When contacting the IT department at work, or calling a repair shop for your home computer, here are some tips for getting fast, friendly service:
- Fully describe your computer. Yes, we could look up the specifications for your computer, but it sucks to do that. Just tell us what you have. (Unless you consider the big box with lights the “hard drive” — in which case, nevermind, we’ll figure it out)
- If you are having problem with an application, or a document, please describe the problem you’re having. Also, please tell us the name of the file, where it’s stored, and what program you’re trying to use. Phrases like, “I can’t open my file” are not as helpful as they might seem.
- If you are having network issues, please describe the problems. Example descriptions might be, “I am able to open my web browser, but trying to load a page gives me the following error…” or, “Although I can log into my workstations successfully, I’m unable to mount the network file server, so my files are inaccessible.” While simplicity is often best when describing a situation, simply stating, “the network is down” is almost never true. It’s also taken as a personal attack, and will often grumpify your IT guy/gal.
- Everyone’s problem is the most important issue they can imagine. Realize everyone feels the same way. The tech/user ratio is astronomically working against the technician, so patience is paramount
- Even if we give you a hard time about accepting gifts, (cookies, coffee, gold watches, etc) we actually appreciate them more than we let on. It makes us feel human, which sadly is uncommon.
That’s it! We’re fairly friendly people that usually get treated badly, so if we seem defensive, don’t take it personally (unless you’re a jerk, in which case, you’re the reason we’re so cranky.)
PS: Don’t forget System Administrator’s Day. I’ve never been recognized on Sys Admin day, and it hurts man. It hurts.