Friday, 28 February 2014

How tolerant are you?

I bought a MacBook Air this week and Microsoft Word for Mac.
They offered to install it there and then but I requested an appointment to come back this morning to have it installed to give me the opportunity to play with my new toy and put a list together of things I needed some help with.

So I transferred files from the hard drive, some are corrupted, photos were moved over, the iPhone wasn’t authorised and I couldn’t find the hash tag key #### I also didn’t know how to open a download to have it installed and where to store files and where the search function was. Otherwise I’m more than happy with my new toy.

Now at 42, I know my adult kids think I’m past it when it comes to technology and my 14 year old certainly thinks I shouldn’t be allowed access to the internet, however my Mother thinks I’m a genius in all things technological J.

So when I’m greeted for my 30 minute tutorial by an employee the same age my eldest son, I must admit my hackles were up and I was ready for a fight, but I was so very wrong. He first asked me if I had any experience of Apple OS and I replied ‘other than my iPhone, no’. He then offered to file, move, sort everything for me, authorised my iPhone, discovered he didn’t know where the hash tag #### key on a UK keyboard was located (we found it together) He gave me instructions on how to migrate files so they weren’t corrupted, rather than just copy them across from the hard drive.

He demonstrated the click, 2 finger click (right click) how to close a file, rearrange my icons, open downloads for installing and not once did he demonstrate any kind of frustration with me or make me feel as if I was stupid and shouldn’t be allowed near technology.

Now this is how things should be isn’t it? I have a lot of knowledge about a lot of things and an awful lot of experience, which I use to help others on a daily basis. I’m often approached for advice from child welfare through to international shipping and I give my knowledge and time freely, to strangers off the net and to friends of friends etc.

However I often find I’m on the receiving end having asked for information on how a product, service works and if I can’t get the assistance I need from people who have personal experience I do what we all do, I turn to the professionals, often a free service, they call it customer care on the end of the phone, face to face in a store or via email, letter or telephone and I often find that these people just sometimes don’t care, treat you as if you’ve asked a stupid question or that you are actually stupid.

I tend to find that most visits that involve any kind of request for help for medical aid, cell phone contracts, opening bank accounts, registering a vehicle start like this:

I’m NOT South African, I know how things work in the UK, because that is where I was born, raised, have experience of things. I know in the UK how to phrase questions correctly to get a response, but here I don’t. If I want to ask for a mobile phone contract or ask for a demonstration on a sat nav or god forbid not understand how medical aid works, because where I come from it’s free, then I’m going to ask aren’t I? How else do I learn?

I don’t expect to be laughed at any more than I’d expect you to know how things work in my country either. So that’s why my hackles were up this morning when I entered the Apple Store, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

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