Don’t Make It Worse

She forgot to mention 'hot water'

What about hot water heaters, Fate?

Its not quite a Rule of Tech Support (I’ll have to check the list to make sure) but a good rule to follow whenever you’re fixing something is “don’t make it worse.”  If you can’t fix something at least try to get back to where you were when you started, it just makes life easier down the road, even if it is for the next guy that’s going to be looking at whatever it is you’re trying to fix.  If its someone else’s thing you’re fixing, be up front and honest about what is happening.

The poor handling of an unfortunate situation is one common thread that I see over and over again whenever someone takes to the Internet to air a legitimate grievance, like the musician who recently had a guitar damaged by incompetent baggage handlers after he was denied the right to carry it onto the plane with him.  Something unfortunate happens, the person seeks remedy from the company that wronged them, and the company completely blows the opportunity to prove they’re really all about the customer.  Instead they blow them off, or insult them with a feeble attempt at compensation and look like a bunch of non-caring jerks.

I wouldn’t have been so riled up about the recent hot water outage in my apartment but for the way the staff handled the situation.  The first time it happened, I was upset, but the email I received after the fact offered an apology and explained the situation.  I read it and was satisfied to know that the problem was being taken care of.  If they had sent a properly worded email the second time it happened, I probably wouldn’t have gone onto this blog to open up a can of Internet Wrath™.

Stuff happens, and I believe that most people are willing to accept that stuff happens as long as you don’t insult their intelligence by ignoring them, insulting their intellgence or being condescending.  Own the problem, let your customers know that things are being attended to, and most folks will accept that.  Don’t make it worse.

In any event, the hot water is back, so its time for a bath.  I ain’t dipping my big toe in that tub until its good and ready, though!

Books, ChimaeraCon, CONS, CREATIVE, FlipSide Stories, RANDOMIZER9.COM, WHATS GOING ON, Writing

What’s Going On


Cover art at right by the irrevocable Matt Frank!

The first in a series of (hopefully) funny YouTube videos called “High Tech Things Said by Low Tech People” is now up.  Check it out!

I’m looking forward to a fun-filled time at ChimaeraCon 2012 this weekend.  I will be in Artist’s Alley handing out flyers and yammering to anyone who will listen about “The Rules of Tech Support”and my other e-books.

Speaking of ‘other e-books,’ my third one, titled “FlipSide Stories” is now available on and!

FlipSide Stories is a collection of five very short stories with  Twilight Zone-ish endings:

A customer discovers that “Future Service” isn’t really for him.

A young woman spends another “Saturday Night” alone in a bar where something isn’t quite right with the patrons.

There are nerds, there are geeks, and then there is the “Freako”.

A cosplayer can’t figure out what to wear and must come to a “Decision”.

A man reunites with a crush from his college years, but “Betty’s Baby” has a surprise for him.