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Taking It Out On Your PC

Techstination feature for Friday, March 12, 1999

What's worse that road rage? How about computer rage? I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. What happens when the computer crashes and loses that document you've just worked on for three hours? Or one of the letters on your keyboard just won't work? A survey of office network managers conducted by a company called Concord Communications has found a surprising amount of violence. Rage against the machine. Eight-three percent of the respondents reported abusive and often violent behavior. Psychologist and business consultant, Dr. Will Calmas...

"According to the survey they're smashing it, taking the mouse, throwing it, and damaging the computers."

The number one piece of equipment broken during a fit of rage is the keyboard. Broken mice and shattered monitors tied for second place. Third place went to kicked in hard drives. That's not how you boot a computer. Sometimes...says Concord's Kevin Conklin....users make stupid mistakes...

"One case that I found the most humorous was where the person spilled water on his keyboard and then set it on a radiator to dry and left it there overnight and the thing melted."

Dr. Calmas suggests offices make someone available that frustrated users can talk to. Once you talk to the right person, he says, your frustration level goes down And he suspects, computer rage is even more common than road rage...

"People at the computer eight hours a day are going to be far more frustrated than those people who are on the highway only an hour per day."

Dr. Will Calmas.