I click it, and a detailed "ticket" form opens, which must be filled out completely, including the browser I am using and the color of my great grandmother's first car.  I painstakingly filled everything out, clicked send, and turned on the volume on my computer so that I can hear if they email me.

I don't have to wait long.  *ding!*   An email from that tech department is sitting there in my in-box.  I became excited, thinking, wow, these people are on the ball!   I was also happy thinking that I will soon be able to start working on some of the piles on my desk.

I open the email, and this is what it says:

"Hey, we wanted to let you know that we got your ticket!" 

I am a bit annoyed.  I needed an email telling me that you got my email?  Really?  Grumbling, I try to regain focus so that I can work, but then I get another email.

I open the email, still hopeful that I have an answer, and this is what I see.

"I wanted to let you know that I have picked up your help ticket and I will be investigating this issue.

I am now cranky.  They had to send me an email telling me that they picked up my help ticket?  Are they being literal, as in the printer spit my help ticket out onto the floor and this guy bent over and picked up that paper?  Is there one of those booths where all the help tickets are flying about and a person has fifteen seconds to grab one?  

I finally get back into my groove and begin actually working, and after about an hour, I get another email:

"I have escalated this issue and I will let you know what I find out. Thank you for your patience."
My patience?  I scoff, two minutes away from complete hysteria.  Why am I nearly hysterical?  Because while I am waiting for the tech person to finish escalating the issue, the person I am trying to help, has fainted.

Finally, about three hours passed; I receive another email:
"I have been able to replicate the problem and am working to fix it."
And then, I get another:  

"This report is being worked on by our developers. We hope to release full functionality soon."
What?  What?  What?  I don't understand. What do developers have to do with this?  I'm left staring at my screen. Waiting for another email.

My personal favorite by far: 

"This is a known critical issue."


And then I went home and had several glasses of wine with dinner.  


  1. I wish I could snap my fingers and fix all tech issues- seriously such a frustrating issue to have during the day!!

  2. And were they those emails that can't be responded to?! UGH!


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