Tech support is annoying enough as it is, but things like this make it reach new heights of frustration. What do I mean by this? There are at the very least, three kinds of people you’ll get questions from in tech support.

The rarest is the one who actually knows what they’re talking about and they ask a difficult question you can’t answer right away without Google.

The next is a person who has no idea whatsoever how to use their computer beyond what is absolutely essential to their task at hand, but they know what they want to get the computer to do.

Then you have the person who aren’t very technically minded, but have some degree of common sense about computers, but when they ask a question it’s unhelpful in just about every way imaginable. It’s this situations where I want to do a Jerry Maguire, get on my knees and say “HELP ME! Help YOU!” Saying some piece of software is broken tells me nothing except that there’s a problem. What’s most important is what do you want the computer to do, and then you can move onto is why the computer isn’t doing that particular task.

I think one of the most frustrating things about tech support are people who have no desire at all to help themselves. I’m not saying the position shouldn’t exist because sometimes people are too busy to figure something out when it needs to get done right away (actually that’s almost always the case). Most people don’t have a single clue where to start in order to begin to solve a problem because their first instinct is to call for help. If I figure out a problem I didn’t understand at first, I resist the urge to rub in the fact that all I did to solve it was spend two seconds doing a search on Google.

I think what separates nerds from other people is the desire to understand how certain things work and why. Nerds don’t just want the solution they want to understand it so they can retain the knowledge for future use. When the solution presents itself, it seems that most people are content to let it go in one ear and out the other instead of saving the knowledge so they can do it themselves the next time. If you look at it that way, tech support is very Sisyphean in nature.