Printers

How to please your IT department


1. When you call us to have your computer moved, be sure to leave it buried under half a ton of postcards, baby pictures, stuffed animals, dried flowers, bowling trophies and children's art. We don't have a life, and we find it deeply moving to catch a fleeting glimpse of yours.

2. Don't write anything down. Ever. We can play back the error messages from here.

3. When an IT person says he's coming right over, go for coffee. That way you won't be there when we need your password. It's nothing for us to remember 700 screen saver passwords.

4. When you call the help desk, state what you want, not what's keeping you from getting it. We don't need to know that you can't get into your mail because your computer won't power on at all.

5. When IT support sends you an e-mail with high importance, delete it at once. We're just testing.

6. When an IT person is eating lunch at his desk, walk right in and spill your guts right out. We exist only to serve.

7. Send urgent e-mail all in uppercase. The mail server picks it up and flags it as a rush delivery.

8. When the photocopier doesn't work, call computer support. There are electronics in it.

9. When something's wrong with your home PC, dump it on an IT person's chair with no name, no phone number and no description of the problem. We love a puzzle.

10. When an IT person tells you that computer screens don't have cartridges in them, argue. We love a good argument.

11. When an IT person tells you that he'll be there shortly, reply in a scathing tone of voice: "And just how many weeks do you mean by shortly?" That motivates us.

12. When the printer won't print, re-send the job at least 20 times. Print jobs frequently get sucked into black holes.

13. When the printer still won't print after 20 tries, send the job to all 68 printers in the company. One of them is bound to work.

14. Don't learn the proper term for anything technical. We know exactly what you mean by "My thingy blew up."

15. Don't use on-line help. On-line help is for wimps.

(From jokester.com)

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

134 comments
thajuicilousone
thajuicilousone

I have heard a lot of tech complaints but not many network admin complaints. Here are a couple pertaining to AD. 1.) I love how moments after they reset their password they instantly forget their password, lock themselves out of the system and are already calling me before I can get back to my office. Mind you I am at their desk in the first place because they cannot figure out how to reset their password correctly. Because I litterally need to be standing next to them for all the stars to align for their correct password to work correctly. 2.) There are those people that swear up and down over the phone they are putting in their password correctly and literally make you come to their desk to watch them put in the password only to watch the computer let them in. The worst is when a supervisor or CEO does it and you have to act like you are fixing a problem because you can just tell them they are ignorantly hitting the wrong keys. 3.) Password Security - I could not tell you the amount of times someone wants to give me their password. Or while I am on the phone people with whisper the password to themselves while they are typing it. Or they will give their password to someone else while they are away just in case I come by to fix their problem...lol. People just don't think about the work information that they are given and how important that it was given to only them for a reason. Now let me catch them mumbling that bank account password and OH! NO! then all the sudden we have a hacking pandemic. 4.) Here is a tech one I used to come across when I worked at a call center. You have a problem you need me to take care of, but it doesn't impede you from working or doing something else. I show up at your desk and you are killing time on Facebook. When they get busted they play like they were totally unable to work and that I took too long getting to the problem... their solution was to screw off on the internet instead. Most of the time that ends in them being on websites they should not be on which in turn they get a virus and I end up back to their desk and the cycle begins again...lol. Thanks

Ian Lewis
Ian Lewis

Plan an event requiring lots of equipment and make sure that you tell IT that it is happening by 5pm on the day before it happens. Even better give an hours notice, it's plenty!

ipeters61
ipeters61

Number 13 was my favorite, no, number 14, not that one, 4, or 5. Maybe 7 or 1, possibly 8. No, definitely 15. Number 2? 10? 15? They were all funny, I just couldn't choose. What makes them funny is that they are all true.

elainej11
elainej11

Reading the "How to please your IT department" article had me laughing in stiches. I would forward it to my IT department, but afraid that's not the proper protocal. Loved the article.

Thumper1
Thumper1

When your printer is flashing "Toner Low" by all means, keep it a secret from the IT department. Wait until it stops printing entirely which co insides with a rush brief due in court in 15 minutes. Disregard the fact that you have been repeatedly told that your printer will print hundreds of pages with the low toner warning, and if you simply notify IT that you need a cartridge they will get it for you the next day. Next, have the Attorney you work for demand IT fix it NOW!!!!!

