I abandoned all of my seemingly witty shirts a while ago, but I’m starting to think I need to pick this one up. At the very least, the mug perhaps. It’s not because I don’t want to help people, hell my tech career started in support. It’s because the problems that people tend to bring to me are quite obscure and generally involved platforms and software that I’m either not familiar with or have never even heard of ever.
For some reason there’s this idea that non-tech people get in their head that their tech friends know everything there is about everything technology related. Oh and because the problem they are bringing you is related to your industry, you should thank them for the opportunity to “do what you love”. Oh yeah, and you get to do it in your downtime and for free!
Yes, as I matter of fact I love technology. I really enjoy web development and building scalable systems. What I don’t love is Windows, so I can’t help you there. I also probably don’t have any working knowledge with the niche software that you use at your job. That is, unless I built it ;) Oh and no, I don’t think it’s a good idea for you and me to go into business together with your idea that you haven’t thought through yet. Don’t get me started being asked about VCRs. Yes, VCRs.
My own snarkiness aside, the bigger problem here for me is that no one ever seems to value the time or expertise they are requesting. Geek Squad isn’t free and me and your other tech friends are probably significantly more experienced than them. Our time is valuable. Think about that the next time you’re asking for a favor that could realistically end up eating up a few hours of your buddy’s life. Offer to buy them a coffee or a round at the pub. Don’t just make the offer, follow through with it too!