Hello? Can anyone out there hear me? Do I look wierd to you? Wait! Don’t answer that! That’s not what I meant. (smart aleck).
The Earth to Dave! site has had it’s share of problems lately. These problems go way beyond the guy behind the keyboard, but in can be blamed on a highly-paid staff member named, uh, Rodney. See, Rodney recently graduated at one of those “Technical Institutes” that you hear about during the day on those channels that feature the courtroom shows. You know the ones: “Judge Stanley”, “Judge Broom Hilda”, “Vermont Justice”, “Pet Lovers Court” as well as “Head Trauma Courtroom Showdown”. Yes, these institutes have a captive audience in the mid-day couch potato. One day the guy is a couch potato, and the next he’s a “Certified Computer Operator”, or even a “Doctor’s Office File Technician”, or perhaps a “Professional Dental Mouth Spit Sucker”. Regardless, you tend to get what you pay for, and apparently I’m not paying myself, er, I mean RODNEY enough.
In an effort to be “hip”, “with it” and “technically savvy”, I, er I mean RODNEY upgraded our software to the “newest version”. Let me give you a hint. When you hear “newest version”, RUN. FAR AWAY. The “newest version” might as well say “newest version to cause your computer to crash”. Yep, that’s what happened. But thankfully, I stepped in and saved the day.
Okay, I’m already feeling guilty. That’s not really what happened. I didn’t step in and SAVE THE DAY. I just stepped IN IT. The truth be told, I had to call TROY.
Now, Troy is the human equivalent to the comic superhero “ULTRA TECH”. Never heard of “ULTRA TECH”? That’s because I just made him up. But work with me here. Imagine a computer nerd (Troy isn’t really a nerd at all but I did say “work with me here”, didn’t I? So quit interrupting). As I was saying, imagine a computer guy who, when he receives a call from a frustrated and frazzled online humor columnist, springs into action. He grabs a handful of Oreos, sloshes it down with some Mountain Dew “Gamers Fuel” cola (which is VERY strong, I might add) and jumps out the window. No, he doesn’t have a CAPE, nor can he fly, silly. He lives on the first floor. Anyway, he jumps out the window and into his 1978 Dodge Dart, boots up his GPS which is suction-cup mounted to his windshield, studies the route while uploading the latest traffic conditions, and drives to the frustrated columnist’s house. When he arrives, he looks through the window and sees the frustrated columnist in the fetal position, sucking his thumb. After attempting to smash the door down three times, “Ultra Tech” treats his bruised shoulder with ointment he keeps in his shirt pocket and turns the door knob to enter. In no time at all, the computer software database has been restored and the humor columnist is happily pecking away at the keys. “Ultra Tech” then leaves the premises, knowing he saved another computer from being smashed against the wall. All in a day’s work.
Yep, Troy is my ULTRA TECH. Troy is the owner of Churchquest.com, the company who hosts this website. Troy is the most responsive technical support, uh…technician…in the known universe. After finally admitting that I had…er, I mean RODNEY had screwed up Earth to Dave!, I took matters into my own hands and e-mailed Troy. In a matter of hours, my problems went away, and Troy was on to other Disaster Repair Episodes (“DRE’s” for short. That’s a little computer tech jargon I learned). Can life get any better?
But alas, not all “technical support” is like this. Not long ago, I had several issues with my brand-new laptop computer made by a very popular manufacturer which I will not name, but it rhymes with the opposite of “heaven”. Anyway, I have gotten quite familiar with this company and their “technical support”. On one occasion, I phoned the company and spoke with a gentleman who was very obviously from India. The conversation went something like this:
Him: Thank you for calling ____ technical support, this is…FLOYD…can I help you?
Me: Uh, “Floyd”?
Me: Oh, okay, uh, FLOYD, I am having a problem with a very loud noise that my laptop is making.
Him: Oh, party on dude. We can fix that.
Me: Uh…..did you just say “party on dude”?
Him: Yes, Party On Dude.
Me: Hmmm…okay. Wow. I’ve never heard anyone from India say “party on dude”.
Him: Well, we are learning American Slang to better relate to our customers.
Now, nothing against him, as I’m sure he’s a great guy and, quite honestly, he eventually got my problem resolved, but the language barrier was an issue. After a while, I asked him if I could get a picture of their operation. He was happy to oblige. Here it is:
It seems many companies have abandoned the good ol’ fashioned U.S. of A. for countries with cheaper labor. Here we can see that the “overhead” is considerably lower. Why, there’s no “overhead” at all, which makes it VERY interesting during monsoon season. These countries have adapted to the sudden influx of outsourced work and companies have poured increased capital into the infrastructure there. In fact, I recently received a photo that details these improvements. See for yourself what the American dollar is doing overseas!
So as you can see, progress is being made there. But what about here in OUR country? Fear not…the tech support industry is alive and well. You’ve seen these guys, haven’t you?
So fear not, “Geekdom” is alive and well in the U.S. We still have guys like Troy (who is, by the way, NOT a geek in case I didn’t mention that) who will not only solve your technical issue without 38 phone calls, an interpreter, numerous e-mails or a bottle of aspirin. Yes, they’re out there but you just have to find them (try www.churchquest.com for all your web hosting needs… a shameless plug!)
But be on guard, “OUTSOURCING” is alive and well. In fact, it can even be seen during this…*GASP!*…CHRISTMAS SEASON:
If you do happen to encounter the above situation, I’d suggest using the phrase “Party On Santa”. You don’t want ANY miscommunication when it comes to your wish list. Meanwhile, if you happen to visit Earth to Dave! and the site is down during the Indian monsoon season, it probably has something to do with my “rhymes with Hell” computer, so I’ll see you in a few months!