Those of you that follow my blog have probably realised that I have a lot of peeves, in fact I wouldn’t have a Peter Griffin like blog category called, ‘Grinds my Gears’ if I didn’t.

Blogging isn’t necessarily a tool solely to name and shame those who have wronged you either (unless it’s Microsoft). I never feel as if I’m a person who is steadfast in my opinions. New media has given us an opportunity to reach out to people easier, bypass gatekeepers and those less effective members of organisations and really connect with those who are like minded…

I like my opinion to be changed, I like to be pleasantly surprised. It’s actually pretty hard work picking up the phone to an organisation (will give you one for an example – the HMRC) knowing the call is going to be dire, I’ve also had to speak to BT today and again that’s been a disaster. Why should we pre-empt bad service and brace ourselves? I’ve been thinking a lot about when I last heard the phrase “I’ve got some good news for you,” how about you? I can’t really remember how many years ago that was.

Blogging and social media has allowed me to reach out and bypass some pretty miserable and ineffective people in some pretty large organisations and end up with a bit of hard work, a positive outcome. It all still takes too much effort just to get the basics done and really relies on my tenacity to do so – better people than me would probably just sigh and walk away in many cases.

Maybe it’s a gear grinding thing – working in the IT Channel, but the amount of times I’ve asked for help and got nothing is unbelievable. Real help. Not just a token gesture, something that I know I can’t do but my supplier, distributor or manufacture has the capability and resource to do.

Help is a four letter word to most front line staff in larger organisations. Call these people what you like, usually jobsworths or useless, are favoured terms.

You’d think that all the large companies I deal with, that have large marketing resources, I often ask for unique copy for our website – they have many graduates sat there on Facebook just waiting for work and usually, if I get anything it’s a cut and paste from their own website. The learned amongst us know, that’s not only bad for our Google ranking, but theirs too – so why do something if you’re going to do it half assed? Well, they think they’re being helpful but really they’re just being another four letter word…

I’ve sort of been pondering this and I think there are various forms of non-help you can get:

  • The half-assed, slapdash help. “Yes I can help you” and two minutes later an example like I just said – something they had prepared earlier. They feel good, you wish they hadn’t bothered.
  • The “I’d like to help you… but” excusers. They’ll make many excuses about not being able or empowered to help, whilst really attempting to empathise with your problems.
  • The nice but “durrrr” dim helpers. They agree to help you, but after much chasing you find they don’t really grasp your problem, you’ve described it three times and got nothing other than a waste of your time. However, they’re nice people, so you don’t kick up a fuss you just think it’s good they’re let out for the day and think it’s great that some employer is giving them a chance.
  • The smart-arse or rebound “surely, you’re much better at doing that than me” helpers. They’ll flip things so well you’ll end up doing something yourself that you really needed help with because these silver tongued devils flipped it back on to you.
  • The back healer “yeah I’ll get our team on that” helpers. They will take no responsibility and find someone who only works half a day a week to ask to do it for them. Eventually you’ll forget your big idea you wanted help on – you could have solved fusion power, but by the time the single busy person in their office gets round to helping you, matter-antimatter reactors will have been invented.

I’m sure I’m going to come up with many more of these – but I bet you’ve personally experienced one of these people this week when you’ve asked for help.

I’ve been an IT guy for a long time, I get annoyed. I have really bad days. But I’ve never not stopped to help anyone, no matter how busy I’ve been. I may have cursed the week, the pagan gods or someone or something, but I’ve done my best to help where I can.

Maybe if you want some serious IT help and you don’t want to suffer one of the non-helpers, then it’s time to speak to Unleashed where help doesn’t have to be a four letter word and it’s given, no questions asked.

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