Ermagerd, It’s An Internet!

Today I was given the chance to work on a very short project for the majority of the afternoon. It was hectic, frantic and had a ridiculous deadline, but I loved it. I don’t know about ghost writing novels, but when it comes to writing corporate information packets or things related to the business as a whole, I find myself getting incredibly excited. As frazzled as I was, it was incredibly satisfying to be able to ply my trade rather than to answer phone calls from members who were having technical problems.

Despite what most people would think, the majority of the phone calls that we receive aren’t that bad. The problem with working customer service for a company that runs websites is that you have people calling in for technical support who don’t know what they’re talking about. Sometimes when I ask people what web browser they’re using they’ll tell me that they’re using windows xp. When I try to explain that the internet browser is something which they use to access the internet, they’ll often give me their internet service provider instead and reduce me to asking questions about the icons in order to find out which browser they’re using.

“Is it a circle with a blue dot in the middle? Does it look like an E?”

Those are the most frustrating calls because I’m so used to using the technology it’s hard to dumb my way of thinking down. When I tell someone to right click on an icon, they get confused and I have to retool my thinking so I can explain it to someone who doesn’t use a computer like we have to every day.

There are times though when I wish that people who don’t know how to use computers in the most basic sense would be able to take a course to teach them how the basics of a computer work. I have been on the phone with people who didn’t know how to use Google or who couldn’t type in an web address.

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And then there are the people who still insist on using Internet Explorer. I’ve had people tell me that I didn’t know what I was talking about and that by suggesting that they use Firefox that I was going to get their computer infested with torrents. Torrents of all things. There were people who said that they needed to use Internet Explorer or else AOL would come and find them because it was in the AOL contract that they needed to use Internet Explorer. I’m skeptical of that, but as I don’t live in the United States, I suppose that it’s perfectly possible.

But if you’re going to use internet explorer, then you should actually know how to use it. Don’t come to us and yell because you don’t know how to clear your cookies and cache. Don’t yell at us because compatibility mode was enabled and you don’t know how to turn it off. There are plenty of tutorials which will teach you how to do these things and it has nothing to do with our site or the way that our site functions. A lot of times when people are not technologically savvy, they will come to complain to us about the problems that their computer are creating for the site and when we try to explain to them that it’s because they’re using Firefox 3 or because they don’t have Flash installed on their computer, they act like I’m the idiot.

I think that’s the most frustrating part, honestly. Now I won’t claim to be a computer genius. I know some HTML, enough to get by, and I would never be able to build my own website, but I do have a basic level of understanding of computers, the internet and how all of it works. When I come across something that I don’t understand, I’ll read up on it even if that just means that I’m going to wikipedia to take a look.

When you’re ignorant about something, don’t push the blame onto other people.

For some reason, it seems like more and more people need to learn this lesson.