Tig2
Tig2

I have had this one for years and love it. And now that I am considered a "user", I keep it as a handy reminder of how to facilitate for the support folks that I am required to call... even though I could fix the problems myself. I always remember the fun I had as a front line support person and sometimes wish I was still in that role. Even the silly problems were fun. There's no such thing as a "stupid" user. There are people who don't understand technology like I do. The most fun I ever had was in a role as a PM at a company where I had dissected the computer to find (and fix!) the problem when the Support guy arrived. He asked me who had taken the machine apart. I told him that the machine wasn't taken apart. He replied that he could see evidence that the machine WAS taken apart. My response? "Who are you going to believe? Me, or your own lying eyes?" I got away with it... once.

davhas
davhas

Remember no matter how many times I log into your box on RAdmin, fight me for the mouse control, close the windows I have open and be a general nuisense.

garey.beach
garey.beach

How about the users that put in their move requests a day after the deadline and then call the next morning asking why the move wasn't completed.

smatteson
smatteson

Of course we only go to company parties to make ourselves available for fellow employees to ply us with home PC questions and get a ton of free advice. It's also perfectly OK to hit us with "By the way, my work PC has an issue which I keep forgetting to tell you about..." making it necessary for us to remember to come see you Monday morning when the work week resumes. We don't have any other topics of conversation to discuss at parties like baseball, movies, books, traveling, etc. and even though we might be with our spouses, it would never occur to us that it might be fun to take a break from computers and unwind: we really want nothing more than to spend an hour explaining to you in detail how to resolve your AOL problem, or what your college-bound son will need to buy for a laptop.

frmanzotti
frmanzotti

16. Please complain about how you have a virus and how could the IT department let it slip through with all the anti-virus software we are paying for. Don't even mention the fact that you have photoshop, 2 instances of a raw movie editor and trying to send an e-mail to your freinds and claiming you have a virus slowing down your computer. We love to disinfect "viruses". 17. Oh and please please please.... download as many toolbars as you can for internet explorer because, hey! sometimes you just need to search one word in 12 different search bars.

adam.ollier
adam.ollier

If it wasn't for incompetant staff then we would all be sat around bored. hey make us laugh with pointless questions, and whity comments when we don't do what they want.

A. Shier
A. Shier

While I enjoy a good laugh at the expense of the "idiots" as much as the next guy, some people seem to be getting a little too emotional about this. We need to remember that I.T. is a means to an end ... and not the end itself. We exist for the sole purpose of supporting the areas of the company that make the money for all of us. And remember ... you would probably be equally inept at sales, marketing, HR, etc. If everyone were rocket scientists, you wouldn't get paid very well to solve silly problems.

wizard57m-cnet
wizard57m-cnet

this thread is 6 years old! Let's don't wake the zombies.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

My job interview was interrupted by the following conversation: [Door slams open] "We've got a sales class in the break room and none of them can connect to the wireless." "There is no wireless on that floor. You will have to move to one of the training rooms or to the conference room." "But they're all in use and they're on a different floor from the break room!" "Bummer." Turns out the sales manager had scheduled a motivational class for his salesmen without actually reserving a location for the class...

michaellashinsky
michaellashinsky

You should not only send it to your IT dept., but you should "send to all". I know for a fact that your IT dept. would love to have a 2 MB blog sent to everyone. In fact, I am sure they want everyone to discuss it with each other via email, making sure to "forward with history", "reply to all with history", etc... You would be doing them a favor, because servers all have the power supply at the top of the tower, making them top heavy. By filling up the hard drive, you are adding ballast and making the system more stable. They'll thank you. Trust me, would I lie...

C-3PO
C-3PO

Why not have the smart printer e-mail you that it needs toner before the user does? If you're really concerned that this is going to happen, amaze them with the never ending toner - the machine never runs out!

minda
minda

Well, I suppose some users can be stupid, and (gasp!) some IT people can be stupid, but you're very right that there's a big difference between stupid and uninformed. Someone I work with asked me the other day, RE an e-mail I'd answered about static vs. dynamic IP numbers, what that meant. I mentioned the question to techie Bill only because of writerly pride in the analogy I came up with to explain it: a phone number vs. the number you get in a deli line. But before I even got to that part of it, he'd rolled his eyes in disgust that *anyone* could fail to know what a static IP number is. Well...lots of people don't know and don't need to. The challenge for non-IT people working with IT is recognizing what we don't know. For instance, asking why a print job isn't running rather than sending it 19 more times. The challenge for IT people is recognizing that their non-IT colleagues won't and can't know everything that they consider simple, necessary knowledge. And finding plain-English ways to (patiently) explain what the rest of us do need to know. It's arrogance on either side that gets us all into trouble. But then, that's why we wrote the book. :-) Minda Zetlin The Geek Gap www.geekgap.com

karen
karen

Yes, I love that, too, especially when I've called the user and explained that I will be taking control of their machine and why and asked them to be sure to save anything important, etc. It always is more fun to try to fix their problem while fighting for the mouse cursor!

