“Hello Team”

Posted by jplesset on May 5, 2017 under Real Stories of Support | Be the First to Comment

I wonder if customers really intend to dehumanize Support folks by addressing us as, “team”. Sure, they don’t have to learn our names, though every time we update their ticket, our names are there if they read. Of course, sometimes I wonder if they CAN read, when our questions are only partially answered…

Thanks for listening.  I’ve vented now.


“You didn’t give me a satisfactory answer”

Posted by jplesset on December 22, 2014 under Did That Really Happen?, Real Stories of Support | Be the First to Comment

I also participate in “fixya”, attempting to answer people’s questions. Had one a few days ago that really ticked me off. The original question, “The other side of my CDs don’t play.”  That’s it.

When I answered, “Turning a CD over doesn’t work, there’s only one side.” got me a tirade about not answering the question. Turns out, “the other side” meant a two-cd player, and player “b” isn’t working.  Sheesh, if you don’t give enough detail in the question, how can you expect an accurate answer.

I fixed it. Tell me why it’s working.

Posted by jplesset on under Real Stories of Support | Read the First Comment

No, I’m not going to tell you what I did….


My response. . .

Yes, you should still apply the current patches; running the version you are running will cause you many strange errors.

No, I cannot tell you why it’s working now, because I have no idea what you did. Once I know what was done to “fix” it, I may be able to tell you why it worked.  I might not. That’s reality.

Are you really clueless?

Posted by jplesset on September 3, 2014 under Computers, Did That Really Happen?, Real Stories of Support, Working with Support | Be the First to Comment

I’ve been trying to help answer questions on http://fixya.com but.. .

Much of the time, the questions are so incomprehensible that I have no idea what the question really is, like this:

Could you please tell me where i could obtain a user manual for

No, that’s all.  It’s in “cell phones”, but that’s the entire question…

Or, this one:

I got this box from a chines site but only says f5s on box

That’s in the vending machines section.  So, ok, what did you expect?

How about this one, in the laptop section:

Need case removal instructions. Need to repair screen.

Might get more answers if you include the product and model.  Or, I could say, “remove screws until the case falls open”?

And, those are the ones I could read.  Some of the entries look like the person neverheardofthespacebar.

Is the “Cloud” Safe?

Posted by jplesset on May 23, 2014 under Real Stories of Support | Be the First to Comment

Recently, our Church decided to move to using “Cloud” services for office applications and e-mail.  Yes, they did it without consulting with me (typical church stuff, the staff makes decisions without input). This prompted me to ask, “Is the cloud safe?”

For values of “safe”, indeed it is, but . . .  If you’re thinking about putting your information in the cloud, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Who has my data?
  • Do I really trust them?
  • What security measures do they take against hacking?
  • What backup do they do?  What if I delete something accidentally?
  • What will the long term cost be?  It may be inexpensive today, but next year?
  • Can I get my data back if I want to?  If they stop offering the service?

There are alternatives to paying somebody else to store your stuff in a “cloud”. A few months ago, I got a “network attached” storage unit.  Not expensive, and we now use it as our own little “cloud” here at home. We could turn the remote access part on, and be able to access our stuff from anywhere. Since we own the equipment, we don’t have to pay anybody for the service…

Update to the Church experiment, 6 months on.

Most things seem to be working well, except..   All e-mail with attachments are only getting a “winmail.dat” file attached. Many Church members can’t use these, including me. The Church IT person can’t figure out how to fix it, and every time there’s an update, what he tries goes away. Microsoft Support hasn’t been able to help either.

Um, did you read the screen?

Posted by jplesset on April 21, 2014 under Real Stories of Support, Working with Support | Be the First to Comment

Often, when I get a new Support case, I have to wonder if the person filing the support case has actually read the screen.  Today, I got one where the customer appears to have ignored two very important items:

“Update succeeded with 0 errors and 2 warnings.  Detailed messages are in the logs.”

Ok, what were those detailed messages?  Don’t you think that warnings might be important?

“Restart to activate changes”

Yes, Mr. Customer, you still have to restart the application to make what you did take effect…..


Sorry, just venting.

Is It Fixed Yet?

Posted by jplesset on January 20, 2014 under Real Stories of Support | Be the First to Comment

One of my first experiences in the real world of corporate Tech Support was the day our Novell server stopped working. As the only “hardware savvy” guy there, it was my task to fix it.

The server was basically  just a PC, with a big hard disk, so I felt comfortable opening the box up and seeing what was in it. Pretty soon, I had the thing spread around me on the floor in the “server room”, trying to see which part had gone bad.

About every 15 minutes or so, somebody would come into the room and ask, “Is it fixed yet?”.  Shortly, I started responding, “Do you see it all over the floor?  If so, then, no, it’s not fixed yet.” I wanted to say, “You idiot, when it’s fixed, I won’t be sitting on the floor here, with parts all around me; I’ll be back at my desk doing something productive. Every time you interrupt me, it takes that much longer for me to get it working…”

Yes, I did get it fixed and back together, and it worked for years after that company went out of business.