IT annoyances

IT people drive me nuts sometimes.

I hate calling them because they always act like you're stupid and they're so much smarter and half the time they don't speak English.

Now I understand, there are a lot of stupid people out there, so they have to ask the obvious, but when I explain my problem and it sounds like I know what I'm talking about, wouldn't you kind of think I already did the obvious? I don't usually cave and call them unless I can't find anything online that helps my situation.

I recall one time in college, when our router wasn't working for some reason. I restarted the computer I had been accessing it from, I restarted the router, read the entire guide that came with it and it still wouldn't work, so I gave up and called Belkin (or was it Netgear?). As expected, the guy barely spoke English, even though I called their English speaking hotline. He asked what OS I was using and I told him (it was OS 10.4 for Mac). He paused, seemed confused and asked to put me on hold. A few minutes later he comes back and is reading to me, word for word, what it says in the manual for troubleshooting with a Mac (note, I had already read all this and tried all this before I called). I told him I tried each suggestion as he read them off. Eventually he gave up and said he would look into it, meanwhile I figured out the problem on my own and got it working later. This guy was of no help and I clearly knew more about my OS than he did.

Then the latest incident was today.

First off, at work, I hate the printer at my desk - it prints slow and is picky about the paper. And it won't always read the guarenteed to work reused ink cartridges we get. Well today it finally told me that the color ink was low and since I was printing a lot, I went and changed it rather than wait for it to run out. The first cartridge I tried, from our regular supplier, wouldn't read - it kept giving me an error to remove the cartridge and reinstall and wouldn't go away no matter how many times I did that.

So my boss gave me a box of other cartridges she had gotten a deal on from a different supplier. I popped one in, and the message popped up to press enter to align the cartridges, which is normal when I put in a new one, and it usually prints out a test page. Well, it kept failing, only printing the black ink cartridge and not reading the color cartridge I had just put in. I try a few more times, turning off the printer several times, and it still did this. I even bypassed the alignment check and just printed off a test page on my own and it still only printed black ink - no color. So I try another one of these new cartridges from a different supplier and still having the same problem as the other. Thinking maybe I broke something pulling out the old cartridge, I popped it back in. It did the alignment and everything turned out just fine! I tried the other cartridge from our regular supplier that I couldn't get to work before and got that one working.

I tried looking for a solution online via Google search, like I usually do when I can't figure something out on my own, but nothing that was suggested worked.

So I told my boss that all the new ones she got from the other supplier didn't work for some reason, showing her what the problem was. She got on the phone with and had me explain it. The lady on the phone says she's going to call IT and will call me back.

She calls back and the first thing she asks: "Did you try turning the printer on and off?"
Am I stupid? Of course I turned it on and off - several times!

"Did you try unplugging the entire unit?"
Uh, yeah!

"Oh okay, well I'll call IT back and they should have some information in about 10 minutes or so and we'll call you back!"

They think it might be the chip on the cartridges that are messed up, but think it's weird that I got several like that.

I think their product just doesn't work with my printer.


  1. Urgh, I hate this too.

    I've had this problem too. I'm pretty good with computers and whatever it is I am buying for the computer, but every now and then, you get stuck.

    I was on a live help chat one time and I had to put in my name. So, of course, I put "Angela"

    Some girlie was trying to help me, asked the obvious, got upset when I told her I did everything she had said already and she's like "Okay, Angela, if that's even your real name..."

    I'm like, WTF? O.o

    But yes, it's annoying. Especially when you get the people who do not/barely speak English. URGH!

  2. Exactly!

    I mean, I understand some people that call really do need the obvious stated for them, but when you explain the problem to them IN DETAIL you would think they would realize that wait, you're not one of the stupid people and maybe they shouldn't treat you like a 5 year old...

    The time where I got a the guy that barely spoke English and clearly had no knowledge regarding Macs really annoyed me even more than I already was, lol...

  3. i hate having computer problems MAINLY because of dealing whoever is supposed to help me fix it. booo.

  4. You should've asked to be forwarded to someone you could understand. :) He probably couldn't understand your English either. It works both ways.

    As for the call centre help lines, I can sympathise, it takes freaking forever to get the answer you need. And then they'll try and sell you more stuff! Grr.

  5. I have worked in the IT field for the better part of 5 years now. While some of my interaction is done over the phone, most of it is done face-to-face (which is a huge blessing, in my mind).

    You can always tell the people who are clueless, because they look at you like you're the second coming of Christ. They're clueless even about the most basic questions. I can usually ask 1, maybe 2 questions and get a feel that these people are eTards (as I like to call them).

    Then you have those people who actually know what they're doing. Unfortunately, they fall in to 2 categories: 1) People who know, and still want your help (about 10%) and 2) People who know, and want you to know that they know, and think your job is a waste of money (the other 90%). I love that first 10%, because I can get to the bottom of the problem quickly, and they usually give me insight that allows me to skip a bunch of steps. I hate the final 90%, because they usually have no clue what they're talking about. (Just because you've used Windows in your household for 10+ years doesn't mean you know what's wrong with your phone, sir.)

    If you ever have an in-house IT department... be nice. Seriously. We're nice people, and we'd love to help. Just be assertive, before we even get into troubleshooting, step up and tell us what you've already done. Restarted? Cool. Unplugged? Cool. Tried 14 cartridges, skipping the alignment, etc? Awesome.

    And if push ever comes to shove... ask for a supervisor. Better results + the original tech usually gets a talking to, which (might) make him better in the long run.


What's your thoughts?