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Dumb end users

By cavendish ·
Dumb end users are the the product of dumb computer help desk experts giving wrong advice, incomplete advice, assuming knowledge of the novice, and speaking "Geek" to them.

For example after reading the requirements to down load and open your article lampooning dumb end users, and going to the trouble of downloading it, the file wont open because your dumb expert forgot to mention it also requires some sort of unzip program (not on my computer). So have a little sympathy for dumb novices, most dont get any training, most dont get proper service from their dumb help desks.

Just knowing that there is a problem, knowing that there is a question to ask, knowing what question to ask are obvious to the expert, but not obvious to the novice.

This also pervuades computer manuals. What word do I look up in the index to read about solving the problem, that I dont know whether it is a problem.

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Agreement

by lytlejeva In reply to Dumb end users

I was just looking for a forum topic on this matter. I think the comments made most of the techs do not show any respect for the user at all. How then should the IT community expect any respect from the customer. One of my basic principle is that the user does not have to be a computer geek. Whatever they can do for themselves is great, but they shouldn't have to know how to do everything. Thats what a "help" desk is for. The title of the article is also offensive. The stories are interesting, but users are never dumb, they just don't know as much as the techs should.

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by ShariB In reply to Agreement

I agree wholeheartedly. The users are what keeps most of us in jobs. Period. Without users, we aren't needed very much, are we?

Do we know everything about the workings of our car/truck? Can we rebuild it from a pile of parts? Probably not. Does that make us dumb users of automobiles? Does it irritate us when the auto mechanic thinks we are dumb?

Some techs need to do a reality check.

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Thank You, ShariB!

by DumbUser In reply to

Finally, an IT pro who gets it! Without the users, IT folks would be out of a job. Most need to learn customer service skills. 1 million digital mojo points for you!

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From where I Lurch

by LordInfidel In reply to Agreement

You have to look into the mentality of a SysAdmin and then you will know why we think users our dumb.

A good admin keeps his/her users scared to do anything on their own. While we all enjoy a good problem to solve, we don't like solving problems that the users cause themselves because they decided to think on their own.

But if we start to adopt the mentality that users should be shown sympathy, then we begin working against ourselves.

As a security admin, I don't want users thinking I'm some nice guy that will help them do things that they are not supposed to be doing. Why, because it's my job to tell them no. And you will never get respect from users for telling them no all of the time.

Help Desk is a misnomer, they are not there to "help" the end user install stuff (i'm talking corporate support not OEM tech support), but instead are there to fix the problems that they (the end user) probably created in the first place.

Now I did not read the article, but most of the end users I have met suprise me with the fact that they are able to walk upright. And it has nothing to do with then not knowing that the tray thingy is their cd-rom. Most people are just unintelligent which makes it hard for intelligent people to deal with them.

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I can remember a story

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to From where I Lurch

From a tech friend of mine who got a call asking was the coffie cup holder UG when it broke on the front of the computer.

Turns out that this END USER was using the CD Rom Tray as a cup holder because he didn't know what else it was good for.

Now with people like this are we susposed to think all of the end users we support are rocket scientists? But then again I suspose those Rocket scientists are just as geeky as most of us in the IT business.

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WinZip or WinRAR

by Oz_Media In reply to Dumb end users

You can download either WinZip or WinRAR by using a simple search phrase on any search engine.

ZIP files are just slightly compressed files that offer a smaller download size, also good for downloading multiple files in a single 'package' that you will unzip into the mulitple files.

RAR is another form of file compression, as is tarball etc. MANY flacours but ZIP is the most common. If you don't have it yet, you WILL need it in future, worth adding to you toolbox.

As an somewhat experienced user myself, I JUST this minute finished resolving a boot problem that I had pegged as a failed power supply but was reluctant to replace it until confirmed. TheChas and Col Luck offered some amazing help and I ended up finding it was dead RAM. Pulled the RAM, PC booted, problem solved.

Now this level of support is unsurpassed anywhere and these guys help for the heck of it, talk about fantastic people!

