A Rant to Those Who Claim They "Don't Know How"...
One of the things that gets under my skin quite often is when people ask me to do something for them with the “I don’t know how” excuse. It’s not that they don’t know how, it’s that they don’t want to take the time to learn how to do it! Now if it’s part of my job that’s one thing, I love being the go-to person when a problem needs to be solved, but when it’s not my job and people try to pass things over to me because it will take too much “effort” (when it really doesn’t) for them to do it then naturally I’m going to get irritated.
“Ask Michelle, she knows how to do almost anything.”
Noooo…. Sometimes I DON’T know how to do something when you ask, I’ll just teach myself making it look like I already knew how to do it.
The reason why I know how to do “techy” things or even non-techy things is because I had to teach myself to do those things since no one was around to do them for me. I learned how to change a tire when I was 17 (in the rain nonetheless). Why? Because I got a flat on an empty highway with no one to change it for me. So what did I do? I got out my owners manual and followed the instructions on how to change a flat tire! Rocket science hardly. Did I get pissed off and curse at a lug nut that didn’t want to loosen? You bet! But I was determined to loosen it and eventually succeeded.
Person: Michelle, do you know how to create a pivot table in Excel?
Me: No, but I can learn how.
Person: Would you do it for me? I’m no good at these things.
Me: Do you know why you’re no good at them?
Me: Because you don’t even TRY to do them!
Person: But I can’t even find the option to create a pivot table.
me: Can you find Google?
Person: Yes of course!
Me: Problem solved.
I don’t mind helping people out as long as they make some effort to pay attention to what I’m doing so they can see the process really isn’t as difficult as they think (and maybe, just maybe they'll try it on their own next time).
Yes I understand that some people are afraid they will screw things up in the process of trying to figure it out, but trial and error is a very good way to learn things.
A few months ago I bought a new radio for my car. I had two choices with regards to getting it installed, I could have made an appointment to have it installed for free but waited for who knows how long till it got done or I could try to install it myself. Actually I knew when I bought it I wasn't going to wait, I’m too impatient when it comes to buying new toys that I want to use right away. Installing a car radio was a lot more difficult than I anticipated. I had to run back to the store a couple times and buy additional parts/tools. Putting in the dash kit had me cursing like a trucker, it didn’t fit right even though it was supposed to be a “universal” kit my make and model was listed under. Pfft! Nothing’s universal! Nothing! Anyway, when it came time to installing the stereo and matching up the wires I realized the instructions that came with the new stereo did not match my cars wiring system. So I had to do a Google search to locate the correct wiring diagram, and went back to follow the new instructions. It worked. Well sort of… Somewhere along the line I miswired the memory lead so the stations wouldn't program and every time I shut off the engine and restarted I’d lose all the presets. Yes I screwed up and was frustrated because it was very difficult to get the dash kit in and knew I would have to start all over again due to one stupid wire! My mistake didn’t cost me additional money it cost me additional time but I learned a few good lessons with my mistake so my self taught effort was worth it.
If you’re one of the types of people I described above and rather give a task to someone else because you don’t know how to do it, STOP IT! Try first. If you find it’s too complex to learn THEN ask for help but also pay attention and take notes if you’re around when they do it for you.