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Hours and responsibilities.

By mrbiker69 ·
I am a one-person IT department supporting around 18 people
with three servers and about 30 computers. It's a mixed
environment of Mac and Win2k. I'm responsible for everything
electronic except the copier. This includes the phone system
and all services we need - right down to ordering and changing
toner.

Since the company does wholesale insurance, everyone gets in
before 8AM and leaves between 3 and 4 PM.

Although I've chosen to work later (10AM-6PM) I'm usually here
much later at night.

The problem is, because everyone else is in a diferent business
(insurance vs. IT), no one seems to understand why I work so
late. When I explain it's to work on the network or a computer
or the phone system, people think I'm here goofing off. One
suggested I might be here downloading porn. I don't keep a
computer at home so it doesn't occupy my free time.

If I work until 1AM (or later) and then come in half an hour late,
some people complain.

In fairness, my boss (a very level-headed insurance guy)
understands and thinks I'm doing a great job. The grumbles
come from the others.

Saturday's TechRepublic started off by saying "Everybody knows
the best IT work gets done when the "average user" isn't around
to muck things up. In honor of those noble IT staffers who
sacrifice their evenings and weekends to perform the high-level
work that the "business side" would only manage into oblivion."

No, everybody doesn't know. How do I explain or what would
you do in my position to let them know? I've thought of keeping
a log but nobody wants to see it.

Thanks.

M.

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Show up

by Cactus Pete In reply to Hours and responsibilitie ...

Show up on time. In fact, be early.

Inform users that systems will be offline after hours when you're doing maintenance on them. There's no log, but global sends will surely let everyone know what you're up to.

When the systems come back up, send out a global email letting everyone know it's back.

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Communication

by RB_ITProfessional In reply to Show up

I definitely agree that communication is the key. Communicate with your users as much as possible about the projects you are working on that affects them. It may be that they don't see how your work relates to or affects them. A simple email sent weekly outlining the projects/IT fixes that you are working on and HOW these things will benefit the users may go a long way. What they choose to accept about your work after that is completely up to them. At least you will know that you have done your part in communicating with them. Be thankful that at least your boss recognizes the benefit that you bring to the company.

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Who cares?

by Oz_Media In reply to Hours and responsibilitie ...

Most people in business don't understand each others role fully.

It's no different in other roles, sales guys think Admins work short hours as sales guys are out all day, often work late and Admins go hoe at 5 sharp.

The admins all think sales guys have it easy because they are ut driving aroud in th esun, havin glunch and making a heap of money for it.

In 20 years I have seen this SO many times as I have worked in pretty much all roles within an organiation. Admin, sales, management, warehousing, IT, you name it.

IT guys think other staff have an easy day too, but they don't in fact the easiest job I've had was as a sole admin for a large telecom company, IT seemed like such a cakewalk in comparisson to my other roles.

Its just preception, you will not change it, even f you get peopl eto pretend they agree with you, it's life, just live it instead.

Bottom line is that your boss understands and appreciates your work, 'uck the rest of them, they'll never understand your job, just as you will never fully understand thiers, nor do you need to in order to work together.

NOTE: I have also tried dpetraks advice, except I would just drop the server in midday, pretending it had hapened by accident and then take my time patching, updating and bringing it back up again.
But they just got pi$$ed off and never saw the point behnd it.

The funny part was that it was Netware, so there was no need to down it, patch it etc.
I could have run live updates on the fly. LOL!

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Indeed

by amcol In reply to Who cares?

It may be you're taking what your coworkers are saying too seriously. They may just be pulling your leg, trying to get a rise out of you. If that's what they're doing, guess what...it's working.

Rise above. No matter what the real reason, like Oz says...who cares?

BTW...ignore that part of his post where he says to drop the server. Sabotage, no matter how benign, is never funny...or wise.

Oz is a much more responsible professional than that, so maybe he's just pulling both our legs with that advice. Oh, wait, I almost forgot...who cares?

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No there's more to it than that

by Oz_Media In reply to Indeed

I was gettign hasseled for puttingin so much overtime and complaining about money. They said there was no reason I couldn't do all of my IT work during offic ehours. Even after I explained server downtime, testing etc. they stilll didn't like it.

So I decided to do that work during office hours instead, it proved the point within the week and the problem was resolved. That post just made me remember people complaining of me waltzing in at 10:00AM; while I was working 'til the wee hours.

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point out

by Jaqui In reply to Hours and responsibilitie ...

that you cannot do your job while they are working, unless they want to not have computers while you do your job.
if they don't like the idea of not having a system while you work, then tell them to shut up about you doing your job correctly and not killing the system while they need it.

plain old english usually gets the message across quickly enough.
specially if done where the boss can hear it.

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Communicate

by maelorin In reply to point out

Absolutely. Communicate.

Perhaps even ask about their job/s.

SHow and interest in what they do, and they just might reciprocate. And who knows, they might find small ways to help you do yours - and vice versa.

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Join The Club

by stargazerr In reply to Hours and responsibilitie ...

I am going through exactly the same problem.My boss accepts and appreciates what I do, but all the sales guys think my job is a ball..

Dont pay heed to them. Your boss knows and appreciates your work.Thats all that matters.

As for the sales people...try the following for a week or so...

Dont work till the wee hours...come in during office times and work on their computers when they actually need it....This will make them see why you stay after hours and respect what you do...:)

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I agree

by gpastorelli In reply to Join The Club

I'd have to agree with the others that they just don't understand and they won't. At my last job (at an international IT bootcamp mind you), lack of raises and yet an increase of responsibilities was justified that "we're computer guys and we like what we do." When I was told that that's when I made the decision to leave. A lot of companies think of IT professionals, not as professionals, but geeks who turned there hobby into a job. This is how a lot of organizations work, we should be in when the other employees come in, not affect system uptime and make sure everything gets done even if we're here all night.

Mind you my new job isn't like this, but they still expect me to have everything accomplished during hours and not effect uptime. But thank God for an understanding boss who comes in w/ me on weekends when an upgrade needs to be done.

I'd just explain to them you cannot do a lot of your duties during hours and while they're at home eating dinner w/ there families you're here making sure their next day at work goes smoothly from a systems stand. If that doesn't work a little downtime while you patch a server (non-mission critical) shouldn't hurt. (do at your own risk though, I've done it and never got in trouble, but it did show them that a little off hours maintenance was required)

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