Please Read The Instructions….

This week’s prompt has turned into a bit of a rant, so I’ll try and keep it short. I’ve had a rough week with customers not doing the one thing I need them to do – read the instructions.  A large part of my job in IT  is providing answers to questions or how to documents that are regularly left unread. I just don’t get it. I am that nerd who sits down with any new device or item and reads the manual from cover to cover just so I know exactly what I’m doing and can avoid re-work.  Whether you are putting together Ikea furniture or a video conference, instructions are important, particularly ones you asked for in the first place.  Here are some examples of instructions I have provided that have been ignored this week alone:

  • Don’t borrow the expensive conference phone from the board room because you like it better.  Or rather if you ‘borrow’ it, put it back when you are done. Don’t make me hunt through 15 meeting rooms to find where you’ve left it. That makes me cranky in ways that I struggle to articulate.
  • Do reboot your computer when I ask without arguing. I really do need you to restart. Believe me when I say I know you’re busy and don’t want to restart. I don’t want to have to make you. In the time it took you to argue, you could have rebooted three times already.
  • Don’t steal a wireless keyboard and mouse from another person’s desk just because they are away on leave and you want it.   This is not the freaking Wild West. Society has rules. Also don’t swear blind that you bought it yourself because I label everything that I give out with the persons name just in case this exact thing happens. It’s embarrassing for everyone when you lie.

Here’s an instruction for free – please treat customer service staff like human beings.   Just because I’m helping you doesn’t make me beneath you. I deserve neither your scorn nor your shoutiness. Funnily enough I remember the people who call me by the correct name, or kindly ask about my son, or offer help when I’m limping/heavily pregnant.  Manners cost nothing and may even get you bumped up in the queue. And in return, I promise to never judge you or make you feel bad when you forget your password, lose a document, or spill water on your laptop.  We’ve all been there.

Do you have one thing that always drives you crazy? Confess in the comments, or join the link up over at My Home Truths!

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  1. I once had a person say ‘Stop. Come back when you can talk to me properly’. I was taken aback but she was absolutely right. I immediately calmed down. (and apologised)

    1. It’s a hard situation because it can be emotional. If you’ve got something due and your machine breaks, I totally get it that you will be stressing. Sometimes though you do have to take a step back and breathe before you can take it all in.

  2. I hear you. Having said that, I was on the receiving end of some really appalling customer service this weekend. In the end I had to let hubby deal with it at the 6 hours in mark. They just refused to believe that I hadn’t read the troubleshooting guide and followed the instructions to the letter. They then hung up and pretended to call back, sending a non returnable text saying they tried phoning, throwing us back in a 3 hour long online queue. There was no missed call, the phone was free (waiting for the call back) and I was more than a bit over it.

  3. I haven’t read my camera manual. Or my computer manual. But I have read the dishwasher and washing machine manual several times, and have both of them within arm’s reach, because these seem to be the appliances that torture me the most.

  4. Amen to that – please treat customer service staff like human beings. Miss 19 works as a barista and half the time, no matter how nice she is, she is lucky to get a smile out of her customers let alone a kind word. What is wrong with people these days?

      1. Totally agree! That’s actually part of my job – I rewrite user manuals for my customers for things like Skype or Outlook, basically digest it and pass it on a little easier to read. It’s probably my favorite part. For all the people who don’t read them, I occasionally get one who’s printed it out and has it on their desk for reference. Gives me a warm fuzzy.

  5. When I worked in an office I loved the IT guys but I saw them cop so much grief from others – I could never understand why. Having said that I must confess I don;t always read manual…sorry!

    1. There’s still this perception that IT people are barely functional basement dwellers who sit around playing video games all day instead of helping people. A lot of guys out there don’t help that perception, but I think the vast majority of us do actually like helping. I’ll always forgive not reading the manual in exchange for a smile and a hello any day 🙂 and in fact some of my kinder customers get away with absolute murder. I’m a bit of a soft touch 😉

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