The home office has no IT team: how to cope?

The home office has no IT team. At some point, that's an issue for everyone with a home office.

I use the waffly, kerfuffly gobbledegook cliche issue instead of problem, because it needn't be a problem. It's just part of the price we pay for the luxury of working at home.

If I wanted an IT team at my beck and call, I would work in a government department. Then I could say, "Hey Reuben, tell me what I'm doing wrong!" Problem solved.

Home office IT crisis case study

Recently a friend squealed because her new MacBook didn't have Adobe Flash Player, which she needed for our online courses. No amount of tech support helped. Eventually I rang a Mac-friend in the same rural area; she sat down at the naughty MacBook Pro and did the download in 2 minutes.

Weeks later, my friend was still cursing the universe in general and Adobe in particular. Most of all she kicked herself for not knowing something that now seems blindingly obvious.

Enter the model IT ignoramus

I'm having a similar IT moment right this minute. I blush to admit this, but some glitch prevents me from using my brand new iPad. I mean, how can that be—even a bumblebee can use an iPad! Miraz will come and sort out the glitch shortly. It will take her two minutes max.

But here's the difference. I am relaxed. Cheerful, even. Not cross with myself or Apple or the universe. A model ignoramus, in short. Because somewhere, somehow, I learned how to cope. Sh*t happens, get over it, moving on, and all that.

Approved procedures for painful but trivial IT glitches

  1. Search for a solution online.
  2. Have a coffee and try again.
  3. Eat chocolate and do not try again.
  4. Leave it: next week it may not matter any more.
  5. Still no joy? Get professional help.

Nowhere on this list of procedures are these instructions:

  • Persevere for hours and hours neglecting all other tasks and pleasures.
  • Beat yourself up because you are a stupid, stupid person.
  • Curse the universe for its well-known malice and stupidity.

We're trying to convince our friend that nobody (not even Geeks on Wheels) knows everything. So if her story rings a bell, give yourself a break! Successful communication depends on the communicator, not the receiver. If you can't figure something out, it is not your fault.


Dec 04, 2012 • Posted by Rachel McAlpine

Go straight to step 3 by all means!

Dec 06, 2012 • Posted by Mike Williams

Lol have chocolate and don’t try again. That is my favorite tip. Great post. IT issues at home can drive you to the fridge without hesitation.

Jan 15, 2013 • Posted by David

I tend to fix all my IT issues on my own but if it’s a doozy I find that having a coffee and then trying it again usually works out… However, I still eat the chocolate.

Dec 04, 2012 • Posted by Miraz Jordan

Thanks for the mention, Rachel. :-)

I have a friend who works in a Government Department, and I’m not sure she’d agree with: “Then I could say, “Hey Reuben, tell me what I’m doing wrong!” Problem solved.”

My friend is more likely to recite the problems the IT folk have created, such as “They turned on a firewall without telling us so we couldn’t do any work.”

I like option 3 best. Mmmm, chocolate.

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