IT people firewalling you? Why you are being ignored by IT people.

With the explosion of smart phones and computers usage through out the world. More and more people are finding themselves facing technology related problems each day.

Tech-related questions asked by non-tech-people such as why android phone is not booting up properly, how to print photos directly from phone or why no characters appear on screen when typing on keyboard are becoming more common in our daily lives.

ignore by IT people when request technical help...

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It sucks to be on the receiving end of these questions sometimes. Not because the tech-people are arrogant, but it is how the questions being ask that cause IT people to ignore you. IT people tend to become agitated easily when the questions being asked seem simple enough to be found online or becoming repetitive.

If you are a non-tech-person, then this post is my humble attempt to serve as a guide for you when trying to reach out to the tech-people for help.

1. Exhaust all possible solutions found online before making request.

Yes, use online search engines such as DuckDuckGo or Google to find possible answer to your question first. If you are searching for specific answers to related a special product that can't be found via search engine. Try reading the F.A.Q(Frequently Asked Questions) part of the supplier's website or manual first.

The main point here is to take effort on your own first and not treating IT people as your walking knowledge base each time you have tech-related questions.

2. Be respectful. Hostile attitude will do you no good.

No one will think of requesting for help unless they encounter problems. Chances are that most people WILL NOT remember the last person that helped them out in solving technical problems(saving lives, beating up robbers/rapists are different stories). Most people WILL ONLY remember who to ask for help when they face technical problem that stopped them from progressing.

Technical problems tend to enrage most people because things are not working as expected.

An extreme example - you need to generate an urgent report to present to your bosses and somehow the software is not working as advertised. This kind of situation will cause panic and sometimes cause resentment that the software/hardware that you are using shouldn't screw up your career.

So, when you are enraged and requesting for technical support with hostile attitude – I doubt that IT people will help you out happily. Calm down first. Get into your zen mode before requesting for help.

3. Decrypt your questions. Don't ask vague questions!

Be specific about your tech-related problem. Do not ask question with “you-know” tags. IT people don't have crystal ball with them.

Go straight to what is troubling you. IT people have their own daily struggles and they will appericiate your effort in deciphering the problem you have to specific details.

For example :

My computer is not booting up. Why? - (vague)


My computer is not booting up properly. It just stuck at the prompt asking me to choose between normal and safe mode. I tried both modes and it stills reboot after that and back to the same prompt again. How can I fix this? - (it shows that you have at least try to fix it yourself, not vague and most important of all – you show ownership of the problem instead of passing it around)

Remember, most people just don't like someone else to waste their time. Asking vague questions is the key to wasting time. Don't do that.

4. People help because they wanted to help. It gives them satisfaction. Don't abuse helpers.

Except for the arrogant fews. IT people in general are like normal people who like to help. It is the satisfaction that drives them to help. If it is their job to help, then getting personal satisfaction is the extra bonus on top of getting paid.

Don't abuse your helpers just because they are being paid to help you. For example, obligations to help via support contract between two companies should not be abused.

I remember a case where this lady working for Optus, Australia asked me for help to generate reports for her bosses. Generating reports falls under her employment work scope and not covered under technical support contract.

Tech support will help once or twice out of goodwill (also hoping that the lucrative technical support contract will be renewed), but that doesn't mean IT people will do your job for you every time you don't know how to get your job done. Asking helpers to do your job instead of yourself is a form of abuse. For her subsequent requests for help to generate reports - getting ignored by me is better than getting scolded by me.


No human is perfect. So I don't expect you to remember all the tips listed above when requesting help to solve your technical-related problem.

Depending on situations, IT people tend to avoid conflict if possible, so ignoring your request for technical help is actually not so bad. Other possible scenarios are - some will give you the letmegooglethatforyou link, some will troll you and some will try to stab your eyeballs with chopsticks.

where to get technical help

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If you do encounter this kind of situation, at least try to ask them if they can give your some pointers where you can get help instead. It is still a progress rather than a full stop. If you try and ask, 50% chance that you will get to progress. If no, then it will be 0% and stuck at where you are.

I can't speak for the rest, but I prefer to ignore requests for technical help as a gentle way to signal to the person to stop disturbing me. At times, when I'm in the “do not f--k with me” mode...playing dumb and ignoring people is the safest way to deal with the request.

In physical world, I will put up a piece of paper notice on my desk stating that I'm not going to help out anyone today because I'm not in the mood to do so and will direct them to where they can most likely to get help for their technical related questions – the pantry. Foods and drinks tend to make people more helpful and of course the relaxing atmosphere.

Lack of communication is always better than work place violence.

Just a side note, as for those IT-people who know the answers but become arrogant or pretend to be a know-it-all. Remember, in the technology space, the product that you have knowledge about today might be obsolete tomorrow because of rapid advances. You might end up asking tech-related questions yourself one day. Be civil and being humble will get you far.

By AdamNg

IF you gain some knowledge or the information here solved your programming problem. Please consider donating to the less fortunate or some charities that you like. Apart from donation, planting trees, volunteering or reducing your carbon footprint will be great too.