DH Blog: Tech doctor

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by WhO_KnOwS, May 15, 2007.

  1. WhO_KnOwS

    WhO_KnOwS The Knows Mister

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    If a tech buff wants to make his life a hell on earth, he must only reveal his tech knowledge to his relatives. After that fate will ensure a constant stream of questions that only a genius (or madman) could answer.
    _______________________

    Read about this madman's undoing here
     
  2. davidnsibs

    davidnsibs 9500pro Forever

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    I do know how you feel, but it shouldn't be like this, as you realise else you wouldn't have written the blog entry. If this was anything apart from "tech stuff", say like helping install a flat pack wardrobe, or putting a new tree in the garden, then it would be normal to explain that you were too busy, if that was the case. I've felt under pressure to help out when a PC no longer boots up, or someone needs to know about installing a network, or maybe someones heard about this "cool new linux windows thing thats better than microsoft" or something, but if you feel its beyond the call of duty, as it clearly is in your case with people you've never met, then a polite explanation that you are too busy / unable to help should suffice. I think you should just tell your uncle that from now on you'll try to help him, but any of his friends you'll not be able to
     
  3. mainman

    mainman Mr. Nobody

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    I would not take that kind of abuse even if it were family. That's insane!
     
  4. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    lol. i know exactly what's that's like.

    It had started quite a few years ago, recieving calls from people i had no clue who they were, asking questions i had no answers to other then a quick googling answer could do, and completely out of my ballpark, low and behold, someone had been impressed with my computer help that i had provided to them at one point, and had started giving out the phone number to dozens of people.

    At first i didn't really mind, get my up on the job, little experience when i went looking for a job. Helped a few out, but then the questions that had very little to no relations to computer issues started cropping up, and then people getting upset because i hadn't any clear answer, telling them that i was sorry, but i'm of no help to them at this point as i'm completely unfamilare with the products they are using, trying to use, or fix. I was asked how they could mod thier Xbox, how they could figure out the acres of an area in which they drove using a GPS, how they could load linux on a cell phone, and then it just got more unique as things went on.

    Shortly after opening up my business i started receiving customers asking about the same things, i've never out and out gave up, i've let em all know that when i didn't know anything about it, that i didn't know anything about it, but i've tried working through with them on all of them.

    I'm also one of the most horrible to talk to over the phone, i've always had a hard time hearing people (because alot of people don't talk directly into the phones so you gotta guess what sounds they were making and how they tie into which works, sorta like figureing out what kenny from south park says)

    But oventually, theres a point where the phone calls are long, your not getting your own work done, and they are getting basically free support from a stranger
     
  5. Vikingod

    Vikingod Int'l Fish Liaison

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    Well, I had a feeling I wasn't the only one plagued by this. I'm sort of the "tech guru" at my job. Its what happens when you fix one persons problem, and then the next, and the next...

    Its bad enough that I have people calling me up from departments that I don't know asking me questions about their work boxes (I don't work in the tech support department), but word got out at my wifes job as well. She constantly has to tell people "My husband is not going to come over to your house and fix you computer on a Saturday, he's going golfing". Which is usually responded by "But I'll give him $$$/case of beer/my appreciation". Drives me nuts when you tell someone "Well, believe it or not, your 10 year old computer may need to be replaced", and they get dismissive. Whats better is you tell them to back up everythign important, because it's all going to be wiped off, never to be seen again. then you do the work and they say "where is all my music?".

    I've since drawn the line in the sand. I will help my boss, parents, and a few choice friends. Nothing more, not for anything.
     
  6. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    lol..

    yeah people get crummy when you tell them there 5-10-15-20 year older of even older machine MUST be replaced in order for them to do any of the tasks they wish to do today.

    And the whole backing up before wipeing ordeal, that can get hairy as well, i usually try to get a definite answer from all parties involved (each family member) before proceeding, that way they are FULLY aware of what going on. Nothing like wiping a machine clean, then getting a call 5 minutes later that they had forgotten a critical file somewhere and that they need it, sorry bad news, the task is complete, and short of stopping this low level format, i don't think we are going to be able to recovery it.

    ATM, i'm still working just about every day of the week, just about any hour of the day, if i get a call that someone needs a part, or something fixed, it's been a sunday morning, and i've gone out of fix it. If i were employed doing something completely different, it'd be another story.
     
  7. OmegaRED

    OmegaRED Relapsed Gamer

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    I know exactly how you feel! I've built computers for relatives and 2-3 years later when they've never had it cleaned or serviced and something goes wrong they say "well you built it, fix it". That means diagnosing 3 years of hardware problems, loads of spyware, and all sorts of other crap in under an hour.

    Even worse is when I'm asked to fix computers of people who are rich and cheapskates. They're holding onto some junker PC with every component dying and they could easily buy a high end PC but no...they call me to fix it. God help me if I suggest they take it into a computer repair shop! Remote Assistance has been both a blessing and a curse as I can fix most problems with ease but for every time I do there's 5 more "fix my email" or "that thing you installed, what's it called, a virus scanner?...now my PC won't boot".
     
