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  • #2257723

    Sys Admin not helping new hire…


    by redsgirl ·

    i am a new hire at my current job with about 1.5yrs experience. all of my experience (including current job) has been in desktop support. my job is to assist the Sys Admin (basically do all the work he doesn’t want to do) …which i don’t mind)and to eventually ACT in his place when he’s not here. there is alot of information to soak up here and i’m eager to learn, but it seems that he (Sys Admin) doesn’t want to teach me. he gives me jobs to do and when they aren’t done in 5 mins. he completes them. i don’t expect him to tell me EVERYTHING but i do expect him to tell me and show me what i need to know in order for me to do my job. my question(s) is/are 1)how can i learn and grow when he wants to do everything and not leave anyhting for me to do? 2) how do i confront him in a PROFESSIONAL, way? AND 3)if this continues what steps should i take to get around this situation?

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    • #3231568

      Tough situation

      by cmiller5400 ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      because he/she may feel that they are going to be replaced or let go once you learn their jobs. Did he hire you or did his boss? This is a sticky situation and will need to be treaded on softly. I once worked with a guy that kept all knowledge to himself because he thought that it would make him irreplaceable. It was not fun, but once you got through to him, he was the nicest guy around. It just took time for him to realize that you are not there to replace him, but to help him in his work.

      • #3231442

        he was the one who hired me

        by redsgirl ·

        In reply to Tough situation

        he knew upfront my experience level, and everything else. he is a nice guy but, it seems as though he gives me ‘pieces’ of information instead of the whole amount.

        • #3277330

          Just Maybe…..

          by the davemeister ·

          In reply to he was the one who hired me

          Does the guy know what he’s doing in his job. I’ve had plenty of sys admins who are, to be frank, incompetent.
          They usually cover it by keeping everything to themselves so that everyone thinks that they are doing the best job possible.
          Not an easy situation to deal with.
          You may find to be fair that he just thinks that too much information may overload you and is doling it out piecemeal in an attempt to keep your learning curve at a reasonable level.

        • #3277211


          by Anonymous ·

          In reply to Just Maybe…..

          Maybe he just has a hard time ‘letting go’. If he has become attached to these systems, or feels a strong personal reponsibility for them, he may just be finding it difficult to let go and move on.

          Or maybe he is worried about dumping ‘busy-work’ on you, or giving you more than you are comfortable with.

          I just throw those out as other possibilities, which would fit with your observation that he is nice. It could be he is a geek become manager, and is very much out of his element in trying to handle delegation and such.

          As to what works in this situation… Patience. Look for opportunities to help, and keep soaking up the bits as he divulges them.

        • #3277151

          Sad but SIMPLE Truth

          by allreal2g ·

          In reply to Just Maybe…..

          allot of us if in a situation where we have subordinates really should take some management courses…… a huge part of the issues are just that an inability to properly manage, add a little fear of relinquishing some of our responsibilities and top that with a scoop of insecurity of being outshined and your stuck with a torn in your side. abilty to manage is unrated really

        • #2613664

          To be honest

          by pamelaknight ·

          In reply to Just Maybe…..

          This is more common than not that IT support personnel don’t like to give away their secrets. Not all of us are like that but they seem to get comfortable with the way things run on the network so to speak and if you were to suggest a better implementation it would have them feeling less in control. This is what it sounds like to me.

        • #3277173

          You’re not alone, this is what I’ve done

          by sully ·

          In reply to he was the one who hired me

          First of all, understand that you are faced with two separate issues here. 1. a business/administration thing and 2. an emotional/trust based thing. Nothing else is really happening and if you’re clear about what you are dealing with, realizing your strategies becomes less daunting. When I run into this with projects I constantly remind myself that everything is about the project not about me. What ever information I’m given I make sure I request what else I need and do everything that I can to do what tasks have been given to me. When I run into a road block due to “lack of information” I simply follow up and present the case from a business point of view; in other words, “These are your requests and here is the status report.” I also make sure the status report has the following ABC’s (Alacrity, Brevity, and Clarity) and no emotion. I then follow that up with a phone call with the sole purpose of following up in the interests of keeping the connection moving forward. When I’ve asked my CTO if she just doesn’t trust me, even if I mask it in a joke; I’ve created the possiblity for her to consider the idea of Trust when I’m sure that that is not a result I’ve wanted. Documentation is everything, follow up is everything else and what happens along the way is the experience of building a relationship upon accountability and trust without having to talk about accountability and trust. Make sure that before you start out on a project (even when it seems half baked), that has been given to you by your engineer, make sure you’re clear about what the “things” are that you are supposed to do. Often times, thinking that we need to know the full story is a waste of good emotional energy when just getting it done will allow you the opportunity to learn the story a chapter at a time as the project progresses. He will depend upon you more naturally and respond better to your needs when you communicate effectively from a business/get it done kind of attitude than from an attitude that seems to be about lacking something. Try it on, ask him for a time once a week/month to meet regarding a re-cap (1/2 hr to an hour) and bring your emotion and passion to that meeting with a clear vision for what you want to bring and what you are struggling with yet are learning greatly from. My sense is that no “good guy” IT boss is going to shun this kind of assistance and communication, be prepared though, that this meeting may take a month to develop, don’t miss that opportunity to follow up effectively (prob twice/week) until your response is met. After 3 times it would be ok to ask the boss “by when” will we have this follow up? Hope this helps!

    • #3231481

      similar situation

      by checkdatlevel ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      If you just started then you need to gain his trust first. If you are now settled at your new job then tell your boss that you would like more responsibility and that u would like to handle the problems on your own.

    • #3231473

      Got to win him over

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      He is feeling threatened by you, and there are many ignorant people in this field that will try to hord knowledge to either make themselves harder to replace or to make everyone see how grand they are because they can do what no one else can do.

