Help desk rants: What do you need to get off your chest?

Venting at the office is unprofessional, and your loved ones don't want to hear it. Let off some steam with people who'll understand your pain!

My neighbor at the office and I have something we call Saucy Fridays.

Whenever it's coming to the close of the week, and one of us feels like we're down to our last nerve, we'll warn the other by declaring "I'm having a Saucy Friday." It's a sign that we've had enough of our colleagues, and we're just one step away from snapping at some unfortunate who happens to blunder in and say the wrong thing.

I don't like to complain about my users at the office, but sometimes everyone needs to let off some steam. I think that this can be of utmost importance for support pros, since angst that's left unacknowledged can fester quickly. Workplace morale can start to suffer.

So in the spirit of mental health and productivity, I'd like to offer all of you the opportunity to vent your frustrations and complain (reasonably anonymously) about those things that drive you up a wall. Consider it group therapy.

I'll start.

Hi everyone, my name is Will, and I work in Tech Support.

  • I've mentioned this elsewhere in comments I've made here on TechRepublic, but it really bothers me when someone asks me to help them with a problem they're having, and then disappears once I'm at their terminal. I make it my habit to let users know if I don't need them around during my troubleshooting; if I don't dismiss them, it's because I expect to need their login credentials or I have a tip for them on how they can to avoid their problem in the future. I pride myself on making sure I don't waste anyone else's time; it really peels my orange when I'm made to feel like mine is being taken for granted.
  • It's a problem when "Can you help me?" really means "Will you do my work for me?" I've had people ask me to clean out their electronic mailboxes for them.
  • My final peeve for Saucy Friday is the phrase "Did you see my e-mail (or ticket)?" Makes my skin crawl to type, let alone hear. My stance on this: don't expect an instantaneous response from an asynchronous communications medium. If I saw your message and it required a response, you would have one already. If I saw it and didn't respond, then I won't have much more to offer you face-to-face. So why even ask the question! Please, it's okay to have something you need addressed immediately. That's called an emergency, and you can find me or call me when one happens. But if you've already decided you don't need my immediate attention—you sent an email, after all—then don't waste the time you spent composing that message by grabbing me in the hallway. It also keeps me from grumbling your name when I get back to my desk and have to delete your now obsolete message.

There. I know I feel much better.

Please everyone; feel free to let out your help desk demons. You're among friends here.