midlife women and the unsupportive guru

The Unsupportive Guru

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midlife women and the unsupportive guru
The Unsupportive Tech Guru

A couple of nights ago the backend of this site crashed. A message popped up informing me a fatal error had occurred and blocked me from accessing the dashboard. The dashboard is where you create, upload and manage site content and is the engine driving WordPress. The front end of the site, which web surfers view, displayed normally but I was now prevented from refreshing the site’s content. An analogy would be finding a pretty dress to wear but being unable to wash or change it.

I opened a support ticket on the hosting server, copied and pasted the fatal error warning and waited anxiously for a response. Within 5 minutes I had an answer from the support team that everything was fixed and back to normal. This was a great relief. They had fixed the problem by disabling all the plugins on the site and left it to me to reactivate them. It was getting late so I activated the plugins I needed and then I went to bed.

The next day I reactivated the remaining plugins and the backend of the site crashed again. However, I now knew which plugin was causing the problem. Armed with this knowledge I opened a new support ticket and asked them to restore my backend access. Once again I received an immediate response. This time the news was bad, very bad. The response, from someone nicknamed the Support Guru, dismissed my request for assistance by informing me the error was beyond his ability to fix and to contact a developer. The support ticket was promptly closed.

I was shocked. A problem that had been fixed the previous night was now unfixable? I re-opened the support ticket and pointed this out. Support Guru restated he couldn’t help. I searched through the support ticket of the previous night which clearly outlined the steps taken to fix the problem and copied and pasted this into my conversation with the Guru. He grudgingly replied he would look at the site again.

Fifteen excruciating minutes passed until he requested further information to fix the problem. I replied that I’d provided all the information I had. A few more responses backwards and forwards including Support Guru accusing me that even if he helped I would probably crash the site again the next day. I said that this was unlikely as I knew I had to delete one of the plugins. In the end he did it for me.

The incident highlighted two things: Firstly, that I was lucky I’d received excellent support from a staff member the previous night. If it had been the Support Guru, he would have refused to help and incorrectly advised me to hire an expensive developer.

Secondly, it reinforced my belief that much of what happens in life depends on luck and the attitude of people in general. Support Guru was obviously not very supportive; either he couldn’t be bothered or didn’t care to fix the problem until I’d  proved that his colleague had succeeded where he wasn’t even prepared to try. Perhaps male competitiveness kicked in and he didn’t want to look foolish or less competent than his colleague.

The incident also demonstrates how critical and important it is for businesses to hire  professional staff who take pride in their work. Otherwise companies might be left with the Support Gurus of the world.

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Author: Sue Bell
Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.

2 thoughts on “The Unsupportive Guru

  1. So true Sue! How many face to face’support gurus’ experiences are you able to recall in your careers that have been speed bumps on the way to open door of understanding and moving forward? These support gurus (not) are everywhere unfortunately. A great result on your part though.
    By the way. What was the offending plugin?

    1. Hi Peter,
      the offending plugin was Yoast an SEO package. Normally this plugin worked really well but it crashed when it prompted me to update. I don’t want to reinstall it from scratch in case it creates a fatal error again so I will find another plugin that does the same job.

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