News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • November 20, 2017, 03:55:10 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 1479555 times)

0 Members and 3 Guests are viewing this topic.

greencat

  • Member
  • Posts: 3899
  • Trap...Neuter...What was that third thing again?
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2955 on: October 01, 2013, 05:24:48 PM »
I had a fun conversation with an employee in another department trying to report a problem in extremely vague terms.  It was the computer jargon version of "The thingamajig isn't talking to the whatchamacallit or the whosonfirst, can you please fix it?"  After a few minutes of playing 20 questions "Is it blue?  Is it calling home?  Is it from Mars?" I finally got the specific problem details, which were extremely specific - and, more importantly, something the system administrators would actually take a look at. 

Actually, all of my callers who call in with the non-complaint: "It's not working!"

So far that has meant:

"I forgot my password again."
"Someone turned the volume down."
"The curly cord on the phone is twisted around itself."
"I never bothered to read the instructions."

Very rarely does that phrase actually mean some piece of technology is broken - it's usually the user who is malfunctioning, and unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to fix those yet!
I work in a IT department and we often get useless screenshots to go with our ultravauge problem reports. They don't tell us what web page it's on, or what user access level they logged in with or what data they entered, they just give us a cropped screen shot of the generic error message that gets thrown in hundreds of possible places in our applications.

So we can get an email that says "It's not entering data!" and a screen shot of a message box saying "That is not a valid reference. Please enter a valid reference" but no indication on what page this happened, what they were trying to do and what data they were trying to enter. <headdesk headdesk headdesk>

These sorts of emails are not good for my blood pressure.

On one hand, I deal with a fairly limited number of systems, which have distinctive enough looks and really non-generic errors, so that screenshots are almost always helpful.  On the other hand...I'm jealous that your users take screenshots.  An unfortunately high percentage of my users are unfamiliar with the concept of a "browser" and lack basic skills like copy/paste, even though a large percentage of the things they call us about are web-based.  Sometimes I troubleshoot complex technical issues...sometimes I have to go over 3-click procedures as though I was explaining them to a five-year-old who hasn't quite mastered reading yet.

figee

  • Member
  • Posts: 595
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2956 on: October 01, 2013, 06:29:37 PM »
All the IT ones make me think about what I usually have to say to our IT:  "Uh.  I think I might have done something stupid...."  Then there's this big sigh on the other end of the line......

MissRose

  • Member
  • Posts: 1663
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2957 on: October 02, 2013, 07:25:54 AM »
All the IT ones make me think about what I usually have to say to our IT:  "Uh.  I think I might have done something stupid...."  Then there's this big sigh on the other end of the line......

I've been doing various types of IT support, and its rare to hear someone say they messed up or similar.  A good many will blame the IT staff or the company not themselves.

Lady Snowdon

  • Super cool awesome title
  • Member
  • Posts: 5793
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2958 on: October 02, 2013, 08:34:49 AM »
At a previous job, I used to schedule things for an entire department, and so I had access to everyone's calendar.  In the morning, I would pull up all 18+ calendars, plus my regular programs, and start scheduling.  After awhile, my computer started freezing when I tried to pull up my calendars, which was not good.  I called IT, and verified that yes, I had shut down and restarted my computer and everything was still freezing.  The IT guy accessed my computer while I was on the phone and said, "WHOA.  How many programs do you have up and running?".  I said, "About 25 or so - 18 calendars plus a few IE windows plus two other programs." IT guy replies, "That's your problem.  You have too much stuff open.  You need to close down everything but the essentials."  I said, "those are my essential programs.  I schedule for all of these people, I do searches on these IE windows and I have those two programs open to document everything."  IT guy said, "Well, can't you just close it all down and only have it open when you need it?"  ::)  I eventually convinced him that I needed all of it open, all of the time, and they came and put more memory in my computer to help it run faster.  But that was my impossible IT request - "Can you just not do your job so I don't have to do anything on my end?".

ladyknight1

  • Member
  • Posts: 11901
  • Not all those who wander are lost
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2959 on: October 02, 2013, 10:09:19 AM »
I am a super-user and my IT co-workers know it. I always get the machine with the highest available RAM and fastest system. I am responsible for keeping track of almost 100K students, and I use some web-based programs, but primarily Excel spreadsheets. My largest Excel file is 30.7 MB.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

cwm

  • Member
  • Posts: 2337
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2960 on: October 02, 2013, 10:52:52 AM »
I had the IT guy at my desk today, setting up my new computer. And he had forgotten something on his end, so it took a bit longer than usual. He actually told me what he had done, why it was taking longer, and didn't speak down to me at all, which is great.

