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  #1100665 2-Aug-2014 15:22
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alasta: 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.




My last IT Management role was with a very large organisation, your scenarios certainly did not apply there. 




Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

He waka eke noa


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  #1100699 2-Aug-2014 16:41
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alasta: 


That sounds like a truly dysfunctional environment.  Certainly not my experience across numerous organisations over the last 15 years or so.

 
 
 
 


gzt

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  #1101224 3-Aug-2014 18:09
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alasta:

alasta: 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'.

In this regard there are many organisations that could make better use of the vendor escalation path. Most organisations are already actually paying for the service (ie; n free vendor support calls per month/year/product) but many rarely use it. Yet use of the service can reveal unpublished patches etc, and establish good relationships. So, inventory all vendor support entitlements, ensure all IT staff are aware of that path available. Then set a goal for each relevant IT staff to use a small minimum of the appropriate entitlement per period to ensure that the path is established.

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  #1101261 3-Aug-2014 19:41
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gjm: On my 21st day of work in row at the moment....social media gig doesn't sound that bad surprised

Martyr or fool?




"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

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  #1101267 3-Aug-2014 19:57
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wasabi2k: Working support in schools and small business I think rule of thumb was if it has a cord we had to fix it...
PCs
Fax Machines
Kettles (seriously)...


As long as we are not too flat out, I enjoy the little side requests.  A couple of times a year we are asked to help set up some odd bit of electronic equipment like a TV.  On Friday I was at the home of a commercial client and they had bought a new TV but could not get it to connect to the Sky decoder.  The older decoder had a SCART to SVGA cable and the new TV didn't have SVGA.  They wanted it going for the weekend and were quite happy to pay me to drive to Mt Wellington to get the proper cable. Meter running, window down, music up....  no complaints :)

Unusual things we have charged for in the last little while:
- Going to an appliance store with a client to look at home theatre systems (and then connecting that up a few days later when they got a bit stuck)
- Taking a client across town to pick up his classic car that was being serviced.  (we might have been cheaper than a taxi!)
- Resolving issues with AppleTV streaming.
- Connecting up pretty much anything with a power cord at a client's new branch office.




"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

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  #1103354 6-Aug-2014 14:51
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Damn straight, we are expected to everything about everything.  That's why we are in IT. wink

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  #1103818 7-Aug-2014 09:37
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richrdh18: Damn straight, we are expected to everything about everything.  That's why we are in IT. wink


What we're 'expected' to know depends entirely on the role. Expectations are out of our hands anyway, that's really for others to gauge, and often incorrectly. What we can definitely achieve however is ownership of an issue and I'm surprised I haven't seen that mentioned in this thread yet. So long as the user\company knows their issue is yours and you're working on it, the majority are very happy. If you have to then research the issue, escalate or whatever, fine, but maintain communications on your progress. 

That old adage; the more I learn the more I realise there is to learn is just as true today as ever. If people expect you know everything, or you expect that of yourself, someone will just end up stressed, disappointed, or most likely both. 

 
 
 
 


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  #1104279 7-Aug-2014 18:06
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As an ex-IT engineer, I am often asked to fix my parents computer issues.  It was like 'mana from heaven' for my mum when I enabled her iPhone to be able to send smilies in messages.  I didn't know, but a quick two second google search revealed the answer.

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  #1104306 7-Aug-2014 19:21
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KiwiTT: As an ex-IT engineer, I am often asked to fix my parents computer issues.  It was like 'mana from heaven' for my mum when I enabled her iPhone to be able to send smilies in messages.  I didn't know, but a quick two second google search revealed the answer.


Ooh, let me introduce you to http://lmgtfy.com/ :)

You're welcome.




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  #1104595 8-Aug-2014 09:01
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Demeter:
KiwiTT: As an ex-IT engineer, I am often asked to fix my parents computer issues.  It was like 'mana from heaven' for my mum when I enabled her iPhone to be able to send smilies in messages.  I didn't know, but a quick two second google search revealed the answer.


Ooh, let me introduce you to http://lmgtfy.com/ :)

You're welcome.


That's part of the answer - sometimes one get stuck as to what to actually type into the search. Nebulous queries get nebulous results ..
is it a windows issue, or is it microsoft ? grey or gray ? Apple iphone or iOS ?






My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government


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  #1104624 8-Aug-2014 10:09
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And let's not forget that all users lie. "What were you doing on the computer just before your entire universe imploded?"... "Nothing, I just got back to my desk and it was like that!".... Yeah right!




Life is too short to remove USB safely.


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  #1105539 9-Aug-2014 18:12
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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....



Just slip something 'unsavoury' into their presentation next time...! ;-)

On a more serious note, the person speaking probably had no clue how to set it up. 

I'd suggest a pro-forma response next time you are asked to perform this service, a sheet with "laptop type, software, projector type, cables required, start time of presentation,' etc etc for the person to complete as part of the process. At least they will have to think about it.





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  #1105540 9-Aug-2014 18:13
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kiwifidget: And let's not forget that all users lie. "What were you doing on the computer just before your entire universe imploded?"... "Nothing, I just got back to my desk and it was like that!".... Yeah right!


"Have you tried switching it off and on again?"





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  #1106285 11-Aug-2014 11:32
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my experience:

Medium & small sized buseness simply dont want to pay alot for IT Support. They get the minimum done, often only when its too late
Why else would there still be so many 8 year old XP PC's out there. Is that our fault for not being pro-active Alasta ? :-)

clients expect you to be able to resolve any issue with any one-off custom piece of software
They expect you be be fully trained on all software ever written.
They bought software packages WITH NO SUPPORT , as the client decided not to pay for the software support, or the software simply has no support , at all.
Or we ring the help desk for that software only to be told they will ring us back sometime later that day . So we are supposed to wait onsite all that time ?

Yes we have to wait for things to break before we fix them. How is that possibly our fault. I dont blame my car mechanic for unforseen issues.
If the client has a maintainance contract or  is willing to pay for IT to spend ALOT of time to look for all possible minor issues , then sure different story.
Going back to my car example,  If I wanted that sort of service,proactive maintainace on my old car, & have a mechanic go & replace everything that may possibly fail in the next 3 years it would cost me a fortune.

We also get the clients who are just unrealistic. They change IT company every other year ( allways a bad omen of things to come) . They have 10+ generic PC's & a crappy old server and expect them all to run without any issues . The wont spend on IT then get upset when their junk isnt reliable & blame IT.
So when the client says not to spend time on his failing backup, how am I supposed to be proactive .
Ive had a new client ask me to come & look at a hardware issue (on a PC we didnt supply) , & the next day blame me for the flaky PC.

Then we get the know-it all worker . Who seems to think a complex issue will be an easy fix. who "worked in IT 15 years ago" :-)
I was once told by a clients staffer, that IT who simply reload completely corrupted/trashed Windows are lazy . If win is completely trashed, how can spending many many hours try to cobble it back together be better than 2hours for a reload....lazy !!!!!!

Yes, we are expected to know everything. But most are reasonable if you explain the reality of things to them
Jack of all trades, master at none ?



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  #1106292 11-Aug-2014 11:43
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SepticSceptic: That's part of the answer - sometimes one get stuck as to what to actually type into the search. Nebulous queries get nebulous results ..
is it a windows issue, or is it microsoft ? grey or gray ? Apple iphone or iOS ?


You do have a point, as an IT professional it is my job to de-mystify technology as much as possible for the people I'm dealing with. But nowadays, Google's SEO is so phenomenal that (contrary to the old GIGO rule) you can now basically put garbage in and get something usable out in almost all cases, within the first three or four results.




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