I work in I.T.  I know, such a nebulous term.  Could be HelpDesk, could be Programmer.  Could be several dozen different jobs in the field.  Well, I’m not going to be specific because, fuck you.

Anyway.  Let’s just say that I work in a “Customer Facing Role”, were I have to interact with the general populace of users.  This means that I get regular phone calls or emails, and have to leave the safety of my desk bubble to go help people who have issues, and boy do they.

Today, I honest to God, had to show someone how a USB thumb drive works.

Yes, one of these…


I shit thee not.  I had to show someone who works in an office setting on a regular basis, how to stick a USB flash drive into a computer and open a file.  Don’t even ask about demonstrating the Powerpoint presenter or projector.

The person I demonstrated this to, was not a Kalahari Bushman who finds Coke bottles to be gifts from the gods.  This person was a native born American who has lived through the digital revolution and has worked in an office setting for at least the past 30 years.

Seriously.  That’s why we don’t have Moon Colonies.


Seriously, we were supposed to have this 13 years ago.

A lot of people say things like, ‘Oh, I’m just computer illiterate! Haha!’  No, you’re not illiterate.  You’re retarded.  Sorry to all who might be offended by the term retarded, but many people with developmental disabilities can figure out a thumb drive.  I’ve seen it with my own two eyes.  These people without DD’s are retarded.

This is 2015, you guys know that right?  Just in the past year alone, we have accomplished the following in science:  Taken then deepest field photograph of the Universe ever, engineered plastic artificial cells that actually function, used gene therapy to prevent blindness, new ways to develop stem cells were created, prosthetic limbs can now provide a sense of touch to the brain, nanomotors have been invented that can operate inside a cell, a paper microscope costing fifty cents was made that can magnify up to 2000 times, biodegradable batteries were invented, synthetic chromosomes were created, the first “virtual universe” was created in a computer, a more efficient replacement for silicon has been created,  a technique to allow teeth to repair themselves was created,  a method of tripling the viability time of organs being transported has been created, a genetic link to autism was discovered, a potential genetic cure for HIV was discovered, a neuron simulating microchip was invented, a computer can now accurately detect human emotion with 87% accuracy, scientists can now artificially grow whole organs, flexible computer screens were invented, ant sized radios were invented.

And you can’t figure out a fucking thumb drive.

Now look.  I know what you’re thinking, “Amanda, those are trained scientists who have dedicated their life’s work, to learning how to do this.  That’s not a fair comparison.”  Bullshit, it is totally fair.  You see, while those guys may be the top of the field in computers, biology, chemistry, etc., they are capable of completing most tasks expected of a 21st Century citizen of the 1st World.  That means, that while they may not know exactly how to construct an internal combustion engine, they at least know how to put gas in the fucking tank.

What does that have to do with technology like a usb flash drive?  Simple, operating a computer on the most basic level is simply expected of you in the modern world unless you are Amish or a 95 year old WWII veteran with a brain injury.

If you work in any sort of office setting of any type in any capacity, you should how to do some of the most basic shit like plug in a flash drive.

This is “Western Living 101” stuff.  IT’s not going to get any easier from here folks.  We are on the verge of ubiquitous 3D printing, self-driving cars, the fusion of technology and biology, and if you can’t figure out how to change the resolution on your computer screen, you are royally fucked.  If you want any job that doesn’t involve digging holes, cleaning sewage pipes or toilets, or picking vegetables, you’re going to have to know this stuff.  Your IT person will eventually have to say something to your boss about how you are dangerously incompetent on the computer.

Sorry, this isn’t really a jokish post, and kind of ranty, but it’s the truth.  Knowing how to use a computer is our “knowing how to build a fire.”  And before you get snarky; yes, I know how to build a fire using just three sticks and my shoelace.  You can learn too by watching just one episode of Bear Grylls.  Though if you do watch, you should know that you really don’t have to drink your pee like that.  I learned that by using a computer and the internet.


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