Do you have a “go-to” tech guy/gal? That’s your friend or family member? That charges you nothing to maintain your computer, help you with upgrades, configure your tablet, back up your phone, get your Netflix account playing on your TV, come over and call tech support on your behalf when your broadband goes down and talk them through the problem, all that kind of stuff? That does it out of the kindness of his/her heart? That knows your technology more intimately than you do?
Here’s a peeve of mine.
Do you treat him/her like shit?
Have you ever bought him/her lunch as a thanks? Given one of your hand-me-downs to them, rather than letting them help you with the upgrade and data migration, then selling your old device on eBay and paying them exactly nothing for their labor?
Do you even smile and thank them? Or do you just bring your stuff to them whenever it’s broken, expect rapid service (“I really need my phone! How long is this going to take?”), blame them for anything that goes wrong (“What did you do? It was working yesterday!”) even though they’re probably doing the same thing for a dozen other family members and friends and have trouble keeping everyone’s devices straight, balk at their suggestions (“I don’t want an iCloud/Google/whatever account! I don’t want to change my password!”) in ways that will create more work for someone (no doubt THEM) down the road when something breaks again, blame them for limitations of the technology YOU chose to buy (“Well that’s a STUPID feature, I can’t believe that’s in there. I mean, give me a break. Who wants it to work that way. I’m not using it like that, I need you to fix it or make it do something different.”)
Do you even use your own failings to justify the way that you exploit them as you run, thanklessly, out the door after they’ve dropped everything to help you for an hour? (“Oh, I’m so dumb about this stuff! So glad I have you! Byeeee!”)
Here’s a hint:
– It’s YOUR technology
– It’s YOUR responsibility
– It’s YOUR data to lose
– It’s YOUR problem
– Other people BOTHER TO LEARN AND TAKE CARE OF their own stuff
– It’s your LUCK AND PRIVILEGE to have someone to help you
They are helping you because, presumably, they like/love you and are generous with their time.
If you treat them like shit as a result, you are not only ugrateful, but, basically, a self-absorbed ASS.
— § —
Someone once told me that it was MY fault that I was exactly this “tech guy” for 80 percent of the people that I know.
That it was MY responsibility to manage MY time and tell people “NO!” and that if I was helping people constantly and feeling a bit frustrated with how I got treated, it was my fault for being an emotionally dependent, non-confrontational person that couldn’t refuse.
It was the DUMBEST thing I’d ever heard.
What kind of world do you want to live in?
One in which everyone helps everyone as much as they possibly can, or one in which no-one helps anyone because everyone’s too self-absorbed to say thanks or value anyone else’s time, and thus, too self-absorbed to help others as well?
I’d rather live in a world in which I (and as many others as possible) help when they can. And yes, it’s a reality that help goes unthanked, and no, I don’t have a “right” to any kind of thanks. But it doesn’t make you less of an ass when you don’t give it, or when you treat someone that’s helping you like dirt in the process of their providing said help.