      “Wow, you did that good. Think you could show me that sometime?”

      “Was wondering what I would have to do on the days that you are on vacation, could you give me a hand please?”

      also, you can talk to him in neutral terms that change it from a blame game to a request that it is intended for.

      “When you don’t allow me to finish a project, it makes me feel like you don’t trust me. Is there something I have done that would make you feel this way?”

      I went through something like this, but it wasn’t technical knowledge being with held because I knew more than the admin at the time. She still thought I was trying to take her job, not realizing that there was so much work to do that she was not able to do what she was doing well because she didn’t have time. Everything was done poorly because of having too much on her plate. She eventually was able to hand off half of her responsbilities (she picked what she wanted and I got the rest) without a pay cut of any kind.

      It did take a long time though.

      • #3212704

        Or, from the other side

        by jdmercha ·

        In reply to Got to win him over

        I just recently hired a new and capable person. He may look at me as hording information too.

        From my perspective there is just too much information to give to him all at once. So I dole it out as it comes up. But then it is difficult to keep track of what I have told him and what I haven’t. So basically, if he doesn’t ask me for the information then he doesn’t get it. Although he hesitates to ask questions sometime, because he’d like to figurte it out himself, he does ask questions when he feels he needs to.

        • #3212695

          believe me….

          by redsgirl ·

          In reply to Or, from the other side

          i do ask when i feel there is no other way. i try to show some initiative and figure things out for myself, but when users call me for job specific applicaion problems (apps that i wouldn’t know about if i didn’t work here) he takes on the user problems instead of taking the opportunity to show me. also, other times he just tells me ‘we don’t have time’ WHAT? all i have is time!!!

        • #3277338

          An opportunity for both.

          by pkr9 ·

          In reply to Or, from the other side

          I have stepped in as sysadmin or operator as it was called a while back, and seen the same situation. Now I work with managing and consulting so I know this from both sides. No matter how competent you are, there’s always special things to learn in every installation.

          It’s a good idea to meet on a regular basis, say 15 min.s in the morning and 15 mins at the end of the day, to sort things out. Also a weekly status will be a good thing. If you don’t organise things, you’ll be doing firefighting all the time. Curing the symphtoms but not curing the desease.

          As he(?) obvioulsly has it all stored in his head, this would be a great opportunity to do the documentation that obviously is lacking, otherwise you would be able to read what you need to do. By doing this you will learn, and he will do the company the big favour of doing what should have been done long time ago – ensuring that the company will not go bankrupt in case he gets hit by a bus.

        • #3277010

          Smoke up the neather regions only works in Marketing

          by beoweolf ·

          In reply to An opportunity for both.

          Most Administrators are very aware of smoke and mirrors…you pick it up quick when taking to users who swear they have changed nothing, purged nothing or never opened their computer – until you show them the data trails listed in the system log or crack the case and see mysterious recent finger prints in the dust.

          The best way to impress a manager is to do your job and step up to the line when you screw up. Coming from desktop support to LAN/Network operations is as different as playing video games is to designing them. Once you pull back the curtain, the whole world changes. Remember the Matrix – “red pill or blue pill” … if you have or want to keep your illusions, don’t take the (reality) pill! Obviously its the managers fault.

          No matter what happens, the system admin is always going to catch the heat. If you can’t convince him/her that you can be trusted, can follow directions and when necessary…think on your feet, then you are not giving off the right “vibes”. Its the workers job to earn respect, not the managers to give something that hasn’t been earned.

          I still say, if you are not getting more responsibility, don’t ask why the manager is holding back, ask why he doesn’t trust you enough to do the job?

          Some jobs are pretty easy to B.S. through, but there is an “Art”, as well as processes and procedures, to successfully running a network or system. For example; you learn troubleshooting by going thru a series of logical steps and checks…but once you have experience, you can often skip a step or two – if you know where the likely bottlenecks occur. You don’t get taught that…you learn it by doing or by being around those that already know how, when and where. If it were only about desire or strictly by recipe…we could just hire every college grad or certificate holder without regard to resume or demonstrated ability. But it isn’t, you still need to prove to the manager than he will not be spending too much time explaining why an employee did or didn’t do something they should or shouldn’t have done. After all is said and done, it really is about trust. Smoke ‘n mirrors only works when no one is watching closely.

    • #3199374

      welcome to the club

      by davedxb ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      One of my clients who i was offering my services too hired me. He needed a IT Support guy for a small company, and i was fresh out of college, spent 10 months doing volantary work (free).

      N ways…i had no knowledge what so ever of

      web servers
      email servers
      internal network servers

      He hired me…thing is i didnt have a senior IT member to take care of me…It was just me…

      6 months later….i had ppl

      yell at me
      hate me
      talk behind my back
      was fired for 3 hours lol

      An right now im currently managing

      2 internal network servers

      1. fax + file server
      2. ISA 2004 firewall

      wirless routers

      and 1 internet web hosting linux server for 3 companies.


      So….i think it was cool…i think u should stay strong and take a proper manner that is. Be tough, one thing you need to show them is your learning…and your gradually taking a stance.

    • #3199241

      Honesty is the best policy

      by drremer ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      As a manager of and president of Vote Out Incumbents Democracy, an all volunteer organization, and a psychology degree, I recommend a straight forward honest approach. SysAdmins tend to be results oriented people, appeal to that trait.

      I would say something to the effect, “I am able and willing to learn much more, so that I can be more productive in my position. But, without guidance and direction from you, I don’t feel I am maximizing my potential for your goals and objectives. Would it be possible for us to carve out 10 minutes of uninterrupted time once a week or, every two weeks for a short while, so that I can pick your brain and get your feedback and direction on how I can increase my abilities and skills toward our common objectives.”

