Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things you say and do that IT hate

Today the part of "The IT Guy" will be played by "The Angry IT Guy"

Working in the IT industry for the best part of the last 10 years I've encountered some fairly hard to deal with users. I work in a relatively small IT department which has its pro's and con's, the main con being that for someone of my experience i have to do a lot more user support than I'd like to. Over the years I've developed a list of things in my head that users do or say that really drives me mad. It's about time i got some of them down in writing... so here goes.

1. Introductions:
Do not introduce yourself to your IT guy like this:

"Oh, you're the IT guy?? Computers hate me, i really have no idea what I'm doing. I'm going to be speaking with you a lot!!"

We don't think that's funny, we just instantly find you annoying, we've just mentally put you in the "this person is a pain in the arse" database and we will avoid you wherever possible.

2. Obtaining Support
If your particular IT department has a process that you need to follow to obtain support (like filling in an online form, or emailing a particular address) follow it. Don't assume your problems are more important than everyone else's and circumnavigate the rules that everyone else follows. I can speak from experience when I say this kind of behaviour will generally lead to longer wait times for you to receive support.

3. Password Issues
Your IT department should be understanding when you forget your password, with the amount of passwords, pins and codes we need to remember these days it can happen to all of us. If your IT department is doing its job correctly you should also be forced to change your password regularly and it should have some kind of complexity requirements that you need to meet (like having upper case, lower case, Numbers and even symbols). So by all means, forget your password... occasionally.

Don't forget it EVERY BLOODY MONDAY MORNING... what are you doing over the weekend that you lose that many brain cells that your password has to be reset every Monday? Perhaps you should try and set it to something that isn't so hard to remember? I applaud you for setting your password to "G&f%12../DFs212" but what is the use of it if you forget it straight away... no use at all.

Don't write your password down on a post it note and attach it to your screen, if there was a way to stab people in the face remotely, this such situation would be a good time to do so. the IT department does not make you set a password so that anyone who sits down at your desk can log in by just reading it off a post it note.

4. Lying (we generally know when you are)
When someone who is full of shit forgets their password, the first thing they say is:
   "I haven't forgotten my password, i put it in correctly three times, but it still locked me out"
BULLSHIT! is how i would like to reply but i generally say:
   "Ok sure, what is your password"
9/10 it comes back as something that they couldn't possibly have set it to because it doesn't meet our minimum complexity requirements.

Don't tell us that you don't know what happened to a document, it just disappeared on its own. This doesn't happen, It cannot happen. I couldn't count the amount of times that someone has told me that they didn't do anything but a whole folder of documents has been deleted only to find out they moved it into another folder themselves.

When we ask you "have you rebooted" or "have you logged off and back on", don't say yes if you haven't. It still surprises me that people continue to do this, i think its because they don't believe rebooting will actually solve their problem, and to them the basis of that belief means that it actually wont. (as a sidenote... rebooting your PC really will take care of an unbelievable amount of IT issues)

5. Terminology
Do not tell us that your server is down if you cannot access google.
Do not refer to your 'computer' as your 'hard drive'.
Do not refer to your 'monitor' as your 'computer'.

6. Importance
When you tell us how important it is that your issue is fixed straight away, that doesn't help your cause. Some people like explain to their IT support person just how important they are, and point out how devastating it is to the company that they cannot work. Trust me, the IT guys know the pecking order. They know who is a priority and who can wait. You telling them you are important isn't going to speed things up at all.

7. Trust your IT department to do IT stuff
I once worked at a family business and we had the car park outside out building concreted. A man came in and quoted us $300 to paint the lines in the car park. My grandfather thought it best to save the money and paint them himself, he measured how wide a car was and made the lines that far apart. It obviously didn't occur to him that people liked to open their doors once they'd parked. Would have been $300 well spent!

If you take an Idea to your IT team, and they say something like (and let me quote here):
      "I think that is a great idea in theory, and i think it would be fantastic if we could achieve it, however from an IT perspective it is not something that is practical. It will be too expensive and impossible to manage".

This does not mean that the only obstacle standing in between you and your idea being put in to place is the IT team. Do not start scheming to undermine your IT guys and try force them into implementing your idea. You'll just end up painting your lines too close and making a mess!

We know what we're doing, we want to see the company do well, we will act in its best interest.

ok, i might stop there... i think this post is making me sound a little more angry and bitter than i actually am, most of the time i love my job, i do!

Cheers, The (angry) ITG.

p.s. please feel free to leave comments about things that IT do and say that you hate!


  1. "Lying (we generally know when you are)"
    That part kinda scares me. The IT guys know EVERYTHING.

  2. ok, maybe i should clarify here ... we aren't some mystic beings that can separate every bit of bullshit from the truth, however 9/10 when someone lies to us they tell us something that is impossible ... like "i put in my password 3 times correctly and it still locked me out" or ... "yesterday when i left my laptop was fine, and this morning when i got in there is a big crack in the screen casing, i have no idea how it got there" .. that kind of thing ;)