Bengals season does not begin until Sunday, so that gives me a few days of rest until what looks to be a season of angry blogging. So, since I do not have any Bengals material and the Reds are all but dead, lets just hope they can fight off those mighty Pirates for dead last, I thought I would give all you readers out there a glimpse into my everyday world. Maybe some insight into black hole of insanity that I fight through everyday.
Today I am going off the board to share some of my typical calls that I field on an everyday basis at my job. Keep in mind that I can get any or all of these in any given day. Some of them I will get a couple times a day. And you should also know that I work for a large company's technical help center, so I am on a phone and in front of a computer all day everyday.
"I just got converted from our old email system (Lotus Notes) to our new email system (Outlook) and I was wondering why I cannot get mail through Lotus Notes anymore. I have replicated several times today and have not received any new mail."
Really? You have not received any new email in the Application that you were just converted off of? Shit let me call NASA and get their best and brightest working on this. I am pretty sure that we can find some Doctors that are trying to find the cure for cancer and have them look into this as well. Or maybe, just maybe, you could click on that mysterious new icon on your desktop and use the new email application that was the whole reason for the giant intrusive upgrade you just went through.
"My computer is broke, the screen is blank."
Oh No! Better drop and cover, get in the fetal position under your desk immediately. Looks like they were right about Y2K after all, it was just 8 years late. And as likely as that may seem, just for shits and giggles lets make sure the PC and the monitor is actually turned on. I know you are all thinking there is no way that it is that simple, but let me tell you that over 50% of the time sadly, it is.
"I can't print"
This is one of my favorites. Could you please call in with a more vague issue? Why not just call in and say, "I have a problem?" Then we can make it a giant guessing game to get to the issue. We just do yes or no questions and maybe turn a 5 minute call into a 1 hour and 5 minute call! What application can you not print out of? What error are you getting? Is the error on your PC or on the printer? Is there even a printer in your office? Do you actually know what a printer is or did you hear the cool people talking about it in the lunch room and decided to make this a conversation starter with your friendly help desk associate? In all seriousness though, I love it when you talk to them for 15 minutes diagnosing what could be wrong before they finally tell you that is says "paper jam" on the printer.
"The Internet is broke"
The hell you say! Well someone better get Al Gore on the phone and ask him what is up with his defective invention. This is obviously one of the more ignorant calls I get, but I do indeed get calls where they say that exact thing. I mean can you actually fathom in today's world for the actual Internet to "break." It would be catastrophic. But I am sure they are correct every time I get that call. So sure, in fact, that I get under my desk and look out the one window that we have in our building to see if satellites are falling from the sky, planes are crashing into each other, traffic lights are out, to see if chaos incarnate is born. Much to my dismay every time they are wrong and it is because their proxy settings are wrong, or they need to refresh their page, or their password was expired. Damn.
"I had an employee die this weekend and I need to know where to send their check."
Now I will admit that I have only received this call once and will probably never get it again, but I had to put this on the list since it is what really inspired this blog post. As I stated before I work in technical support, why in the hell someone, in the HR department mind you, would call me to ask where to send a recently deceased employees check is beyond comprehension. It actually hurts my head to try and think of the reasoning for calling desktop support for something like that. I of course said that she could send the check to me, but this was not a popular choice.
Of course I would be remiss if I did not fill you all in on the categories of callers I tend to get on a daily basis as well.
- The Comedian. Everything this person says is hilarious.....to themselves only.
- The Bitch/Asshole. Nothing you can do will please these people. You could solve their issue, but it would not be fast enough. You could save the world from a nuclear holocaust with one arm tied behind your back, blindfolded, while wearing three lead vests and dragging yourself around by your own ear but when submerging the bomb into the ocean you nicked their yacht. My wife says to kill these people with kindness, I say look them up in the phone book and kill them with a gun, it works better.
- The VIP. Their issue trumps all other issues. They call in and can not print out of one application that they only use once a month is WAYYYYYY more important than the email servers that all went down, clearly.
- The Foreigner. I am not going to get all political, but we have all had that call or had to call support and got that tech that knows about as much English as a two year old kid. It is aggravating trying to help someone that you can not communicate with.
- The Secretary. Bless their soul, they are on orders to call in knowing nothing about the issue that they are calling in about. It is like sending Barry Bonds to a high school to talk to kids about playing baseball clean, or like actors/actresses talking about foreign policy. Most of the time when the secretary calls in after 1 and a half good minutes of interrogation they break and just transfer me to their boss anyway. You know that guy that was way too important to take 10 minutes to call me himself.
- The Boss. See above.
- The Constant Talker. There are two versions of this person. The one version is where they will keep going on and on about the issue they are having, most of the time just coming up with 5 different ways to say the same thing. They will stop at nothing to keep their voice going and mine silent, I wonder at a certain point why they even called, they could have had the same conversation with a rock. The only time you have a chance is if/when they breathe, provided you have not fell asleep by that time. The other version is the person that will talk to the other people that are in the room with them while they are trying to simultaneously tell me about the issue they are having with their PC. But with either version I get it takes every fiber of my being not to yell SHUT UP as loud as I can. I am convinced that the only solution to this problem is to put my phone on mute and drive to their location and fix their issue, come back and take a nap while they are still on mute until they realize that the issue is resolved. I am positive that in 90% of these calls I can get away with that.
I hope you all enjoyed this mostly literal, but somewhat satirical look into my world at work. And if any of you know me you know I can't drink, so, this can really help explain why I am like I am!