Seriously...



  • I had an irate employee on the phone today, complaining that they submitted a support requests 'days ago' and still nothing has been done about it.

    Nothing in the support log, so ask what the problem is. Apparently, he can't access any of the network shares, and thus can't do any work. 

    I find out that he has been on holiday for 3 weeks and returned this Monday.  Since his PC was off, someone unplugged his network connection from the switch and used it for elsewhere as they believed it was a unused connection ("Hey, it wasn't flashing, it mustn't be used"). 

    How did he report the fault on Monday? Email.

    We got the support request shortly after I fixed the problem. 

     



  • Well, assuming Windows and Microsoft Outlook as the environment I'd say that in my experience it's not always obvious that you're not connected to the network. You can still log in, seemingly to the domain, as your profile is cached locally; Outlook still opens and lists mails with only a small notification in the bottom corner to say that it can't connect to the Exchange Server and you can create and send emails without error as they just sit in the Outbox.

    Sure, the first thing a technical person would check when no network resources were available would be the network cable but it's not as if the OS or apps scream "Hey - there's no network here".

    Saying that, the user could have followed up with a phone call...



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    it's not as if the OS or apps scream "Hey - there's no network here".
     

    It does popup saying that network shares could not be reconnected. I guess that isn't obvious enough.



  • @Zemm said:

    @RTapeLoadingError said:

    it's not as if the OS or apps scream "Hey - there's no network here".
     

    It does popup saying that network shares could not be reconnected. I guess that isn't obvious enough.

     

    That assumes the guy had network shares in the first place though.

     



  • @DescentJS said:

    That assumes the guy had network shares in the first place though.
     

    @Mole said:

    Apparently, he can't access any of the network shares, and thus can't do any work. 

     


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Zemm said:

    @DescentJS said:

    That assumes the guy had network shares in the first place though.
     

    @Mole said:

    Apparently, he can't access any of the network shares, and thus can't do any work. 

    Well, he was clearly aware the network shares were down or there would have been no need for a ticket; so the popup isn't very informative beyond that. It just means the user can't add 2+2, or maybe wanted to get paid for a few days of Solitaire and Minesweeper.



  • @Zemm said:

    @RTapeLoadingError said:

    it's not as if the OS or apps scream "Hey - there's no network here".
     

    It does popup saying that network shares could not be reconnected. I guess that isn't obvious enough.

    Wrong. It will warn if a network drive can not be reconnected (basically a drive mapped with NET USE to a network share). If the dude has no mapped drive and try to access a network share by using a UNC path he will know about the problem only when he tries to access it.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Speakerphone Dude said:

    Wrong. It will warn if a network drive can not be reconnected (basically a drive mapped with NET USE to a network share). If the dude has no mapped drive and try to access a network share by using a UNC path he will know about the problem only when he tries to access it.

    So he knows about UNC paths but not that you can't send email while offline?



  • @joe.edwards said:

    So he knows about UNC paths but not that you can't send email while offline?

    Dude....the network is a totally different icon than email. The network is the blue 'e' right?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @boomzilla said:

    Dude....the network is a totally different icon than email. The network is the blue 'e' right?

    No, stupid, the blue 'e' is the Internet. You use it to get to Google (your "web browser"). The network is the little computer monitor in the bottom left.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @joe.edwards said:
    So he knows about UNC paths but not that you can't send email while offline?

    Dude....the network is a totally different icon than email. The network is the blue 'e' right?

    <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nL24aNugo_4&feature=player_detailpage#t=161s" target="_blank>IT'S A BIG BLACK NOTHING



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    You can still log in, seemingly to the domain, as your profile is cached locally; Outlook still opens and lists mails with only a small notification in the bottom corner to say that it can't connect to the Exchange Server and you can create and send emails without error as they just sit in the Outbox.

    Sure, the first thing a technical person would check when no network resources were available would be the network cable but it's not as if the OS or apps scream "Hey - there's no network here".

     

    Because seeing the "no network connection" icon on the taskbar, noticing that the number in brackets next to Outbox increases instead of the mail just being sent immediately and just about any browser showing "the page could not be found" screen are all just a silent whispers only a technical person would notice. And then they complain when we make applications that scream just about any detail in a modal dialog box.

