Author Topic: The Thin Line Between Helpful and Patronising  (Read 3234 times)

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Tea Drinker

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Re: The Thin Line Between Helpful and Patronising
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2013, 04:49:38 PM »
A few months ago there was an election held where I live.
When I went to the table to collect my ballot papers, the person handing them out and checking names
ran through the WHOLE "how to vote" thing, including what box to put each ballot paper in.
She wouldn't hand over the papers until she had finished explaining it all to me.

A lot of places in the U.S. are giving fairly detailed instructions on the theory that the voter may never have used the system before.

Sometimes that's true. I never miss an election, but I have learned two new voting systems in the last two years, first when New York finally gave up the old lever voting machines, and then when I moved to Washington (elections here are entirely by mail, and I need to fill in spaces for candidates and then sign the ballot envelope, and the ink color matters).

So yes, getting "here is how to use this machine" for the 30th time was a bit tedious, but I also knew that at every election there were going to be people who had never voted at all, or had never voted with that system. Though some of the people at our voting place in New York were pretty good about either "yes, I know that" or "excuse me, sir, how does this work?" (the instructions are currently posted in six languages, but some people would rather be told than read a sign).
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

Yvaine

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Re: The Thin Line Between Helpful and Patronising
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2013, 04:54:15 PM »
I'm now thinking of the self-checkout simulated voice lady.

Please scan your first item and place it in the bag. Please place the item in the bag. Please scan your next item and place it in the bag...

magicdomino

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Re: The Thin Line Between Helpful and Patronising
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2013, 05:10:04 PM »
I suspect they have had other employees and temps who were technology-challenged.

Mrs. Tilney

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Re: The Thin Line Between Helpful and Patronising
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2013, 05:34:25 PM »
I agree that there's a good possibility that she's had to work with temps or other employees who don't have knowledge about attachments, etc. I can't explain away the traffic lights, but having gone through a series of temps myself this year, I realized that I kept assuming too much knowledge when it came to certain things. And that just because I provided directions to the correct folder in our network once didn't mean that I didn't have to keep providing the same information day after day. Stuff like that.

hobish

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Re: The Thin Line Between Helpful and Patronising
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2013, 06:05:35 PM »
"Carol, you must have had some doozies of admin's before this if you have to train them on how a traffic light works.  I can assure you that I have <credentials>...but I also know what I don't know so I promise you I will ask when I am having an issue. Sound fair?"

I like this a lot.

From my own experience, when I had someone training like that (seriously, I had worked at the company for 6 years Ė I knew our fax number) I told her I didnít need a babysitter  :-[   She was doing things that way out of very well founded fears that if she didnít teach me how to do everything exactly right it would reflect badly on her. Years later I am still embarrassed. Iím sure that had to hurt me somehow, because not only is she super cool and smart, she is also the best at what we do and I have to work with her every day. I could have had a great ally, and screwed it up due to lack of patience.
TL,DR - My advice - try to be patient, even though it is super frustrating.
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

siamesecat2965

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Re: The Thin Line Between Helpful and Patronising
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2013, 09:50:01 AM »
I suspect they have had other employees and temps who were technology-challenged.

Yes. like the one I have now. She hadn't worked in 7-8 years, so our version of Office was newer, but....when you can't figure out even the most simple things, its clear you didn't have a good grasp back then either!