Tech Support Care and Feeding

Killer Robot1) Instead of “Hello” or “How are you today?”, greet me with “I’m ready to throw this stupid machine out the window.” That helps to give me the illusion that I make a difference in the world, since I can save this computer from certain destruction.

2) Ask me if I have “an extra laptop” for you. Because, surely, I have lots of spare equipment sitting around unused. That’s why I use a four year old PowerMac G3 as my web server.

3) Don’t ever try to restart your computer when you have a problem, even though that solves many, many technical problems. It’s much better use of my time to spend fifteen minutes walking or driving to your location and restart the computer myself to get the print queue going again.

4) Don’t write down error messages. I love a good mystery. And keep the description of your problem as vague as possible. After all, the computer is hard to use, so it should be hard to fix.

5) Tell me things like “I never use this stupid computer anyway” after I spend an hour fixing a trivial problem at your urgent request.

6) Ask me to fix your personal computer. Better yet, bring it to my desk and wait for me to fix it. While I’m eating lunch. I love that.

7) Ignore any memos that I send out, especially the ones marked Urgent. If it’s important, I’ll come and find you to talk to you personally.

8) Install each and every piece of freeware and shareware you can find. No problem; I’m sure none will do anything nefarious or conflict with anything critical. But, when I send you an update to an internal application I wrote, be totally clueless and refuse to drag and drop it to the proper location yourself.

9) Change email programs yourself. Our “standards” are really just recommendations. If you want to use a different email program, that’s perfectly fine. We love maintaining user directories in multiple formats to suit you. And make sure you do all of your word processing in a six year old bootleg copy of WordPerfect.

10) Bring in your own equipment and hook it up to the network. We love seeing mysterious DNS entries and rogue servers, especially if they don’t have any virus protection on them.

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