Accounting for a large part of my day, users requests can be both rewarding and frustrating. Users, I know your computer can infuriate you at times. I feel for you. I want to help you. I want you to learn how the computer can make your day-to-day work easier. Unfortunately, I cannot help you unless you are willing to help yourselves.
By far, the most valuable commodity in the business world is time. You want your computer to save you time. As I sit at your desk, I tell you, "Outlook would run much better for you if you would delete all your unwanted mail. Your pst file is too large."
"I don't have time to read them all, and I may need one later. I have to keep them all, just in case."
You tell me that you cannot afford to spend time performing preventive maintenance on your computer. Instead, you spend time waiting for me to repair your computer.
Let me put it to you this way:
You will spend a finite amount of time each month either maintaining your computer or waiting for me to repair it.
Many think I'm ranting, and tend to ignore me. Ask other computer support personnel. They will tell you the same thing. I want to help you. I can show you how to prevent many problems from occurring. Heed me, and I guarantee you will have more time to do your work.
Information is at least as valuable as time, for without information, how will you know how to spend your time? Information is as important to me as it is to you. Too often, my inbox is filled with vague support requests with little or no information. Because of them, I have to waste your time asking you for the information I need. I have to ask you to repeat your problem and write down the error. Give me all the information in the first request. Tell me exactly what you would like to accomplish. Often, your goal is more important than the steps you have followed. Given your goal, I may be able to show you how to cut steps and save time in ways you would have never imagined. Regularly, I supply you with information. I write FAQs and HowTos on the company support site. I send email offering advice to those who may need it.
"My disk is full, and now Windows has stopped working," you say.
"Did you read the section on the support site about keeping your computer running smoothly?" I ask. "There is a section at the end about keeping empty space on your hard drive."
"No," is the usual reply, in my experience.
Read the documents I provide for you, I beg you. If you had read them and followed my advice, quite often you would not have had to contact me in the first place. You would not have had to waste your time. I do not wish to hide knowledge from you. I will tell you all that I know. Just ask!
I know I seem harsh and borderline abusive. I do not wish to be. Indeed, some of you are a joy to work for. Yes, I meant work for. Part of my job is to work for you. Some of you come to me and ask questions. You question why things on your computer seem so difficult. Sometimes, I'm able to show you a better way. You smile with joy. Your work day is suddenly easier. Those are the times I enjoy my job the most. When I see you take to heart and fully embrace my advice, that is the most rewarding part of my day. Thank you.
I know your jobs are busy. I know spare time is hard to find, but that computer on your desk is expensive. You owe it to yourself to learn how and why it works, in order to get a good return on your investment. Do not make learning about your computer a side project. Make it part of your everyday duties. To the best of my abilities, I swear I will give you the knowledge you need. You will be happier in the end. I promise.