Originally Posted by nogle
Perhaps this is why I am not a computer service person. My response to those users would be along the lines of "You are too stupid to use a computer. Put it back in the box and never touch it again."
But if those people are supremely good at something else, and the computer is a mere tool for them, then it is not such a straight forward situation. My current set of users are mostly like this - incredibly good at what they do, highly intelligent people, but they have no interest in knowing the finer points of *how* our system works, or whether the widget set has a rather intermittent issue. The system is a tool they use, if it doesn't work, we need to fix it.
Rather than them being too stupid to use it, maybe it is a case of use being too stupid to keep it working. If something goes wrong with my systems, then I deserve a kicking, our users probably can't do anything to deflate the team, because we will know at that point that we have screwed up, and we will be gutted by it - we expect our users to not be positive, we failed them.
When my shower breaks I am not really very good at fixing it - I can tell a plumber that water doesn't come out when I turn the tap, that it stopped while I was away for the weekend, and that the rest of the taps work. That is about all I can say to help, and I suspect my shower is a lot more straightforward than even a fairly basic software system.
It is my plumbers job to fix my shower, I can try to help, but most of the time s/he'll just want me to get lost. It is my job to keep my users tools running. It is any system providers job to provide useable tools that do what they should.