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Phone System reconfiguration 11.1.2018 to 26.1.2018 - we are on email but incoming landline not available. Temp number 0797 4 925928
 
Forum help - a push in the right direction

If I was a farmer, driving my tractor down the busy A350 one day, and I came across a chap in a car who had pulled off onto a soft verge and got stuck, what would I do? Stop and help, I hope, if I had a rope with me and I could pull him our of the mire quickly and if I wasn't in a desparate rush.

It's on the same basis that if I happen to see a post on a forum to which I'm a visitor, I'll chip in with a suggestion or answer that may be helpful. There are, I confess, times that I look at the proverbial car stuck in the mud and, wondering just what I might be getting myself into, just drive on by - shall we call it personal defence / safety, and I've see so many of these questions that I can usually recognise the ones that are likely to turn nasty on me, as if I was the one who drove them off the road in the first place. With our own Opentalk forum, each visitor who wants to post a question has to register, and most are customers. Only VERY rarely will I decline to offer suggestions there

"What's in it for you, Graham?". So ask some of the more thoughful people about my approach. Well - there's a great deal of good vibes felt from helping someone - seeing how a few minutes of work gets someone happily off on their holiday - isn't there? But there's more to it than that. If it was just the pleasure of seeing people on their way, then I might get bored and jaded and give up. There is a business reason too. Having answered a question on a forum, the posts / responses end up - at the least - on line for a few weeks, allowing others with the same questions to access the answers; a minority of those might even be interested in our other services, so I can put the whole thing down to marketing; in a relatively small community (open source developers, UK), the name of Well House Consultants is getting rather better known than it was a few years ago - and what better reputation for a training company to have than being a helpful guide to those who need a quick pointer in the right direction?

Just occasionally, this farmer does get it wrong and regret stopping to help a motorist. I stopped to help some guy from Bournemouth who had a piece of PHP that was broken, and he was off to the side of the road in the soft verge of the Semington bypass. Even at a first quick tinker with his problem, it was obvious that he didn't understand at all how to drive his PHPmobile, and having given him a couple of pointers I also suggested that he take it into a garage or to an instructor as soon as he could, so that he could complete his journey home to the south coast. But apparently, he didn't really want any sort of help that would actually cost him anything, even if he was going to put anyone who helped him to a great deal of trouble and their expense. What he really wanted was for someone to come along with a free tow truck, put him on the back and drive all the 50 miles to his home and drop him off. Oh - no "thank you" at all to me, of course - just a snide comment after my first response and nothing after some further advise which offered him some excellent directions.

I visited the forum (NOT ours) where this guy posted just a few minutes ago to see if any other farmer has stopped to help him. No - they haven't (and after the reaction I got, I'm not surprised). The guy himself has walked away from his vehicle to another road, where he's thumbing a lift asking for a free ride to Bournemouth ... "I have a job for someone to write this code for me". Indications are that he's offering (if anything) peanuts, so I suspect that all he'll get answering will be monkies. Very rarely do I get any satisfaction in seeing someone in trouble, but I'm allowing myself an exception in this case. And I'm taking a reminder from it to remember my "please" and "thank you"s and to not request unreasonable help from people myself.
(written 2006-08-21)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G501 - Well House Consultants - Customer Service
  [4232] Not wanted here - hotel guests who will not be happy - (2013-12-30)
  [4078] Train works for me! - (2013-05-02)
  [4077] Palty or Parliamentary? - (2013-04-30)
  [3835] The Information age - not yet truly with us? - (2012-08-12)
  [3808] Can you put names to faces? - (2012-07-19)
  [3378] New product - ensuring that supply matches demand - (2011-08-03)
  [3294] It's not just about the jam in the sandwich - (2011-05-19)
  [3271] The importance of feedback - (2011-04-30)
  [3103] Thank you - and Happy Christmas - (2010-12-24)
  [3073] Customer Service - the boundary - (2010-11-27)
  [2961] Initial handling of phone calls and walk in visitors - (2010-09-19)
  [2880] Getting in touch - Please allow me to see you when you are online - (2010-07-21)
  [2650] Getting a phone line changed ... - (2010-02-25)
  [2530] Taking a knock over Santa - (2009-12-08)
  [2258] Questions I have been asked on answering the phone - (2009-06-26)
  [2236] Alumni - revisiting and supporting the old University - (2009-06-13)
  [2124] Building down expectations - (2009-04-09)
  [2102] What do people think of our Apache httpd / Tomcat course? - (2009-03-24)
  [2049] Why Choose Well House Consultants for your course? - (2009-02-20)
  [2015] Service Excellence Awards - (2009-01-30)
  [1991] Rules for a King - (2009-01-13)
  [1985] Learning to program as a part of your job - (2009-01-10)
  [1835] 23:30 bookings and midnight checkins - (2008-10-12)
  [1637] Providing exceptional service - and carrying on doing so. - (2008-05-09)
  [1606] Sheep Shearers, Marathon Runners and Ocean Sailors - (2008-04-09)
  [1516] Pictures you can use - for free - from our library - (2008-01-23)
  [1446] An answer to a student asking 'Help' - (2007-11-27)
  [1434] Market survey - to learn, to prove a point, or to sell your product? - (2007-11-17)
  [1319] Customer feedback - lifeblood of a business - (2007-08-25)
  [1262] Keep in touch with PHP, Perl, Python and old friends too - (2007-07-09)
  [1046] Bounce, bounce, bounce - (2007-01-20)
  [1007] Friends and family - (2006-12-25)
  [966] CSL, KISS and RTFM - (2006-12-05)
  [961] Products that our customers want more of - (2006-12-03)
  [944] Just ******* Google it - (2006-11-25)
  [852] Eventful evening - a lesson in looking after contacts - (2006-09-02)
  [725] Better communication - (2006-05-19)
  [717] A customer service company - (2006-05-11)
  [650] A person of few words - (2006-03-18)
  [628] Active Learning - (2006-02-28)
  [621] And the staff put the icing on the cake - (2006-02-23)
  [609] Been on a course, but still not got it? - (2006-02-16)
  [569] Instructions for bright people - (2006-01-19)
  [566] May all your screw-ups be big ones - (2006-01-16)
  [552] Keeping Customers Informed - (2006-01-02)
  [482] Different ways of selling - (2005-11-01)
  [440] Upgrade! - (2005-09-09)
  [393] Trainer answers phone - (2005-07-28)
  [350] Want to be one better - (2005-06-17)
  [327] How far should our support go - (2005-05-28)
  [265] Business practise, 2005 style - (2005-04-03)
  [233] Giving customers best value - (2005-03-02)
  [195] Customer service - examples to warn us - (2005-01-30)
  [189] Tuesdays and Fridays - (2005-01-25)
  [150] Confession - (2004-12-13)
  [126] Feedback shows the tip of an iceberg - (2004-11-22)
  [91] On line every 24 hours - (2004-10-17)
  [72] On Customer Service - (2004-10-03)