      It is a straight forward approach. It is complimentary but efficient in seeking what you are looking forward. Most people find being asked to coach or teach one of the highest compliments they can be paid, provided it does not interfere with their own agendas.

      David R. Remer

      • #3277081

        Make it about him

        by mike_shimandle ·

        In reply to Honesty is the best policy

        I agree with this idea. Having just finished reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People” again I would only add that you make sure the conversation is more about HIM than YOU. Think in terms of HIS needs, wants, and desires and stay away from your own and he will have to come around to your way of thinking. After all it’s actually HIS way of thinking. Massage his ego a bit, but make sure its heartfelt. Let him know you think he’s a GREAT manager (after all he hired you so he must have at least one great managerial skill – hiring) and I know he’ll give you what you need.

        • #3166774

          Well said but becareful

          by sully ·

          In reply to Make it about him

          Mike unless you know this manager or this woman I suggest that you be more genuine and realistic with advice. We don’t often mean to sound like we know everything but sometimes it slips out and craps all over a great argument. You were spot on with “Think in terms of HIS needs, wants, and desires and…” It’s got to be about HIM and his agenda. When we become bosses we gain that perspective by default and we have to maintain it or we loose.

          You should certainly not “confront” your boss, you should do what you are charged with doing, you should definitely use your off time to learn more (it’s almost an unwritten rule to do so as the research $$$ would cripple any business that tried to pay for all that needs to be done).

          Just keep being the best that you can be, vent when you need to and vent to the right people and don’t worry about it, go there do the job, dive into the research, and win.

    • #3199231

      Make it work

      by jaco ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      Hi redsgirl,
      A1. we as it pro’s learn with our eyes.
      A2. when youve reached his level of experience you can confront him.
      A3. use your eyes.
      redsgirl, for some unkown reason employers seem to think that Sys-Admins grow on trees, on your way in becomming a SA you will find that there is no help or gratitude, and on top of that you have to put up with stupid people that should actualy not be allowed near a PC. The nice thing is that whatever you achieve becomes your reward (its the best reward you will ever experience). My advice..
      I am the SA to approx 60 Companies – at every single one there is always a problem that keeps on comming back – Find the solution, suggest and assist YOUR SA in solving this problem, and you will be the best thing since Linux….

    • #3199229

      Sharing the workload??

      by damian ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      Sorry this turned into a book…

      When you find yourself as that ‘that help’ and not able to obtain the relevant information to perform your new duties – what can you do?

      I think most of us have run into this situation at one time or other and when it’s your senior who’s not willing to make time for you, it makes it a little harder progress.

      It is not uncommon that a Sys admin who’s been running his own show for X number of years, screams to his boss that he needs help, which is why he keeps missing deadlines or making errors in his work (not always the case, some are just unbelievably organized and good at what they do).

      There is no ‘one’ right way to approach this, but here are a few things that have worked for me in the past in a similar situation:

      – 1st off sit with the guy and try to agree areas of specialism or ownership, after all he hire YOU for a reason. In the beginning this might be the dog’s work, but start efficiently while you have time and begin to document processes and create mini road maps for changes upgrades etc that you can present.
      – You have now demonstrated to him your competence, begun the tiresome task of documentation which he has obviously not done previously and more to the point started to learn the environment to a detailed level.

      It’s not exciting stuff, but calculated and reliable.

      Things that I see fail:

      – Sit and wait for it to come to you. It may never come
      – Complain about the situation. You’ll alienate the single person who you needs help – yourself.
      – The Adhoc route. You want to work, help out and make a difference, but you have no idea how anything is setup= You are most likely going to break something that has not been setup in a text book manner and really annoy, well yourself amongst other people.

      I hope this can give you some ideas how to move forward, Oh and congratulations on your new position by the way.!

    • #3199226

      Try this…

      by jamie ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      Your new in your job. Your a bit stressed because you’ve got a lot to learn. Possibly your stress is causing you to percieve the Sys Admins actions in a negative way. He might be unwilling to give you the vulcan mind meld and transfer all of his info in one hit because he doesn’t want to fry your brain.

      Who does the Sys Admin report to?

      Can you organise a formal meeting with the Sys Admin and discuss with him what is gooing on?

      Make a skills matrix for your position and work out what areas you need training in, possibly give yourself a rating out of 10
      eg Disaster recovery 7
      Database admin 5
      Various other applications used by the organisation
      You then have a knowledge shopping list that you can use to bolster your skillset. The internet is a pretty good source of information. For the applications used within the organisation try to ferret out some user guides, or possibly chat with some of th end users.

      Best of luck


    • #3277327


      by reyoung3 ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      Have you thought about asking for the help you need nicely via email? Thereby creating a documented trail for you, in the event you need proof you have asked for help. Just a thought.


    • #3277324

      First Step

      by larry.gerlt ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      When he assigns a task
      a. If you have not done it before, ask for complete insturctions and his assitance in performing. Explain you want to ensure you do exactly as he wants it done. If the task has been documented, print a copy to use and made copious notes about any item that you’re not 1oo% clear on.
      b. Ask him when he wants is done by. Immediately, by 2PM, the end of the day, etc.
      c. If you have other tasks pending, discuss priority of new task – where does it rank for completion on you task list.

      • #3277307

        Train yourself

        by careerdad ·

        In reply to First Step

        First of all I wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading this thread as it seems as if everyone here is genuinely trying to help. All of the answers have their merit and are all good advice.

