Tech Support Calls Every Web Developer Dreads

Web Developer

Now, don’t get us wrong. When there’s a problem with the website, there’s a problem and it needs to be fixed. Whatever we’re on contract to do, we do. But what perhaps is particularly frustrating is the people problems, since web developers specialize in computers, not people. Sure, you need people skills to get by, but even the fuzziest, warmest, friendliest person would shut their phone off after getting a couple of these…

The micro-manager. – It’s that feeling of constant dis-satisfaction you can sense. They’re somehow convinced that if they just analyze your site long enough, they’ll find something to pick apart. The icons are too small, the gradients could stand to be fuzzier – or why not move the submit button over to the left side of the form? It would be less grating if it were in the specification at the start.

The persecution-complex paranoiac. – 90% of the site owners out there are not conscious enough about the security risks of the Internet, and then you have the 1% who are convinced they are getting hacked all the time. “My website’s been hacked!” No, actually, congratulations! You made the front page of Digg! Unfortunately, the traffic brought your server down.

‘I have a nephew who could build the site…’ – No, really, that’s OK! Yeah, anybody can web design, in fact, it’s not even a real job. It’s just like shoveling snow, even though some people make a living going door to door offering to do that. Yeah, just a few minutes diddling around with a copy of Frontpage Express and some flashy animated GIFs, we’re good.

The would-be 1337 hacker. – At the other end of the technology scale from the Luddite is the one who knows too much for their own good. Sometimes it’s a real thrill to work with these people – they know what you’re doing and have good sense about it. But then there’s the ones who prove the old saying, “A little learning is a dangerous thing.” And just like that, they’ve introduced bugs into the PHP, converted all the English pages into the Kanji character set, and have somehow made a PNG image which cannot be displayed by any browser. Can you fix it? At 3AM?

The black-hat trafficker. – You try to avoid these, but some slip through the radar. Of course, they’re dishonest by nature, so they lied about their intentions on the way into the deal. But now you’re crest-fallen to discover that that logo you made went onto a dreaded sales-letter page. And the mail server you set up is being mis-used for spam. And the site you so lovingly designed is now a link farm. The worst part is, when Google drops their PageRank to 0, when social bookmark sites blacklist their URL, and when their own web host gives them the boot, guess who gets the blame? That’s right, the web designer.