Too much discussion

People who aren’t in IT like to discuss things, people who are in IT don’t like to discuss things, we just do things. This fundamental disagreement causes much agony for IT guys. Our work is best done when we are in front of our computer coding or provisioning or in front of a rack installing servers and other equipment. When you pull us into a two hour strategy meeting to discuss why we need a firewall, you zap our productivity and make yourself look stupid. 

The average person doesn’t understand that you can put all the money you want into advertising, production, perks for employees, etc etc etc but if you aren’t investing in your infrastructure you have a glaring weakness within your company. You are only as strong as your weakest employee and your productivity is only as strong as the windows 95 machine you have printing labels. 

As an IT guy if everything works, we did our job. If you find us napping in our office, it’s because everything is working, this is a good thing. If you come up to us and say, “All you do is sit in front of your computer and play games.” Yes this is true, because we worked after hours and weekends to make everything work. The best IT guy and network is one you don’t notice, because it works and you never have a problem with it.

Because of this, when an IT guy is asking for something, most likely he needs it, the more automated tasks we can provide and the more reliability we can ensure, the more likely we are going to nap in our office when it’s done. And that’s ok, because everything is working. 

The following questions annoy the hell out of us.

1. Why do we need a firewall? -Really? how did you even get into this meeting?

2. Can you do this now? -No, it would have been done already if we could do it in the middle of the day.

3. Let’s discuss this. -Why? No matter how many times I explain it, you’re not going to have a clue. That’s why I am here, because I know what I’m doing and you slept your way to the top. Don’t try to understand.

4. Why did it fail? -Because you didn’t invest enough money into your infrastructure. Had you listened to me when I said you need two of everything, then this wouldn’t happen, but instead decided to buy everyone in the office polo shirts and now we lost two hours of productivity, but at least we match at the company picnic.

5. How did I get a virus, I didn’t do anything bad. -Oh no, streaming music, facebooking and downloading porn and other videos aren’t bad, that has nothing to do with the virus you got.

6. An email was blocked for size limit, let’s discuss. -No let’s not, either you want larger emails coming in or you don’t, make up your damn mind.

The average person doesn’t have a clue what an IT guy does, and they shouldn’t, it’s why we are paid well. Just listen to us and everything will be fine, and no we can’t discuss this in a meeting.

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I can’t read your mind

Despite what my clients think, I cannot read their minds. Also I don’t just have a magic touch, I can’t just walk into the room and have your computer magically work. The difference between me and you is that when I sit down at your computer I actually have an idea of what I am doing, so that’s why the error mysteriously goes away. 

If I email you, it’s probably a good idea to reply, you see we get hundreds of emails a day and to remember all of them that we replied to is impossible. So if we ask you something, or if we are helping you with something, give us the common courtesy to reply to our emails when we send them to you, as we will always reply to you. 

A month ago a user emailed us with an issue. He had decided to try to modify a piece of software to work with a chat service. After following some online instructions, he screwed it up and the original software wouldn’t work. So he emailed the helpdesk, we opened a case with the vendor, emailed him back for some information and waited… He never replied, he wasn’t out of town, he was working, and in fact had submitted other inquiries, but didn’t have the courtesy to reply to our email. 

A few days ago we get an email from his boss asking us why his chat software wasn’t fixed a month ago. I replied to let her know we had contacted him and never heard back. She asked that we do it again. I have one of our techs call her to get his number, to which she replied, “He is too busy, I don’t want you to bother him. Email him and schedule a time.” Email sent, no reply, go figure. 

 

I just love when clients wait till the last minute to do something. “Hey I need this software installed before first thing Monday.” Thanks for sending that to me at 4pm on Friday, let me get right on that. 

“I’ve decided to upgrade our ERP application right now, I know it’s Friday at 1pm, but are you free all afternoon?”

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My computer is a blue

Doing a Microsoft Assessment for a client, when asked “Is your computer a laptop or desktop?” I got the answer “BLUE”

That’s not an option. Nor is it a valid answer

Also apparently “DELL” is a valid answer for what operating system are you using.

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I’m more professional than you

As an IT guy my hours sometimes vary. A lot of things we do have to be done after normal business hours due to user interference or even just because of personal preference. Because of the nature of my work as a consultant if I didn’t have set business hours, I’d be working 24/7 and I’m not being paid to do that.