        The only think I didn’t really see here is that you now have an opportunity to train yourself to become better at your job. It’s obvious that your new boss isn’t putting much pressure on you as far as accountability, so why not take the time to familiarize yourself with the technology? Go ahead, surf the web, look up and research the technology that’s specific to your site and like one other gentleman said, rate yourself on your strenghts and weaknesses and bulk up on your weaknesses. This will make you a more well rounded tech and individual as well as make you more valuable in the future.

        I’ve been in this situation, in fact I’m in it now! Everyone wants to feel wanted/needed but if you have this opportunity then I think you should sieze it. Trust me, the time will come when you too will be so busy you won’t have time to train!

        Sorry didn’t mean to turn this into a lecture. Good luck.

    • #3277315

      Teach yourself

      by crousseau ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      I am sys admin with over 25 years in computer fields. One of the main questions asked by people working with me is “How did you know what to do?” The 25 years is how I knew what to do. By building on my past experiences I can gather enough information about a project or job and find an answer. Most of what I do is not something I can teach to others because it is new and different each time. I do try to explain my ‘why’ but sometimes the translation is lost due to different past experiences. The fastest way for you to learn is to do it. Read articles, look up things online, go to the technical manuals. Beat him to the punch so that when he hands you something you are ready to ‘figure’ out the how instead of having someone teach you the ‘way’. This will make you a better sys admin and eventually bring him around to where he is asking you opinion on things.

      • #3277246

        May be a test

        by laduerksen ·

        In reply to Teach yourself

        Being an IT manager since 86, I interview many candidates for hire.

        My most favorite question to ask is:

        Just a couple days after being hired, some one reports that a critical system is down. You’re the only one available at the time and it must get back up and running. What do you do?

        Best answer ever received: “Well there’s got to be a manual, documentation or something somewhere.”

        Worst answer ever received: “Your gonna send me to training aren’t you?”

        The person with the first answer was hired and is now running his own business. The second person I never saw or heard from again.

    • #3277304

      Over Worked?

      by scottba ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      I am a Sys Admin and have hired a new assistant. While my assistant is very good there are still things he needs to learn. The problem that we have here and I am sure in most places is that there are more things to get done than is possible somedays. I would love to teach him everything I know, but there just never seems to be time to do those things. My advise to you – tag along and ask tons of questions. After you watch him do a task look it up on line and learn about it.

      The other thing to keep in mind is that maybe he isn’t teaching you everything he knows because sometimes we just don’t realize everything we do as it becomes almost second nature.

      Keep trying and best wishes

    • #3277286

      Ask lots of specific questions

      by vernonhorn ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      When you get a task, or some piece of info that seems like it is missing context, I would start asking very specific questions. I’ve been in his spot before and can testify that sometimes it is hard to remember that your colleagues don’t have the same broad understanding that you do. Also, it can be hard to explain some things because inevitably they are really intertwined with other things, and it can be hard to know where to start… Good Luck.

    • #3277283

      Hard to let go

      by scott ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      I was in your boss’s shoes abou 8 years ago. I had hired a guy to work for me in what sounds like the same capacity. I had a major stumbling block. For me, it was not being able to let go of the responsibility. As others have mentioned I found it was just easier and quicker to do it my self not even giving my new employee a chance. He confronted me on morning in my office and simply stated that “He was not there to replace me but to ease my work load but he couldn’t do that if I kept doing all the work myself.” “When you assign me a task, allow me to finish it. If I stumble and I will, let me work my way out of it. I will ask for help but this will also help me to learn.” I felt that was very professional and also letting me know that he was there to help. Maybe he is also a first time manager and being the only one to do all of the tasks before has to learn how to delegate. Good Luck and don’t give up. Us old dogs can still learn a few new tricks.

    • #3277261

      Continue to fight the good fight

      by uveses ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      hello… I think the roblem you have all boils down to a personality issue (the sys admin’s that is). Some people are really like that, it may be due to a lack of confidence in themselves figuring that you may get better than them, or maybe the fact that you are new is causing the sys admin to give you that hard time.

      A possible approach to this would be to calmly and in a diplomatic way mention that you are interested in learning more. You could also try to research the issues you may face (technical issues) on the web or in books to reduce the time it may take you to resolve them. Also if I’m reading correctly, the sys admin is a male and you r a female, if this is correct it shouldn’t affect the professional relationship but it may be a possible cause.

      My overall suggestion is try to do some reading on your own, this is usually common for persons with little experience, try a few things on your own and surely youwill soon become a force to recon with the the IT world.

    • #3277243

      Rule #1- Don’t confront your boss

      by jack-m ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      I didn’t read all the replies you got so if I’m repeating anything….sorry.
      Some things you might consider, 1) he might be afraid that if he teaches you everything so you can take over when he’s on vacation, off sick, etc. HIS boss might think he’s superfluous and if you make less money he’ll be replaced. 2)he might not be a good teacher. Often it’s easier to do than to teach. 3)if you learn everything he knows about this job you become his peer rather than his assistant and just might outshine him. 4) finishing jobs you start might be his way of showing you how smart he is.
      Some advice, learn on your own all you can. Take responsibility whenever you can. If you act like you know what you’re doing you’ll be treated that way. Take every opportunity to let his boss know you’re eager for more responsibility and to learn more. DON’T badmouth your boss to anybody but it is OK to express concern that you aren’t learning as fast as you would like, that you are ready to do more, take on more duties. The things your boss doesn’t like or want to do you should make an area of your expertise. If you’re in a small company you need to be careful and go slow. If it’s a big company you have more room to expand and freedom to try and improve your situation.
      If after a reasonable amount of time you might want to approach a higher up and ask for a revue of your performance to date and that would be the time to let them know you feel stymied and want to advance, there or elsewhere. Good luck.

