Thursday, October 20, 2005

Answering questions

One of the most disturbing trends that the computer industry does not quite get the implications of is moving technical support facilities overseas to people who do not speak English as their first language. I've spent the last half-hour trying to connect so I could update the blog and check settings and have gotten nowhere. All I'm getting is some Arabic or Hindustan speaking guy who can't get the idea that English as a language is not spoken quickly.

Just one more frustration among others going on in my life lately. Not much knew here, but I wish the computer industry would find a better, more customer service friendly approach to reducing costs rather than hiring people who do not speak English as their first language. It's almost making me want to start doing this sight in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect of German. Don't know anyone who'd read it though. The Amish don't have computers.

I hope you'll forgive that little rant. I can understand companies want to cut costs but this is one thing where the customers lost due to the frustrations of communicating with such people was not considered. Please don't think I'm faulting him for his inability to speak English. I'm faulting the moron who hired him without considering the possibility communications with him may be limited.

Now, on to whatever I intended to discuss today. I believe it was on questions. Do you ever want to go off on someone for a legitimately asked question just because you think it was stupid or offensive? If your one of the poor saps stuck in customer service, I know you face this particular issue everyday.

I am not by nature a patient person. I'm easily irritated and occasionally face the desire to just reach out and backhand someone I think is being particularly stupid. The irony of this is that I should be the target of this backhand as often as not. Instead, ask first, why was the question asked?

It's the spirit of the question that matters, not its actual intelligence. If someone actually doesn't know any better, they're asking for information in the attempt to expand their knowledge base just a little. By all means, answer them. If someone's being a smart-Alec feel free to give them a witty response back. Chances are they're not interested in what you actually have to say anyway. Our judgment is not always what it should be so you may occasionally make mistakes, but if that happens it will be pointed out to you. More often than not, you will be right.

There are other issues related to this which I'll address over the next couple of days. (If I can get back online [grumble].)

As it turns out PeoplePC was having technical issues, and all I needed to do after they came back up is change my settings so I wasn't using a proxy server.


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