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Most of us, if we make a minor screw-up, it is no big deal. Someone notices, we fix it and move on. For IT support, however, one minor little error can affect 10's or even 100's of people.

We expect everything to work perfectly, all of the time, even though we use dozens of applications, things are changing constantly ("upgrades", service patches, new types of viruses, new applications, etc. etc.) and there are literally hundreds (thousands?) of connections that need to work perfectly. If something does go wrong, we want it fixed immediately - because we can't get anything done until it is, since we do everything on our computers now (I've been guilty of this on many occasions myself).

I propose that every IT support person in the U.S. deserves an immediate 100% bonus just for putting up with our [email protected]

(What brought this on: one of our IT support people was let go. I have no idea why - maybe he made a mistake, maybe people didn't like his attitude, whatever. He wasn't the most pleasant person in the world, but he put up with our nonsense for years, lasting longer than most IT guys we've had, and one day he's just gone.)

End of rant.


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...For IT support, however, one minor little error can affect 10's or even 100's of people...
You mean like, "taking down a whole call center by bumping the power cord on a multiplexer, but not knocking it all the way out of the socket, when adding in a T-1 card"?
 

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Most of us, if we make a minor screw-up, it is no big deal.
For most people I work with, a minor screw up could (and has) costs thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. I don't see an IT professionals job being any different than most other professionals.

More often than not, IT people seem to create more problems than the solve. Everyone calls it "job security". They often like to make things more complicated than needed.

I've worked with some really really bad IT support. And I've worked with some really really awesome IT. You sure do appreciate the good ones when you get them!
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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Heh. Try working backstage in theater. We stagehand types have been saying the same thing for centuries.
 

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One IT person's mistake can affect 100,000s of people.

I'm in the industry and really have no love for it. It's getting so convoluted with security concerns and compliance and whatnot. But your IT guys actually love that, it keeps them employed. Make something too complicated for the people that actually have to make decisions to understand and you have job security.

I do feel for the helpdesk level folks, it can be stressful. Sometimes people pop all at once, or sometimes attitude takes a gradual slide but management can't ignore it forever.
 

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a real member's member
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I worked PC support in a big corporate office back in the mid '90s. Each week, one of us would be the key on-call person. When we weren't on-call, we could pursue big projects, which were sorta fun. But that one week every six weeks or so was pure hell.

I never knew any of us to make things more difficult than they needed to be. There was just not enough time in the day. I did always wish a user would have rebooted his PC and printer before calling me. That would have taken care of half the calls.

Once, I made a huge error by "replying-all" to an email from a frustrated user when I meant to forward her email to a co-worker and ask him, "what kind of ******* moron is this?" She was not amused to read that.

yeah, it's really stupid to criticize a ******* moron when you mistakenly reply-all.
B^)
 

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Interesting thread. I could vent for hours on this. I'm not technically in IT but I support 80-odd users and spend a chunk of the day in helpdesk software with my headset on. Easily the most grating part of my job. At least my coworkers appreciate me. Between yesterday and today:

  • Boss forwards me information from our vendor regarding fixing an inconvenience (read: problem with an easy workaround). For the initiated, it had to do with DTC settings. Since I couldn't ignore him I followed the steps until I got to the part about checking the firewalls. Noticed the firewall service on a SQL server was off. Started it and a coworker was in my office in a few seconds asking what was wrong with our line-of-business software. Oops. Looks like our vendor's consultant couldn't be bothered configuring the FW and turned it off altogether to git-r-done. Second time I've seen this; the first, predictably, was for a server that controls our electronic locks. BTW, nowadays if you break your system you're also going to break a bunch of integrations with your vendors and possibly make it unavailable to your customers.
  • I just got off the phone with a user who couldn't find their Adobe printer. After scrolling to the left I located it for her. Prior to that I gave her the latest Citrix client, so the call wasn't a total waste.
  • Had a user call to complain that she couldn't activate Microsoft Office on her new PC, swearing repeatedly that she typed the key correctly. I conferenced in Dell tech support, who asked her to repeat the error message she received. To do that she needed to enter the key, and this time it worked! Sonofagun.
  • Saw a bunch of comments about rebooting. That accomplishes nothing in Citrix except wasting your time, yet that's the first thing users do. If their screen seemed locked it might have been waiting for an acknowledgement they didn't notice. With SQL, that means you're potentially locking rows or an entire table and your coworkers can't work, either. I am slowly weaning users off rebooting and asking them to minimize their windows intead.
If I ever look for a new position I'm telling the recruiter I'm done with helpdesk. Note that there's nothing about it in my current job description.
 

