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  • #2257520

    I was asked what I do today


    by zlitocook ·

    And I had to stop and think about how to answer. Because I have done just about every thing you can do with computers. I just said I am a computer support person.
    But afterward that sounded lame or bad because I have installed networks from the ground up, help run a security division and now support 180 nurses by my self.
    What do you say if some one asks what you do?
    And do you dumb it down so they can understand?

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  • Author
    • #3166530

      I’m an electronics tech

      by nicknielsen ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      who specializes in computers.

      In most cases, since I install and maintain point of sale systems, store computers and printers, and service scales, I just say that I’m a computer tech in grocery stores. For most people, this is sufficient. If they want me to get specific, I tell them I work on the registers, store PCs, and “the scales in the deli.”

      They usually understand that.

      Edit: spelling

    • #3229686

      My response is always

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      I get paid to play with all the cool toys.

      If people want more, I tell them I am to blame for the network, servers, security, training, hardware and software at work.

      Then after the deer in headlights look fades, “I am responsible for anything computer related.”

      They “get” that last one.

      • #3199803

        Am a software engineer / software pro

        by ssp@techrepublic ·

        In reply to My response is always

        Yes I agree to that.. I always start with all techy jargons I can but end with a simple note : Software Engineer – a global phrase that the naive person understands “Engineer” and “Software”. They get either of this. If the person is in the software field, they will understand the first blah blah techy jargons.

      • #3283743

        My response

        by stan20 ·

        In reply to My response is always

        If I’m in a hurry I just tell them I create obscure lists, incomprehensible diagrams and solve complex problems.

    • #3229601

      My boss calls me

      by mjd420nova ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      Field Service Engineer. I have to service everything from Satelite earth stations to PC’s. and anything that hooks to them. Point of sale and order entry equipment in resturants to refineries. Key storage systems at car dealers or rewinders of aluminum wire at the manufactures
      plant. Infra-red scanning of hydroelectric generators at dams, coking plants, boilers and personal homes. Repair of servos, proximity detectors and strain gauges at nuclear plants is my favorite as it involves a lot of prep time and usually very little work and only happens once a year due to exposure limitations. Travel, usually in excess of 100K miles a year in personal, rent-a-car and borrowed company vehicles makes for a TYPE A personality that I’m able to turn off and on depending on the attitude of the customer and the traffic.

      • #3229588

        My boss calls ME

        by nicknielsen ·

        In reply to My boss calls me

        you d4mnf00l id10t. :^0

        Actually, my formal job title is “Field Technician.”

        • #3229581


          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to My boss calls ME

          f33l th3 luv!

        • #3199780

          Name Tag

          by critch ·

          In reply to ahh

          SWMBO’s mother made me a name tag stating
          Head Computer Geek

          evidently I thought it was funnier than everyone did….

      • #3199728

        Land Engineer

        by mike.skomal ·

        In reply to My boss calls me

        Back in the day, my title was LAN Engineer which most normal people translated to land engineer. While there’s nothing wrong with being a civil engineer, it’s never been my game. Always got a laugh out of that one.

    • #3229417

      I tend towards self deprecation myself

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      Unlike you.
      Service 180 nurses by yourself !
      What a job, you need help, I have an excellent candidate lined up.
      I usually describe myself as a programmer, makes it easier for the boss, they’ve some vague notion of what that entails.

      • #3229748

        Big grin

        by zlitocook ·

        In reply to I tend towards self deprecation myself

        have at least ten friends that sent me their resumes for a second tech. here. This is an easy job, all new equipment, servers, and printers. We have a great help desk that can fix or answer almost any question. Nothing is stored on the computers so if one blows up I grab a back up and in five minutes they are back to work.
        I have down loaded free training from MS it is mostly lunch and learn power point stuff. But it helps the newbie?s with all XP and Office 2003.
        And the problems I do get that are hard to fix, are one a month or so. I would tell you about the job benefits and perks but you would hate me for them. 🙂

    • #3229413

      It depends on who asks…..

      by gadgetgirl ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      if it’s someone who knows anything at all about computers, they’ll get nearer the mark. But it all depends on WHY they’re asking, in my line of work.

