October 23rd, 2011

Steph phone

Teaching tech stuff to morons: what it's like.

jackrivet commented on the Dilbert LJ feed, saying: Don't like this one.

In my experience getting a techy to show you how to do something in a way you can absorb and repeat is like pulling teeth. Except the person you're pulling teeth out of doesn't get resentful, patronising and superior about it. Nor do they have their teeth pulled in the fastest, most incomprehinsible way possible.

If you've shown someone how to do something eight times and they still don't get it, that's not their failure, that's yours.

My response:

Speaking as someone who has had to try to teach people techy stuff, it's even more infuriating to be the one trying to teach it. Even the fast learners are hard to teach, and trying to teach morons is like trying to teach wet and angry cats how to do synchronized swimming, only harder and less rewarding.

That, and it really isn't the tech person's job to teach people things anyway.

As to the attitude... imagine you live in a world where the illiteracy level is high, and books have just become the must-have items for everyone. You know how to read, and everyone who doesn't expects you to try to teach them how. You try your best, but get all kinds of stupid, snide remarks for your trouble, like "You mean I have to OPEN THE BOOK and TURN THE PAGES to read? Why can't you hold the book open for me and turn the pages for me?" or "I can't be arsed to learn how to read. You! READ ALL THESE BOOKS TO ME! AND THESE! What? How dare you expect me to learn how to do this myself!" or people seeking your help fixing their books after using the pages for toilet paper or for wadding their bubblegum into. Oh sure, a few people are easy to teach, but most of the people are moronic assholes. And don't even think about telling them no: if you don't help them, they will piss in your face and throw rotten food at you for being so unhelpful. And then imagine they forget how to read from one book to another and make you teach them all over again. That's what it's like trying to teach people how to do stuff on the computer.

Seriously, far too many people seem to think of actually learning anything computer related as above them. Even when one explains things in the simplest possible terms, they refuse to learn or remember. It's fucking infuriating, and it's the reason so many tech people get snitty when they're forced to try to teach people stuff: they're fucking tired of having to try to explain things to morons who don't fucking listen anyway, and it's less stressful to them to just start assuming that anyone who can't figure it out on their own is a drooling moron.

Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org