I've done it! I've finally convinced my Grandma to upgrade her computer to Windows 7. It's amazing to see how people respond to technology. My job is to help people learn how to use technology to make their lives just that much easier...be more productive, take less time...be less frustrated at the end of the day. I always seem to be teaching at times when the person has hit panic mode. In this case with my Grandma, she had no clue her computer was taking its last steps.
I used to think that I wanted to be a teacher. Many people told me I'm great with kids and have a natural gift for teaching and explaining things. Maybe that's true...maybe it's not. I have spent a lot of time in the classroom, but sometimes I wonder about my patience level. I can easily get frustrated when I need to explain things over and over to the same person. Maybe teaching isn't my cup of tea. On the other hand...explaining something to someone so they can understand how something functions and seeing their reaction is incredible. At the end of the day, I love my work.
My Grandma is nearing 80 and I'm amazed at her progress. She sends emails, scans pictures and does nearly everything the average computer user does. When I told her I was able to find her a free computer (new to her, but three years old) she was elated! Excited enough that she decided to buy a new keyboard. :) So, I'm spending my Thanksgiving weekend working, but it's well worth the few hours on my part to make sure my Grandma can do everything she wants and needs to do on her computer. Windows 7 is certainly going to be a learning curve (she's prepared herself by purchasing a Windows 7 for Dummies book), but in the end I think she will be happier.
Her response is a reminder that while people may not show me that same response at work, that it doesn't mean I didn't do my work well or that I didn't resolve their problems or answer all their questions. It's important to teach no matter what field you're in. No one is intuitive and you can't expect anyone to know exactly what's going on. And if you've been explaining things over and over, then it's time to change tactics. Maybe someday I will be a teacher.