People are People – Classic from the archives

I’ve noticed there are several types of people that use help desks.

1. The Finger Post Gazers – Thems the type that come to the desk wanting something that’s right under their noses. Often unable to see beyond their personal space. They see assistants purely as a finger post

User – Can you tell me where the wall is please?
stegzy – **points**

2. The Rule Bender – They know the rules. They’ve been explained on countless occasions. But regardless they constantly try to get the rules bent. They have an aura of self importance.

Stegzy – I’m sorry you can’t borrow this book as it is reference only.
User – Oh pleeeeeeeeeeeease

3. The Fake Dozer – They are generally quite bright and eloquent. But they know that if they act like dozy duffers they’ll generally get their way. Kind of related to the Rule Bender.

4. The Best Friend – These are the people that see every helpful person as their bestest bestest friend. They use friendly names, banter and generally seem pleasant. But secretly they are shallow manipulative people. They use their friendliness to make the assistant feel bad about being rude to them or for pointing out the rules.

5. The Dependant – They will not take advice from any Tom Dick or Harry. They want their favourite. If their favourite is not available then they either huff or question your every drop of advice. The look on their face when you point out that their favourite’s advice is flawed is often priceless.

6. The Daily Questioner – These people can not go 24 hours without asking a question. Even if there is no genuine need to ask a question they will. They can often be seen straining to think of a question they can ask and the questions they do ask are often banal. Like “Is there air in this room?” or “Which way is down?”

7. The Stupid – These people genuinely are as daft as a brush. They are generally ignorant of the huge 82pt bold signs on walls or doors stating purpose. Unfortunately they are pandemic.

User – **ignoring the sign on the door that says HELPDESK** Excuse me, Is this the helpdesk?
Stegzy – No it’s the fucking butchers.

I’m sure there are more but I can’t think of them at the moment, I’m being pestered by a Best Friend and a Stupid.


Her – I’ve plugged my projector in in a room the other side of the building and its not coming on, there’s a blue light flashing but no “wooshing” noise.
stegzy – Have you tried pressing the button by the blue flashing light?
Her – Yes but nothing happened. Can you just come and look at it please?
stegzy – Yes I can come and look a tit.
Traipse to the other side of the building
Her – See?
stegzy – Oh yes
Press button with blue flashing light
Projector – **Wooosh**
Her – How did you do that?
stegzy – I pressed the button.

Someone looked a tit. It wasn’t me

Stegzy’s Customer Service School


Hello! Thank you for coming to Stegzy Gnomepants’ Customer Service School. Today I am going to show you the key skills required to succeed in this line of work*

1. Always give your friends first class servicess-4008010-CustomerService

  If your friends are happy they will tell their friends about the good service they have had. Word of mouth is more powerful than advertising. Advertising costs lots. More money means wealthier bosses – wealthier bosses mean better working environment – better working environment means longer toilet breaks for you – you go home happy. So if your friend comes in treat them right. Chat to them for as long as you like. It doesn’t matter about anybody else just make sure you look after your mates. If anyone complains then that’s because they have no mates and they have no mates because they complain all the time.


2. Never Smile

defusing-angry-cust Smiling means you are being friendly. Remember the customer is the enemy and should not be befriended. Befriending a customer means everyone gets first class service. This costs money and time especially if you talk to every customer you come into contact with. Time = money

Also remember

Under no circumstances engage the customer in conversation

Even the slightest hint of chumminess means one of the saddos will start calling in regularly. Regular contact develops into friendship and before long the saddo will be inviting you along to chess or bingo evenings and Star Trek Conventions and then every Colin, Barry and Douglas will be lining up expecting excellent service.


3. Never make Eye contact

5421217-lg Customers are naturally stupid. Remember you are in charge not them. The only people allowed to make eye contact are highly skilled sales people. They have special one way contact lenses and eye contact is an excellent tool for breaking down defences. Making eye contact can reassure a customer that the piece of shit they are buying is a quality bargain but it can also show weakness to the unskilled CSRep.

REMEMBER :- Eye contact should only be made by highly skilled sales people except in confrontational situations in which case a mighty glare can make anyone have weak knees.

For more on eye contact see Appendix R. Tibetan Eye Combat Skills


4. They need you more than you need them

Fist of Money The only reason you are in contact with a customer is because they think they want something you have. In reality they have something you want – MONEY and lots of it. No matter how many times someone protests or complains in reality they want to give you their money. Short of a good kicking most customers will happily part with their hard earned loot without second thought to the true cost therefore remember the following:-

  1. Gauge your customers wealth status – The more money they appear to have the less they are likely to want to spend unless they appear to be competitive or "Keeping up with the Jones’" types. They will more than likely want the middle of the range product so show them that one and then try and push them up the range. They probably wont buy the better product but they will leave thinking "I should have got that more expensive product" and probably come back.
  2. Less well off customers are more likely to pay double – They want the better products so that they look swish when their pals come round. Push the product that they can’t afford and mention credit services. Remember the words "Interest" and "APR" mean little to most people under 40
  3. If someone wants to complain give them to the customer complaints department – These people are highly skilled individuals and can convince customers they are getting something for nothing when in reality they aren’t. Do not attempt to placate a pissed off customer with offers of goodies unless you are trained in the dark arts.

5. The Customer is always wrong


customer_is_always_wrong_mousepad-p144277168556686225trak_400 No matter how right they think they are. Remember you are more knowledgeable of the products and services you can provide to them even if you actually know nothing about them at all. They may think they know the subtle nuances but they don’t, unless of course they are an ex-member of staff in which case they should be referred to a manager who will dispose of them in a recognised place of refuse. The only exceptions to these rules are people who work in motor factor/ accessories shops (e.g. Halfords) and in High Street computer retailers (e.g. PC World, Time, Tiny etc) – If the customer had any knowledge of the subtle nuances of the product in the first place they would have gone to a specialist and bought the right thing in the first place.


6. Your time is more valuable than theirs

daylight-savings-time Customers have bags of time as well as cash otherwise they wouldn’t be bothering you with insignificant requests. Show your disdain for their wasting your time by tutting and sighing when they can’t make up their mind. This will embarrass them into hurrying up and, although they will probably moan to their friends about how rude you were, they will probably buy the wrong thing and end up having to return. Besides you are unlikely to ever see them again anyway so what should you care?

7. The longer you postpone a problem the quicker it goes away

ignore This is especially true in CS in IT. The IT Monkey rule of "Ignore a problem long enough it will fix itself" is universal through out all areas of CS. So, if you are presented with a problem you don’t think you can solve yourself or you think may reveal more shoddiness on behalf of your co-workers, ignore it; it will go away.

If paper work is involved, shove it in the bin inside something such as an envelope of a chip wrapper;

If there is an electronic record of the transaction or contact make sure you hide it well.

Electronic resources are easily traced so check within your department for the approved method of evidence disposal.

8. Only be pleasant when funds are changing handsmainpic-money-guy

Remember, the customer pays your wages, if you are unpleasant at the critical time the may go elsewhere with their funds.

This is true right up until the end of their period of statutory rights after which they are not your problem.

Remember you are welcome to postpone dealing with anything other than transfer of funds as long as it doesn’t point back at you.

9. Every customer is stupid unless they speak to you in a civil tone

customer-service Phrases like "I don’t know anything about xxxx", "You! Help me out with this" or "I’m too busy to be coming in", name dropping and airs of superiority by customers should be dealt with utter contempt. Only stupid customers would dare use such tactics.

Remember the customer doesn’t know why they want something, it is up to you to tell them. It often helps if you explain in simple language or by pointing to diagrams.

Remember also that 80% of what you say to a customer will be forgotten an hour after the contact therefore when explaining important contractual obligations or financial things speed up your speech or bury the terms and conditions on the back of a piece of paper which they will never read until it is too late.

Rude customers are out to make money from your company or better their own means to an end. So if contact is in any shape or form uncivil you are well within your right to drag out any processes and make things three times as difficult for the customer than if they were pleasant to begin with. Eventually they will learn of their error and eventually, at some future point, calm down on advice of their doctor or start attending anger management sessions.


10. Be smart with your rudeness

A skilled CSRep can always insult a customer without them even knowing. This could be by indirect reference or by subtle ways i.e. misspelling of their name. In this day and age everyone gets offended easily so there are numerous methods of insult on the market.

However, if your insult is too direct or obvious you may be faced with difficulty and possibly reprimand so it is important that the insult is untraceable and can be easily reinterpreted by a third or independent party.

We would like to remind candidates that these rules are widely known amongst CS centre Workers and any discussion of these secrets is considered taboo though some will discuss their own methods and rules of successful CS after their period of employment has ended or if they work for a different contact/call centre than you.

