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View Full Version : How do I *diplomatically* deal with this person?



HungryMan
January 19th, 2009, 01:51 PM
Screw that computer-literate-because-he-types-htt p:\\ww w.google.com\-at-hunt-and-peck-20-wpm. He actually called my computer (hardware) junk because it got a virus. Screw him entirely for blaming the hardware for software issues. He even lectured me on computers with bullcrap that sounded like random words taken from a tech magazine. Though this happened a long time ago when I was still in Windows-land, I'm afraid now of what this guy would say if he learns I use Linux.
Expected responses:
"90% of people use Windows. Linux is for deviants and losers."
"Your computer is junk. (Because you run Linux)"
"What on earth is Linux in the first place!? I've never heard of it, therefore it sucks."

Now, most of you would suggest cussing at him, or punching him right in the nose for being such a biased ignoramus. But I can't and I don't want to. I think he just hates me, (we got into a heated argument that lasted for half an hour... on the very simple issue of where to put cellphone chargers!) and I sorta reciprocate the feeling. But I don't want to duke it out verbally or physically. What do you suggest I do?

powell
January 19th, 2009, 01:53 PM
At first he sounds like a troll, don't give in to them!

Giant Speck
January 19th, 2009, 01:56 PM
I'm not sure this is the place to discuss how to handle real-life personal issues.

billgoldberg
January 19th, 2009, 01:57 PM
I've dealt with people like that.

I just ignore them.

There is no point of getting in a discussion with them, they will never admit they are wrong.

HungryMan
January 19th, 2009, 01:58 PM
whoops... sorry then.
just thought that this also concerns linux in general. I'm pretty sure there are people out there who have to deal with guys like this. People with "authority" who have no idea about what they're saying.

mips
January 19th, 2009, 02:04 PM
I just ignore them.


+1 with a smile

glotz
January 19th, 2009, 02:34 PM
Is this somebody you're married to?

.arean
January 19th, 2009, 02:34 PM
Send him a package containing Mario Teaches Typing (http://www.abandonia.com/en/games/987/Mario+Teaches+Typing.html) and a rubber dog poop.

kaldor
January 19th, 2009, 02:44 PM
Just ignore him. He is just proving his ignorance.

(nice avatar there arean :D )

mangar
January 19th, 2009, 03:07 PM
Why ignore him? It's a perfect opportunity for some fun:
Options:

1. Out babble the technobable: "this may be the common perceptions, but according to gartner research the job opportunities for Linux users lies in the top 5% of the IT industry. The accelerates learning forced on the users is creating a change in the way information is perceived and leads to up to 15% enhancement in the information retaining capabilities of the person involved.." yada yada, blah blah.. unleash a torrent of incomprehensible technobable based on nothing, until he gives up.

2. Ask for proofs. If he is able to to provide proofs, ask for proofs for them. Continue until he finally gives up and goes away. If he tries to use logical fallacies like "everybody knows that.." tell him that it's hardly an argument, and since he has nothing to provide to the argument, tell him to take his time and come back when he have something to contribute.

3. Keep your calm and totally exaggerate his opinion, taking it to absurdity. Don't attack, don't argue against his arguments, just keep going with the flow until he got nothing left to throw at you. Since you never got upset, and didn't take anything he said seriously, he essentially lost the argument...

Have fun!

mips
January 19th, 2009, 03:13 PM
Why ignore him? It's a perfect opportunity for some fun:


Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

mangar
January 19th, 2009, 03:15 PM
It's not arguing, but establishing the pecking order. If the idiot does not know that he have been detected, he will continue bothering you, and others.

uberdonkey5
January 19th, 2009, 03:22 PM
Read this site on pursuasion,it is excellent:

http://www.rinkworks.com/persuasive/

:D

Basically, arguments are often about ego. 'Pecking order' is a weird thing... there is only a pecking order if you comply to it. For example, male lions will not break eye contact with other male lions unless they are happy to indicate they are submissive. However, male lions are completely willing to break eye contact with male lion cubs, because they are not even considered a threat or worth bothering with.

