One of the downsides of knowing something is that you often feel the burden to do something about a situation you know you can help with. I walk into a store and the clerk behind the counter is trying to get a payment from a woman. The woman gives him her information three times, so its clear it’s not a problem with the lady but with the computer.

I interject myself into this situation when he says that the cash register/computer terminal says it is “disconnected from server”. I suggest he reboot the terminal. He does that and it solves the issue. The lady is thrilled and she pays and leaves. I get my food and he gives me a cookie as a thank you.

So one of the neat things about knowing things is that you can help solve what would have been a very difficult situation. The lady didn’t have cash, and the clerk was clearly not capable of thinking of this solution on himself. Since it was a Sunday, it was unlikely that he had tech support, and even if you get an IT person, it doesn’t mean that know what they are doing. It is frustrating when you have some knowledge to have to deal with someone in your profession who doesn’t seem to have the same experience/background.

The best part of this was that this situation was fixed quickly. There are always going to be problems, but the first thing that someone should do when faced with a weird computer problem is to reboot the system. One day the system will detect these problems and reboot itself, but until that happens, that is always the #1 solution people. It is funny. People need to take breaks, naps and rest. Yet they think that technology doesn’t need it. Technology seems to need the same things that humans do. It needs to rest, be in a comfortable temperature, and not be abused. If you do this, then 90% things should work fine. If not, then motivate the IT guy with a sandwich.

See also  Touching documentary: Living on One Dollar