Exepundit write a short post today that really struck me. In Some Helpful Cautions he writes,

“Would the person who sent you that e-mail be completely comfortable if you forwarded it to another person?”

I never assume my email is private. I never assume the recipient of my email is the only person who will see it. Let me tell you a story about working in tech support. There are no secrets.

When you’re supporting customers, you generate a lot of text. You send email. You type instant messages. You update tickets. Your words are everywhere. Those words end up in the most unlikely of places.

Text Travels

When you update a ticket, that ticket could be seen my management, either yours or the customer’s management. Is this how you want to come across to management?

Ticket notes can be sent to customers. Did you write anything in the notes you wouldn’t want the customer to see? I’ve had help desk reps or other technicians send the entire ticket, with all notes and history to a customer or to another team without my knowledge. I have never been burned by this because I never make notes that disparage the customer or lie.


Never lie in ticket. Don’t say you did something when you didn’t. Don’t say you updated the customer if you did not. Don’t say you installed a program if you didn’t. Don’t say you called someone and left a voicemail if you never dialed their number.

Your lies will come back to haunt you. You’re doing a disservice to your customer and yourself. So don’t lie. Tell the truth about what you did, what you didn’t do and most importantly, what worked to resolve the issue.

Help Future You

Future you needs the help of Past You to be successful. I’ve fixed thousands of problems over the years. I’ve assisted other people with fixes and workarounds for their problems. Some took minutes and others took hours, days or weeks.

Always write what you did! Future You will thank you. I’ve gone back to old tickets many times to find “issue was resolved. Closing ticket.”

“Update fixed problem.”

Worked with _____ team to resolve issue.


How does that help you or anyone? You’ll see this issue again. I guarantee when you fix an obscure issue you’ve never seen before, it will come up again!

Help yourself. Help your team. Help you 6 months from now when you remember fixing the issue, but have no idea what you did. Leave yourself a trail to follow.

List what you did. Specifically. Leave ticket notes behind that anyone could follow. Because in 6 months, or a year, or even 6 weeks later you are that person.

There’s nothing worse than solving the same problem over and over and starting from scratch each time. Give yourself and your team a head start.