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A colleague strides purposefully across the open-plan office to the production desk. She has the wrinkled brow and wild eyes of someone who is simultaneously baffled and angry. She’s on deadline but her computer is “doing stupid things” and she doesn’t understand what or why or how to stop it.
"Oh ****, it's worse than I thought. I'm going to have to speak to Dabbsy."
Expression - Betrays - Panic - Sort - User
Then... her expression betrays rising panic of a different sort as she realises that her favourite User's Little Helper is not at his desk, nor is her second favourite, nor indeed the extremely busy woman who’s actually in charge of the systems but most staff are too scared to approach. There is now anxious terror in the user’s eyes as she realises that the only person left to hear her plea for assistance is me. Her heart sinks. She knows she is done for.
Allow me to explain. First, I am sitting next to IT staff because this is the only desk that’s free. Hot-desking, doncha luvvit? However, the brain has a natural tendency to identify groups by proximity and people foolishly assume that, since I am located adjacent to clever people, I must be clever too. “Oh, isn’t Ranjit around at the moment? Could you be clever for him until he gets back?”
Falkland - Islanders - Politicians - Proximity - Ownership
As Falkland Islanders say to Argentinian politicians, proximity alone should not imply ownership. I tell this to colleagues but they won’t listen. Anyone who has the misfortune to sit next to a photocopier knows what I’m taking about: everyone else assumes you’re happy to explain how to set the collation feature, know what to do about clearing feeder jams and don’t mind being asked “if there’s any more paper” every five **** minutes.
Second, I almost certainly do not know how to solve any user’s...
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