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FIXING STUFF
Category: Tech
Thursday, June 3rd, 2004 @ 02:13 pm
Posted By Brent

It's my job to fix stuff. Computer stuff. Sometimes at work someone will call me over to fix some stuff, and well, I can't.

"How come when I hit enter in Word, it goes down two spaces instead of one?" someone will ask.

So I check to see if double spacing is on in Word, it's not. See if there is a font size change or something else that could effect it this way, there's not. See if this is happening an any other program, its not. Finally, I just give up and blurt out old faithful, "Restart Word, if that doesn't work, reboot the computer and try again." Of course this will pretty much always work, but the feeling I get from the rube I was trying to help is unmistakable. I sense this feeling all the time. It's the "isn't this your fucking job to know how to fix this stuff, moron?", feeling.

It's an understandable sentiment. Your refrigerator breaks, you want the guy that comes to fix it to find out with the problem is, and remedy it. You don't want him to fiddle with it for ten minutes, hemming and hawwing about how it's probably some defect with the refrigerator that you can work around switching all the shit between your third and fourth shelves and then unplugging it and plugging it back in. Oh, and this isn't guarantied that it won't probably happen again the second I leave. Fuck no, that guy would be fired.

Let's just extend this analogy into the literal world of my job. I work on refrigerators that not only I can't open up the back to troubleshoot, I'm not even given the courtesy of being told how the mechanics of the refrigerator works. Could be freon compression and copper tubes. Could be fans blowing across coils that are constantly having cool river water pumped through them. Could be that new fangled Sonic Cooling method. Could be black magic, who knows? Not I, because I'm not allowed inside.

Using open source software must be the obvious solution to this tragedy, right? Of course, then I could see inside. Then I could try to troubleshoot the actual problem. Then I could dismantle everything and go through every spring and coil and bolt until I found the problem. Is this practical? Fuck no, because not only am I a refrigerator repair man, I'm also an auto mechanic, a carpet layer, a plumber, a roofer, and a few other technical jobs that require specific skills to actually get anything accomplished. Oh yeah, and don't forget that at the same time I'm building your house from scratch and expected to know every bit of minutiae about what I've done with it in case you want something changed mid-build.... and, of course, construction will never end. With that sort of depth and breadth of skill requirements, there's no way I could learn the ins and outs of your refrigerator and still stay competent in the other areas. Sure, give me a toolbox and the majority of my time with your refrigerator and I'll figure it out. Just hope you expect to walk to work because I'm not fixing your car while I do it.

So now you're probably thinking, "OK, he's just like a general computer tech." Wrong-o. Many of my duties are only loosely computer related. What my actual job is will blow your mind. I am a hired smart person. When someone asks me how to align a column in Excel to the right instead of the left, do you think I walk in with the process memorized? If someone downloads something in their webbrowser and somehow has lost the memory of where they saved it to thirty seconds ago, am I imbued with precognitive forces because I can find it? Am I some kind of egg headed boffin because I try to redownload the file and see where the "Save to" dialog was last pointed? Hell no.

To tell you the complete truth, I'm not even sure that all this is because I'm smart! I have the sneaking suspicion that it's because everyone else is so fucking dumb.




Comments

NAME: foo
Saturday, June 5th, 2004 @ 08:42 am
Generally, six beers is about my average for getting a good slur on.

BTW: Tonight Liquidrone is playing at One Eyed Jack's. Theyre freaking awesome and all of you shut-ins should come out.


NAME: shit
Saturday, June 5th, 2004 @ 03:21 am
six harps and i'm feeling realy nice. two blue moons, one harp, four bass and a rum and coke and i'm more then nice.


NAME: girlygirl
Friday, June 4th, 2004 @ 08:49 pm
homebrewed or turbo dog?


homebrewed: sometimes only 2 or 3

turbo d: couple of 6 packs...to be "wasted"
one 6 pack to get a nice buzz


NAME: shit
Friday, June 4th, 2004 @ 02:05 am
how many beers does it take you to get wasted?


NAME: ian
Thursday, June 3rd, 2004 @ 05:36 pm
w3rd to that.

because i offered to install a real browser on my boss's computer, i was suddenly asked a couple other questions because i was apparently "a computer guru".

no, i am simply a little comfortable with a computer.


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