I work with users who have a lot of different skill sets, many of whom do not have much computer knowledge. Remaining patient and polite seems like an obvious objective as an IT admin, but it can be hard to carry out -- especially when you are busy or tired or you're dealing with a problem that takes way more time than it should. But a simple reminder I tell myself is to think about how I'd want to be treated by an expert in a field that I don't know much about.
Here are a few experiences that were simple to fix techwise and very simple misunderstandings on the part of the end-users. Because of this simplicity, it can be frustrating for all involved: to the end-user because they're not figuring out why something isn't working, and to the admin because the problem is basic but takes great patience to remain calm and respectful while getting it fixed.
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One time, we got a call from an employee complaining that the Internet would "go up and down, sometimes would work and other times it wouldn't." Further questions were confusing the user even further and getting us nowhere, so another tech and I went to his desk to see if we could help him, expecting something along the lines of a bad cable.
We asked him to show us what was going on. After some round-and-round conversation about what it meant that sometimes the Internet would work and sometimes it wouldn't, he finally mentioned that one site didn't work. The others were fine.
He typed in the name of the site and, sure enough, up came an error message. We took a look at the URL and asked him to type it again -- same result. As it turned out, he was adding an apostrophe to the URL. When we asked him to try again after removing the apostrophe, it worked fine.
I had finished setting up new computers for several employees and was delivering them to their desks.