The World Needs Computer Driver’s Licenses

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard somebody say “I’m not an IT person” as if it’s a valid excuse for them driving their computer off a cliff or not being smart enough to reset their own password somewhere. You know, that makes as much sense as telling a cop “I’m not an auto mechanic” as if it’s a valid excuse for you driving on the wrong side of the road.

If the most basic things such as resetting your own password or signing in an app are so complicated that you need tech support to do it for you, why the fuck are you allowed to use a computer in the first place? Do you also have to call your car manufacturer for help starting it and remembering not to leave the keys in it? I’m serious, if that “Forgot Password” link on any login form is too complicated, you’re seriously fucked on the internet whether on the job or not.

This world has gone soft and this fragile snowflake mentality is encouraged these days. You think I’m over-reacting? Find somebody who has a classic car from the 1960’s or so and see if they still have the owner’s manual. Back then, the manual provided an engine maintenance section that even explained how to adjust the valves. These days, the owner’s manual warns you not to drink the liquid in the battery if you open the hood. 100% verifiable fact!

Cracks me up how IT support companies expect users to know how to identify scam and phishing emails and not fall for them, but think it’s perfectly normal that people don’t know how to reset their own email password, or even know their password for that matter. Why are computer users expected to be completely clueless about the most basic things, but bright enough to outsmart email scammers who actually do know how to reset their own passwords?

You know what happens if you’re too clueless to drive on the correct side of the road? After enough traffic tickets, you lose your driver’s license. Why? Because stupidity behind the wheel isn’t tolerated. But stupidity behind the computer keyboard is completely acceptable and actually encouraged by IT support companies. Go fucking figure!

I realize that the IT managed service providers are all about this “white glove treatment” and making the client think they’re royalty, but you’re just breeding more problems by keeping people computer-stupid and endlessly dependent on somebody else to do their critical thinking for them. In what other area of human functionality is this breeding of stupidity acceptable?

I’m clearly no longer qualified to help people with computer problems because my expectation of their common sense is apparently entirely too high. I have to wonder if some people go to the doctor and say “I feel sick” and get upset when the doctor asks them for details in order to provide the correct help. You’re expected to answer questions if you don’t want a lobotomy for a stomach ache!

It’s not unreasonable for you to know the difference between your email account and the program you use to send and receive email (your email still works without Outlook). It’s not unreasonable for you to know the difference between a company and one program that the company makes (the difference between Adobe and Acrobat). If you’re going to call Acrobat “Adobe”, why don’t you call Office “Microsoft”? Do you run your car on Texaco, does it run on gasoline?

Seriously, it’s not unreasonable to expect you to not be completely clueless if you’re going to use a computer, on or off the internet! Computer driver’s licenses really aren’t an unreasonable concept!