MY Hines

Backlash of Techie Holiday Gifts

Posted on: December 28, 2009

So, anyone get any good techie gifts? Anyone tired of answering questions about their cousin’s new computer? How about your aunt’s new iPod? Oh, did anyone get a TV/DVD that they want you to look at? How about your coworkers? Have the gotten a new digital camera but didn’t get any memory cards for it? Or did they get a computer with Vista on it and now they want to upgrade to Windows 7?

Yeah, pretty much, I know to ask these questions about all of these sound like questions I have had since I left the office last Wednesday until right now. Being in this world of ‘nonprofit techie’, I’ve been around enough holidays to predict what was going to happen when I got back today. I have some tips for making it thru this period of time. For the next two weeks, expect the questions to continue to fly.

  1. Learn to gracefully say No. There are many different ways to say no but starting out with “No” is not one of the best ways to go about it. I tend to find it easier to say no to my extended family because I’m lucky if I see them six or eight times a year. I really can’t say no to my mother (but I control all of her techie toys so I always know what she is getting and how to handle it before it is even wrapped!) Coworkers are even harder. Some are around a bit more and others aren’t. You have to judge who you are saying no too. You are going to have to find a way to rate who should be answered. Another way to say no is to head the person who is asking the questions to resources for them to find the answers themselves – Google, GeekSquad, or Manufactor websites are great places to send them too so you are not the one answering the questions. Be polite and don’t follow the Anti-Drug slogan of “Just Say No”.
  2. Prepare Information Before the Holiday. Several years ago we started a “technology newsletter” for the staff of my agency. It provided answers and questions to some things that us ‘techies’ take for granted that others know. These newsletters have been a good tool to answer some of those easy questions that we could get swamped under. I also believe that by helping staff learn about their own personal technology items, it helps them become better computer users at the office. Sometimes if a staff person learns how to use iTunes on their own, you may see that they become better at using their mouse or navigating thru a database. These are small returns that really add up. Come up with a catchy way to present the information and some will just happen to read it.
  3. Reminders about employee programs that are available. I have been lucky enough to get Microsoft Home Use Program into place at the office. I also have an Employee Purchase Program with CDW. Reminding staff about these programs can offer them huge discounts on equipment and it gets them newer equipment and programs.
  4. Have resources for additional training ready. One of the nice things about having the same several companies that I use for computer supplies is that I learn of things that their websites offer. CDW has a Resource Center that has articles, webinars and podcasts available. Most of these are free resources that you do not even need a CDW account to access. HP has a large selection of classes that are available. They are broken into several parts, my favorites being labeled “At Work” (for more business based learning) and “At Home” (for items such as digital photography). These are huge resources that takes the training out of your hands. Don’t forget Microsoft. For as much as people complain about Microsoft, they have large amounts of resources available online for free. There are the Office Training resources, Events and Webinars, and eLearning Benefits available when you get the Microsoft Software Assurance.

There are my major tips for you. I’m sure that there are others out there. I’d love to read comments about what other tips you may have for answering all of the post-holiday questions that are bound to stream in!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2 other followers


%d bloggers like this: