It Always Works When You Are Here!

The dreaded words: “It always works when you are here!”

I don’t remember where I first heard this – it was a number of years ago, when I was doing a lot of desktop support for a small-ish office. The kind of office that could afford to buy and for which it was practical to provide boutique-level tech support.

Many of the users became very dependent on me. For some of them, minor problems (what we in the techi-world often call “training issues” or “user error”) would become blocking obstacles to their work. Often, the problem was temporary or would go away if the user just slowed down a bit.

So I’d trudge over to their desk – completely understandable, the job of an IT tech is often to simply find a way to help non-techie users to navigate the horribly fragile and quirky world of technology. Once I’d get there we’d chat, they’d be happy to see me. I always managed to take a little stress out of their day just by arriving and smiling with them.

And then we’d just, carefully, go through the same steps they had already done. And it would work.

Not always, of course, but many times.

I never minded it – technology work is people work, believe it or not. But I would occasionally worry that people were becoming too dependent on my welcoming smile and losing ground in their own ability to keep up with the modern world.

Of course, that’s ridiculous. There’s nothing wrong with being non-techie in today’s world. In fact, the non-techie and “earthy” people among us – the ones who don’t see the value in banging away on a keyboard all day… those are, arguably, the ones who will help the rest of us to see clearly at those critical moments. When the War Against the Machines rages, the people who can’t work a keyboard and mouse might be our only hope! 🙂

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