Alan Bodenobleman (shared_boxers) wrote in nmfp,
Alan Bodenobleman
shared_boxers
nmfp

the problem is between the ears

I've noticed something about people in the IT department at work and my department (we handle the student/user end support).

Today, I got a call from a student who was freaking out because in Outlook Web Access (the on-line student e-mail system we implimented a couple weeks ago), whenever she opened a message, it disappeared from her inbox. She didn't know where the e-mails went or how to get them back. She called IT and they said she was going to probably have to uninstall and reinstall Internet Explorer. But, then she got to me. Asked if she saw the View area where it gave you the types of views for the messages, like how to filter and organize your messages. I said is it set to "Unread Messages"? And of course she said yes. I had to set it to "Messages" and magically all of her e-mails reappeared.

Of course to be fair, I only thought of that because the exact same thing happened to another student a couple weeks ago. Me and my coworker were in the lab and we're trying to figure out what's going on. After 3 minutes, I notice the View drop-down box and all was good. And my coworker was shocked because she never would have thought of that.

Which brings me to the point. I think too many people view the problems too technically. It has to be something wrong with the computer ... the software ... the hardware ... virus ... conflicts. They frequently overlook the most likely place the problem is ... the user. My problem solving strategy involves:

Part 1: Assume the user is a complete moron and that they did something wrong.

Now, that may appear bad. But honestly, that fixes most of the problems that get thrown at me. By doing that first, I don't have to needlessly go through settings and examine stuff. I find the real problem, and quickly: the user is an idiot.

So, tech support people around the world: stop giving the user too much credit.
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