      I usually stick to some standard answers:

      To a patient/general request – I look after computer security

      To someone who has specifically been told to contact me – I’m Information Security – I help to keep all the Trust information in the right place, safe and secure.

      To inductees and infractors: I AM THE INTERNET POLICE!

      (usually keeps them towing the line! 😀 )


      Edit: Did you know that a violent sneeze from a head cold, combined with a sensitive ergonomic keyboard can cause comments to be submitted before completion? Well, it do.

      Want a sneeze ‘moticon…

      • #3229736


        by zlitocook ·

        In reply to It depends on who asks…..

        Run it’s the internet police! Ha-ha I give a short speech about the computers, email and the usage of the internet to the new nurses. Our policy is that the computer, email and internet is owned by the company and what you do with it is watched and recorded.
        The new people look at me like I am a cop or worse. But most do not believe it until they get an email from some one saying they are spending too much time on the internet or that their computer is infected please call the help desk.
        Then they call me and ask if every thing they do is really watched. And I say you signed a policy statement telling you so, I guess they see me as the computer cop.
        We are HIPPA, SOX and a lot of other TLA?s compliant and try to stay that way.

      • #3201927

        Have this virtual Lemsip

        by neilb@uk ·

        In reply to It depends on who asks…..

        and wrap up well. 😀

        • #3201918

          Neil (‘choo!) I know your irony….

          by gadgetgirl ·

          In reply to Have this virtual Lemsip


          so was that really a virtual lemsip, or just your way of telling me to shut up in the first place???




        • #3201906

          It was a REAL virtual Lemsip

          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to Neil (‘choo!) I know your irony….

          i’m sitting here in need of cuddles, myself… 🙁

          I’ve just had the bandage off my ear and it STUNG! Looks like it was good repair tho’ and I won’t end up looking like a Rugby player…


        • #3201882

          Awwww (‘choo!)

          by gadgetgirl ·

          In reply to It was a REAL virtual Lemsip

          have a 😡 better, babz!

          And thank you for the REAL (‘ch…. nope) virtual Lemsip.

          I think it’s starting to….ahh…..ahhh…nope..gone again…. work, I’m not sneezing as much as yesterday.

          Rugby players? Ooooh, some of them look GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD! 😉

          Why you not wanna look like one of those? Some have nice muscly legs… to go with their nice muscly chests… and (‘choo!) ok. I know. Nuff.

          Back to the Lemsip, then!

          Get healed up soon, babz!



        • #3201880

          Poor Neil..

          by maecuff ·

          In reply to It was a REAL virtual Lemsip

          I hope you feel better soon. I can’t help much with any cuddling..but I can offer you virtual sympathy.

          And what is a lemsip??

        • #3201867


          by neilb@uk ·

          In reply to Poor Neil..

          Very long-running English cold remedy originally aspirin and lemon in a sachet. Used to get given it when I was a boy. Still use it today for the placebo effect although I reckon it’s probably got different ingredients in it.

          I knew that GG would know. 😀

        • #3201724


          by maecuff ·

          In reply to Lemsip

          I see. It probably works the way hot tea and cinnamon toast works for me..

        • #3201716

          sounds about like this?

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Lemsip

          sounds like about the same idea.

          some to you anyways! 😀

      • #3201715

        Who would have thought it?

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to It depends on who asks…..

        GG is a sick puppy? :0

        Get better my dear. 😡

      • #3199776

        It does depend on what the inquirer knows

        by ibm5081 ·

        In reply to It depends on who asks…..

        My response is usually a question: How much do you know about data processing?
        If they say that they know very little, I give them a standard short answer and we move the discussion to another subject.
        When they tell me what they have done in IT, either in school or professionally, we can talk shop a bit, stopping short of their eyes glazing over and just acknowledging that I am saying something they don’t understand. Before that point, I just listen to their stories about some nifty program that they wrote or how challenging the college course was.

