I know a little bit about computers but all in all I know as much as anyone else does. I am not a super nerd, computer whiz or Einstein. With this said, I have several people who come to me asking for computer help – people who are willing to pay me and are often surprised (if they are generous people who like to pay for services rendered) - are surprised to find out that I helped them out for free.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not do it because I am wealthy or because I am gullible. I offer my services for free because 9 times out of ten – the problem was simple in nature. For example: I had a co-worker ask me to help him with a used laptop he purchased because it wouldn’t connect to the internet. After playing with it for about 20 minutes I figured out the problem and the issue was solved. Know that was just my basic knowledge – but for things I do not know, a basic Google search and some time doing research usually provides me the answer to fix most problems.
I guess the real reason I often refuse to take payment is because of the attitude I run into with people who do have knowledge. For instance: I was in my office with another computer tech and I received a called from someone looking for computer help – instantly the other tech says: probably another id ten t. In which I reply “what is that” (honestly never heard this term before). So he explained to me in this I know it all kind of way to write it out and I will get it. So when I wrote it out I got idiot (id10t). He smiled at me and said: some of these people are so stupid I’m surprise they can even dress themselves in the morning.
That kind of “I know more than you” attitude has always ticked me off – so it may be that subconsciously, I do not want to come off that way to people. This is also the reason why I try very hard to teach my children to “desire to learn”. To know how to learn, how to research information and how to use that knowledge – because there will always be someone looking to take advantage of you – knowledge is power.