My hours of work are Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm. Yes I understand that certain things fall out of that time frame, and we react accordingly. But my company has a strict policy, that if we work after 5pm or before 8am, we must be paid overtime rates for that. And because of companies in the past not paying us, we must have approval from a decision maker in the company who can be responsible for paying us if we work outside of normal hours.

So when some low on the totem pole nobody calls me after 5pm and demands that I answer the phone I can do nothing but laugh. As soon as I answer that phone call from him, his company is going to get billed. No matter how much he fights, I can’t not bill him for a phone call.

A few weeks ago I made some changes for a client, they sent me the info they had, I made the changes according to their instructions and that was that. They were DNS changes to it takes some time to make it through the internet.

At about 4:45pm I get a phone voicemail from the employee, I was on the other line so I didn’t get it when it came in. The voicemail says, “Hey the website is down, please call me back, I need this back up.”

I get the voicemail after 5pm and I email him back from my phone asap, just to tell him “Hey just leave it where it’s at and it will come back. As long as you sent me the full instructions we will be fine. I cannot answer the phone after 5pm without prior approval for OT.”

About 5 minutes later I get another call, “Please call me back, the site is not up and I need the site up, please call me back.”

Then he replies to my email, “I’m changing it back to where it was before, I need my site up.”

I reply to his email, “OK I will not touch it until you tell me too.”

I get one last call back about 5:20pm, “You need to call me back, the time for being nice is over. Whatever change you made took my site down. You need to call me back or answer your phone, you are replying back from your phone but not answering. That is not very professional.”

Ok first off, fuck you buddy. You don’t call a consultant that is here to help your company and tell them what to do, I don’t work for you, I’m not employed by you. I’m not on the org chart, so fuck off. Professional is not calling someone demanding a call back because you screwed up by not getting the consultant the information they needed.

So about 20 minutes later I call him back on his office line, someone picks up and I hear oops and then a hang up. So I call back on his cell phone and leave a message.

“Hey I’m sorry I didn’t call you back, we cannot make calls after 5pm unless we have prior approval for overtime from the owner of the company and from the owner of my company. We do not have that approval so I cannot answer your call. I emailed you simply to be nice and tell you that so you didn’t think I was just ignoring your calls. Apparently I didn’t make that clear enough. However, I’ve checked the site and it appears up. If you need anything else, please contact the support team. Thank you and have a wonderful evening.”

I haven’t spoken to this person since then, I don’t plan on speaking to him either. Leaving demanding voicemails is not they way to get something done. Dick bag.

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Our definitions of “Emergency” differ

What a user or client thinks is an emergency or a problem and what actually is an emergency or problem are two VERY different things. You see a typical user doesn’t understand that if you allow the IT guy or department to take control of everything IT, giving him a budget which allows for him to cover all of his bases, you will be ok.

IT guys know what needs backed up, they can’t prevent every single problem that might happen, but they can at least keep your company from losing information. And frankly, as long as your company isn’t losing information or data and isn’t losing money because of the IT department, then we feel we are doing our jobs.

Your mouse not working, is not an emergency. If you ask us nicely we can probably point you to a magical box full of mice that you can replace yourself. We don’t necessarily need to crawl under your desk to replace it either, you can simply plug it into your own computer, we are ok with that.

Sometimes a user will have a problem that we just don’t have a definitive answer for, but if there is a work around, that now becomes the way. Work arounds are a way to do things that aren’t necessarily the easy way.

Client emails me the other day, “My email is not working, it hasn’t updated in 3 weeks.” She’s in another state so we scheduled a GoToMeeting for to 10am the next day. Around 9am I get an email, “It’s working it’s working, thanks so much!”

I didn’t do anything, but ok. Just a moment later I get another email, “So it’s working and everything, but it doesn’t say Outlook at the top, is it broken?”

My response, “It’s working fine right, and you can work?”

Her response, “This is way too annoying, I CANNOT work when it doesn’t say outlook at the top. When I minimize it, I can’t find it!”

My response, “Look for the little Outlook Icon, it’s an orange O. I’m sorry I don’t consider the wrong app title bar an emergency or a deal breaker.”

Her response, “Maybe I did overreact a little.”

Ya think?

 

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Don’t ignore our emails

Most IT guys I know HATE talking to people. Mainly because people who aren’t in IT ask way too many questions about things they have no clue about and we end up having to explain things over and over again. Plus, when we talk to you face to face, you always end up whispering about us fixing your sisters computer because she downloaded every virus known to man clicking on links in pinterest and facebook.

