Everyone knows what the number one rule of the helpdesk is.
We all accept that as truth, we all have plenty of stories about catching users in a lie, and I think even our users find it completely acceptable to lie to the helpdesk. But why? What’s the point? Seriously, if we all accept that the purpose of calling the helpdesk at your organization (we won’t even begin to talk about consumers calling a helpdesk, we’ll stick to internal helpdesks) is to solve a problem and get back to work as quickly as possible, how does lying help you reach that goal? If you’re working along and a process or program locks up, and we recommend rebooting in order to reset the memory and network connections, why tell us you’ve alreay done that if you haven’t? That slows down the process of getting you back to work. Do users not understand this? Do they think we won’t catch them?
Seriously, if you say that you’ve been having this problem all day and have rebooted a number of times the first thing I’m going to do is go to your event log and see if there are errors being recorded. If your event log shows that you haven’t rebooted in a week, I’m going to have to assume everything you have told me in that conversation is untrue. That’s not going to help you get problems solved and get back to work.
I’ve got some thoughts about why users lie, and why it’s socially acceptable to lie to your helpdesk staff, but I will save that for a later post. I want to see your comments on why you think users lie, and whether there is any other profession where it’s acceptable to lie and impede someone who’s job is to help you.
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