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mamamia88
April 30th, 2012, 05:45 AM
How do you deal with someone who asks you for help with the most mundane computer tasks that you've shown them how to do countless times before? Everything I know about computers I've learned by fooling around with them. Try looking around for 30 seconds and see if you can figure it out for yourself before asking me. Most of the time the answer is in plain sight. I swear some people would ask me how to open the internet if i made a desktop background in gimp that had an arrow pointing to a shortcut for internet explorer and the words click this to open the internet and still wouldn't be able to figure it out. How do you deal with this kind of stuff without snapping?

QIII
April 30th, 2012, 05:54 AM
By not assuming that everyone will remember everything they've been told because they have a lot of other things they've been told to attend to.

Most people don't live for this. They use the machine as a tool. Sometimes they use it rarely and sometimes they simply don't get the hang of it.

Assuming that people can look up what they need assumes that they know the right questions to ask. They don't. Why? Because they aren't familiar enough to.

Many of us do a lot of googling and ask few questions here. But we know what we are looking for and what questions to ask -- because we are experienced and familiar.

KiwiNZ
April 30th, 2012, 05:54 AM
I answer them

futz
April 30th, 2012, 05:56 AM
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”
― George Carlin

I've met quite a few people who can only learn to do stuff on the computer by rote memory. Some even write down every step - every mouse click - so they can repeat whatever it is I'm showing them again later. It's pretty funny sometimes. Other times, as you say, it's really annoying.

Tombgeek
April 30th, 2012, 06:29 AM
I have a very special friend. He has Windows Vista installed on his laptop and the only thing he seems to understand is how to install games and double-click on the icon. Apart from that, he's useless. He called me the other day asking me how to copy files onto a flash drive. *facepalm*

I really don't mind helping people, especially older people, with any computer woes. But my friend is 18. He should have been taught this already in primary school. As far as I'm concerned, if he can install games, he should be able to copy and paste.

alexfish
April 30th, 2012, 06:40 AM
channel knowledge constructively

a good teacher knows how learn from others

3rdalbum
April 30th, 2012, 08:02 AM
But my friend is 18. He should have been taught this already in primary school. As far as I'm concerned, if he can install games, he should be able to copy and paste.

Kids don't get taught computing, for two reasons:

1. Some teachers don't have adequate computer knowledge to be able to teach computing, so they instead teach word processing.
2. Some schools take the attitude that "kids have grown up with computers, they already know how to use them so we don't need to teach computing."

To answer the topic starter, I lose my cool. Unfortunately. I wish I didn't, it's my girlfriend. It is frustrating to have to repeat most things twice and still have her forget 50% of what she has learnt.

She has led a sheltered life on a tropical island, and English isn't her mental language, and she has an illness that causes memory problems. It really isn't her fault she can't remember what I tell her about on the computer. But it is frustrating and makes me worried what she would do if I wasn't there.

MG&TL
April 30th, 2012, 08:07 AM
Grind teeth, then wash, rinse, repeat.

Seconded for the school thing, I get taught word processing, not computing. Oh, and 'web design'-google sites. :(

Mercifully, I get my computing fix from google.

jmore9
April 30th, 2012, 08:24 AM
I just shake my head silently and help them. Because i remember way way back when i got my first 8088 machine with 5 inch floppy drive 8 meg memory i think it was !!!!

Back then no forums to go to no internet . Just had the BBS you called on your telephone line. Oh yea we have come a long way since then. Friend of mine still has his RBBS software. Maybe we will get it going again just for kicks.

hakermania
April 30th, 2012, 08:36 AM
I really don't have any problem helping somebody, unless it is the first and the last time of pointing out something, I'm gonna show you ONCE how to do it, then learn it yourself, ask something else and I will be happy to answer. But don't ask the same thing twice.

Tombgeek
April 30th, 2012, 08:40 AM
Kids don't get taught computing, for two reasons:

1. Some teachers don't have adequate computer knowledge to be able to teach computing, so they instead teach word processing.
2. Some schools take the attitude that "kids have grown up with computers, they already know how to use them so we don't need to teach computing."



Strange. Then it must've been my school then, because my teacher taught us the basics of using a computer, alongside Excel and Word.

MisterGaribaldi
April 30th, 2012, 09:55 AM
Me Personally: I walk away or tend to pick up on clues in advance and do not become involved.

Bigger Picture: What 3rdalbum said is correct. In my experience, many of the so-called "digital natives" frequently aren't. Then again, here in the U.S., so little attention is paid to most good teaching across the academic range (in favor of "teaching to the test") that it's truly a wonder anyone knows anything.

KiwiNZ
April 30th, 2012, 10:07 AM
It seldom costs, and the time taken not a lot. Helping is a integral part of being part of society.

Bandit
April 30th, 2012, 11:15 AM
................ How do you deal with this kind of stuff without snapping?
Start charging $75 per hour. Seriously I did and now they ask and actually learn to do things unless it *is* something super serious. Mind you I did that so folks would quit bothering me all hours of the day and night.



