OPERATOR ERROR

Have you dealt with someone recently and discovered they have absolutely NO computer common sense at all?  I’m not talking about your 60-year-old mother, I mean someone you consider a peer? I have. It’s surprising in this world of Facebook, Twitter, email, iPhones, and Blackberries, but it’s true – some people are just a little behind the curve. What I found really surprising was for that curve to involve email. Aren’t we all on the same page regarding email? Nothing tricky involved. No code writing. Just click (new), type, attach, click (send).

I received a call from an individual I emailed recently. They asked if I could resend an email (and attachment), but to not write anything in the body so they could “forward” without my comments. If I had sound effects at my desk you would have heard the screeching of tires. I was literally speechless. My mouth kept moving, but nothing came out. In my head, I tried and discarded many questions, all of which were potentially insulting. I finally stammered my way into asking if they didn’t want to just save the attachment to their own computer so they would 1) have it as a reference and 2) be able to attach it to as many emails as they liked. This elicited a response about how they “used to try to save attachments but could never find them again.” (No doubt saving to the mysterious default location, instead of selecting a nice logical file folder.)

Another disturbing request was made that I resend an email the recipient accidentally deleted. I gently suggested they search in their email trash (deleted items) folder for it, but was informed they never bothered to create a trash folder, therefore didn’t have one. I sighed heavily and gave up. So much for teaching self-sufficiency.

Yet another individual continues to fax revisions and mark ups, or worse yet, call and expect someone to take  dictation over the phone. It’s the 21st century people. Let’s all agree to take a basic computer course if such is needed, (it is) and stop pretending. No harm, no foul.

I’ll send you an Outlook appointment for a course. You just open it, click accept and…

Outlook is the name of your email system.

?

Microsoft Outlook.

?

No, it’s not the same as Microsoft Word.

?

Do you use the schedule? The calendar?

?

No. The one on the computer. In Outlook. There’s email and a calendar…

?

Nevermind. I’ll resend that email right away. Yes, blank.

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