As I was fixing Fred's email brought about by a change in the Bigpond mail servers, Fred asked me what I did for most people?
As we both worked towards changing his pop3 & smtp (sending) settings I gave this some thought. Turns out that with the rare exception of "my PC won't start" problems, most of my time is spent being an interpreter.
With the proliferation of overseas call centres, most of my customers cannot understand the assistance being offered by their Telco, ISP, etc. So I get called in to talk with them.
At this point I asked Fred why he had called me and he replied that he received an email advising that his email was changing but that he could retrieve his email via webmail, he pointed out he didn't understand this webmail thingo, so he rang Bigpond (now Telstra because the Bigpond moniker is "on the nose") and once he got past the automated system, he couldn't understand the operator. After asking his wife to assist he finished up with Technical Support who offered to step him though the changes necessary to his outlook email client. At this point his wife refused to further interpret what was being said and Fred "lost it" when they would not or could not speak slowly and clearly enough for him to understand.
Today it seems that even the simple task of requesting a password change can require extreme concentration and perserverence in dealing with "the help", the confusion gets even greater when trying to transfer a phone number to a new sim, or deal with your ISP (Internet Service Provider) when the internet stops working and you have no choice but to ring.
Unlike in other posts here I can offer no easy solution I'm sorry. I have learnt that perserverence pays off, as does concentrating and being in a quiet place. When there are problems with internet connection, it always pays to turn everything off (the computer AND THE MODEM) and then turn it on again before ringing support. I have also learnt that when dealing with any ISP, always have a recent bill with you, your username/account number and preferrably know your email address and password. If you have lost your password and need a new one, try use the landline or another phone, they will probably send an SMS to your mobile and then you will need to read it and enter that code on your computer.
Do I understand these people who speak with strange accents through fuzzy and delayed voip connections?
No. . . I do not !
But I know most of the questions I expect them to ask, and by picking up a word here and a syllable there I can usually put together a close approximation of what they are asking. Practise makes perfect :-)