Okay, I’ve got a question for all of you.

 

Over the past two days, I’ve had three people–who’ve called the help desk looking for computer help–decline my help just because I’ve told them they need to do something they don’t want to do.

 

That something is a reboot, which, I fully understand, takes time. But it’s necessary. And important. And on many occasions, the only way to fix a problem.

 

But because it takes time–time that the people calling me think they don’t have–these people have simply ended things there and have left the call. Even though it meant they’d still have the problem they called in to have fixed.

 

I don’t get it. Obviously.

 

I mean, people don’t go into the doctor’s office to have a broken leg taken care of and then, once the doctor asks to have you take off your pants so he can get to the leg in question, they don’t leave the office and say they just can’t do that now.

 

It’s almost similar to calling in with a problem that only happens when they have their computer at home. And they’re in the office right now.

 

Or people having problems with their cell phone, and they’re actually calling you from the cell phone at the time–how do we figure out e-mail isn’t working when you can’t get to it because the phone’s on?

 

Things like this make me wonder just how prevalent this stuff is in other support-based businesses.

 

Do people storm out of the mechanic’s shop because the mechanic actually needs to get under the car to change the oil? “Oh, I thought you could just do that from up here.”

 

People don’t leave college classrooms upon discovering there would be reading involved.

 

Or go into the dentist for a filling and throw a fit when they’re asked to open their mouths.

 

Maybe some of this is preposterous, but really, how does this make sense? People actually called in seeking help, and I was giving it to them, and when I suggested a reboot, they each complained and said they couldn’t wait for that. So in one case, someone decided that manually going through several steps to sort and process a spreadsheet was more time-effective than taking a few minutes to reboot to fix the problem. In another, the reboot would fix something as simple as a memory error, so they could actually combine data from a couple of spreadsheets into one large sheet. Instead, they were content manually going back and forth between the two files to compare data.

 

And in all cases, I asked several times if they were sure about this. I’d noted that the reboot would just take a few minutes and it would fix the problem in the end. But no, that was not what they wanted now.

 

Is a little inconvenience on the way to a resolution really worth digging in your heels over? I’d like to think not.

 

See you tomorrow.

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When it was written
April 2014
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