Doesn’t Anyone Think Anymore?

I’m afraid that I already know the answer to this question, but I’ll ask it anyway, especially of those more seasoned souls among the readers here: Has humanity gotten more stupid, or have we always been this clueless?


One thing that I’m discovering by handling e-mailed requests is that people don’t think things through. As a result, we get a wide variety of requests from people, ranging from the hyper-documented problem that comes complete with the name of the person who it should get routed to, to the supremely simplistic and useless.


Take, for example, the couple of tickets I’ve already seen which simply say something to the effect of “My computer is not working.” That’s the extent of the message, no description of the problem, no error messages, not even any indication of whether it’s an emergency or not. I’ve had to call them back and ask what the problem is, and in one case, they said they were actually sitting at their desk waiting for someone to come by instead of calling them. On that one, I’d discovered that the computer was actually working, but it was their account that had been disabled, because their contract was scheduled to elapse on that day and their supervisor hadn’t extended their account after extending their contract.


What amazes me is that people submit tickets with urgent problems via e-mail. They get back an automated response that tells them if it’s an urgent issue, they’re supposed to call into the helpdesk to get immediate assistance. But whether they ignore that message or just don’t have a clue, there are those who continue to think that the e-mail route can still produce immediate results.


Take, for example, a ticket I actually had today. The writer was in training, and needed an application installed on her computer right away for the training. So she e-mailed in the ticket. Almost instantly, the system scrubbed the e-mail and automatically created the ticket. But, the way our process works, that ticket sat unanswered for at least 30 minutes before it was assigned to me. Once it was assigned, the client got an automated message telling her it had been assigned (not closed, not resolved…Assigned), and that someone would be getting in touch with her later.


Obviously, she hadn’t read either of the automated e-mails from the system. Because she kept responding to the automated e-mail, updating the ticket, every five minutes or less, saying that the program still wasn’t on her computer.


She got one more automated e-mail when I accepted her ticket, now 45 minutes after she’d sent in her request. And she was still letting us know that she still didn’t have her program.


Now keep in mind that with these e-mail requests, we have a full 10 business days to resolve them, if need be. Because they aren’t meant to be urgent tickets.  But I sent the application to her computer 5 minutes or so after accepting her ticket, and let her know that in order for it to show up for her to install, she was going to have to reboot in about 30 minutes.


This drew the real nastygram. I could picture the pursed lips and tapping foot as she spoke the words of the e-mail: “I am in training. I need this program right away. And I have already waited over two hours.” (It had only been about 50 minutes by the time I’d given her the program, and was only going to be another 30 after that…Not 2 hours.) I’m certain that her ticket will generate what we refer to as the “binary survey response,” customers can fill out a survey on the quality of our response to their issue. The ratings are from 1 to 5, 1 being bad, 5 being great. You get a survey response of all 1s (the binary survey) when someone is either pissed at the assistance they received, or if they didn’t pay attention to the rating scale and thought 1 was great and 5 was horrible.


Fortunately, no one can figure out how to run individual reports on survey scores, so I haven’t seen any of my surveys in over two years. I could be totally screwing up and never even know it!


Somewhere along the line, it became okay for people to be total asshats for no good reason. They stopped paying attention, stopped being civil, and stopped being patient. And, generally speaking, we’re okay with that.




See you tomorrow.