why do IT people insist on internet communication? (1 Viewer)

vba_php

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I'm not saying this applies to everyone, but literally every IT team I've had to contact regarding an issue, weather that be one that I caused, one that they caused or one that I'm working on, they insist on communicating electronically through an internet medium. What happened to the good old days of phone calls and in-person meetings? The most recent example in my life is this dating site I'm on...2 weeks ago they disconnected their phone number and sent all their members a message saying they are no longer offering customer support via phone. Now it's only email and online chat.

And what about the big players...Facebook, Google and Microsoft? I've searched plenty of times for a phone number for these companies and could never find one. I might have gotten a number for MS one time, but if I remember correctly they were charging like $30 just to talk to a tech on the phone! But yet MS has countless boards and forums where you can ask anything for free.

Most (not all) programmers that I've worked with who have been in offices prefer to talk through a messenger system or email. Heaven forbid I actually walk over to their cubical to ask a question! I did this one time and the dude said to me "what are you doing here"? :rolleyes:
 

Galaxiom

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People in support like to keep track of the conversation.
 

pbaldy

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Most (not all) programmers that I've worked with who have been in offices prefer to talk through a messenger system or email. Heaven forbid I actually walk over to their cubical to ask a question! I did this one time and the dude said to me "what are you doing here"? :rolleyes:
I would much rather get an email than a phone call. If I'm in the middle of a complex project, the phone call will break my thought process and require time to reorient after. I like this quote:

As a developer, designer, writer, or anyone that requires solitary creative activity, Flow is a must if you want to get anything done. But any little interruption will break it, and it might take fifteen or twenty minutes to get it back. During which time you’ll probably get another interruption. And so on. Until another day has gone by.

from

https://www.jstreettech.com/newsletters/Armens-Thoughts-Summer-2009.html

I can choose when to take a break and check email; the phone call is "I demand your attention right now", whether (not weather ;)) or not the subject is actually time sensitive. Using email is more respectful of the other person's time in my view.
 

Galaxiom

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As a developer, designer, writer, or anyone that requires solitary creative activity, Flow is a must if you want to get anything done. But any little interruption will break it, and it might take fifteen or twenty minutes to get it back. During which time you’ll probably get another interruption. And so on. Until another day has gone by.

from

https://www.jstreettech.com/newsletters/Armens-Thoughts-Summer-2009.html.
I have experienced exactly this. We introduced an online help system where I work and really made a difference.
 

pbaldy

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I have experienced exactly this. We introduced an online help system where I work and really made a difference.
I'm jealous, though I've got most of my users emailing me instead of calling/texting, unless it's really time-sensitive. Probably helps that I work from home so nobody can wander over to my desk.
 

vba_php

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People in support like to keep track of the conversation.
It's not just people in support. I'm referring to all kinds of engineers - hardware, software, testers, etc...
the phone call is "I demand your attention right now", whether (not weather ;)) or not the subject is actually time sensitive.
I'm used to this, so maybe I'm partial to the phone calling.
 

The_Doc_Man

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With the Navy, we had a rule that we DID NOT give out our contact information unless we were officially some level of responder in our Held Desk. As the sys admin for a major Navy Reserve personnel system, I was a Tier III responder. I would have to call someone now and then to do a manual password reset or to get them to do something so I could watch their session and figure out what was going wrong. But most of the time, the Navy policy was that if you didn't have a Help Desk ticket number, you DID NOT talk to any customers directly.

I once asked why (very early in my contractor career), and was told it was because the Navy powers-that-be recognized that interruptions might prevent us from executing critical patches on our systems, or providing other types of support as required through proper channels. In essence, they knew that in our business, you could never do more than approximate the time required to do some task unless it was incredibly mundane or unless you had somehow managed to program it into a script or executable program. So they wanted to maximize the time we had to do necessary things.

It really wasn't common that they would get crazy if things went wrong - it was merely that we had to have a charge-code for whatever we were doing. The Help Desk ticket number, or an Engineering Change Request number, or a particular Security Alert number, or SOMETHING that we could say, "Oh, I'm working on ECR 3321." Or where ever I was charging my time.

Customer phone calls directly to my desk were not possible to charge and so I had to explain that without a ticket, I could not help them. Some folks understood that the cost of doing business with the Navy is being able to TRACK that business. They didn't get bent out of shape. But holy guacamole, did the Navy civilian managers get bent if I tried that one them.