    Oh, and I almost forgot, not being able to connect to network resource, and immediately thinking "there might be something wrong with my network connection, I guess I'll send an email through the network to complain about it" is perfectly logical reaction indeed, isn't it?



  • @SEMI-HYBRID code said:

    Oh, and I almost forgot, not being able to connect to magic resource, and immediately thinking "there might be something wrong with my resource magic, I guess I'll send a email magic (that's a completely different kind of magic) to complain about it" is perfectly logical reaction indeed, isn't it?

    FTFY.

    Yes, it is. Why do you think it's not?



  • @Bulb said:

    @SEMI-HYBRID code said:
    Oh, and I almost forgot, not being able to connect to magic resource, and immediately thinking "there might be something wrong with my resource magic, I guess I'll send a email magic (that's a completely different kind of magic) to complain about it" is perfectly logical reaction indeed, isn't it?

    FTFY.

    Yes, it is. Why do you think it's not?

     

    Hey! You've stolen my post, but you changed some words in it! How the hell did you do that?!

     

    ...anyways, because to me it's like sitting behind a steering wheel in a car, thinking "I have no idea what this big round thing and all these pedals are for, but I need to get somewhere, so I'll just ignore them all and simply drive there". It's just basics, and logic. Even I don't know precisely how TCP/IP works (though I had some classes about it in school), but what I do know, even with no classes, just with pure logic is, that:

    1. Magic doesn't exist (or is not discovered/proven to exist yet, so it's most useful to assume that it does not)
    2. Therefore, it's not magic
    3. Therefore it adheres to rules of our world
    4. Therefore, if some resource is shared, it might be sitting on my computer, or on someone else's, but it's probably not, it's most likely to be sitting on some "neutral grounds", and in any of these cases, my computer needs some way to access it remotely
    5. Networks and similar infrastructure is generally used to access things remotely.
    6. Therefore, if I can't access the resource, then either there's something wrong with the "neutral grounds", or, if everyone else can access it just fine, it's most likely an issue with the thing that I use to access it. Therefore, anything else that uses that thing most likely won't work either, and since mail is basically a way to access/relay information remotely, it will be affected too.

    Basic logic, no technical knowledge needed. But that's probably the problem - logic (along with the willingness to think a little) is one of those things most people lack nowadays (and through the history generally).

     



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    ... but it's not as if the OS or apps scream "Hey - there's no network here"
    I ran into a similar problem after my previous employer switched to 'gmail' (not @gmail, but @ourdomain, but you logged in through gmail, im sure there is another name for it, but i can't remember.) Every thing was going fine until the end of one extra quite week when i got a call from my boss, he was on vacation, who had just received a frantic call from corporate wondering why i was unreachable. This took me by suprise since (as far as i knew) i was reachable, and no one had tried to contact me at all that week. It turns out the outlook-gmail sync tool lost its connection but didn't inform me of it (or if it did i wasn't around to see it), if i hit send/receive it would tell me that there were no new messages (it had a local connection to the googlesync app, which had no connection but didn't propagate the failure.) When i restarted the gsync tool i had a total of 1 message waiting for me, it was rather vauge and something i might have simply ignored had i seen it in the first place.

    I still don't know how this equated to my being "unreachable" since:

    1) it was a single vague not obviously urgent or important e-mail that i didn't get.

    2) my office phone worked the whole time, they never called or left a message on it.

    a) my cell phone was also working.

    3) all the office phones worked, but they instead called my vacation boss on his cell phone, when he was the least likely to know anything about the state of the office since he was on vacation.

    This is one of the more minor WTFs from that job.




  • @SEMI-HYBRID code said:

    ... Basic logic, no technical knowledge needed. But that's probably the problem - logic (along with the willingness to think a little) is one of those things most people lack nowadays (and through the history generally).
    IIRC this phenomenon an example of learned helplessness; non-technical people believe that computers and other technical wonders are so arcane and complex that they have no hope of figuring it out, even if the problem they have could be solved by a non-technical person in short time with a small number of google queries!