G903 - Well House Consultants - Running and moderating forums and social media sites
  [4492] Almost so wrong, but perhaps it's right for some? - (2015-05-11)
  [4403] The unbalanced relationship between customer and provider - (2015-01-21)
  [4315] Welcoming genuine forum posters quickly - but turning away off topic advertisers - (2014-11-16)
  [4307] Identifying and clearing denial of service attacks on your Apache server - (2014-09-27)
  [4283] Can a legitimate forum post become illegal a year later? - (2014-07-11)
  [4239] Facebook marketing - early experiences - (2014-01-19)
  [4234] Change to Libel and Defamation laws from 1st January 2014 - (2013-12-31)
  [4065] Handling requests to a forum - the background process - (2013-04-17)
  [4025] Backups, Codebase, Strategy and more - dealing with forum incidents - (2013-03-03)
  [4017] Acceptable User Policy / vexatious interacter - (2013-02-24)
  [3910] Identifying your real customers and keeping them well informed fast - (2012-11-02)
  [3479] Practical Extraction and Reporting - using Python and Extreme Programming - (2011-10-14)
  [2820] Netiquette for forum newcomers - (2010-06-20)
  [2781] The 500 pound question to get you started - (2010-05-26)
  [2569] How to run a successful online poll / petition / survey / consultation - (2010-01-10)
  [2527] Flying tonight - (2009-12-05)
  [2526] A reluctance to move from old shoes to new - (2009-12-05)
  [2386] Computing under the influence of alcohol - (2009-08-29)
  [2254] Forum membership - a privilege not a right - (2009-06-22)
  [2177] Preventing forum spam - checks at sign up - (2009-05-12)
  [2162] Admins thoughts on banning a member from a forum - (2009-05-09)
  [2156] Stopping forum spam - control of the signup process - (2009-05-04)
  [2116] Why do we delay new forum members through authorisation? - (2009-04-03)
  [2103] Ask the Tutor - Open Source forum - (2009-03-25)
  [1972] Pettifog and forum boards away from public view - (2009-01-03)
  [1923] Making it all worthwhile - (2008-12-04)
  [1759] While the world sleeps ... - (2008-08-19)
  [1678] Software - changes and delays. But courses must run on time! - (2008-06-15)
  [1595] First Great Western Weekend - (2008-03-30)
  [1578] Please don't shout at me! - (2008-03-16)
  [1569] I dont care - goodbye - (2008-03-09)
  [1563] Guidlines for posting on a forum - (2008-03-04)
  [1539] A forum is not always the best vehicle - (2008-02-14)
  [1532] Comment spam blocked. Please comment via Forums - (2008-02-05)
  [1523] Ive just received an email from myself. Should I be worried? - (2008-01-29)
  [1485] Copyright and theft of images, bandwidth and members. - (2007-12-26)
  [1472] The Horse goes on and on - (2007-12-15)
  [1362] No Thank You - (2007-09-23)
  [1190] Save the Forum - A regular clean sweep - (2007-05-17)
  [1088] Why use BBC code not HTML? - (2007-02-21)
  [948] Running an on line campaign - (2006-11-27)
  [923] Why shouldn't I spam? - (2006-11-13)
  [919] Freedom for X is denial of privacy for Y - (2006-11-09)
  [828] Freedom of speech and freedom to post - (2006-08-10)
  [806] Check your user is human. Have him retype a word in a graphic - (2006-07-17)
  [651] Please Register with Opentalk - but just once! - (2006-03-19)
  [516] Open source questions? Anyone can ask. - (2005-12-03)
  [424] How not to run a forum - (2005-08-24)
  [248] Use me, but use me effectively - (2005-03-16)
  [231] Feedback as lifeblood - (2005-02-28)
  [204] The confidence to allow public comments - (2005-02-06)
  [130] Spelling and grammar - (2004-11-25)
  [115] Expiration dates or times on web pages - (2004-11-12)
  [29] Silence is Golden - (2004-08-26)
  [22] Falling out over the silliest things - (2004-08-21)


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Forward to
Dramatic Skys at Longleat
Some other Articles
Course scheduling and Geekmas - are they traditions yet?
Hotel, Melksham, Wiltshire
To join an organisation?
Dramatic Skys at Longleat
Forum help - a push in the right direction
Computers, Brides and Cream Teas
Reporting on the 10 largest files or 10 top scores
Talking about other training companies.
Tomcat - Shutdown port
Build on what you already have with OO
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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