Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Can't Run but can still Kick TSR Butt

I'm just itching to get a good long run in: In some ways this foot procedure was more impacting than last year's knee scope. I wasn't able to wear a normal shoe comfortably until Wednesday. Until then I had to wear this stupid shoe pictured below.  It wasn't designed to be walked on.  The velco straps would only allow me to tighted it so much and I couldn't wear it while driving.

From looking at it, the gaping hole in my foot looks as bad as it did a week ago.  If you know what to look for, however, you can see that there has been much improvement.  There hasn't been any scapping yet though.  Even though the doctor said I should leave the bandage off overnight to air dry, Nightingale override that idea.  Therefore I'm stuck with it stinging a little when I walk on it too much.

if the boot fits, wear it as long as you have to

Years of working in Tech Support pays off:  One of the very first "tricks" I learned as a Tech Support Engineer for the No-Name Software company was what we refer to as the Push Off.  The Push Off is a technique designed to get the customer to back off and go away for a while so you that you get some breathing room.  The idea is to ask for something that will require the customer to hang up because they have to option information they do not possess or permission they do not have autonomy to provide themselves.  In theory, you are supposed to use the time to fix their problem.
When you engage the Push Off, you should be careful not to insult their intelligence...not too much anyway. 

While I did deal with some customers, partners and integrators who were dumber than a box of nic cards, most were smart enough to know when you were BSing them.  One particular partner was such a jerk that I convinced him I needed to know whether the version of Word Perfect they were running was Legal or Corporate. 
Another technique that is used too often is what i call the Misappropriate Resolution. The MR goes something like this:  you have an issue and you mention a symptom and the Technical Service Representative (TSR) laches onto the symptom and provides you a resolution or technical article related just to the symptom, not the issue. For instance, say you're printer will not print a particular symbol from a standard keyboard and you mentioned that the ink is missing where it should be printed.  They will send you an article about making sure your printer cartridges are full and dust free, etc. 

The problem with the MR is that often it creates more work and unnecessarily pisses off the customer.  The TSR takes the easy way out for the short term gain of getting the issue off their active pile, but it always comes back.  If the TSE would put in a little more work at the front end, the problem would be resolved sooner.  Of course since the only penalty is the issue comes back, there is little incentive for the TSR to do a better job.

This week I had someone at Technical Support use both the Push Back and the MR with me.  Icarus don't play that game.  I emailed the support address and stated my problem very articulately and precisely. and I get a response asking me something they already know the answer to, the name of the domain I purchased.  Clearly pushback.

I played along and provided the info, and they came back with the MR.  Basically they sent me instructions to do something that had nothing to do with my problem.  The counter to the MR is to play dumb.  I wrote back and said I didn't understand, all I wanted to do was something so simple, I'm embarassed to be bothering you smart, handsome, supergods of the tech support world. Oh please take pity on me.  It took several more volleys of emails to get my resolution but eventually the problem was solved.  Now I get to fill out a survey which hopefully affords me the opportunity to tell the company what a bunch of dip-shits they have working for them.

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