How to help your friendly IT person

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Do you want your next experience with your friendly IT person to go faster and resolve the problem? Following these suggestions will help him do his job.

  1. Share the facts. Many times people are vague about what is going wrong because they feel intimidated by the computer. Try to say when I do X, Y happens. This is the single most helpful thing you can do. It is amazing when people say my computer isn’t working right, but when I ask them to demonstrate the problem they can’t do it. We have to be able to replicate the problem to work on it.
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    backup girlfriend comic

    Take video. I know this from dealing with problems with my car, that a video shows lots of things to the IT person. It shows that the problem is real and that it communicates things that a non-IT person wouldn’t know are important. Even a poor-quality iPhone video helps tremendously. Sadly few people do this, but a video would instantly enable IT to see what the problem is if it doesn’t happen in a way you can demonstrate.

  3. Be persistent. Take notes when the problem occurs and what you remember doing exactly. It may not be important, but most of the time it is very important. If you can’t take notes, then try to recreate the problem until you know exactly what causes it.
  4. If you can’t reproduce the problem consistently move to a different machine and try to reproduce the problem. Often when people say things like, when I do X it always happens on this machine isn’t enough. I sometimes will ask them to do X on another machine. When it happens on another machine, then we know there is a larger issue.
  5. Ask your neighbors if the problem happens to them. People’s ego often makes them want to appear that they don’t make mistakes or have problems, but the truth is that if you have a problem with a computer 100% of other people have it as well. There is an old saying in marketing that if one person complains about something then they represent far more people with the same concern. So when you let the IT department know that you are having a problem, you often help us fix that same problem so it doesn’t happen to others. A smart IT department like complainers because they make IT look good when their issues are resolved and smooth sailing for others.
  6. Be friendly even if you are angry. You catch more bees with honey than vinegar. It is not easy to do when you are frustrated that your computer isn’t working. Often it is the IT department’s fault, and of course, they deserve the responsibility and blame. However if you are a difficult person they will not want to work with you, and they will make sure that your future service is slow as possible
  7. Try to keep a log of problems if things don’t get resolved. That way when you talk with your boss about the IT not doing their job, you have specific things that you can relate to. Bosses need facts to have a meaningful discussion and your notes help provide the context for learning for the IT staff.

Good luck!

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