      • #3199713


        by bbraxton9 ·

        In reply to It depends on who asks…..


    • #3229364

      if they are from HR

      by jck ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      I tell them everything under the sun I have done, am doing, or could do within the scope of my job description.

      Usually when HR starts asking about my job function, they’re looking to 1) reclassify me to pay me less, 2) reduce staff and combine job functions and reclassify me to save money, or 3) just looking to gather info so they can do (1) or (2) in the future.

      Otherwise, I usually tell people “I’m the computer guy.”

    • #3229358

      Infrastructure Project Manager

      by tig2 ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      With emphasis on Network and Information Security.

      Unless they really want to know. Then I can drill down to theoretical and hands on skill in network, OS, security and privacy, and programming. Also ACL management and database design.

      Or I just tell them I’m an IT mutt. Most people get that.

      • #3229996

        What I do…is write

        by sylverre ·

        In reply to Infrastructure Project Manager

        Depending on who’s asking, I usually identify myself as a staff writer or technical writer.

        The official title is “technical communicator” (gotta love gov’t job codes!), and since my contract’s about to end, I’m spending a fair amount of time defining that for people. What’s the difference between that and “technical writer”? In the real world, not a blessed thing!

        I’ve done some content management here, database redesign, research, and all of that, but what I
        _do_ is write. Memos to go out under someone else’s name, position papers, best practice reports, procedures, user instructions, chatty newsletter text, whatever.

        I play with words. And tech-toys, so I can write about them. Which is probably not the best answer for a job interview.


    • #3229982

      Well, you could just say. . .

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      [i]I maintain a computer network for 180 medical personnel (or nurses).[/i] (You could say, I suppose, “single-handedly” maintain…., or something that that effect.)

      You can’t assume what the person asking may or may not know, and such a reply is simple enough for a novice to understand, and clear enough for an expert to understand AND expand upon if the answer generates more interest.

      If a formal title is what you’re wondering about, they run the gamut; and some novices (or even experts) might still have no idea what it means. Do you have a business card? What does that say?

      If I were to assign you a title for [i]”single-handedly maintaining a computer network for 180 nurses[/i], it would be one that would also coincide with the shirt I’d buy you — the one with the big [b]S[/b] on the front.

      • #3229962

        “the one with the big S on the front.”

        by tonythetiger ·

        In reply to Well, you could just say. . .

        I’m wearing mine now 🙂

        I’ve got 8 more motherboards on the way from Dell today (the blown cap problem). Out of 180 computers, I’ve replaced probably 55 motherboards and 20 power supplies.

        • #3229956

          Easy solution

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to “the one with the big S on the front.”

          Don’t buy Dells

        • #3199759

          Solution? sounds like a command

          by dumbterminal ·

          In reply to Easy solution

          Then it can snowball from there…Don’t use Windows, Don’t use Excel, don’t buy Linksys, don’t buy HP, don’t buy Asus, don’t buy pre built computers, don’t build your own, don’t use Firefox, don’t use fiber optic cabling,blah, blah, blah.
          If that were the “solution”, we wouldn’t have technology. You would be reading my response by smoke signals

        • #3283810

          I command no one, Kimosabe

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to Solution? sounds like a command

          Me thinks smoke in your eyes from smoke signals clouds your brain.

        • #3209250

          Cloudy brain, but I’m still correct

          by dumbterminal ·

          In reply to I command no one, Kimosabe


      • #3229747

        A big “S”

        by zlitocook ·

        In reply to Well, you could just say. . .

        Is that good or bad? I have had a director call me a big s***head :). This is a vary easy job compared to the last contract job I had! I left at the end of the day just wanting to hit a bar a person and a bad and sometimes not in that order!

    • #3229954

      Captian Network

      by wallowamichael ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      Is my favorite.

      I also go in for Computer Guru, Data Wrangler.

      My boss calls me the director of technology. As with many others here, the amount of different types of work that I REALLY do make up my 4 page resume.

