Seriously, it is time for all the people who “work” in the IT department of their respective companies to stop making snide little remarks and yukking it up with their “Network Administrator” friends about the “dummies” that they have to spend all day “taking care of”. If you knew what was good for you, you would be very very quiet and appreciate just how lucky you are.
Confused? Well, let me explain. I work in a company that has an “IT” guy. But I also had to open an office by myself (not open the door, I mean set it up) and I have to deal with all the technical crap here on the site. So now I know. And remember, I say this with love.
After the jump, the exposé that actually inspired me to figure out how to make an “é”.
Please read all of this as if it were all being “sighed”.
- Nobody thinks the “did you reboot it” joke is funny anymore. If people just told you that they had rebooted and when you got there you didn’t see a big window that says YOU MUST NOW REBOOT you would have no idea if we rebooted or not. So just reboot it when you get there. It’s not like you are going to miss an important meeting.
- Everything you do is in the help text. Do you think that we can’t see you? The first thing you do is start opening all the menus on whatever program is having the trouble. Are you looking for the “click this to fix it” button that only shows if you are wearing your special “IT Glasses”? You can admit that you don’t know wtf is wrong with it. It is your job to figure it out.
- All the stuff that happens has already happened. Doesn’t matter what it is. You can search for it and someone has posted the exact problem as well as way to fix it. In fact, the only thing that can completely derail you is if you find the question but nobody else answered it. Your job depends on the fact that you have the patience to write down the entire error code from that pop up box you can’t copy from. No normal person would write down 9909899988EX01-0998989317319983173719372. By the way, if there is no answer posted for your problem, you just say something needs to be reinstalled.
- Vendors are your slaves and do most of your work. Something wrong with the phones? Call the phone guy. Internet? Call the Internet guy. Something in your internal network? See #5.
- You say you need to do things at night so nobody can see you reading the instructions. If you need to do a big upgrade or something like that or “work on the network” you always do it at night. And it’s not because you don’t want to “disrupt the workday”. It’s because you can’t let anyone see you sitting at a desk crying with a manual open in front of you and a phone on speaker saying: “You are now caller number thirty six. Your estimated hold time is 3 hours.”
- We really don’t want you to fix it all that fast. You can take your time. If someone comes by and asks us why we aren’t doing anything we can say our computer is getting worked on. If the guy is a good manager, he will say some jerk thing like: “why don’t you go over to that computer and do something, then” (you can’t pull down menus to figure out how to be a smart jerk like that). And OUR job as employees is to come up with a decent reason why we can’t do that.
- You get most of your ideas from the bosses. Why do we use Google Docs now? Because the boss heard a thing on CNBC about it and sent you an email that said: “Google Docs! No more Deleting?” or something equally stupid. Then YOU got all annoyed that you had to walk around the office and explain how to use Google docs to people over and over. They know how to do Google Docs. They just want a break. So explain it and shush. And next time you come in and the boss (who arrives at 4:30 am) has put something he ripped out of SkyMall on your desk with a sticky note that says: “See me to discuss” you just figure out why that would be the BEST IDEA IN THE WORLD and march in there with a smile.
- You use keyboard shortcuts to confuse us. Sure, you sit there playing games all day so you get to learn things, and when you get to someone’s computer and bring up Task Manager really fast it is pretty impressive. But, let me ask you this….when you get in there, do you have ANY idea what would happen if you right clicked something and changed its priority to “Real Time”? No, you do not. Do you know what any process is that doesn’t have the name of the program in the process itself? Maybe one or two. For the rest, it is back to #3
- If it is really dangerous, you don’t touch it. So…the only copy of a proposal that took 400 man hours is stuck on a corrupted drive and if it cannot be retrieved the company is in big trouble? Well, make sure you ask us a bunch of questions in the hope that it is also saved in another place. And then when that proves useless, you need to call one of those “specialist” places to retrieve it. Of course you do. Why would you do it? It’s just the one thing that the rest of the people in the office CAN’T do. I mean, I’m sure that when a plane’s engine goes out the pilot just calls the control tower and says: “hey! you pay me to watch the computer fly, not fix engines!” before jumping out of the plane with a parachute. It stands to reason that you would have someone else do this very important difficult thing.
- We know, and we are cool with it. See, this may seem mean, but it is truly said with love. We get it. Nobody can “memorize” Windows. And nobody who has a jerk manager and a deadline and a job that doesn’t have help text wants to deal with stupid computer things. They want YOU to do it. But, they aren’t nearly as dumb as you like to think. So just maintain the status quo. Reboot the machine, say something that makes the person you help feel good about you and themselves and go back to your cave.
I have had a Windows 7 machine for a while now. I have gotten one Blue Screen in more than a year, and it was legit (hard drive went). Technology is going out of its way to make YOU obsolete. Don’t let it. And be nice to the people in your office. You never know when one of them will get bothered and rat you out. Now, can you help me figure out how to print to a Brother printer from my HP Touchpad?