Office Survival Tip: Technical Difficulties

30 Nov

Office Survival Tip: Technical Difficulties

Technical difficulties are the bain of inept electronic users everywhere. They can occur at any time, but are most likely to rear their ugly heads 6.5 minutes before something important is due. This gives you just enough time to panic, but not quite enough to actually do anything constructive about it.

When faced with a technical difficulty, there are several options for dealing:

1.       Walk away and leave the problem for someone else to deal with. (Note: This is an effective tactic for communal electronics, like the printer. This is not an effective tactic for personal electronics, like your PC.)

2.       Plug and unplug it repeatedly until its fixed, you get tired, or the whole thing just up and dies

3.       Call Tech Support

If you got with option #3 be forewarned, the common cubicle worker and Tech Support have vastly different concepts of urgency. If it’s an “emergency” expect support sometime tomorrow. If it’s “not an emergency” expect support sometime next month. Consider this principle before calling in a support request.

And if you want to avoid technical failures happening in the first place, an effective tactic is to try not to care too much. Electronics can smell deadline panic like dogs can smell fear, and will implode if you get within a 10 foot radius with an urgent task.  Thus technical failure can occur anywhere, from your desk PC to the dreaded copier, or if you’ve amassed enough negative energy, the elevator. Of course not caring too much also has the added benefit that if your computer implodes 6.5 minutes before a deadline…you won’t care too much.

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16 Responses to “Office Survival Tip: Technical Difficulties”

  1. oakfiling1 November 30, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    I think ill try not caring 🙂

    • sharkables December 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

      Good tactic, good tactic. You’ll be surprised how much less stressful things are in general when you dont care!

  2. Fred Wanner November 30, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    Which has given rise to the new sport of calling Tech Support when there is nothing wrong but one wants to be amused by geeks. This games was invented by recovering techies who have re-entered the ‘real world’. It is approximately Step 28 of the recovery process.

    • sharkables December 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

      Oh what a good game! Almost makes me want to know something about the tech world so I could play along. Almost…

  3. John @ Start Mission December 1, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Hey, I’m a tech guy and I’m insulted…Here’s the real protocol to follow for support: If it’s urgent, offer beer, cookies, candy, deliciously home-baked goods for fixing malfunctioning device. Do this enough times and you won’t even have to mention the treats, the tech people will automatically expect it. It’s like conditioning dogs and cats to do something by rewarding them with snacks.

    And for the non-tech people who CREATED these problems for us, please don’t say, “I didn’t do it” or “It was like that when I got here”. We know you did it. Just give us our snacks and we’ll be happy.

    • sharkables December 1, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

      Ahh, this made me laugh! I prefer giving the shoulder shrug, combined with a dumb, blank stare. Generally this means Tech Support will ignore me while they fix whatever so I can’t get down to more important things during my computer-free time. Like doing the crossword.

      • Ashok Kumar December 21, 2011 at 3:29 am #

        That’s funny!

    • cupconversations December 3, 2011 at 3:01 am #

      This has worked for me for the last 3 years in management. IT loves to help me with any issues as there is always something sweet hidden somewhere and I can get a favour out of almost anyone. Cherry Coke works extremely well in Canada (since I have to import it from the States it’s pretty high on the pyt scale).

  4. The Hook December 1, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Technology rocks, right? Awesome graphic!

    • sharkables December 1, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

      Haha of course! My work computer imploded twice this week…and I was only in the office three days. Both times were almost certainly due to my own stupidity. I think IT is a big fan of me.

  5. wordsfallfrommyeyes December 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    This was so funny – and so totally right. In my office I’m right near the photocopier. When it jams people usually give it a few tries then walk away. I get up, check it out, & if I can’t fix it I call IT. But the walk away thing is VERY common ! I liked the graphic too, Hook.

  6. sharkables December 1, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Id like to take a moment to thank you (on behalf of everyone else in your office) for being the designated Photocopier IT Caller! Without you, who knows how many people would be mildly inconvenienced while they waited for someone else to take care of the problem!

  7. The Background Story December 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    I don’t feel like calling tech support, because the first thing they always say is, “Did you already restart it?” If I already did, I would be pissed because they thought I was an incompetent tool who hadn’t tried all possibilities. If I still hadn’t, I would be annoyed that I forgot something so basic and give those tech support people an excuse to feel smug about my stupidity. So I end up lying most of the time!

    But strangely enough, restarting a device works 75% of the time.

    • sharkables December 1, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

      So true. Another one of my favorite questions is “Is it plugged in?”. I got that one this week. I was kind of dumbfounded and just said yes. Looking back I feel like a wasted a valuable opportunity for all kinds of smart comments…

      • The Background Story December 2, 2011 at 7:03 am #

        Having worked in tech support before, I encountered a few people with that problem. Seriously! It boggled my mind that they didn’t check if their device was plugged or not. It became part of our standard spiel to ask if their computers are plugged in.

        Still, that doesn’t make me any less annoyed whenever I get asked that question. d=

  8. eva626 December 1, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    leave the problem for someone else to deal with…..relieves the stress! great post. LOLOLOL

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