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Join IT Support For Abuse and Despair 51

tomhudson writes "The Register is reporting that IT support people feel abused and frustrated, with 2/3 swearing, almost half being depressed for the rest of the day, and 15% throwing things. Personally, I thinks their stats are off: I've thrown a monitor, a laser printer, keyboards, books, CDs, drives, kicked a few chairs, etc. Who hasn't? What have you thrown lately?"
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  • Two elections and a temper tantrum.
    • I've worked in a couple of places where we had running Nerf battles any time the stress levels got to high. Unfortunately, one of them was in a secured facility, complete with "little green men" who carried M-16's. During one of our battles, we got carried away and spilled out into the hallway, thus alarming said man who had a real gun that shot bullets instead of Nerf balls. Other than that, I've always found that Nerf battles were exteremely theraputic and quite good for morale overall.

      2 cents,

      Queen B
  • by thecampbeln ( 457432 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @11:30PM (#13985339) Homepage
    A: My IT support person.

    Course, maybe that's why they "feel abused and frustrated"?!

  • I've thrown CDs around, but that's just for the Cubicle Full Contact Football. It's truly the only way to relieve stress after being on a 40 minute call trying to explain where the backslash key is.
    • I've thrown CDs around, but that's just for the Cubicle Full Contact Football. It's truly the only way to relieve stress after being on a 40 minute call trying to explain where the backslash key is.
      ... on a french keyboard...
    • That's so true. There is nothing like relaxing with old unused coasters.

      My coworker and I used to use them as freesbes. The office was long enough to allow us to have up to 5 cds in the air at the same time!!! (Of course, after a lot of 'training')
      We joked about gettint in the freesbe olympics...

      But then a new coworker showed in, and he was left-handed and.. well... we couldn't qualify. :(
  • mainly floppy disks and compaq laptops. against walls and/or out of windows, whichever happens to be closest.

  • But really... Who hasn't experienced this over and over and over? The sad truth though, is that it probably won't get much better.

    What incentive do people have to learn more about computers when someone will hold their hand everytime something goes wrong? From my own experience, the reason I can do so much is because I've been forced to learn how, because I don't have a go-to person, and because I use computers all the time.

    How have others gained their skills?
    • I don't swear and I don't throw things. I don't believe in them as a useful thing to do and I don't accept them as a natural consequence of being abused and feeling dispair. I don't justify doing such things, and justifying it is part of the system that keeps that behavior happening. Excuses, excuses, I hear them every day.
      • The problem is, with some people (certain mentality of co-worker), the more you do, the more they expect you to do. And the more crap you take, the more crap they expect you to take.

        They interpret your "refusal to rise to the bait" as license. Eventually, you have to lay down the law, and its much better to do that with a bit of shouting, and a demonstration of just how pissed off you are (throwing something that makes a loud "thunk" when it hits the wall/floor/whatever), followed by a "get the fuck out!"

        • If somebody asks you to do something, tell them "no". If they leave stuff in your area expecting your to do it, drop it off in their area. If they start talking to you, and you don't want to listen put on some music. You also have the option of relocating elsewhere. Generally these actions result in the performance of the guilty party to drop. One reason is because they frequently start out asking for a big workload figuring they can farm it out, but there are other reasons that are similar.
          • That works fine for rational people, but not for people who are where they are because of nepotism, or stupidity.

            It also doesn't work when you have someone who INSISTS on having the last word, and the one after the last word, etc., even though you've walked away, and said "I don't want to talk about it!" 20 x. And they follow you. And keep on. And on. And on. And even when you leave the building, because you might as well leave half-way through the day, because this! idiot! won't! stop! And over stuff th

            • Change their password every day and explain to them that it will keep changing until they stop complaining... in fact, even better, log them out after x minutes of inactivity and automatically change the password, and e-mail it to you, so you are prepared. That demonstrates to them not that you are annoying, but that you have complete control of the situation. Reminds me of the Twilight Zone where a guy creates people and things by speaking into a tape recorder and the person or thing persists for as long a
  • by Mr2cents ( 323101 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @11:53PM (#13985551)
    Are you only interested in thrown stuff or does "tuning it with a very large hammer" count also?
  • "What have you thrown lately?"

    Hmm, (1) 11x17 weighted paper airplane. (3) ruber bands. (2) paper foot balls. (1) cupcake. (1) playing card. (250+) pages of invoice test runs.

