It’s PEBCAK again. LOL!

Problem exists between chair and keyboard (PEBCAK). That means you. The body between the keyboard and the chair. The operator who blames the device because it can’t be you, can it?

When a glitch occurs we believe that it is the inanimate object that is at fault. These days the computing devices that we use are less and less inanimate and growing an intuitive nature that is at times a little scary. So is it their fault?


How often do support centre staff receive help calls that have little if anything to do with the tech but everything to do with the user? Anecdotally it is a regular if not overwhelming number. Why do you suppose that is? Is it your fault that you do not know enough to sort out the problem or is it that you may not understand the problem? Or is it the fact that devices are so complex, with so many options for configuration and use that it is not possible for you to get a handle on them?

I think it is a little of both. At a much younger age, I was a system administrator at a company of about 20 people. You need to understand that this was not and is not my field of expertise. This was a painful introduction to managing IT in an office environment, a thankless and self-flagellating job at best. Those were the days of Windows 95 and Windows 98 and an Exchange Server that was just a little difficult to work with.

The problem wasn’t the tech, although it could be challenging if it was not the right stuff for the right job. The problem was that users were not trained or introduced to the equipment and software that they needed to use to get their jobs done in a manner that taught them to fish, and not to expect a filleted and sautéed cut on their plate at the drop of a hat.

An IT support department should do just that, support the business to achieve its objectives and you really have only a couple of choices if you want IT to be of service to you (as opposed to you constantly 

servicing it).

Lock down all your IT so that users cannot touch and feel it

Buy devices and software that are really difficult for a user to mess with

Don’t buy IT. No IT, no headache.

The other alternative, and my choice, is to train your staff so that they have more than a rudimentary knowledge of the devices and software that they are going to use. There has never been a better time to access training at reasonable prices or, in some cases, for free. YouTube is one example of a content platform and eLearning outlets are another avenue.

If you prepare your staff with some skills and empower them with the belief that they are capable of sorting out the small problems or actually avoiding them all together, then you’re in the 21st century, sort of.

The last thing you want is your IT service provider or support staff racking up hours and hours of billable support time when your challenge is in fact: PICNIC (problem in chair not in computer). 

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