Monday, April 24

Life in Tech Support

Have you seen those IBM help-desk commercials? Well it's almost a gross interpretation of what i do. Of course it is not just one desk and one Techie as the commercial suggest and obviously our clients aren't dressed in Blues Brothers disguises in an attempted bank robbery but rather in a more existential manner, they call over the phone... yikes! If you're thinking "that sounds like a boring job"... i'd agree with you. Boring, stressful, bad hours topped off by the eternal supply of stupid clients.

Perks aren't great either. We have the tiniest cubicles in the building, refurbished Pentium 3 PC's with no speakers and a semi-business-casual dress code to boot... Perhaps the best part of the job is the Internet itself. We peruse websites all day, work or non-work related, chat, blog, watch DVD's and read books (...sometimes). Although the Department name may seem generic (Internet Support, previously HTML Support) it is in itself very sequitur. We provide tech-support for admin-panel reporting type of websites that the Company provide to it's clients whose primary businesses are Electronic-Commerce Sites ranging from selling hard merchandise to soft-goods such as phone-card pin numbers, downloadable E-Books or subscription dating websites. These E-Commerce sites also range from the mom & pop stores selling t-shirts to large online gaming sites such as Square Enix (formerly Square Soft, yes the company who invented Final Fantasy) to sex novelty sites and anime porn. Our primary job is to help with initial setup (... password, account info etc...) troubleshoot their code or error messages in Shopping Cart interfaces (including custom developed API websites and the basic HTML form post) Payment Gateway configuration, technical consulting for prospective clients (which i still feel we should get extra pay for... were helping sell the product, right? grrr...).

The atmosphere is fast paced. Website developers call for help, and if you never talked to one of these developers before lemme tell you, they're fast talking very detail-oriented human beings who demand immediate resolve. And i don't mind that too much, because even though i am not very good at creating and designing websites, troubleshooting them, i can say is my trade and i can grind it out with the best of them... Having said that, there are also the clients who do it themselves, and themselves are miserable at it, which in turn makes us miserable. Let me describe the scenario better: do your parents know how to use email? They don't, correct? Ever try to teach them? Well these brave souls who venture into the Internet Business don't know either, so providing HTML Tech Support as you can imagine is very tedious... just like teaching your parents how to use email.

- A client called in and asked this question "Uhmm hey i just have a quick question, what is the website address for " Huh?
( of course is the client login site)

- "My internet is broken, can you fix it?"

- The Best Tech Support call EVER... A client asked "What are your business hours?" the Techie enthusiastically informed the lost soul that the Department was open 24-hours-day... 24-7 as you may know (or may not) is universally known as "open all the time". The client then asked in a very serious tone "is that Eastern or Western Standard Time?".... i almost cried


At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously dude.. you need to quit and become a poker journalist or something that has to do with writing..

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Marc Gabay said...

calm down


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