  • I used to work in IT at my university (it was like the defacto thing for CS majors to do for some reason... guess they didn't know CS majors didn't know a damn thing about information technology). Anyway, I remember getting this one call where this one sorority girl calls up (i saw the name of the sorority house on the phone) and I picked up the phone and said what is in the subject line above. And she says to me "my Internet is down" and (this was during a scheduled downtime) i said "yes, along with ever
    • It's "her Internet" because her daddy pays for it. It's simple sorority logic.

      Other than that it's the dumbing-down and fuzzy cuddliness that phrases like "My Computer" and "My Documents" are meant to convey to the unwitting victims of software licensing schemes.

      Free bonus $1500-saving tip of the day: Think of it as shorthand for "My Internet connection".

    • Honestly, this is one of those times when you can ...

      Remember "My Computer"?

    • Dude relax. As someone said "My internet" is short for my internet connection. Yes I program for a living and have done technical support but you did a crummy job at it. I don't know if you have issues with sorority girls or what but that call should have gone like this.
      caller :"My Internet is down"
      tech: "The network is down right now you will have it in ".

      There is no need to be nasty or rude. Tech support is like a game. If you fix the problem and or leave the customer happier than when they called you win
      • It was never EVER my goal to be a good phone support person, they told me after a month on the phones I would be moved to the back and I'd be able to program for the school, well, I lasted two months mocking the perfect phone tech support person, then I started becomming rude, this incident was from about eight months into the whole thing, and I quit three weeks later because they couln't uphold their promises and I thought I wasn't providing satisfactory assistance. However, THEY (my student manager, the
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Off the shackles of crappy IT positions. Now I only do IT for myself.
  • by NZheretic ( 23872 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @12:08AM (#13985659) Homepage Journal
    From my blog [] "The open eleven steps to telecommuting []"
    4) Install a DHCP demon on the local server to allocate local IP addresses, DNS and gateway settings. If the desktops are network boot capable then install TFTP to remotely boot and use Knoppix via PXE and the network []. If the desktop OS is constantly crashing, or is infected by malware, the user can select PXE/network boot via the BIOS, and boot into Knoppix. The user can then be instructed over the phone to enable the ssh server to allow remote scan,repair and reimaging of the desktop partitions. The user can use the Knoppix desktop to continue working with full access to files while the the remote administrator fixes/reimages the drive in the background.( Consider hiring someone who knows how to customise Knoppix or another live Linux system for your setup )
    5) Partition the desktops with as small as required C: partition ( or in the case of Linux the root partition ) for software. When software is install, use dd and netcat [] via live Knoppix to copy/clone a snapshot of the partition to the server. You can allocate the remaining free space as a persistent partition where documents are stored.
    6) Install and enable remote VNC [] service on all the platforms, but only allow incoming connections from the local server ( which is redirected over a SSH tunnel [] ).
    Lower end desktop PCs can be setup boot as thin-clients, as we used to do [], and use LTSP with local ssh login and HD access to do the same job as the thick-client Knoppix.

    Serously, someone whould consider hacking a copy of Knoppix or Ubuntu live to work with WINE as a bootable CD for a remote repair service business.

    • > From my blog "The open eleven steps to telecommuting"
      > 4) Install a DHCP demon on the local server to allocate local IP addresses

      I wish you would translate this to English for us non-IT users who would like to do it at home. It would be great to have a single master machine at home from which new systems could pull their configuration. But a lot of what you wrote is Greek to me. How do I install a DHCP daemon, and on which OS? How is remote reimaging done? Please provide more juicy detail, thank
  • Certain cheif executive officers [] have been reputed to throw chairs and such around as well.
  • Nothing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mswope ( 242988 )
    Or my job. Same thing - after I realized two things:
    1)the job really wasn't worth the hassle - we weren't an "IT company" so there was never going to be a basis for treating IT people as more than throw-away staff and,
    2) it wasn't my dad yelling at me.

    Actually, the second realization led to the first. It really didn't matter that someone decided that his bad day/attitude was an excuse to be disappointed *in me* (when I'd done my best to overcome the weather, the carriers, the infrastructure, the users, et
  • As someone who has worked behind a tech support desk and who has to occasionally call tech support and deal with (incompetant) level 1 tech support, I always remember the old adage "Kill 'em with kindness".

