Tuesday, July 31, 2007

An analysis of species Useris Callingus

Useris Callingus is a strange creature, most often found on the other end of the phones in technical support callcenters. After studying these critters for so long, I've discovered several different breeds, each with distinct qualities. They're not hard to find; they do come to us, after all. If a tech has a phone to his ear, we can be sure it's Useris Callingus on the other end. The fun comes in identifying the rarest breeds.

Lonely old man
He talks. And talks. This reclusive variant is often heard from on holidays, drunk as a skunk, but he's also somehow managed to call 128 times in the last six months.

Handling Recommendation: Repeat, "Is there anything else we can help you with?" over and over until he hangs up.

They're surprisingly rare, but it's a good thing! Speaking with just one can scar a tech for life. This guy just doesn't get it, where "it" could be anything. Instructions must be repeated multiple times, and the task at hand is usually botched anyway.

Handling Recommendation: Ask coworkers in neighboring cubicles to loan you some padding for your desk so you don't end up with head injuries. You'll be stuck here for awhile, so a makeshift pillow might come in handy anyway.

"IT guy"

If he tells you more than once he's an "IT Guy" or a "Network Admin" or, heavens forbid, "works for Geek Squad," you're in for a doozy. He says he knows what he's doing (over and over, often calling into question your own skills), but you've got to spell "ping" for him. The more they claim to know, the less they actually do, and despite having called the help desk in the first place, they're loath to ask for instructions.

Handling Recommendation: Treat him how he expects to be treated. Ask him the questions you need answered, and let him figure out how to do it on his own. He'll fail miserably, but he won't ask for help, ever. Bask in his humiliation, but don't forget to mute the phone before you titter.

Anger Problem
Despite having such a cruddy life (only the most awful life could cause such uncontrollable anger), these folks are often the most well-connected. They know my boss, his boss, the President, and the CEO, and by golly, they've got enough influence to cost me my job. Not only that, but they're going to contact their lawyer and, to quote one, "Do what needs to be done."

Handling Recommendation: Let her blather until she gets bored. These types love to corner a technician, so if he's not responding, they run out of steam quickly. If she says something she's proud of (you can always tell when they like their own words), respond, "Mmm?" like you've just woken up from a nap.

The Entitled One
"I pay $19.95/mo for this service, and that means if I want one, you'll roll a truck within fifteen minutes. Hey, I run a business on this connection!" Their self-importance is similar to the Anger Problem, but they seem to take themselves more seriously. When they're told we treat all residential connections with the same priority (but I can get you in touch with our Customer Service department for an upgrade!), they're often shocked speechless.

Handling Recommendation: Be honest. Delusions of importance are best dashed by the cold truth: You've never been special. Your mother was lying.

I have nothing against most Useris Callingus. The breeds above are quite rare in reality; most users are relatively fun to deal with. They're polite, they follow instructions well (often catching on quicker than some techs), and they thank the technician when he's done helping them. Naturally, though, the ones that stand out are brightly colored, make especially loud vocalizations, and look absolutely ridiculous strutting around like kings. For your own sake, don't be one of the breeds I've mentioned here. There's nothing at all wrong with being the run-of-the-mill "End User" variety of Useris Callingus. You're actually a great deal more desirable without those outrageous colored feathers in your cap.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Good Evening

I can't seem to post real thoughts in Myspace. It feels like throwing away perfectly good words or, at least, storing them in a pile of rather smelly old socks. Maybe, with the anonymity (until Google catches up with me, at least), I'll be able to be a bit more introspective without worrying about sounding too angsty. I need someplace to put these thoughts, anyway.

I watch. It's not creepy, really, except for the tendency to adore personalities I'm sure are mostly imagined. I revel in a crowd, as long as it bustles around me and leaves me out of the fray. If I'm undisturbed, I'll thoroughly enjoy watching the party in silence. Once in awhile, though, I want to just stand up, step over, and sweep the lovely one off in a flurry of romance, just like in the movies that play on the imperfections of real life. This is all metaphorically speaking, of course, and heaven knows I'd never have the courage. Most of the "lovely ones" are just annoying, and they seem to only fit their role because men don't often appear to be able to see past large breasts. The truly lovely ones, though, are incredibly rare, unspeakably beautiful, and unbelievably terrifying.

I saw a strange future for myself tonight. I've fallen hard, see, and in my blindness, I've embraced a frightening idea of domestic life. Beyond the booze ("... drunk when he comes home, but the dinner's done."), the drug habit to eventually be outgrown, and the extrapolation to a tendency to fly off the handle occasionally, I see a completely irrational solitude in groping wildly about for something stable to hold onto. What's frightens me the most is the happiness I imagine myself getting from that. I'm not the most exciting guy (I party hard at the coffee shop, for crying out loud), so maybe I'm subconsciously looking for someone to stir up my insides. I also have an odd fascination with massive disconnects between perfect exteriors and inner chaos. Imperfection has always been mandatory. The problem is, it has to be just right. My standards are nearly impossible to meet, and whether that fact is a handy excuse or not, I can't deny when I'm licked. I've been forced to act.