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Most of us, if we make a minor screw-up, it is no big deal. Someone notices, we fix it and move on. For IT support, however, one minor little error can affect 10's or even 100's of people.

We expect everything to work perfectly, all of the time, even though we use dozens of applications, things are changing constantly ("upgrades", service patches, new types of viruses, new applications, etc. etc.) and there are literally hundreds (thousands?) of connections that need to work perfectly. If something does go wrong, we want it fixed immediately - because we can't get anything done until it is, since we do everything on our computers now (I've been guilty of this on many occasions myself).

I propose that every IT support person in the U.S. deserves an immediate 100% bonus just for putting up with our [email protected]

(What brought this on: one of our IT support people was let go. I have no idea why - maybe he made a mistake, maybe people didn't like his attitude, whatever. He wasn't the most pleasant person in the world, but he put up with our nonsense for years, lasting longer than most IT guys we've had, and one day he's just gone.)

End of rant.


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'our" crap? I'm always quite polite to our IT support guys when I have to call with a problem. How long have you been in IT support? do you think you'll get that raise?
 

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For most people I work with, a minor screw up could (and has) costs thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. I don't see an IT professionals job being any different than most other professionals.

More often than not, IT people seem to create more problems than the solve. Everyone calls it "job security". They often like to make things more complicated than needed.

I've worked with some really really bad IT support. And I've worked with some really really awesome IT. You sure do appreciate the good ones when you get them!
trying being an MD and "screwing up" in surgery....can cost a LOT more than that. nothing IT does can't be repaired in short order, for the most part if they screw up.
 

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I'm retired now (IT manager) and I always used to tell my folks that our jobs are much unappreciated as long as everything is going smooth. Expectations are for the networks to be flawless and uninterrupted. The ONLY time we get noticed is during the .001% that it goes down.

Funny thing is you don't want to be consistently 100% operational because it gets harder to justify for costly upgrades with budget cuts. That's when you take it down and let everybody have a taste of not having the network;-)
 

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I'm retired almost five months now, but most folks in my office appreciated our IT folks. Our work depended on functional computer systems, and IT kept the system up and running the vast majority of the time. I'm not very techy at all, and IT guys and gals saved my bacon many times for stupid mistakes I made. Letting them know they were appreciated was well worth the small effort it took.
 

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'our" crap? I'm always quite polite to our IT support guys when I have to call with a problem. How long have you been in IT support? do you think you'll get that raise?
I dont think this guy is in IT support, I think he's trying to give then general praise for what they do...
 

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I miss the good old days when the greatest IT threat was the impending Y2K disaster. I did IT support during the peak of the dot.com boom. Now with all the threats, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

My hats off to the IT foot soldiers of the present. They have to put up with tons more [email protected] than I couldn't even fathom off back then.
 

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a real member's member
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I'm retired now (IT manager) and I always used to tell my folks that our jobs are much unappreciated as long as everything is going smooth.
your user id reminds me of one of the two dos boot files we configured back in the day, config.sys.

the other was autoexec.bat.

when i worked pc support, we were running win 3.1 and busy rolling out win 95.

the good ole days.
 

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Schuylkill Trail Bum
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trying being an MD and "screwing up" in surgery....can cost a LOT more than that. nothing IT does can't be repaired in short order, for the most part if they screw up.
Reminds me of a cartoon I saw a long time ago where a guy on the operating table mid-surgery sits up somewhat and says to the surgeon: "What do you mean 'oops'?"
 

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Boobies!
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Did my stint; got the scars to show it.

Rolled out Win 95/8, NT4(server), 2000, XP, Citrix for remote users, a teeny bit of Novell, and a teeny bit of Unix/Linux... Started as extra hands doing desktop configs and crawling under desks, and ended up as Help Desk mgr/Network admin.