    Learned helplessness



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    Well, assuming Windows and Microsoft Outlook as the environment I'd say that in my experience it's not always obvious that you're not connected to the network.

    Is this version-dependent (or config-dependent)? When I've had network issues, Outlook has always told me that it can't connect and is going into offline mode.



  • @SEMI-HYBRID code said:

    because to me it's like sitting behind a steering wheel in a car, thinking "I have no idea what this big round thing and all these pedals are for, but I need to get somewhere, so I'll just ignore them all and simply drive there".
     

    Except that it isn't.  I think we can say the user knows how to use the steering wheel (er, Outlook) and the pedals (let's say the network shares) when they are working normally.  Clearly, the problem arises when they are not working normally.  In a car analogy this would be like, I don't know, wondering why the car won't start when the battery is flat.  

    Esoterik mentions learned helplessness and I'm sure we've all seen plenty of this in the IT world.  (I once had a support call of the "Nothing works" variety to find the monitor was switched off.) 

     



  • @SEMI-HYBRID code said:

    Basic logic, no technical knowledge needed. But that's probably the problem - logic (along with the willingness to think a little) is one of those things most people lack nowadays (and through the history generally).

    Where you're going wrong there is that your chain of logic is not what your typical computer user even starts out on. They just know they have to click on this to get to the files they need; click on that to get to Google; type an "address" into Google's search field to get to another web site*; click on that to start a new e-mail message; click on the other to send it; and so on. It is all magic to them, and — this is the crucial bit — they're no magicians. If you're lucky, they'll know it; most of the time, you won't be lucky.

    * The number of people I've seen do this surprised me. Pointing out to them that if they know the URL, they could just type it into the text field at the top of the browser window, mostly had the effect of them going something like, "OK, thanks" and then using Google again for the next site they also know the URL of …



  • @pjt33 said:

    @RTapeLoadingError said:
    Well, assuming Windows and Microsoft Outlook as the environment I'd say that in my experience it's not always obvious that you're not connected to the network.

    Is this version-dependent (or config-dependent)? When I've had network issues, Outlook has always told me that it can't connect and is going into offline mode.
     

    Not sure but on our SOE I just get a message saying something like "Connecting to Exchange Server" in the status area in the bottom right hand corner.  Not seen it actually display a dialogue saying it was going into offline mode.

    Not in the office today but I can start my laptop up tomorrow with the network cable out and see what happens.

     



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    Except that it isn't.  I think we can say the user knows how to use the steering wheel (er, Outlook) and the pedals (let's say the network shares) when they are working normally.  Clearly, the problem arises when they are not working normally.  In a car analogy this would be like, I don't know, wondering why the car won't start when the battery is flat.  
     

     

    Your example is better, but I still consider "Not connected to network" to be one of the standard states included in "working normally", the same way as I consider "the battery is flat" or "there's no gas" to be the same.

     @RTapeLoadingError said:

    Esoterik mentions learned helplessness

    Yes, that's the fancy name for not being willing/being too lazy to think

     



  • @esoterik said:

    IIRC this phenomenon an example of learned helplessness; non-technical people believe that computers and other technical wonders are so arcane and complex that they have no hope of figuring it out, even if the problem they have could be solved by a non-technical person in short time with a small number of google queries!

    Learned helplessness

    Plus, this guy figured out how to get out of doing any work for a couple of days. He probably only actually called because his boss made him.



  • @SEMI-HYBRID code said:


    @Gurth said:

    Basic logic, no technical knowledge needed. But that's probably the problem - logic (along with the willingness to think a little) is one of those things most people lack nowadays (and through the history generally).

    Where you're going wrong there is that your chain of logic is not what your typical computer user even starts out on. They just know they have to click on this to get to the files they need; click on that to get to Google; type an "address" into Google's search field to get to another web site*; click on that to start a new e-mail message; click on the other to send it; and so on. It is all magic to them, and — this is the crucial bit — they're no magicians. If you're lucky, they'll know it; most of the time, you won't be lucky.

