DIY

Providing A to Z user support

What's the scope of the user support service you provide? Is it more specialized, or does it run the gamut? Alphabet Soup? Everything from A to Z? That's what I thought - until I was asked to put it to the test.

What's the scope of the user support service you provide? Is it more specialized, or does it run the gamut? Alphabet Soup? Everything from A to Z? That's what I thought -- until I was asked to put it to the test.

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I was recently asked about the type of support I provide, and my answer was something like Alphabet Soup -- everything from A to Z. I've often given this sort of answer (in a lame attempt to be a little funny, I suppose), but I've never been called to task to prove it. OK, he said, come up with a service you provide or something you support using every letter from A to Z.

Well, not being one to back down from a challenge (especially one I practically placed upon myself), I promptly pulled out a pencil and paper, drew a vertical column from the top-left of the sheet all the way to the bottom, and wrote every letter from A to Z -- all 26 of them. I then started to fill in the list.

A: This is easy - AutoCAD; B: Okay, I'll come back to this one; C: Computers; and on it went. I jumped around at first, filling in the easy and obvious letters, skipping the more difficult ones. As time went on, I found it more difficult to find an answer for the letters. I started to redo my previous entries so I could use the harder letter on something that could be stated a bit differently.

Anyway, this is hopefully a lighthearted look at those of us who claim to provide Alphabet Soup support -- everything from A to Z. Here's my list:

A: AutoCAD

B: Batch Files

C: Computers

D: Digital Cameras

E: E-Mail

F: File Backups

G: Google (or google)

H: Hard Drives -- internal and external

I: Internet Connections

J: JPEG Files

K: Keyboards

L: Laptops

M: Motherboards

N: Networking

O: Operating Systems

P: Printers, Plotters, and Peripherals

Q: Queues

R: Routers

S: Servers

T: Telecommuting

U: USB Technology

V: Video Conferencing

W: Windows Office Suite

X: XP (OK, admittedly a subset of operating systems, but it's X, for Pete's sake!)

Y: Yahoo! (Or, Yahoo, I'm almost done!)

Z: Zip Files

Try it yourself. It might not be as easy as you think -- especially if you're accurate and avoid redundancies by simply restating the same thing a different way.

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24 comments
jgaskell
jgaskell

If I had time to make an A-Z list, I could think of roughly 5000 better things to do with that time.

Joe_R
Joe_R

Perhaps you should have tried for 5001.

KaxyotiK
KaxyotiK

Why? What do you gain by doing this?

Joe_R
Joe_R

.....a lighthearted look at those of us who claim to provide Alphabet Soup support ? everything from A to Z.

Michael Jay
Michael Jay

play with if we happen to be bored silly...

EddieS
EddieS

On the con side: 1. Lists often tend to squeeze the meaning and substance out of the content being listed. 2. Adding an arbitrary list structure, like the alphabet, acronyms, or limiting the number of list items (e.g., "Top 10")intensifies #1 and may often actually obfuscate by changing the meaning of the item to fit the structural scheme. 3. You could be, well, supporting people on these tasks instead of listing. But, on the other hand, some pros may be: 1. Lists, often times, make concrete "mind stuff" and can lead to less anxiety, more control, better time management and planning. 2. Engaging in exercises like this may be good way to check in on what your job as become and may lead to an evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses in the items. 3. Attempting to morph known tasks into a pattern that differs than one(s) you use everyday, often times, leads to insights you may not have experienced otherwise.

lfschauer
lfschauer

Where I work a to z is my job description!

Michael Jay
Michael Jay

I will try, not so much the things I support but the type of support. X proved to be a problem; A: Accepting all challenges B: Battling Traffic C: Computer competence D: Delights in fixing stuff E: Everyone wins F: File recovery G: Good Looking H: Happy to help I: Intensely curious J: Just because it is what I do K: Keeps on Keeping on L: Labors free for friends M: Methodical worker N: Not afraid of difficult problems O: Offers suggestions freely P: Pleasant manner Q: Quickly assesses problem R: Ready to rock S: Saving humanity one computer at a time T: Testing, then testing again to be sure U: Unable to stop till it is right V: Very fast W: Wanting only the best for the customer X: XP fixer Y: You call me if you need help Z: Zero defects Ok and perhaps G. is over the edge, but here it is.

zentross
zentross

We should all aspire to such goals of service. (I may need a little cosmetic surgery to meet 'G' though. ;) )

Michael Jay
Michael Jay

I always try to be positive, not always successful. And don't worry about G, you look fine.

Joe_R
Joe_R

Great way to look at it

Michael Jay
Michael Jay

would post a somewhat serious try at a lighthearted idea, seems you have no takers but me.. Thanks Joe

richardqt
richardqt

A: Almacenamiento B: Base de datos C: Codecs D: Discos duros E: Encriptacion F: Firefox G: GUI's H: Html I: Impresoras J: Java K: Kernels L: Linux M: Memorias USB N: Navegadores O: Open Source P: Perifericos Q: Quicktime R: Redes S: Sistema Operativos T: Telefonia IP U: Usenet V: Virus W: Wikis X: Xml Y: YouTube Z: Zero day ataques

Joe_R
Joe_R

Re: the original blog http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/helpdesk/?p=304 What's the scope of the user support service you provide? Is it more specialized, or does it run the gamut? Alphabet Soup? Everything from A to Z? That's what I thought - until I was asked to put it to the test.

LarryD4
LarryD4

Application support, hardware support, server support, application development, database development and support(MS SQL/MS-Access/DB2), Avaya Phone network support, Web design and support(Websphere, IIS, Sharepoint) Ummmm Oh yeah and mainframe support and troubleshooting. And for 700 users we have 6 IT staff and one IT/phone guy.

zentross
zentross

Thanks for posting this challenge. It is interesting to note that even for those who can fill in all the letters a common theme may arise to illustrate his/her particular strength. A) application B) backup c) computer d) disks e) e-mail apps f) ftp g) (couldn't come up with one on my own :( ) h) hub i) internet support j) jpeg k) keyboard L) laptop m) mouse, anything MS n) network o) operating system (windows, mac, *nix) p) peripherals q) (got me on this one) r) router s) scripting t) tablet u) usb v) virus w) (nope) x) (nada) y) yahoo z) zimbra

Michael Jay
Michael Jay

Let me suggest for G Gnome Goodlink GUI For Q Queensryche Gotta have some music to fix by Q is evil For W dare I say it? Windows, kinda covered it in O operating systems. For X XML Just thinking, clearly I still have too much time on my hands.

Lovs2look
Lovs2look

I realise this is a light-hearted look at support so I'm probably nit-picking, but you say these are the things you support? Really, you support batch files? you support queues??? You support Google???? How much do they pay you for this? I support Google too and recieve nothing! Maybe you could clarify and say you support users who use...these things in the list. After re-reading my reply I was going to delete and not comment at all, but bugger it...here it is.

Joe_R
Joe_R

Okay, I can buy that.

wolfen2k
wolfen2k

A = and all other work deemed necessary

1bn0
1bn0

AutoCad Word Excel PowerPoint Project Visio ERP Mail Client Lab Database Systems Labeling Programs Production Metrics Website Training Website Access Card System ...

Joe_R
Joe_R

But now I need to find something for W.

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