I learned to curtail and for the most part eliminate these calls from friends and family by doing this:
First time they ask for help it’s free, but I bring them through what is required from them. Generally, they dismiss it off hand thinking I’ll just be there whenever they have a virtual hang-nail.
After that, I’m $75/hr (first hour up front) if I sit in front of the computer, Google their question and it’s on the first page of results. If it’s not on the first page of results, or the person is my mother (Let’s face it, I owe her for time and expenses as it is) it’s free.
This does several things:
They learn extremely fast how to use Google themselves.
They start valuing my time as much as their own. This severely cut down on the whole “refusing to learn for themselves” because it was just easier to ask me.
-I need to start doing this. …the thing about “time and expenses” with Mom – yeah, the whole giving birth thing is kinda hard to forget about… -Rob