     

     

    Still the same thing, unwillingness to form a mental model, their default position is "I don't know and I don't care, I just want my e-mail". I ran into this when I was trying to teach my uncle to use a PC, it was the first computer he ever sat in front of, and I told him I'm going to start off slow, so he knows what's going on, and started explaining about folders and files using the standard metaphors of drawers and things in it, then programs as a various tools of which every has its different purpose... he stopped me after about 5 minutes saying something like "I don't care about this crap, I just want to get my music to CDs", and at that moment I knew it's always going to be all pseudo-trouble all the time. No matter how many times I explained to him, that the things on screen are just a metaphor for the files, actions, everything, he's not willing (or able?) to think that way, for him it's just a screen with some picture on it, and every operation he ever learned to do (playing music, burning CDs (don't ask me how he can do that, it's a miracle)) he learned as a set of static instructions that change the picture on the screen to a different one, and as soon as the picture is some he haven't seen before, he has no idea what to do. He's got no concept of what a window or a button is, really, it's literally just flat pictures to him with no meaning.

     The problem, I think, is that we somehow accept it, when people have trivial problems, we go "It's simple", and they go "I'm no magician!", and then we sigh and say something like "Okay, I'll tell you step by step what to do", instead replying "It's no magic, you idiot, it's basic and trivial things and you're just too lazy to take some time to learn to use them because that way someone else always solves your problems for you, now fuck off, I've got better things to do."

    Computers are as common as clothing today, there's no reason anymore not to ridicule and ignore the people that stupidly claim they don't understand or don't know how to use them. Fuck, I didn't understand them or programming either, when I was 8, but the way to get from this state to the state where you understand something is to TRY to understand it, not by asking everyone around to solve your problems because you don't know how.

    (I'm getting a feeling of deja-vu, I've already written something similar somewhere on these forums)

     

    To sum up

    @Gurth said:

    Where you're going wrong there is that your chain of logic is not what your typical computer user even starts out on.

    that's their problem, not mine/ours, and as long as we accept that as a valid reason for them to ask stupid questions, the problem will last.

     



  • @SEMI-HYBRID code said:

    @RTapeLoadingError said:

    Except that it isn't.  I think we can say the user knows how to use the steering wheel (er, Outlook) and the pedals (let's say the network shares) when they are working normally.  Clearly, the problem arises when they are not working normally.  In a car analogy this would be like, I don't know, wondering why the car won't start when the battery is flat.  
     

     Your example is better, but I still consider "Not connected to network" to be one of the standard states included in "working normally", the same way as I consider "the battery is flat" or "there's no gas" to be the same.

     

     

    Perhaps part of the issue is these people use the computer as part of their job but don't really give a shit about how it works.  If they stop being able to do their job (e.g. access the network, send emails, create documents) then they call the helpdesk.

    Maybe our vehicle is not a private car but a bus that's driven by a bus driver.  Our driver knows how to make it stop & go, how to open the doors and which way to go on the 329 route.  If one day he arrives at work and the bus won't start do you reckon he's going to open the bonnet and start troubleshooting?

     

     



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    Our driver knows how to make it stop & go, how to open the doors and which way to go on the 329 route.  If one day he arrives at work and the bus won't start do you reckon he's going to open the bonnet and start troubleshooting?

    Yes. To an extent, at least. Maybe not looking in the actual engine bay, but I would expect a competent bus driver to be able to at least diagnose possible problems and even solutions to common errors and be able to relay this information to "support". A network cable unplugged is not uncommon, a car/bus analogy would be flat/dead battery. I mean I diagnosed a dead battery in my own car from a frantic phone call from my wife: it didn't even have enough power to run the central locking so no chance to start the engine. She didnt have that skill: she opened the doors manually and belted the kid in without thinking further. But I still had to call roadside assistance for clarification and replacement (mostly so I didn't have to walk a lead-acid battery several kilometres.)



  • @Gurth said:

    * The number of people I've seen do this surprised me. Pointing out to them that if they know the URL, they could just type it into the text field at the top of the browser window, mostly had the effect of them going something like, "OK, thanks" and then using Google again for the next site they also know the URL of …


    This is presumably why the trend in browsers nowadays is to have just the one field and cases for input which looks like a URL or doesn't.



