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425 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1100033 1-Aug-2014 14:15 2 people support this post Send private message

I'm enjoying this topic, always makes me feel better knowing that other people suffer the same fate!
Most users are great but some seem to live their very defined roles, never venturing beyond what they're supposed to know and do.
"That's not my job!". They have no interest or ability to stretch themselves and learn something that would benefit them.
Yet it's always the IT guy's job, no matter how trivial.
But I think as IT people it's in our nature to want to figure out things and learn stuff.
It's just tedious dealing with people who have a "can't be f-ed" attitude to anything outside their comfort zone, whereas we have to be complete opposite.

Venting with other IT people helps a lot though.

8BitGirl in a HD World
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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1100042 1-Aug-2014 14:29 7 people support this post Send private message

I think a lot of us are probably also frustrated because you know, you love IT, you love technology in general and want other people to be excited about it. So when you try to show someone how to do things for themselves and try to get them involved, it's a bit of a slap in the face when all they take away from the interaction is 'Wow, she's smart. Next time something goes wrong, I'll just call her."

/facefreakingpalm




Less blunt than johnr but probably not much. ^LS on Twitter & Facebook. Queen of the Mods on http://community.vodafone.co.nz. Come say 'Hi' :)


BTR



451 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1100047 1-Aug-2014 14:41 One person supports this post Send private message

wasabi2k:
robjg63:
Bee: I have had visitors to our workplace ask for help with their Apple Mac - I've never worked anywhere that uses Apple at all on their network.


Yes - I have had this as well.  Usually find that the mac user has no idea how to get into any settings at all and will tell you at the same time 'macs just work and are so easy'.


When the infrastructure guys spend hours and hours and hours building extra stuff and duplicating infrastructure so that the macs can work with corporate services - then still require manual config on the macs themselves.

HATE mac products in the workplace. Only thing worse is mac users.



Haha I am a Mac user and run a Mac Network 700+ client machines plus Mac servers and I have the opposite problem, having to reconfigure things for PC's is a pain for me.

And back on topic I have had to fix a broken laminator that someone managed to get the plastic sheet wrapped around the heated drum and have even had to change tyres on a staff members car because my job title has the work technical in it.

And yes I have even had staff complain because their internet at home wasn't working and when I asked who their provider was their answer was you are.... turns out they didn't have internet at home.

3221 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1100054 1-Aug-2014 14:42 3 people support this post Send private message

Demeter: I think a lot of us are probably also frustrated because you know, you love IT, you love technology in general and want other people to be excited about it. So when you try to show someone how to do things for themselves and try to get them involved, it's a bit of a slap in the face when all they take away from the interaction is 'Wow, she's smart. Next time something goes wrong, I'll just call her."

/facefreakingpalm


The reason why I did the customer services sales courses for my support staff was to better equip then to deal with people. It is my experience the people skills are not strong with IT folk, but by giving my support staff the ability to better react etc these scenarios had better outcomes for all. Certainly made my job as manager easier.






Mike

 Interesting. You're afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic.

1167 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1100072 1-Aug-2014 14:57 One person supports this post Send private message

Demeter: I think a lot of us are probably also frustrated because you know, you love IT, you love technology in general and want other people to be excited about it. So when you try to show someone how to do things for themselves and try to get them involved, it's a bit of a slap in the face when all they take away from the interaction is 'Wow, she's smart. Next time something goes wrong, I'll just call her."

/facefreakingpalm


couldn't of summed it up better myself.





819 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 281


  Reply # 1100095 1-Aug-2014 15:15 Send private message

BTR:
wasabi2k:
robjg63:
Bee: I have had visitors to our workplace ask for help with their Apple Mac - I've never worked anywhere that uses Apple at all on their network.


Yes - I have had this as well.  Usually find that the mac user has no idea how to get into any settings at all and will tell you at the same time 'macs just work and are so easy'.


When the infrastructure guys spend hours and hours and hours building extra stuff and duplicating infrastructure so that the macs can work with corporate services - then still require manual config on the macs themselves.

HATE mac products in the workplace. Only thing worse is mac users.



