Monday, July 23, 2007


Sunday our preacher talked about etiquette at Chruch (and in our lives). Being who I am it made me think about how often I "rudeness" or inexperience gets get in the way of "tech-nirvana". Since I have been working in I.T. for over 20 years, I think I'm more than qualified to give some advice on "Tech-etiquette".

Here goes:

  • When you TYPE YOUR EMAILS OR POSTS IN ALL CAPS you are yelling!! It conveys anger... Unless you mean to yell or you are just using it for emphasis, keep the cap-lock off.
  • If you have an email address and you give it out you need to check it EVERY DAY. Do you check your "snail-mail" box everyday? Check your email at least once a day or just tell your friends you don't have it.
  • Here's a biggie. One way to irritate your friends on the net is to send them emails touting the latest email hoax (yes, almost all of them are). No, I don't want to send 10 of my friends the email about starving kids in Topeka, nor do I want the latest urban legend story (you know the one that YOU have never heard and are conviced is brand new - but it's probably not). Just remember, less is better. I do get some interesting things from some of my friends, but the best ones are the friends who only send one every few months because it really is cool.
  • Never give your friend's email address to someone else unless they say it's OK. NEVER, ever, ever. Just say no... By the way, when you email that funny urban legend to everyone you know at one time, you just gave my email address to everyone you know.
  • Your I.T. friends prefer that if you don't know how to do something you just say so, don't pretend that you do. Also, don't just nod when we talk about stuff over your head, just say either - "Never mind, I don't understand that..." or "Now what does SQL mean?"
  • We really don't like being called geeks (although we can call each other that). We don't even call ourselves "wizards" so do even go there (leave that for the D&D guys). As for the word "guru", we don't mind that so much - however you should know that it really only means something coming from another I.T. person. Also, being a "nerd" and knowing how to use a computer are two completely UNRELATED things. I know lots of nerds, but not all of them are techies and I know lots of techies and many of them are not nerds.
  • Just because someone you know is an I.T. person does not necessarily mean that he or she can fix your daughter's laptop. You wouldn't ask a dentist advice about your upcoming surgery...
  • Unless you are a 12-year old kid, grammar, spelling and punctuation is important in emails and posts. Chatting during IM is different and so is text messaging, but if you are going to take the time to email, go ahead and write correctly - emails tend to hand around longer than other stuff... Which leads me to...
  • Re-read your emails before you send them, once it's gone, it's gone and whoever gets it can save it FOREVER. So, that email you wrote while you were agry is there to read and re-read. Also...
  • If you are answering a question to the person that asked it in an email sent to many people DO NOT PUSH THE "Reply to All" BUTTON. We don't all want to know that you can't make the company picnic because you are getting your bunyons removed that day.
  • If you have a cell phone and give out the number, carry it with you and leave it on. All of us who use them just ignore the signs about turning them off and just silence them (read the manual) when needed. Having a cell phone and never answering it is REALLY annoying.

I think that's enough for now.

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"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18