I do tech support for a living right now, and have worked in call centers in the past. There is an unfortunate truth that never occurred to me until last Saturday.
When I took this job, I had assumed that it would be easier then my previous crappy customer service experience. I based this assumption on the fact that I would be working with a ‘smarter’ group of people consisting of fellow programmers and assorted geeks. This would be easier than dealing the general public because those programmers and assorted geeks would be better at computers.
Of course, it didn’t take long to discover how wrong I was, but it took until last Saturday to figure out why:
The majority of those programmers and assorted geeks who call for help aren’t the Brainiacs that know what they’re doing. They’re the C and D students sitting near the bottom of the bell curve that need their hands held while they deal with Visual Studio, and in extreme cases, Windows.
I believe this holds true for ANY kind of support, regardless of whom the group of people you support are. Whether they’re programmers, teachers, lawyers or scientists, most of the ones who come calling for help are going to be the dumbest of the lot, no matter how smart they appear on paper.
While coming to that conclusion certainly doesn’t make my job any easier, it definitely explains a lot.