Friday, 4 July 2008

Gis a Job

One of the unique and immensely annoying joys of working in IT is the number of plainly ignorant people I meet who really believe they can do my job better than me. I actually worked with an accountant who asked me an obscure question about a spreadsheet just so that he could then show me the answer. This guy had been asking me strange questions for weeks, it was obvious he was trying to catch me out and he'd put a lot of research into this latest question, which of course I didn't know the answer to.

I don't know every function of every bit of software on every computer, why should I? Would you ask a BMW Garage to fix your Lexus? Idiot. I have since discovered that accountants and Financial Controllers (ie. Fat Controllers or jumped up bean counters) are all of the opinion that they know IT because they know how to use a calculator. Accountants are scum, any moron can add up columns of numbers. 99.999% of accountants could (and should) be replaced by a calculator but the calculator would have to have a personality reduction. Yes, even as a King Geek I am aware that accountants are profoundly dull people. (note: Accountant = Account + ant, ie overdraft and lots of small things which we want to drown in boiling water)

But getting back to the point. Most IT people are professionally qualified, they continue to train and sit exams throughout their working lives, unlike most professions, but are still treated like dogs. Obviously not English dogs who are treated very well, but more like Indian dogs who are kicked and shunned or Korean dogs who have their giblets made into pies. Apparently, well I assume they have pies and pasties in Korea, why wouldn't they? They've got nuclear technology so they ought to be able to make a Cornish Pasty, but I'm not sure it would be a "Cornish" if it has canine entrails in it. They could call it a Pyongyang Tang Pastry Parcel or use some clever marketing shuffle like "Cornish Style Pasty". Anyway, enough guff.

Imaging you having this conversation with your doctor:

you: Hi, I've noticed a pain in my elbow which is really bad when I play tennis
doc: Sounds like Tennis Elbow to me, I'll refer you to a physiotherapist and here's a note for some painkillers
you: hmmm... that's an interesting idea but actually I need a Chinese massage because a friend of mine hurt his ankle in a kick boxing accident and he said the Chinese massage fixed it.
doc: was is Thai kick boxing or Korean?
you: I didn't know there was a Korean kick boxing, does it matter? what about the Chinese massage?
doc: by all means have a Chinese massage, it may well help but I wouldn't recommend it as the only treatment
you: thanks but I think I'll just go with the Chinese massage, they're really clever these Chinese you know
doc: well fuck off then and give me the prescription back you stupid bastard, next time you come here with your fucking cheap shit laptop I'm going to piss on it and throw it out of the window! And you along with it!

You wouldn't do that, you don't question the doctors advice. Maybe occasionally express an opinion but not every bleeding time. Nor would you tell your solicitor he's quoting the wrong case law. You wouldn't go to a restaurant and tell the chef to add cinnamon to his tartar sauce, you wouldn't tell the travel agent to book you on Quantas "they have the best safety record", "but they don't fly to fucking Ipswich", "no I insist, safety is the most important thing and you should know that", would you tell a policeman to get a bigger gun because it's more likely to hit the target? All of these things are plain stupid, but most office people seem to think it's ok to tell the IT support things like "I heard that the rockets that went to the moon had the computing equivalent of a calculator but you can't get this printer to work".

That's why your laptop doesn't work dickhead, every time the helpdesk guy comes round he installs another virus on your machine because you won't treat him like a human being. You deserve it, actually you deserve worse.

I haven't done helpdesk for a long time but I still get annoyed when I see people treating the helpdesk like that. I read an article about Indian call centre workers (mostly school leavers) crying, depressed because of the racist abuse they get from British and American callers. They are the same people who are rude to check-in staff, look down at waiters, treat hotel workers like their personal slaves etc. The thing to note about these people is they are always stressed because they think they are surrounded by incompetence and it's their mission to set everyone right. That's what gets them in the end, stress, ulcers, nervous breakdown, early grave, hooray!

I saw a bum asleep on a pavement in Paris in the middle of rush hour, he'd dropped his bottle of wine, it was a rosé. I thought "There but for the grace of god go I". What unnerved me a bit was that he seemed to be smiling in his sleep. That's what set me off thinking about all this, I was returning from a training course to get another one of those qualifications I mentioned. And because it's Independence Day (only in America), for the rest of us it's just another Dependence Day.

Happy Day,



Scouse Doris said...

I rarely have the need to 'call the helpdesk' - possibly because I rarely try to do anything clever on my pc, but when I have done I have always found them extremely 'helpful' even when the answer to my problem is 'are you sure it is switched on Madame?'

I do insist that they bring their own bottle of rosé however.....

Leni Qinan said...

Wow what a rant! I'm not surprised, though.I am one of those who pester every now and then the helpdesk guys with

-Forgot my password (basically after summer holidays)
-There's a piece of paper stuck in my printer (several times a week)
-My keyboard doesn't type (basically when it's unplugged after frantic hoovering by the cleaning lady)

But I admire these patient guys and their self-control in this situations. They never seem to be angry -rather nice instead, to be honest-. Btw, I'd never dare to tell them how to do their job. ;)

Oh a good one was this -happened last Xmas, but I was not the one who asked the question-:

Could you please stop this massive e-mail I just sent to the whole co. in error (big shots & big cheeses included) with pics of naked stewardesses?

I witnessed that, and no, there was no way to help the poor guy. Everybody got the naked stewardesses in their inbox.

Happy Day 2 u 2. :)

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

You've been hanging out with Goth haven't you, Ranti?

The worst helpdesk people are Flemish when you speak to them in French. I've learnt my lesson and speak English to them now.

I wondered where McChe had been the past few days, and where my bottle of rose had gone.

JolietJake said...

Doris: I try to carry a bottle with me, amongst other things

Leni: Hi! Small things like that don't really annoy the helpdesk. Certainly not naked stewardesses.

Daphne: that wasn't actually Goth inspired but I can see your logic. That's not something I can say often to a woman.