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    Well, assuming Windows and Microsoft Outlook as the environment I'd say that in my experience it's not always obvious that you're not connected to the network. You can still log in, seemingly to the domain, as your profile is cached locally; Outlook still opens and lists mails with only a small notification in the bottom corner to say that it can't connect to the Exchange Server and you can create and send emails without error as they just sit in the Outbox.

    I guess my configuation options are different from yours: on my XP, if I start Outlook and it cannot establish a connection to the Server I an asked whether I want to work offline; if the network connection drops I get a notification that the server cannot be reached so synching is not possible, and I get an in-your-face warning if I attempt to exit Outlook when there are messages stuck in the outbox

    But seriously -- are you really defending the dumb-ass user? This case was so egregious I told my colleagues, and we had a good laugh.



  • @pjt33 said:

    @RTapeLoadingError said:
    Well, assuming Windows and Microsoft Outlook as the environment I'd say that in my experience it's not always obvious that you're not connected to the network.

    Is this version-dependent (or config-dependent)? When I've had network issues, Outlook has always told me that it can't connect and is going into offline mode.

    Correct... my Outlook screams like a dying cat when the network goes down. Popups everywhere telling you that Outlook can't connect to the Exchange Server so send/receive will not work until you reconnect.



  • @darkmattar said:

    @pjt33 said:
    @RTapeLoadingError said:
    Well, assuming Windows and Microsoft Outlook as the environment I'd say that in my experience it's not always obvious that you're not connected to the network.

    Is this version-dependent (or config-dependent)? When I've had network issues, Outlook has always told me that it can't connect and is going into offline mode.

    Correct... my Outlook screams like a dying cat when the network goes down. Popups everywhere telling you that Outlook can't connect to the Exchange Server so send/receive will not work until you reconnect.

    Duh. That's your clue that you need to email the help desk.



  • @darkmattar said:

    .. my Outlook screams like a dying cat...

    That is so disturbing!

    I need a hug...



  • @darkmattar said:

    my Outlook screams like a dying cat

    My Outlook hums like an airborne helicopter cat.



  • @SEMI-HYBRID code said:

    Because seeing the "no network connection" icon on the taskbar, noticing that the number in brackets next to Outbox increases instead of the mail just being sent immediately and just about any browser showing "the page could not be found" screen are all just a silent whispers only a technical person would notice. And then they complain when we make applications that scream just about any detail in a modal dialog box.

    Oh, and I almost forgot, not being able to connect to network resource, and immediately thinking "there might be something wrong with my network connection, I guess I'll send an email through the network to complain about it" is perfectly logical reaction indeed, isn't it?

    You've never worked first level support (even internal) have you?



  • @Gurth said:

    * The number of people I've seen do this surprised me. Pointing out to them that if they know the URL, they could just type it into the text field at the top of the browser window, mostly had the effect of them going something like, "OK, thanks" and then using Google again for the next site they also know the URL of …
     

    I think this is partly because some browsers treated the address bar as a search label, so people have conflated the two - they type the URL into google's search field or type a search term in the address bar and.. eventually they get there.

    (the "searching from the address bar" was an annoying feature. I'm glad modern browsers split it out to a separate field)



  • @Cassidy said:

    @Gurth said:

    * The number of people I've seen do this surprised me. Pointing out to them that if they know the URL, they could just type it into the text field at the top of the browser window, mostly had the effect of them going something like, "OK, thanks" and then using Google again for the next site they also know the URL of …
     

    I think this is partly because some browsers treated the address bar as a search label, so people have conflated the two - they type the URL into google's search field or type a search term in the address bar and.. eventually they get there.

    (the "searching from the address bar" was an annoying feature. I'm glad modern browsers split it out to a separate field)

    Are you one of those aliens who experience time backwards?



  • @Someone You Know said:

    Are you one of those aliens who experience time backwards?
     

    I thought "tachyon" was just the name of my energy-saving lightbulbs. That would explain the bills.



