Wednesday, September 6

Elite Knowledge

Being as I work in the IT field I am often faced with the situation where someone appears to be stupid. At least 80% of my fellow IT workers of the world (that's a person statistic from personal experience) will proceed to make fun of such stupid people/ become bitter about "stupidity" after this person has left. This is something that I have come to label as the "Danger of Elite Knowledge", and I have discovered it actually happens in most fields. (I'm just more familiar with it as an IT worker, and it's something that gets fairly published in the media)

For instance: While most of us think that accounting is boring and dull you can bet we get laughed at when we ask for help filling out a 1040EZ. (I assume that EZ means it's "easy") Plumbers and electricians get to laugh at people who don't know how to fix pipes or run wires. (All the way to the bank)

This is just something I try to keep in mind when I am helping people. I might know more about the computer in front of them, but I can promise you that they know more about something else than I do. (Something that they would think I might be "stupid" for not knowing.)

About the only thing I can't abide is when you asked someone if they did anything recently they say "Nope, not at all." When in fact they did. All I want is honesty. "My keyboard doesn't work right and there are funny characters being typed onto the screen." and when I asked, "Did anything happen to this keyboard?" and you say, "No." Then I tip the keyboard sideways and pour out coffee that you just finished cleaning off your desk... It's those types of things. I try to be truthful to the other people doing their jobs, I would like the same for my job. Honestly when it comes down to it we're all just about the same these days. Yes you might fix pipes, but I fix computers and really we all need each other.

I hope my fellow IT workers would remember this as we go out and engage the cubicles.



  1. I usually make fun of the erroneous things people believe about electrical engineering and computers, not the people themselves. For example, I thought it quite hilarious when getting a bank account set up the manager said that it was taking so long because the rain was slowing down the phone lines. Not that the guy was stupid for thinking that, but wondering where such an idea could come from.

  2. Hmm... there's definitely a difference between enjoying a story about a misconception (e.g. the 1990's tales about the occasional person believing that the ms fireworks screensaver was actually their computer exploding) and becoming bitter about how "everyone is stupid" just because they don't have the same specialized knowledge as you.

    This would be like me, as I work more with clients, becoming impatient and irritated due to their ignorance of building codes, standard construction, design principles, and basic engineering. I mean, hello, they're paying me for that knowledge!


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