I am I T Guy – Not Servant

One of the hardest issues of being an IT guy, is that everyone thinks you are an electrical janitor or servant.

Truth is, you are not. Your duty is to be the guy that come up with a solution to an issue, a solution that you are the only person qualified to make. You are not the guy that they say “ok, take this broken monitor and this broken computer and have it working in fifteen minutes, I have work to do”. That call is just irrational. Maybe the boss can say what he wants and what he expects of you, and you have the choice to try and oblige the request or look for a new job. So, have some reserve for those who pay you.
Now this does not be mean to people walk around calling them stupid. but you can not whimper your voice while you tell them that the request they are making is not possible.

Now that I have the intro out of the way, here is what happened to me today that lead to this story.

Today, I am working on my cad drawings, but stopped for a brief, maybe 20 seconds to find pandora.com and sign in and hit shuffle so I could just tone out the local ambiance in the building (the guy with the cough who gargles up his lung  mud and snorts his snot, but never spits, the fat girl who goes into baby talk while she calls every single person over their  phone com, and asks them to come into her office, the bathroom door slamming constantly, and the hand full of dudes talking about fantasy football in denial about it being dungeons and dragons for the slow witted). What happens? someone walks into my office steps behind my monitor and yells out “see told ya, he is just playing around on the internet”. and says ” We have a printer at (coworker’s name)’s desk we need you to hook up” So instantly, since I am the I.T. guy, I know that the only printer that no one is using, is messed up. so I ask “Which printer? not that white one from the first cubicle right?”. and I get a response like this ” Look, she is cutting out checks, if you don’t do this I will have to tell Dave”. Dave is a random name to represent my boss’s name. I’m dumb founded that someone would make such a stupid statement, so dumbfounded I can’t speak. This leads tardo to think I am submitting to this threat. Without even hearing what I have to say, without asking if I was busy, without checking if that computer already has the drivers loaded, by just plugging in to see what happens. Well just between you and me, I hate that printer. It takes forever to hook up and most of the time, It will not work. Just loads and loads of problems. The computer it was hooked up to was the only computer it has ever been successfully hooked up to. and of course it is the pretty lady’s desk who is only in the office twice a week. She can’t even defend her own printer. The ugly squad has assigned themselves to just take what ever they want from her desk.  So I say” that printer is never going to work on that computer, you need another printer. Tell Dave what ever makes you feel good”. That person who is in charge of ordering junk, found it in their duty to tell me what my duty is. And they are an idiot who has no idea if that printer even works.Well, it does. Kind of. but there was no one in the world it work on that other computer.

So I tell them both no and that it will not happen, the printer does not work well. I told them they need to find another printer elsewhere. They both explained to me repeatedly how it HAS TO BE THAT PRINTER. I explained again and again and again, that yes I know that IT has duties, but it can not be performed with THAT printer. It will not happen.
an hour or two goes by and they mumble and grumble repeatedly and make a scene about my every move.. So I walk over 6there I hook up the printer I download the 2 500 mb installers . takes a fricken Hour.. So for an hour she can not use her computer. I start the install of the first printer program, the drivers. The install gets  about 1/3 of the way … slowly. BAM. memory dump. So I reboot the computer. As soon as the dang screen goes black, her comes tardo again and she looks over my shoulder and yells out ” he’s just now turning the computer on”. I explain ” No the computer just crashed and it rebooting”. guess what she says ‘ you don’t know how to do this without it crashing?” @$#%^!!!!. what the heck. after a few shots of showing these people that the software is forcing a memory dump (that computer is beat, it’s quite old). I explain once again that the other computer is the only one that I have been able to get to work with that printer. Guess what their next brilliant idea is. They should give that computer to her. That computer is already taken. I explain that it would take me several hours to set that machine up with her backed up emails on it, and they respond with “well get started”.
See I have been way to polite already. The more polite I try to be about this, the more they try and run me over without a care about the part timer who’s printer they tried to take, and then who’s computer they are about to attempt to claim priority over.

So here I am. Two hours behind on my work, hooking up the printer that was already there, explaining again ” We need a new printer, there is no printer available” while listening to them say ” this printer wrinkles the paper and I am in a hurry”. No sense of logic was used in that conversation. at all.

Somewhere management needs to step in. because I can’t go around being rude to people to make them understand that An IT guy is not a personal servant, or a magician.

Stagnated Coworkers

One of the hardest things to face when you are the “go to” guy at the office is that everyone in the office will stop work as they come into something they “go to” you about, until they can get information from you that allows them to proceed.

It’s great to be worth something in the office. It’s great to be needed. It’s a huge plus when you are the one that everyone counts on. but it’s a whole lot of stress when you realize that you do the work and everyone else does the filler and detail. It’s much like the local car-wash, or the diner. The guys in the back do all all of the work, but you give a tip to the lady who brought you the food, or the guy who just sprayed air freshener into your car. Not the guy who cooked your whole meal, or the guy who scrubbed the bug guts off your head lights.

Sometimes you will find that the employees that count on you the most, will just sit on their hands and swing their feet while they wait for you to do what they need to be done. and all of the blame will be on you.

For some reason, when one guy changes the paper in the printer, he becomes the designated printer paper changer guy from there on out. No one will work until that guy changes the paper in the printer. No one!.

I sit ok to tell people to do it themselves? or is it better to just be needed? what if you are deep into a project?

Getting Attached to Coworkers

In office place or construction site or a retail establishment, you can and will interact with people. One of the worst things that happen is you getting to know someone and you begining to enjoy the company of that person. We all know that people quit their job or get fired or laid off. What do you do when your work buddy is gone? How do you feel when your buddy thinks things had gone wrong and many injustices came about before they had been sent on a new job search quest? Especially if you like the place you work. Do you stand by that buddy and begin searching for job and looking to change your career? Do you drop that work buddy and get back to your job and move on? What if you think you were falling in love?

There are a few posts here on iworkwithpeople.com that points good reason to not get close. This is a great reason to not get to close to coworkers.
Just do your job and move on. With all the people that leave your job, count on more employee coming along getting hired and taking those job positions. Yippee, new coworkers. If your are lucky, you will absorb more tricks of your trade and increase your value in a long run.

Have a great Team

Retail Management verses office employees Boat Race

The management of a gas station chain and the team of office employees decided to engage in a boat race. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance levels. On the big day they felt ready. The office employees won by a mile!

The Management team was discouraged by the loss. Morale sagged. Coast Guard management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found, so a consulting firm was hired to investigate the problem and recommend corrective action.

The consultant’s finding: The office employees team had eight people rowing and one person steering; the Management team had one person rowing and eight people steering.

After a year of study and millions spent analyzing the problem, the consultant firm concluded that too many people were steering and not enough were rowing on the retail management team. As race the day neared again the following year, the retail management team’s management structure was completely reorganized.

The flawless company overhaul consisted of: two district steering managers, three area steering managers two general steering managers, and a new performance review system for the person rowing the boat to provide work incentives. (Like a new button on their shirt, a discount on their shirt and name tag.)

The race is over, the office employees won yet again!!!

Humiliated, the gas station retail management laid off the rower for poor performance and gave the managers a bonus for discovering the problem.

Jhis was actually just a joke and meant to be funny, yet food for thought. Welcome to retail.