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How to deal with Technophobes ?

By Shellbot ·
i just had a gruelling 4 hour meeting with "government type" people. Basically, our org has a newly implemented web based database application. . it is replacing our old "paper" filing system if you will. some data is sensitive, but most is day to day stuff. the only thing that kept me out of hot water was reciting " if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".
I'm used to "techies", and people who embrace technology.
I guess my question is :
How do you deal with people that just do not want to hear about the technology ? I was smiling as big as i could, while trying to explain the smallest detail (user permissions ect) in laymans terms, all the while wanting to take the keyboard and put it somewhere impolite ? This person went on and on and on about the most ridiculous things. Fair enough if someone does not know..but..how does one deal with it ? After a while I was thinking "oh for smurfs sake, if YOU know nothing about IT, then WHY are you in a dept responsible for checking into IT stuff"
I think i held my own well enough, but i think my blood pressure went through the roof..and no time for lunch yet again..
Anyone with this type of experience ????
Any tips ? Handy hints ?

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Tell them it saves money.

by ITgirli In reply to How to deal with Technoph ...

That is all anyone wants to hear.
And throw something in about the massive productivity capabilities. Just explain how it does that. Finish on a note where they win and understand the words.

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As above, plus

by Fonken Monken UK In reply to How to deal with Technoph ...

Focus on the business, the business process, and how this technology enables better execution of the business process - NOT technology driving the process.
Then try the money angle.

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Put yourself in their shoes

by maxwell edison In reply to How to deal with Technoph ...

A person should always address their audience, not expect the audience to acquiesce to him or her. A speaker, or teacher, or presenter should never talk down to an audience, so to speak, nor talk over their heads. Imagine William F. Buckley in his most academic and high-brow manner discussing politial theory with an eighth grade civics class. It just wouldn't work.

Look at the situation from their perspective. What are their expectations from the system, and what do they hope to gain by attending the meeting explaining the system? I'm not suggesting to merely tell them what they want to hear, but rather, in some cases, you have to give them what they want, not what you expect them to want.

Using an automobile analogy, a person may not want to be bothered by having to listen to detailed explanations about the inner-workings of a fuel injection system, but rather only the fuel efficiency ratings and how it might effect them. They may not care how it works, and they may not even need to know; they just want to know what the results will be.

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I hate IT and I'm an insider

by DC_GUY In reply to How to deal with Technoph ...

Computers are the bane of my existence even though I've been working in this field since 1967.

I hate the computer in my car that flashes "Coolant Level Low" in the dead of winter and forces me to open the car from the passenger's side to avoid triggering the alarm and would cost about $1,200 to replace--if I can find one. I hate the computer in my range that is so baffling that I still haven't figured out how to bake something. I hate the computer in my answer machine that decides that since I didn't answer the last call I must not be home so now it picks up calls before they even ring audibly. I hate the computer in my thermostat that will let me change the temperature tonight or let me change the temperature for all future nights, but not both at the same time.

But I reserve my worst hatred for Windows. I thought the old home-grown mainframe software was built by programmers for programmers, but I'm a programmer and even I can't figure out how to make Windows do what I want more than about 90 percent of the time.

Most non-IT people are like me. They are absolutely fed up with the "progress" that computers have added to their life. The fact that absolutely nothing works reliably anymore because there's a computer in it somewhere. The fact that what used to be simple, if slow, clerical processes now require them to learn something that is half foreign language and half foreign car.

They will NEVER be glad to see you because they don't frelling WANT what you're selling. Not now, not ever. They want you to go away and stay away and leave the world in some semblance of order.

It doesn't matter how much money you claim you will save them. They know that the first time your software fails in production, it will cost the company more in lost sales, customer goodwill, employee morale, and perhaps even regulatory compliance, than you could possibly save them in a lifetime.

This isn't "Luddism." This is how the world looks through the eyes of the six billion people who don't WANT to have to learn how to be software mechanics in order to get through a normal day.

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May I ask you something?

by maxwell edison In reply to I hate IT and I'm an insi ...

Will you come over and program my VCR so I can tape a television show?

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Hehe

by DC_GUY In reply to May I ask you something?

Being older than most of you, I've had VCRs longer than most of you. Probably wore out five or six Betamaxes before we couldn't rent movies on Beta any more.

I still screw up about every fourth program.

I can really understand the popularity of TiVo.

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have you seen this?

by TheVirtualOne In reply to May I ask you something?
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Max that's just plain unfair

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to May I ask you something?

How the hell are we supposed to understand such complicated things? I get to the page of the book telling me what is in the box and then shut the book and try very hard to ignore it from that point on.

Of course the beauty with these bloody things is that on the rare occasion that you do finally learn how to set the clock and do the most basic things it craps itself and you have to go out an buy a new one which is all different again.

It's a conspiracy to drive us all mad in an attempt to tape any TV show when we are not there directly in front of the thing to press the button.

Col ]:)

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It's a conspiracy - YES !

by maxwell edison In reply to Max that's just plain unf ...

.
Not only that, but I refuse (or am to friggin' cheap) to buy television. I don't have cable, and I don't have satellite; I just have a set of old rabbit-ears. And All VCRs today, or so it seems, are designed to work in conjunction with a cable.

But I refuse to give in -- even though they committed the biggest double-cross in the history of television. I've been a loyal watcher of Monday Might Football since it first aired in 1970. I'll bet I haven't missed more than a couple dozen Monday night games in 35 years. And now, THE BUMS ARE MOVING IT TO ESPN. But I will not pay. I won't. I won't. I won't.

(I wonder if someone will tape them for me.)

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Well you could always go to a neighbors place

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to It's a conspiracy - YES !

To watch the game.

I'm like you on the cable deal as my only comment to the sales people that come knocking on my door is "well currently I have 5 channels of S##t why would I need 50?" This they find hard to answer. :)

But on the down side I think I've created a challenge for them as the sales people are becoming more common and pushy as well, I think that one of the commission only bums listed me as a "Hard Case" and a prize is being offered to anyone who can wear me down.

Col ]:)

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