Monday, 8 October 2007

Paying a geek in attention

When a geek fixes a friend's computer, there might be a difference of opinion on the standard procedure. For example, the non-geek might picture the interaction like this:

Step 1. Notice broken computer.
Step 2. Call geek.
Step 3. Geek fixes computer.
Step 4. Repeat as required.

The geek is likely to include an extra step that I'll call "3.5" to slot into the correct position:

Step 3.5. Explain the cause of the problem so that it can be avoided in future.

This is the kind of payment we expect for our help. Not so that Muggles will be in awe of our skills, but so we can both avoid the hassle from then on.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Some problems are a bit too weird to explain, though.
PPS - But those ones are less likely to be fixed this way.


Miv said...

I'm guessing there has been a recent occurence of the 'broken computer' that has prompted this post.

I must admit, I am interested in this problem you mentioned that is too difficult to explain. I realise you probably won't want to publish exactly who this problem was bothering, but can you let on as to what it actually was?

John said...

No, there wasn't a specific recent event that prompted the post, which I suppose makes the whole thing much less interesting.

I think the most recent "family contract" maintenance I've done is on Dad's PC where, for some reason, he was unable to print from GMail. How could one particular website prevent printing? I didn't know exactly, so I just deleted his installed printer drivers and let Windows sort it out. It worked.

Pstonie said...

Depends of course how many of these you do each day. When I was on the service desk that would've been wasted time, because you'd be explaining the same things to different people each time.

Give a man a fish and he eats for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you'll never see your fishing pole again.

John said...

Yes, I imagine that gets a bit repetitive after a while.

As for the fishing saying, I favour the version that goes:

"Give a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."

Miv said...

My my! There is a rather disturbed tone to that last one... I LIKE it!