Terminology help is a 'gotcha'

Dennis Faas's picture

You know, we all make fun of those "Computer Help Desk" emails that get passed around?

Well -- try working at a real Computer Help Desk for a living!

But, seriously. It is a real problem trying to help someone over the phone (especially having them type in a DOS command)!

Remember the old "cup holder" email joke that got passed around where the guy on the other line thought that the CD ROM tray was a cup holder?

Well -- have you ever tried to give good advice? Good advice always starts with the typical "beginning steps." Why? Because the person asking may or may not understand what is meant if you skip a step or get too technical. Here's a classic example:

"Go to DM."

"Umm, OK, what is DM??"

"Device Manager."

"Ok, umm, where is that?"

"What OS are you on?"

"What is OS?"

So, you have to say, specifically, if you are on Windows 95, 98, XP, etc. Go to this, click that, etc.

It is time consuming (and aggravating)! But anyone giving help to others always has to remember to give good, basic instructions.

But the one problem I get confronted with is, "My CD won't burn."

Umm, well, since it wasn't a burner CD device to begin with, that might be the cause -- ya think? ;-)

Even with all the effort by the competing sites like Google, Yahoo, MSN, people don't search and check out links to find their answers. Why? Because -- first of all -- they don't know what to ask, or ask wrong, and get answers they simply don't comprehend. It makes searching difficult, right?

So, what happens next? The consumer gets frustrated since they can't fix the problem, or they always issue a restore, and they end up putting the computer in the closet.

Those that know, need to keep the basics "up front and in order." Those that don't, need to give enough information to fix their problems. While admitting you were at an XXX site might be embarrassing to you, to a tech, it's just another case of cleaning out a messed up computer (Spyware can do some nasty stuff).

Anyway, these are just a few of my pet peeves that I deal with on a regular basis.


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