Communication Difficulties

As the job search thunders on magnificently (this afternoon I’m going up to the mall to look for seasonal jobs, and I just applied for a library page position), my day job continues to be engaging and intellectually challenging. Like this phone exchange, from around 4:45 last night. (As a reminder, I work at a help desk for a University tech support department; they can’t afford to train me to actually assist people with problems more complicated than “Is it plugged in? No?”)

Me: ****, this is Antoinette, how may I help you?
Bitchy Grad Student: I’m having problems mapping a drive on my computer at home, I need you to fix it.
Me: Is this problem with a University-owned computer, or a personal computer?
BGS: Um, personal.
Me: I’m sorry ma’am, but (my department) only services University computers. I can refer you to (other tech department), which does service personal computers for a fee.
BGS: No, well, this is your department’s problem, so you should fix it.
Me: (I explain again that we do not service personal computers).
BGS: Yeah, so, if I bring it in to my office, then can you fix it?
Me: No ma’am, it will still be a personal computer.
BGS: (starts getting bitchier) I need to speak to (name of a zone manager).
Me: We don’t actually have a means of directly contacting our tech workers, only our ticket system, which won’t allow us to submit a ticket for a personal computer.
BGS: Is (zone manager) there?
Me: No, it’s almost five o’clock and almost everyone has left the office.
(At this point, I call my supervisor to verify that I’m doing the right thing. I am, but he tells me to put in a ticket anyway just to shut the client up.)
Me: Okay, so I can submit a ticket for you. (I take down her information).
BGS: How long before it’s fixed?
Me: It depends on what else is in the triage system, but usually tickets are addressed within 1-2 days.
BGS: That’s ridiculous. This should not take that long. Why would it take so long?
Me: Because we live in a desperately cruel world.

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