    • #3277213

      Did you try reading a book?

      by beoweolf ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      Not to be dismissive or characterize all new hires as self serving. But… you saw that coming… Out of the last new hires or recently promoted candidates, there seems to be a reluctance to get educated the old fashioned way – read up on the subject, practice on an unused server (at home if you have to).

      Expecting “pre-digested” education is not the way to impress the current “Alpha” administrator.

      Sure, if there is a lack of documentation, you have every right to ask for the run book, if there isn’t one, the offer to create one, with the admin’s help. By help, I mean suggest a format, document some of the simple stuff that has been turned over to you, then ask for a review of the document. As mentioned in an above post…schedule 15 – 20 minutes of time before the work day starts to get some uncommitted time for the review. When you show you are willing to get into the “trench work”, it makes it a lot easier to hand over some of the “Glamour” jobs.

      I’ve had new hires that wanted to Cherry pick what they wanted to learn as opposed to what I needed them to learn. They would rush through backups and restores, with scant attention to what was really being backed up (you need to review the reports to ensure errors are not occurring). Then complain when they want to learn how to rebuild or restore an Exchange server (cluster). The net result being that a job that takes an hour, ends up stretching into 3-while the users are complaining, whining and forming into the expected knots of angry villagers ready to storm the castle.

      Want to ask questions, be afforded the respect that you “think” you deserve? Then Show up, shut up, listen more than you talk and keep the villagers out of the managers? hair. Every time a “simple” task, one that has been delegated to you is found “lacking” – whether or not the manager says anything about it – your “worth index” suffers. [Worth index: Bother vs. demonstrated Brains.]

      No manager/administrator that I know of will hire someone just to keep them from learning how to do the job they were hired to do. Where the discrepancy occurs is when what you are/were hired to do, conflicts with what you want to do. If and when you are on solid ground for what you were hired to do…then its a lot easier to turn over more to the new hire. Just because the manager hasn’t called you in on the carpet to highlight each and every mistake you have made, doesn’t necessarily mean you have met and exceeded all goals.

      There is something that is keeping the manager from raising your “worth index”…spend time to find out what it is; personal note: I’ve had new hires that complain about not being given enough to do. Much of what is needed to learn is imparted on the fly, it isn?t always marked by a pause and an announcement, and much of what is learned on the job comes from experiential observation rather than a formal declaration. Even when some new hires ask for help or to look over your shoulder while you work over a problem; they have no notebook. In the OP, I see no mention of whether or not manuals were read or review of notes taken? Nothing is worse than having to go over the same ground that was covered just days before. Agreed few remember everything, that?s why carrying a notebook – especially in the beginning stages of new position, shows a lot of respect. Then when you need a refresher, you can refer to your notes to find out where you went wrong or where you were given the wrong information. It?s a two way street, come prepared and it shows that you are serious about the job.

      Hint: good notes are a perfect beginning for creating a “run book”.

    • #3277157


      by pmshah9 ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      I have found in 45 years of work that those who dont teach their juniors or hold on the onformation are insecure in their job. They try to make them indispensible not realizing that there is no such beast. People have come & gone, the world has moved on.

      • #2613617

        Exactly! Anyone can be replaced and is expendable

        by big ole jack ·

        In reply to Insecurity….

        I too throughout my career have worked for and with people who I lovingly dubbed “information hoarders” because if they knew something I didn’t, they were adamant about sharing it and would do their best to keep it to themselves and never document it. The problem with such people is their false sense of “job security” or rather “job insecurity” because they think they can’t or won’t be replaced because they are the only ones who know this information. Trust me, I’ve been brought in as a consultant to break into a network server after the admin left or was fired because the company had little to no documentation about passwords or other things needed to administer the system. Then again, I do this for a living and know how to crack passwords of systems and such, so this pompous ass of an admin who thought that he would screw the company if they fired him or he left was very wrong. People like me come in and quickly unlock everything and provide the documentation that the company needs for their future IT dept staff. I thank such pompous admins because they are making me a profit with their childish and naive mentality.

    • #3277153

      I am the sys admin in a similar situation…

      by ibanezoo ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      I finally got a new person to help me out and back me up, someone similar to you. I too give projects but I refuse to complete the projects for the new guy. I like to see not so much his specific knowledge of things, but more his work habbits and ability to gain the knowledge required to complete a task. I do try see both sides of the coin though, and I’m not sure about the specifics of your company. You need to learn, but the work also needs to be completed. Fortunately for me I can dictate timetables most of the time, your company might not be like that with deadlines.

      One thing I do is narrate alot of what I am doing if it is something new to the other guy. I know every detail isn’t going to be remembered, but hopefully the main points will stick. And when they are required to do it themselves I assume some things will be forgotten, which will require research and the possibilty for a better solution, or if nothing else a deeper understanding than I have the time to give. Maybe you can ask your sys admin to do something similar.

      Ask for specific projects, and I hate to say it but be careful asking a million questions. Sometimes my mindset is that if I am just answering all their questions, that means I can’t concentrate on my own work. I could quickly do their work and mine and be done with everything. When you are already understaffed it makes for a difficult situation.

      Something he may be afraid of is that you are going to do something different and change something he thinks is perfect. I admit I am guilty of this myself but am learning to embrace it with the knowledge that if they do something better, I am still there to steer them in a way that works for everyone.

      Dunno if this helps but hopefully you can see it from the other side a little bit. Careful with the word “confront”. The last thing you want to be is confrontational.

    • #3277133

      Ask a lot of questions

      by server queen ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      Don’t be afraid to ask him, “What did you have to do to fix that? What was actually wrong?” and keep notes. The #1 thing most of us who’ve been doing this for a million years are bad at is passing that knowledge on to others, whether through documentation or teaching. I’m guilty of it myself. I’m not a particularly good teacher (I’m not a people person), and I am slovenly about documenting things. So when my junior sys ads need to know things, they have to actually ask me. If they run around pretending they already know everything, then they won’t learn until it bites them, because I’m not particularly good at going out of my way to teach them unless they ask.