Our preferred method communication is email, mainly because we can gather all the details and facts and put them together into something concise and complete. So when we send you an email, you should probably pay attention to it. Below, is an example of when this doesn’t happen.

Client: “Your email said that I have to change my password and then log in to download the app. The app has to be installed by the 24th, but do I have to change my password before the 24th?”

Me: “My email said you have to change your password in order to log in to get an app, otherwise it won’t take it. “

Client: “I’m not following”

Me: “You have to log in and get the app before the 24th, in order to do that you must change your password first. So yes you much change your password before the 24th.”

Client: “And I have to change the password first? When do I log in to get the app?”

Me: “Yes, the password must be changed before you log in to get the app.”

Client: “So I should do this on the 23rd?”

Me: “The 23rd is before the 24th, so that is a valid date for changing your password and logging in to get the app. The 16th is today and that’s also before the 24th, so you can do it now too.”

Client: “So I can do this between now and the 24th? I don’t have to wait.”

Me: “No you don’t have to wait, ‘before the 24th’ means, any day between now and the 24th.”

Client: “Oh I get it now, I don’t get how you can understand this technical stuff.”

Me: “Yeah me neither, dates are really hard to figure out.”

The problem here, is that she didn’t pay attention to my email anyhow. This particular person waited until the 24th to change their password and download the app. Not before the 24th like the email stated, but on the 24th. So they failed anyhow.

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If you work at Staples, you are not in IT

What bothers IT guys more than anything are when people who are not in IT try to understand what we do and what our job is. There is a reason we are paid good money to do what we do. It takes a good bit of training, education, gut instincts, etc to do what we do. A few books and replacing some ram in your home PC doesn’t make you an IT guy.

If you work at Staples or Best buy in the computer section, you also aren’t an IT guy. You work in retail, not IT. So when one of those guys tries to explain something to someone, or to us it gets annoying. I think there should be a special code that we can give people to explain, “Hey by the way, I know what I am doing here so don’t try to over explain anything and get it wrong, because we will know and we will call you out on it.

Part of my job is to buy things for clients, if they need cables, I’ll buy some cables, if they need a printer, a router, anything like that, I have no problem picking it up.

Had to go pick up some cable ends for a client at staples, here is what happened.

 

Me: “Where do you keep your cat 5 connectors?”

Staples employee: “We call them RJ45 connectors in the biz.”

Me:”In the biz as in staples?”

Staples employee:”Aisle 8 with the cat 5 cables”

 

Thanks.

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IE9 commercial Fail

Cracks me up the Microsoft is touting the new IE9 in this commercial. Uhm, you can access all those web pages on every other browser. In fact, they probably work much better in Chrome or Firefox because IE9′s security is so jacked up you can’t get flash or java to run. #fail

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Rebooting fixes 99% of issues.

It’s true, rebooting your computer fixes almost every single problem you could have. Blue screen? Reboot. Your email is slow? Reboot. Not recognizing the USB Key filled with porn, Reboot. Sure there is probably another underlying reason why you are having the problem you are having. But for us to explain what it is, and to fix it by walking to your office or establishing a remote session into your computer is going to take way too much effort and time and I really don’t want to be pulled away from http://www.nesforever.com . So restart your computer, relax and when it comes back up you’ll be fine.

Why should you reboot your computer sometimes? Well rebooting your computer is like turning off your car. You see a computer is a machine; it has parts and circuits, a power supply and some other stuff. These parts work together to make your computer do things, like play solitaire. When you leave your computer turned on for 365 straight days, it doesn’t have time to refresh it’s settings, or to finish installing the three service packs that Microsoft released this year. So all that stuff is sitting there, waiting to finish, and it’s just waiting and waiting for you to be working on that month end report that for some reason you didn’t save lately. And that’s when it happens, the blue screen of death.

Would you let your car run for 365 straight days? Just start it on January 1st, leave the keys in it and let it run? Besides the fact that you couldn’t get gas, or change the oil, or the tires or anything like that, it would just quit on you at some point. Well your computer needs those things too sorta. It needs some service packs, maybe a defrag or a disk clean. And these things probably shouldn’t happen during your mine sweeper marathon, or when you took a break from actual work to upload your vacation pictures to facebook.

When we tell you to reboot your computer to fix a problem, we mean to reboot it once. If you’ve restarted your computer nine times you’ve done it eight times too many. I know we said that you should restart your computer to fix your problems, but once is ok. If your problem still remains, then that means you really screwed something up.

 

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