Ask me to cook a meal for 50 people, and I would have either a lot of hungry people or enough food to feed an army. Ask me to design a training program for an Olympic athlete, and I hope that person doesn’t plan on winning a medal. Ask me to climb a communications tower and repair the antenna while hovering 100 metres above the earth, and I would be telling people to send more letters.
All of these tasks are performed by people across the world every day. Does that make me stupid? I don’t think so. Does it make me ignorant? Ignorant of the knowledge to perform that task—absolutely.
I become very frustrated when our employees assume clients are “stupid” simply because they don’t know what we know about computers. I become frustrated when they use words like just in a sentence: “All you need to do is just reboot the computer, wait until after the BIOS screen, then just press the F8 key and choose ‘Safe Mode,’ boot into Windows, then just run RegEdit and just modify the correct hive…”
Sometimes our staff can’t understand why this isn’t a sensible chat to have with a client, and they might write them off as “too stupid to understand.”
Some of our clients are farmers. If you asked most non-farmers to direct drill a paddock, they would start looking for a really big cordless drill!
Ignorance of a different occupation does not equal stupidity. In fact, our society encourages us all to know more and more about less and less. In my father’s era in his occupation as a builder, he would not only be the builder, but he would do parts of the work of the plumber, the electrician, the draftsman, and the painter. Modern society means we have specialists. And that is a good thing.
We have to be careful to remember that by the very nature of the specialist society we want, we will know more about our occupation than our clients, and that is why we have a business and why our employees have jobs!