The Shoulder Rule

I’ve never heard a good name for this rule, so I call it “The Shoulder Rule”. You’ve likely experienced it. Simply, The Shoulder Rule states that you are likely to solve a problem on your computer that has been bugging you for a while as soon as you impose upon someone else to look over your shoulder. Inevitably, this generates mixed feelings: yes, the problem is now solved, but you’ve totally interrupted someone, wasted their time, and made them get up and walk, only to make use of exactly zero of their qualifications or expertise. Does anyone know this by a different name?

I never get mad when I am the one imposed upon by The Shoulder Rule. I don’t know what lies behind it, but I’ve seen it work well too many times.

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