I am not responsibile for providing your software.
I am not responsibile for providing your hardware.
I am not responsibile for providing your technical support.
I am not your fucking file server.
Y'all got that? Good. I'm about damn tired of folks telling me what I'm going to do for them. Just because I am good with computers and I can do the things you want/need, doesn't mean that I have to. I have absolutely no obligation to do any of this shit. Very few people kindly ask me if I'm busy, and if I'm not would I mind looking at their problem whenever I happen to have a little bit of free time. Hell no. Almost everyone tells me their problem uninvited. I'll be sitting at Taco Bell, or at a movie, or at a bookstore, or wherever else I may be, and folks start telling me their problems as if I cared. No one does that kind of thing to, say, and OB/GYN. (At least, I sure hope not.) Just us computer jockeys. And they not only interrupt whatever it is that I'm trying to do at the time, but basically tell me to fix it for them. Sometimes they even demand when and where to do it. Folks whom I rarely even talk to have the stones to tell ME that I'm coming over on Friday at seven o'clock to fix their computer or hook up their TV. Never once bother to think that I may have plans, or might want to take the night off after a rough week at the office. The blinking 12:00 on their VCR is far more important than that. =P
(And just in case anyone else was wondering, I'm a COMPUTER technician. Not a TV repairman. Not an electrician. I'm okay at all of that other stuff too, but I work on networks and servers. I know about as much as you do when it comes to programming your answering machine. Just because it has a power cable doesn't mean it's a fucking computer. Fucking morons.)
It's usually stupid shit like that, too. Word of advice? Read the fucking manual. Try what it says there, and then if you're having trouble ask someone to help. There's nothing I hate more than driving out somewhere to push one button because the user never bothered to read the big, bold FAQ right there in the instruction booklet. Hell, there's usually a big picture diagram on page one that clears up most of the minor problems right there. Don't even have to read. If you've tried it yourself and couldn't understand it or couldn't get it to work, sure, I'll help you out. But don't expect me to do it for you without you ever lifting the first finger. I got better things to do with my time.
Don't get me wrong...I like to help folks. Don't think that's a big secret at all. But dammit if I'm tired of people knowing that and using it against me. More times than not, I do go over there and help the people out. I just can't say no, can't refuse them when they obviously need me and I know that I can fix things up for them. Wanna know how many times people thank me though, much less offer to do anything for me in return for my time and my effort? Not a whole helluva lot. Best I can usually hope for is a grumble along the lines of "Thank God this piece of shit is finally working again...", cause usually I just get complaints about "what's taking so long" or "why ain't it fixed yet". I've had one offer that someone wanted to cook dinner for me sometime to show their gratitude, but that's about the only time in recent memory. I can't think of the last time when someone felt any sort of debt after me giving them hundreds of dollars of free service. And really, I don't even care about that. I almost never cash in any of the few favors people offer me. I do what I do cause I want to help my friends out. Cause it's the right thing to do. But it does grate my nerves when folks don't show you any respect at all. Not asking a whole helluva lot there, just some common decency. Sometimes it really is the thought that counts.
This sort of thing has been happening a lot lately. Not pissed at anyone in particular - just folks in general. Though I can remember the final straw, the one that riled me up enough that I wanted to start ranting about it. Things really came to a head when one guy interrupted a conversation I was having with a friend to grill me about why didn't I have my laptop with me. I was a bit startled...didn't even realize that he was hollering at me at first. And he was asking where my computer was, as if I had an obligation to carry it with me at all times. When he realized I didn't have it, he was visibly annoyed and told me that he was going to take my laptop, network it together with his, and steal any cool files he found on my hard drive.
Excuse the hell out of me?
Just to clear things up, there's maybe three people who could talk to me like that. Three folks that could tell me that they need my laptop 'cause they want to transfer some files off of it onto their own system. For those fellas, sure. Whatever you need. But those are also the fellas that have been by my side during my darkest hours, the few people that have helped me when no one else would or could. For them, they already know that I'd bend over backwards to help them out in any way that I can, whether it's bailing them outta prison or simply letting them download a CD that I just ripped. (And even then, they'd still be respectful enough to ask, even though they know without a doubt that they already have permission. All three are just damn cool like that.)
No one else has got no business talking to me that way. I've been tolerating it, but I'm damn tired of that too. Next time it's a boot to the head. Either that, or I'll stick them with the same hourly service call fees that I charge 9-to-5 and see how they like that. ::grumbles::