  8. Partizan

    Partizan Fun loving criminal

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    I had the same problems. But I solved them within a minute of every call. I just say to bring the computer over to me and that one hour of my work cost xx €.

    What happened?

    People stopped calling me for every nonsense, and I ended up with a few regular customers, whom I gladly help out.
     
  9. westsidebud

    westsidebud New Member

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    havn't seen a topic i found as interesting as this in ages..
    i sure know what ya saying :(

    ive had to do a a large amount of work for people and business in all fields
    and they ALL tell others and then they call me and years later it got to the point
    where i had enough and told everyone "I Quit" and don't do it anymore..

    started a new job recently and had mentioned my pc skills in the interview
    but generaly steer clear of beeing the go to guy for pc stuff
    you may be better off playing stupid and letting someone else step up when a pc tech guy is needed and sit back and smile knowing the mountain will come down on the other guy and not you.

    even though i tell people i quit i still manage to have to fix friends families pc's
    (sometimes its hard to say no / feel sorry for people) i have 3/4 repair jobs lined up for this week and a full time job and my own pc to work on (migrating to / dual booting vista)

    i just wish people were aware of keeping their pc's clean taking filthy dirty computers
    to peple for repair can be pretty gross sometimes (take the cover off and get mauled by a dust bunny)

    My Advice:
    play stupid if ya can ! let the guy next to you be the computer guru ;)
     
  10. GutterPunk

    GutterPunk I = Greatest Dood

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    He is family, he needs to respect you as well. You have shown him the upmost courtesy when he just shits on you. I think you guys need to have a bit of a heart to heart as he is taking an advantage of you. Also, giving your number to friends WTF Mate? That is totaly bullshit and DONT stand for it. I feel for you man, you are a TOOL and that is effed up.

    Now this is my life story: Family and friends call constantly. Friends either buy me dinner, spot me a 20, or bring something by for my apartment. Family, I always fix for free, but always buy me dinner, or cook me dinner, or send me a giftcard to get some starbucks or something. Friends of Family that call *number given out* normally pay me 10-150 bucks depending on what they think I am worth. Sometimes it is a simple thank you, heres 20 bucks (on a long vigerous run at things) but that doesn't really matter because it shows appreciation for my services. Not once have I been taken advantage of fixing computers. Except for my grandpa, but he was the man who helped support me through college giving me the tools, and skills I need today to perform my job.

    My advice, Tell your uncle you can't be free tech support for him and his buddies. Also, if you can't fix it, you can't fix it... Over the phone support sucks rather than being there yourself. He shit on you, now its time to take a dump on his chest. Ill talk to the douche bag for you! You have a life (whether you do or you don't) whether it is playing games, going out, or playing with yourself, it sucks being interrupted throughout the day. Oh yeah I only have a Cell phone so unless they want to pay my bill... eff off!

    Good luck little buddy!

    When people call me for tech support at work or at home, if I can't understand them I immediately ask them to try harder, and if that doesn't work call me back on a better phone. Normally they straighten up, take off the speaker phone, and talk directly into the phone.
     
  11. feedz

    feedz New Member

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    I do know how it's like when everyone's asking for help but my experience isn't even half as bad as that... I don't exactly know what got me free of helping with PC probs... If i'm right it involves a mix of forgetfulness, lateness and recommending expensive part upgrades. Reasonably priced actually but I didn't recommend the cheapest things around~
     
  12. Matth

    Matth Flash Banner Hater

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    There is one thing far worse than friends and relatives asking for help, and that's asking for help after someone else (paid or not) has made an even worse mess of it.

    The number of times a so-called "professional" has mucked things up, and I've gone in with a catalog of freeware and sorted it. Worst example being the case of the non-removed virus - the guy charged quite a bit, not sure if that included the new (but not very effective) Antivirus that he sold her. It just about held the multipleinfection attempts in check, but the primary malware was still present and in self-preservation mode. I played cat and mouse with it using highjackthis, but it still sidestepped me, so I hit it with a bootable AV CD - didn't take out all traces, but what was left had been rendered harmless, leaving any remainders easy to clear in case they somehow became active again.

    Never managed to 100% identify it, It was possibly a mix of malware, and the initial evidence had been muddled by the previous failed removal. Whatever it was, by the end, I was confident that it wasn't coming back.
     
  13. unknownjd

    unknownjd New Member

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    I know exactly your situation - in the case of the wireless network I would have said something along the lines of...

    "it looks like there a problem with the router, best call their tech support and get a new one"

    You've been too much of a techy martyr!
     
  14. GutterPunk

    GutterPunk I = Greatest Dood

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    I work as free tech support (half of my job) and 80 yr old people call us to setup a 5 computer wireless network, and have C$ access to all computers from mac, 98, 95, xp, and vista. Talk about B$ that is something someone has to go in to do otherwise it takes about 5 hours
     

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