Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Today's Tech Tip? Byte me.

First, the background. I work in an office with people who have varying degrees of technical competency. Some people move quickly and efficiently across applications, while others become catatonic if their computer monitor becomes unplugged. I presume it is like this in most non-tech offices. Some people are aces, some are dunces. As a courtesy, I began offering “tech tips” during our weekly staff meetings. Nothing too difficult, just simple things that would help people control their in-boxes, format documents and spreadsheets, etc. After presenting each tip, with hand-outs and other helpful information, I would remind people that they should come to me one-on-one if they had any further questions. Tech Tips are general help, but people might certainly have specific issues.

After a few weeks, though, I noticed that very few people ever came by my office with follow-up questions. In fact, I felt like I was wasting my time and everyone else’s with tips that no one is using. I made an announcement at the next staff meeting that the tips were on hold. It was my opinion that people were not using any of them, and that it might be better if people just came to me with a specific question as issues came up.

So I walk into a staff meeting this morning, and I hear from a co-worker that one of the people I have been helping one-on-one was overheard telling our boss that she didn’t know why I wasn’t presenting Tech Tips anymore, and that my unit was not busy at all and had plenty of time to do it.

WTF? It was all I could do to not walk down to the end of the table, during the meeting, and ever-so-professionally advise this person what she could do with her unsolicited and uninformed thoughts about my unit.

Why, oh why, am I not spending my weekends job-hunting on Hot Jobs or Monster?

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