Software

Support personnel sound off about their workdays

In a recent edition of In Response, we asked TechRepublic members to sound off about their workdays. Now we take a look at those responses, good and bad, to see what our members had to say.

In Response offers a weekly roundup of feedback from TechRepublic members to help inform you and your peers about critical issues in the world of IT. This week, TechRepublic members sound off about their workdays as Support technicians.
Your opinions matter!
In a recent edition of In Response, I asked TechRepublic members to send in their thoughts about the complaints that they face, how many people they support on a daily basis, and other general rants that they may have regarding their jobs.

The response was superb! We received several e-mails from members venting about their jobs and other general frustrations. You can find a few edited responses below. Please note that due to the number sent in, we weren’t able to publish all the e-mails we received.

The response

  • Michael B.
    ”I work supporting the sales staff of a major pharmaceutical company. I've been here seven months, and it's been the most thankless position I've had to date. Just today, I had a woman screaming at me because she didn't understand why her e-mail didn't work. I should add that I was done fixing the problem before she finished yelling.
    ”As help desk analysts, we are abused, mistreated, and not appreciated at all. It's very similar to being on the front line on D day. When something goes wrong, it's our fault. When things go well, everyone ignores us. It's almost like a no-win situation.
    ”I've been at other help desks, with fewer people and the same number of users, with less stress. However, there is still no or little appreciation for us. It's a shame really—if we all walked off the job, half of the world would literally stop working. One thing this job has definitely taught me is how to take a compliment, mostly because they are few and far between. Thank you for the opportunity to vent. Wheew, now I'm exhausted.”
  • David J.
    ”As I was reading your article, I had to remember I was reading it on TechRepublic, not an e-mail from a coworker. You hit the nail square on the head.
    ”The thing that bothers me the most is the scramble for the credit when I quietly uncover and solve problems for department leaders. I believe that taking credit for something we, the Support techs, did is too common. I can relate to the rest of the article as well.”
  • Andrew M.
    ”One of the biggest problems I have would be maintaining the battered morale of my Support team. It may be a facet of the Scottish personality, or it may be human nature; if you are battered by wave after wave of callers who hold you responsible for every breakdown and error, it becomes very difficult to remember your successes.”
  • Rocelo B.
    ”I'm an administrator of a UNIX automotive system in Papua New Guinea. I also administer our Mail and Proxy server, which runs off Windows NT. I handle more or less a hundred end users by myself.
    ”Being the only IT staff in this company, I get involved in process reengineering and network issues, and write all IT policies and procedures and business flow processes. During my ’rest day,’ I fix and troubleshoot computers.
    ”The bad thing is that people treat me as if I'm doing absolutely nothing. My supervisor has even told me to work harder. I always submit a weekly report of my activities, by the hour, and he still has the nerve to say that I don’t work hard enough. On top of that, all the managers want me to prioritize their requests. So it's work on tons of other work every day.
    ”Now they want me to design their Web site. They can't outsource much, because they say it will affect their monthly cash flow.”
  • Peter E.
    ”I’m sick of doing personal favors under the guise that it's work related. A superior has approached me before, telling me, ’So-and-so is bringing in his/her PC today for you to have a look at. He/She does a lot of work for the company at home, so we/you are going to upgrade his/her machine.’ “Another example would be, ’So-and-so’s son needs a computer. Can you get that outdated Mac going so that he/she can take it home?’
    ”What I would like to say is that this person makes over $100,000 per year, so why can’t he/she buy a new computer for his/her son instead of wasting my time?
    ”I have been asked this one: ’I need a new computer. Can you ring around and find the best price for me?’ Now I'm working not only as a Support tech, but also a computer broker. Pity I don't get paid like one.
    ”What really upsets me is when someone asks your opinion on what to buy, and then they go to another worker and take their advice. This is after you did a lot of investigating, on top of your years of personal experience.
    ”We get little reward for doing these odd jobs for people who don't appreciate it. Next job I take, I'd like to have a clause that states ’I will not perform jobs for what amounts to a personal favor.’
    ”Plain and simple; we, the IT worker, are taken advantage of. To me, the above-mentioned occasions are not my responsibility and are just people saving a buck by not going to the local computer reseller/repairer.
    ”But what do you do? Tell them to go away? I'm not doing that and risk having a hard time of it from then on. I think the problem is here to stay and is now a part of our job description.
    ”Thanks for the opportunity to get this off my chest.”
  • Deborah J
    ”I have one for you. How about management hiring a help desk supervisor with no technical experience? As if you didn’t have enough time to support the users, now you have to teach your freaking supervisor how to do his/her job.”
Have any of these member feedbacks pushed a few of your buttons? Perhaps you have a story that you’d like to get off your chest? If so, we’d love to hear about it! Feel free to post a message below or send us an e-mail, telling your experiences in the Support field! In Response offers a weekly roundup of feedback from TechRepublic members to help inform you and your peers about critical issues in the world of IT. This week, TechRepublic members sound off about their workdays as Support technicians.
Your opinions matter!
In a recent edition of In Response, I asked TechRepublic members to send in their thoughts about the complaints that they face, how many people they support on a daily basis, and other general rants that they may have regarding their jobs.

