Silicon Valley - That rude technical support person who just told
you to "format C: and shove it" may not be the incompetent
ass you think she is. Chances are she is suffering from
a little known psychological disorder called Post Technical Support
Disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of the disorder include: extreme
irritability, telephone phobia, night terrors, recurring flashbacks
and nausea. In extreme cases victims have suffered from hallucinations,
usually about strangling callers with phone cords. PTSD is
most common among telephone support personnel, but field support
and internal help desk staff are also at risk.
Simon Yang who does support for Westlook Software and suffers from PTSD said, "The
nightmares were the worst part of it. In the dream I would be on a call
and the caller would keep repeating 'I didn't change anything and now it doesn't
work' over and over and over. I would wake up screaming."
Help desk manager Kevin Dyer was unaware that most of his staff
was suffering from PTSD until he held a special PTSD Awareness Day, "I
just thought all my staff was pissed off at the world, you know,
some Gen X rebellion thing. I was surprised to discover that
10 out of 11 people on my staff had PTSD. The other guy was just
Jennifer Fassihi suffered for seven years before being diagnosed, "People
thought I was just bitchy," said Jennifer, "so did I, until
I found out it was PTSD. With therapy and medication I can
now handle idiotic customers without breaking anything."
PTSD can be diagnosed by a doctor or psychiatrist using a simple
questionnaire. A condensed version of this questionnaire is
available as a pamphlet, which is being
distributed to technology companies in Silicon Valley to raise awareness
about the disorder. If you think you or someone you care about
may be suffering from PTSD please visit http://www.ncptsd.org or
begin drinking heavily.
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