Ingenious idea turns system errors into something to look forward to.

Working in tech support is often a thankless and exhausting job. When someone runs into a problem with their PC, but lacks the skill to fix it themselves, they’re obviously going to feel frustrated, but far too often they take that anger out on the first help desk rep they can get ahold of, as if they themselves were the ones creating the problem, and not trying to fix it.

But rather than fire back with angry words of his own, Japanese system engineer and Twitter user @yamadagal came up with a clever, and cute, way to keep people from barking at him, and the solution is cats.

“I set up our computer system so that when a system error occurs, it displays a cat GIF, with a different cat depending on the classification of error. Since then, when people contact me with a problem, they start with ‘A kitty showed up,’ and since they’re looking at the cat at the time, they’re a lot nicer in the way they communicate and make their complaint.

Plus, I can then respond with ‘What kind of kitty is on your screen?’, which makes the conversation start nice and smoothly.”

It’s actually a brilliant strategy. Not only does looking at a cute cat put people in a good mood, it also gives the error itself a sort of virtual incarnation. With a faceless error message, there’s a tendency to attach responsibility to the first living thing the message leads the user to, i.e. the system engineer trying to help them. @yamadagal’s method, though, makes the cat the bearer of bad news, but who can stay angry at a cat? It’s not like the cat caused the error on purpose, and once the user is in that frame of mind, they’re also less likely to blame the system engineer.

▼ Whatever your technical difficulties are, they’re not this guy’s fault.

Other Twitter users were impressed by @yamadagal ingenuity, leaving comments like:

“404 cat found.”
“You could use a photo of cats pointing at the system error code and saying ‘Tell the system engineer this number (meow!).”
“When users get upset, they don’t explain their problem clearly, and it takes longer to help them, so this is a genius-level idea.”

A few other Twitter users chimed in to say that a few companies have similar policies, such as Shikoku rail operator Kotoden Group’s dolphin mascot when storms or earthquakes cause train delays and Amazon with photos of dogs when the servers get overworked on Prime Day.

However, a few commenters also pointed out that @yamadagal’s strategy could prove to be too effective, as they wondered if he might start receiving complaints from users whose computers are running fine and are upset about not being visited by the kitties he added to the system. Still, that’s a problem that’d be easy to fix, seeing as how in today’s world, having a working computer means you’ve got instant access to an endless supply of cat content.

Source: Twitter/@yamadagal via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso (edited by SoraNews24)
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