michaellashinsky
michaellashinsky

With VNC, you, the admin, have the ability to disable the user's mouse and keyboard while you are connected.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

I'm so much of a geek that I enjoy that kind of thing..... LOL

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Toolbars! Talk about the bane of existence! By the time a semester is over the PC's in our lab have every toolbar out there to be had! Along with IM's.

drrobert
drrobert

Your lack of English skills makes me laugh.

Labrat636
Labrat636

And job security. We will never run out of problems to solve or idiots to ridicule. Behind their back, of course. My job is to handle and solve technical issues for customers both internal and external. I want the salespeople to sell - whatever I can do to make sure they don't waste time on technical issues - I will do - because that's what I do. I have to support many different makes and models of communication systems both TDM and IP based, and a constant irritant is when a customer calls in for help and starts in with the problem without telling me what make and model system they have. Don't tell me what kind of system your having a problem with because I love puzzles, and I'll figure out what you got eventually.

smith
smith

It's too easy, when helping one of our idiotic, ignorant, impolite, and endlessly annoying users, to reply in tones dripping with sarcasm and an abundance of technical terms (RAM, FSB, DLL, etc.). A little simplicity of attitude and terminology helps cool the overheated brow. Wingnut

etruss
etruss

Yes, that's all very good but it does need to work both ways. Yes, the sales guy does do an important job for the company but so does the IT guy who keeps him doing his job by keeping his computer working so he can. Everyone needs to respect everyone else in the company - we are a team who needs everyone. Too often, the self-important sales guy forgets that and has the ear of the higher ups who can determine the conditions the IT guy has to work in. This leads to a lot of the frustration you are hearing here.

NoStaff
NoStaff

It is in perspective, we are getting a chuckle out of the incredible amount of lack of common sense. No one here is advocating a position not supporting the company's mission. Quite the contrary, if time were not being wasted per the many examples provided here, more time would be spent on resolving substantial issues that legitimatly arise.

cubeslave
cubeslave

I knew there was a reason my new PC isn't as stable as I would like. Not enough ballast.

Thumper1
Thumper1

That would entail spending money for smart printers. That's not going to happen any time soon.

sarahwww
sarahwww

I had a substitute teacher trying to shut down a lab when I was working on a computer. I fought her for the mouse and she nearly went screaming from the room thinking the computers were possessed! (To be fair, she didn't know I had this "power" but then I didn't expect her to shut down the lab --even the regular teacher hardly does that!!)

michaellashinsky
michaellashinsky

Actually, I do too. (God! I need a life!) But if someone is being a pain, I tell them I charge reasonable rates for private work. Usually they bug off, but occasionally I get paid and thanked for my efforts.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

One of my friends works in a college environment and does repair work on student laptops. One kid brought his laptop in because "he can't see web pages." The kid had installed every toobar available and anchored each them all around the outer edge of the IE window. By the time he was finished, his 1600x1200 display had about 200x100 pixels available for the actual viewing of web pages.

WhomEver123
WhomEver123

Just gives us a chance to vent, rather than losing it on an innocent user....

C-3PO
C-3PO

Just about any network printer has the smarts to do this (well, maybe not the $200 ones from Staples)... any printer that's not going to break down every couple of months because of over use should be replaced with something that can handle the capacity - a network printer with a web interface that has the smarts to e-mail you. If you've got 10 desks with $150 printers on them, you could put one $1500 printer in place of it that will print faster, cleaner and be smarter about telling you when it needs supplies...

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

They gotta replace that LJ II sometime...

clark1
clark1

SWMBO stood for sweating my balls off Silly me LOL

michaellashinsky
michaellashinsky

No, happily married for 18 years to the same woman. (Dated her 6 years before that.) If anything, I obviously don't get out enough to learn those manly type anachronisms. Oops, 'gotta go, Wife is calling...