      Generally I answer in response to who’s asking the question and why, starting with ‘Captain’.

    • #3229951


      by cely ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      Well since most of the people I talk to don’t have the first clue about computers, I just tell them that I’m training to help people to sort out the problems which they may have with their computers, be it hardware or software. Namely i’m gonna be the tech from hell they scream down the phone at when their computer refuses to start or keeps crashing.

      • #3229741

        I tell people that have

        by zlitocook ·

        In reply to Blimey!

        Bad times with computer techs that I am a tech that will sit next to them and tell them what I am doing. Or I let them drive and fix their problems, this makes them feel great and mabie start liking to talk with a tech.

    • #3229908

      Level of knowledge

      by speedracer94 ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      When asked, the first thing I tell them is, “I’m a SAN Engineer.” I have yet to meet the non-IT professional who knows what that is, so I bring it down to their level.

    • #3229854

      I Say…

      by now left tr ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      IT Systems Manager…

      If it is a pice of IT Kit or
      If it runs an electronic system of sorts
      I manage it.

      • #3229831

        What I say

        by rain.longson ·

        In reply to I Say…

        I design GUI’s and deal in Human Factors for web/software design. To explain GUI and Human Factors I tell people that I make web site look pretty and make people feel smart (easy to use, logical web sites)
        At that point they get it, kind of. They don’t usually understand that somebody has to design the sites or figure out anything else. I sometimes have to go on and ask them if they ever used a site or a piece of software that was had to get around in or work with without a manual. If the answer is yes (most of the time) I tell tham that when somebody actually design the interface and deals with the Human Factors that is no longer an issue everything goes smooth…

        • #3230771

          undeserved title

          by storch ·

          In reply to What I say

          Once I had a grateful user call me the Nerd Goddess. I am a long way from deserving such a lofty title, but it was fun being called that even if it’s not true.

          It was so much better than the usual, “This #$$**+!!! computer is a piece of ****. Why can’t you make it work perfectly 24/7?”

        • #3199686

          Wrong Title. . .

          by bkinsey1 ·

          In reply to undeserved title

          No, no, no! Nerds do this stuff for free, if you get paid for it, you’re a geek! Geek Goddess, maybe? 😉

        • #3283909

          Wrong Title?

          by storch ·

          In reply to Wrong Title. . .

          I like that better – Geek Goddess, or GG for short.

        • #3283850

          No, you can’t use “GG”

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Wrong Title?

          She’s already here! 🙂


    • #3229706

      I understand where you are coming from.

      by jim_p ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      I get asked that question all the time, and me too myself have install networks from the ground up and all that stuff, even I say this, I still myself think that I could have described myself a bit better. But when you get blank looks at you, it’s pretty hard.

      Kind Regards,

    • #3201899

      My favorite line…

      by ciderick ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      …is: –

      I’m the guy you shout at when it all goes pear shaped.

      When I get a blank look from that one I tell them I ‘fix stuff’ – we’re dealing with button pushing monkeys at most sites I support…

    • #3201874

      Humm Tough question…

      by webjunkie1996 ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      My standard answer is I’m a Web developer, but that is not all I do in a day. I am also a full time single parent and a full time University student. How do you add that into a a web developers iq? =o) Most people I say Web Developer to say “aahhh a data entry person..” I answer with “you can’t be more off than that!”

      I’ve built pages for Engineering firms with database backup, created shopping sites for large shopping companies and other smaller industry seeking the internet revenue.”

      Its all in a days work! Off to the grocery!

    • #3201728


      by oz_media ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      No matter what field I work in I find I need to offer simple explanations. I seem to always delve deeper and deeper into the organizations I work for, thus my job titles disappear very quickly. Even here, I don’t bother updating my job title as it changes, I guess I like the KISS method.

    • #3201713

      I teach…now get off my damn lawn

      by jmgarvin ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      I really got tired of the HR drones asking “So, what do you do…EXACTLY.” You’d answer using technical terms like Cisco and support and they’d ask you to explain in “laymens” terms. I also hated having to “explain” what I was doing when things went to hell…Gah, I hate that.

