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golentan
2009-10-19, 01:05 AM
...is a dangerous thing. I'm opening this thread for people to give examples of times that they've done stupid and or painful things because they thought they were better than they were, or preferably they knew just enough to get them in trouble. I'll kick us off.

I'm a big fan of non-violent physical arts. I know aikido and tai chi, and have been trying to learn parkour. Evidently I know just enough to get myself in trouble. In a game of capture the flag, I was pursuing an intruder down some stairs and thought I saw an opportunity to catch up. I missed my footing by about an inch, crashed the rest of the way down the stairs (15 feet or so), and skidded for about 5 or 6 feet. On asphalt. My neck is a solid mass of pain, I have massive abrasions on my arms, my knees are a gorgeous shade of red, I scraped up my face and shoulder where I almost made it into a roll, and I'll have gorgeous bruises all over. The only time I've been in this much pain before was when I was hit by a truck. Getting knifed actually hurts LESS, which is really weirding me out. Fortunately I know more about first aid then parkour, so I'm confident it's minor (if painful) damage and has been tended to.

The devil of it is I know how to fall. If it had been less of a fall, if the stairs had been sloped differently, if the guy I was chasing had kept going so I didn't have to worry about him, or any of a number of things had been different, I could have used a roll to recover and avoid the worst of it. But with the unfamiliar surface, the other guy to worry about, and the suddenness of everything I was only able to mitigate enough that I didn't break or dislocate anything (not at all bad at full tilt down a full flight onto a hard surface, but still).

So, what are your stories about having just a little too much experience with something?

Pyrian
2009-10-19, 01:11 AM
...Drink deeply or taste not at my spring. :smallwink:

It seems to me that not knowing quite enough is the eternal experience of application maintenance. :smallyuk: I can never know enough about what I'm working with to be sure a given action won't result in some new pitfall.

Starscream
2009-10-19, 01:30 AM
I recently graduated with a degree in computer science.

During my education I swiftly learned that while a person who is incompetent with computers can do a lot of damage with one, a person who is sort of competent with them can cause disasters that are to the other people's as a black hole is to a dust-buster.

I went through this progression myself. Then I got the joy of witnessing it repeatedly from the outside as I became a sort of unofficial tech-support in my dorm. When I got a complaint about "The blinking thing won't stop blinking" I knew it wouldn't turn out to be a major problem. But when someone actually seemed to know what the problem was, I could instantly tell that it was really something ten times worse.

Now that I'm graduated, I look forward to getting a job and finding out that I don't know so much after all. And so the great cycle continues.

To put it another way:
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/success.png

Pyrian
2009-10-19, 01:50 AM
The reverse perspective of that, is that the people I'm supposed to go to for help hate hearing from me, because they know that if I can't figure it out, they probably can't, either. :smalltongue:

Rutskarn
2009-10-19, 02:02 AM
I recently graduated with a degree in computer science.

During my education I swiftly learned that while a person who is incompetent with computers can do a lot of damage with one, a person who is sort of competent with them can cause disasters that are to the other people's as a black hole is to a dust-buster.


Being the definition of sort-of-competent with computers, I can confirm this a thousandfold.

Cyrion
2009-10-19, 09:06 AM
Back when I lived in a house with roommates...

The house only had phone lines in the bedrooms, and nothing in the kitchen, living room, etc. My roomies and I decided that this should be fairly simple to fix- one hole drilled in the kitchen cabined for a wall plate and one more drilled in the top in order to drop a line, and a line splitter in the phone line in the attic- no problem!!!

So, there we were, taking turns tracing the phone line up in the attic in the middle of a California summer (easily 120 or 130 degrees up in the attic) and drilling the requisite holes. One roommie, we'll call him "Scott" is up in the attic, wire cutters in hand and myself and my other roomie, let's call him "Greg" just for sport, are down in the kitchen hollering up at him:

Scott- "Are we ready to do this?"
Greg- "Yep, cut away!"
<snip>
Greg- "OK, there should be a red, a black, a blue and a green wire..."
Scott- "Nope."
Greg- "What do you mean no?"
Scott- "No. There are six wires- a blue-white, an orange white, a green-white..."
Us- "Uh oh!"

At about this point, Greg's fiancee comes in to see Greg and I yelling at the water heater (It carried the sound well up into the attic) trying to restore phone service after we had cut the trunk line into the house.

We did eventually get it restored and the phone in the kitchen, but I really hope nobody ever goes up into that attic!

KuReshtin
2009-10-20, 02:12 AM
I recently graduated with a degree in computer science.

During my education I swiftly learned that while a person who is incompetent with computers can do a lot of damage with one, a person who is sort of competent with them can cause disasters that are to the other people's as a black hole is to a dust-buster.

The absolute worst thing a customer can say to me when he calls in for support is "One of my friends knows about computers and had a look at it..." which usually means that that 'friend' has been into the registry of the OS and deleted stuff, uninstalled vital drivers and generally messed up the system more than anything.
In those cases, all you can tell the customer is to reinstall the entire machine, cause nothing else will help.

Also... Look for the signs (http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20030209)

Thajocoth
2009-10-20, 02:25 AM
First grade: I stepped backwards during a play swordfight. 1 step. Arm was in a cast the entire summer. (We were high up. Well, high up for 1st graders.)

I also thought traffic was clear once when it wasn't due to the shape of the road I was on and tried to cross. I needed to get a new bike and pull my keys out of my side after that one...

Where I used to work, we got a staplegun who's shape was abnormal. There were as many staples added to fingers as there were to anything else. The first was to the Home Depot employee's hand prior to it's purchase. One was at my desk when the office secretary was trying to fix my desk. I really felt bad for that one, because I KNEW I should've said something, but figured whoever handed him the staplegun would've mentioned it. He says it didn't even hurt. Well, not until way later. It wasn't bleeding and held his finger pressed in. (It must've connected to the bone. It was a very neat line in a position that looked like it was entirely on purpose.)

