Bringing Psychology & Humanity to Computer Repair

By May 30, 2016Poindexter News

“Getting machines to work is an essential part of the job, but so is making the customer feel better. And tech geeks are famous for not being very good at that.” – Laura Sydell, NPR’s All tech Considered

Hi Baltimore. I stumbled across an older NPR article that I wanted to share with you because I think it nicely sums up something I’ve thought about for a long time. Why IT services have a problem and why I hope Poindexter is the solution. The article is pretty short and you can read it here: A Good IT Person Needs to be Half Technologist, Half Psychologist.

Being good with computers takes a special knack. Experience is essential, but good service doesn’t end with a degree in IT. If my past experience working for Geek Squad is any indication, geeks struggle with the other side of every computer: the person using it. IT specialists often treat people as inconveniences, hurdles to get past in order to fix the computer. This mistreatment frustrates customers, leaving them confused and alienated, totally at the mercy of some snooty technician. Computers are machines. People are not. And it’s this combination that makes the technology revolution so special, but so difficult for tech centered machinists to cope with.

Imagine finishing up a late night slog through a school essay, only to find that your computer refuses to turn back on or crashes after login…

Or your family’s only shared computer has started malfunctioning, taking everyone’s homework with it…

Or that your businesses’ laptop won’t connect to the internet, preventing you from accepting credit card payments…

Or you just finished touching up dozens of wedding photos and that spinning wheel won’t go away…

In these moments of crisis, we all depend on a trustworthy computer guru to protect our personal information as well as our sanity. Computers aren’t like a fridge or a lawn mower. They’re more intimate than that – good technology shapes and informs your lifestyle, it’s an essential part of how you interface with your family, your business, and the world. Computers reflect your personality, safeguard your history and memories, and help you learn and cope with the challenges of daily living. We Google that weird rash, pay our BGE bill online, and keep up with local robberies and yard sales on Nextdoor. So much of our life depends on the computer, it’s easy to lose track of how essential it is and how much info is tucked away inside it.

“Whoever can access our computers can access almost the entirety of our social, family and business lives. To know someone’s computer is to know them.” – Mann Consulting, San Fransisco

Naturally, then, fixing a computer takes more than a technician. It takes a therapist. Someone who can treat the machine as a machine and the person as a person. Someone who never mixes the two and understands that your information is confidential, no matter how trivial you think it is. It’s your computer and your life – like a doctor, your tech person needs to treat you and your gadgets with delicacy and humanity.

Poindexter’s goal is to put the person back into personal computer. I have the unique experience to do just that.

My degree in Psychology helps as much as my technical certifications. Empathy isn’t something you get from computer training. Computers are complex, super rational puzzles, sure, but people need more than troubleshooting and solder. They need someone who understands their frustration and confusion over and above that wonky computer circuit. Psychology helps me understand what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes, which helps me explain the problem – and the solution – more earnestly. Nobody likes over technical gibberish. The computer problem is bad enough as it is, never make it worse.  And you know, there are times when things are broken beyond repair and all I have is bad news. Bad news deserves ample sympathy and I do my best to treat every client with the humanity they deserve. Computers are awesome because of people.

Leave a Reply

Available by appointment // 908-991-6373