You're Giving Me Chest Pains

It's a unique place to work, to say the least.

I'm surrounded by doctors, nurses and secretaries possessing a whole range of personalities and educational levels. And each one seeks me out when they have some sort of "technical" crisis with any piece of electronic equipment. Computer or not.

Apparently unbeknownst to me, the first page in our Policies and Procedures Manual reads:

"If you plug it in and it doesn't work, immediately call Maureen, our Computer Applications Specialist. Ensure the use of your best frantic tone to fully communicate it is a life or death situation. Especially when it clearly is not."

What amazes me the most are the calls from the Cardiologists and Surgeons... you know; those incredible individuals who have successfully completed decades of intense schooling so they can literally open people up and repair their hearts. Without gagging.

Yet the simplest of tasks befuddles them.

"Arrrrgggghhhhhh!!!! My printer suddenly stopped working!!!!"

Yes. I can see that. After careful analysis (ie. at first glance), I can confidently concur it may have something to do with that huge wad of paper jammed, accordion-style, inside. You know, that white stuff you obviously tried unsuccessfully, may I add, to remove since the edge has been torn and shredded, with pieces of it strewn, blizzard-like all over your desk.

"GAHHH!!!!! The AV projector won't display my PowerPoint presentation!!!!!"

You might try actually turning ON the computer. Even with the incredible advances in technology, the projector still can't read your mind, or your memory stick, without power.

At times I even have to resort to standing right behind them to watch exactly what they are doing. Take for example, the many, many times unexpected errors occur and I am summoned posthaste.

"Have you rebooted lately?" I always ask.

"Of course I have! Just this morning... multiple times!" I always hear.

I never take their word for it any more. So I drop what I am doing, trudge to their office and ask them to please do it again while I watch.

And inevitably, they simply LOG OFF.

"No. Please re-boot. Shut down." I patiently ask once more.

"Oh! Okay."

They LOG OFF again.


"No, please go to 'Start'. Select 'Shut Down'. Select 'Shut Down' again from the drop down box and hit 'OK'. The computer will power right off so we can clear the memory and turn it on again."

"Oh! Oh I NEVER do that!"

Duh! Yeah, I can tell. Miraculously, their programs work and all is right with the world once more.

* Sob. *

Well, at least I can rest easy knowing that WHEN I drop of a massive stress-induced MI, there are trained personnel close at hand to save me.

Unless someone forgets to turn on the damn defibrillator that is.

34 People would rather be commenting:

JoJo said...

It used to go up my ass a mile when my Harvard Law educated boss would come to me with problems w/ the copy machine and the fax machine. "Joanne, can you help me? The copier is flashing at me".

That's b/c it's out of paper. I'd show him time and time again how to do it, but he just never could figure it out.

Heather said...

I love it! A little over a year ago, I transferred from engineering to our I.T. department. I offer support for a specific software, but I do take help desk calls now and then. It's amazing what some of the people need... LOL

Kathy said...

If I didn't need my job, I could and would blog every single day about something dumb that I'm asked to fix. I feel your pain. Often.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhhhhh - so THAT'S what rebooting is. Okay, got it now!

Maureen said...

Jo-Jo: Amazing, isn't it? I used to think they did it as some kind of ego thing, that they could really do these things, but now I am convinced that no, no they can't.

Heather: Gad. I think I would shoot myself if I ever had to work our Help Desk. It would be like my job a million times over.

Kathy: Oh yeah. I'll bet you have some doozies... you need to get an anonymous blog so we can all laugh at them.

Pinklea: Glad I could help! ;)

JD at I Do Things said...

I wish Junk Drawer Kathy could start an anonymous blog too. These stories are awesome.

Um, can you e-mail me the names of these stupid doctors? If I'm ever in your neck of the woods and need medical attention, I'd like to avoid them.

NH Yocal said... true is that! I love it when people totally forget how to use their brains! It's always so complicated for some reason when it comes to fax machines, printers, did we ever figure out how to use a coffee machine or can opener?