      Some sys ads are too arrogant to ever say the words “I don’t know how to do that” or “I don’t know what that means” and those sys ads tend to be the ones who are snotty when junior techs use those phrases too. You actually earn a lot of points with me by not being afraid to use them, because if you already think you know everything, your mind is closed to learning. The #1 thing I look for in a junior tech is curiosity about how I corrected a problem – FOLLOW UP.

      His time is probably very limited – mine is – and training seems an imposition on an already overstressed schedule. Start by taking over the simplest tasks – backups, for example. Experiment with minor file backups and restores until you can take over that from him. Take over first-level troubleshooting on servers from him – volunteer to go out and look at a downed server so he doesn’t have to, and fix the minor problems. Ask if you can take training classes, and keep your notes from the classes handy.

    • #3166773

      you’re joking, right?

      by jmyers ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      Did you get hired as an intern? The last I heard, people get hired for what they can offer a company, not the other way around.
      Despite SOX compliance regulations running rampant throughout many organizations, the true techies out there (including myself) don’t like to teach others or document their work. If you’ve been around as long as I have then you remember what it was like to be the only one who had a clue. This was before the MCSE bootcamps came around so people actually had to learn by doing.
      My suggestion to you; learn on your own time, confront him if you want but if it was me, I’d have to “let you go” and last but not least, find a job in the publishing or media industry.
      Old time geek

      • #3202967

        That’s a little harsh, don’t you think?

        by tspevak ·

        In reply to you’re joking, right?

        “My suggestion to you; learn on your own time, confront him if you want but if it was me, I’d have to “let you go” and last but not least, find a job in the publishing or media industry.”

        There are several layers of problem here. They don’t automatically all point to the newer person here.

        Under normal circumstances, employers hire people and train them to do a specific job. The candidate should bring a basic skill set match to the position, but most companies would try to build on that skill set to make that employee more effective at their position. Time is usually given to the employee to build that skill set, and probationary periods are established to catch the major problems. If this person is still an employee after a year and a half, I am assuming that the company acknowledges that person’s value as a worker. Full-time, part-time, interns, and seasonal employees should all be shown how to do what is expected of them at the start of the job. If employers invest time and energy into getting new employees, they should probably invest time to keep employees, too.

        I am not sure what the SOX compliance has to directly do with this employee. There isn’t necessarily a problem with the Sys Admin doing the core stuff, but not every facet of network administration involves SOX. Besides, she’s in IT; she will eventually have to be involved anyway with the data, especially if her skill set grows. If the Sys Admin doesn’t want to share information, it sounds like it could be any number of obstacles. Fear of being replaced, inability to work with others, unrealistic expectations, passive-aggressive behavior against an employer he is trying to get back at for whatever reason, fear of being found out, lack of trust….take your pick, it could be ugly. It may not even be any of this, but the bottom line is that she isn’t learning anything. It could be the Sys Admin agenda taking over for the company agenda. Something is not right here, though.

        The solution isn’t to target her. The solution lies in addressing the issue head-on. I think she still has a few options. I think she should politely confront the issue with the Sys Admin. Present things in a “Look, I really need to know exactly what my role is here. Can we go over/fine tune my job description?” talk. I wouldn’t look to blame anyone or anything, just present things in a “let’s get to the bottom of things so it can go smoother.” Throw in a simple, short confession that you aren’t after anyone’s job. You just want to be ready, in case the Sys Admin is not around.
        Unless the guy is completely closed off to working with her, things should improve. If not, I think she should set her sights on leaving the situation as soon as she can. Burn vacation time on interviews…and get out. Oh, and one unfriendly Sys Admin isn’t necessarily a signal to change careers…well, at least not for her.


        • #2613613

          I will gladly take a newbie under my wing and teach them stuff

          by big ole jack ·

          In reply to That’s a little harsh, don’t you think?

          Why? Because I was I newbie to IT at some point too. I respect all those great guys and gals who gave me the opportunity to expand my skills and am forever thankful to them for investing their time and energies to allow me to grow in this profession. I want to return the favor and I do to those who show a true interest in IT and aren’t simply in it to make a quick buck and go back to being locksmiths or truckdrivers, as in the dot com stupidity of the 90s’ where plumbers were getting their MCSEs’ in NT4 and had no friggin clue about setting up and NT4 domain. Unfortunately, many companies want the senior of the senior and don’t make room for entry level IT folks to get their foots in the door. Even I have seen positions classified as “entry level” which required such crazy skills, such as knowledge of SANs and IP telephony, that no entry level person I know of could have filled it. Many companies have lost their minds and are allowing the clueless dolts in HR to write job descriptions of things they know absolutely nothing about. I suggest the seasoned folks in IT should start writing job descriptions instead of HR because we know what is considered entry level, not the morons in HR who think that being able to repair a broken Xerox copier is a requirement for an IT professional.

      • #2613615

        It’s jerks like you I quickly replaced as a contractor

        by big ole jack ·

        In reply to you’re joking, right?

        Go ahead with your “I know my sh*t and I ain’t teaching you squat” mentality because when your company bring people like me in, I’ll run circles around you and will give your manager 100 reasons why you should be replaced. Even as a former independent contractor, I had no issues with newbie admins or other techies shadowing me and actually learning stuff. I actually taught them and passed on some good skills so that they could become better IT pros. You may say to yourself “But why should you care? you’re a temporary contractor who won’t be there for long” and I agree with that statement, but think about it from my perspective. If I can enable their local staff to help themselves, they’ll bring me more business by bringing me back in for training sessions and even recommend me to others. It’s people who don’t share information who don’t last in this business very long. If you are the paranoid information hoarding type, then let me suggest you find a new line of work because nobody likes a rogue admin or a “Mr. keeps it all to himself”. You’ll create more enemies than friend in the workplace and although people will work with you, they will have very little respect for you. To me, respect and keeping a good reputation among my peers and colleagues is what keeps my in business.