The response was superb! We received several e-mails from members venting about their jobs and other general frustrations. You can find a few edited responses below. Please note that due to the number sent in, we weren’t able to publish all the e-mails we received.

The response
  • Michael B.
    ”I work supporting the sales staff of a major pharmaceutical company. I've been here seven months, and it's been the most thankless position I've had to date. Just today, I had a woman screaming at me because she didn't understand why her e-mail didn't work. I should add that I was done fixing the problem before she finished yelling.
    ”As help desk analysts, we are abused, mistreated, and not appreciated at all. It's very similar to being on the front line on D day. When something goes wrong, it's our fault. When things go well, everyone ignores us. It's almost like a no-win situation.
    ”I've been at other help desks, with fewer people and the same number of users, with less stress. However, there is still no or little appreciation for us. It's a shame really—if we all walked off the job, half of the world would literally stop working. One thing this job has definitely taught me is how to take a compliment, mostly because they are few and far between. Thank you for the opportunity to vent. Wheew, now I'm exhausted.”
  • David J.
    ”As I was reading your article, I had to remember I was reading it on TechRepublic, not an e-mail from a coworker. You hit the nail square on the head.
    ”The thing that bothers me the most is the scramble for the credit when I quietly uncover and solve problems for department leaders. I believe that taking credit for something we, the Support techs, did is too common. I can relate to the rest of the article as well.”
  • Andrew M.
    ”One of the biggest problems I have would be maintaining the battered morale of my Support team. It may be a facet of the Scottish personality, or it may be human nature; if you are battered by wave after wave of callers who hold you responsible for every breakdown and error, it becomes very difficult to remember your successes.”
  • Rocelo B.
    ”I'm an administrator of a UNIX automotive system in Papua New Guinea. I also administer our Mail and Proxy server, which runs off Windows NT. I handle more or less a hundred end users by myself.
    ”Being the only IT staff in this company, I get involved in process reengineering and network issues, and write all IT policies and procedures and business flow processes. During my ’rest day,’ I fix and troubleshoot computers.
    ”The bad thing is that people treat me as if I'm doing absolutely nothing. My supervisor has even told me to work harder. I always submit a weekly report of my activities, by the hour, and he still has the nerve to say that I don’t work hard enough. On top of that, all the managers want me to prioritize their requests. So it's work on tons of other work every day.
    ”Now they want me to design their Web site. They can't outsource much, because they say it will affect their monthly cash flow.”
  • Peter E.
    ”I’m sick of doing personal favors under the guise that it's work related. A superior has approached me before, telling me, ’So-and-so is bringing in his/her PC today for you to have a look at. He/She does a lot of work for the company at home, so we/you are going to upgrade his/her machine.’ “Another example would be, ’So-and-so’s son needs a computer. Can you get that outdated Mac going so that he/she can take it home?’
    ”What I would like to say is that this person makes over $100,000 per year, so why can’t he/she buy a new computer for his/her son instead of wasting my time?
    ”I have been asked this one: ’I need a new computer. Can you ring around and find the best price for me?’ Now I'm working not only as a Support tech, but also a computer broker. Pity I don't get paid like one.
    ”What really upsets me is when someone asks your opinion on what to buy, and then they go to another worker and take their advice. This is after you did a lot of investigating, on top of your years of personal experience.
    ”We get little reward for doing these odd jobs for people who don't appreciate it. Next job I take, I'd like to have a clause that states ’I will not perform jobs for what amounts to a personal favor.’
    ”Plain and simple; we, the IT worker, are taken advantage of. To me, the above-mentioned occasions are not my responsibility and are just people saving a buck by not going to the local computer reseller/repairer.
    ”But what do you do? Tell them to go away? I'm not doing that and risk having a hard time of it from then on. I think the problem is here to stay and is now a part of our job description.
    ”Thanks for the opportunity to get this off my chest.”
  • Deborah J
    ”I have one for you. How about management hiring a help desk supervisor with no technical experience? As if you didn’t have enough time to support the users, now you have to teach your freaking supervisor how to do his/her job.”
Have any of these member feedbacks pushed a few of your buttons? Perhaps you have a story that you’d like to get off your chest? If so, we’d love to hear about it! Feel free to post a message below or send us an e-mail, telling your experiences in the Support field!

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox