When it comes to providing IT support, we’ve seen a lot of things through the years. And, well, we’ve been paid for some efforts that, quite frankly, could have been avoided. They’ve provided us with funny memories, and the checkpoints below we give free of charge. We also realize that revealing these behind-the-scenes stories may cut us out of some additional revenue, but that’s a risk we’re willing to take.
A customer stated that their computing device wasn’t working and started waving it in the air. The plug was waving just below it as well. A member of our team walked over and plugged it in. Problem solved.
Checkpoint 1: Is your device plugged in?
Similarly, a common call we receive is for a broken mouse. One of the first questions we ask is, “Is it wireless?” If the answer is “yes”, our advice is to check the battery. They don’t work on magic.
Checkpoint 2: Are the batteries charged?
We’ve gotten calls regarding new monitors that have seemingly gone dead. If you’ve already gotten past checkpoint 1, there’s a good chance it’s the brightness button. Sometimes during cleaning, they get turned down all the way.
Checkpoint 3: Have you checked the brightness setting?
You wouldn’t believe the thousands of dollars we’ve made by rebooting computers. So, if you’re experiencing a problem that seems- how shall I say- “glitchy” (Is this a word? Could someone look this up… please?), try going to the start button on the lower left-hand side of your screen. Select “turn off computer” and then choose the “restart” option. This really is a miracle worker. Really, it is.
Checkpoint 4: Is this a problem I could solve myself by simply rebooting?
While we have a lot of power, there are also some things that we don’t control… like the internet. If the internet is down in your entire office, it’s best to start with Verizon, Comcast, Earthlink, or another internet service provider (ISP). That’s where we’re going to send you anyway. Similarly, we don’t have anything to do with the signal on your mobile phone. Check with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or another communications company if you’re experiencing more than the standard “dead zone” areas.
Checkpoint 5: Is this really an IT support issue?
Speaking of “Is this really an IT support issue?” we’ve also had some rather- how do I say this?- “unusual” requests through the years. Take the guy who had two PS2s set up in his garage. He and his friends would wager on video games, but I digress. He called us to troubleshoot a problem with one of them (one of the PS2s, not one of the friends- stay with me now). Our diagnosis after going out on the call was that there was a problem with the ethernet port and he needed to replace the PS2.
Checkpoint 6: Is this really an IT support issue (part deux)?
We don’t do programming or web design. We’ve been asked to program Bluetooth devices, TV remote controls, and garage doors. Okay, Bluetooth devices I sort of get, but really… they’re easy, so save some money and do it yourself, but garage door openers… really?! They have specialists for these kinds of things.
Checkpoint 7: Do I have to repeat myself… Is this really an IT support issue (part trois)?
As is true in most of life, information technology comes with its fair share of cause-and-effect scenarios. Adolescents are famous for virus-inducing downloads of pirated games, ringtones, movies, and music. Additionally, if you have porn on your computer, it came from somewhere. The “porn fairy” didn’t just magically leave it. It could be your 14-year-old son who has just discovered that girls (and particularly naked ones) are suddenly attractive to him.
Checkpoint 8: Who has access to my computer? And if they’re in puberty, why do I let them use my computer without my supervision? What is wrong with me?
Of course, porn could be accidental, the result of a bad search command. A search on “recipes for chicken breast” will certainly yield some porn results. Or it could have been that email from Aunt Sally. Okay, so the subject line didn’t make sense, and there was hardly any text; but you thought, “What could the harm be in clicking on this link?” Now your computer has a virus.
Checkpoint 9: Why am I not more careful with search terms? And why, oh why, do I click on links that look suspicious?
Save this page as a favorite. Print and post it next to your computer. Share it with friends who may be… ummmm… less well-informed. And, next time before you call Halo Information Systems with an issue, please review any and all of these nine checkpoints. You may solve the problem yourself and save some money or at least be amused before determining that an IT support call is necessary.