      • #2605637

        Hire for attitude,

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to you’re joking, right?

        train for skills

        I’m sure you would let him go…

        Your attitude sucks

        Old time geek

    • #3166754

      I WAS in a similar situation

      by mr_rc ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      I’ve been in my job now for just on 6 months, but my first few weeks were just as you described. I never got the chance to finish anything I was given.
      I have no problem saying ‘I dont know how to do that’ if I dont, or ‘I have a vague idea, I’ll give it a try’. Which he seemed to respect, not criticise me for.
      It was the Friday of my 3rd week (of pretty much doing nothing) that he came to me and told me that on Monday a new router was coming in. I had to upgrade it, configure it and get it sent to a new site.
      Well, I’d never configured a router before and I told him so, but I asked what make and model it was and said I’d research it on the weekend. He gave me a funny look (which I assumed was because I didnt know how to configure a router).
      Monday comes, he dumps it on my desk and walks away, doesnt say anything. I figured that I must have said something wrong, but went ahead with the configuration as best I could. There were 1 or 2 points that I needed his input (setting up a VPN) but otherwise I got it all done to his satisfaction.
      It seems that rather than annoying him, I impressed him by ‘going the extra mile’ and using my own time to improve my skills. He deliberately stayed out of my way and left me to it as a ‘test’ to see how I dealt with unfamilar territory. I passed.
      Since then he has been a lot more open and willing to explain things, sometimes in detail, sometimes not (research time for me) and I think a trust has developed between us.

      You probably think I’ve gone off on some weird tangent here, but my advice is this:

      1. Be honest about your abilities.
      2. Demonstrate your willingness to learn what is needed by ‘going the extra mile’ and learning for yourself.
      3. Dont be afraid to ask for help (BUT ask for help, not for them to do it for you).
      4. If you know he has to do some crappy task, volunteer to do it ‘so you (meaning him/her) can concentrate on more important things’.
      5. Document all of your own work and put it forward to them for review, it not only shows them that you are learning but also helps you learn as well. (I documented domain profile migration, he didnt tell me he had it documented but he is now using mine as it is more ‘user friendly’ and stepped out clearly.)

      Hope this helps…

    • #3166740

      Help from Mgr

      by tomdeitzmanofeldara ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      Sometimes you run into people like that thinking if I keep this info to myself I will make my job more secure. I have worked in the same sitution for 19 years now. It’s difficult but !!! eventually you will find someone in upper management that discovers what is going on. what he is trying to do is show others how smart he is a you are the studge. I have lived this out & as he had control of the budget he makes purchases of the wrong material to do a job and when it don’t work he covers it up as the technology isn’t quite ready for all this. My only conbat for this is to stay well informed, study your equiptment (PC’s,Netword) & begin to show that you can see inside all this as well or better than he does. It’s hard to beat a well informed, well studied person down & eventually you will find that that he don’t know as much as you or he thinks he dose. I know you can do the job and you do as well. The trick is to show everyone else that you can do it.
      DO THIS :
      Know your network like the back of your hand.
      Know the PC’s and operating systems same way.
      You will finally get to know the system you are working on as well or better than he does. Don’t share anything that you do as well. Let him try to keep up. Look for slow downs with users. What do they need, Keep all up to date as well as you can.It will come to the day when he is wondering just how you have done what you did and how you corrected the problems.
      Do this.
      Make a list of your weakest users.
      provide them with as much help as possible.
      Help desk calls come from these people, how do I connect to this printer, how do I map to this drive. Where I work this is about the top two of problems we run into. People can’t find files or can’t print where they want to print. That is what I did. Write a script for each user that quickly connects each user to the printer and drives that they need. Place it on there desktop. tutor them how to use the scripts and soon that part of the problem will go away. Now you have time for other things.

      hope this will help.


    • #3166668

      Lots of opinions and Good Advice

      by ree_ree27029 ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…


      First, I will not hold it against you for being a Reds fan. I am an Astros’s fan for life.

      Second, after reading your post and all the replies, there is a lot if information here to sort through. IT would appear that your current predicament is a common one for newbies. Wether this is a sad trend in the IT world or a generational thing is yet to be determined. looking back at all the post, there are few common ideas that you should take from allof this.

      1. Be honest – never lie about a skill or claim you know something you don’t. That will lead to reprimand or worst.

      2. Don not be afraid to stand up for yourself – ever.
      – If you have an issue with someone, the first thing that needs to be done is to speak with this person privately about the problem, no matter what they have done to you. As hard as it may seem this can solve %90 of social issues with colleagues. If that does not solve anything, then go to your superior.

      3. From a technical stand point. Do not hoard information.
      – It is important to document and share information. No matter how trivial it may seem. This will radiate a “teamwork” attitude from you to the rest of the group or your superior.

    • #3229642

      What if

      by aa8vs ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      Since he hired you, see if you can get a meeting one on one and make some suggestions of what you want to be doing/ learning in six months, 1 year, 18 months, and 24 months.

      See in his mind how does that track with what he has in mind for you. Get some input from him as far as your career plan and how you can best support the organization.

