Anesthesia is better


Envy the car repairman. When's the last time you got to watch them work on your vehicle?

Envy the pilot. They can make mistakes (except crashing the plane) without anyone on board noticing.

Envy the surgeon. They can perform their surgeries with a couple of "whoops" and "let's try that again" moments without the patient saying "that didn't work, maybe you should try again"

Pity the IT person. They often work completely supervised and scrutinized. If they get on Google to look something up, the customer thinks "I could do that, why do I need this gal to help me?"

The IT person rarely gets to anesthetize the patient unless the computer is on a tech bench, an increasingly rare phenomenon in a cloud-centric world with post-pandemic remote work galore.

Certain tech support software limits what the person being helped can view, but most support is generally visible to both parties, especially if the practitioner is having to ask what the other person sees on their screen.

If you're the customer, try to just let the person do their work. Don't say things like "I already tried that" or "why are you doing that" - they are not doing it to show off, they're likely doing whatever they're doing because this is their profession and they have some protocols and steps that typically help.

If you're the IT person, don't feel the need to explain or answer every single question while you work. "I am happy to help with some answers for you but I need to finish this first then I'll be happy to take your questions." Be careful not to make your work a tutorial session, otherwise you may find the customer trying to do all of this themselves next time, not aware of the pitfalls of doing any of it wrong. Open the terminal window with caution, it is very, very dangerous for someone to think that can be emulated without risk.

Anesthesia is useful, but not all professional services get to use it. If you're under scrutiny while you work, do what you can to preserve risk management, credibility, and avoid getting manipulated into a how-to masterclass unless that's what they hired you to do.