Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A sign of things to come?

A girl came up to the desk and explained she was a new student and couldn't log onto our computers. I asked her to try to log on at a new computer so that I could see what message she received when she tried.

I turned my back as she typed in her password. I don't like to hover when someone has to enter a password. I think it's rude to watch. The student drew my attention back when she clicked to log on. It said her password was incorrect.

I asked her if she were sure her username and password were correct. She pulled out the slip of paper she received from ITC with her username and password printed on them. I asked her to try one more time. She did and complained, "I can't get the plus sign to work."

"That is strange maybe the key is malfunctioning. Try the one on the number pad."

She did, finished typing in her password, and hit enter. The computer logged her on.

"I couldn't get the key to work on the other computer either," she told me. I scrunched my eyebrows. It seemed odd that the one key on both keyboards wouldn't work. I asked her to try to log onto the computer beside us. I watched her carefully this time as she entered her username and password.

She held the control key as she hit the +/= key. She did it a couple of times. "See, it won't work here either."

"Um hon, you need to hold the shift key, not the control key when you want to get a plus sign."

"Oh, right..." I smiled at her, and she said thanks.

But the true killer in all this was, I watched her go over to a friend and show him how to use the shift key as well.

If this is an indicator of what the upcoming year will be like, I'm hiding under my desk until winter break.



Anonymous Woeful said...

I feel your pain. When an elderly person comes in, I expect stuff like this... But a teenager? This is sad.

8:20 PM, July 17, 2007  
Blogger Happy Villain said...

The technologically ignorant are very frustrating. I tried desperately to teach a woman how to get an email account and could not make her understand that the "@" symbol meant "at" and she needn't type the letters "a" and "t"; after that it was a battle to get her to understand how to make an @. Eventually I told her it was a capital 2. She understood that. I contemplated offing myself that evening because I realized I now speak fluent Idiot.

1:12 AM, July 18, 2007  
Blogger htw said...

I teach computer classes for senior citizens so I can feel your pain about that (my students inevitably try to use the mouse like a tv remote) but like Woeful I find it amazing that a teenager (more than one obviously) doesn't know about such basics as keyboarding...do they still teach that in school? I know I had to take it.

9:54 AM, July 18, 2007  
Anonymous Dances With Books said...

Patrons like that are pretty much the bread and butter here, so I am not really surprised. Just because they are teens, I don't think they are any more savvy. They may know (or not) how to get to MySpace, but that is about it. At least, in this case, she actually showed her friend how to do it, sparing you and him from having to do the dance again.

10:54 AM, July 18, 2007  
Blogger Katya said...

I was wondering when you were going to be back! I've started getting the remote access problems again -- they apparently don't know their last names.

7:23 PM, July 18, 2007  
Blogger The.Effing.Librarian said...

I see the techno- (damn, I wish I could coin a good term for "techno-ignorant" that has a 2 syllable-1 syllable combo), too. They seem to equate ownership of cool tools with ability, like if I buy an iPhone, I automatically absord the abilities of the iPhone, like if I was in a game and found a long bow with +4 agility....buying stuff in the real world doesn't really affect your powers in the real world, unless you buy a Rolex (with +4 coolness). So, again, as long as they don't think we're too old to teach them stuff, we'll be at our jobs for years showing people how to do the stuff they think we don't know to do...

3:22 AM, July 20, 2007  
Blogger J. Brandon Pope said...

get frustrated with the people who say "I don't *want* to get email. I just need to *send* one.

I've finally started telling them that it is like a phone . . . . you have to use a phone to call a phone. For some reason that analogy makes sense to most (not all unfortunately though)

10:24 PM, July 22, 2007  

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