Implications for Bit Boy and Bladder Man.

I Find Karma (
Sun, 4 Feb 96 12:29:17 PST

What is
Technical Harassment

In our complex technical environment there are many opportunities for a
competent technical individual to be the subject of technical harassment.
Sometimes it can be so subtle that you may not even be aware you are being
harassed. Worse yet, you may inadvertently technically harass another person
by accident.

Following are some guidelines to help you determine if you are being
technically harassed.

If you are repeatedly asked the same technical question you may be the
victim of technical harassment. While it is most common to be asked the
question repeatedly within the same conversation, some instances have been
identified of habitual technical harassment. Habitual technical harassment is
not uncommon and has been known to exhibit group tendencies where members of a
group may ask the same question repeatedly. Untreated, these instances of
group technical harassment can continue for years.

If you are asked a technical question by a non-technical person and they do
not write your answer down it is likely the question is frivolous. Most
non-technical people are not capable of remembering a true technical answer
for more than 30 seconds.

If you are forced into a discussion where a person uses more than three
(3) buzzwords in one sentence the person is most likely a fake and you are
the unwitting victim of technical harassment. One note of caution, competent
technical people have been known to inadvertently use buzzwords after reading
mindless drivel like PC Week or LAN Times. If the person has been known to use
more common technical terms in the past such as "stuff" and "things", they are
most likely victim of computer magazine brainwashing.

If during a troubleshooting session a person uses the term "trick". For
example "maybe we could trick the database into thinking it has been updated".
This is a sure sign of technical harassment.

If a person explains that a needed feature will be provided by a vendor and
that person is nontechnical then you are at risk of being technically harassed.
If you believe that person, you have definitely been technically harassed, if
you don't believe them you have only been technically annoyed.

If when trying to resolve a technical problem with a product from a vendor
and you are instructed to call the salesman that sold us the product you are
being set up for technical harassment. It is a common reaction for a
non-technical person when they have purchased technical equipment to call
another non-technical person. The dialogue between two nontechnical people
usually provides some sense of comfort that they aren't the only ones who
are confused.
(Unattributed, but its been around for a while.)

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