If you want to 'win' something with this guy, first define clearly what it is you want. Then think how to achieve that. It is likely that you will never get him to agree with you, because he is defending HIS ego. However, other people may be better informed if you are direct and honest without being insulting or rude.

adamlau
January 19th, 2009, 03:26 PM
You have to be careful here. A lot of Windows users are hardcore Linux tweakers on the side and a lot of hardcore Linux tweakers are Windows advocates. I have quite a few friends who are no slouches in the computing field swear by Windows. I was an MCSE. I run Arch, Ubuntu, FreeBSD (since 4.x) and VectorLinux across several boxes at work. And I run Mac OS X on two boxes at home. I am a Mac and Linux advocate. But I am also a Windows advocate. And I also hunt and peck :( .

Nepherte
January 19th, 2009, 03:53 PM
Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
*Just smile and wave boys*

Riffer
January 19th, 2009, 04:21 PM
Thank him for his opinion and change the subject. If he keeps at it, ask him why, and also perhaps ask him if you did anything to upset him. If he says yes , you upset him then you could have a real dialogue, if he says no then ask him why he feels a need to be argumentative and state that you're not really interested in a debate over how your computer is running. Always remain calm.

pp.
January 19th, 2009, 04:28 PM
Say something like "yes, of course. Anyone knows that. Thank you for your time, all the same."

mangar
January 19th, 2009, 04:33 PM
I don't think that you should ask him if you've upset him, since it is a defensive position. It gives your opponent an new attack vector. If He's an Axxhole, he's there to cause harm, and therefore, you should not play according to his rules. Set the pace, set the rules, and you'll be okay.

Skripka
January 19th, 2009, 04:34 PM
Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

My mother always taught me TWO things:

Number ONE-NEVER argue with stupid people

Number TWO-ALWAYS be wearing clean underwear in case you get HIT by a truck driven by one.

I still don't understand the importance of the second one....I always thought it ironic that I was told to never argue with her, in light of rule Number One. ;)

laurielegit
January 19th, 2009, 04:45 PM
Just tell him that he's wrong, and ask for 2 sheets of A4 explaining his position. Mark it at GCSE (or equivalent) standard, and hand it back to him. If he still persists, throw a laptop at his head (or a picture of his head).

gletob
January 19th, 2009, 05:17 PM
sudo kill annoyance

just ignore him

ssj4Gogeta
January 19th, 2009, 05:24 PM
Why ignore him? It's a perfect opportunity for some fun:
Options:

1. Out babble the technobable: "this may be the common perceptions, but according to gartner research the job opportunities for Linux users lies in the top 5% of the IT industry. The accelerates learning forced on the users is creating a change in the way information is perceived and leads to up to 15% enhancement in the information retaining capabilities of the person involved.." yada yada, blah blah.. unleash a torrent of incomprehensible technobable based on nothing, until he gives up.

2. Ask for proofs. If he is able to to provide proofs, ask for proofs for them. Continue until he finally gives up and goes away. If he tries to use logical fallacies like "everybody knows that.." tell him that it's hardly an argument, and since he has nothing to provide to the argument, tell him to take his time and come back when he have something to contribute.

3. Keep your calm and totally exaggerate his opinion, taking it to absurdity. Don't attack, don't argue against his arguments, just keep going with the flow until he got nothing left to throw at you. Since you never got upset, and didn't take anything he said seriously, he essentially lost the argument...

Have fun!

:lolflag:

I'm going to do just that from now on.

MikeTheC
January 19th, 2009, 05:37 PM
Contact the Borg, and have him assimilated.

linux_nc
January 19th, 2009, 05:43 PM
Read this site on pursuasion,it is excellent:

http://www.rinkworks.com/persuasive/

:D

Basically, arguments are often about ego. 'Pecking order' is a weird thing... there is only a pecking order if you comply to it. For example, male lions will not break eye contact with other male lions unless they are happy to indicate they are submissive. However, male lions are completely willing to break eye contact with male lion cubs, because they are not even considered a threat or worth bothering with.

