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comment by Foveaux
Foveaux  ·  81 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: WSJ's Monday Morning #nottheonion 2fer

    The phrase we use around the office is "tyrannosaurus arms"

I'm stealing that. I can picture it, it's perfect and I'm stealing it. Actually, we've traded words before. Literally. I do use 'shitcamel' when the need arises.

I really have to agree with what you're describing. I can make the printers work in the office. I can make the printers work in other offices. Converting to pdf, yep. Formatting a pdf.. Actually anything with fucking Adobe seems to be wizardry to a lot of my colleagues. My very smart, medically qualified colleagues. I showed someone how to use a pivot table in excel and I think she sees me as some basement dwelling, DnD playing ubernerd. Which is only half true.

There was one moment that will always stand out. I had just helped shift an entire department from one area on campus to another. Took me like 2 weeks of overtime, because I was doing my usual job, on top of getting them from A to B (it was my office too, but they're academics and are honestly just too busy to help). So during this time, I had arranged the moving company, received and created the several hundred boxes that the academics would use to shift their items, arranged for phone and internet ports to be shifted/activated/deactivated as needed, setup the dreaded printers in the new area, and altered the signage and website so people knew where the fuck we were now.. This is just to paint a picture of my mental state at the time of this specific memory.

I had turned up early, to help cart everything into each respective office. I had a map of the new digs, so I knew who was going where, and I had labelled the boxes so myself and the moving company knew what rooms needed which items. All going smoothly. About four hours into this, I'm a sweaty but accomplished mess. Cue, our academic and palliative care specialist. A practicing Dr when she isn't teaching or researching. Very bright, very driven. I hear her rootling around in her office, and her voice echoes down the hallway. She's a rare American on our staff, so her voice is distinct. She also shortens my name from five letters to three, so it's even more distinct. She calls out. I trudge into her office, probably trailing an extension cord and an errant HMDI cable:

Her: "Hey my computer won't turn on. I thought you set everything up before we got in?"

Me: "I sure did. Might have forgotten something though, I've done this office and the other 20."

Her: "Oh man that's some work. Can you have a look for me?"

She stands from her computer and offers me her seat. I don't take it. I know what the problem is. I press the power button on her desktop. It whirrs to life and her screens light up. She hasn't noticed what I've done, only that things are working.

Her: "Oh amazing! Thank you!"

Me (already halfway out the door): "No worries!"

Again, she's super bright. Has a wealth of life and professional experience to call on. But she didn't think to try turning the fucking thing on before calling for me. I'm 100% enabling them, I know it. But being the 'IT guy' without being in IT does have its perks. IT love me because I keep tickets from being logged in my areas, fixing the problem before it reaches their overwhelming task list. As a result, when I have a genuine IT problem and raise a ticket, I get priority. Same day response when 3 days is the norm.

Still, tyrannosaurus arms indeed.

kleinbl00  ·  81 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is me, rediscovering the word "munter".

You clearly have a lot of respect for your workgroup. You clearly recognize them as bright. And I think you know cold that if you were sick that day, Dr. American would stare at her computer for a minute, put on her analytical IT cap, turn the fucker on, roll her eyes at herself and save the anecdote for when you got back because you'd appreciate it.

A lot of how we get along in life is doing the stuff we're better at so our friends can do the stuff they're better at. I don't want to know what my staff's toilet plunging adventures would look like if my wife wasn't there. There would probably have been some internet searches. There would probably have been some clean-up. I don't think there would have been a plumber, and I'm happy to not know for certain.

I have a friend. She's married to a contractor. Her daughter is a sophomore in student housing. And she told me of eight college-aged girls who were pooping and peeing down the street at the gym because one of them clogged the toilet on a Wednesday and student services couldn't get to it before Tuesday. Eight of 'em. Didn't even think to look it up. At least one of them is the daughter of an electrical contractor, who works with his hands all day, who was a phone call away. They found out about this because they were visiting. "Dad, how do I not have to pee down the street" simply didn't occur to their daughter for whatever reason.

I think there's a big difference between "leaning on someone else's expertise" and being fucking helpless. I mean, my wife is intimidated by the procedure to turn on the television. My daughter is not. My wife successfully installed and configured a 5.1 system before I met her so if she's got instructions she can do anything while my daughter knows what to pantomime to accomplish her goals and has the curiosity to solve problems impeding her progress.

It's that curiosity that counts. The people who have it will run things and the people who don't will be vaguely afraid and frustrated by 90% of the things in their life. I think it's always been that way but I think the level of complexity we encounter these days blunts parents from fostering the curiosity.

My daughter is in "cooking class" at school. We paid $350 for ten hour-long lessons. Yesterday? Nachos. The day before that? She selected, made a shopping list for, assembled all equipment necessary to and cooked, under supervision, a gluten-free white chocolate confetti cake with buttercream frosting for her mom's birthday.

I am glad that my daughter is growing up with people who will at least be able to make fucking nachos, and extremely glad that she's just as irritated by this class as I am.