Sped, Inc. was a pretty small company. We only had two people on our IT staff to service several hundred employees, but the two of us were true geeks, so we often tried to engineer solutions that, frankly, were totally unappreciated by the frontline staff. One of my prouder accomplishments was creating “dashboards” for the employees. Since most of their work involved web apps, I created a basic web page for each of their departments, with links directly to all their tools. I set it to be the home page of their browser, then locked out the ability to change the home page. This way, there was never a complaint of “I can’t find this!”
Some employees liked it, most had a “Sure, whatever.” reaction, which to me was a strong success story given our audience. One lady flipped her shit. She sat down at her desk the morning after I changed her browser, and hurried to get me.
“I CAN’T GET ON THE INTERNET!!!”
She pulled me out of my office and showed me her computer, in a panic. I proceed to open up Firefox and the dashboard comes up just as expected.
“Sure you can.”
“Well… this is all that comes up!”
“…and it’s on the internet. So if that’s coming up, you’re online.”
“That’s not what used to be there.”
“Nope. That’s our new department homepage. It has all your tools on it, see?”
“So that’s all I can get?”
“You can get whatever you want. Just type in the address of whatever page you want to go to, and you’ll be fine.” I then realize she’s one of THOSE people… the ones that don’t know what the address bar is or what it does. If she can’t navigate there with a mouse, she has no idea it exists. Of course, she’s an administrative assistant, a job that should require at least adequate internet skills, but of course, we live in a world where actually knowing how to do your job is unimportant.
What she’s trying very hard NOT to tell me, is that her REAL problem is that she can’t get to her favorite celebrity gossip page this way. That’s how she spends 90% of her time at work, and I’ve just made it slightly inconvenient for her.
After I’ve shown her that she’s online, and told her she can go anywhere, her brilliant conclusion is “…So, you’re telling me I can’t get on the internet.”
“No, I’m telling you you CAN get on the internet, and you’re on the internet right now.”
She sits down in her chair “Don’t know what I’m supposed to do my job if I can’t get on the internet…”