If you want to 'win' something with this guy, first define clearly what it is you want. Then think how to achieve that. It is likely that you will never get him to agree with you, because he is defending HIS ego. However, other people may be better informed if you are direct and honest without being insulting or rude.

nice sharing,

dasunst3r
January 19th, 2009, 05:47 PM
Linux powers sites like Google and Amazon.com. Heck, a good bit of the Internet infrastructure runs Linux. As if that's not enough, Linux can be found everywhere, from the backend of NYSE to the avionics in military aircraft to consumer electronics like TiVO!

So, the strategy is to take what he likes and attempt to apply his logic to it. The key is to trap him by asking questions like these, "Oh! I see you have a TiVO! How do you like it?" If the response is favorable, say something like, "Ooh, I'm sorry, but that's got a bit of Linux in it. It's junk now, isn't it?" In this scenario, you can offer to take it off his hands as you "collect junk." :mrgreen: Do this to anything you know runs Linux or even has Linux in its operations, like Google, Amazon.com, Pixar or DreamWorks movies (Linux is involved in the rendering process) or even the Internet infrastructure.

happycodemonkey
January 19th, 2009, 05:48 PM
When I had to deal with someone like this at work, I would ignore him (despite every part of my brain screaming to punch him until he stopped moving), but then ended up starting to slowly take over a lot of his duties because I actually knew what I was doing and was willing to do something outside of sit on WoW for my entire shift. He would come stumbling in after I had solved the problem, and I would inform him that I had "taken care of it"; his reaction every time provided plenty of satisfaction.

ticopelp
January 19th, 2009, 06:38 PM
Ask yourself why you care what he thinks.

From the sound of things, the correct answer should be: you don't.

Nothing irritates trolls more than ignoring them. So when he starts baiting you, just smile and shrug.

emshains
January 19th, 2009, 06:38 PM
How much influence does he have on the society you two are interacting, and is the society's opinion important to you.

If yes, you shouldn't ignore or evade him, that is a display of weakness, rather you should use the trapping method explained above.

If not, just ignore the ******* !

Xanatos Craven
January 19th, 2009, 07:08 PM
... not sure I understand. What business is it of this person that you run Linux? Honestly. I think you should brush off and disregard them until 1. your usage of Linux interferes with their life or 2. they gain an actual interest in Linux. Make them feel like they're being left out of something, and feel like they don't really have your attention, and display a smug satisfaction in their ignorance, while avoiding the argument altogether. This is about ego, after all. But be subtle -- no insults.

Chame_Wizard
January 19th, 2009, 07:11 PM
Use a live CD :popcorn::tongue::grin::lol:

MikeTheC
January 20th, 2009, 12:10 AM
Use a live CD :popcorn::tongue::grin::lol:

On him himself, and don't forget to format!

Tomosaur
January 20th, 2009, 12:28 AM
As a middle child, and somewhat of an anti-social little git, I can tell you that the quickest way to end an argument is to just agree with whatever the opposing view is instantly. Don't give them the satisfaction of rising to the bait and getting worked up. An example:



Them: You're an absolute idiot.
Me: I know

Them: The music you like is rubbish.
Me: Yeah, you're right.


and so on. If there's nothing to be gained from 'winning' the argument, then just agree with whatever they say, even if they're getting personal. Most people will just give up when they realise you're not rising to the bait.

wmcbrine
January 20th, 2009, 10:52 AM
Who is this guy to you, and why do you care what he thinks?

Of course I'd wear the label "deviant" with pride. :)

HavocXphere
January 20th, 2009, 11:20 AM
Its a variety of the "Big car, small ****" complex. These people are beyond help. Just smile & pity them.

stinger30au
January 20th, 2009, 12:56 PM
i suggest carrying a eating fork around wiht you in a pocket

next time he harrases you, insert it about an inch or so in his left eye socket, that will take care of him

geoken
January 20th, 2009, 03:02 PM
The first thing you should have done is not started this thread.

If this guy got to you so much that you went and asked for advice on 'beating' him, then he obviously achieved his objective. Conversely, if you completely forgot everything he said 3 seconds after the conversation ended he would have failed.

Eddie Wilson
January 20th, 2009, 03:13 PM
who is this guy to you, and why do you care what he thinks?

