An astonishing tale of tehno-ignorance.
Last week we sent out a team of 5 people (3 nurses and two administrative people) to do a public health screening at local store. They were to perform bone density scans, using a portable instrument (a GE Lunar “Pixie”) run by a laptop computer.
Two hour later, I got a call from one of them. The computer was broken, they couldn’t make it work, they had tried and tried, and then they had packed up and headed back to the office.
“What happened”, I asked. She replied,“Well, it started out ok. But then the computer locked up. Nothing would run. We tried Control Alt Delete, and it wouldn’t reboot. We tried the power switch, and it didn’t work. We tried unplugging it, and the screen stayed lit”.
So I said, “Did you take the battery out of the laptop”?, and listened to the dead silence on the other end. Of course, it was too late, they had already left. Had they called me at first, I would have had them back up in two minutes. Because when the gear came back, we rebooted, and everything worked just fine.
These were five people. all with college degrees, all born and raised in America. None of them could make the leap from “lit screen” to “power supply”. And I have no idea what other help they may have sought out in the meantime, before I heard from them.
Is it REALLY THIS bad other places? This is MADISON, WISCONSIN, the “most wired city in America”.
When I started this job, I was delighted to be the “techno whiz” in the department. I posted a thread about it, lost in the Crash.
Now I’m getting just a little scared. I love my job, I like these people, but I have difficulty taking even a day off. Because if ANYTHING fails to operate EXACTLY as it’s supposed to in their environment, they are completely helpless. And we have one person who hand calculates her monthly reports on paper, and draws the charts on graph paper. One advantage is that her graph paper doesn’t crash, but Jeez!