“I’ve wasted all this time and it’s your fault.”

Possibly the most infuriating attitude I ever encounter as part of my job is the attitude that it is somehow my fault that the user has no ability to problem-solve.

I’m not talking about ability to fix computers; I can quite appreciate most people can’t do that. What I’m talking about is more basic.

Example:

  • A user’s computer is not working correctly.
  • They spend 2 hours trying to work around the problem.
  • They eventually give up and call me.
  • When I arrive 2 minutes later, they rant about how they’ve had 2 hours of their time wasted because I take ages to fix anything.

In case it isn’t obvious enough how ridiculous this is, here’s the same situation in a different context:

  • A user’s car will not start.
  • They spend 2 hours turning the key over and over just in case.
  • They eventually give up and call a breakdown service.
  • When the breakdown service arrives 2 minutes later*, the user complains that they’ve had 2 hours of their time wasted because the breakdown service takes ages to fix anything.

Problem-solving is not about technical know-how. It’s about knowing that if there is a problem with your computer, the way to get it fixed it to tell me. As far as I’m concerned, the clock starts only once I know the problem exists. I don’t consider this to be unreasonable.

* They were just around the corner, OK?

About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

7 responses to ““I’ve wasted all this time and it’s your fault.””

  1. andyt31 says :

    There is a four letter word that describes these people.

    It begins with C….

  2. Giles says :

    I don’t know how you feel about this but when I get a ticket that reads:

    “This computer does not show on CrossTec. Neither does MC1081 but I think that is because the computer has vanished into the night like a skylarks last call of happiness before Winter descends on the frozen land.”

    then,

    “The PC that powers the weird arrangement in 219 that enables the smartboard to work (i.e the PC under the desk that connects to the lead between the PC and Smart board) no longer establishes itself on the regulatory power network. The life within the archaic steel beast has been extinguished as a candle that is carried by a small orphan boy as he seeks his passage back to his lonely cold bunk in the dorm room. Oh sorrow, how I weep for his cruel unjustified fate.”

    I just HAVE to respond quickly! :)

  3. AngryTechnician says :

    Those are possibly the most awesome tickets ever raised, anywhere.

  4. Nikki says :

    Giles, that’s brilliant!

    On a similar note, extract from our dev agency support log:

    Request:
    “Please could you check the backend filters again? The system is now so slow that it actually hurts my soul.”

    Response:
    “Have removed one of the filters and things should speed up. Apologies for any inconvenience to your soul.”

  5. Giles says :

    LOL! Nice one – I’m thinking there might be a book somewhere here…

  6. Ste says :

    Correction, turning the key would not be a work around, pushing the car would be though ;)

  7. roach says :

    Full ACK! I can reeeaaaally feel with you! Im also working for some professional schools and have to deal with the teachers and other users all day long! Thank god im at application virtualization at the moment, means less first level support for me, its a cure to my soul ;)

    Remember, remember its frosty in december, erm, i mean: Remember: You’re not alone ;)

    A fellow tech from switzerland!