      So, now I teach and I’m a youngish old fart. My students come to me with the exact same problems and my answer is typically “fluff it up with lots of adjectives.” 😉

      • #3231017

        Ok, now that I’m on the sidewalk…

        by nicknielsen ·

        In reply to I teach…now get off my damn lawn

        One of my classes in my former teaching job was an engineering principles course. Its purpose was to introduce the students to the design process and the associated documentation. Two of the questions I was constantly asked were “What format do you want?” and “What should it look like?” My answer to both questions was always “You’re the engineer on this project, what works for you?”

    • #3201667

      Good for a laugh

      by louisn ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      A reply of: “I’m the guy that takes the ‘sh’ out of ‘IT’ is always good for a laugh. It’s also a simple and accurate explanation – and one that ‘lusers’ can relate to 😉

    • #3231050

      I reply this…

      by mlayton ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      I actually answer this a lot, my son is 4 and he always asks what I do all day. What I tell him is “My MOST IMPORTANT job is to keep you and your sister safe. All day long while I am at work I keep other people and their computers safe.” Which seems to pacify him. When I am speaking to a colleague, I tell them I keep data safe. Perhaps you can say “I keep you connected and functioning?”

      • #3231005

        Gotta dumb it down for dumb managers

        by cewallace ·

        In reply to I reply this…

        I do whate.ver anyone else can not or will not do!!!!!!! Which is any thing to do with the network infrastructure

    • #3230898

      I’m a computer geek.

      by maevinn ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      For most people, that is enough. If they want more, then I can specify that I design, build and manage databases and websites, manage hardware, software and networks, train end-users in application use and computer maintenance, and occassionally do some simple graphic design work. My official title is Client Service Administrator–so computer geek is much more informative.

    • #3199825

      No Point Explaining Anything

      by the davemeister ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      After years of trying to explain and watching people just shut down after 30 seconds, I now tell people that “I change fuses and laugh at users”

    • #3199808

      Bill Gates’ Technical Support

      by christian ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      If it just doesn’t sink in, I fall back on saying that if Bill Gates needed technical help or advice, I am the sort of person he would call.

      ..and if that does’t work, I say I do “computers”.

      Sometimes I avoid the issue altogether and say I am a tax inspector. I save that one for taxi drivers and those people who insist on asking what you to for a living, just to float the conversation.

    • #3199800

      I just say…

      by glennallen ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      I’m a computer geek.

    • #3199791

      Double trouble

      by rex.joffray ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      I not only work in IT – I work for the State… I start out: I work for the Government (I hear sighs) then I mention IT (too vague). If they are still around elaborate how much I like my 25 year job that consists of “managing technical projects” for the all important Judicial Branch that services over 64 courthouses Statewide with 4,000 PC’s and from our centralized Data Center automates all the Criminal and Motor vehicle system, Adult probation, Juvenile offenders, Victim service centers etc. Key words are “automation” , “manage projects” and throw in technical and computers while “saving peoples lives” with information and automation. Sometimes I hear a wow – rarely.

    • #3199788

      When asked at partys…

      by chaz chance# ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      …I usually say “I work in an office”. Oddly enough, no-one ever asked what it was I did in an office.

      I do this is because I have found that if you reveal that you have anything to do with computers, one of the following things usually happens:
      1) You get asked to solve some vague problem they are having with their computer, on the spot. Whether you refuse or fail, they give you that “you can’t be much good” look.
      2) They say “I know nothing about computers. Mind you, my nephew…” followed by some anecdote so boring I find myself suddenly draw back to the woman who told me about the cracks in the wall of the psycho ward she was confined to after her last suicide attempt.
      3) They want to have a ‘puter related conversation. Yawn… yes, that’s why I left work early today and put on a clean shirt!
      4) They spot somebody on the other side of the room and excuse themselves.
      5) They try to sleep with me. Okay, that’s never happened, and that’s why I quickly learned to tell lies. I am apparently much more attractive because I do something indefinate “in an office”.