He then came up with some weird sort of error that he'd never seen before. I laughed and told him I was the person that had all the bizarre problems. At several jobs I've been the one to call IT and tell them what's going on (with full documentation on how to replicate the issue, what I was doing, the exact error message, etc.) and have them respond with "Well, I've never heard of that before."

Several jobs. Different computer setups. Wildly different programs. All within the norm of that job. I come up with all the weird stuff. But at least I document everything.

Twik

  • Member
  • Posts: 28864
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2961 on: October 02, 2013, 10:55:45 AM »
I am a super-user and my IT co-workers know it. I always get the machine with the highest available RAM and fastest system. I am responsible for keeping track of almost 100K students, and I use some web-based programs, but primarily Excel spreadsheets. My largest Excel file is 30.7 MB.

That's a good system. In my office, it was traditional that Management got the new computers with bells and whistles, which were then passed down to people who actually did the work.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Slartibartfast

  • Member
  • Posts: 10783
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2962 on: October 02, 2013, 11:11:26 AM »
I had the IT guy at my desk today, setting up my new computer. And he had forgotten something on his end, so it took a bit longer than usual. He actually told me what he had done, why it was taking longer, and didn't speak down to me at all, which is great.

He then came up with some weird sort of error that he'd never seen before. I laughed and told him I was the person that had all the bizarre problems. At several jobs I've been the one to call IT and tell them what's going on (with full documentation on how to replicate the issue, what I was doing, the exact error message, etc.) and have them respond with "Well, I've never heard of that before."

Several jobs. Different computer setups. Wildly different programs. All within the norm of that job. I come up with all the weird stuff. But at least I document everything.

I think part of it is confidence, honestly.  I'm comfortable with computers and I use them all the time, so if something goes wrong I'm pretty confident I can distinguish between "Oops, I did something wrong and need to try it again" and "Yikes, the computer software/hardware has an issue that I can't fix [or at least can't fix without a significant time investment]."  I suspect someone who is less comfortable with computers (or any specific technology) may feel pressure to try to work around problem scenarios (e.g. only opening one spreadsheet at a time) because they're worried the problem may have been their fault and they're embarrassed to have someone else have to correct them on it.

ladyknight1

  • Member
  • Posts: 11901
  • Not all those who wander are lost
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2963 on: October 02, 2013, 12:22:56 PM »
I am a super-user and my IT co-workers know it. I always get the machine with the highest available RAM and fastest system. I am responsible for keeping track of almost 100K students, and I use some web-based programs, but primarily Excel spreadsheets. My largest Excel file is 30.7 MB.

That's a good system. In my office, it was traditional that Management got the new computers with bells and whistles, which were then passed down to people who actually did the work.

They know that a good machine will keep me from whining for a couple years.  >:D
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

greencat

  • Member
  • Posts: 3899
  • Trap...Neuter...What was that third thing again?
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2964 on: October 03, 2013, 12:43:31 AM »
I think my current job is the first one where I haven't spent a lot of time complaining about my computer - the IT people who support us IT people have told me I'm supposed to get an upgrade, but my computer is actually not obsolete for once. 

We have one person who keeps calling in, who is asking for information about someone else's account that we are legally unable to give out.  We keep telling her this, and she keeps calling.  She seems like she's a few cards short of a deck - and quite frankly, were I the person whose information she keeps requesting, I'd have probably given her false information and moved to another continent. 

Twik

  • Member
  • Posts: 28864
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2965 on: October 03, 2013, 08:42:05 AM »
My current computer is reasonable, but did perplex me when I first got it. In the past, I have often been asked to burn CDs of files for various departments. When I got this computer, upon the first request, I attempted to do so, but got nothing but repeated error messages. At first, I thought it was a batch of flawed CDs, but then it hit me. They'd gotten me a computer with a CD drive, but no CD writer.

