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Haywood Jahelpme (aka Tech Support Hell)

I am a real live tech support person. And I live in Tech Support Hell.
SAVE ME!!!! UPDATE: I have been saved!
Wanted: Techs in Support Hell needed to help keep this blog alive!

Saturday, July 26, 2003

.: 10:51 PM
posted by daddy-o

Someone else got Promoted too!

Me: Thank you for calling < ISP >, this is Haywood. I can help you.
Customer: I guess I got promoted up to Level 2
Me: Congratulations! Me too!
Customer: heh heh

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Thursday, July 24, 2003

.: 5:37 AM
posted by daddy-o

Customers are easily confused, and tech support can be too, if we don't see what they are seeing...

After making changes in the Startup tab of the System Configuration Utility, the computer prompts the user to reboot. My customer asked a typical customer question...

Mr Customer: It says Your changes will not take effect until you restart your computer. Do you want to reboot now?
Me: Hit Ok
Mr Customer: Hit OK or Restart.
Mr Customer: OK
Mr Customer: I don't have an OK
Mr Customer: Then hit Restart.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!! Then why did you ask? Were you trying to set a trap for me????

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Friday, July 18, 2003

.: 3:02 AM
posted by daddy-o

I knew this was going to be a tough call when I mis-identified the customer's sex. D'oh!

Customer: Do not call me sir!
Me: Ma'am, I apologize. Please forgive me.
Customer: I am not a man!
[perhaps it was her gruff voice, she sounded like one of those whiskey drinking, 2 pack-a-day smoking, types..]

So here was the problem... (S)he was trying to send her son an email with our web-based email client, but when she would type in his name, (she swore she was typing it in the body of the email) for some reason it was adding our domain name to the end of his name (so it would look like Garry @ < ISP.net >) and she was getting really pissed off about it, because it kept happening to her over and over... I mean REALLY PISSED OFF. To the point where she was YELLING at me. And I actually had to tell her to calm down and relax or I would not be able to help her with this any longer.

So, I had to have her walk me through step by step to get to the point where I could prove to her that she was actually putting the person's name in the CC field instead of the body as she claimed she was doing.

Customer (With a drunken slur): "I'm putting it in the body!!!"

After explaining this to her (why it kept happening), I had to really Break-it-Down into simple terms...
Me: You need to put his name in the big box down below where you normally type the message.
Customer: This happened last friday to me too, and it has been happening to a lot of other people too! And I want to know why!
Me (to myself): "You and your friends weren't drinking last friday were you?

Here are a few more of her comments made during this call:
Customer: This is very very strange. It gets added on and they are not a < ISP. net >customer
Me: That is because the system thinks you are sending someone an email when you type something in that field
Customer: i don't type in @ < ISP.net > it just magically appears
Me: It is doing that to make sending email a little easier for people.
Customer: for some reason it just wants to get added on
Me: throwing hands in the air
Customer: there is a ghost inside his email and the ghost comes and goes when it wants too
Me: rolling on floor laughing

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Wednesday, July 09, 2003

.: 11:09 PM
posted by daddy-o

Who knew?

Well, here in tech support, we had long suspected it but I just got confirmation yesterday that Mac OS X has a firewall built into it. Windows is easy as we see that all the time here (grrrr Zone Alarm...) But no one seemed to know where the Mac settings were. Finally with Jaguar (OS 10.2) we now have a tab inside the control panel for it!

For OS 10.2 and higher only, go to the System Preferences Control Panel and click on Sharing. On the Firewall tab, uncheck the box for firewall. If you want to turn it off that is...

Having a firewall on the computer by default is a very good idea and something I applaud Mac for doing, but in the previous releases of the OS, there was no way to find it unless you were a Unix geek. Now, there is a GUI for it (w00t!)

Here is the fix if you haven't upgraded to Jaguar yet:

Now that you have it running, I must point out that what you see isn't the firewall itself, but the graphical interface that operates it. ipfw is a unix program with nothing graphical about it. Early adopters of OS X, such as myself, had to either configure ipfw manually (not!) or download a clever graphical interface for it called BrickHouse for Mac OS X. If Jaguar's interface doesn't give you the flexibility you need, then use BrickHouse instead. You're still accessing the same firewall. Here are the firewall rules from my home machine, using each interface. You can easily guess which is which by the level of complexity. The paramount firewall rule? Some firewall is better than no firewall. Good.

In fact, ipfw is itself an interface, and not the actual firewall. Rather, it drives two programs called ipfirewall and dummynet. For more on this, type man ipfw at a Terminal prompt. In particular, notice the bit about ipfw's stateful behavior, a very clever concept. This feature isn't utilized by default in either of the above graphical interfaces, though. Pity.

Read the more about the Mac OS X Firewall.

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Friday, July 04, 2003

.: 1:39 PM
posted by daddy-o

Well, I applied... We shall see. I am not sure if I want to move to the Bay area right now, but I have always wanted to live up there... Perhaps Google assists with finding housing? One would think that this kind of work could be done from anywhere in the world:

What you'll be doing:

Provide excellent customer service to Blogger's users.
Respond to customer service inquiries via email.
Troubleshoot technical problems related to the authoring and publishing of blogs; escalate bug reports.
Report on trends in our users needs.
Create customer documentation.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2003

.: 9:43 PM
posted by daddy-o

I think I found my next job

Now hiring. Wanna work for Blogger at Google? We're looking for more folks to help support our users. If you're interested, please check out this job listing.
– Jason G. [7/2/2003 6:15:36 PM]

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