Having a Thick Skin
Take the Emotion Out of Your Tech Support
Issue: 8.5 (July/August 2010)
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,782
Starting Page Number: 60
RBD Number: 8509
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Excerpt of article text...
Being a developer of consumer software isn't easy. People often act like they detest you. You know what I mean - they say things in an email or in a forum that they'd never say in public or to your face. It's personal, it's snarky, and the tone is downright hateful. You'd think that you had personally offended them and their ancestors simply because of a bug or a missing feature. You have to be thick skinned and not take it personally.
Why do people say hateful things in emails and forums posts? Well, first of all, those media are a horrible means of communication. Even at the best of times (and depending upon your mood at the time you read it) an email or forum post can easily come across in the wrong way. There's no body language to support the message. Add in poor communications skill in general (or English as a second language) and you have a recipe for misunderstanding.
Another thing I've come to learn is that most people expect their tech support email to go into a tech support black hole and never get a reply. Big companies have taught us that the only way to get their attention is to be angry. So we send angry emails and post things that aren't very nice on the forums not thinking that other human beings read and have to answer that email.
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