Two thoughts--it got a lot more complicated as time went on. Users wanted more (remote access, unified logins, intranet sharing etc), security went from a minor concern to the biggest time suck and struggle, and malware/desktop corruption became the biggest PITA. Security was especially troublesome--as IT pros you are liable for data breaches for sensitive info, yet you can't always control your own full network (I last worked in a university environment where I could only patrol my own borders...), and the bad guys have more time than you do to **** around.

Second thought: I had a moment of awareness when I remembered asking my father why he quit working on cars and trained as a tool & die maker/machinist. He said "I got tired of fixing things that were badly built and shouldn't have broken in the first place."

This is my studied conclusion about the M$ world, Windows, etc--I wish I could have some of the time back that I spent fighting to fix things that wouldn't have broken if the engineers didn't have their heads up their asses...
 

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I work in engineering at a large Fortune 50 company. Our IT is a corporate function supplied to the divisions, and we've all become convinced that the corporate IT neither knows what the divisions do nor do they care. Our frontline IT people are great, their leadership is clueless.

A few years back they hired a new corporate head of IT. He ordered an immediate audit for pirated software and possible security violations.

He was shocked to find a large number of software programs that we had freely available on the corporation website, yet could find no licenses for the distribution of the software, so he ordered it pulled. Yup, he pulled all of the software we made to support our products. 3 months later he finally relented and "allowed" the software to be reinstated on the website, but required all divisions to have licensing agreements showing we were authorized to distribute the software submitted to his office. How do you write a licensing agreement to yourself?

On the security audit they found about 8% of computer users had administrative rights. He immediately had those admin rights removed. Engineering is about 8% of the company. None of our software development environments will run without admin rights. Several of our CAD environments will not run without admin rights. And much of our custom test environments will not run without admin rights.

To run any program that required admin rights you needed to open an IT service ticket, provide justification, and give a priority. I went from entering a low priority IT service ticket about once every other month to 8-10 extremely urgent a day. Our software developers were entering 15-20 a day. The middle and senior IT managers couldn't figure out why service tickets suddenly exploded.

Then they initiated an audit of all the software, and made a list of acceptable programs allowed on corporate computers. Need to have that common corporate computer image. Yup, NONE of the engineering software was considered necessary and would no longer be allowed on corporate computers. We actually had a short period of time where our most powerful CAD system was Visio.

Then they relented and decided they would allow engineering specific software on computers, but only 1 engineering program would be allowed on a computer, since no engineer should need more than 1 engineering program. Before all this started I had Matlab, PRO-E, AutoCAD, Allegro Cadence, DOORS, EAGLE, CAM350, Minitab, Labview, IAR Workbench, and CoDeSys on my machine (not including some free programs like MPLab and LT-Spice,) and used all of them. The solution was simple - I requested 10 additional computers. IT management couldn't figure out why they suddenly had a huge increase in requests for engineering workstations.

Finally they solved the problem - they fired the corporate IT officer and replaced him with the senior IT manager who had overseen the engineering support. Things improved dramatically, but they still don't understand why a electrical engineer would need mechanical design software (How else am I supposed to figure out if my circuit board will fit in the mechanical assembly?) While all this transpired we pissed off our customers, losing several, and incurred 6-18 month delays on projects.
 

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Boobies!
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...


On the security audit they found about 8% of computer users had administrative rights. He immediately had those admin rights removed. Engineering is about 8% of the company. None of our software development environments will run without admin rights. Several of our CAD environments will not run without admin rights. And much of our custom test environments will not run without admin rights....
This problem surfaced as soon as M$ started with the Admin vs regular user rights--legacy programs would not run without Admin rights, and other program makers were slow to switch to the M$ 'standard', so as an IT manager, you faced this exact dilemma--and typically it would be a group that were high intensity users (graphics, database--I never supported engineers, but supported science researchers).

(At the root of the problem (pun intended) was that the M$ products did not have a true protected kernel like UNIX, so the first attempts at differential rights were piecemeal and ineffective.)

Standard images (with a lot of stuff locked down) were easy enough for regular users--once we had the software that let us build images and rebuild desktops by re-imaging--but the exceptions could make you crazy.

Sounds like the fired manager was proof of the old adage, 'IT decisions are too important to be left to the IT managers'--and he certainly failed at the 'support the enterprise' part of the equation.
 
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