Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What IT Hate About Users

Dealing with an IT job can seem nice on pay day but there are all the other issues we deal with...

1. Users Lie - Many times I chalk up user misinformation to a lack of technical knowledge, but Users will also tell you straight-out lies. Perhaps they feel guilty about breaking something, but lying about the symptoms of the problem at hand only further prevent the solution.

2. Management Doesn’t Understand - Bosses understand what the IT Department does, sort of. Yet they control the budgets, personnel, and usually make IT related decisions without input. We are then expected to make it work right off the bat no matter what else might need our attention. Part of the trouble with being an IT Pro is that we are like a movie editor; you only notice us when we mess up.

3. Perfection Expectation - IT Pros are expected to know how to fix every model of every device ever manufactured. If it has a screen or plugs into a socket, we are expected not only to know how to use it, but also to troubleshoot and fix it. Immediately. Without a manual. Hey, a copy machine is like a computer right?

4. Every User’s Problem is Our #1 Priority - Many Users will run into the IT Department screaming that their "Internet" is broken and it must be fixed immediately. While we understand the pictures of your Mom’s new dog are insanely important, we might be busy doing something that might rank over your issue, like ensuring that the entire company is receiving email, or fighting off an attack from some Korean kid. IT Pros across the world could work eight days a week and never solve every issue.

5. Some Things Just Won’t Work - We program computers with logical instructions, but as everyone knows, they do not behave logically. Not every device can work with every other device. Standards are not standard, as there are different implementations of every standard ever made. I would love to sync your iPod to your cell phone via a bluetooth connection; it should work right? When we say that it cannot work, take our word for it. We are the professionals after all.

6. Personal Pro - We don’t mind answering a question a User might have about their home computer setup, but they must keep in mind that everyone in the company does the same thing. We try to be kind and helpful, but sometimes we are really busy and tired of the grind. If a local IT Pro starts you off on the right path, GOOGLE for the next steps. We do not have the time to hold everyone’s hand fixing their Mother’s 1986 Packard Bell setup. We understand the concept of "Teach a man to fish…", but Users need to understand that exterior systems are their responsibility.


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