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All good, leave it with you...? Chap is roped into tech support role for clueless customer

Killfalcon Silver badge

Sometimes it's worthwhile, though.

I was working operations support - not hardware, but various flavours of Excel-derived hell, deep in actuarial hell where they work out how dead you are to five decimal places... for each month for the next 100 years. Lots of people with very good degrees and years of further training in deep statistical alchemy.

I had a ticket from the Annuities team about something *dumb*. Like "When I open the spreadsheet there's a yellow bar at the top and the macros don't work" dumb. Read the message, click the "enable macros" button, carry on. But I dont't talk to that team often enough, so it's worth occasionally doing a desk visit just to make sure they know we exist.

When I get there, you can feel the tension in the air. People are visibly stressed, staring are screens full of numbers that refuse to be the right numbers. More than a few are muttering swear words under their breaths. There is a definite sense of a Deadline lurking overhead. So... I start with my ticket, and fix it with a smile and a few words like "anyone can do it, I've done it myself". The next desk over says "can you help with...?", and then so does the desk opposite. I fix a few simple blockers with smiles. Be the second-pair-of-eyes that spots a formula error the author couldn't see after an hour. Mention to one that the same thing happened to that guy over there, ask him how he fixed it. Un-hide a shared folder someone had accidentally Hidden. Easily a dozen small fixes, took maybe an hour, all on the back of a super-stressed maths graduate completely forgetting how "Enable Macros" works, but knowing enough to email IT for help.

You could genuinely feel the mood lift in the room. Days like that make it worth dealing with customers - the machines might be better behaved than people, but even an introvert like me can recognise the value of genuine gratitude.

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