Jul 14, 2011

What's a 12 O'Clock Flasher?

So I was talking to my wife and my sister-in-law who is in town for the lext few weeks tonight about my work, and general life as an IT professional, and we got to talking about a type of customer I like to refer to as a "12 O'Clock Flasher". Lucky for me I haven't had to really deal with this particular type of user for the last few years because once you move up in IT past Help Desk and Desktop support, you don't have to deal with end users too much.

Unfortunately for me though, now that I work for a small company, I have to deal with end users a little more. I should say that I do have a Desktop tech working for me that has to deal with the brunt of this (Bless his heart). Every once in a while, I get dragged into the madness which made me think of this post.

I think I may have written about a similar topic before, but I can't seem to find it in the Bauer-Power archives. Anyhoo, what I believe I talked about before was how no matter what IT department you work for, no matter how big the company, there is a small subset of users that you will interact with the most. This subset will be the same users every time.

For some reason, these particular users will be plagued with issues, while everyone else in the company gets along fine. I personally believe that this phenomenon is caused by a lack of training. Pure and simple. There is, however, an even smaller group of people within this subset that just cannot be helped. This is the 12 O'Clock flasher category.

I got this term from a video from DeadTroll.com that pokes fun at the tribulations that come with working at a Help Desk. Here's the clip where I got the 12 O'Clock Flasher term:


Basically, a 12 O'Clock flasher is someone who is so technically illiterate that if you went into their house every digital clock would be flashing 12:00 because they have no clue how to program them. These people fear technology so much, that their brains just can't wrap around simple concepts that most people must know to survive in our modern society.

It's sad really to watch these people. Sometimes I wonder how they get through every day life. But then again, not everyone can be as into technology as me. I'm a straight up nerd. Still though, there are some basics in the world of computing that everyone should know how to do. Hell, there are some basics in computing that the average office worker should know how to do. Stuff like how to connect to wireless internet, how to send an email, how to create a Word document etc.

Do you have a 12 O'Clock flasher at your office? Do you have more than one? Let us know some of your horror stories in the comments (Please don't name names!)

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