I was reminded today of a fifth reason people get burned out doing tech support. Unrealistic expectations. For example, when your users have a problem with technology that isn’t something you support, but which they still expect you to take care of for them. In some cases that can be personal tech like an iPod or some other gadget that isn’t part of their work, but which they still expect you to support, or in my favorite example people who call you from outside the office because they can’t get an Internet connection to work. There’s nothing like someone calling you from Starbucks 1000 miles away because their work-issued laptop didn’t connect to the wireless network. Or calling you from a hotel asking which wireless network they should connect to. I’ve even had people call me from their own house when they have trouble connecting to the Internet.
The worst part is that these same people can grasp that when they have a client in our office who needs help connecting to our “guest” network, that we are the ones who can help them do that, but apparently there’s a disconnect that occurs when they are at a remote location connecting to a remote network that causes them to assume we are the ones to do that as well.
Anyway, my ranting aside, I do believe that having a well-defined limit to what you’ll provide support for helps your support folks not burn out quickly.
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