If you commute by car, you probably encounter a few people every day who should not be allowed to own a car and if you work as an IT service desk professional, you probably encounter people who should not be allowed to own a computer. Sure, a computer isn’t as physically dangerous as a car helmed by an incompetent driver, but the utterly clueless computer user can inflict serious emotional distress to those charged with keeping them productive. Here are 10 signs that someone should not be allowed to own a computer.
1. They Didn’t Really Think Through Their “Secret Question” Answer
Imagine the new guy starting work at your company setting up his user accounts, making passwords containing the requisite number of capital and lower case letters, special characters, numbers, emoticons, and gang signs … Good thing there’s a secret question for retrieving them, huh? Problem is, inputting “Girlfriend’s Nickname” the morning after a bitter fight over the last of the coffee creamer can be dangerous. Confirming six months later during a account lockout that he used “Rat Face McValkyrie” can be fraught with awkwardness to say the least.
2. They’re Ignorant of the Most Basic Rules of Electronics and Electricity
It’s nice that the crunchy hippie in the editing department brought in those lush philodendron plants to liven up the office. It’s not so nice that he hung them directly over his PC tower and waters them generously every few days.
3. They Think “Incognito Surfing” Means Something It Doesn’t
“There’s no way I downloaded a virus when I installed that Texas Hold’Em game on my workstation. I was in incognito mode.” Enough said.
4. People Who Claim Ignorance and Prove It With Every Fix
Isn’t it funny how the people who say up front, “I don’t know anything about computers” are the very ones who second guess every single instruction you give them when you’re walking them through a fix?
5. End Users Who See a Port, a Cable, and Assume They Match Up
Ever had someone try to shove a DSL cable into a USB port? Or their laptop’s power cable into the headphone jack? These are probably the same people who insist on parking their Crown Vic in the “Compact Only” spaces in the company parking garage.
6. They Have an Unhealthy Attachment to Old Hardware
Back in 1987, Gary in Propulsion Modeling wrote a computer model on his PC AT in FORTRAN and has refused to use any other machine since, resulting in fixes that are increasingly difficult due to discontinued hardware. Your best bet is to hope the machine limps along and that he soon qualifies for early retirement.
7. People Who Assume That Files They Don’t Recognize Aren’t Important
Fact: hard drives fill up over time. Some people, however, attempt to be “helpful” and not bother the service desk by making room on their computer all by themselves. It took some time, but eventually they figured out how to get rid of those stupid “hidden” files. But for some reason their computer won’t boot up again. “Oh well,” they figure. “I guess I should call the help desk after all.”
8. Those Who Want the Office to Be “Homey”
Sure, it was a bit pricey, but getting custom, enclosed oak cabinetry made to the exact dimensions of each PC tower, and having a miniature closet made for storing that ugly server was worth it! But why do the machines keep failing? And why are they too hot to touch when we need to reboot? They just don’t make computer hardware like they used to.
9. People Who Fail to Distinguish Software from Their Own Brain
Doug in accounting is great at spotting errors in spreadsheet printouts. And when he does, he takes care of them right away: with Liquid Paper. But why does next month’s spreadsheet have the same error? After all, he fixed it, didn’t he?
10. End Users Who Think Their Computer Is Made of Ming Vase Material
Indeed, a keyboard can only stand so much Pepsi, Cheeto dust, and cigarette ash being deposited on it before it stops working, but you don’t have to clean the keys with angel tears and dry them with pashmina. Show that Nervous Nelly in payroll how to use the “off” switch so he can go to town on that keyboard with an alcohol towelette and lint-free cloth rather than individual cotton balls wielded as if cleaning the face of a newborn.
Like it or not, there are people in your organization who get their hands on a keyboard every single day when they shouldn’t be trusted with anything more than a Fisher Price Fun-2-Learn Laughtop. But when you have outstanding IT service desk software like Samanage, you can deal with the clueless quickly so that you can focus on more rewarding things.
About Greg Ghia
Read more articles by Greg