      Offer suggestions, gather input from him and then plan out your next ‘review’ period, say a year and see how that goes…

    • #3229616

      THANKS 2 ALL OF YOU!!!!!

      by redsgirl ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      you all gave me some GREAT advice thus far. as a newbie in this industry i sometimes find it hard to ‘find my footing’ as to how to handle or do certain things. you all have given me a ‘head start’ on how to handle this situation and also on how to handle myself in future situations. also, a few of you gave advice on increasing MY OWN knowledge which is not only helpful in THIS situation , but helpful in siutations to come, no matter where I go from here. i know this sounds corny but i truly thank all of you for your advice! (because i (1)didn’t think anyone would reply and (2)if they did i thought i was going to be told to figure it out for myself/ stop whining…etc)

      thanks again everyone.


      • #2613609

        You are always welcomed to come back here and ask technical questions

        by big ole jack ·

        In reply to THANKS 2 ALL OF YOU!!!!!

        because all the members on TR are here for a reason, and that reason is to share our knowledge and experiences. Us all combined have experience in every aspect of IT you can imagine, and I doubt that there isn’t a single question that someone won’t be able to answer. If you run into a technical issue and your boss is being a huge schmuck about, feel free to ask us here because I am certain we have tackled it already.

    • #3229614

      The Workplace: Realities vs. Expectations

      by lclaire ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      Dear Redsgirl:

      First of all, I’ve read all of the posts; keep in mind that none of us has the “right” answer for you. All that we can offer are opinions – follow them at your own risk.

      There are no perfect places, just perfect niches. Work at Disney World if you need warm fuzzies. No one is going to give you want you want – unless you’re Paris Hilton. It is up to you to control your career path and your destiny.

      As you gain experience, you will begin to develop your own unique way of dealing with specific situations. You will find that many of your assumptions about how a “good” manager “should” behave just doesn’t fit what you may have envisioned. So here’s a reality check: start acting like a professional and your boss might start treating you like one.

      You are brand new…and you are whining already? Grow-up! If you don’t like something, change it! Take charge of your situation. No one likes a whiner. Whining gets nothing accomplished, it annoys people and usually gets you fired. I’m sorry to say this, but you are also feeding into the stereotype that women can’t do the job. Maybe you need to be doing something else.

      I’m a female with 2 masters degrees and 25 years of experience. Sink or swim, it’s up to you. I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic, but you accepted this job, right? (That is, you weren’t conscripted into indentured servitude.) So, what’s the job description? What did you agree to do? What are your responsibilities? What are your goals and milestones and how will your performance be measured?

      You said the Sys Admin hired you, so he must have had some idea about how your experience would fit in with the job. When you accepted the position, you should have had some understanding of what you would be expected to do, right? If you haven’t already, figure out what is “reasonable and customary” for the position. What is your job title? If you haven’t already, develop measureable goals for your first six months (i.e., document certain processes, organize something, reconfigure something, etc.) Don’t bite off more than you can chew; be realistic.

      Ask the Sys Admin for a sit-down. Present him with your ideas about what you think your goals should be and how you can best fulfill the requirements of the position. Identify your areas of concern, offer your solutions and then ask him what he thinks. Find out what he would like you to accomplish over the next 6-12 months. Produce a well thought out document as to how you see your job responsibilities unfolding; you both sign off on it and it goes into your file. At review time, you get judged against what you agreed to do. Establish Monday a.m. meetings to discuss priorities for the week; establish Friday p.m. meetings to determine if you have accomplished what needed to be done. The point is to help your boss help you.

      You are too new/inexperienced to “get around” this situation by going to a higher-up; that’s a recipe for getting fired. And you shouldn’t be confronting your boss, either. Confront him…over what? That you don’t know how to do your job? One confronts a bully on the playground. One confronts someone who is harassing you. You don’t confront a boss over your lack of performance. You need to be a team player, not a trouble-maker. When you are asked to do something, respond by asking (in a respectful way) what the deadline is for that particular task. If you don’t think you can do it, be honest and hope that you don’t get let go because you can’t do your job.

      Regardless of how you feel about this guy, leave that at home – he is not supposed to be a buddy, he is your boss. Be a professional and only deal with him with respect. Whatever you do, don’t complain about him to the end-users – you will only make yourself look unprofessional. Be warned: say negative things about your boss and you can be assured that it will eventually get back to him. Attitude is everything; if you go in to work every day with a positive demeanor, you’ll thrive. If you go in with a bad attitude, you won’t survive.

      I see that you’re located in Key West – great place to live, but not exactly teeming with IT opportunities. If I were you, I would certainly give it my best effort to make this job into something worth keeping.

      Ultimately, you have to assess whether or not this position is right for you — or if you are a good fit for the position. Good luck.

    • #3199867

      I feel your pain

      by benzesp ·

      In reply to Sys Admin not helping new hire…

      I had the same situation when I first started my current sys
      admin job. The Director of IT (my boss) is so busy so it was
      really hard to get him to help me out when I got stuck doing a
      task. Luckily I always had a dozen or so tasks to do so I would
      just work on something else until he could help me out. I would
      insist on “driving” when he was showing me how to resolve an
      issue. I’m a hands on learner. I think sometimes they forget that
      you sometimes have absolutely no Idea what to do or where to

      My advise is this:

      Ask questions right away when something goes over your head.

      If your not sure about something ask before you act on it.

      Be assertive yet friendly when asking for advise, it’s a whole lot
      easier when your boss considers you a friend. Get to know your
      boss, that is so important. Go have a beer after work and BS with
      him. Getting it on a personal level is key to a laid back work

      Be resourceful by talking to other people within the company on
      issues. ( I’m always bothering our software engineer and asking
      him about issues)

      Ask for a “chore list” and insert yourself in to the everyday

      Most important, Always have new book in your bag ( CCNA book
      is in mine right now)

      We all have to start somewhere, you might be a pain in
      somebody’s ass for a while but thats just the way it has to be.

      keep pushing, dont get discouraged.

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