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i have a fairly broad background from networking to graphic design, but always found myself as the "computer guy"... in every office i have ever worked at.
all my friends have me look at their computer whenever i come over for a casual brewski or two... i get the "hey, can you take a look at my computer and see whats wrong since your here... its acting slow"
or "i cant figure out whats wrong and i know you know how to fix it.."
or people have this big issues that they cant figure out ... and when you go to their cubicle to have them re-create the problem... it seems to work just fine...
"i swear i did the exact same thing and it didnt work earlier"
or the mother in law who thinks you are the 24/7 Tech support hotline.
"should i click this update buton..." "i dont know what AVG is.. shoudl i install it..."
its getting old. leave us alone. arhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...
joined:Dec 10, 2005
when you go to their cubicle to have them re-create the problem... it seems to work just fine...
If it's something that is infringing on my personal (or business) time, I may spend a very short amount of time to see if it's really a quick fix ("Um, you should probably turn on the computer to make it work..."). If it looks like it will take more than that, I will usually try to get out of it by saying I have no idea what's wrong with it.
Sooner or later, you become less IT god-like in their eyes and they stop bugging you.
I certainly wasn't an expert, but I do have a lot of experience over time.
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king.
How about next time I hear a weird thunking noise in the front of my car, I drop it off over at your place for a copule of days to get fixed? You have a driver's license don't you? I see you driving your car to work every day. You mean that doesn't mean you know how to diagnose and fix cars? :)
Erase drivers and codecs. Drag the My Documents folder into the Windows/FONTS folder. Set their monitor to 16-color mode. Configure IE so it doesn't accept cookies. Reset all their file types so *everything* opens in Notepad.
Edit their hosts file so whenever they try to access facebook, they get myspace instead. And vice versa.
Leave the system in such a horrid state that they need to take it into a shop for delousing.
You'll eventually get a great reputation for destroying computers and people will stop asking.
Worked for me.
It seems like if it has a display light and plugs into the wall then people will think I know how to fix it.
The problem is I perpetuate it by always coming up with a fix, even to things I know nothing about. It seems like I am the only one in my little corner of the world that knows how to go to a manufacturers' website and search for a manual.
I have often thought about doing as webwitch suggests and just sabotaging whatever I am fixing to avoid callbacks.
One of my clients do this day will call me when their photocopier is down because one day I was there and saw it malfunction and thought I could be helpful and made it work.
I will say that if everyone knew how to do what we do then we wouldn't be making money doing what we do.
[edited by: Demaestro at 9:08 pm (utc) on Nov. 27, 2008]
Unfortunately I've inherited the position of IT-support in our office, so when I'm at work I do have enough general computer tweaking to do.
[edited by: deMorte at 10:36 am (utc) on Nov. 28, 2008]
Roy: "Have you tried turning it off and on again?"
Moss: "Hello IT. Yuhuh. Have you tried forcing an unexpected reboot?"
I love it.
Roy: No, there you go, I just heard it come on. No, that's the music you hear when it comes on. No, that's the music you hear when... I'm sorry, are you from the past?
Moss: You see the driver hooks a function by patching the system call table so it's not safe to unload it unless another thread is about to jump in there and do its stuff. And you don't want to end up in the middle of invalid memory. [laughs] Hello?
The really annoying thing is I know this guy who installs software on a large firms PC, knows begger all about PC's and their finer points but the fact he has installed Office 4 million times in 5 years makes him a freaking expert on anything with a microchip in.
I mean everything from the latest SEO techniques to getting old Atari 800XL disk drives to work correctly, which is great cos I love just dragging out a conversation where I know he is lieing through his teeth then proving that he wrong.
The response ? He just gets up and walks away, he just wont admit he knows begger all.
Realized I had been too accommodating when friends-of-friends would call out of the blue or walk up to me asking for advice on everything from getting an ISP (we have 3 locally that take turns being the worst), to spec-ing out or even procuring a new laptop...
At one point I had 3 virus ridden machines on my desk from people I barely knew, preventing me to do my regular work... All for free of course.
The kicker was being asked to 'clean' a laptop someone 'bought from a friend' and remembering having worked on it before. The original owner's apartment had been broken in to a week before...
Second, most of the time these are people who don't have any interest in what I do until they need something from me. It's insulting.
I just cry "Sorry! Far to busy to get to it." Only the sound of a cracking wallet can make me stray from this position these days.