These days, everyone has a computer, a smartphone, and an iPad. That doesn’t mean they know how to use them. Although technology has gotten more user-friendly over the last decade, when a problem comes up, the average person has no idea how to handle it. They run to the only safe place they know… The I.T. department.
Most people who are in I.T. like working with technology, but that doesn’t mean you have to get along with the person who comes attached to it. A well-meaning but clueless customer can drive even the most patient I.T. worker up the wall.
Have You Tried Turning It Off And Turning It On Again?
Sometimes the simplest fixes are the most irritating – people call with the same problem over and over, never realizing they could easily fix it themselves. The show The I.T. Crowd lampoons the absurdity of this situation through one character’s constant repetition of the phrase, “Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again?” which almost invariably works.
You didn’t study programming to walk senior citizens through pressing the power button. This isn’t the worst offense, but it’s definitely annoying!
It’s practically a cliché at this point, but there’s a good reason for that – many of the people hired for upper management in I.T. don’t know that much about the technology side of things. Like the pointy-haired boss from Dilbert or the detestable Lumbergh from Office Space, these middle managers are hired to deal with clients and keep employees working, not to understand the actual intricacies of your job.
This is uniquely frustrating because your boss is almost definitely making way more money than you, but couldn’t do your job if there was a gun to his head. Even worse, they’ll try to explain the details of your own job to you!
There are some ways to work around this – for example, you could try to educate your boss on what it is you actually do. But it will take some effort to get them to listen to what you’re saying.
Maybe it’s a little unfair to call this a major annoyance, but every person in I.T. has experienced it. Picture the scene: Your mom calls, frantic. Something is wrong with her computer, it’s broken, and all her e-mails are on there. With a sigh, you tell her how to turn off the screen saver. Twenty minutes later, you’re still on the phone, teeth grinding, trying to explain why it’s actually a bad idea to download that “free antivirus software”.
Of course, you will never be compensated for the hours you spend uninstalling toolbars from Internet Explorer, but hey, it’s your mom. You wouldn’t even exist without her. When was the last time you called home?