Bruce Johnson said...

Change the office setting and this could be my job right down to the inflections and frustration.

It appears that in the 'tech' world, each office finds out their 'tech' person (regardless of actual job description) and will repeatedly use them as a resource to accomplish their work, even though THEIR job description should encompass how to sort an Excel spreadsheet or set up a PowerPoint projector.

I think it is a safe assumption that none of these people blog either....lets not even worry about them figuring out Facebook or Twitter.

Babs-beetle said...

Ha ha! Maybe they thought they were running macs ;O) I never turn mine off and only reboot about once a month, when it starts getting a bit sluggish. BUT... even though I'm a Mac person, my family and friends, with Windows, still ask me how to do stuff. Us, more techie people must expect these things, I suppose ;O)

jay said...

Ah, yes, well, you see ... people with high IQs aren't necessarily endowed with common sense, and those proficient in one area of expertise (I might say 'those especially proficient in one small area of expertise') almost always show a serious lack in another.

I see this particularly well in my sons. One is a computer geek, but lacking in street wisdom and really not that intuitive with animals, the other is not academic, but learns anything musical by osmosis and is brilliantly intuitive with animals and really very streetwise. He's lived in rough areas and never got himself into trouble, which to me is quite amazing for a well built six-foot young man.

Swubird said...


Very funny. When I was working we had this guy who was a secretary/unofficial emergency computer response guy. In other words, he didn't work for IT, but we could call him in a jam and not have to go through all the red tape. He used to ask how come when he tried to repeat my problems, the computer always worked perfectly? I dunno.

Happy trails.

david mcmahon said...

Love it. I came here from Jo Beaufoix's blog.

Anonymous said...

Good heavens... you mean to say that machines DON'T run on magic? Well, this completely overturns my whole worldview! Someone revive me! STAT! :p

Beeker said...

I get hit up will all the family's IT questions. I can't imagine doing that at work as well.

Ed & Jeanne said...

I can lead a horse to water...but it's a criminal offense to drown them when they're too dumb to drink...

Maureen said...

JD: Sure, I'll send you the names... but let's just cut to the chase. ALL of them are like this.

Melinda: Really! I guess they've always had someone else do the "menial" work for them. And always will, I'll wager.

Bruce: Wow, you it the nail on the head. That is EXACTLy what happens. When they figure out it is easier for them to call someone else, they don't even bother trying to learn anymore.

Babs: Oh yes. We have to use PCs at the hospital, but it doesn't stop the docs from bringing in their Macs from home for me to diagnose problems... I always tell them they'll have to buy me one so I can learn it properly. So far no luck, tho... crap.

Jay: How true! Maybe it's a right-brain left-brain thing??? Why can't we all possess book smart and street smart at the same time? Oh, yeah. Silly me. We're human.

Swubird: Oh that happens more times than not when I go investigate. Just today someone couldn't get thier USB stick to work. I come to their desk, and Poof! It works... and they always ask "how the heck do you DO that?". "Well, I probably have more patience", is what I want to say, but I just smile and go back to my own work.

Hi David! (Waves to the Man From Down Under). Welcome and thanks!

Tony: Ahahahaha! I love it when someone says "STAT!". You know we NEVER do that in real life... Hey! Another Man From Down Under! Woot!!!

Beeker: Oh yes. I am also the family resource as well. It is quite fun to spend hours on the phone, mentally picturing screens and options whilst communicating instructions to someone not familiar with computers....(end sarcasm here).

VE: Har! And Rats! A criminal offense, eh????? Too bad.

Barry said...

I would find this funny if I hadn't been guilty of some of this.

Now I'm just embarrassed.

lime said...

such a comforting thought, no? breathe deeply....

and congrats on POTD

Unknown said...

LOL, but doesn't surprise me. I learned a long time ago that doctors may know tons about their specific field, but very little about anything else that goes on in the world!

