The no help desk

LEND A HAND: Whingeing about help desks doesn't help anyone much but it sure helps relieve the frustration.
LEND A HAND: Whingeing about help desks doesn't help anyone much but it sure helps relieve the frustration.

Ever found yourself swimming in a world of hurt after a call to the deceptively labelled “help desk”?

It could be the bank, the health fund, your payroll, IT, you’re internet service provider – no institution seems beyond  this new-age version of support that so brazenly so often lends so little in the way of assistance. 

A modern echo of Soviet-era double-think where deep down you know there is no desk, and even less chance of help.

Indeed, the desk  can safely assumed to have been outsourced during the last restructure, and any help required will probably be psychiatric.

In fact, thinking you might get a solution was obviously a clear sign of madness in the first place.

A typical line from the modern help desk is to deny there is an issue by suggesting it only exists for those claim  it does. Very zen.

The NBN rollout is a classic example. Powers that be this week tried to explain away spiralling complaints by suggesting that it was natural the more customers affected by the NBN the more problems you’d encounter.

The suggestion being, the NBN is fine, it’s the malfunctioning whingers trying to get some satisfaction out of it who are bung.

Sums up the whole new way of looking at help.

There can’t possibly be a problem because no-one knows who you are, what you do, and why you are calling them.

Or more often emailing. Because talking to people can get so uncomfortable and is so time-consuming and inefficient from a help desk point of view.

Especially if you’re  suggesting after they’ve explained their problem, that the issue is now resolved. Because other than listening to their problem, there’s not much more the help desk can do.

Used to be explaining the problem was only 50 per cent of the help equation. The other half  involved providing a solution.

That doesn’t seem like a priority these day, which from a help desk perspective is such a delicate thing to explain over the phone. Better to email it  with a “no reply” message stating as such.

Anyhow, moving right along to the mysterious hum, which has preoccupied this column for the last two weeks.

You’d think any further talk might run the risk of becoming hum-drum, but the fact is the responses kept pouring in this week.

One reader suggested, from personal experience, that the phenomenon could be the result of displaced jaw, or TMJ, which was an affliction this reader suffered at work and had thoroughly explored by a phalanx of specialists who he said ought to have known what they were talking about.

I certainly thought they probably did, although when I conveyed this new explanation to another hum-an, who rang in to talk about their experience, they queried why if the problem lay in the jaw, they couldn’t hear the hum when they wandered outside.

A true hum-dinger of a query because I too know that when I wander outside, I can’t hear the hum either.