If a zombie were to walk into a computer store looking for a meal, he'd go home hungry.
You'd think that when you walk into a computer store, you'd find mobs of people sporting the latest pocket-protectors and taped glasses all with Kleenex up their nostrils to stop the nosebleeds due to allergies. But these shower-phobic whiz kids are definitely there, but do not make up the only customer base.
I would rather deal with a roaming pack of zombies then what is the typical computer store shopper. We're talkin' about the general public here people. And the general public don't know jack about computers. I don't want to come off like a high and mighty jerk (which I am), but with the overwhelming use of computers in our society today, one would think that most people would have a good handle on them. And I'm not implying that you have to be a computer guru to own a computer, because I am far from that state of being as well. All I'm asking is that people know how to run an anti-virus program, keep spyware off the computer, and maybe have some understanding about their hardware and drivers. Computer troubleshooting is hard, and most people will have to take it into a shop to get certain things fixed, but when your screen size is off, learn the basics and go into display settings.
But even beyond this point of basic computer knowledge, the general public is scary when it comes to comprehension. Most of my friends and loved ones aren't computer geeks like me, but when they have a question and I explain what they should do about it, there is usually a nodding of the head and something clicking inside. I do enjoy a customer that does know his stuff (as long as he isn't a know-it-all-that-actually-doesn't) because it's nice to use the jargon that comes with computers. With all the anagrams and terms from USB to AGP to Socket 478 to DDR and so on, there is a lot to remember. Don't freak out about it, you really don't have to know all this stuff. Your local computer guy can help you sort this mess out. But generally, when you see that a computer that is called a PIII 866 Mhz, and one labelled P4 1.8 Ghz, you'd be safe to say that the P4 is better because it 4 is greater than 3, and the P4 costs twice as much. I'll get to my main beef here.
It's not my problem that there is a lack of understanding about computers (which our school systems might be helping out with now), but the problem lies with dumb people. I knew that stupid people were out there, but I didn't realize how many there are. I'm not calling them dumb because they don't know the difference between PCI and ISA, I'm calling them dumb because they refuse to listen when someone is talking to them. Customers will ask me a question and I'll provide an answer. Like I mentioned before, most people will have that universal nod and look of comprehension, but then there is the otherside. Some people will just look at me with a vacant stare. So I restate my answer using simpler words and less tech jargon. Their vacant eyes seem to slowly devolop a milky glaze as their brain returns to its natural comatose state. No matter how many times I explain myself, draw pictures, resort to pantomime, nothing gets through. By this time I'm so frustrated I have to tell that they'll have to figure it out or bring in their machine. It may be that they really don't know shit about computers, but they know enough to get on the Internet and download God-knows-what to bitch it in the first place, but I don't think so. They may be afraid of this technological revolution in our society and resist learning about computers because of their longing for simpler days, but I don't think that's it either.
I'm a nice guy and I do try to work with these people, but man, it's hard. Especially when I'm hungover.
(Note: Anyone that found this page and was able to read it, you're probably smart enough to have this not apply to you. These are extremes cases, but there are more extreme cases than I would have thought before I got into this business.)