  • @Cassidy said:

    I'm glad modern browsers split it out to a separate field

    Chrome uses a single bar for both addresses and search and I'm pretty sure Firefox already copied the idea (you can keep the search field, but I don't know if it still shows up by default).

    @Cassidy said:

    I think this is partly because some browsers treated the address bar as a search label, so people have conflated the two

    I have some vague recollection of Netscape (or Mozilla?) doing something similar, many many years ago, is this what you are referring to?

    It's probably the other way round: people didn't know the difference between the address bar and google search*, so browsers conflated the two.

    • I remember some idiotic story about a blog post about facebook that got top result for "facebook" in google search, and was bombarded by comments such as "I don't like the new facebook login page", "please give me back my facebook", etc.


  • @Cassidy said:

    I thought "tachyon" was just the name of my energy-saving lightbulbs. That would explain the bills.
    Power companies pay you for sucking up light and heat with your light bulbs, converting them into electricity and pumping it into their grid?

    @dargor17 said:

    I remember some idiotic story about a blog post about facebook that got
    top result for "facebook" in google search, and was bombarded by comments such as "I don't like the new facebook login page", "please give me back my facebook", etc
    I think you mean this one. Epic.



  • @Cassidy said:

    @Gurth said:
    Pointing out to them that if they know the URL, they could just type it into the text field at the top of the browser window

    I think this is partly because some browsers treated the address bar as a search label, so people have conflated the two - they type the URL into google's search field or type a search term in the address bar and.. eventually they get there.

    That could be the case with some people who do this, but let's say I doubt it was with the ones I came across. My idea is that it's more likely they learned (were taught?) that if you need a web site, you go to Google. Hell, even telling them that if you want to use Google, you don't need to go to www.google.com but can use the right one of the two text boxes at the top of the window (including pointing at the relevant text box on the screen) met with blank stares in many cases, and the advice being ignored in all. To be fair, that last bit is probably because they had the habit of going to the web site, which may be hard to break without conscious effort. But I'm being charitable here ;)



  • @rstinejr said:

    But seriously -- are you really defending the dumb-ass user? This case was so egregious I told my colleagues, and we had a good laugh.
     

    What I was hoping for was a bit of discussion about what makes otherwise intelligent people* refuse to engage their brain in situations like the one you described.  If the same person went to turn on the TV using the remote control and nothing happened would they call a repair man?  Probably not.  They'd see if it was switched on at the wall and check the batteries in the remote.  Some pieces of technology seem to be on "I have an idea how this works" side of the line and some on the "It's all magic" side.

    *I have no evidence that this user is otherwise intelligent



  • @SEMI-HYBRID code said:

     The problem, I think, is that we somehow accept it, when people have trivial problems, we go "It's simple", and they go "I'm no magician!", and then we sigh and say something like "Okay, I'll tell you step by step what to do", instead replying "It's no magic, you idiot, it's basic and trivial things and you're just too lazy to take some time to learn to use them because that way someone else always solves your problems for you, now fuck off, I've got better things to do."

    Computers are as common as clothing today, there's no reason anymore not to ridicule and ignore the people that stupidly claim they don't understand or don't know how to use them. Fuck, I didn't understand them or programming either, when I was 8, but the way to get from this state to the state where you understand something is to TRY to understand it, not by asking everyone around to solve your problems because you don't know how.

     This.  A thousand times, this.



  • @dargor17 said:

    @Cassidy said:
    I think this is partly because some browsers treated the address bar as a search label, so people have conflated the two

    I have some vague recollection of Netscape (or Mozilla?) doing something similar, many many years ago, is this what you are referring to?
     

    No - it was IE4 or 5 that had "search from the address bar" as a setting on by default, so that typing in any address took you to a search page that said the site couldn't be found and suggested.. the actual link that you'd just typed.. which when clicked upon, took you there.

    Final straw was when I tried to access http://localhost and got an MSDN page explaining to me that "localhost" is an alias for 127.0.0.1 and where it was used. The wall behind my monitor received a dent when I punched the glass.

    @dargor17 said:
    * I remember some idiotic story about a blog post about facebook that got top result for "facebook" in google search, and was bombarded by comments such as "I don't like the new facebook login page", "please give me back my facebook", etc.

