I’ve tried in the past, as a public service to those of you who aren’t in the technology support services field, to help you understand the things you should and shouldn’t do when seeking computer assistance. Today, I give you the addendum to the previous instructional posts.

First: Please, oh please, oh please, for the love of all things holy, PAY ATTENTION to what I’m telling you. When I tell you that your computer is going to reboot and to NOT log in after the reboot, but just tell me that it’s at the log in screen, please do what I say. Because when you failed to do that the first time, we had to reboot again to get to exactly the same point because you didn’t listen twice in a row.

Second: I’ve said it before, but this one is an extension: Don’t lie to me. But where you lied in the past and said you didn’t do something that I know you did, this time, I’ve been lied to because you said you know how to use the software that you’re now having problems with. So, you see, the problem you’re having with Excel, where it won’t do the data lookup and recalculation right, and you’re positive it’s a problem with the add-in…That’s actually a problem because you had no clue what the hell you’re doing in programming the formula. What’s worse is that I discovered that after 30 minutes of fighting with the add-in and confirming that it works in looking up the data. And I don’t even know much about writing formulas in Excel.

Third: Don’t insist a problem is urgent unless it really is. You may think the problem you’re having with not being able to open up a PDF from an e-mail is the most important problem in the world, but I’ve got forty other people with forty other problems who think that theirs is just as important or even more so. I try to take stuff as it comes in and as I get a hold of people and as problems appear to be actually preventing people from doing their job.

3A: Also, after leaving three voicemail messages for me in the span of 8 working hours telling me it’s really important that I call you back soon, please then accept my call or IM…Especially when I can see that your IM status is online and available.

Fourth: Don’t tell me that something is my problem to fix when it isn’t. I’ve forwarded your ticket to another group because they can fix the problem and I can’t. So when they don’t call you back or give you the answer you want, don’t call me looking for a second opinion. I don’t administer your database, so when the data doesn’t pull properly, you need to work with the database people and not me.

Fifth: I don’t make any decisions. I just support things that are put in place by other people’s decisions. So don’t blame me for a version of Word that you don’t like.

Sixth: If you complain a lot, or don’t like new technology, or, heaven forbid, change, DO NOT EVER volunteer to be an early upgrader. You’ve just spent six years with Windows XP, and Windows 7 is a big change from that. So don’t bitch to me because you offered to be the first in your group to upgrade.

Seventh: I didn’t buy, specify, or install your home network equipment. Don’t expect me to set it up or configure it for you. I’ll try to help connect your work laptop to it, but once I do everything I can there, I’m done. And: if you forget or don’t know your own network key, I can’t help you at all.

Finally: Observe, then call. Can’t connect to the network? Make sure the cable is plugged in or you’re on the wireless. See an error message on your screen? Read it and memorize it, or write it down so that when you tell me you had an error message, I can at least get the message. Especially because, as we all know, error messages almost never come back when I remote into your computer.

Remember: treat us with care, because we’re the last line of defense you’ve got before your computer explodes in a cloud of electronic smoke.

See you tomorrow.