Being IT tech support for your family and friends seems to be one of the most hated “perks” of being tech savvy. I’m forever hearing stories about distant relatives who only ring every 6 months when their printer goes on the blink, or that time you wasted 3 hours on the phone trying to set up Larry’s ADSL.
If you’re someone who is getting bombarded with tech support questions from family and friends then take heart; it means that you have now joined the ranks of mechanics, doctors, nurses, builders, lawyers, tax accountants and many other trades and professions who have been doing the same thing for a long time. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve asked a family member or friend for help with something that they are skilled in. Maybe your Brother helped you fix your car, or your Aunt helped you with some legal advice. It’s just what people with useful skills do.
Even if you’re getting requests from someone who is obviously only using you for your skills, theres a good chance that you’ll receive more than your fair share of compensation from another source. For example, My Dad is a mechanical fitter by trade and an all-round DIY god. He’s been there for me countless times, whether its helping to fix my car or renovate my house. I’ve received more than my fair share of help from him to make up for any request I might receive from a friend or relative to fix their printer.
So congratulations; It turns out that if you’re actually a useful member of society instead of a pointless paper pusher. Revel in the fact that you’re less likely to be turned into Soylent Green than a typical generic office worker, and make sure that you’re a bit more considerate next time you ask your brother in law who’s also a Doctor to look at the rash on your neck.