Tech & Work

Finding support in the world of support

As a support technician, you know all about the long days and frustrating computer users. But have you learned how to use the most valuable resources in your organization: Fellow support pros? Brenda Dial explains how communication can save the day.

As a support professional you know that you don't actually work for the IT department. You work for every end user and are ultimately responsible for making sure that every piece of equipment works and remains updated. Simply put, you are responsible for knowing everything about every computer in the facility.

Combine that with the fact that many enterprises don't have the money to hire enough people to do the job properly or to replace parts and equipment in a timely manner. As a result, you have learned to use baling twine and solder to keep a printer together. You know enough about the computers under your care to suspect when one is about to go down.

But what do you do when you look at your log and find that you're a half-day behind and won't catch up unless you work until midnight? What happens when you realize that 10 computers in your shop are on the blink? You can keep your head above water, but you need some help.

The solution is simple
Use the greatest tool available to you: A fellow support person. I'm not talking about hiring someone else. I'm talking about simply talking to someone.

A fellow support person can talk and listen to what you have to say. It isn't more dollars or manpower, but it may mean the difference between sinking and swimming, burning out and coping.

Simply voicing your frustration and watching another person nod in understanding helps. Just knowing that someone else is in the same boat as you might help to ease your pain.

Things to know and lessons to learn
Before you begin talking to your colleagues, here are some tips to remember:
  • Don't fall into the whining binge. Express your fears and concerns coherently.
  • Don't forget to listen. While you are expressing your thoughts you might actually find an answer to one of your myriad problems. Not only that, you might be the life preserver for another support person.
  • Don't wait too long to speak to someone. Likewise, never fail to listen to a fellow drowning victim.

Learn to communicate, and you may help yourself in more ways than you know.
Do you share your frustrations with your colleagues to keep stress from getting the upper hand? How often do you find yourself listening to co-workers’ tales of woe? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below or sending us a note.

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