Our engineers were also a bit paranoid. Their rule was "No e-mail? Didn't happen" (Or "Cannot happen.") They needed authorization just like we did.
 

vba_php

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Richard,

How long does a navy contract last? Are there different multi-year terms available? I remember going into the military recruiting office years ago and I told them I would be interested in the officer route cuz I had a bachelor's degree. I seem to remember there being 3 year contracts and 5 year contracts available in both the navy and air force. What rank did you enter with and retire with?
 

Galaxiom

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I'm jealous, though I've got most of my users emailing me instead of calling/texting, unless it's really time-sensitive. Probably helps that I work from home so nobody can wander over to my desk.
Some still wandering up and ask if they should submit a ticket. They are starting to get the picture.
 

Mark_

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@ OP,

If my answer to you was
Code:
DoCmd.TransferText acExportDelim, "Standard Output","External Report", "C:\Txtfiles\April.doc"
and I was trying to spell out each letter to make sure you understood exactly what was needed, I'd be on the phone with you for a looooong time. I also can't cut and paste, nor can I send it to a group that will all need to know.

For some things, giving a quick verbal answer can be best. Often though, knowing precisely what is asked/answer given is vitally important. As such, trying to make sure you have exactly what is needed an often be easier in a textual message rather than a verbal one.

Since I don't know how detailed of an answer I will need to give PRIOR to you asking, I'd be best choosing to only do written as it avoids problem. Likewise if you are coming to me for an answer, unless you are totally positive you can use the verbal one your best off getting it in a written, saved way that you can reference later.
 

The_Doc_Man

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Adam, I was not in on the business end of that situation. I was a contractor, and the company contracts were ALWAYS 1 year plus 4 extensions of 1 year each. In essence, if you screwed the pooch, your company didn't get the next extension. But U.S Navy Reserve personnel ARE under a contract with the USNR, and I believe they are five years at a time. But that is a VAGUE memory overheard in the context of something else. Basically a discussion that if the USNR failed to provide the services it promised, the reservist was allowed to exercise a non-performance clause to get out of service.
 

Dick7Access

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I would much rather get an email than a phone call. If I'm in the middle of a complex project, the phone call will break my thought process and require time to reorient after. I like this quote:
Paul,
I can relate to that. I was building a db for a guy to track correspondence courses he sent out. I email him a question as to some detail he might need or not need. He would call me two weeks later and said I can better answer your question on the phone. I first had to recall what his db was. He would then proceed with non-technical terms that I had to figure out that he was talking about a field or something else. After three months of that I said get somebody else, especially since I don't charge. It's a hobby for me. I pity you folks that do this for a living, and have somebody call you.
My best customer is my wife. Every three months she wants a new DB to do something. Being in a nursing home she has limited storage space so she wanted a diary on her computer. My pride and joy! This first one I built she said it was too cluttered. The second one I built she said she need a field to add more information. Version three. She has two command button. One is called "Morning Dew" the second one is called "Evening Clutter". Now she can pick what ever mood she is in. WAIT? woman are moody?
 

pbaldy

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No, my wife assures me that women aren't moody. :D
 

pbaldy

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I don't know, I'm afraid to ask again. :eek: ;)
 

Dick7Access

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I don't know, I'm afraid to ask again. :eek: ;)
i am sure you have heard this before, but when I am counseling with young men I tell them, when she asks, "does this outfit make me look fat", the only safe answer is, "does this hat make me look stupid".
 
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why do IT people insist on internet communication?
What are they suppose to do go back to analog? Its faster, probably cheaper and the infrastructure already exists (servers). Not to mention all of the analog hardware can be recycled.
 

Mark_

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i am sure you have heard this before, but when I am counseling with young men I tell them, when she asks, "does this outfit make me look fat", the only safe answer is, "does this hat make me look stupid".
Except most women will look you in the eye and answer "YES". Probably not the same answer they are expecting with their outfit.

Then again if your hat said "Hold my beer", that probably answers why you'd be saying "Yes" to her question in the first place!
 

vba_php

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Then again if your hat said "Hold my beer"
i absolutely hate beer. never did enjoy the taste. I was a heavy, but only occasional, UV blue vodka drinker for many year. I would walk into a bar and say "give me 12 shots of UV blue in a tall glass. That was my limit for 1 hour of drinking. Anything more and I would puke.
 

Dick7Access

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i absolutely hate beer. never did enjoy the taste. I was a heavy, but only occasional, UV blue vodka drinker for many year. I would walk into a bar and say "give me 12 shots of UV blue in a tall glass. That was my limit for 1 hour of drinking. Anything more and I would puke.
It's a good thing you didn't have a hat that said, "hold my tall glass of 12 shots of UV Blue":eek:
 

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