I usually ask for more information on things to the point of getting annoying as I don't believe in doing anything without all the information, so all my stuff's physical. Speaking of which... I need to get some Snowboarding Kneepads... Winter's coming.

Serpentine
2009-10-20, 02:30 AM
Not REALLY relevant, but I wanted to say it somewhere and can't be bothered now to start a new thread: I had two people in one day ask me what I meant by this mysterious and arcane word, "swashbuckling". Two people!

Galileo
2009-10-20, 03:31 AM
Once I managed to convince my entire D&D group that 5-foot steps provoked attacks of opportunity. I'm still not sure how I managed to fail such a simple Knowledge (What the Hell You're Talking About) check. Or maybe I made such a good Bluff check I even fooled myself.

And yeah, what on earth's swashbuckling? Honestly, you really should explain these obviously made-up terms you use. Like 'relevant', for instance. What's that supposed to mean? :smalltongue:

Pyrian
2009-10-20, 01:06 PM
There were as many staples added to fingers as there were to anything else. The first was to the Home Depot employee's hand prior to it's purchase.See, if the salesman injures themself with the product, you should probably cancel the purchase and buy something else...

Solaris
2009-10-20, 01:26 PM
The absolute worst thing a customer can say to me when he calls in for support is "One of my friends knows about computers and had a look at it..." which usually means that that 'friend' has been into the registry of the OS and deleted stuff, uninstalled vital drivers and generally messed up the system more than anything.
In those cases, all you can tell the customer is to reinstall the entire machine, cause nothing else will help.

Also... Look for the signs (http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20030209)

... But all my windows are bolted shut.


See, if the salesman injures themself with the product, you should probably cancel the purchase and buy something else...

I disagree. That's a sign you should buy more.

zillion ninjas
2009-10-20, 07:59 PM
During my education I swiftly learned that while a person who is incompetent with computers can do a lot of damage with one, a person who is sort of competent with them can cause disasters that are to the other people's as a black hole is to a dust-buster.

If you're sufficiently self-aware about it, then the common phrase is: "I know just enough about X to be dangerous." Speaking as a potential coworker, I recommend this as a fair warning to those around you.


I had two people in one day ask me what I meant by this mysterious and arcane word, "swashbuckling". Two people!

Not that you were asking, of course, but the word origin (http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-swa4.htm) is pretty interesting (especially to the RPG-inclined), and not necessarily what you'd expect it to be. (One does not actually "buckle one's swash".)

Solaris
2009-10-20, 08:57 PM
If you're sufficiently self-aware about it, then the common phrase is: "I know just enough about X to be dangerous." Speaking as a potential coworker, I recommend this as a fair warning to those around you.

Generally, warning to run away very fast.
I work with explosives. And idiots.

Lupy
2009-10-20, 09:40 PM
The absolute worst thing a customer can say to me when he calls in for support is "One of my friends knows about computers and had a look at it..." which usually means that that 'friend' has been into the registry of the OS and deleted stuff, uninstalled vital drivers and generally messed up the system more than anything.
In those cases, all you can tell the customer is to reinstall the entire machine, cause nothing else will help.

Also... Look for the signs (http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20030209)

This reminds me of the first time I edited my registry... And the first time I reinstalled Windows. :smallbiggrin: Good times...

Magnor Criol
2009-10-20, 10:00 PM
If you're sufficiently self-aware about it, then the common phrase is: "I know just enough about X to be dangerous." Speaking as a potential coworker, I recommend this as a fair warning to those around you.

Not that you were asking, of course, but the word origin (http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-swa4.htm) is pretty interesting (especially to the RPG-inclined), and not necessarily what you'd expect it to be. (One does not actually "buckle one's swash".)

"knows just enough to be dangerous" is pretty much the story of my life. =p Also, thanks for the link about 'swashbuckling,' by great coincidence I had actually just been wondering about the real origins of the word today! :smallbiggrin:

zillion ninjas
2009-10-21, 08:29 PM
Generally, warning to run away very fast.
I work with explosives. And idiots.

Never a good combination. Unless you're posting the results on YouTube. :smallamused:


Also, thanks for the link about 'swashbuckling,' by great coincidence I had actually just been wondering about the real origins of the word today! :smallbiggrin:

De nada. Worldwideworlds.org is an excellent site for that sort of thing. Less addictive than TVTropes (hey, what isn't?), but still fascinating when you get into it.

Erloas
2009-10-21, 08:55 PM
The absolute worst thing a customer can say to me when he calls in for support is "One of my friends knows about computers and had a look at it..." which usually means that that 'friend' has been into the registry of the OS and deleted stuff, uninstalled vital drivers and generally messed up the system more than anything.
In those cases, all you can tell the customer is to reinstall the entire machine, cause nothing else will help.

Also... Look for the signs (http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20030209)

Eh, what I have found is that if I have to call a support line I pretty much either have to tell the person on the phone what the problem is and how to fix it or the call is pretty much useless. Of course I've never called for tech support problems, usually ISP problems. They never want to think I'm right but I always have been.

My grandma once called a tech support line about some problem and the kid was being fairly snide about everything and she yelled at him. She said "I'm 74 years old, so treat me like you would your own grandma" and after that he got a lot more friendly and helpful.

RandomNPC
2009-10-23, 04:54 PM
I tend to know enough about to computers to do the harm you all speak of. I'm also to afraid to try, because i know what can happen.

Also, while taking a course on computer programming, if you need the teachers attention i found all you need to do is say "oops" it's like the trigger word for a teleport or something.