On Tech Support and Admins

April 12, 2011

If you must have your admin call tech support for you, please have them transfer the call to you immediately afterwards. You would not believe what the telephone game does to the technical description of a problem. You may be brilliant and your admin may diligently repeat your request word for word, but as soon as I ask a question the whole thing falls apart. I realize you are too busy to wait for support, I understand this. This is not a criticism about you or your admin.

You don’t speak your ‘computer’ (And why should you? That’s why I’m here, and why you’re calling me.) and neither does your admin. It’s another language and it sounds like jibberish to the both of you. If you do not understand it, you will not be able to communicate it clearly. Your admin will make it even less clear in her own way. Now it’s indecipherable, and that’s before s/he tries to talk to Balasubramanya, who’s grasp of English is questionable.

Imagine it this way: you give your admin a signed blank check and say “make this out to John Doe for $200.” Now we play the telephone game. S/he hands the check to another admin and relays the message. After 3 more hands you’re bankrupt. And admins are supposed to understand checks.

You want me to just send someone. The company does not justify the cost of having a highly trained professional dispatched to walk up and plug your computer in. That’ll be $300, please. You think I’m exaggerating. Unless you’re the CEO, unless you have a hottub in your private jet with a built-in caviar cooler, the answer is no.

Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Oh, and security would like to have a word with you about why your admin knows your password. Have a nice day.

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