Thoughts from a Computer Tech

20 11 2014

At my last job, I was the first line computer support for a network of users that were spread out all over British Columbia. A great many of those users had spent 25+ years being being carpenters, lawyers, nurses….. Professional people who spent years learning their craft and using it to serve the communities they lived in. Now these very talented people are working for an organization that requires them to rely on a computer to connect with each other.

Computer systems break down, sometimes the machine itself dies, sometimes the connection to the network fails, and sometimes it is the influence of Mercury in Retrograde that is causing the grief. When these breakdowns happen, the first thing the people of this large organization would do is pick up the phone and call me. Too frequently I would have a 55 year old nurse start the conversation with

“I am too stupid to understand computers.”

For me, there is almost nothing that makes me go crazy more easily than to have someone call themselves too stupid to understand computers.

People please, you are not stupid, you just don’t know. Guess what, I don’t know about nursing. When I go to the hospital, I want the person who looks after me to have spent their time learning about being a nurse, not someone who knows how to make one¬†computer talk to another computer. Our world has become so complex that we need people to study very specific things, like how to be a nurse, how to be a carpenter, or how to be a computer tech. It is all of these people getting together that makes our world function, each person supports the others to allow them all to get their needs met.

Stop calling yourselves stupid. When the computer stops working, resist the urge to apply a large mallet to the keyboard, resist the feeling that you are an idiot, don’t pull out your hair. Get yourself a coffee, sit down, pick up the phone and call me. I will do my best to resolve your issue and if I discover that the problem lies between the chair and the keyboard I will suggest that Mercury is in Retrograde and there is nothing I can do for you.

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