Co-workers who lack basic computer skills (vent)
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 8/22/2012 by MergeLeft in NSBR Board
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PeaNut 287,845
December 2006
Posts: 223
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Loc: Florida (originally from VA)

Posted: 8/23/2012 8:47:55 AM

The thing is, they do pretty well with other technology. They have no problem with the internet. They use iPhones. They know how to use their Smart Boards at least as well as I do (and that's pretty well). Microsoft Office is just not something they bothered to learn much about, whereas I spent several years doing administrative work and had to learn to use those applications at a high level.

I call BS then. If you can learn how to use everything else, you can learn MS Excel. I would have to find myself a way to be too busy to do the Excel work a few times and let them step in and at least attemp to do it.


PeaNut 452,927
January 2010
Posts: 3,047
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Loc: Mass

Posted: 8/23/2012 8:55:53 AM
"dumb like a fox".... that's what we say here.. especially in this union job (school clerical) I'm the 60+ year old and can't get enough technology.. I LOVE learning anything new... and it just somehow "stays" with me.. and I can't even explain how I figure things out,, but I do... hence the more work I get TO do.. all the while being paid the same as that "dumb fox" who refuses to even use email.. my former boss (Assistant Principal) used to call me the "Valedictorian of a weak class"
HA HA not so funny when you see the injustice..

I do think it scares some people, while others seem to enjoy it.. but basic computer skills should be required and I think most positions I see advertised do ask for it as well..

PEAce of Cake

PeaNut 38,135
May 2002
Posts: 4,052
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Loc: Iowa

Posted: 8/23/2012 9:03:27 AM
I am in charge of setting up our school's new Google domain and training the teachers how to use it. Most of the teachers are great. But there were 3 who just scare me. They did everything they complain about students doing. They ignored my presentation and chatted, they blurted out questions, and they argued about whether they even needed to learn the new system. They all happened to be the teachers who would never tolerate that from their students. The principal actually stopped my lesson to chew them out in front of all the other teachers.

The ultimate irony is that my worst "student" was the 4th grade teacher that spent 6 months telling me that because my ADHD son was "smart" he shouldn't have any problems doing his work (while I kept reminding her that's why he was diagnosed with a DISORDER). She blamed all of his problems on willfulness and defiance when we had evaluations showing he had poor executive function and processing speed (aka ADHD). I had to pull him from school because of clinical levels of anxiety and depression. Every time she WHINED about how overwhelming it was to learn all this new stuff (Gmail?! ) I wanted to ask her if learning would be easier if I sent her to the hall or the principal's office since that was how she dealt with students who didn't live up to her expectations.

The Project Pea

PeaNut 139,756
April 2004
Posts: 8,446
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Loc: Sacramento

Posted: 8/23/2012 9:19:17 AM
That is just pure laziness. My
Mom (75) was an administrative assistant for 15 years after turning 50. She can kick my hiney on word and excel.
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She calls me a Fun Sucker

PeaNut 38,100
May 2002
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Loc: Jersey Strong

Posted: 8/23/2012 9:29:20 AM
Nancie, "dumb like a fox." That's awesome. I am putting you on notice now that I plan to steal that and use it and claim full credit.

Mrs T, thanks for the validation.
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pea'rific teacher Union President

PeaNut 164,125
August 2004
Posts: 23,607
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Loc: Western NY

Posted: 8/23/2012 9:38:46 AM
Merge....that's great news about the interactions with the administrator.


PeaNut 452,927
January 2010
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Loc: Mass

Posted: 8/23/2012 11:12:50 AM

Age has nothing to do with it. I am 64 and worked computer circles around all but 2 people in our department of 30. There standard saying was "take it to (insert my name here), she can 'pretty it up' for you". "pretty it up" is how they referred to my skills and knowledge on the computer.

It is simply called "being lazy" and "pushing your work off on someone else".

As long as they can get away with it, they will.

could insert my name into this same message... it is soooo true!! and if they only knew how much simplier their tasks would be if they'd just learn to use what's available..

> fraiddyscrapper... go ahead and use away (Dumb like a Fox)...

PEAce of Cake

PeaNut 38,135
May 2002
Posts: 4,052
Layouts: 38
Loc: Iowa

Posted: 8/23/2012 11:27:56 AM

It's your JOB and your responsibility to model being a life-long learner.

That is what frustrates me the most - teachers who are scared of learning!

A couple teachers in particular are the worst. I want to tell them they will never be able to get away with this behavior as adults - just like they told my son at age 8!


PeaNut 472,567
June 2010
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Layouts: 0

Posted: 8/23/2012 12:32:21 PM
As a teacher, why not...gosh...teach?

I'm not saying that you have to teach them how to use the technology.

Why not send them an excel spreadsheet with some rows and columns already created? Then when they try to turf the spreadsheet compilation to you, just smile and say, "Oh, I sent you that basic Excel document, just use that."

For the colleague who cannot locate Excel, maybe she is used to having the icons on her desktop. Why not go to her computer, locate excel, and save it on her desktop?


PeaNut 263,742
June 2006
Posts: 1,213
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Loc: Over by the shredder, of course.

