I work at the computer labs on campus. It’s an easy job. I sit at a computer for my whole shift. I get up once every hour to count the number of people in the lab and enter it into a spreadsheet. I help people when their stuff doesn’t print. For this job, I was trained for many, many hours. I get the same type of people every shift. They all ask the same questions. I have compiled a list of the types of people I encounter at work.
Those who Copy — These people have an insatiable need to use a copier. Well, too bad, you picked the lab that doesn’t have a copier. I can direct you to one that does. Soon I plan to fashion a sign that directs patrons to a copier so I do not exhaust my voice-box giving directions.
Those who can’t navigate to the Scanners — The lab has three scanners. One in a teaching lab, and two at the end of a row a computers, clearly marked with a visible-to-all-those-except-the-blind sign. One works with a Mac, one with a PC. Most people who wish to scan simply cannot find the scanners. This isn’t Muppet Treasure Island, people! There is not secret treasure map that leads you to the Holy Grail of scanners! To fix this problem-of-the-blind, I am forced to literally walk each patron to said scanners. It is demeaning on both parts.
Those who own PC’s and are forced to sit at a Mac — Upon walking in, these people are about to have their mind blown. Sometimes I enjoy watching as they sit and oogle the pretty silver monitor and crisp, clean, white mouse as they wait to log-in. Then they realize that the Mac only takes mere seconds to log-in, as opposed to the eons it takes for the PCs. At least once a week I get an ignorant patron who comes up to the consultant desk complaining that Control + C, V, P, or Z doesn’t work.
Those who own Mac’s but are forced to sit at a PC — These people are just angry.
The Wanderers — These brain-dead folk wander around the lab during the busy rush-hour time (usually between classes in the early afternoon) when all the seats are taken. They’re on the hunt for an open computer, but this is a slow hunt for them. They walk slow, and they’re very absent-minded. Completely oblivious to the frustrated people stuck behind them, trying to get around their slow-moving feet.
The Scavengers — These lovely ladies and fellows are the real winners in life. They’re also on the hunt for an open computer, but they take a more drastic approach. They hover. They hover over a section of computers, or maybe even just one, waiting for it to be relinquished. This makes not only everyone in the row uncomfortable, but us consultants as well. What could possibly be so impertinent for you to print that you cannot wait in line like everyone else?! Is it a map to the scanners?!
The Persuaders — These are the only types of patrons that have the ability to annoy the consultants. Also the only type we deem necessary to get us out of our comfy chairs to come assist you. These patrons are convinced their problem is the biggest ever and that no one else has encountered it prior to that very moment. They are also determined to persuade the consultant to think the same. They use a lot of “I”, “Me” and “My” phrases. Such as, “My paper didn’t print.” and “I don’t know where my thing printed to.” They’re selfish and narrow-minded. They’re convinced that it wasn’t their 36523482 megabyte print job that is slowing down the printer processor, but the printer itself must be just “stupid and slow.”
The Blind — There are blind people at my campus. Seriously. So much so they could all audition for the new Reese Witherspoon and Stevie Wonder movie–Legally Blind. All of these blind people love the computer lab. They love to come in, print papers, and stroll up to the giant, electric stapler, hit it, slam it, & drop-kick it, and then wonder what went wrong. Completely ignoring the sign taped on and around the electric stapler reading:
OUT OF ORDER
As much as I love my job, it really tests my tolerance for stupid people. Each day I’m reminded that these sub-humans were accepted into the same college as I was…