..........Helping is a integral part of being part of society.
Helping can be full filling in many ways. But there comes a point sometimes where others take advantage of this at one point and it becomes more abusive. When people start calling you at 3AM on a weekday night becuase something happened without regard to your livelyhood. Then you have to put your foot down somewhere.

hakermania
April 30th, 2012, 11:20 AM
Helping can be full filling in many ways. But there comes a point sometimes where others take advantage of this at one point and it becomes more abusive. When people start calling you at 3am on a weekday becuase something happened without regard to your livelyhood. Then you have to put your foot down somewhere.

This.

SemiExpert
April 30th, 2012, 03:17 PM
This is precisely why you recommend Apple products to all of your friends. A friend asks any question pertaining to a computer and the easiest and safest answer is always to say: Go to the Apple Store and don't forget to buy AppleCare. Now, sure, I don't actually buy Apple products myself......

keithpeter
April 30th, 2012, 03:37 PM
channel knowledge constructively

a good teacher knows how learn from others

Yes.

For instance, if you had watched people struggling to copy files, make backups and keep their work and music and photos safe a few years ago, made notes, had a think, you might have come up with Dropbox.

The Ubuntu App store awaits observant people who can make simple apps that make life smoother for people.

Zukaro
April 30th, 2012, 04:18 PM
The only people I find annoying who ask for help are my parents; and even then only my dad. My dad can't even make his own email address without help. And then he forgets the password. Yet he also makes the password way too simple (I wont give away examples, but lets say it's one of the first things a brute force attack would guess).

But I understand why lots of people have no clue what they're doing with computers; it's the same reason I wouldn't be able to fix a car on my own. If I'm told what to change in that car I can change it, but I wont know what to look for when the problem comes up (although Google would probably be my guide, as it is for many other things).

Basically learning all this computer stuff is a new set of skills, and many people don't have the time or the desire to learn them. It takes effort to learn new skills, so why would you learn them for something you rarely use? When I have computer troubles I do a lot of Google searching until I find the answer (unless I already know the answer); if I can't find the answer I come here to see if anyone can point me in the right direction/help. Many people don't know what the question is so they can't find the answer on Google and need someone else to look at it who can get the question.




The only other person I find annoying who asks for computer help is one of my friends; but the only reason I find them asking for help annoying is because they're rude about it (so I refuse to help them anymore). There was no please or thank you, it was:

"GA, !:@(6) My computer is not working and I have stuff I need to have printed off for my grandmother when she shows up tomorow to mess with my socal life. fix it"

So I try to help a bit, I suggest trying to restart the computer or something and they say this:

"This is not the fist time my computer has F'ed up, I already know about that stuff."
"NOT WORKING"

So I suggest trying to reinstall the printer drivers and they say their computer can't install anything, so I said there's not much I can do then and they say ""thanks for the help"" (which was probably sarcasm due to being put in quotes)


So now I refuse to help that person with their computer problems.
Also, that's the only thing they ever say to me over MSN, is just asking for computer help; never actually trying to talk to me as a friend or anything.
(when I say they I'm talking about one person)

SeijiSensei
April 30th, 2012, 04:18 PM
Have the person you're helping keep a notebook. Walk them through the process and have them write down the steps involved. Make sure they can repeat the task following the notes they've taken before you leave.

Then ask them to do it again with their notebook a week later.

It's unreasonable to expect most people to remember some set of arcane steps to perform a computer task. Have them write it down.

lykwydchykyn
April 30th, 2012, 05:12 PM
I generally enjoy helping people at any skill level, though extreme beginners can be taxing just because it takes work to translate your ideas into lay-speak, and sometimes it just can't be done.

The only things that really bother me are attitude related:

- Constant, ad-nauseam apologies for "not understanding this computer stuff", usually meant to dismiss my attempts at explaining something.

- Trying to make me feel stupid or somehow less than them for having more knowledge than they do ("I don't have time to waste on this computer stuff like you do", etc).

- Blaming me for the existence, pervasiveness, and general crappiness of computers, software, and related technologies just because I know about it and work with it. As if, were it not for me, they could still be doing their job with paper and pencil like they did in the old days (I get this at work a lot).

CharlesA
April 30th, 2012, 05:15 PM
I answer them
This.

I work retail support and there are some people there that have no bloody clue how to turn the equipment on when it's just a regular small-form factor PC.

It's easier to take it slow and explain with as much detail as possible.

Also, having a notebook to take notes is handy.



- Blaming me for the existence, pervasiveness, and general crappiness of computers, software, and related technologies just because I know about it and work with it. As if, were it not for me, they could still be doing their job with paper and pencil like they did in the old days (I get this at work a lot).

This is the part that grinds my gears. I support software and while I didn't write the software, I know how it is supposed to work. When it messes up, I usually get a "Why is this always happening?!?" I don't know why it is happening only that it's a known issue and being worked on by the devs and I know how to "fix" it.