I concede that there are plenty of people like this out there:
I’m constantly amazed by the fact that our older faculty/staff can clearly and easily be separated into two degrees of capability: mediocre and nonexistent.
The Mediocre folks are capable enough of doing basic word processing tasks and working with one or two specialty statistics programs they’ve been using for at least a decade. The Nonexistent folks are much worse; they routinely need help figuring out (I am not making this up) that they have accidentally pushed the Caps Lock key when typing.
As near as I can tell, the “Nonexistent”-skilled folks have one thing in common: all are over the age of 45, whether faculty or staff. Watching them attempt to work on their own, I can only conclude that for some portion of the population, the ability to form new mental models and learn new tasks (or even new ways of doing old tasks) has been lost after this age.
The real threat, in my experience, is the person with Nonexistent skills who nonetheless estimates himself to be Mediocre or better; we spend an inordinate number of hours undoing the clever little things he’s done.
I am, of course, way over the age of 45, but I’ve spent half my lifetime in the company of these daffy machines, so I have at least a vague idea of what I’m doing most of the time, and when I don’t, I’m not too proud to request assistance.