Client/customer rants..... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-01-2003, 03:59 AM
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I recently worked on a database system for a client (it was pre-existing and I made some modifications). There was one spot where they were having trouble and it was popping up with an error message (as I programmed it to). The client is meant to take note of the error, type it in an e-mail, then send it to me.



Obviously that is too hard, because they do a couple of screen dumps (of the error and a few other things), paste them into a Word document (in the default picture format which takes up a lot of space), then send the document to me.



So then I have to wait while I receive a document over 1 megabyte in size, rather than a simple text e-mail.



And even worse, another 1+ megabyte document came through with screen captures of the database doing what it was meant to! I didn't need that.



I need to put in an automatic error details log and e-mail function to try and stop this annoying silliness.
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#2 Old 05-01-2003, 04:55 AM
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LOL Poor Kurmy, it's a pain dealing with computer illiterate people to the point where they can't even follow simple instructions...



the worst thing is a person who builds websites having a panic attack ("the website is broken!") because a link doesn't work... what the?
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#3 Old 05-01-2003, 06:46 AM
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Kurm you need one of those t-shirts from thinkgeek.com:



"Go away or I will replace you with a very short shellscript".



IMO many people could be replaced with shellscripts and actually would do better jobs in their workplaces...
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#4 Old 05-01-2003, 07:11 AM
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When you program something you really have to be aware of the "more stupid than stupid" level of some users.



People around here think I'm a genious because I can see why their prints come out a printer on the other side of the building. And I can even change the default printer !
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#5 Old 05-01-2003, 08:21 AM
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Oh yea, I enjoy playing with default printers. Better yet, it's fun to route the output to a location in a different state. When the user finally calls back, I make up an execuse from my execuse calandar. It has a different execuse for each day. Last Friday was solar flares soooo everything users called about last Friday was written off as a problem "due to solar flares". After I provide the excuse, I put them on hold until they hang up. If they are stupid enough to call back, I simply provide them with a "blind transfer" to the cleaning crew. I love my job!!
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#6 Old 05-01-2003, 08:34 AM
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KC - Umm.. which company do you work for? I'd like to avoid doing business with them if all their employees are like you.
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#7 Old 05-01-2003, 08:42 AM
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aka...******* operator from hell
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#8 Old 05-01-2003, 08:46 AM
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You'll never get anywhere with that attitude, mister.
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#9 Old 05-01-2003, 08:55 AM
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Don't worry Marie, I'm always available for phone sex.
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#10 Old 05-01-2003, 08:59 AM
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How much do you charge? *eg*



(for 1vegan.. eg = evil grin)
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#11 Old 05-01-2003, 09:00 AM
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I provide it as a public service.
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#12 Old 05-01-2003, 09:03 AM
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Nice.



So... can I be the first VB girl you do it with?



Unless it's too late.
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#13 Old 05-01-2003, 09:05 AM
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KC is really the cleaning crew. The fumes from all the chemical cleaning products creates these delusions in his head.
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#14 Old 05-01-2003, 09:09 AM
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Heck yea, I would love to push the broom or better yet ride on that little waxing machine...only if I get to keep my current salary though!
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#15 Old 05-01-2003, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marie

KC - Umm.. which company do you work for? I'd like to avoid doing business with them if all their employees are like you.



Hm..I heard of this strategy before....



System Operator (SO)wants money for securing the network.

The CEO says, we have no problems so I won't give you money for it.



SO: hmm, why don't I let this virus through and let half the network crash.......



CEO: WTF happend to my files ?

SO: It's a virus, it entered our network because we didn't have the security measures I asked for.......



CEO: so what's it gonna cost ?
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#16 Old 05-01-2003, 09:33 AM
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You figured it out...LOL...good going. You can search under "******* operator from hell"...they are quite hilarious and really seem to fit the bill.
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#17 Old 05-01-2003, 09:41 AM
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kurmudgeon writes:

=================

The client is meant to take note of the error, type it in an e-mail, then send it to me.

=================



Many people think that, no matter what their occupation, they were meant to find happiness. Others think they were meant to be servants of the lord. Others think they were put on earth to do good works. The idea that they were meant to note errors in e-mail messages has never occurred to most people. And I doubt that they might be more willing to note error in e-mail messages, if you told them that that's what they were meant for. I know that if you told me that was my purpose in life, I wouldn't believe you, and would persist in believing that I was put here to do good works, meant to do that by the creator.
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#18 Old 05-01-2003, 09:48 AM
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If you want the client to put the text of the error in a text e-mail message, you should give them specific instructions to that, instead of relying on them somehow being able to know what the creator put them on earth to do.



You can put those instruction right in an error message, or include a link in the error message, to a file containing specific, detailed instructions on how to report the error. Obviously, longer instructions should be communicted to them by the latter method.



Let me know if you need help wording instructions to people: that is my specialty. I even know how to do it without insulting them in the process.
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#19 Old 05-01-2003, 09:53 AM
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for example you don't say or write to the client "note the error and send it to me in an email message." If you do that, they will use their own judgement as to how to note the error, and how to get it into an email message. What you say is something more specific, like



=====================

Please highlight the error message with the mouse; press ctrl-c; address an email message to [your address here]; with the cursor in the text area of the email message, press ctrl-v. Confirm that the text of the error message appears in the email message. Send me the message.

===================



Tho your error-log idea sounds good too.
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#20 Old 05-01-2003, 09:57 AM
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I had told them. I even kept telling them in my e-mails when I replied to their megabyte document e-mails.



