How did I get to be "it?" Perhaps I was the slowest to raise my hand. Maybe I wasn't listening when someone counted off, "One, two, three, not it!" Or it could be that when I went out for a job interview for a teaching position seventeen years ago, my prospective employer asked if I knew anything about computers. My confident answer, "Yes," was enough to get me my position and a room full of Mac LCIIs connected to a bunch of tractor-fed dot matrix printers. That I know what these terms mean now is a testament to how quickly I learned. I had come from a five year stint as a warehouse manager where I had worked with a room full of computer experts, some of whom had started out on the warehouse floor and found their way to the relative comfort of their office in the back, amidst a sea of servers, wires, and random hardware on its way to being part of our system or the dumpster.
Years later, I have become "one of them." The wrinkled khakis. The furrowed brown whenever someone can't distinguish between a VGA cable and an Ethernet cord. When someone calls my room and tells me their computer is broken, I try not to roll my eyes. What is the problem, specifically? Could you be just a hair more precise? Is the box making funny noises? Do you see pretty lights? Has your computer fallen on one of the children and now they can't get up?
I have lost my patience, but I try and remember what it is to be an end user. Forgetting passwords and not knowing which of those wired leads to the mouse-thingy is what they are supposed to do. I am supposed to show up with all my worldly knowledge and set things right. I am the IT guy. Making those broken computers work is my job. And if the coffee maker stops working, I'll probably get to take a look at that too.