Everyone knows a computer expert.
“You have a virus? My nephew can fix it, he knows everything there is to know about computers.”
That is kind of like saying, “You have a heart problem? My nephew can fix it, he’s a dermatologist. He knows everything there is to know about anatomy.”
Computers are as complex as human anatomy. Experts are generally software experts or hardware experts or communications experts or storage experts or so on and so on. Granted, a lot of computer people have general knowledge and can fix common problems, but I don’t think anyone knows everything.
Years ago I had to work with excel spreadsheets. I learned to do a few simple excel tasks of which there are about 10,000. Many people in the office thought I was an “expert.” Many people were wrong.
What expertise I had, I learned from Debbie.
The go-to expert in our office, and this was in the very early days of office PCs, was Debbie. Debbie did not have any computer degrees. Debbie never took any computer courses, but Debbie could do anything with computers. Debbie knew everything there was to know about computers. Debbie was a computer expert.
Debbie was invaluable in our office. If you had a computer problem or needed to do something fancy…graphs…spreadsheets…special computation…or any various kinds of data shuffling, you went to Debbie.
I once went to Debbie to learn how to do some tricky data shuffling while combining multiple spreadsheets. It was then that I learned the secret behind Debbie’s extraordinary computer ability.
Debbie was very good at following instructions from the “Help” tab.
“I don’t know why everyone keeps coming to me for stuff; it is all right there for you on the “Help” tab, but let’s make that our little secret.”
There was no need to keep it a secret.
Debbie was right, the “Help” tab can show you how to do almost anything on the computer. The problem is most people like myself do not have the patience or the ability to learn from the “Help” tab. I need to see things demonstrated. I am very visual.
Debbie could follow directions without demonstrations. Most people do not have that ability, and so she was the go-to person to figure out a new function and then teach it to us visual learners.
Debbie didn't know everything about computers, but she was our “expert,” and we were damn glad to have her.