For the next update I do to the software I'm going to have it disable the Print Screen button when the error message appears so they won't be able to do this to me again.
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#21 Old 05-01-2003, 10:02 AM
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By the way, in addition to knowing how to help people learn to use programs, I know how to use microsoft's "Html Help Workshop" to create documentation for a program, to create "Help Files." HTML Help Workshop is, of course, used to compile html files into chm (compiled) help files. If there any of you program writers doesn't have time to write it documentation for your program and put it into help screens, yourself, I might be able to create documentation for whatever programs you have written (for a reasonable fee, I need to earn some money to pay for my hernia operation!), if you need such documention,



In addition to being familiar with many types of computer applications programs, I am familiar with double-entry accounting -- from journals of original entry through periodic statements.
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#22 Old 05-01-2003, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by soilman

for example you don't say or write to the client "note the error and send it to me in an email message." If you do that, they will use their own judgement as to how to note the error, and how to get it into an email message. What you say is something more specific, like



=====================

Please highlight the error message with the mouse; press ctrl-c; address an email message to [your address here]; with the cursor in the text area of the email message, press ctrl-v. Confirm that the text of the error message appears in the email message. Send me the message.

===================



Tho your error-log idea sounds good too.



I've created a whole separate form that appears when there's an error, and they can click on a button to e-mail it to me; it'll do it all for them... just one click and that's it (although they'll have the option to add their own text to the e-mail).
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#23 Old 05-01-2003, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kurmudgeon

For the next update I do to the software I'm going to have it disable the Print Screen button when the error message appears so they won't be able to do this to me again.



And risk that they are going to send digital photo's of the screen ?
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#24 Old 05-01-2003, 10:13 AM
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kurmudg writes:

=================

I've created a whole separate form that appears when there's an error, and they can click on a button to e-mail it to me

============



Cool. What operating system are you working within, and what applications program did you use, in setting up a button to e-mail the form to you? Please don't tell me you used Visual Basic.
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#25 Old 05-01-2003, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kurmudgeon

I've created a whole separate form that appears when there's an error, and they can click on a button to e-mail it to me; it'll do it all for them... just one click and that's it (although they'll have the option to add their own text to the e-mail).



Maybe ENLARGE the BUTTON and remove the add-your-own-text thing ?
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#26 Old 05-01-2003, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by soilman

kurmudg writes:

Cool. What operating system are you working within, and what applications program did you use, in setting up a button to e-mail the form to you? Please don't tell me you used Visual Basic.



Windows OSes (developing on W2K, although this app and database are running on XP).

Yeah, I used Visual Basic. Using it I can provide the client with what they need, it fits well with Office/VBA, and it makes things easier for me. Each to their own.

The specific app I am talking about is to manage (backup/repair/restore/compact/etc.) the database. However I'm thinking of moving it totally within Access itself so there's no separate app.
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#27 Old 05-01-2003, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 1vegan

Maybe ENLARGE the BUTTON and remove the add-your-own-text thing ?



That means they'll just send a separate e-mail to me (along with the auto one) describing things such as what they were doing at the time. If they can just add "Kurm, I was doing this...." it's better (not that users always tell you what they were REALLY doing when things went wrong).







Anyway, wait a minute.... this thread is meant for rants about clients/customers, not my error handling routines!
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#28 Old 05-01-2003, 10:43 AM
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Kurm....I was just sticking this screwdriver in to the floppy disk drive cuz I thought I heard something in rattling in there, but I couldn't figure it out. So I took the casing off and found this cable that was kinda loose. So I unplugged it, but then forgot where it was supposed to go. Since nothing bad happened, I figured it was ok to just leave it.



But then when I tried to switch applications, I kept getting all these error messages. So I just turned the whole machine off by unplugging it from the outlet. And now I'm getting even MORE error messages...



I've sent you a screen shot of each of the 12 messages I got. I know they all say the same thing, but you said to make sure to send you each error message!



Thanks.



LoserUser
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#29 Old 05-01-2003, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kurmudgeon

If they can just add "Kurm, I was doing this...." it's better (not that users always tell you what they were REALLY doing when things went wrong).



Because of my car-mechanic background I alway provide the IT with as much info as possible.



And when I call I don't assume I am the only one complaining.



So it's more like "do you all ready know the internet doesn't work" instead of "My internet doens't work" (being number 20 that calls)
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#30 Old 05-01-2003, 01:28 PM
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Working in technical support gives me immense respect for those who do, so on rare occasion when I have to call for help (when the problem is beyond my abilities AND/OR not within my area of expertise, and my personal computer guru is not available), I try to be considerate, succinct, follow instructions and generally try to make the call as easy for the tech support person as I can.



I wish people would do that for me. ;-;



The typical problems I run in to are:



The screen is black!

(My response: Is your monitor turned on? 99% of the time, that's what causes it. The other 1% of the time, there's actually a problem, or the lights on the far end aren't turned on.)



Why haven't you dialed out to me yet?

(My response: I've been trying to dial out to you for the past twenty minutes. Let me verify that we have the right number for your equipment. *checks it, finds it correct, and tries again* Mr. Customer, did you see anything coming through? The customer says no, so I suggest that the equipment be rebooted. At this point we discover that it was never turned on to begin with. Apparently the customers don't understand that their equipment has to be turned on for me to dial out to it. I know that's awfully complicated. O.o;; )



My call dropped!

(*think to myself, because you were playing with the buttons. I saw you playing with them* At which point I have to relaunch the call and then spend 15 minutes typing up an error report since I'm required to do that every time a call is dropped.)







Those are the easy calls, even if they are annoying. Sometimes I'll get something really complicated, but the complicated ones are fun because it's like solving a puzzle. ^_^

We see the world as "we" are, not as "it" is; because it is the "I" behind the "eye" that does the seeing.
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