How to respond to outside user's "suggestions"?

By jfuller05 ·
I'll explain. Last week at work, I was working on a problem that a user had (DCOM Server Process launcher service, must restart), I suspected a Trojan and maybe some other infections. Anyway, the user trusted me, but some other guys came in that were not "techies" by any means. They asked the user what was wrong with the computer and I told them it was probably a virus causing the computer to restart.
Well, the guy that came into the user's office said, "well, it's probably the power supply if it's restarting or a hard drive problem." I told him that it's probably not the power supply because of the error message shown on the desktop. He insisted that when a computer shuts down or restarts it is rooted in a power supply or hdd problem. After they left, I assured the user that it was not either of those problems and in a little bit I fixed the problem. My question is, what do you say, or how do you respond effictively to suggestions from people that really don't know what they are talking about?

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Change of terms

by santeewelding In reply to How to respond to outside ...

Replace "professionally" with "effectively".

When you find the answer, you can bottle it and the world will beat a path to your door.

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Tell them..

by cmiller5400 In reply to How to respond to outside ...

By all means that they can fix the problem and that you will then bill them personally 5x your going rate to fix what they screw up ]:)

Do you work for the company or are you a contractor? The response really depends on that. If you are an employee, I'd probably take the time to explain why in intricate detail (basically bore them to death ) why you are right. And, I'd tend to mention it to my boss as a heads up; it would be up to him to contact the users manager to deal with the problem. If you were a contractor, I'd be contacting whomever is your "boss" there and report it.

Any way you look at it, it is very unprofessional of that user to be contradicting you in that manner.


Edit: To fix emoticons.

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by jfuller05 In reply to Tell them..

I work for Hopkins County, I'm a full-time employee as the computer support specialist. I was helping a user that works at the Road Department and the guy that came in the office where I was working is in Maintenance and Operations. My only guess as to why he would even "but-in" is to try and show me up, I'm not sure, but he wasn't close to solving the problem. He didn't come off as trying to help, his input was very presumptuous.
Anyway, your answer really helped out, next time I'll explain why I'm right in a very dry, dull, manner. Thanks!

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Make sure to tell them...

by cmiller5400 In reply to Company

That the flux capacitor's need to be changed out every 6 months or sooner if you leave your computer on all the time ]:)

It happens to all of us at one time or another. Sometimes more information turns those "techie wannabe's" into glazed eyed zombies

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Well in a case like this

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to How to respond to outside ...

If I couldn't get the guy to drop it I would just have said something along the lines of

Well that's easy to check, go out and grab a Boot Disc like the Ultimate Boot CD boot off that and check the HDD.

If it stays on and running neither the HDD or Power Supply is at fault so it must be a OS Issue which is what I was dealing with to begin with.

Of course if it's a Hardware issue you may be required to return it to the IT Service Department for repairs so we'll try this first and see if it cures the problem.

Sorry but when things like this happen depending on who is butting in there are no easy answers, you just have to roll with the flow so to speak and try not to sound Superior or Condescending.


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by jfuller05 In reply to Well in a case like this

Thanks, this really helped out too. Between yours and cmiller's replies, I have an idea of how to handle this kind of situation now if it should ever happen again. Just use over the top IT jargon to bore them and stand firm in my position without being a total jerk. :)
Thanks again.

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Your Welcome

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to haha

Things like this come with practice and God only knows that I've had more than enough Practice at trying to solve issues like this. :^0


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Bore them...

by Shellbot In reply to haha

is the trick I use :)

I work with Databases, and well, as I've discovered over the years, not everyone gets as excited about them as I do !!!

A few weeks ago i had the immense pleasure of spending 15 minutes explaining why I couldn't do something as there are very complex triggers in the d'base...oh man i laid it on thick... took about 2.5 minutes to get the optimal "glazed eye" eye look..and i just kept on going... it was a beautiful speech.. just beautiful < wipes tear from eye >

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That's funny...

by jfuller05 In reply to Bore them...

yeah, it's fun to do that with people.
Using IT jargon; it's a beautiful thing

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Its also

by Shellbot In reply to That's funny...

a great interview tactic..

Start talking like that, and if the prospective employee's eyes glaze over.. they are either not interested or have no clue what your talking about..
either don't want them :)

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