Help Desk World  
Help desk software and  
Help desk outsourcing  

 The Directory of Help Desk Software Solutions and Information Contact Us Help Desk Software Solutions

Murphy, Anger & Service

If you're a problem solver then getting involved with computer technology is your only real career choice. I don't think there's any other field of endeavour more infested with things that can go wrong, than the field of computers.


Things that worked yesterday, won't tomorrow. Things you think are working today, are not really, you'll find that out tomorrow when it's too late. Things you are trying to get working were never designed to. Things that look as if they aren't working sometimes are, at least until you power them off,  then they'll never work again.


It's enough to make you want to stay away from work. Unless of course you're a problem solver, in which case, the universe is a garden paradise filled with never-ending problems.


But... attached to each one of these unworking things is a flesh and blood user harbouring the illusion it all should work. Perfectly. Always. Even when they haven't read the manual. Sometimes even when they haven't plugged the machine in! It should work! It should do it quietly and without complaint. And heaven help the person standing between them and their illusions.


These users are a funny breed. For some strange reason they don't share your joy in solving problems. They want only the end result, a solution. Don't they realize the joy of technology lies not in the using but in the fixing?


When problem solvers see a problem they act like Pavlov's dog and salivate. A problem is a juicy bone, their reason for living. If something's not broken, they have nothing to do, they lose their reason for existence.


This is where the conflict comes in. Problem solvers fix things, while users would rather use things. When technology breaks down the fun begins.


Users don't care why it's broken. All they care about is that they can't use it, and the longer they can't use it... the more demanding they become. Hell hath no fury like a user deprived of something to use.


Meanwhile the problem solver is trying to solve the problem. Trouble is, the increasing demands by the user are distracting the problem solver. The user is becoming more of a problem to the problem solver than the original problem. Soon, very soon, the problem solver loses their cool and attempts to 'fix' the user. That's painful. Speak to 'it'... my cat.


Problem solvers suffer from a basic and common flaw. They separate the world into 'problems they like' and 'annoyances.'


Things like 'irate users', 'office politics', 'time management' 'interruptions', and 'budgeting' always fall into the category of annoyances. They're therefore deprived of the potential benefit of being perceived as just another problem.  Another problem susceptible to the onslaught of problem solving techniques.


Why do they do that? I don't know why I did and still do that. It's a brain defect. The good news is that it's curable. Just look at everything as a problem to solve. This is not a negative view of the world, it's actually quite motivating. It means everything has a solution. If you're determined enough.


What about our user with nothing to use? What's the solution? Usually information, delivered in large frequent doses will calm down the irate user. Remember, the user can't help themselves, they're going through withdrawal symptoms.


There is one drawback to this strategy of seeing users not as annoyances, but as problems to be solved. If you're not careful, your trusty technical problem solver will learn that people problems are actually much more challenging and interesting than technical problems. If they learn this, they'll undergo a terrifying transmorgification, they'll become managers!!!!


Peter de Jager is a speaker, writer & consultant. Contact him via [email protected]

Return To Previous Page

Back to Main Page


Help Desk Software Papers

Copyright © 2003