    I remember that - and the blog comments became a train-wreck of people still complaining about it, people questioning how others could be so stupid and not even read the article and another lot dropping in a parody post.  Two days later it was still going strong. I felt like building an asylum for the internet.



  • @Gurth said:

    My idea is that it's more likely they learned (were taught?) that if you need a web site, you go to Google.
     

    It seems with browsers (and start menus nowadays) that you no longer need to organise things but just use search facilities each time to locate what it is you require. I've seen users type in "google" in the address bar (which does a search, finds and displays google) then type the actual ADDRESS into the google search field then click the first link returned. Explaining that they could have typed the address into the address field is met with blank stares, or frowns of confusion combined wtih comments about how their convoluted way is simpler for them to navigate.

    I ain't gonna argue. It's easier for them, it works for them, safer I butt out.

    (this would explain why - when google doesn't show, they believe "tha internet has crashed")



  • @Smitty said:

    @SEMI-HYBRID code said:

     The problem, I think, is that we somehow accept it, when people have trivial problems, we go "It's simple", and they go "I'm no magician!", and then we sigh and say something like "Okay, I'll tell you step by step what to do", instead replying "It's no magic, you idiot, it's basic and trivial things and you're just too lazy to take some time to learn to use them because that way someone else always solves your problems for you, now fuck off, I've got better things to do."

    Computers are as common as clothing today, there's no reason anymore not to ridicule and ignore the people that stupidly claim they don't understand or don't know how to use them. Fuck, I didn't understand them or programming either, when I was 8, but the way to get from this state to the state where you understand something is to TRY to understand it, not by asking everyone around to solve your problems because you don't know how.

     This.  A thousand times, this.

    The geek shall inherit the Earth... but in the meantime they also have to help Uncle Joe uninstall the trial edition of Symantec that was factory-installed on his new Acer laptop.



  • @Speakerphone Dude said:

    but in the meantime they also have to help Uncle Joe uninstall the trial edition of Symantec that was factory-installed on his new Acer laptop.
     

    Or the ASK.COM TOOLBAR that comes opt-out with each update of Java.



  • @SEMI-HYBRID code said:

    unwillingness to form a mental model, their default position is "I don't know and I don't care, I just want my e-mail".

    @SEMI-HYBRID code said:

     The problem, I think, is that we somehow accept it, when people have trivial problems, we go "It's simple", and they go "I'm no magician!", and then we sigh and say something like "Okay, I'll tell you step by step what to do",

    @SEMI-HYBRID code said:

    Computers are as common as clothing today, there's no reason anymore not to ridicule and ignore the people that stupidly claim they don't understand or don't know how to use them. Fuck, I didn't understand them or programming either, when I was 8, but the way to get from this state to the state where you understand something is to TRY to understand it, not by asking everyone around to solve your problems because you don't know how.

    You are so right. I've learned to interact with end users with that sort of attitude, even the post-menopausal (or male) ones that don't arouse my natural sympathy. But there will always be an undercurrent of resentment in the back of my mind. The folder tree metaphor is no more complicated than subject/verb agreement or balancing a checkbook. People learn those things because they have to. No one is going to give you a decent job if you say crap like "she be at the store" or can't add, say, $111.49 and $2,003.19. The fact we still expect people to have their hand held through the process of finding and using files and folders (which is 100% necessary for living life optimally these days) completely bewilders me.



    I had to deal with a woman once who had a bad case of this attitude. No doubt she could write perfect cursive, add 111/14 and 37/9004, and tell the life stories and innumerable saints... but using the Windows "File Common Dialog" to locate a file she wanted to process was something she just refused to even attempt. She made a statement at one point that was something like "I don't see why you guys go to all this trouble... I'd rather just fill out this form by hand anyway." My whole job performance was being evaluated based on my ability to automate people's jobs and farm out work that was previously handled within IT. I wanted to scream in her face "THIS IS HOW I FEED MY KIDS!!!" but she wouldn't have gotten it anyway. Computers will always just be bewildering toys to these people... like stray dogs, they won't change their behavior until the food dish stops showing up at the expected time.



