Thursday, 22 September 2011

Google by proxy...

Working on a corporate support desk I mostly deal with questions specific to our in-house applications, network or VoIP setup. Occasionally, however, someone puts in a ticket asking for help with MS Office or some other incidental application that we use, but with which I am not wholly familiar.

When I run into this kind of program at home I follow a simple set of troubleshooting steps: 1) Poke around the menus and try various options to see if they do whatever it is I am looking for. 2) Use Google to search for an answer.

I suppose that my customers have simply replaced step 2 with Something along the lines of 'consult resident computer geek.' In some cases I think this method works well for them because I do actually know the answer, but for the more obscure questions I turn to the encyclopedia mundi. I put my question before the concentrated intellect on the Internet and wait. Digging through unhelpful opinions, ignorant rants, pointless trolling and bad grammar I glean the answer from those that have gone before. Dragging the meat of the answer back to my customer and presenting it like a trophy kill from a hunting trip.

An interesting metaphor for which is nothing more, really, than doing the dirty work for somebody else. They get to sit back and relax while I hunt their answers for them. I am the servant typing in their search term and reading the results back to them. It's Google by proxy

There's something about that phrase that sound really cool. I wonder if I could make it into a t-shirt...

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