A tech support job is one of the most frustrating and rewarding job. I would rather say a customer facing job where you meet, talk to different customers/people is the most frustrating and rewarding job. When I joined the present company, I started with support group. In normal terms it would be those lazy guys who take care of the computers, servers, links, and most important the email service and all important Internet. The people you would like to kill with your bare hands. The people who are never found when you need them. People who you believe are the most inefficient in the whole company. Yup! That’s us!
You get to meet different kind of people. People with attitude, people who are modest, people with anger, people with a smile and fortunately and unfortunately all of them are your customer.
It is said that “Customer is always right”. The biggest problem in the statement is the statement is untrue to a large extent but telling them on their face is not allowed because “Customer is always right”.
It is known knowledge in our company that our department handles computer and network problem. Telephones and problems related to telephone belongs to the Admin department. Although it seem to be our work for a person who had just joined the company. Most of the people know who to call in case of telephone problems.
One day we received a call on our online call logging system which went somewhat like this
“The phone with extension xxxx on table xx on third floor is not working. Could you replace it as soon as possible?”
Call like these make my mind go kaboom. I saw the employee number of the user and knew that he was a very senior in terms of service in the company. A person like him not knowing what each department does was unbelievable. I could have just closed the call with the instruction that it was the admin department’s job to change telephones. But something in the call did not allow me to do that. The call was arrogant in the language. There was no “Please” and it was more of a demand than a request. Of course they have a right to demand service but the call just did not feel right
I instructed my subordinate to close the call with the message;
“Please contact your Group leader for approval”
Minutes later a new call with exactly the same problem was logged by the same user again.
I smiled at myself; “This means war, definitely war”
I closed the call again with exactly the same instruction. I knew that the user would be at the door any minute and it happened.
An angry young man was at the door of our department.
“I logged a call. The number is xxxxxxxxxxx”
“Ok! What was the problem?”
“My phone is not working”
“I had given the solution in the call”
“What do you mean by talk to your GL?”
“Do you know what we do?”
“Yes! I do”
“Do you know we do not handle the phones here?”
“Yes! I do”
“So how do we handle the call”
“See you are the closest support group near my desk. You should help me”
I smile. It’s the worst argument/reason I have heard in my entire career. I count till 10 and then answer;
“If you were sitting on the 2nd floor, would you go to Accounts to solve your PC problem just because they are the nearest department to your desk?”
The man looked at me with anger in his eyes. He was angry and I knew what was expected from him now.
“Idiots!” he starts walking away
I look up and shout after him “Same to you”
Working in support makes you vulnerable for such attacks. It also makes you angry. After some time it becomes really difficult to handle such cases. You tend to be frustrated and angry all the time. I know because I was angry and frustrated all the time. At some point you cannot take it anymore.
But then a job like that also teaches you patience. It does. It teaches you to take insults with a smiling face even when a fire burns inside you. It teaches you that it’s really not worth it to lose one’s peace over small issues like this. Chances are the other person’s day is ruined as well. After the incident it really does not important whose fault it was. Maybe mine or maybe his! I guess more mine than his.
As I said, Tech support job is frustrating and rewarding.