Posted: 8/23/2012 12:54:15 PM
It is not an age issue. At 72 my dad bought a computer because he thought it would be fun to learn. He had never worked in an environment where computers are used. He taught himself and spent his retirement enjoying it. My opinion is that it is a personality issue.
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PeaNut 181,484
December 2004
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Loc: North of WDW

Posted: 8/23/2012 3:27:24 PM
Chiming in to also say that it's not age, it's stubborn stupid-headedness (yes, not a word but whatever). I'm way over 58 and am way more tech savvy than most of the people in my department in every piece of software we are required to work on. Why? Because it makes my job way easier, and if these morons realized how much easier these tools would make their job, they'd be learning them and using them too. I am so tired of working around people whose hands are broken when it comes to looking something up on a computer, saving/editing/scanning a file, researching the internet or intranet. No matter how many times you point out to them that there is a self-guided class in our HR system on how to use (name the software) they refuse to even open the file to learn something, because they "can't make the d**n computer work right!"

Can you tell that this is a hot-button issue with me too?!?!


PeaNut 60,200
January 2003
Posts: 1,345
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Loc: Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Posted: 8/23/2012 6:35:29 PM
A pet peeve of mine also. I work with a woman who has been asked for over a year to transfer her documents from WordPerfect to Word. You guessed it. She has yet to complete this request. Why? Because she finds it too hard and she just doesn't have the time. THe kicker is that our boss let's her get away with it. She requires the office manager and me to comply but the other co-worker doesn't have to. She works at a different location and she can't email us a document because our new computers don't work with WordPerfect. I feel your pain and I chalk it up to people who are too lazy to learn something new and don't care if they make it more work or more difficult for someone else.

What can I post about?

PeaNut 453,032
January 2010
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Posted: 8/23/2012 6:36:33 PM
I know it's got to be frustrating, but I'll give you a look at the flip side...

My mom and aunt were both teachers for thirty-plus years (each retired as teachers in the past 5 years). We never had a computer at home. As a single mom, it was a luxury we couldn't afford - so there was no chance to learn Excel (or anything!) at home. As technology became more prevalent in most schools, my mom and aunt were working in some of the poorest districts in San Antonio and Santa Fe - so no money for computers in their rooms.

My mom retired 5 years ago as a pre-k teacher - never had computers in her class. Three years ago, was the first year my aunt was ever offered computer skills training. She was 61. This was also the first year the district offered her a laptop for her room/home and gave her basic training. She had never been on the Internet before and learning a computer operating system takes time, much less learning things like Excel!

I do think that these teachers should be trying to learn, but try to be a little bit compassionate at how difficult it has the possibility to be. Some people aren't good with technology! Even my computer information systems husband couldn't program a VCR, connect a stereo or program a TiVo without my help

Typical Liberal

PeaNut 221,236
August 2005
Posts: 21,058
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Loc: Houston

Posted: 8/23/2012 7:11:07 PM
I understand that life circumstances make learning a computer difficult for some, but trust me when I say that these women do not have significant obstacles to learning. We work in a large urban district that offers computer training in person and online on a nearly continuous basis. They both have computers and Internet at home and have for years.

Anyway, it's done. I compiled the specials class lists for all grade levels and have sent them out.

I like the idea of creating a blank spreadsheet for them to type into next year. Certainly they can manage that!
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PeaNut 16,338
June 2001
Posts: 840
Layouts: 21
Loc: Red Sox Nation

Posted: 8/23/2012 7:18:52 PM
I feel your pain. As a librarian, I depend on MS Office and the Internet for my job. I am all self taught, as when I graduated with my Master's in Library Science in 1998, we didn't even have any courses on the Internet. I am now 41 and am one of the higher-functioning staff members, technologically speaking. I am in charge of all of the library's online presence, too (FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Yelp, etc.). 10 years ago none of it was even a blip on the radar!

BUT... I was recently coerced into opening a Skype account by my 92-year-old grandfather! He is on Facebook, and loves his cell phone, laptop and wireless printer. He was a electrical engineer and owned the first computer I ever saw when I was just a kid, an old HP I believe. So not all "old fogeys" are lost in technology land!

Lisa B.


PeaNut 458,516
March 2010
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Loc: Australia

Posted: 8/24/2012 3:15:27 AM
I'm with you, peapermint. I'm a teacher. A colleague of mine at my last school, who would be shown repeatedly how to do complex tasks like access the internet or create a Word document or find the enter key, would get it wrong constantly, print 50 copies of something she wanted one of because she would send it to the wrong printer etc. She would say to me, her supervisor, that it was too much to expect her to do these things because "after all, I'm not a secretary". A great deal of training was provided, but she didn't care enough to write down how to do it, or practise.
I'm 53. I can use Apple & PC platforms. I have a work computer, home computer, iPad, kindle, iPhone. I learned them all myself. Sounds to me like the OP's people are lazy, and they can get someone else to do it for them.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 509,811
May 2011
Posts: 6,534
Layouts: 27

Posted: 8/24/2012 7:12:54 AM
What about family members who lack basic computer, phone, and tv skills but the gadgets anyway and want everyone else to set them up and 'fix them' when it's operator error?
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