Thursday, February 02, 2006

The tale of two "Helpfuls"

There are two kinds of helpful people when it comes to any technical or procedural issues. That is assuming that The Helpful knows the solution to the issue.

The first kind will do a lot of talking and attempt to make you understand what the core of the issue is (which most often allows you to find the solution yourself) and then offer you the solution. From then on you go about executing the suggestion and wear a big, grateful smile across your face when you say "Thank you!".

The second kind will seize the opportunity to prove its capabilities, push you aside and take the centre stage and work hurriedly as you watch helplessly asking yourself "What the hell is going on here". When you actually ask the question with a little decency tagged on to it, it falls on deaf ears. When the solution is executed, you get a line of two of the wisdom which is too less to really make you understand the roots of the problem or the solution. All you know is that somebody has been successful in scoring a point over you, and that somebody is making it felt by the See-I-did-it-when-you-cant looks you get. You end up saying "Thank you", sans the big smile and get on with your work.

What bothers me the most is that the second kind does not necessarily play spoilsports when it comes to other things like partying together, or going to a movie. The whole behaviour is attributable to habit rather than intentions. I pity, rather than hate, such a kind for they appear to be bad when they actually learned the lesson of helping others. Only they got the moral of the story wrong.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

badri, did u have any experience recently??? but u have written it nicely... :)

Badhri said...

Hi,
It looks like its some one I know. But I would like to respect your anonymity, so I wont ask who you are.

First, thanks for the compliments.

No, I have not had a recent experience. But I did have such an encounter during my college days. With the second kind I felt more insulted than helped. Though I got the job done, the attitude killed my satisfaction. To be honest, I did not like them then. But, neither I, nor the second kind wasn't mature then.

EdMcGon said...

I try to be the first kind you mentioned, but I will andmit there are times I turn into the second kind.

Usually this happens when I am either pressed for time, or I do not honestly think the person I am helping will understand the concepts. Although I don't try to hold it over them as some kind of victory. I merely finish the task and go on my way.

Prakash Gomathinayagam said...

I agree partially with EdMcGon. Now there are three types
1) One who wants to be first kind and always implements it
2) One who wants to be first kind, but jumps to second kind due to circumstance
3) One who is really second kind ( I think, who is just immature, as Badri said).

What I don't agree is
>>I do not honestly think the person
>>I am helping will understand the
>>concepts.
or you might not be intelligent enough to teach him the concepts.

What is easy for "A", may not be easy for "B". it does not make "A" superior over "B". b'cos there will be definitely some-other-thing, which will be easier for "B" than "A". If you understand this, then you end up comparing the tasks, not the people and it goes on ....

Badhri said...

I don't think edmcgon wanted to think less of a person who can not understand the concepts. I took it more likem trying to teach my dad computers. He gets petrified at the notion that he might break my computer if he closes a document without saving it. But none beats my dad in so many things including Englsih vocabulary, history, etc.

But when I teach my dad, I just write down the steps to using something, say, MS word on a note book and leave the rest upto him. I don't explain. He get too easily confused!

I think thats what edmcgon is getting at!