So follow these guidelines and you will keep both the customer and your employers happy. Oh yes….indeedy 😉


Thank you for reading.

* – Disclaimer – This is entirely for fun and not indicative of all customer service in the UK. No offence, implication or accusation should be taken with anything described.

This post was originally posted on Livejournal

Finding the off switch

It scares me how flappable some people get with technology. I have known fairly intellectual professionals get flustered because the mouse had been placed on the left hand side of a keyboard instead of the right.

4000 Keyboard and Mouse

I’ve seen grown men cry because the simple use of a caps lock button could have saved them hours of reformatting text.

I’ve known air head secretaries who received a fraction of their bosses salary feel all superior because they knew what a dollar symbol was.      (It’s $ <— one of them if you didn’t know)

And yet there are always the few that continue to surprise with their inability to cope with modern day appliances.

Today I met a classic example of lunacy.

She came up to my desk and proceeded to rant and rave about how “bloody inconsiderate” it was that we had changed equipment without her knowing. How was she to do her job when she hadn’t received training in the new equipment. Didn’t people know she had an important lecture to deliver? How dare we provide state of the art equipment worth well in excess of £5000 to replace the out dated poor quality equipment that was there before.

How bloody dare we!

How bloody chuffing dare we!

So I left the comfort and idyll of my desk. Locked the till, secured the office door. Affixed the “Back in a jiffy” sign. Made my apologies to other people waiting for attention. Because it was clear that this woman’s issue was far more important than any book return or referencing query. I did all this and climbed to the second floor of the building to a room I could have reached via the other stair well in half the time had it not been for the fact that she insisted on showing me which room she was in and proceeded to rant, rave and spit vitriol at how inefficient we were.

I entered the class room gingerly (I had a root of ginger in my pocket and my hair colour is often wrongly diagnosed as ginger”) to see….no difference what so ever to the last time I was in the room.

Only…no…that’s not quite right. Because sure enough, there affixed to the wall were new video conferencing screens. Everything else was the same. The conferencing unit was the same, the conferencing podium was the same. The only difference was the screens and really, even they were disputably different.

“I can’t get it to work. It’s all totally new to me. It’s completely different to the one that was here last week.” she repeated for the 35th time since leaving the desk.

I smiled my warming smile and began to inspect the equipment.

It was plugged in.

The mains switches were switched on.

The wires all seemed to be affixed via trunking.

The video conferencing unit was working as the little green light glowed happily from its lofty position above the screens.

So in that situation, what do you do? Panic? Scream blue murder? Throw yourself onto the Town hall carpark from the top of the building?

No. You check to see if the on switch is….on….on the display panel.

Sure enough there, on the side of the panel, was a button marked with the universal symbol for on.

I called her over to where I was stood and told her that I would give her the training she needed to do her work in future. Had I been a bolder man I may have suggested a £40 training fee. But I am not bold. I am more italic. Maybe a bit subscript.

“See this symbol here” I told her

“Yes” she said.

“This is the universal symbol for on.” I replied trying my best not to sound condecending.

“Oh is that what it is” she responded as the rotting salmon of realisation slapped her in the face with the force of a well wielded wood axe.

I pressed the button. The conference suite came to life. She…just ushered me out of the room before anyone at the other end of the conference call heard me tell her what a fucking idiot she was.

My job done, I returned to my desk and the next banal query.

“Do I have to bring these books back?”

“Not unless you’re stealing them” I replied.

It was going to be a long night….

Fault Queue

If you know me you’ll know, despite internal ragings, I have the patience of a saint. I haven’t given it back yet because he hasn’t asked for it, but none the less, I have their patience. So perhaps this is why what I am about to relate to you happens to me with alarming frequency.

I’ve noticed it happen a lot lately. It happens in a variety of places be it in shops, offices or on the street. It doesn’t appear to happen to anyone else but I’m sure it does. What is it? Well, it hasn’t got a name. It is more of an occurrence than a thing.

Let’s say I’m queuing for a cup of coffee. There are 4 people in front of me. Each of the 4 get served speedily and without issue. But then it’s my turn.

