Learning from John

For the first time a student who fixes computers is coming to my office. As a supervisor with her own practice I have to have a reliable learning assistent: my computer. And that one is completely out of order after I tried to send someone pictures. A friend of mine reccomanded to become a member of this Students at your home (fixing your computer). So in this state of emergency I phone them, pay a year membership and after a few days only a young boy John puts his bike against my fence and rings my bell.

There he is: a boy with a friendly smile and casual outfit. But because this is the first time (and I am home alone, there is a dog but she is too friendly….) I offer him a cup of coffee at my kitchentable. I want to see what I now have in the house before we really get to solve computerproblems in my nextdoor officeroom.

John is’nt really a talkative person when I ask him how long he is doing this work. And if he likes what he is doing?

His head becomes more red during my questions and that is not only because of the hot coffee. Finally he asks: ‘But what am I supposed to do here madam?’

Slowly the quarter falls in my head…..poor John….if only I had mentioned the word ‘computer’ just once…..in all my questions.

So: this was a learning moment for me……always be concrete in your questions and don’t let your fear or curiousity make you talk around things…..thanks to John who after this embarrassing moment fixed my computer…..with a smile on his face….he also learned something I assume.

Gerian Dijkhuizen, december 2018

This column was first published in ANSE Journal 2018