    Whether you *are* the tech or you are talking *to* the tech, taking your emotions out of the equation makes the whole transaction soooooo much smoother. Sure, it's hard to do, especially when you're at wits end, but it usually pays off.

    Once you hang-up the phone, then you can blow off all the steam that y
    • When I was doing tech support for Earthlink I would start by declaring that I would fix whatever the problem was. Then, I put on my best Ben Stein voice. It gently lulled the customer into a state of hypnosis, and he or she would robotically follow all of my commands. Most of the time I would fix the problem. If not, I just said "Reboot and it'll work, thank you, good bye".
      On the other hand, when I have to call support, I already know what's wrong (I fix computers for a
  • by Improv ( 2467 ) <> on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @01:12AM (#13986127) Homepage Journal
    Having done tech support, programming, and a number of similar jobs, I have to say that neither I nor anyone I have worked with have thrown or otherwise abused computer equipment. If they had, I suspect they would have been canned immediately, and for good reason -- people who can't control themselves are a bit .. 'off'. The only person I know who actually has destroyed computer hardware was a layperson musician/artist who was having problems with some sound editing software.. he was very embarassed for the whole trip to MicroCenter to replace the keyboard, mouse, and CDROM drive. The point is that destroying things when angry is childish, and is something that hopefully most people outgrow by the time they're 14 or so.
    • Bing bing. You win the prize. People that get physically destructive need therapy. That's not normal, and not acceptable in the business world under ANY circumstances.

      If you are in IT and have people yelling at you, you need to deal with the situation. Walk away, hang up, etc. Even if it's your boss. You don't have to put up with abusive behavior. If it's your boss, you may have some legal options as well. Again, yelling at an employee or co-worker is not acceptable in the business world - ever.
      • If you are in IT and have people yelling at you, you need to deal with the situation. Walk away, hang up, etc. Even if it's your boss. You don't have to put up with abusive behavior. If it's your boss, you may have some legal options as well. Again, yelling at an employee or co-worker is not acceptable in the business world - ever.

        We recently had a "communications" seminar at work and I asked the question, what do we do if someone is being vulgar and abusive to you while on a call (saying this knowing f

    • by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @02:05AM (#13986388) Homepage
      Throwing things is childish..

      Just tighten their QoS pipe in the switch. Also remember to exec antivirus on their machines while theyre working. Nothing is more frustrating than a SLOW computer.

      Of course switch it back to fast as soon as you get a call on that. Having the problem disappear when the IT guy is around is even more frustrating!

      Of course I'm assuming youre talking about getting frustrated at the person, not the problem.

      A difficult problem is not frustrating, its challenging. When I run into a problem that must be solved, that hasnt been solved before and whose solution will fill you with pride.... well.. I live for those days.

      • Just tighten their QoS pipe in the switch. Also remember to exec antivirus on their machines while theyre working. Nothing is more frustrating than a SLOW computer.

        1. go to spare linux pix and "oing -f their_local_ip"
        2. go to server and "cat access.log | grep "their"local_ip" > idiots_browsing_history.log
        3. tail -n50 idiots_browsing_history.log
        4. vi /etc/hosts, add entries to their ips mapped to local server
        5. add subdirectories to local server that matched
        6. add index.html page with copy of tubgirl
        7. Stop pinging
  • In other news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by miu ( 626917 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @04:13AM (#13987014) Homepage Journal
    People are rude to service people. Work fast food, work as a janitor, work as... whatever - if you are a service person then people are rude to you.

    I personally used to get off on people yelling at me over the phone, whoever said "kill em with kindness" had it exactly right. Be competent and honest and unless the person on the other end is a pschopath they cannot help but respond to that and people who were losing it will often apologize.

    All that said - I'm glad I don't have to work service or support any more.

  • by ballpoint ( 192660 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2005 @04:45AM (#13987128)
    was an exception.
  • I agree with the service job abuse thing. Some people just won't listen to anything but a manager. I've had experience with those sort of people and I usually want to throw them through a window.

    You need a licence to have car why not the same for a computer? It would stop us getting questions of "why isn't my monitor switched on?" when they didn't hit the power button on the thing.

    Of course killing them with kindness works in the sort term but when you get the 50th call from the same person who can't sp

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.