Geeks, particularly those of us who work in IT, are not generally tolerant of users who are not technically savvy. We have pet names for their issues (PEBCAT or ID10T errors) and tell horror stories about unplugged computers and CD-ROM coffee cup holders. However, there are plenty of users who simply do not need the level of understanding of technology that those of us in the industry possess. For every technophile in line to buy an iPhone over the weekend, there are about a dozen people who couldn't care less about how the computer does its stuff, as long as it gets done.
In fact, some of the leaders in the computer industry, like the new head of NTT DoCoMo, have tremendous business acumen to make up for their technophobia. Furthermore, one of the biggest areas of development in computing is making it easy for even the biggest technophobes to use computers and other digital technologies.
Biz Wiz: She Knows What You Want (Wired)
BabelDisc: Linux for technophobes? (CNET News.com)
I have tried to be as helpful as possible to my users without being condescending. I am so proud of my ability to relay technical information to average users that I call myself a "geek to English translator." I try to recognize that some people simply don't care about what happens under the hood as long as their e-mail goes out, their spreadsheet calculates properly, or their letters mail merge like they are supposed to.
Do you get frustrated with people who have no interest in learning how to use computers? What types of users really get your goat, and what do you do to deal with them? Do you try to be understanding, or do you show contempt? Join the discussion.