No, not an ‘it’ guy. I imagine that life has got to be pretty sweet. I mean, you’re the ‘it’ guy. Everyone wants to be you. This is very different from being an IT guy. I-T. As in information technology. As in the guy that people yell at when they think that organizing every file on their computer alphabetically in one folder, usually on the desktop, or what’s left of it, is a good idea.
Most of us here at StolenDroids have all been there. By trade, we’re computer nerds. We’ve done our time in the trenches as the company IT guy. We’ve also all served hard time working a help desk for various large, faceless corporations full of employees who all think that theirs is the most important job in the history of important jobs. Because of this sense of self-importance, they tend to treat the IT guys and help desk monkeys like total idiots, not realizing that without them, that two minute PowerPoint presentation that they need to give on why it’s important to flush the toilet wouldn’t get done on time. But I digress…
Earlier today, Schmidty and I were sharing some of our horror stories about our days helping others. A few of them were pretty brutal while others were just met with facepalms. Here are a few of the favorites that I shared.
Story the First
Imagine, if you will, a large, multi-national confectionery company. They have an office location that they are renting from a large, multi-national pharmaceutical company. This office is in shared location as one of the pharmaceutical company’s offices. This is all fine and good, except for the fact that the network is complete crap. If an employee is able to successfully send an email with no attachments and half of the websites that they visit load properly, it is a great day. It is a well documented fact that the network is horrible and will be horrible until a new facility is built. Every employee in this particular office is aware of this fact and has been told repeatedly that they are going to have to deal with the issues for the time being.
There was one end-user who refused to accept the fact that every one of the problems she called the help desk about was due to the horrible network in this building. She would call daily and proceed to yell at whomever answered the phone because the email with the 8 GB attachment that she was sending to 80 people wasn’t getting to the intended recipients. After being told by the help desk that there was nothing that could be done, she would demand that the Lotus Notes (yes, Lotus Notes) admin get on the phone with her and personally fix this and every other issue that had every given her problems. The thing is, the person she wanted to speak with was in a different time zone and was likely still in bed sleeping. Also, she had this type of conversation with him on an almost daily basis and it always ended the same way: with her being told that the network sucks and to stop sending 8 GB email attachments to everyone in the office.
In the end, this particular employee was banned from calling the help desk. Stories also circulated about how she jumped a conference room table to attack the Lotus Notes administrator. There was also an image discovered of her on the company’s network in which she was wearing a gold cross and had a smile on her face. It was obviously Photoshopped because I’m sure she never smiled and I have a strong suspicion that if a cross actually came in contact with her flesh, she’d burst into flames.
Story the Second
Have you ever heard the saying “no good deed goes unpunished”? If not, where have you been? Anyways, as I see it, the job of an IT guy is to fix problems when they are discovered. The job of a help desk monkey, is usually to report problems that they cannot fix to the IT guy who will then go fix them. What happens though when the help desk tells the local IT guy about a serious, company-wide issue only to get shot down by a site manager who knows nothing? Answer: bad things.
Two days before the Thanksgiving holiday, I was working the help desk for a multi-national company. Somebody from Canada called in and reported an issue that I determined was going to explode in everyone’s faces and leave goo on the walls. (Not literally of course…) I noted the issue and passed it on to the site’s local IT guy. He agreed that it was a big issue and needed to be resolved immediately. As was procedure, it got escalated appropriately so that the proper resources could be devoted to resolving the problem. Well, the site manager caught wind of this and disagreed with all of the technical experts that it was actually a problem. Because, you know, an MBA gives +500 to your tech abilities. She then called me personally and proceeded to verbally destroy me. I was pissed, but accepted that I was right and she was wrong and that it would come back to bite them and that they would see how awesome I really was.
Two days later, I was working. On Thanksgiving Day. In the United States. (For those who are unaware, it’s a big holiday here.) Because of the holiday, there were only two people working the help desk that day. This was a necessity because Canada has their Thanksgiving in October so everyone north of the border was working a normal day. All of a sudden, calls started coming in detailing an issue that sounded vaguely familiar to me. That’s right. I had reported this as being a serious problem two days earlier and been yelled at for doing so. Interesting….
To make a long story short (I know; too late.), extra employees had to come into work on the holiday to handle a technical problem that had been dismissed two days earlier by a non-technical person who thought she knew better than the technical people. Did she learn her lesson? Probably not. But she was always a lot nicer to me after that. Maybe she realized that years of school and actual training add +500 to a person’s tech abilities and an MBA doesn’t give any.
So there you have a few of the IT horror stories that Schmidty and I discussed. There were others that may be shared at some point in the future, but I know that you, our faithful readers, have them as well. I also know that you’re dying to share them with us in the comments. What are you waiting for? An invitation? Well, go ahead and share them. We’d love to know that we’re not alone.