Resident Amateur Expert

Funny story. When I was in college I worked in the Business Computer Lab. The funny thing is, I knew next to nothing about computers. I could flip the switch on or off and put paper in the printers. That was pretty much my skill set. Just about everyone else working there was getting some sort of degree in the computer field. They’d had several computer classes under their belts before getting a job in the computer lab, which makes sense. I had zero computer classes. I was a history major; which meant I could find my way around a word processor fairly well whenever I had to write a paper. Ask me about a spreadsheet or anything else and my eyes would cross. I was newly married at the time to the computer lab manager. Hence, how I got the job in the first place.

Flash forward to the present day. I work in a library. On occasion someone will have a problem with one of our library’s computers, or they might come in with a question about their personal eReader tablets. I have become the unofficial computer go-to person whenever this happens. When my boss asks me to help someone with a computing problem I still have flashbacks to when I worked in the Business Computer Lab. A knot begins to form in my stomach as I approach the person. Will I be able to help them?

I’ve picked up a few more computer skills over the years, so yes, I usually figure out whatever they are having trouble with. Nevertheless, I usually have to resort to the old trial and error method. “Let’s try this. Nope, that didn’t work. Let’s see, how about this? No, that didn’t work either. Oh, I know. There we go! You’re welcome!”

In most cases they could have figured it out on their own, but like I used to do, their minds shut down at the first sign of trouble. I learned a long time ago that if you push past that and just keep trying, you’ll usually figure it out. If not, go ask a librarian. It’ll keep them on their toes!

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