A Mac, sigh!! I miss my Mac and absolutely hate any and all PCs!!

Congrats on POTD Contender!!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Heh heh heh, that's very scary. Brilliant post Miss Maureen. NOw I need to go back and read some more as I've missed a few. Mwah.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Maybe you should just pull the main hospital breaker switch every now and then and do a building-wide reboot. That ought to clear everything up.

Somehow I couldn't get past your last comment, "...when I drop of a massive stress-induced MI..." That doesn't have anything to do with the bathroom does it?

Cheffie-Mom said...

Hi, I'm over from David's authorblog. Congrats on the Post of the Day Award! Great post!

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I'm one of those who's rather clueless when it comes to technology! It just doesn't sink in at all. I do try but often realise that my brain just isn't geared up for understanding the workings of things technical. Congrats on David's potd nomination.

CJ xx

Anonymous said...

Oh no, this is me who would be asking for help. I drive my own family crazy!

Anonymous said...

PS Here from POTD

Maureen said...

Barry: Aw, don't be embarassed. You're in the majority, remember ;)

Lime: Ha, yeah... deep breaths. And thanks for the congrats! Isn't David sweet?

Thanks so much, Jane, and welcome! Yes, one day I wish Macs would come down in price so I can get one too. But they'll never replace the systems at work.

Mwah back atcha Jo! Congrats to you too!!

Oh Jeff... you and your bathroom humour. No it's short for myocardial infarction. And I think those chest pains are starting up again... ;)

Hi Cheffie-Mom! Welcome and thank you!

Crystal-Jigsaw: Aw, thank you! I guess we are all wired differently... but what amazes me is how the heck these people can learn the most intricate workings of the human body, but cannot figure out how to turn on a computer.

The Things We Carry: I think every family, as well as every office has it's very own Resident Geek. Good thing I guess!

Janet said...

A certain husband I know is the same way, although not so much with technology but with everything else in life. It's shocking, really. I call him the absent-minded professor.

From the Old InkWell said...

So true...same story in every office just different people.

Congrats on David's POTD. I wouldn't have discovered you otherwise.

Maureen said...

Janet: Ha! I am married to an absent-minded professor too! But I think it's a ruse to get out of work most of the time.

Marsha: Welcome and thank you! And you are right; there is an IT Geek in every office. Now all we need is a special day too; a few weeks ago it was Secretaries' Week. This week it is Nurses' Week. When the heck are they going to start "IT Geek Week"???? It's long overdue.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

This must be how our tech guy feels. I'm pretty sure he curses me as he walks away from my desk. . . several times a day. that and says "MORON." under his breath. Some days he doesn't even hide it.

I have moved you to my favorites in my reader. I'm not sure why you weren't there before. You are seriously funny and a delight to read. No, I'm not kissing ass. I just like your blog. Truly! :-) I do! I'm only kissing ass if you are really, really rich and can give me money!

April said...

I have a friend who works IT in a business masters program. He has about as much fun as you do!
Thanks for blog hopping!

Our Crooked Tree said...

Oh I feel your pain. I used to work for a large computer company that used cow spots in their ads...the calls I would get! I am pointing and clicking (like a remote control) and nothing is happening on the screen! Crikey! Box it up ans send it back folks.

Blog hoppin!

Maureen said...

Aw, Lisa, you're making me blush. I may not have money, but you do win my "First reader to notice my new/improved bloggy graphics!" Which is even MORE valuable than money.


Okay, maybe not, but thank you anyway.

Hi April! Thanks for Blog Hopping back! It's great fun!

Our Crooked Tree: Hmmmm... now let me think... cow patterned PCs... oh yeah.... GW. I wish *I* could ask my "customers" to pack up their PCs. For good.

Cupcake Blonde said...

Have I told you lately that I really love the look of your blog. So fabulous!

I wish I could blog about my job. Oh the content I have. But you sound way more competent than the IT people I normally have to deal with.

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