Internet friend, Michele Catalano on asking someone you know who "works with computers" to "fix" your own computer:
And really, most of the time he doesn’t mind. He likes you. He wants to help you. Then you call and say “Gee, I really want to get this fixed right away. Can’t you come over on your way home from work?” and he just spent all day in front of a computer and all he wants to do is go home and eat dinner and NOT sit in front of the computer. But he does it anyhow. He does it on a Saturday when we should be kicking back. He does it on a holiday when everyone is in your backyard enjoying a barbecue and you dragged him into the house to show him how your AOL doesn’t load up. On behalf of my boyfriend, and all other people who “work with computers” and get asked day after day to fix things for free, here’s a few guidelines. Be thankful. If he spent three hours at your house fixing something you fucked up that would have cost you $200 to get fixed by the Geek Squad, show your appreciation. Offer him a 50. Offer him dinner. Send him a damn thank you card or something. Don’t just say thanks and promise to call him again next time something screws up. Go read all of it. Send this to your friends. Send this to your family. JUST READ IT. This post is basically the description of what it has been like to work on anyone's computer…friends, family, co-workers, in-laws, ANYONE for the past 18 years or so of my life. Thankfully, I now do much more complicated (and get paid to do so) things for work than just "fixing printers" anymore. It also takes a lot of self-control on my part to not jump in when I see our own help desk people performing a task in a way that I consider insufficient, but I have to stop and tell myself. No. You hate this. This isn't your job anymore. Also, it helps that I tell family that I refuse to work on any machine anymore that isn't made by the Apple Corporation.