What’s the most ridiculous thing you saw a computer illiterate person do with a computer?

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I have two older coworkers who aren’t sure how computers really work. Both have wireless mice. Coworker A’s mouse stops working and can’t figure out why. Coworker B takes his mouse and walks over to her desk, puts his mouse down and jiggles it around, remarking “Huh, mine isn’t working either here. Must be your desk or something.” Meanwhile his cursor is doing a dance around his screen. All I could do to keep a straight face.


When I was the computer support person at my local library back in 04 an elderly lady was at a machine with an envelope and a confused look on her face. I approached and asked if she needed help and she said, “I’d like to send this letter to my daughter in email, but I don’t see anywhere to put it in.” She was holding a sealed envelope with her daughter’s email address as the address and her return address in the regular spot. No stamp though lol The look on her face was so earnest that I couldn’t even be angry. I patiently explained what email was and helped her set up a Gmail account and typed up the letter in the email for her to send. Different generations 🙂


Back around 2000 I did IT for a country club. Every Friday and Saturday night, without fail, the server which was in a locked room would crash. This caused the food and beverage ordering system to go down for about 20 minutes. One weekend, I stayed late on a friday and sort of camped out. At about the time the server normally crashed, at the height of the dinner rush, the food and beverage manager walked in and unplugged the server from the ups, then plugged it back in. I asked him why. He said it “made everything run faster” and further said this was a normal weekend routine.


Back in the days of the original Apple Macintosh (beige case, black and white display, new-fangled 3.5″ floppy drive), one of the secretaries where I was working managed to force 2 floppies into the single drive at once. “It kept asking for disk 2,” she explained. General rule: using a computer usually doesn’t require that kind of physical effort. If it does, then you’re doing it wrong.


Early 2000s, I opened an email account for my parents. I set it up on their work computer since I was waiting for them to finish work. Everything worked great until one day I told them to open an email I sent them and they kept insisting they’d do it the next day when they were at work – long story short they thought their email lived in the work computer and they couldn’t access it from other computers. A quick lesson in email and suddenly they got much more responsive to emails.