My job does not or should not involve any computer support etc. However I quite like computers and am relatively good with them in an untrained working on instinct kind of way. I work in an office where all but one of the other people are completely clueless with computers. So I get asked to fix things or answer questions.
Whenever someone can't make anything work - because they've put files on the escape key - or my manager "loses word" (3 or 4 times so far) they ask me.
We use a special database to record all our customers. The people I work with were the first to use the system in our office, and now some of the specialist workers are being made to use it. Mostly the older longest standing workers who are the least computer literate. And somewhere along the line my manager actually told them that if they had any problems I'd help. He mentioned this in passing to me sometime later...
I work in a little office (shared with one coworker) which has an even smaller office off it. This office belongs to A who is currently a specialist worker who assists people with mental health problems. To say she isn't comfortable with computers is an understatement. Worst she can't extrapolate at all - she can happily carry out setps A B and C to achieve Y but if the same is needed to achieve Z she will immediately be puzzled by the whole process and need to be taught from scratch.
On the plus side - her problems are...amusing.
I was typing away at my own desk when I hear these perplexed sounds from her room. Then muttering. Then she calls through to me "Why is this being saved under the wrong name....
Asking questions isn't getting anywhere so I'm just standing up to go and look when she says "That's odd. That's MY NAME
I swear you could hear the penny drop. She says mournfully "I've opened the case in my name ?
Faced with a form for filling in her customer's details she has, suddenly and after at least 50 cases, filled in all her own information.
It is not possible to remove a case from the database.
She still hasn't told the boss.
I'm also working away minding my own business when there is, literally, a howl of horror from her room.
Then she shouts through to me, still sounding horrified, "I've run out of space
I try and get her to explain but she keeps saying she's out of space, she's filled it up, does she need to put the rest of the information in a new file. I eventually figure out she can't write anymore in her file and thinks she's hit some sort of limit.
This won't suprise anyone who's read my posts but I'm longwinded. I write the longest case notes of everyone and I've never run out of space. We've got cases where there are maybe 10 longishg entries - still space. As far as I know there isn't a limit, there certainly isn't one she can have hit.
Explaining this doesn't work. She's still saying she's out of space, and not giving any other details.
Feeling embarrassed to be so patronising I check she knows how to scroll down. You type into a little box and when you fill it a scroll bar appears - but no, she says she knows this and that's she's typed enough to get the scroll bar but now there's no more space.
So I go through. I'm expecting some sort of weird problem, or the wrong screen, or something
. It's absolutely normal. She has the case open, she's in the box, she's at the end of the record, the scroll bar is there.
It takes another 2 minutes to persuade her to press the return key a couple of times and see for herself that - wow! - more space just magically appears !
I do not get how someone who may not be a particularly confident computer user but who has used word processing for at least the last few years, uses the web, uses email, uses this program and had actually been typing into the expanding space just seconds before she forgot how it worked
could suddenly lose it like that.
is struggling with her cases because she sometimes forgets how to add new information to old cases and randomly opens new cases for fragments. (These can at least be deleted unlike the records of personbal details). He has to copy out the information and paste it into the records where it should go. As she is obviously trying so hard he's putting up with this so far.
Last week, on one of the days when she was out seeing her clients, he called me. He was so
patronising (he actually said "bless her cotton socks
" which I've never heard anyone actually say before) as he talked about her lack of computer skills.
The reason he'd called ? To ask me how to copy and paste (as I explained control-c and control-v to him for at least the 4 th time)
Bonus family story
My coworker is reminding me more and more of my mother who has just bought a new hard drive recorder/dvd player.
First time trying it she acts absolutely baffled by everything - and then when I ask her to switch channel using her TV remote (which she has used for the past 5 years) she had to be talked through it.
Then, at exactly 5pm as I'm sitting at my desk at work, she calls me. SHe's with my Auntie and they can't play the first thing they've recorded. I've never used the thing except for setting it up, I can't see the remote, I haven't got the manual but I'm expected to talk it through.
I tell them I think it was something like A then C. This doesn't work.
I ask what the manual says. I hear my aunt in the background "It's all gobbledegook
I ask my mother to actually read out what it says.
M (Mother) : It says press A.
Me : Press A then.
M : OK.
ME : What does it say next ?
M : If you are playing from the hard drive skip to part 5
Me : OK go to part 5 what does it say ?
M : It says to press B
Me : Press B
M : Oh, it works now
(I was half right in the first place)
She told me I should try and hide my scorn, but it really really wasn't possible.
(Auntie gets forgiven because I was round there putting up this temporary bed and while I was doing it my mother was holding lots of the pieces I needed. And when I say "OK, pass A" my mother gets all offended and says I should be saying "please can you pass" every time. Then she has to turn around and ask my aunt to pass something, and gets a very sarcastic impersonation of her lecture to me