Technical Support: The struggle is real

You spot patterns – that is what you do. You spot patterns and spot for pattern solutions – recipes if you will. Sometimes you see them in people… and sometimes you have to take a moment to really let them wash over you and wonder what was actually going through their mind at the time.

You expect the good old “But that is not my password?” – “I have used the same password for 20 years and I have had no issues”… sure. That is real. That happens. But these – these are starting to up their game and appear to be leading a new trend for obscure… here are three real examples that are becoming more and more common to the point I feel the need to vent:

1. My user-name is unacceptable.

The platform in-question takes a specific letter of the alphabet a chunk of the domain name, then the account number. So for example this might be xzerosan1234. This is fair enough. As these will often deliver email accounts – allowing people to pick email addresses is foolhardy – so boom – quasi unique user names. Happy days. But on no. No no no no no… no. This is ‘unacceptable’ – I want a different one. Based on what requirement my inner voice chimps – however I am stuck for words… these are the rules… REJECT THE RULES… flick the V’s to convention… F*ck society!

2. Why do my email accounts no longer work?

Fair enough question. Sometimes things go awry. No. You have renamed all of your accounts so that they start with a number or letter, and with z at the bottom. Curious – but fair enough. You are not receiving your emails as they have been preceded with a character (people do things for strange reasons – but usually for a good reason – or more specific what appeared to be a good idea ‘at the time’). Sure enough when he was emailing Peter@domain.tld it was being bounced – the account was now z_peter@domain.tld. You can see why that would happen. Right? Yes. So what was the reason for this….?  “I wanted them to display in that order, with the most important at the top”. No. Words. This particular user has a long and distinguished history of adding rules that either delete or block their own email…. and its always “OMG this platform is so unreliable”. Something about accidents in rear view mirrors comes to mind.

3. Can you help me change my MX record?

Sure. O fcourse. No problem. Lets talk through your control panel, your zone file and where it needs to point to for the email on this account to work.It becomes apparent that the rename appears to point to … the… same… server / IP? So the question is asked – what are you trying to achieve? “I am renaming my mail server so that it is not as easy to guess… webmail, mail and so on will be easily guessed”. But… but…. they still need to point to the mail server…. and other servers need to be able to find out what this is for you to receive emails…. and by cha…. you know what…. never mind… lets do that.

Conclusion

Now in many ways these three shining stars – slightly changed to protect the innocent (me!) they are increasingly common examples of a theme – realizing you have tools, means, control, and jumping in. However the final step of change, test, fix, repeat until it works with then acquired learning appears to have been skipped. This is how the future is starting to look now.

Equally the “well why can I not” is overlooked as they have picked the product based on price not capability and function – and why not – stuff is getting cheaper and faster and more capable – however … there comes a point where square peg in a round hole is crossed – sure use a of a hammer will get it through with enough force and time – but that misses the point of having both round and square options. If you can – do – if you cannot – be prepared to blame the decisions you made, make good, learn.

The bar is not so much lowered – as stolen. Lets keep in mind that in the examples given above – these are either the reseller / IT guy / engineer … this is not Fred Nerk from [insert own depart here]. It is a good time for low knowledge no fees I am feeling.

This… this is what WE have created to meet the lowest common denominator. We have ALLOWED this to happen. We are empowering these decision makers. Are you happy now? Straight to bed with no story for you!

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