I leave my computer on, but my Gen-Y staff keep turning it off. Who is right?

Hello Aunty B,


We are in the middle of an argument at my work. So if you would be so kind…


I am in my 60s and I might not know a lot about computers (my staff would attest to that) but I do know about motors, and it can ruin a motor to turn it off and on.


Therefore I leave my computer on overnight. My staff, when they leave after me (which is rare, as you would know) turn it off, claiming it preserves the machine.


What do you think? May I just add that I have one of the oldest computers in the office and it works just fine.


Harry M,



Dear Harry,

I like your boldness Harry. It takes someone in their 60s real guts to argue with their younger staff on technology issues – or a dill.


Harry, you have no idea how much your young staff know about computers. After all, they have spent most of their lives playing, chatting and talking on them. And they know about overnight use. If they say they need to be turned off, they NEED to be turned off.


But Harry, you are not alone. I too hold all sorts of irrational beliefs about my computer. I, for instance, talk to my computer – sometimes very rudely. I believe that computers are fragile and that when my computer freezes, it is because of something I have done – pressed the wrong button perhaps – despite my IT guys logically pointing out that “it’s gremlins again”.


I also have passionate thoughts about my computer. I believe, for example, that when computers break it should be up there with moving house and divorce as a major life trauma.

At times I hate my computer like I have never hated a human being. Other times I admire how my computer and I are such a team and how well we operate together, how quickly we work, how efficient we are.


But Harry, I keep these thoughts secret (except when I am yelling). I do not broadcast them to the 120,000 unique visitors a month that come to SmartCompany (look it up).


So here is what you must do. Go and tell your staff you are a dope. Tell them you understand the reason you have such an old computer that still works is because they keep turning it off. You will then stop talking about motors unless it is over the back fence and you are discussing the lawn mower. And you will turn off your computer every night because it is also good for the environment.


Lastly, you will upgrade your computer so it is the best in the office and you will start taking secret lessons from your grandkids on the weekend so you can join in the conversations on Twitter.


Lovely talking Harry, and good luck!


Your Aunty B.

Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch

What are you waiting for? Email your questions, problems and issues to[email protected] right now


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments