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Have you tried turning it off and on again...

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Arroryn, May 20, 2008.

  1. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    ... and other faux pas!

    As an industry 'collective', the impression I have got from my career so far is that the 'end user' has a very narrow idea of the way IT as an industry, and the people who strive for a career in it, functions.

    Whilst being funny, TV programmes like the IT Crowd never really helped. Of their four core characters, one was a goth, the only woman in the department was obsessed with shoes, one was a complete and utter nerd, and the other was a complete and utter slob.

    Now, whilst I loved the first series and understand that it took the p*ss, you wouldn't believe the amount of people who have questioned our department with the utterance 'which one from the IT Crowd are you then?'

    We're more like the Addams Family, to tell you the truth!

    The addage to 'turn it off and on again' is one of the awful products of this stereotype, and most users tell it me before I even get to mention it on the phone. It's "I have a problem and <insert blah blah blah> and yes, I turned it off and on again."

    I also get the impression that users expect anyone in IT to be able to deal with any problem presented to them. We have two developers, and they get a real hard time from the rest of the staff in the building, because they always shy away from support calls. It's a massive uphill struggle for me to try to explain to people what their role is, when all they see is "well, they can't help me with my Word issue, so they're obviously crap at their job... why are they here, anyway?"

    Ack. I hate that kind of attitude.

    I was wondering how you guys dealt with the... err... nuances of the lovely people that we deal with daily, that we refer to as 'users'. And yes, I say users with the appropriate slur sometimes.

    But how do you keep cool when in the face of such mind-numbing narrow-mindedness? How do you keep sane?

    Also, how do you deal with the 'stupid questions' side of things?

    Normally, when people tell me first that they've already turned it off and on again, I always check their network connection status. More often than not, it's around 15+ days, and it's a rare occasion that I get to tell someone that they have 'misinformed me'.

    But how do you keep polite? Moreover, when you get the downright stupid questions, how do you keep from laughing down the phone at people? Is this something we all acquire over time, or is it the basic survival instinct that, once you put the phone down on someone you can royally slag them off to the other techs (or as an alternative, flash the V's at the phone?)

    Hmmm... just re-read that lot, and I'm babbling again. But it's been a tough week so far, and it's only Tuesday. lol.

    So, in summation, so you don't have to re-read that...

    1. How do you deal with your job being a stereotype?

    2. How do you deal with the narrow-minded opinion people have of your job role?

    3. How have you cultivated 'telephone skills'?

    4. How do you stay sane?

    and 4a. Why oh why do we really do this :rolleyes:
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  2. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

    Think about that user's job, and if they do only a part of a much more complex job, ask them about how to do something that's not a part of their specialty. When they give you the predictable answer say, "well there's your answer" and walk off. Most often those questions come from complete ignorance rather than maliciousness. I'd say most users can't see beyond the gui and equate "IT" skills with software skills. You just need to help them understand the difference.
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1

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