Tech Support: My Bad Attitude

I know I have a bad attitude, but I don’t know how to change it. You see, when I am talking with certain customers about certain types of issues, I get very upset. I seem to end up with the attitude that there is something wrong with the person I am talking to and that it is an inconvenience to me that they are wasting my time, and that their very existence is an affront to me. What makes the attitude bad is that there is nothing wrong with the customers themselves. These customers are simply trying to get a solution to a problem they are experiencing with our software.

The reason I end up with such a bad attitude is because it reflects how I feel about the problem they are experiencing, and I seem to associate callers with their problems. These problems, you see, are inherent problems in our software and cannot be solved or even addressed by myself or anyone else on this technical support desk. These are inherent flaws in the programming, sometimes in Windows, but usually I don’t get as upset over those. These are problems for which no matter what actions I take and no matter how much I want to assist the customer, at the end of the call they will have just as much of a problem as they had before the call. Except that now they’re upset and I’m upset and we both know that nothing can be done.

I guess these are the sort of situations I should be the most supportive and calm in, but these customers are already pretty upset, since they’ve got such work-stopping issues, and I’m already upset, since I haven’t been provided with any way to assist them, and it just gets out of hand very quickly. Because they’re certain there’s something else I could do, because it isn’t working yet, and I’m technical support so when they call me I’m supposed to be able to make it work, right? Damnit. I hate it. I tried bringing it up with the lead programmer the last time I was allowed to talk to him directly (a meeting about customers complaining about me not providing them with technical support), and he didn’t have any answer at all. No response.

I just don’t seem to know how to end a conversation so that the customer is happy and is satisfied with the outcome, even though they are at least as bad off as when they started. It seems to much like a lie to be something I really want to figure out, though. I just don’t know what to do.

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