I’ve been happily entrenched in a busy support department for the last few years. I’ve learned a lot about myself and a great deal about working with other people, like how it’s often best not to whenever you can.
Oh, but I jest! Other people are generally great — it’s just that technical folks are prone to treating those who need help with derision. This is a mistake; when someone comes to you with a problem, it’s a sign that your product could be smarter, your documentation could be better, or that they’re just lonely and need to talk and your email address happens to be the only one in their address book that starts support@…. and maybe you get to be the one to save a person’s life today.
To capture some of the things support work has taught me, this month I wrote about the experience of giving and requesting support in two posts, with a scattering of tips on how to get better at both: