Technical Support “Tips”

8 Jun

I’ve worked as a computer support technician both on the phone and “desk-side” since 1992.

After a few years (hell, weeks!) of this you start to develop a pet peeve or two about the people for whom you are supposed to “support.” People who treat you like furniture, their personal slave and/or get  indignant when you point out that it ain’t their computer just the computer that the company bought for them to use. People who don’t know which end of the mouse to hold. People who think the CD-ROM tray is a drink holder. Many examples of this kind of stupidity can be found here at Computerworld’s Shark

So if you see anything familiar in the list below, go look in the mirror and smack your self a good one.

By the way I didn’t write this it came to me the way most jokes do these days, thru a friend of a friend of a friend… via email.


  1. When a tech says he’s coming right over, go for coffee. It’s nothing to us to remember 2700 screen saver passwords.
  2. When you call us to have your computer moved, be sure to leave it buried under half a ton of postcards, baby pictures, stuffed animals, dried flowers, bowling trophies and popsicle art. We don’t have a life, and we find it deeply moving to catch a fleeting glimpse of yours.
  3. When the help desk sends you an e-mail with high importance, delete it at once. We’re just testing out the public groups.
  4. When a tech is eating lunch at his desk, walk right in and spill your guts out. We exist only to serve.
  5. When a tech is having a smoke outside, ask him a computer question. The only reason why we smoke at all is to ferret out those clients who don’t have e-mail or a telephone line.
  6. Send urgent e-mail ALL IN UPPERCASE. The mail server picks it up and flags it as a rush delivery.
  7. When you bypass the help desk to call a tech’s direct line, press 5 to skip the bilingual greeting that says he’s out of town for a week, record your message, and wait exactly 24 hours before you send an e-mail straight to the director because no one ever returned your call. You’re entitled to common courtesy.
  8. When the photocopier doesn’t work, call computer support. After all, there’s electronics in it.
  9. When you’re getting a no dial tone message when dialing in from home, call the emergency after hours help desk number. We can fix your phone line from here.
  10. When something’s wrong with your home PC, dump it on a tech’s chair with no name, no phone number and no description of the problem. We love a puzzle.
  11. When you have a tech on the phone walking you through changing a setting; read the paper. We don’t actually mean for you to do anything; we just love to hear ourselves talk.
  12. When we offer training on the upcoming OS upgrade, don’t bother. We’ll be there to hold your hand after it is done.
  13. When the printer won’t print, re-send the job at least 20 times. Print jobs frequently get sucked into black holes.
  14. When the printer still won’t print after 20 tries, send the job to all 68 printers in the office. One of them is bound to work.
  15. Don’t use online help. Online help is for wimps.
  16. If you’re taking night classes in computer science, feel free to go around and update the network drivers for you and all you co-workers. We’re grateful for the overtime money.
  17. When you have a tech fixing your computer at a quarter past two, eat your lunch in his face. We function better when slightly dizzy.
  18. Don’t ever thank us. We’re getting paid for this.
  19. When a tech asks you whether you’ve installed any new software on this computer, lie. It’s nobody’s business what you’ve got on your computer.
  20. If the mouse cable keeps knocking down the framed picture of your dog, lift the computer and stuff the cable under it. Mouse cables were designed to have 45 lbs. of computer sitting on top of them.
  21. If the space bar on your keyboard doesn’t work, blame it on the mail upgrade. Keyboards are actually very happy with half a pound of muffin crumbs and nail clippings in them.
  22. When you get the message saying “Are you sure??” click on that Yes button as fast as you can. Hell, if you weren’t sure, you wouldn’t be doing it, would you?
  23. Feel perfectly free to say things like “I don’t know nothing about that computer crap”. We don’t mind at all hearing our area of professional expertise referred to as crap.
  24. When you need to change the toner cartridge, call tech support. Changing a toner cartridge is an extremely complex task, and Hewlett-Packard recommends that it only be performed by a professional engineer with a Master’s degree in nuclear physics.
  25. When something’s the matter with your computer, ask your secretary to call the help desk. We enjoy the challenge of having to deal with a third party who doesn’t know jack about the problem.
  26. When you receive a 30-meg movie file, send it to everyone as a mail attachment. We’ve got lots of disk space on that mail server.
  27. Don’t even think of breaking large print jobs down into smaller chunks. Somebody else might get a chance to squeeze in something important.
  28. When you bump into a tech in the grocery store on a Saturday, ask a computer question. We love answering inane computer questions on our own personal time.
  29. If your son is a student in computer science, have him come in on the weekends and do his projects on your office computer. We’ll be there for you when his illegal copy of Visual Basic 6.0 makes your Access 95 database flip out.
  30. When you bring your own personal home PC for repair at the office, leave the documentation at home. We’ll find the jumper settings on the Internet.


A fellow tech didn’t like this list. He said, “It’s too much like every day here and it depressed me.”

And you thought we made this stuff up!


Originally posted before I added WordPress to this site. Published date is approximate.


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