Who gets to be the "tech" person or support that everyone calls to?

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Jose_49    727

I've been the tech support for almost everyone around me. I had to fix printer issues, software installation problems, and even networking issues (Yes grandma, just restart your router, and you'll have your Internet back ;)) 

 

I was just wondering, who in here gets to be the "tech person" or support for friends, family, co/workers?  I wonder how well I compare with others. How often do you get called?  Anything special that they ask about+ very often? 

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+warwagon    10,872

That would be me. Mostly because I run my own computer repair business. Is it sick I even enjoy helping them with their issues when i'm off work? Then again it really doesn't feel like i've worked a day in 14 years.

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Nashy    1,510

I'm the family nerd.  I get called from my family in different countries to help them over TeamViewer.  It's mildly infuriating at times, especially when the bulk of it is due to older people doing something silly that they know they shouldn't have done, not owning up to what they did and forcing me to spend time to discover what they did, or because they didn't perform required updates because instead of asking, they just ignore, delay, close, whatever.

 

Just now, warwagon said:

That would be me. Mostly because I run my own computer repair business. Is is sick I even enjoy helping them with their issues when i'm off work? Then again it really doesn't feel like i've worked a day in 14 years.

 

That's not because you love your job though, it's because of your fantastic jokes! :laugh:

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+devHead    1,798

I'm the tech support for my family and most of my friends.  I like it though.  Plus I work in IT so I've been helpful there too.

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HoochieMamma    589

That's me, baby!

 

I also do work outside of my normal day to day for people, phone/ipad screen repairs, general PC and laptop repairs and down to re-flowing circuit boards for consoles and electronic devices to bring them back from the dead.

 

Completely through word of mouth of I have over 100 machines in my Teamviewer account that I use to support people and some small businesses as well.

 

Basically anything computer or technology related I can fix and or setup.

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Tuskd    1,871

I am merely a tech enthusiast (I haven't even built a PC). However, I do receive a calls and messages asking me to fix things. Since most of the issues that come to me are software related, it is easy for me to get them fixed. People who call me include family, friends, college mates and colleagues. I sometimes do get calls for hardware issues, for which I look in the internet and just execute what is said. I also get a lot of calls for phone/laptop recommendations and other purchase decisions.

I enjoy doing it, if I am not busy. It gives me an opportunity to learn how things work. An additional advantage is that since it is not my gear, I can confidently go about making changes and testing things :laugh:

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Brys    1,889

I've been the geeky kid in the family so I'm the family's tech support kid, even though I'm often dangerously unqualified for the job, and it only gets worse with time. I get more and more smartphone and internet questions I don't know how to answer to (how do I do this with my smartphone ? - I don't know I've never tried or even imagined you'd want to - and how do I subscribe to this website ? - I don't even know this website), and sometimes I spend an hour searching the web with them, without finding an answer, just to give up - and then they come back a few days later "oh this person showed me how to" well where was this person when we needed ?

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+Zagadka    2,562

I've been in that position since the mid 90s. Set up my high school's network (for free). Seen inside the houses of friends of my parents. Set up dozens of PCs. Been continually frustrated by how sloppy people are with their interface and program choices (like having IE, Chrome, and FF all open to different pages). Pointed out that people don't need a new system, they just need to clean up their junk.

 

Thankfully, I'm not much into phones, so my services have been less in demand.

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Nick H.    8,380

Like a majority of the forum (I assume) I have been the tech support for family, friends and coworkers since I was about 14. First it was friends just chatting about tech, followed by family and family friends who saw that I knew what I was doing, to more recently (well, 8+ years isn't necessarily "recently") working in tech support for companies and organizations. I'm not a network engineer or a programmer or web designer, but I understand how computers work. I know how to research an error message when one appears that I may not have seen before, and I know how to interpret the information I find and use it to find a solution. Having an abundance of patience and the ability to sit down and explain something in terms that the other person will understand is a good bonus skill to have. ;)

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NJL    7,282
Posted (edited)

I refuse to.  Too often people ask me for help or for suggestions, then ignore my 25 years industry experience and 35 years IT history in favour of "bloke down the pub says I can just download it for free" mentality, and then try to either ask for help or worse blame me when things don't go as suggested.

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dipsylalapo    1,110
10 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

Like a majority of the forum (I assume) I have been the tech support for family, friends and coworkers since I was about 14. First it was friends just chatting about tech, followed by family and family friends who saw that I knew what I was doing, to more recently (well, 8+ years isn't necessarily "recently") working in tech support for companies and organizations. I'm not a network engineer or a programmer or web designer, but I understand how computers work. I know how to research an error message when one appears that I may not have seen before, and I know how to interpret the information I find and use it to find a solution. Having an abundance of patience and the ability to sit down and explain something in terms that the other person will understand is a good bonus skill to have. ;)

Whilst there is a degree of knowledge and understanding in IT to be the "IT support" person. Any one can do it (to an extent) with a good understanding of how to use Google ;)

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Xahid    5,133
24 minutes ago, NJL said:

I refuse to.  Too often people ask me for help or for suggestions, then ignore my 25 years industry experience and 35 years IT history in favour of "bloke down the pub says I can just download it for free" mentality, and then try to either ask for help or worse blame me when things don't go as suggested.

I am developing the same behavior, specially when you don't get proper appreciation.

strangely people are same around the globe.

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NJL    7,282
21 minutes ago, Xahid said:

I am developing the same behavior, specially when you don't get proper appreciation.

strangely people are same around the globe.

