Simplify, simplify

I’ve seen this show on from time to time called “Simplify your life” – ironically, on satellite, which probably does not fall into that category – but haven’t actually watched it. So, I’m not sure if it’s some hippie return-to-nature thing, or something a bit more practical about cleaning up some of the loose threads you might have lying around. I could simplify my life a great deal by selling off the business for a lot of money, but in the end, I really don’t want to do that. I do enjoy my work quite a bit, even with the frustrations posted here. I like solving problems. I like seeing people do whatever they need to do online, as long as it’s legal.

What I don’t like are rude assholes who think they need to be rude just for the sake of being rude. Like this guy:


Well, first of all, what he originally sent in was: “I want to cancel my account as of (future date).”

What he was told was: “We don’t do scheduled cancellations like this. You need to let us know when you’re ready for account removal, as that way we’re assured that you have whatever you need before it’s deleted, since we don’t keep backups of deleted accounts.”

Sensible. Practical. Of course, this guy has pretty much been a jackass from day one, so it isn’t very surprising, all things considered. The invoice for this particular account was generated two days before it was processed. Did he write in then, to request account removal? Nope. He sent the hysterical, obscene message above in after receiving the processing notice. One would think that the same hysterics would have been generated by the original invoice, but apparently not in this case. So, I took that crap as his request, termed the account, and voided the invoice. Oh, and took care of that “doing business with this network” part too: filters are good things to have. Rule 1: do not piss off the network administrator.

There are the people who live in fantasy lands, where even the very thing they send you contradicts what they’re saying. Like the person who just forwarded a payment notice to us, telling us that he “long ago cancelled this account with us” and to “insure there are no further charges” because this seems to “be a recurring problem”.

Let’s see The problem here, dumbass, is that you’ve just forwarded us a payment notice from 2006. Early 2006. The date is clearly on the notice, bold as can be. Since your account was terminated by us in 2006, and there have been, oh, exactly zero invoices generated to you or processed for you since that time, what “recurring” problem, precisely, does this indicate? Except the one you quite obviously have, with which we cannot possibly help you, that is. This is a prime example of what I meant before about people spilling out whatever is in their tiny brains before actually thinking about it first. Rule 2: if you’re going to forward something with an absurd claim attached to it, at least pretend to make an effort to have it match what you’re claiming.

Then, there are the people who are simply unreasonable: the guy who decided to go elsewhere because he didn’t like one of the techs (who had the sheer audacity to ask him about what he was trying to do with some files under his account, to avoid having the same problem we were seeing right now crop up again, requiring the same fix – a question he batted down with a rather rude instruction to that tech to just do as they were told) telling us to refund the last six months of his hosting fees. That’s like telling the phone company to refund the last six months because you didn’t like one of the questions the service rep asked you. Did you use the service? Yes. Is it your responsibility to pay for the service you used? Yes. So why on earth would you make such a demand? Rule 3: do not claim things to which you are not entitled.

There are the people who create absurd conspiracy theories. Like the guy who suddenly wanted to reinterpret our terms of service, which say quite clearly that invoicing is automatic and recurring. He didn’t want it to mean this, and then asked how he knew his credit card data was safe – this despite the fact that the original account, now being renewed, was a year old, and he’d added two more accounts since then, using that very same credit card. Rule 4: do not see security issues where none exist, and certainly do not accuse your provider of not keeping said data safe when you have a long and verifiable time period where precisely nothing has happened to your precious data and you have no evidence that anything has actually happened to that data. That’s rude, unnecessary, and insulting.

Overall, though, those types of people constitute a very small percentage of the types of requests we receive. That’s a good thing. Most people are just ordinary, regular old people. They forget their passwords, have problems checking mail, can’t figure out how to set permissions on files – run of the mill stuff, really. Like the guy who was moving all his domains to his account here, and then replied to the last payment processing notice from us, asking to immediately cancel his account. This was done, of course. Unfortunately, he intended to send that to his old host, not us, despite the fact that he was replying to one of our notices, which had our name plastered into it. Oops. He also didn’t back up anything he did on the account. Oops again. We found an old backup lying around and restored that for him after creating his account. Rule 5: check your recipient before you send that mail, and we cannot say enough that you should be making backups.

Finally, every once in awhile, we receive a ticket that is brutal in its honesty and really is looking for the same thing we are looking for when dealing with a ticket or an issue: a resolution to the problem, without hysterics, without accusatory tones, without obscenities, and without anything except the facts. Like this one, which is repeated here verbatim.


I know, I know.

I have deleted everything in my public_html. Do you have a backup that can be restored?

I’m screwed.”

Restored in under ten minutes from the backups that had run that morning. His response:

“i love you! Thanks!”

Maybe we won’t sell you all off for medical experiments. Yet. (Cue Monty Python music – that’s a joke, for those who are humor- or Monty Python-impaired. See Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life if you Don’t Get It.) Rule 6: get a sense of humor, and don’t be a total assclown when you contact us. It makes life a lot easier for everyone.

4 thoughts on “Simplify, simplify”

  1. yes guilty of the latter type of email i’m sure…but like you say, don’t piss off the data-holders (especially when they are brilliant)!! 😉

  2. I’m not sure if “enjoy” is the right word, but I always “enjoy” reading your posts like this one. It reminds me of how many people out there don’t understand that you can’t attract bees with vinegar. It also reminds me how some have a bizarre sense of entitlement or deep-rooted belief that everyone else is out to get them. It should be interesting to see what kind of stuff I end up seeing at my day job since I’ll soon be the primary responder for an application-specific help desk. Already I experienced clients not clearly expressing themselves and then accuse me/the company of incompetence after doing exactly what was asked. And yet, like you, what’s keeping me at this job (aside the fact it pays the bills) is that I enjoy problem solving and sometimes even coming up with “creative” solutions.

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