Haha I am a Mac user and run a Mac Network 700+ client machines plus Mac servers and I have the opposite problem, having to reconfigure things for PC's is a pain for me.

And back on topic I have had to fix a broken laminator that someone managed to get the plastic sheet wrapped around the heated drum and have even had to change tyres on a staff members car because my job title has the work technical in it.

And yes I have even had staff complain because their internet at home wasn't working and when I asked who their provider was their answer was you are.... turns out they didn't have internet at home.


You're entirely correct of course - special snowflakes are the ones that make it hard, regardless of technology.

1293 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1100104 1-Aug-2014 15:29

 

And back on topic I have had to fix a broken laminator that someone managed to get the plastic sheet wrapped around the heated drum and have even had to change tyres on a staff members car because my job title has the work technical in it.



Thats funny - I pulled our old laminator apart several times before it totally bit the dust.
One time some idiot had tried laminating some cardboard butterflies - really thick things that managed to get mangled around the roller.

Unjamming printers that you then find a user has tried to unjam themselves. Last time a user had pulled the paper so hard they somehow broke part of the fuser unt!

Tuning TVs - you are just supposed to know how to do that no matter what brand (To be fair you usually can).

Helping people work their own phones (Sorry - not picking on apple people again) - But I have android and dont 'know' how to drive your lovely iphone - but you still expect me to know more about it than you do and you have owned it for 12 months?




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it it himself - A. H. Weiler

231 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1100121 1-Aug-2014 16:05 Send private message

With the language part - if they know the OS well enough then they shouldn't have any problems doing that. :D well i know me + windows 7 is something i could do in another language. :)

825 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1100272 1-Aug-2014 19:37 One person supports this post Send private message

Not sure if this thread was talking only about technical support, or broader ICT, so I think I shall assume the latter.

The answer I think to the original question I would suggest is 'Yes', they are expected to know everything - but that doesn't necessarily mean that they 'have' to know everything - I think it is more about how we go about finding the answer.

To me, IT isn't about being able to build a PC or configure a server and then calling oneself an 'IT Pro' (to use a buzz-phrase doing the rounds), nor is it the ability to write a bit of script/code and call oneself a developer - at the end of the day, the technical stuff can be learned when its needed or we can work and collaborate with people that do already have that knowledge and work collectively to find the answer.

We might start off in IT with a degree or suitable qualification.  These often teach us how to learn on demand, how to break a complex problems down into manageable chunks, how to work under pressure to a  schedule and how to communicate effectively, how to develop an understanding for ones immediate environment.   It teaches us how to not stand around waiting to be told what to do for 30 minutes and how to engage the key person to find out what they need done and when.  They can teach us how to identify a problem that we don't have the correct skills to solve a problem, either to learn them on demand, or engage a person who does have those skills and follow through with the customer to ensure their issue has been correctly resolved (for example when being presented with a language we don't speak).

Once we get the basics right, there is a higher order of training that is required - and understanding of how the business (or businesses operate), operations support, service delivery, ITIL (and appropriate standards).  Each of these things require both training to learn and effort over a period of time until they become second nature and are called experience.

So, I think at the end of the day, while we may not actually know everything we are expected to, we ought to have the training and experience to allow us to handle those situations effectively.







TwoSeven

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1100442 2-Aug-2014 07:52 Send private message

As a provider of very specialist systems (building automation), which generally run on a corporate IP backbone, there is also the problem where IT managers assume they know everything. There appears to be a real god complex with these people.

My experience in a number of organisations is that IT tends to assume if something runs on TCP/IP then it can be managed exactly the same as a desktop client. Then they wonder why their building doesn't work.

Just saying....

1896 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1100466 2-Aug-2014 08:42 Send private message

As someone who works in a technical field that isn't strictly IT, I think the 'expert' video earlier in this thread pretty well sums it up. There is a mystique to IT, almost a cult of geek, which means people who don't understand it will fall back on the Hollywood perception of where a clever enough computer dude can hack a completely foreign OS in under a minute to save the world. The same perception that all bombs must have a red wire and a blue wire, and a large red led clock.
Your field is not alone. A friend who is a forensic pathologist constantly runs up against the "but on CSI they did xxx to solve this." Admittedly not by detectives though.
Physicians probably fall into the same 'mysterious expert that you just have to trust' category because you have no personal expertise to fall back on.