I'm not sure how much money they saved there, but it is a major nuisance if someone asks, "Hey, could you put these files on a CD for me?" Certainly I was never asked if writing CDs was something I considered important.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

artk2002

  • Member
  • Posts: 13812
    • The Delian's Commonwealth
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2966 on: October 03, 2013, 09:49:36 AM »
My current computer is reasonable, but did perplex me when I first got it. In the past, I have often been asked to burn CDs of files for various departments. When I got this computer, upon the first request, I attempted to do so, but got nothing but repeated error messages. At first, I thought it was a batch of flawed CDs, but then it hit me. They'd gotten me a computer with a CD drive, but no CD writer.

I'm not sure how much money they saved there, but it is a major nuisance if someone asks, "Hey, could you put these files on a CD for me?" Certainly I was never asked if writing CDs was something I considered important.

Considering that you can get a DVD burner from NewEgg for a whopping $17 and a DVD-ROM drive for $16, they didn't save much at all.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

figee

  • Member
  • Posts: 595
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2967 on: October 03, 2013, 05:41:18 PM »
All the IT ones make me think about what I usually have to say to our IT:  "Uh.  I think I might have done something stupid...."  Then there's this big sigh on the other end of the line......

I've been doing various types of IT support, and its rare to hear someone say they messed up or similar.  A good many will blame the IT staff or the company not themselves.

With me its bitter experience - something has been unplugged, plugged in incorrectly, uploaded, downloaded, not uploaded or downloaded, switched off, switched on, turned down (volume) or up (brightness - and the perpetrator has usually been me.  So I work on the assumption that I'm usually the problem.  Sadly, sometimes they are unable to help me though, for instance when I have taken the critical cable home thinking it was my phone charger (which also explained why my phone didn't charge).... 

Hillia

  • Member
  • Posts: 3360
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2968 on: October 03, 2013, 06:35:03 PM »
When I did tech support, the conversations always went like this:

Me: So what were you doing right before it happened?
User:  Nothing!
Me:  *sigh* So after you did nothing, what did you do?

Midnight Kitty

  • The Queen of Sludge
  • Member
  • Posts: 2310
    • The Stoddard's Hale
Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2969 on: October 03, 2013, 07:00:32 PM »
The IT posts reminded me of my most recent encounter with the Geek Squad and my newish smart phone.

Hubby & I had stupid phones - no texting and the voicemail didn't always take messages.  So we bit the bullet and bought top of the line new smart phones.  I got the Note II and he got Galaxy 4.  The Note II had so many features and it is larger than the typical cell phone, so my first question to the sales person was "Can I make phone calls with this?"

Fast forward 4 months and I had a problem with my smart phone: I can't make phone calls.  I could enter a telephone number, but I could not hear it ring or hear the person speaking.  I could receive calls, text, email, browse the internet, etc.  In fact, I could do everything but make phone calls.  I thought it would clear up, but after a week of not being able to make phone calls, I decided I needed to see if they could fix it.  I called up the Geek Squad and they explained my options and set up an appointment for me to see a Geek.  The appointment was 4 days away because they said the first thing they would do would be to wipe the phone and reset it to the factory settings, so I should save/backup anything I wanted to keep.  Then they explained that, if the software reboot did not fix the problem, they could order a replacement phone which would arrive in 3-4 (more) days.  Fortunately, all of the above would be at no charge to me.  So it will cost me inconvenience, but no money, to get my phone to work.

My husband and I wrote down a few other issues we needed help with in case we had enough time with the Geek.  We sit down with the Geek and start to describe the problem.  Then I said, "I think it will be quicker to show you."  I speed dial my husband's cell phone (which we had with us) so the Geek could hear his phone ringing while my phone is silent.  But that's not what happened.  My phone worked just fine - no problems.  I could hear his phone ringing on my speaker phone, so we switched the speaker off and could still hear the ringing through my phone.  I looked up at the Geek and said, "I don't know how you fixed it, but thanks."  He asked if I wanted a new phone.  I said "No, it took me too long to set this one up and it's working fine now."

So I went without being able to make phone calls on my "smart phone" for almost 2 weeks, then it worked perfectly when the Geek stood next to it. :-[

Good thing we had other questions so we didn't waste the Geek's time.
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.  The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

Marcus Aurelius