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What do you do if the customer watches over your shoulder constantly?

By Jack-M ·
How do you react as a 'professional computer whiz' when the customer is always watching over your shoulder and asking "why" at everything you do?

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I give them about 5 answers...

by Mickster269 In reply to What do you do if the cus ...

and then gently remind them that they are being billed by the half hour.

I also mention that the more time I spend answering thier questions, the longer it's going to take me to fix the problem.

I then politely mention if they would like to set up time for training, I'd be more than happy to schedual it for a later date.

If that still doesn't help, I get a large item off of the desk/work area, and drop it onthier foot.

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Really simple

by mjd420nova In reply to What do you do if the cus ...

The top of my document folder has one of those price sheets, the kind that states prices if you laugh, help, ridicule or watch. I'm not above training others, and will gladly offer any answers, but they know they are being billed on time, and the longer it takes to explain what I'm doing and why, the bigger the bill. I've always prided myself on being able to hold my tongue in from of the customer, and my office has a large board where I post daily encounters with the most flagrant users and their particular quirks. This has helped my fellow techs, and must will check my board before going on a call, just to see if they can handle the user, or leave it for me if I'm already out for the day. Being that the bosses can see this board, we have labeled it the SNIT LIST. We all know what the real intent was, but it saves face for the visitors and prospective customers.

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Answer all questions, but pass them some....

by Mp3SpY In reply to Really simple

Answer all questions but on the fifth question, pass a lil gas and I'm sure they will vacate the area :)

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pepper spray

by gralfus In reply to What do you do if the cus ...

Ok, maybe not. It really does annoy me because I can get into the zen of what I need to do and such, and being interrupted drags it out and I tend to make mistakes.

I had this happen in a clean room once and kinda blew up at the guy. I later wished I had been less testy. But sometimes, I don't really know the exact reasons for taking a particular path in problem solving, it just seems right. If I have to stop and explain it, I may talk myself out of it and spend a lot more time going nowhere.

My worst experience was an engineer that wanted to know ahead of time not only what I was going to do, but why, and be able to defend the exact reasons why my solution would fix his issue. He wouldn't let me work until I could explain this. I waited until his back was turned, fixed it, and gathered my tools. He blustered for a bit, but his computer worked.

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by thinker999 In reply to pepper spray

Yes, engineers are the worst, as they subscribe to the mistaken belief that they know everything. Of course, if that were true, you wouldn't be there. I learned not to argue with them anymore. I'd simply ask them to sign/date the ticket stating that they forbid me from working on the system, and carry that to my boss, who'd then visit with their boss. Their boss would then remind them of 'separation of responsibilities.' They didn't bother me when I came back. On a 'contract' basis, you can't argue with 'em either. So what's the answer? Just refuse the call?? Some people just aren't worth the stuff that you'd have to put up with, and would likely argue with the fix, or be a slow-pay on you anyway...

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not all engineers....

by david.sayers In reply to Engineers

Not all of us engineers fall into that category. I for one, have come to the realization that the more I learn, the more I realize that I don't know. :)

That being said, I've been around the block for a while, so I'm way past the ego stage that I see a lot of young engineers get into.

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inundate them with geek speak

by digitalb In reply to Engineers

If it is starting to become a problem with the questions then start answering their quesions very technically if you are capable of doing so. Soon you will see their eyes glaze over and they may start twitching after about 10 minutes. An if all else fails tell them that Google is an awesome and free resouce that should be able to help them find all of their answers.

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by mindilator In reply to inundate them with geek s ...

i have tried that approach and too often it just fuels their fire. if you give them answers they don't understand, you give them more questions to ask. i avoid this issue by separating my work area from our meetings. if i don't meet them on their project over dinner (that they usually pick up) then i meet them in an office environment that i don't do my work in. i tell them what i'm going to do, we lay out a production plan, and they leave, satisfied that there will be a result when they meet me again. if it's a small job, the kind that only takes a few minutes and they happen to be loitering, i tell them i'm busy but it will be taken care of by end of day. if they need it done now i offer them something to do while they wait, (could be something useful) and if they still are in a position to hover over my shoulder i simply tell them that i can't work like that. most people understand that it's unnerving. most of those times the task it so simple it doesn't leave them any time to come up with a question. as a last resort, everyone seems to chuckle at the tired phrase, "that's why i get paid the big bucks." i hate that phrase, but it has shut up enough people that i find it worth using.

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Have them justify

by sschafir In reply to pepper spray

I have run into this before and I have asked them how they would know if the solution I am explaining to them is right. If they knew how to fix the issue they wouldn't be calling me to come fix it. If they insist I would give them some obscure answer peppered with technical jargon I know they won't understand. I would also tell them that because we are not in a classroom or a court of law I am not required to defend my reasons or the solution. I would remind them that if I don't fix the issue without their interference that they would cease to be productive and then not necessary to the organization. I would give them about 15 seconds to mull this over before I would just leave, inform their manager and my manager of what just happened so all the weight of that decision would fall on their shoulders.

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know-it-all engineers

by Colonel Panijk In reply to Have them justify

This thread reminds me of an amusing story I once read. It seems that some twit disabled a Xerox copier by putting developer in the toner tank, or some such silly thing. When the repair tech arrived, he found that the engineers had disassembled the copier down to the welded frame -- every last piece, every last screw removed and spread out on the floor. He was told that this had been done "to make his job easier." Yeah, right! The customer ended up paying for several days' labor by the repair tech to painstakingly rebuild the copier. If the engineers had left the thing alone, it would have taken him 20 or 30 minutes to clean and refill the tank.

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