Teaching a novice about the intricacies of computers can be perplexing. What is one of the easiest tasks to you (or even something you do on a regular basis) can be an uphill struggle for someone else. And what’s frustrating is how to properly articulate how things work and what you should do to someone who barely doesn’t have the faintest of knowledge about how to use a computer.
Not to mention how I have the patience of about ten raging buffaloes.
Here are some snippets of the conversation.
On missing email:
“Eh, why this person keeps sending me the email I asked for but I cannot receive ah? Something is wrong, I need to buy a new computer, you know?”
“Maybe it went into your spam,” says I.
“What is a ‘spam’? How do I see whether the email went into my spam?”
“You see that link called ‘spam’ on the left hand side when you check your inbox? Click it.”
Silence for a few seconds.
“How come it’s like that, ah? I think I need to get a new computer already.”
“It’s nothing to do with the computer. That’s how email works.”
(Note: She is using web-based Gmail, by the way. And guess who signed up for the account for her. -.-)
Well, one thing for sure – she doesn’t need to know about how I muttered “it’s something to do with the user” under my breath, well out of her auditory range.
“Eh, Brenda ah. Tonight, I need you to help me install my thumbdrive, okay?”
“You don’t need to install a thumbdrive. Just plug it in and you can use it already,” says I.
Silence again, for a few seconds.
“Then how do I know how to plug in the thumb drive ah? Where do I plug it in?”
“Have you done a jigsaw puzzle before?” I asked.
“It’s the same thing. Just try plugging the thumbdrive into all the holes. If it doesn’t fit, then it doesn’t fit. And if it does, you’ve got the correct one.”
I don’t believe in spoon-feeding. Best is to let the person learn through trial and error, I always say. And I have too little patience to be her teacher, or a teacher to anyone, for that matter.