Of course i'd wear the label "deviant" with pride. :)

+1

cprofitt
January 20th, 2009, 05:48 PM
whoops... sorry then.
just thought that this also concerns linux in general. I'm pretty sure there are people out there who have to deal with guys like this. People with "authority" who have no idea about what they're saying.

Most of us in technology do. Many IT folks have bosses with little or no IT backgrounds; some of those people end up being great and others just suck the life out of you. I usually nod my head while displaying a small grin and pretend my phone just vibrated when people like this start to annoy me. Soon after leaving the scene I laugh about their ignorance and continue having a good day. Only when they start to impact my career or daily routine do I bother to engage in any thought beyond a humorous side note to the days activities.

This shirt may help in dealing with him --
http://www.thinkgeek.com/images/products/front/lg-you-are-dumb2.jpg (http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts-apparel/unisex/generic/38db/)

zolookas
January 20th, 2009, 06:12 PM
That kind of people just want to irritate you and force you to be in an uncomfortable situation (make explanations and etc.), no matter what what you say. So you have two options: go for a lengthy discussion and prove that you are right (which can be easy or not, it depends on your both skills) or just ignore them with a smile.

TenPlus1
January 20th, 2009, 06:49 PM
Do you really care that much what this person thinks ???

tubezninja
January 20th, 2009, 09:34 PM
Most of us in technology do. Many IT folks have bosses with little or no IT backgrounds; some of those people end up being great and others just suck the life out of you.

This does bring up an important point though: there ARE some of us (not me, thankfully, but I do have friends) whose bosses ARE these ignorant types who know nothing expect that everything should be done in Windows. One of my counterparts once had the indignity of working below someone who used most of his department's budget paying upwards of six figures a year to some outside company, to host their site and web applications on a Windows IIS server with an Oracle back-end. It was constantly crashing and getting hacked, and wasn't friendly to anything but IE browsers (naturally). Meanwhile, my group did the same things in-house running SuSE, MySQL and Drupal and our reliability was great... and we also had money left over in our budgets to keep our workstation computers up to date. :)

When said counterpart pointed out what my group was doing, and that we could even help them out with a conversion, it was dismissed out of hand. The reason? "Only losers use linux." The guy even went so far as to attack me personally, because to him being a linux admin clearly meant that I lacked the skill to get MS certifications. And "no one gets anywhere in IT without at least an MSCE."

He was wrong on both counts, but I digress. The only way out for this friend of mine was to find work elsewhere, the situation was so hopeless.

That was a couple years ago. I have since seen this boss. Apparently he uses a MacBook Pro now, which I find rather ironic. :)

Frak
January 20th, 2009, 11:53 PM
That reminds me of a guy I know, he knows more about hardware than me, and I know more about software than him (I'm a software developer). He's well respected for his technical skills (in an IT class) and can rattle off anything. Thing is though, he *thinks* he's more qualified me at software than me. He does this to the point of spreading rumors that I have no idea what I am talking about and to not listen to me. In a small class of 12 people, some believe him. To give an example, he thinks Apple Bootcamp is a virtual machine that runs Windows. Even though he knows (I hope, as intelligent as he is) that Apple hardware is no different than a normal IBM PC, he still insists that he read the whitepapers (pathological liar) and swears up and down that it's a type 1 VM. His choir left, graduated. I know have much more respect again, even though I never did anything wrong. Shame really. He gloats a lot too, and that by no doubt is annoying.

1. Disassociate with them. They are bad karma, and can get you in even worse positions.

2. If you are forced to associate with them, as I am with the person I described above, ask for proofs. Wikipedia may be community documented, but there's a cite system for a reason.

3. Make him sound stupid, as in make him believe what you say as if it is udder absurdity. "processor with it's own graphics? Yeah, I heard about that, and they're integrating WiFi and storage into it to! You can't tell me you haven't heard about that yet".

4. If you just want to get rude, just say "You're wrong" in a calm voice, wait for them to say "Well, prove I'm wrong" or "Why?" and respond "Prove you're right" or "Because you are", respectively.

matthekc
January 21st, 2009, 03:12 AM
put a antivirus xp the malware on a cd and tell him to install it.

j/k

CrazyDesi
January 21st, 2009, 03:51 AM
Dude it is not that serious.....