IT Support

Hi. Barb here. Lea’s chronicle of her computer woes inspired me to bring this post out from my personal archives. Every word of it is still true.

The biggest challenge of working at home is the IT support is just terrible.  Oh how I miss the days when, at the slightest mention of an issue or frustration, IT guys would come running down the hall as if their hair were on fire.

The IT team I worked with was incredibly patient and supportive.  We had a system. They pretended to believe what I was saying, nodded sagely, disappeared with my laptop, then reappeared shortly, and all was right with the world.  I often suspected that they just took the machine down to their offices and let it rest for a while, but it didn’t matter.  It worked.

My current IT support doesn’t even come close.   Here are the five most common responses from my current IT person:

  1. “It never does that when I’m using it.”
  2. “Read the manual.”
  3. “Why are you wasting time reading the manual?”
  4. “Elvis in Bangalore said…”
  5. And the incredibly irritating, “What did you do to it?”

And I have to sleep with this guy just to get this cruddy level of service.

Compare that to the support I got when I worked in an office.  Once a full cup of tea I had carefully placed on the total opposite side of my desk miraculously leapt up of its own volition and poured its entire contents through the keyboard and into the bowels of my laptop.  Just like a code blue in a hospital, people came running from everywhere.  “You may not want to see this, ma’am,” they said, politely scooting me out of my office and closing the door.

Or the time I had to tell them I’d backed my car over my laptop.  (Okay, first I said my computer had crashed.  Then I admitted I had crashed into my computer.)  They didn’t ask why, or even how.  They just fixed it. And then they went out of their way to explain that it wasn’t the stupidest thing anyone at the company had ever done with a laptop. (My favorites were the guy who sent his laptop from China in a manila envelope.  Not even a padded envelope.  Just a note that said, “It’s broken.”  Well, it is now.  Or the contractor on a flight who checked his laptop with his luggage, because the company didn’t have a specific policy against it.  “We don’t have a policy against sending your computer to the dry-cleaner, either,” the head of IT responded, exasperated, “but you wouldn’t do that, would you? Or maybe you would…”)

So guys and gals of corporate world IT, you are gone, but not forgotten. Or I am gone, but you are not forgotten. Or something. Thank you for everything you did for me.

By the way, could one of you come over and talk to my current guy?  He could really use a little help with his attitude.

About Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries. Her books have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and have won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Portland, Maine. Readers can visit her website at
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6 Responses to IT Support

  1. Deanna says:

    Wonderful! Dee

  2. MCWriTers says:

    Oh, yes. The IT guys (and gals.) I remember them well from my corporate days as well. They knew they were a bit superior to everyone else — but they rarely (well, hardly ever) reminded you of that. I do miss them! Along with that other gone-but-not-forgotten-essential support: the secretary. Or, as they are now known: the executive assistant.

    The fantasy of being a writer who just writes – flew out the window the day the first book was accepted for publication and the writer became a multi-tasking marketing, sales, promoting, speaking, conference-attending, bookstore and library visiting, mailing-list keeping, fan-letter answering, one-person marketing center. One dream fulfilled! Another reality? On the doorstep.

    Thanks for reminding us of the few moments in which I miss corporate life, Barb!

    • Barb Ross says:

      Ah Lea, it is a complete fantasy of mine to reach that level of success where I have an executive assistant again! Especially since mine the the best one evah.

  3. Susan D says:

    Yeah, those heady days of office IT support. But then, they included the heady days of wall-to-wall meetings, sandwich at the desk for lunch, and cheesy motivational posters.

    I always had a rule about the IT folks. Treat them nice. Even when they clearly think you’re a complete troglodyte and don’t always listen. Even when it seems like the only two lines they have are:
    Well, that can’t happen
    Oh, look at that; how did that happen?

    They usually came through, though.

    However, now my IT tribe is all over the internet. Type a few words in any search field and they’re there. Especially helpful since I bought my new laptop this month, and have spent far too much time getting up to speed. (Almost there now, except for making an HP Laser Jet work with Windows 7. According to everyone in the world, it can’t be done.)

  4. MCWriTers says:

    Very fine.

    My IT support is moving to North Carolina in a month. That will make life very difficult. Esp. since the musical voiced lad in India, when called, rarely says a word that I can understand, and refuses to explain what happened, as he is taking over my computer, so I can avoid having it happen again.

    I got a MAC so I could avoid many of those problems, then discovered I have a phobia about going to the Apple store for advice. It’s so noisy and crowded it’s like GOING TO India.

    • Barb Ross says:

      Try the Apple store during the middle of the day. You can make an appointment online. Avoid it at all costs during the back-to-school, Christmas, and graduation seasons–ie now.)

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