See, I don't care for the appreciation, but when people disregard what I've told them in lieu of someone who doesn't work in the field, has no IT background, but passes on crud knowledge they heard from someone else - well they made their choice... Let the guy down the pub solve their issues with the suggested solution.

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cork1958    1,253

Yep, I get to be that person and have been for a long time. Don't get nearly as many calls anymore as most people use their phones for everything.

 

As a reflection of how few calls I get now a days, the 2 mom and pop repair shops around here that were VERY popular for quite some time, have gone out of business and both places attributed that to cell phones also. Almost  no one works on those here as most people simply will just buy a new one if their old one get messed up.

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CrashGordon    398

That would be me. Friends and family mostly these days, with a majority of it being remote. The one thing that grinds my gears are the ones that ask for your advise and then do the opposite.

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+warwagon    10,872
On 4/4/2018 at 4:43 AM, NJL said:

I refuse to.  Too often people ask me for help or for suggestions, then ignore my 25 years industry experience and 35 years IT history in favour of "bloke down the pub says I can just download it for free" mentality, and then try to either ask for help or worse blame me when things don't go as suggested.

Those same people probably have Slim Cleaner and driver updater running in the system tray.

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Jose_49    727
On 4/4/2018 at 5:43 AM, NJL said:

I refuse to.  Too often people ask me for help or for suggestions, then ignore my 25 years industry experience and 35 years IT history in favour of "bloke down the pub says I can just download it for free" mentality, and then try to either ask for help or worse blame me when things don't go as suggested.

Hahhaha.

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InsaneNutter    1,049

This has been me since our family first got a PC back in 1998. I was totally fascinated by it and was always trying to learn everything I could.

 

Within a few months I probably knew a lot more than the average person, so I was getting asked to help friends and family with computer problems. Once I had built my first PC a couple of years later I was always getting asked to build PC's for family, friends and even friends of friends. I enjoyed this as I built some pretty high end machines for the time.

 

When broadband became the norm I was helping people build / configure home networks and anything related to that, such as setting up Xbox Live and forwarding the ports so they could get an open connection to Xbox Live instead of a strict connection.

 

Over the years I've created websites for people, setup domains, email hosting, dedicated servers, VPN's, installed custom firmware on devices and so on.

 

I've never minded helping family or friends with stuff as I've always enjoyed it. Now things have moved on to mobile / tablet devices i don't really get asked for help all that often, on the occasion someone wants help with something i'll still happily help them.

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+Bryan R.    1,112

I've been offering help to family for 15 years. It's always been just peachy. That is until my mother-in-law changed all her passwords then didn't know why Outlook was asking for her password. I'm on the phone with her when she literally can't tell me what she changed it to or IF she even changed it. If she doesn't know then.... Who does? Come to find out she's telling other family I talk to her like she's stupid. Well Jesus effing Christ then screw off! Everyone else will get all the help they need.

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Circaflex    3,306

I used to be that guy, I still am to an extent. I will help my immediate family and really close friends, however I just don't have time to support everyone like I used to. It got to the point where almost anyone I knew would call me to help them out, but with my time being so limited these days and considering I do this type of work for 8, 10, and even 12 hours a day sometimes, the last thing I want to do is sit at home working on a friends computer. Like I mentioned, close friends and immediate family I still help but I was able to weed out the acquaintances and friends of friends by explaining to them that my time is money, and if they want to to provide technical support I will charge them my hourly rate of $80/hr. That helped stop everyone from calling me and a few that did, gladly paid for my help.

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zhangm    1,255

I used to be that guy, and went along with it back when I had more free time.

 

These days, I've resorted to pretending to be computer-dumb at work (which button on the mouse is the Start?) and this has substantially reduced tech support requests.

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DConnell    5,695

I tend to be, especially for a couple friends in particular.

 

One woman lost that privilege, though. I spent two hours remoted into her computer, cleaning dozens of infections because she loved going to "free" movie streaming sites. I did this for free, on my day off. Less than a week later she fell for one of the "Your computer is infected! Call this number now!" scams. Paid a couple hundred dollars for the "repair". Then when her computer suddenly didn't work right again, who did she blame? Me. Never again.

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neufuse    3,099
On 4/4/2018 at 5:43 AM, NJL said:

I refuse to.  Too often people ask me for help or for suggestions, then ignore my 25 years industry experience and 35 years IT history in favour of "bloke down the pub says I can just download it for free" mentality, and then try to either ask for help or worse blame me when things don't go as suggested.

ugh that's the worst part of it...

 

I built a computer for a friend and every time he can't get something to work right in windows it's my fault I built him a "crap pc"... every time it turns out it's something he did wrong in windows or trying to crack something to get "free" or got some malware from some "movie download site" they went to........

 

yep it's my "crap pc".....

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shockz    3,438
Posted (edited)

I stopped being friends and family (outside of parents) IT support after almost two decades of being that guy.

 

Took way too much time, never took my advice afterwards, and then they always moaned about something after the fact and blamed it on me (keeping in mind that these systems are already on life support and 15+ years old), and was getting tired of getting paid with "beer and pizza". Let alone those high school and college acquaintances that haven't talked to you in years, but suddenly contact you hoping for a deal.

 

That and that fact that I'm a sysadmin at work, it was starting to be a 24/7 thing and I just need some time away from the constant barrage of maintenance and day to day. 

 

I also stopped it as a side job making actual money, once I saved what I needed.

 

If someone wants to actually pay me comparable shop fees, once and a blue moon, maybe, but not having to be the go to person is entirely refreshing and don't think i'll ever go down that road again.

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Jazmac    993

That would be me for computers, printers,  routers etc and my son (manager @ AT&T) gets any and all cell phone related issues.

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