It would be wise if you can remember these few pointers before you start yakkety yak non-stop at any technical support staff about your PC problems…
Thou shalt knoweth the exact error and be prepared to recite it when prompted by thine Tech Support Personnel
Maybe I have way too much common sense but calling Tech Support when you don’t have the error message is like going to the doctor and saying “I have a pain” and when he asks “where?” you answer “In my body, somewhere”. Enough said.
Thou shalt not call Tech Support when thou hast not rested thy brain from the turmoil caused by thine operating system!
Why anyone in their right mind would keep hitting their head against the wall is beyond me. Personally, I walk away from the PC and do something else for a while if I’m not sure what the problem is. Likewise, before I even consider installing hardware or “major” software (like an operating system), I make sure I’m calm, cool and collected.
Thou shalt refrain from cursing at thy Tech Support when thou doth not agree with the diagnosis given by the aforementioned!
You know, swearing like a drunken sailor or threatening the tech support will not get your system fixed any faster. In fact, the tech may be so “shaken” by your tirade he may “inadvertently” give you the wrong instruction for your problem (“Sir, I believe doing the following will solve your problem: exit out to the DOS prompt and type c:\fdisk” (which literally means reformat the whole hard disk).
Thou shalt not call Tech Support while under the influence of alcohol or any other mind altering substances!
Although we in Tech Support will probably chuckle for the first few minutes if you call in drunk, after that we tend to get annoyed. Playing games or “chatting” on the Internet are fine while intoxicated; running System Editor or the Registry Editor are not.
Thou shalt not call Tech Support unless thy PC is on and ye hath ample time to spend seeking the truth of thine problems!
Please do NOT call five minutes before leaving your “coffee break”. Calling us from work when your PC is crashed at another location is futile; we can’t begin to investigate the cause unless you’re right there looking at the PC. Also, unless you’re a true techno-whiz, our instructions will do nothing more than confuse you anyway. Last, have the PC on and ready to go BEFORE dialing the technical support number, most of us are on some type of time constraint and waiting for your “fast” PC to boot up is highly annoying.
Thou shalt not start thine call with “I’m computer illiterate”!
We in tech support tend to assume you know nothing and 9 times out of 10 you prove us right.
Thou shalt not give thy Tech Support Personnel thy qualifications or present employment title!
If I had a dollar for every “Registrar” or “Infotech” or “Chief of XXX Dept” who called, I’d do a hostile takeover of Microsoft. Likewise, I nor any of my fellow techs are impressed when you proceed to give us your lofty title of Dr. anything. Come to think of it, the most obnoxious calls I’ve had came from these supposedly “intelligent” jerks.
Thou shalt listen to thy Tech Support Personnel and proceed not unless thou hath been instructed to do so!
Did you ever play “Simon Says” as a kid? Well, tech support is just like that and Simon will get very nasty with you if you close programs or windows he needs you to have open or click on things that have nothing to do with what we’re trying to help you fix. Likewise, do NOT reset your PC just because you’ve got an “hourglass”; there are other ways to stop the program without trashing your operating system. If you’d quit jumping the gun we’ll gladly tell you how to do it.
Thou shalt confess to thy Tech Support Personnel all sins committed against thine operating system!
When calling tech support, it’s a good idea to know exactly what you’ve installed in the days prior to the problem occurring, even if you think it’s not related. We especially need to know if you’ve installed any “utility” type program (can you say “First Aid”?). I realize these magic “utility” programs that promise to fix whatever ailments may beset your PC sound like a dream come true, but the reality is that more often than not, they cause more problems than they actually fix.
Thou shalt remove any or all distractions, for they will surely prevent ye from receiving the divine assistance ye art seeking!
Please don’t call us when you’re in the middle of an argument with your spouse, or when your two-year old is screaming at the top of his lungs. Also, turn down your TV or stereo and definitely do NOT call while you’re having a party. One more thing; do not call us if your wife just said she’s leaving you, your mind will definitely be someplace else, eh?
Now I realize most of these commandments sound harsh, but the reality of it is that if you do follow them, you’ll eventually gain the confidence to tackle anything your PC throws at you, and your frustration level will decrease. Not to mention the true pleasure the helpdesk will have working with you, if you do need to call.
I do NOT have any degrees in Computer Science but I did, however, buy a floor model IBM 486SX with Windows 3.11 to start with, found that for my needs it wasn’t adequately equipped, and slowly but surely (and with the help of some well written installation manuals), installed my upgrades.
It was one success at a time. I soon realized that it wasn’t that scary after all, and now I build my own systems and do tech support for a living.