We have probably all had moments in meetings where a technical question is asked, the room goes silent and everybody looks at you..........

You are not alone.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

220 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1100588 2-Aug-2014 12:04 One person supports this post Send private message

BTR: This is a bit of a rant and it is IT related so it could be in the wrong forum. 

My question is are IT staff expected to know everything and I mean everything.


Yesterday one of my staff was booked to help a guest speaker setup their laptop for a presentation in one of our conference facilities. The guest arrived, put their laptop on a table next to the stage and sat down to talk to some people. There was no introduction, hello or even acknowledgement my staff member who was standing right there!

My staff member not knowing when the event was starting at he was only told to be there at 10.00am went up to them after standing around for 30 mins to suggest they come over and setup their laptop and their reply was have you not done it yet and a look of disgust.



The other difficult person my staff have dealt with was this morning when a visitor bought their computer into us with the language being in Mandarin and expecting us to fix their computer and then give them internet access. No one in my department is Chinese or understands Mandarin.


Does anyone else get ignorant people like this who expect us to speak every language and read minds??

I often wonder how some people make it through life....



HAhahahahah , you have it easy.
I am an electronics service engineer at a University. I am expected to know how to run all the equipment I come across, know how to fix it without a manual and still act as the local IT pro with ALL those same issues you lay out. Oh I am also a registered electrician so I know everything there too apparently , and the BEST time to consult me for my expertise is always AFTER they have made the wrong decision.

I say we will work on anything from a light bulb replacement through to a x-ray machine and above.

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  Reply # 1100654 2-Aug-2014 14:52 2 people support this post Send private message

I'm probably going to ruffle a few feathers here, but I personally believe that there is a crisis of confidence among corporate IT functions. I should stress that these behaviours are not universal across all desktop support staff and many are faults of management rather than the people at the coalface, but having worked in corporates for many years I keep seeing the same problems to varying degrees:

 - IT people are entirely reactive. They see their role as waiting for things to fail so that they can fix them. They rarely look back at what went wrong and how it could be prevented in future.

 - IT people don't understand what staff use various software applications for, or what day to day challenges they face with that software. If a particular application is not fit for purpose then staff are expected to 'just put up with it' rather than having a constructive collaboration of what might work better.

 - Following on from the above IT people often don't seem to have escalation paths for particular software packages. Of course I don't expect them to know every intimate detail of every application that the organisation has deployed, but they need to ensure that they have access to some resource with specialist knowledge rather than just shrugging their shoulders and saying it's 'too hard'.

 - IT departments have cumbersome processes for logging jobs. Sure, I respect that you need to have systems in place to receive requests and manage that workflow, but do requests for help really need to be passed across half a dozen people over the course of six months until someone eventually comes back to me and says "has the problem fixed itself yet?". Also the forms for logging jobs are often confusing for non technical people.

 - IT functions are often fragmented with dysfunctional communication between them. For example department X manages application X which only runs on Internet Explorer version 8 and are blissfully unaware that department Y manages application Y which only runs on Internet Explorer 9.

I can see the frustration from both sides, and the hostility between IT support departments and their customers is something that has worried me for some time.



BDFL
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  Reply # 1100656 2-Aug-2014 14:55 One person supports this post Send private message

If that's the case Alasta either your experience shows the companies you work for/with have poor process management or contracted to cowboys.

I know of pretty good IT departments and they wouldn't work like that.





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  Reply # 1100659 2-Aug-2014 15:00 Send private message

freitasm: If that's the case Alasta either your experience shows the companies you work for/with have poor process management or contracted to cowboys.

I know of pretty good IT departments and they wouldn't work like that.


I wanted to be clear that my above post wasn't intended to be critical of any particular company, but in making general observations I can obviously only go on my own career experience.

It's a huge relief to know that this isn't always the way things happen in big organisations!

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