      I am quite sure that telling them that I “maintain railway infrastructure monitoring systems and design and refine optical recognition software” would be a total mistake.

    • #3199775

      DUmb down

      by mavmin2 ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      You betcha!!! I make it down home or discuss databases like store shopping. Whatever it takes to make them functional is great. I can stand there and wow them with my geek speak or I can give them the conceptual overview and basic application in terms and pictures they understand. A story to illustrate.

      Five year old Bobby asks his Mom where he came from and after she nearly faints she starts to speak of the beauty of nature and the wisdom of God and love between Mommy and Daddy without getting very mechanical. At the end, Bobby tells his Mom, “Gee, and I thought Billy coming from Chicago was a cool thing.”

      Sometimes, they don’t really want a techno grandiose explanation. If the thingamagig burped and that knocked off the connection to the whatsismacallit so I had to kick start the process makes them happy then go for it. I have one lad that works here that if you ask him a Kindergarten question he will proceed to give you doctoral presentation and you need to try and find your answer in the midst of all that wonderful information that you have no clue about what it means.

      Better to communicate in the language of the student and teach them than show off your ego and leave them more baffled then when you started unless you are of the old guru mentality that really doesn’t want to share in order to maintain your position of authority and feed your paranoia.

    • #3199754

      IT Manager

      by noyoki ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      My actual title is a bit wrong in my case, I’m more like the IT Administrator, but this was what it was called before I got here…

      I manage the network, troubleshoot, helpdesk for the company, upgrade, etc. But I am solo, and don’t have any decision power, so I’m hardly a manager… The business cards say IT Manager, but I describe myself as IT Administrator.

    • #3199751

      Response from a (semi) non-IT person

      by zikil6 ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      Let me Sherlock this:
      1. Unless you are different from most IT people, when talking to users you give a short – maybe smartass – answer.
      2. If the person that was asking you was above you but neither aware of or could interpret your job description, then you may of liked to be more “complete” in your answer.

      I’m guessing number 2 was the situation.

      Here’s an attempt at an objective answer…

      You are a member of a separate culture when you do what you do in a non-IT industry.
      Consider this:

      The terms that are key and informative that are used by you, are at most, tokens to them. And probably reverse is true for you – though sometimes the impacts may be equal – HIPPA for example.
      Being in a non-IT business means that where you are seen in the office, who you are talking to, what meetings you are invited to, all are impacting how these non-technical people look upon your personal worth to the organization.

      What I’m leading up to is that maybe you need to know what everybody else does, then you can best address what you do from their viewpoint. They may stick you out on a lone branch in the org chart, but at some time a person like you is dealing with the left and right and up and down of said chart.
      See if you can localize and specify the departments and their main actors while answering this question – you did this “where”, you worked with “who”, these people can do “this job” because you supported them.

      Going back to what I referred to earlier, getting this accross is not just a lack of knowledge on their part, it is also a cultural problem. Try to meet them halfway…

      Good Luck

    • #3199732

      Get a grip on yourselve Lad

      by the real iceman ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      I have been in the Computer Support business, now since the early eighties and your job desription is to do what needs to be done, whataever and whenever it need to be done.

      Get over yourself and use the SoftSkills you are supposed to have to answer peoples Questions.

      You would think you were a Brain Surgain, by the way you write, as well as many others amongst you.

      You either like what you do, or give it up.

      The Iceman
      MCSE, CNA, A+

      • #3199645

        Hmm Iceman

        by ben “iron” damper ·

        In reply to Get a grip on yourselve Lad

        Why don’t we see if you can get more certs into your signature as you speak of keeping the answer short and to the point.

        MCSE, A+, Network +, B-, ATT++, QPPC+, A10D+

        • #3199604

          To Ben

          by the real iceman ·

          In reply to Hmm Iceman

          Ben , with all of your Certs, you have the inability to read, and are iliterate; as I never stated anything about keeping it short and to the point.