So as I've said here before, YOU may be a gurur to someone, others will be a guru to you. It is usually dependant on who read page two of the manual. (ALthough I wouldn't simplify the techs that are found here that way).

I had an end user (you wanna talk newbie?!)asking DELL for help in gettnig her PC reformatted. When she asked questions, the guy on the help desk was sighing. She said she could imagine him rolling his eyes at, she explained that she was new and she apologized for not understanding brief instructions. He was demeaning to her, she said he even laughed at her questions at one point, and never ended up helping her. She called me and I took some time to walk her through it (not without an email to DELL's tech support Quality Assurance manager).

Here you may find conflict in discussion topics, you will have peers call you a moron for not seeing thier point in politics, religion or human relations. You may have a group of people gang up on you and take turns shooting down your ideas.


When it comes to IT and getting help to the toughest problems, your best friends and worst enemies will all piitch in to see you through it.

Now THAT'S tech support!

Thanks guys!

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We've all been end (L)users

by pgm554 In reply to WinZip or WinRAR

I?ve been in the biz for quite a while and been on both sides of the fence. I?ve dealt with lazy helpdesk people as a 3rd level, backend support specialist as well as the end users.
But there are times when the users feign stupidity to cover their a**es. Experience with people counts as much as technical know how.

There was a code word for user screw up, O.E. (operator error).

I worked for DEC in the 80?s as a field engineer and part of my training was dealing with the customer. You could be the best tech person in the world, but if the customer sees you as a jerk, then you are a jerk (perception is reality).At the time, we were the most expensive field support organization in the world, but we were also rated the best (over IBM and such)

I have been an end user when calling for tech support and there were times when some of the support guys made me feel as if I were spoiling their day by asking a dumb question. Look, if I knew the answer, I wouldn?t be calling now, would I?

Trying to strike a balance is a tough job, especially when you?ve got some clown bean counter looking to outsource your job. Look at the bang up job Dell when they outsourced their help desk. Management is always looking see just how much dumbing down they can get away with, before the users get pi**ed and move on to somebody else.

Experienced, balanced support people are seen as too expensive in these days of lean budgets.

In the end you pay for what you get.

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OZ, my man

by voldar In reply to WinZip or WinRAR

I agree with all, specially with the last part of your post. May I add more? No mater if it?s IT or no matter what field, if a person doesn?t have a little of estime for himself first and those 7 years we always talk about (from the childhood) guys like the DELL?s one are everywhere. I must agree, sometimes when users called me for the third time to come up to their computer because it is not working anymore, and when I get there the monitor is not even plugged into the computer because he pulled it out, I start yelling a bit. Or when I come to help them, ask what the problem is, they say ? I did nothing but my computer freezes. So, I taught myself to never ask what he did but what he wanted to do.
But, also, there are two types of users: the ones that work in the office, in your network for which you are the man in charge, responsible to support and never have downtimes, and users like your friend, home users if you don?t mind to name her so, that are very much entitle to get as much as possible information from the customer support service that can.
That?s it. If you are a user in my network ? you play by the rules. At home, you do anything you want: burn down your computer, whatever. In here, in my network, you are supposed to work as I do, so keep your hands off. I do everything so that you can use the better your programs/computer/printers etc., but that?s it. The rest, it?s mine!

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Dumb End Users

by Pistolpig In reply to Dumb end users

Although I agree to a certain extent with what you have said. After 8 years in this game, I have to say that I cannot sympathise when users do things "off their own bat" that they shouldn't have touched in the first place. E.G. A customer of mine who at one stage put a huge fan on his CPU by drilling a hole straight through it and putting a bolt and nut on. If you don't laugh, you'd cry.

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Oh I'm laughing.

by Oz_Media In reply to Dumb End Users

Would like to see which drill he was using and how he found a bit to fit it that wouldn't crack the CPU, also how he used a bolt and nut to fasten it, was it a stud installed into the heat sink from underneath?. (I'm a mechanical guy, I just can't picture it)

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