General discussion

  • Creator
  • #2190012

    What do I.T. people do all day?


    by brj1980 ·

    Why do sooooooo many users think that we don’t do anything all day. The IS department where I work is in a secure area where only the IS people have access. So when people see me, they always ask, “What do you do up there all day? Play games, sleep?” If I told them what we did and the logic behind it they would have a mental meltdown. Does anyone else get asked these quesitons. If so, how do you deal with it?

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3070488

      I posted a notice of available hours

      by mjd420nova ·

      In reply to What do I.T. people do all day?

      Just to keep everyone on track, the IT Dept.
      posted a schedule of events, I guess you could
      call it. Hours for new accounts, existing accounts and times for appointments to do
      upgradea, new installs and removals. This is
      followed by the statement that emergencies will
      be handled anytime. Seems to work, users know
      what we are doing at certain times and seem
      to not care anymore, until—-

    • #3070468

      This contributes to outsourcing

      by gralfus ·

      In reply to What do I.T. people do all day?

      Because they have no clue what we do all day, they imagine that we can be done away with easily and their operations will continue just fine. I interviewed with a title company locally, and they have whittled down their entire IT department to one guy, who handles telecom, network, servers, and desktops. I asked them what happens if he gets sick or hit by a truck. They replied that someone from an outlying area has to do 2 jobs. I’m glad I didn’t get the job, as I’d be a lot more stressed out.

      I liked the other poster’s suggestion of putting up what they do and how long it takes to do it. Another idea is posting job descriptions detailing what one has to do to accomplish the job well.

      • #3070354

        Where I work

        by neil higgins ·

        In reply to This contributes to outsourcing

        we have daily contracts,telling us what,and where we have to go.As most of our work means “containing/cleaning” outside mistakes,at other venues,all our staff know what’s going on.We are a small group.It’s only “outsiders”,with no association to the company,who always ask what I do all day,especially during a “slack” period.I usually explain in techno-jargon,and end up by saying,once a network goes awol,”we” get called in.Come and watch when your boss asks us to help.That tends to do the trick.

    • #3070318

      Stop doing it for a bit

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to What do I.T. people do all day?

      they’ll notice, unless the question was justified.

    • #3060441

      My usual response

      by jdmercha ·

      In reply to What do I.T. people do all day?

      The better I do my job, the less you will see me. I work behind the scenes to make sure the servers and desktops continue to run without interrupting production.

      If you see me often, then that means systems are failing, and I’m not doing my job.

    • #3060385


      by afram ·

      In reply to What do I.T. people do all day?

      I had a white board behind my desk where I would write down all of the things that needed to get done. People would stop in and check my board; if there were too many things on it, they would say, “Never mind. I see you’re busy. I’ll come back later.”

      I had finished upgrading everything before I left that job and all the systems were finally stable. I was told later they would say, “Everything runs fine…I wonder what he did all day.”

    • #3069650

      Aaah, it raises its ugly head again…

      by rknrlkid ·

      In reply to What do I.T. people do all day?

      I think this line of questioning pops up in every organization. I’d like to think its simply job envy by someone who is stressed out over their own position, but I could be wrong. However, having been in that situation, here’s my responses:

      1. “I appreciate your concern for my welfare, but don’t you have other things to worry about?”

      2. “I know what I do. Partner, I don’t work for you.” (When the asker gets particularly nasty about it.)

      For your particular situation, here would be a good retort”

      “I work in a secure area, and I really can’t talk about it.”

      The bottom line is that the asker is putting their nose in something that doesn’t concern them. Its the old office/grade school playground mentality crap of being envious of anyone who they perceive as doing less than they do. The asker needs to grow up and take care of their own business.

      Now, in the event the asker DOES have the authority to ask that question: Be prepared to deliver solid information to answer the question so you don’t look like you only do play solitare all day!