          I spoke of Soft Skills; the only time I even state my Certs is to make a point as I did, of if directly asked for.

          You on the other hand are the atypical Network Admin, who is now in some kind of competition with me about who has the most Certifications.

          I include Softskills as a Life Skill Cert which cannnot be taught, but one must be born with which you are not.

          A Basic reading and interpretation Course would do you well.

          By the way the Title is “Operations Analyst” H.P.

    • #3199730

      i Just Tell Them…

      by obviator ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      i usually just tell people i’m a computer geek. While not as well rounded as some of the respondees here, i’ve been around the block a few times and appear to have internalized a lot of stuff to the point where i no longer have to think about how to do things, i just do them. i love the challenge of having to actually think! instead of just do. Professionally i support about 400 users in a networked environment where we’re just a small node in a much larger network. i do some programming, networking, all kinds of trouble-shooting, and am usually the first stop when things generally “just don’t work right.” i even help out when people’s home computers fry up (it helps protect MY network). Most are astonished at how much i know. i keep reading this site and others and know how little i DO know.

      • #3199714

        I’m with you, Obviator

        by delwin69 ·

        In reply to i Just Tell Them…

        After twenty years I’ve picked up quite a bit and can do most anything, but some of the folks that respond here put that amount of knowledge into quite a (small) perspective. When folks ask what I do I usually respond that I’m a ‘geek’ with a small ‘g’, or better yet, a writer pretending to be a computer tech until I get published. Either one seems to put most folks at ease and I don’t use techno-babble.

        • #3209203

          Just Say No to …

          by obviator ·

          In reply to I’m with you, Obviator

          techno-babble. Like You i’ve been at this a long time (20+ years) and the techno-babble throws ME. Geek (little “g”, except at the beginning of a sentence) pretty much sums up what most of us do. Besides, if someone who’s not a geek knows You know something (anything!) about computers, then You automatically know everything about computers in their eyes.
          E T I T
          E M U
          P P P
          L I
          E D
          Pretty much sums up my view of things.

    • #3199675

      Depends. . .

      by bkinsey1 ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      Staring at them until they go away works for me frequently. Unless of course you don’t want them to go away, in which case feel free to answer according to context. . .

      Any variation starting with something like “Well, you see, all data is basically just 1’s and 0’s. . .” works equally well.

    • #3199643


      by sreimert ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      LOL, I know that feeling… People that have no idea about what we do think we don’t do anything all day! And when you are so involved in just “doing your job” you don’t really have an itinerary handy to explain.

    • #3199623

      I just say “I am a professional Geek”

      by dryflies ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      They usually get it.

    • #3199618

      Simple and complete

      by progan01-yahoo ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      The people at my workplace already know what I do. They also know what I CAN’T do because of company technical policy, but they ask anyway. No title necessary.

      To the rest of the enterprise, and to outsiders, I am a Business Analyst. This handy answer conceals as much as it reveals. It answers all questions without providing a text to critique or to enumerate. People understand it without question, and don’t question because they don’t want to challenge their own understanding.

      I am he who you call when the network doesn’t work, the box doesn’t boot, the software isn’t there or the Help Desk won’t. I am he who management calls on to analyze the problems from a business perspective and offer a reasonable, economic solution. I am the guy you go to when the tech or the phonable help doesn’t work, and I provide the answers — even if they’re not the ones you want, but they ARE the answers you can understand and work with. Or against, if it gets in the way of business.

      Who can put all that on a business card?

      Call me a Business Analyst. Now what’s your problem?

    • #3199585

      Whoa dogie!

      by marya123 ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      I look at this stuff pretty much as a hobby. In my last position, I was an office manager who also the server. If you had “dumbed it down”, I would have been insulted. If you had given me an answer that included terms I did not understand, I would have asked for elaboration – without feeling insulted. Also, I disagree with your response. Be enthusiastic about computer support. Answer questions as they are asked. Make friends, not enemies. Computer support (whether hardware or software) is very much needed – a seeming lack of confidence or friendliness can leave your users questioning your value, wondering if you will prove helpful in meeting their needs. Never make the user appear or feel stupid! You only make enemies!

