Computer assistance required

Why do people ask for assistance with computer problems they haven’t solutions for? That’s an easy one to answer: so they can show off their superior ability.

An example using you as the twit: there’s something wrong on your screen, a dialogue box appears and you can progress no further. What do you do? You ask your shining white knight to assist! Easy.

Said knight (me) arrives, asks you to do nothing more, not even move the mouse, then asks a series of questions. My first word though is “STOP!”


Dismiss any and all dialogue boxes remaining on the screen,
Pan and scroll the screen so that the area causing problems is no longer visible, let alone in focus,

Answer “What were you doing prior to the event?” with “Nothing!”

Answer “What were the contents of the dialogue box, even approximately?” with “I don’t know, something technical, how am I supposed to know?”

Answer “What do you need to do to progress?” with “I don’t understand.”

Eventually a dialogue is established, an approximate timeline leading up to the error is ascertained, and other big words…

A plan coalesces!

“Right,” I say “I think I know what’s causing the problem and I’ve a solution* I think will work. Should we try it?”

“Yes.” you say.

I start to patiently explain the background, the reason for the error, and steps necessary to avoid the ‘thing’ happening in the future. And this is where it falls apart.

You click, pan, scroll, press buttons, dismiss dialogue boxes, and then, as if it wasn’t enough, offer an alternative solution. You do it before I finish. Every time.
“I know mine will work,” I say. You ignore this with “Yeah, but…” so I walk away.

Until the next time…

A few minutes later I observe a thought bubble above your head: “Er… that didn’t work, crap idea, I’ll go and ask X…”

A quarter of an hour later I observe X walking away a little flustered, and Google search appears on their screen. Eventually a solution appears and it’s implemented. X of course gets due credit. It is indeed only fair.

And there’s a smile on your face, you did well fixing that.

Until the next time…

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