A couple of weeks ago my technology hating brother called me to talk him through opening a work document his girlfriend had emailed to herself.
It was hell.
I need to stress, my bro NEVER uses a pc if he can help it, he’s only recently become an x-box convert and even for that we recieved a barrage of phonecalls to help him set it up. This though.. *shudders* I could never be on a help desk that’s fer sure!
First of all, he had no idea what I meant when (after establishing that the document wouldn’t automatically open when clicked upon) I said “look for the word icon on the desktop” it took at least 5 minutes of re-wording the request before giving up and talking him through opening a gmail account so he could use google docs (which typically was unavailable due to some server problem) It served 2 purposes, he now has an email address (so I can send him the link to Stefs Flickr collection so he’ll stop bugging me for pics of Izzy) he could try out google docs – assuming it ever works when you want it to.
So.. That didn’t work, back to helping him find word and open it. After another 10 minutes it turned out that he was wrong, there was no office software on his computer whatsoever which was why he kept getting an error message, this meant I had to help him install open office. Over the phone. While I was nowhere near a computer.
Simple yes? No.
Me: Open internet explorer and go to google
Him: What’s google? how do I do that?
Me: in the address bar at the top of the page..
Him: Sorry.. What’s the address bar?
..Several minutes later
Me: ok now type in open office, when the page loads there will be a big list of websites, click the top link
Him: ok, the one in the blue box yeah?
Me: What blue box?
Him: (getting REALLY frustrated) The one at the top
Me: (trying frantically to remember what a google search page looks like and what this blue box is he’s going on about) Um.. ok, click it and tell me what the page looks like when it loads.
He then described some dodgy sounding site that offered office software at a ‘discount price’ at this point I handed the phone to Stef who’d been laughing his head off at my feeble attempts and went for a cuddle with my daughter.
I always thought helpdesk staff were ridiculously patronising whenever I’ve had to ring up about anything, now I know why – I salute all you guys and gals out there helping the technologically impaire, it aint easy!