    Eventually, people like that will leave the workforce, and will ride off into the sunset to fax each other pictures of printed warnings about gang activity in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Huge problem there, by the way; my great aunt stopped in Ann Arbor the other day, and a kid wearing what may have been a hat with a marijuana leaf on it said "Good Afternoon" to her.) The problem is that they will leave behind a stereotype that will linger. A lot of kids are using iOS because it's "cool," but will the way it abstracts over all details other than supplying your credit card number make them into a bunch of illiterates? Will the bad taste we all have in our mouths from grannies-in-the-workplace render all of us (ironically) unemployable when we turn 60?



    We shall see, but I'm not optimistic. A society that thinks it can limp forward without learning files / folders is like a big, fat, white pet rabbit released into an open field. The eagle cometh and his talons be sharp...



  • @bridget99 said:

    She made a statement at one point that was something like "I don't see why you guys go to all this trouble... I'd rather just fill out this form by hand anyway." My whole job performance was being evaluated based on my ability to automate people's jobs and farm out work that was previously handled within IT. I wanted to scream in her face "THIS IS HOW I FEED MY KIDS!!!" but she wouldn't have gotten it anyway.

    So the reason for her to use electronic files instead of paper forms was so you could automate some work and justify your own job (and therefore feed your kids). This situation is typical of what is wrong with IT: overproduction (aka "waste"). When your job is to "optimize" the job of the people that are supporting the people that do actual revenue-generating work, then you know you are mostly a parasite and you have no right to look down on people closer to the profit centers.

    Some day the Bobs will be called in by management, they will meet the staff and assess who is actually bringing value to the company. The old woman will keep her job (and her manual forms), and you will get a nice brochure explaining that losing your job was the best thing that could happen to you.

    People think that Wall Street has been robbing the world for years. A day will come where it will be obvious that bankers are the salt of the earth compared to fat cats from IT who keep shuffling things around in the name of Service Delivery and shake the ITIL principles like a magician wand to generate useless jobs for their peers.



  • @darkmattar said:

    @pjt33 said:
    @RTapeLoadingError said:
    Well, assuming Windows and Microsoft Outlook as the environment I'd say that in my experience it's not always obvious that you're not connected to the network.

    Is this version-dependent (or config-dependent)? When I've had network issues, Outlook has always told me that it can't connect and is going into offline mode.

    Correct... my Outlook screams like a dying cat when the network goes down. Popups everywhere telling you that Outlook can't connect to the Exchange Server so send/receive will not work until you reconnect.

     

    I'm back in the office today so I booted up my laptop with the network cable unplugged.  I'm using Vista and Office 2003.

    I was able to log into Windows.  I did get the "Could not connect Network drives message".

    Outlook launched without error.  The only indication I got that something was wrong was the word "Disconnected" in the bottom right hand corner.  No dialogues or anything like that.  Sent mails sit in Outbox.



  • That's sooooo interesting.



  • @Zemm said:

    Maybe not looking in the actual engine bay, but I would expect a competent bus driver to be able to at least diagnose possible problems and even solutions to common errors and be able to relay this information to "support".
     

    I would expect it if it was in the job description, and it makes sense to have this fundamental level of knowledge to deliver a more accurate incident report - which means the bus company would have some induction procedures to get drivers' engineering knowledge up to the required levels.

    The issue we have in IT is that not every organisation believes in these induction procedures; it's just assumed that if you have a computer at home you know how to use Windows, and Windows is designed in such as way to be very noob-tolerant. It has opened the field of home computing to the masses, but it's also created a culture that inexperienced novices should be able to "get on with it" and rely upon learning by osmosis, which then ill-prepares them for troubleshooting skills nor more detailed information when reporting incidents to service desks.

    @Speakerphone Dude said:

    ... shake the ITIL principles like a magician wand to generate useless jobs for their peers.

    With any luck, there will be someone who can decypher the misrepresentation and point out the irony.



  • @Cassidy said:

    Windows is designed in such as way to be very noob-tolerant

    That must be why there are so many people moonlighting as computer troubleshooters, then.


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