Introduction: Laughing When We Really Want to Cry
As the first holiday of a busy holiday season approaches, it's time to sit back and spend at least a few minutes in a quiet place. Nothing relaxes me like humor. So join me in reading a bunch of tech support stories guaranteed to elicit a knowing smirk from some and loud guffaws from others.
Why do funny stories about tech support abound? Maybe computers themselves are funny. Or maybe it's that for most of us, often including tech support folks themselves, technology is a big black mysterious box that we must do battle with everyday. Sometimes we know what's up. Sometimes the tech support people know what's up. Sometimes neither we nor they know what's up.
Whoever knows what, we often must struggle alone or with others to solve problems that have disabled our most important tools at what always seems to be the most inopportune time. I believe we preserve and retell these tech support stories because laughing relieves the tension we all feel when something goes wrong with our computers or those of others and we need to get them fixed fast.
These stories are all from the tech support side. Since most of us are not tech support people, it's important for us to understand what these folks go through. Sure you can wait for help on the phone forever. Sure getting a real solution can be slow. Sure tech support personnel sometimes haven't a clue about what they're doing. But take a look at some of the weird experiences these people have and you'll better appreciate both the good ones and what they might have gone through just before answering your call.