      • #3069173

        Too negative

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to Aaah, it raises its ugly head again…

        Invite them to come along with you for the day. Let them crawl under a desk or get to the back of a machine jammed in between a user’s knickknacks and photos. Let them hold the phone with Pakistan tech support, then try to read a 4-point serial number to Haji. Let them try to find that extra network drop the Maintenance department stuffed in the ceiling tiles last time they painted. Hand them a program printout and let them find the errors. Let them put RJ-45 jacks on CAT-5 cable. Let them search the server for music files. Let them search the web for drivers.

        In short, let them walk a mile.

        • #3070542

          But actually…

          by rknrlkid ·

          In reply to Too negative

          I was being sarcastic, not negative 🙂

          I agree with you on all points. If someone actually DID your job, it would shut them up quick. Its not as easy as it looks!

    • #3069577

      Life lesson

      by themainframeisback ·

      In reply to What do I.T. people do all day?

      have the whole department take a week in the virgin islands… so when email goes down and they can’t forward that joke about Bush and Clinton to thier friends and they cannot get to the internet to buy the new ipod they want for little Johnny or to check how Tiger Woods is doing on the 15th hole they can become mad that you are not doing your job

      It has been my experience in life that those who accuse without proof are usually the guilty

    • #3069535

      let it be the way it is

      by mugtojug ·

      In reply to What do I.T. people do all day?

      see brj you can’t stop people from thinking what they think.The best thing is to keep the reply short & ask them to mind their business.It’s a waste of time explaining them what you do & anyway to how many people would you explain

      • #3069136

        good idea

        by brj1980 ·

        In reply to let it be the way it is

        Good idea. I’ll turn the accusation to them and ask them “What do YOU do all day?”. Then when they fumble over their explanation, I’ll just tell them to do their job and I’ll do mine.

    • #3069207

      Isn’t the obvious answer –

      by mickster269 ·

      In reply to What do I.T. people do all day?

      “I sit and read Tech Republic, drink coffee, and read YOUR emails off the server. By the way, just how much Viagra does a man need?”

    • #3069081

      post here

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to What do I.T. people do all day?

      We post here, right?

      Seriously, I sometimes have people that want to “trade jobs for a week.” I just smile knowingly.

    • #3068911


      by jkaras ·

      In reply to What do I.T. people do all day?

      tend to over analyze what everyone else is doing. Besides like the before mentioned high school mentality I think people cant gauge that we are more of a re-actionary position rather than a benchmarked performance. They get held to a different standard meeting deadlines with productivity graphs whereas we are more self policed doing research not data inputting or quality controlled. There is no silver lining for any job unless you do absolutley nothing and get paid, somebody tell me where that job can be found. Every job requires work, stress, headache, and criticism. Perception and reality are two different things that people rarely comprehend.

      • #3068762

        the boss

        by rcrox ·

        In reply to people

        I worked off sight at a satellite office with 4 peer to peer networks where the boss would accuse me of playing solitaire all day, so she fired me a week later everything went down in flames and when I was asked to come back I decided it was not worth it the company closed four weeks later because the were having budget problems anyways that is what i think the true reason for my termination and the straw the broke there networks back

    • #2468453

      What do the others in your company do?

      by marcaaa5 ·

      In reply to What do I.T. people do all day?

      Why not turn the tables? “Hey marketing guy, I haven’t seen any new ads or products in a couple months. What do you do all day? Your job cat be that hard, my preschooler could slap to gether our last ad campaign.”

      As they leave unplug the jumper from the patch panal to the switch and see if they have a new appreciation for all the games you play.

      A great counter to an insulting and ignorant question.

    • #2941869

      Safety concerns, mostly

      by gardoglee ·

      In reply to What do I.T. people do all day?

      IT people spend their days and nights trying to figure out what boneheaded incredibly stupid thing the users will try next, and to make the systems so idiot proof as to minimize the physical injuries users do to themselves.

Viewing 12 reply threads