As someone who works in IT and considers himself fairly knowledgeable, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been called on to help with a “little” computer problem. Friends, family and complete strangers want and expect an immediate, successful fix for whatever they’ve done or our trying to do to their computer. Just last night, while trying to enjoy an after-work beverage, the owner of our local watering hole asked me to determine why the bar’s internet connection was going up and down. I proceeded to hunt through a maze of cables and a collection of cheap little switches that would take a Sherpa guide and a sharp machete to untangle. My answer that it was time for him to clean things up and get a “business class” networking system installed was, of course, ignored.
My mother was especially good at calling me, almost in tears, because “something” was on her screen that shouldn’t be or that she couldn’t get “something” to happen.
At the risk of losing my wizard status, this flowchart neatly outlines the complicated process all us techies go through when we try to give you a hand. From the folks at XKCD.
(click the picture to see it bigger)