Tig2
Tig2

See HAL. Nuff said...

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

She Who Must Be Obeyed. You are obviously single...

dspeacock
dspeacock

Having SWMBO tell me that I'm going to spend part (read most) of my weekend at her place of employment fixing the network her boss set up. For free......not even a round of golf for my troubles!!!!

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

We have multiple computer labs on campus, run by multiple departments/divisions under the auspices of IT. Different d/d's enforce differing policies. One d/d has a policy so lax that half the PC's are slower than snail stuff or not working at all by the end of the semester. Cracks me up - the person in charge thinks that allowing any and everything encourages student curiosity. Far as I can tell it encourages a whole lot of time killing in place of doing homework. edit - typo

Ron_007
Ron_007

"Dear Mr Bossman, may I please have a workstation that does not violate every single ergonomic guideline (and cause my hand to seize up) ... " "Sorry peon, there is no money in the IT budget ..." Yes, I used "Midnight Office Supply" to solve my ergonomic problems (which contributed to carpel tunnel) It only took 4 chair swaps, 3 desk swaps and 2 phone swaps (I got a headphone set, before they were common!) (and a partidge in a pear treeeeee)... All from empty cubicles. The result was that I had an office set-up that worked for me, at no cost to the company. And everyone was happy.

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]I work for a law enforcement agency and our units have laptops in them and every now and then one will have issues. Like when a cop hits the touchpad with his flashlight and wonders why it wont work!!![/i] LOL, what you need to do is tell it there is a [b]flashlight sensor[/b], but the department hasn't bought the software for it. The result of that is that if any flashlight even gets near it, the sensor is activated, but because you don't have the software, it causes the device to malfunction. Explaining that physical impact is harmful to the device won't work, because they see it not bleeding and therefore "know" that it is not being "harmed"! So, you must forge a "technical" explanation instead, or spend the rest of your days dealing with destroyed touchpads. Now, they may go to their superior to ask for the software, so just tell him the same story, and if he asks to get the software, present him with a cost equal to twice the department's budget.

C-3PO
C-3PO

"I actually stood up and said here would you like to use mine?" Wow, now there's service! Just make sure next time someone is let go, that you nab their chair from the cube!

clark1
clark1

I cannot remember how many times I have told users that if the document does not print the first time DO NOT KEEP trying to print it. All it does is back up the print que and then the pc AND printer need to be restarted. Just let me know the first time and I will come look at it. I work for a law enforcement agency and our units have laptops in them and every now and then one will have issues. Like when a cop hits the touchpad with his flashlight and wonders why it wont work!!! Another thing is we installed some new mapping software that will give them the fastest route to a call, it has some pretty unique features so my boss had me do up a PP presentation so I could give each shift a class, sent out the email to the shift commanders and guess what, not a single reply. Yet at least twice a week I get questions about the software. And my doctor wonders why my Blood Pressure is up LOL

cubeslave
cubeslave

You have to remember, now a days people are only given enough instruction in the work place to get them producing. It is assumed that if you need to know anything else that you will be dutifully learning that while in the mythical land of Free-Time.

Triathlete1981
Triathlete1981

then disabled her/your chair by adjusting it and given her the chair she used to use. do this once a week on random days to mess with her. i mess with people sometimes. another great part of my job is when i get to blatantly display someone's ignorance to an audience. "the printer's out of paper! i haven't been able to print in four hours! help me now!" first, lord knows why you waited four hours to tell me. second, it was out of paper and bill gates over here didn't check the tray. he was away from his desk and i promptly took the opportunity to place ten or so bundles of paper on his desk with a nice note saying "in case the printer doesn't work again."

Kellster
Kellster

Customer service rep rolls in at 9:30 or so. I am having a conversation with my boss about our upcoming network conversion in my half-cube with a pole in it. CS rep with hands on hips and frown blurts out "Someone took my chair! The chair they left me is broken and I have problems with my back. What can you do about getting me a new chair?" I actually stood up and said here would you like to use mine? She says sure! And promptly took it away and rolled her 'broken' chair over - so I adjusted it properly and am now using it with no problems.

Absolutely
Absolutely

"Just gives us a chance to vent, rather than losing it on an [b]innocent[/b] user...." C'mon, admit it, that's exactly why you chose that word and you were only wondering who would be first to deliver the punch line! :^0