You might think workplace problems related to computers wouldn’t be embarrassing, and for the most part they’re not. However, when humans interact with anything, including machines, they can still find ways to embarrass themselves.
IT service desk workers sometimes deal with end users who are reluctant to give details, or they may uncover activity that is clearly not work related. And sometimes it’s the IT service desk worker with egg on his face. Be prepared, and learn to handle these situations in a professional manner. If nothing else, you’ll have a funny story for poker night. Here are some of the embarrassing things IT service desk workers cope with.
Cases of Mistaken (or Unknown) Identity
Wow, that voice on the phone sounds rather angry. You’re new, and since you work in a networked office environment, you may not have connected names with faces yet, let along connected names with voices. So you patiently tell the end user to submit a ticket or try the self-help portal. That’s when Ms. Angry Voice lets you know that she’s the CFO with a plane to catch and documents to print first. Keep an org chart posted above your desk so you’ll know that “This is Miles” is short for “This is Miles, the CEO,” and that some rule-bending may be in order to keep the peace.
Helping End Users Save Face While Saving Yourself Time
Rebooting fixes a lot of problems, and it’s a go-to solution for freeze-ups and other simple issues. Problem is, “Have you tried rebooting?” is almost always answered in the affirmative, even if that’s not the case. Asking them to reboot “again”while you’re talking to them not only fixes a lot of problems, it also gives you a little more information to go on when trying to diagnose the problem. Plus it saves you physically going to their cubicle and rebooting it yourself.
Paper and toner are two of the most hoarded products in the connected office, and it can lead others to believe supplies have run out when they haven’t. Fortunately, printer software can let you know how much toner has been used and when it was last changed. Your IT asset management software can be used to track when the last order for toner or paper was. If hoarding supplies is problematic, you should speak with your manager about creating a new (or enforcing an existing) policy that strongly discourages it.
With large corporate networks where end-user desktops are accessed via the cloud, some end-user behaviors have to change. Many people have a tendency to ignore “My Documents” and other folders and just cram everything onto their desktops.
Maybe it reminds them of home.
Particularly on old XP machines, the combination of cloud-accessed desktop and chronic folder aversion can seriously slow down a machine. It can be embarrassing, particularly for workers who have plenty of other technical knowledge — just not with computers. That’s why “My Machine Is Slow” can be a good option to have on your self-service portal. There you can explain that having every document ever on the desktop can cause this, and explain how to put things into folders to speed things up.
Communicating with end users through a variety of devices is standard operating procedure for many IT help desks. Maybe your mobile signal is sketchy and a call drops out. No problem, just send a text, and they’ll get it soon. Keep in mind, however, that when you’re in a hurry, you might not notice that your predictive typing app has changed “I lost you. Call me back soon,” to “I love you. Call me back soon.” Proofreading a text only takes seconds and can prevent these errors (and awkward misunderstandings that might follow).
Things Stuck Where They Shouldn’t Be
“Things Stuck Somewhere” problems can be embarrassing. People surreptitiously shopping online have been known to shove actual credit cards into CD drives. Sometimes people try to pry up stuck buttons with knives. There are even anecdotes about cats’ tails getting caught in CD-ROM drives. Most people are embarrassed about these incidents, so put on your poker face and try not to laugh until after the problem is fixed. Otherwise, it will be that very day that you arrive home and find your daughter has irretrievably stuck her Barbie’s foot into your USB port.
When your IT service desk has features like self-service portals, knowledge bases, and mobile apps, end users can sometimes fix embarrassing problems by themselves, saving everyone time and face-palms. Samanage offers these features and many more, so your IT service desk can handle problems, track assets, and keep productivity high.
About Taylor Burgess
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