The Dreaded Help Button


Although research is the most exciting part of writing to me, I have an aversion to the search and help buttons.  No matter which page I am reading, I usually find that I must use the search button at least once.  I type in a word.  Nothing.  I add another word to the first.  Still nothing.  I add one more word, just to be sure, but nothing.  Ok, no problem.  I’ll use the help button on the website.  This is where it gets tricky.  I type in my question.  Nothing.  I rephrase the question.  Still nothing.  Using the old “three strikes and you’re out” method, I try once more and when I get no answer I begin to lose my cool.  Come on, dang it.  I have only had one cup of coffee this morning and I didn’t sleep much last night, plotting my new novel.  All I have is a stupid question.  Just answer it, will you for gosh sakes?  I stop and look around at this point, being sure no one is present to hear me ranting at the computer.  They might take me away – probably not to the spa, either.

Ok, back to the question.  All I’m doing is trying to insert some html code in my blog right now.  I don’t need an extensive answer on the appropriate dress for a gypsy circus performer in 1843.  (I already found that answer.)  The help button refers me to several categories, none of which are appropriate for the question asked.  Just to be sure, I click on each link, but I was right.  None of them pertain to this.  I see there is a toll-free number I could call.  Do I ever hate that.  I will have to enable my Magic Jack and wait to be connected.  Then if I’m really lucky, (and after holding for 45 minutes to an hour) I may get to talk to a live person.  While the tech may be delightful away from her  place of employment, I can definitely say that is not the right adjective to describe her here.  And she quickly lets me know that I have reached the wrong tech support, but she would be glad to transfer me to the right person.  The phone makes a funny sound and I am listening once again to the elevator music I have been listening to all morning while I try to find the answer to my question.  Voila!  A male voice answers.  “May I help you?”  I explain the problem once again in detail, taking deep breaths as I do so.  The voice on the other end hesitates, then asks “may I put you on hold for a moment?”

“Sure,” I mutter into the computer, but he’s already transferred me back to the Elevator Music Oldies line.  Another voice comes on the line.  “Tech support.”  I explain my dilemma.  “So sorry you are having problems.”  And this tech takes up another twenty minutes of my valuable writing time while he guides me through some things that might help.  They don’t.  “I’ll transfer you to our super tech site,” he says.  And he puts me on hold.  No elevator music, just a dial tone.  I’ve been disconnected!

My hair is standing on end.  I am ranting into the phone, aka computer, and I think I may be having a heart attack, as I am hyperventilating.  I take a deep breath, settle down and think about my options.  I could call back, go through the whole problem again with more techs; I could try to do more searching online.  I look at my watch.  I’ve already been dealing with this for over two hours.  I need to write.  Ah, an idea forms.  What about the help forum?

I join the help forum (didn’t need it before this) jot a quick question and go back to my work.  I check the forum in about a half hour and a very nice fellow writer has offered help.  He needs a little more info, like what exactly I am trying to do.  I copy and paste the entire code and send it to him.  Within minutes I  have an answer.  You can’t do that in WordPress.  It’s not html.  Oh, I mumble to myself.  Why on earth couldn’t I find that answer on the site or from super tech support?  Why did it take me over two hours to deal with it until I asked on the forum and a fellow blogger offered to help?

I have learned two things today.  One, is to ask on the forum first.  It looks like I might get a faster answer.  Second, is to relax.  I have a hard time doing that, especially when precious minutes of my time are being lost.  There’s an answer – you just have to know where to look.  And I will always remember that there are many more writers out in cyberspace who have had some of the same problems I have had and are willing to help a fellow author out.  I help other people all the time with things I know how to do, but I don’t relish asking for help for myself.  It’s time I learned how.

Here is my link for today:  Google Basic Search Help

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One response »

  1. I’m not sure what you were trying to do exactly, but you can certainly add html to a WordPress site. The person you spoke to probably didn’t know what they were talking about, or, more kindly, your question wasn’t covered in the call center’s Q&A guide.

    Of course, a hosted site on has a little less flexibility that a self-hosted site using the WordPress software. But they’re both very versatile.

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