Stegzy– Hello please may I ha….
Barista #1 – Oh sorry love hang on
Barista #2 – ‘ere Barista #1, was it beans on the jacket potato or was it tuna?
Barista #1 – Oh you daft bugger, it was tuna and gravy with meaty chunks, did you get the gravel out of the fridge?
Barista #2 – No but I left the intricate lace work doillies in the sink
Barista #1moving away from the counter to go behind the scenes won’t be a minute love
An age passes
Barista #1 – Sorry love what was it?
Stegzy – Please may I have a coffee?
Barista #1 – yes hang on
Barista #1 goes through motions of making coffee
Barista #2 comes out from back room
Barista #2 – I can’t find the Rabbit and beef in jelly
Barista #1 – They’re under the sink
Barista #2 – Can you show me?
Exunt Barista #1 & Barista #2
Two minutes pass
Barista #1 returning from back room Sorry love, what was it?
Stegzy – I’ve forgotten

The same happens in shops, petrol stations and bars. Different staff. Totally unrelated incidents. Similar events. What’s worse is, while all this is going on there is a queue of people growing behind me tutting and sighing at me. As if it is MY fault. Of course, long term Livejournal Flisters will know that it is, of course, my fault. Everything is my fault. Germany invading Poland? That was me. Twin towers? Me too. Krakatoa? Yup….my fault.

Anyway, as if this wasn’t some sort of global shop keeping conspiracy, the same happens when I’m driving. I’ll queue at a give way sign. The cars in front have no problem getting out of the junction. Some go straight out. But when it gets to me, it’s like all the travellers in the world have to use that road. Worse, some don’t use their indicators. Or when one direction clears, everyone coming from the other direction decides they want to come past or turn right into the road I’m turning right out of.

Then, there’s the drivers that go reeeeeeeeeeeeeally slow. They pull out in front of you from some give way junction because they are clearly in a hurry, but then proceed to stick to 20 mph when you can’t over take them, and when it’s over take time, the fuckers speed up….I mean what’s going on there?!

It’s hard not to think it is just me. It’s harder not to think that this is all some sort of conspiracy against me. So because of this difficulty….that is what it must be. It is a global conspiracy. Against me. A global penance for everything being MY fault.

Beyond comprehension

Imagine, if you will, the following scenario:-

*tinkle tinkle of shop door bell*
Fishmonger:-  Hello sir how can I help
Customer:- Yes I would  like some spanners please
Fishmonger:- Yes well you might need next door as this is the fishmongers
Customer:- **hmph** that’s not good enough

Continue reading “Beyond comprehension”

>More foolishness


Some people have no sense

” Afternoon. Computer Services Helpdesk”

“Hello yes. Is that the helpdesk?”

“Yes. How can I help?”

“Well Im filling in this computer form online for computer quota using my computer on the network…”

“yes go on”

“…and theres a part thats asking for my ‘real name‘ . Can you tell me what it means?”

“Erm…..ok…well basically its your name”

“yes but whats my realname”

“your name is your real name! unless you’re using an alias”

“yes but I dont understand all that computer stuff.”

Blood pressure rises gradually.

“OK. I’ll try and explain in a more simple manner. Can you tell me what your name is please?”

“Im Professor Noah Tall*”

“Ok then your real name is….Noah Tall*, unless that is you want to be known as Mickey Mouse or Fred Squirrel or something”

“Oh I see! oh well thats stupid why doesnt it just ask me what my name is?”

“Thank you for calling”

*(name changed to protect the stupid)

>Network Printers


Woman comes in. Goes to the information handouts. Picks one of the handouts which is in a pouch clearly labled
“Installing the Network Colour Printer”
and has
“Installing the Network Colour Printer”
clearly written across the top.

Reads it.

Scratches her head.

Comes up to the counter

Like Uri Geller, Derren Brown, Deanna Troi or some other psychic/mind reader/empath I knew exactly what it was she was going to ask.

Lets see if you can guess. Think what she asked………ok….got an idea…..then click the cut below

She asked “Does this tell me how to install the network colour printer?”

Well???? Where you right????

Why did she ask me that?!!!!??!?!

Comments please!



Why is it……that some people that have computers…….run a million and one things in the background that they aint ever going to use? You know what I mean? They have like a million and one icons in their system tray cos theyre running “Instant Cybercustard” “Super Casino” “Nuclear Porn” “Compuparsnip V2” “Electronic Donkey” and other useless things that they would probably never ever use, only use rarely or only makes their PC look prettier. Then have the audacity to call me…..and tell me that the
is running slow and that its my fault! Then when I proxy onto their pc and point out all the “mysterious things that are in their system tray”, they say “Oh i never put that there” or “I didn’t know I was installing that”. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……i feel my blood boiling already I need to chill.

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