I've been a Tech-Network Admin-Systems Admin for going on 20 years now. Yes, some 'customers' are challenging, if life was easy it would be boring.
I may have not made myself very clear. I could work by myself in a cave and never talk to anyone and I would be happy, at least for a while. I am not talented at working with people, but I have had to teach myself to become a teacher and teach myself how to communicate more effectively with people. Working with computers is much easier than working with people (for me), but to work effectively with the systems I have had to learn how to work effectively with the people that use them.
I have deliberately made the choice to not step into management, but I am a trusted advisor on technical issues for management, and I had to earn that trust. Not easy. And every time there is a change in the management I have to start earning trust all over again. There are ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Yup, sometimes management asks for the impossible. I will present to them (gently, with documentation) why it is not possible with the understanding that I will do my best to attain the impossible, and I then make the process as absolutely transparent as possible so that they may possibly learn. Some do, some don't. But I usually have more patience than the one's that don't learn.
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