You may have heard Tom and Ray Magliozzi, better known as "Click and Clack" of National Public Radio's Car Talk. Their show is irreverent, informative and just what a person with car trouble needs. It is everything good tech support should strive to be.
And occasionally is. I once called Radiometer about a blood gas analyzer making an odd noise. The two guys were hysterically funny and had the problem diagnosed in no time (a noisy solenoid that I silenced with a rap of a screwdriver handle).
In the real world, instruments break down at the worst times, when you have a body fluid, a chest pain or GI bleed to work up. An angry, insistent physician keeps calling. Outpatients are buzzing at the front door. A construction company telephones that they are receiving prenatal reports. And your relief has called in sick.
The Magliozzi brothers would be nice--even those Radiometer guys--but this is the "real" world.
Tech support needs to be called--and fast--but when you call them, you have to explain the problem to five different people, wait for a call back, get questioned about your service contract, and then are given a list of instructions of things "to try" before they generate a service call.
Here's the thing. You are performing the work. Tech support isn't. They are at the other end of a telephone, and you are one of many customers. When tech support gives you something to do, you need to decide if this is doable, be assertive when it isn't, and know when to call in outside help. And, perhaps more often than not, you need to say "No" and insist on a service call.
As a boss of mine used to say, "You wouldn't just take a wrench to your Porsche if you heard it make a noise." (As if!) Even Click and Clack have limits.