NOTE: I'd almost forgotten this little piece from 2006. A pastor friend reminded me about it the other day. He found it chuckalicious, and I hope you will — again, or for the first time, depending on your degree of newbiecociousness.
Unusually emphatic disclaimer: This is satire (săt'īr' -- "A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit").
One hopes that every item is ponderable; the only thing I don't mean at all is the title — and I really, really don't mean the title. All clear? Tongues in cheek, then. Here goes:
- People come to you for help — instead of assuming that, if you really knew your job, you would intuitively know they needed help, and come to them without being asked.
- Everyone immediately tells you, to the best of his ability, what his or her actual issue is.
- Everyone who asks you a question really wants to hear the answer.
- Everyone who asks you for help really wants to be helped.
- Everyone who calls you really does want his/her computer to work the very best it can.
- You and your callers agree that computer bugs and problems are bad, and should be done away with.
- When you identify viruses, spyware, unwanted popups, and crashes as "bad," and target them for elimination, the folks you help don't accuse you of being harsh and judgmental.
- Nobody who calls you is actually in love with the computer problems and misbehaviors they're experiencing.
- When you identify a computer malady you want to eradicate, nobody can wave a book or point to a Big Name who argues that it is actually the latest, greatest "thing" in computers, and should be earnestly sought after, cherished, cultivated, and spread abroad.
- Nobody who calls you for help thinks that he's hearing a little voice in his heart telling him that what you're saying is just so much smelly cheese.
- Everyone to whom you give sensible counsel will hear, heed, remember, and follow that counsel — they won't insist on "feeling an inner peace" before doing it.
- Everyone thinks you do crucial, important, and respectable work; nobody assumes that it is because you can't get a "real job."
- Everyone assumes you’re well-trained, know what you’re doing, and know at least some things they do not already know.
- While you are expected to be knowledgeable and competent at what you do, you are not expected to be perfect.
- Most times, you know immediately when you’ve helped someone; you don’t have to wait six months, six years, or six decades, to see whether your fix has “taken” or not.
- On the worst day, if you do even a half-decent job, you can go home knowing for certain that you’ve really helped 5, 10, 15, 20 or more people.
- If you don’t know the answer, it’s probably on Google. Somewhere.
- When you discover a new, better, more effective way to accomplish the goals you share with the folks you help, they're happy — not angry at you because it's different from "the way we've always done it."
- The people you help don’t care how you’re dressed.
- The people you help don’t care how many committees your wife does or doesn’t head up.
- The people you help don’t hold your children to standards their children couldn’t even spell.
- The people you help don’t periodically form secret committees and whisper-campaigns to get you ousted.
- The people you help don’t all assume they know how to do your job better than you do, while actually knowing next to nothing about it.
- Everyone is fairly clear on what your job actually is: fix their computer so they can get back to work, or work better.
- The people you help evaluate you by whether you do or do not do your actual and well-defined job effectively — not by how you "make" them "feel."
- The people you help aren't judging you as inferior to a beloved support technician who died ten (or a hundred) years ago.