Saturday, March 12, 2011

Help desk shorthand

Random thought #1: my team provides technical support for a portfolio of large software applications. We use a ticketing system to log and track calls from customers. When each ticket is resolved, it needs to be updated with details of cause and resolution.

Random thought #2: most typed notes these days are sprinkled with widely-understood shorthand notations, e.g. LOL, ROFL, IMO, WTF, ...

Breed the two thoughts, and you get ...

A dictionary of help desk shorthand

ACE - Another customer error
AFTUNG - Application failed through unexplained network glitch
APADNSAC - Application performing as designed, not sure about customer
BRAZIL - Customer is nuts
INABIAF - It's not a bug, it's a feature
NIT - Network is toast
PIIS - Plug it in, stupid!
RTFM - Read the freakin' manual
SHAFAWISM - Server had a fit and went into single-user mode
SINP - Software is not psychic
UCOW - User can't operate Windows

Important note: all the above are entirely fictitious. Almost. Whatever! We would never, ever ... ever ... put anything disparaging about a customer into a help desk ticket.


  1. Hmmm, I always wondered what our tech support division was saying about our clients behind their backs. Now I know. :)

    I loved BRAZIL and SINP, btw.

  2. Now you know, indeed, David!

    We have to be careful because many of our clients have access to the tickets and can see for themselves whatever is going into the work logs. Plus, FOI legislation nowadays gives people the right to ask for such things if they choose.

  3. Lol! That was a well deserved laugh! Love the PIIS - you have no idea how often that happens around here - but all our tech-support sucks, so you're better off sticking your hand in the power line.

    I read some of these recently with cars - I thought they were brilliant:

    BMW - Bring me women
    FORD - Fix or repair daily
    FIAT - Fail in the Italian Automotive Industry

    And the list was longer, but these stuck in my head :p

  4. Steph, I heard FORD was "Found On Road Dead"

    FIAT: "Fix It Again, Tony."

    And then there is the difference between AM and FM. AM = "Actual Machine" FM = "F***ing Magic". I tend to deal with the former, with customers who want the latter.

  5. Thanks for the automotive additions Steph and Andrew. I think either versions work, and there are probably plenty more variations out there.


I love comments. Please feel free to join in the discussion.

I also try to respond to comments. I usually do so during the early evening (Pacific time) which may be many hours away from now!

So if you leave a comment and return some time later and I haven't responded yet, please don't think I'm ignoring you. I'm not. Honest.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...