16 /2012 The enquiry counter phenomenon
One of the drawbacks of trying to be helpful to others is the way the help seekers take you for granted, and treat you like you were their servant. In this context, my own experience has been digusting. Many of you would have noticed the huge amount of material I put up on the web, just to help people and guide them. Many jokers seem to take this as an advertisement for an on-line help centre (aka call centre). I get a feeling like I am sitting inside the enquiry desk of a railway station. People rush to you, ask a one-line question, and vanish without a single word of thanks.
This is how a typical enquiry from one of these idiots goes ::: “knock knock knock….how do I install an app. on the ipad which my brother-in-law bought from Singapore ?” These idiots who can afford to buy things which they do not know how to use, have not understood some
BASIC RULES OF DECENCY ::
a. When you address someone you don’t know, you start with an opening greeting or a polite start up phrase. This is all the more importaht when you are asking for a favour or help.
b. When you address someone you don’t know, you always introduce yourself first. You do’nt have to give your date of birth, or star sign, but giving some simple details will not hurt e.g. who are you ? where do you live ? how did you come to know me ? why are you interested in this topic ? what attempts did you make ?
c. Addressing a person whom you do’nt know, by using expressions like “Hi”, “Hai”, “Hey dude” etc. is a VERY DISRESPECTFUL habit which only the most uncivilised animals practice. Use these expressions only for your school pals.
d. Sometimes, I may ask for some more details, to help you better. Give those details promptly.
f. When reporting a problem with some software you use, it is always helpful to include a minimum working example (aka MWE)
g. After you get a reply, send a polite “thank you” note, and say how useful was the response. If you expect goodwill from others, you must learn to reciprocate and sustain the goodwill others offer you.
What is worse, some of these idiots like to pick up the phone and call me up, to bluntly ask their insipid questions. It is just like calling up the railway station to ask if the train from xxx was on time. You can call anytime 24×7. You have a right to ask questions and expect a clear response. It is, after all, your birthright to phone up and ask questions. Never mind, if the person at the other end is busy, having dinner, or taking a shower. What a shame that people have other things to do than serve your Majesty !
There are less intrusive and less irritating ways to contact people, than calling them by phone e.g. via emails. The phone is best used in emergencies, like calling the fire brigade. Enquiries can wait. Why can’t people understand this simple logic ?
If you want help, and you expect people to help you, ask. But, ask wisely and with some sense of decency and responsibility. You have to prove that you deserve being helped.
And be grateful that there are people who are willing to help you.
Note: This post is also available at my website. Take a look there and inform all your friends