Tuesday, August 26, 2008

40 ≠ 20

Cube farm!

The office I work for has a range of employees with various ages and, I suspect, educational and social backgrounds. I doubt anyone has extensive education or else they wouldn't be working a job that requires two weeks or training with no prior experience. Most I believe are either college students or recent college graduates trying to gain work experience. The managers or "team leaders" - which is just business lingo for 'manager' - might actually have more educational background; most of them are pretty good guys and seem to be pretty on the ball. I don't think any of them consider this a career thought.

They look like her.

There's also a few girls here who could easily be models. I'm not kidding; I get distracted whenever they walk by office.

Then there's the older generation. The >40-year-old guys who are working here because, well, I don't know why. I guess this was an open job and they needed one.

While most of the employees here are ok in regards to technology and computers, the older generation seems impaire
d. There's one guy here who's convinced that since I'm IT I must fix every single issue he's got in regards to anything, up to and including the students he works with [working with students is not my job; we have a student help desk for that]. This is the same guy who once asked me why his computer was running slowly and when I went to take a look he had 27 Internet Explorer windows open, 16 Outlook e-mails in progress, 13 Microsoft Word documents, 11 Excel spreadsheets, 7 Windows Explorer windows, and Windows Media player all open.

Not C++

Another of these gentlemen noticed my screensaver - the Matrix code - on one of my work computers and asked, "Is that a screensaver or are you actually coding something?"

Being the jackass that I am, I nonchalantly replied, "I'm compiling something I wrote earlier."

"Wow, I didn't know code actually looked like that." And he kept on walking past my office. I was shocked; I thought he knew I was joking.

While I understand the employees here are being friendly, my history in IT has taught me that you can never be too cautious when dealing with people who depend on you for technical support. Most often their friendliness is so that they can simply ask you a question regarding their home PC and thus gain free IT support without having to pay the Geeksquad $45 or they want you to get them a copy of Windows Vista for free. I imagine this is what it feels like to be a hot girl; always cautious that the only reason people are friendly is because they want to date you. I feel like I should send all the hot girls I've been friends with in the last decade an apology for doing this to them. It's not fun.

See? Awkward.

What this leads into is how the older generation of men here treat me. Some are nice guys and introduced themselves and that's that. Others feel the need to "connect" with me on "my level" - they try to fist bump me.

It's awkward.

I admit, I am guilty of fist bumping my friends on occasion. There are even the extremely rare occasions where I'll do a 'Wonder Twins' twist afterwards. It's not something I'm proud of, but there are times when I feel the moment calls for it.

Meeting someone half your age whom you need to go for help setting up your e-mail is not one of those moments.

It's my job to help them with technical issues. I understand that and I'm more than willing to do so. It's my job, it's why this company pays me. But please, to all who read this who are over 40, I beseech you, don't fist bump your IT guys. We're socially awkward creatures and being fist bumped by someone who could easily be our own father is too much for our fragile social abilities.

Plus most of us don't like touching things that aren't curvy and/or electronic.

This has been a PSA for August 26th on behalf of IT employees everywhere.

Now you know.

1 comment:

--jeff * said...

1. agism is can be a serious problem in the modern office space. think of things from their angle.

2. i like the "coding" experience.

3. i've never actually trusted hot girls for the same reason: i'm afraid they're using their looks to get something from me and will drop me as soon as their objective is competed.

4. good post.