    • #3283945

      Depends on who’s asking

      by jeffo ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      No one outside of IT knows what all the hardware and software titles mean. Evidence a job description with 15 certifications required, network experience, etc for $15/hr!
      I usually reply “Chief Cook and Bottlewasher for IT dept” When I get the quizzical look, I tell them :If it deals with a computer, I do it. Fron Mouse pads to Ink cartridges to UPS’s(which I then have to explain) to the database to email to telephones ( CISCO VOIP). The listener is then able to grasp something and walk away satisfied.

    • #3283943

      I have it easy I guess

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      I haven’t had too much problems telling people “I’m a web developer.” Usually these days, even old ladies that don’t have a computer know what the internet is (ie. grandchildren have it), what the web is, and if they don’t, usually saying I create web sites on the internet explains it. If I get the “Oh, I don’t know anything about computers”. I find these people really don’t care what you do, they’ll find something wrong with it anyway. At least that’s my experience. So rather than explain, I just walk away.

      • #3283877

        I am IT.

        by systems magician ·

        In reply to I have it easy I guess

        Since I am the sole person responsible for the entire IT infrastructure… I usually tell I am ” IT Administrator “.

        If they need more, I tell them when it comes to computer, network and telephone needs of the company, I am “IT” Some people get the humor first before the description.

    • #3283934

      What I call what I do…

      by thecomputerator ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      Depends on the context. Database Administrator or Computer Support. My nicknames among my people are either Database Goddess or the Computerator. The latter because they’d haul me to their computer to show me what it was doing wrong and then it wouldn’t so I’d tell them it was because the computer knew if it didn’t straighten out it was “Hasta la vista, babee.” The erring computer will then behave right because “Ah’ll be bahck!”

    • #3283837

      Ditch digger…

      by ibanezoo ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      …because I always end up having to answer a ton of computer questions if I say anything truthful about my job. That or they give me job offers and tell me all the things I “should” be doing…

    • #3283752

      What am I?

      by johnstont ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      I work with computers. If I have to dumb that down, then I am on the wrong planet! By the way, Pluto is still a planet in my solar system!

    • #3209332

      Dumb it down…

      by jschmid ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      If I tell someone exactly what I do, I get a blank stare. So I try to make it funny. Q: What do you do? A: I put those annoying popups on your screen to give me job security. i usually get a smirk or something, them I tell them I work on the computers and the network.

    • #3209164

      I save YOU money.

      by ssampier ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      When speaking with most non computer people, “I work with computers”. When speaking with the executives and CEO, “I save YOU money.”

      It’s (mostly) true. Without technical people what would an average company do? Seize up and die.

    • #3284591

      What Do I do?

      by boomslang ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      I keep your company’s computers and network running so you can do your job, attempt to protect our network from bad people in the world who hate us and would like to shut us down, work at helping the users of the network be effective in doing their jobs and using the tools provided, know the network and the software effectively enough to extract data back out of the databases in a timely manner so you can make good decisions to keep our company alive and growing and to hopefully keep our customers happy so they continue to use our services. No bragging involved in this, it’s hard and sometimes thankless work and in the case of security and patching an unending treadmill with no guarantee of success, but I keep doing it anyway.

    • #3201585

      Do Not Say This…

      by stuman413 ·

      In reply to I was asked what I do today

      I always try to make my reply firm but polite. I am asked this quite frequently by my boss who is a lawyer (and doesn’t know how to attach a file in her email). My response use to be to always refer to some obscure section of a project that IT is working on, but lately, I’ve found that at the beginning of the week, write down some goals that may or may not be reached by the end of the week, and refer to them every time she asks that question of questions. Making her show her “deer in the headlights” look does nothing but confuse her…and lawyers do not like to be confused…so I’ve found that this technique works best.

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