Growing tired of users

By “users” I’m talking about computer users. Not all the people I encounter are a problem, but it does seem that business owners are the worst people to help with a computer issue.

For example, I’m working on a laptop for a client who reported getting a BSOD on startup, but he could still get into Safe Mode – at which point he was bombarded with popup messages saying his computer was infected with spyware. I arrived to his office and he was positive that it was our fault, saying that we removed his antivirus program when we installed his printer. I assured him that wasn’t the case and told him about how many current spyware/adware/viruses find ways around older antivirus programs and then prevent them from working. His computer was obviously infected while he was surfing porn sites, based on the types of malware I found. His 2006 version antivirus program was powerless to prevent infection.

Another business owner had grown tired of repeatedly having to call us to resolve user-caused problems. We told him about setting up a proper client-server network environment and how it would make his systems more stable. Granted, my boss under estimated the amount of work it would take to get their systems up to snuff, but the project was all in order. After about a month of working around their staff to get the network and their workstations ready for the change, the owner started to complain about how long it was taking. It didn’t occur to him that it was taking much, much longer because I was unable to just get in there and do what I needed to do and converting one workstation at a time — with the staff member breathing down my neck and/or asking me what type of computer they should buy for their mother — wasn’t conducive of efficient work. Now that the work is done, we hardly hear a peep from them. But when there is something they need help with, the owner complains about how he spent all this money to get the system the way it is and how he can’t believe he still has to call us for help.

Then there are the loony clients. The ones that check their email using their webmail interface, flag spam items and delete them, then open Outlook to download the email – but still leaving the email on the server – and then freak out when their mailbox cap is reached, assuring us that every-single-email is of the utmost importance. These are the types that will log onto the server using the Administrator account, muck something up, then blame us for whatever went wrong. They’ll listen to us when it comes to restructuring their network to a client-server environment and when it’s all done and configured, get upset that users can’t install Incredimail, Yahoo! Instant Messenger, or Limewire on their own — and when we open access for the users to do so, they’re livid that they have all sorts of computer problems again (and after they spent all this money!). Or the bookkeeper that says, “I’m more of an IT guy than a finance guy,” then asks, “what does FTP mean?” in the same conversation — then asks us if we can give him the domain Administrator login info.

Some days the job can be frustrating, but for the most part it’s a lot of fun. It’s those 15% of users who can turn an otherwise mentally stimulating and enjoyable day into a hair-pulling day of mental anguish.

This entry still loves working on computers in spite of it all.