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Breck Carter
Last modified: December 24, 1997
mail to: bcarter@bcarter.com

The fRiDaY File, for December 24

Tech Support/Help Desk Nietzsche Style


When a user is calling in need of help, don't forget that he is a weakling. Only a loser would need to come groveling to you, begging for crumbs of help that may fall from your godlike lips. And he KNOWS that he is a loser in the race of the weak and the strong, that his kind is doomed to extinction.

Therefore, show him no mercy. Treat him with the utter contempt that he deserves. It is the law of nature that you should do so.

Key Phrases

  • "You aren't very smart, are you?"
  • "I can't believe you call yourself a programmer!"
  • "Our product is obviously too complex and advanced for you. Please desist from using it - you are soiling it."

Nevertheless, there may come a time when you actually must help the user, even though he is sucking away your magnificent intellectual vitality with his grotesque shambling confusion. He is a lower form of life and you must make him feel it, lest he take on ambitions of evolving to your level.

Key Phrases

  • "Now I will read aloud the section of the manual that you failed to comprehend."
  • "You have ignominiously blundered on line 35, committing an error that a Mongoloid programming an abacus would be ashamed of."
  • "What you've done in your function foo is the coding equivalent of failing to empty your colostomy bag."

Alas, upon occasion there comes a time when it is obvious that the compiler is at fault. This is no reason to let the user feel superior to anyone, however. The design of a compiler is still far beyond his limited mental capacities. His duty is to worship, not criticize.

Key Phrases

  • "The inner workings of the compiler are far beyond your antlike comprehension."
  • "That behavior is described in ANSI specification You are familiar with that section, I assume..."
  • "Our software can behave in that manner only if it has been corrupted by long exposure to users of your caliber."

And finally, a user may eventually want you to code something for him, or send him an example. The user has asked something that is against the laws of nature. Such creatures as himself exist to serve you and not you him.

Therefore such a request is impossible and against nature, and does not exist, and therefore never happened.

Response is not possible.

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