Let's hear it for the person at the end of the phone. The virtual hug n' mug when your computer is poorly sick or just being plain dumb.
That person is the IT support agent. They deal with problems all day, making a rapid assessment of a) each issue and b) the language and tone they need to adopt in order to communicate with the befuddled or downright raging user at the end of the line.
They need to consider the extent of the problem, the reason for the problem (even if it is indeed you) and what they can or cannot do to fix it.
Sympathetic IT support
It's easy for an IT support agent to spot a fanboy. When a computer crashes, they will blame themselves. It's never the the hardware's fault. It's easy to support fanboys: just give them the solution and send them on their way.
On the other hand, the IT illiterate need a gentle and reassuring voice at the end of the phone when things go wrong. They get easily flustered over their RAM and their ROM, so it takes a sympathetic, patient IT support agent to help.
Of course, you often pay a premium for this sort of support and so should expect a certain level of service. But still, it takes a certain type of patient individual to fill the boots of an IT support agent.
What a pile of bobbins
My computer has been a right pile of bobbins lately, creaking under the strain of modern-day applications (I'm looking at you, Tweetdeck). Things have not been running as smoothly as perhaps they might.
Yes, I do tend to have loads of web pages open at once. And yes, I may well be asking for any punishment that comes my way, but when poor Alan (my computer needed a name and that was the first one that came into my head) decides to be awkward, I know IT support will get me back on the road with minimal fuss.
Here's to you, IT support!