Stupid User Syndrome

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Let me get this out in the open right now: People, in general, are damn idiots.

This will probably end up being a recurring theme throughout this blog.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily imply that I’m any “better” than anyone else per se; I just see that the population en masse has exceptionally poor problem solving skills. In that respect, yeah, maybe I’m better than some folks.

The conflict here arises in the fact that I’m faced with a certain amount of desktop computer and telephone support in my daily workload. Especially since about half of the CIT department got downsized here at work a few months ago. Since I’ve taken on additional user support, I am continually astonished at the levels people sink to on the problem-solving and information-retention scales.

First of all, my motto for technical support: “God helps those who help themselves.” Which is to say, if you have a problem, try reading the fucking manual before you just throw your arms up in a panic and taking up someone else’s time to ask them a stupid question. (Yes, there are such things as stupid questions.) If you’ve legitimately tried to solve your problem and have reached a stumbling point, then, and only then, you may ask for help.

My favorite request in recent days: A user can’t figure out why his phone won’t ring. “It worked last week,” says the user. Did you do anything to it? “No.” Of course not. Let me look into it.

So I look through the phone system configuration. Everything looks fine. I start tracing the line back from the user’s desk to the telephone closet to make sure all the lines are connected and all is working in that respect. Yeah, the phone’s got power. Yeah, the phone’s plugged into the proper outlet in the wall. Everything seems to be in order. Quick check and… oh, geez…

Look. If you turn the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature on, you’re not going to get any calls. That’s what ‘Do Not Disturb’ means. You won’t be disturbed. “I didn’t turn that on.” Are you sure? “Yeah. I don’t even know how to turn that on.” That’s interesting, because it had to be turned on from your phone, so unless someone ran in here to play a prank on you (not likely), you turned it on.

People. I just don’t understand them.

I think Dumbentia has the best solution to the problem.

In the meantime, I’ll drink out of my “Fuck Off” mug (that my friend bought for me, just for situations like this) and pretend to listen. Unbelieveable.