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Why are we so underappreciated?

By jm1964 ·
For christ sake, if some one sends me another email in all caps and talks down to me like a child, I may go postal.

This most recent blackberry outage has made me realize that although I love the technical aspects of server and network administration, the end users (from CEO on down to entry level analysts/officers/associates, whatever--they are all overpaid) suck balls and are the scum of the earth.

Don't yell at me because your device is not working. Your time is not more valuable than mine, time is time. I don't yell at you when you violate the company IT policy. I treat you with respect and ask you to refrain from certain actions, and I don't act like an impatient child. Please excuse my lack of professionalism, it's been a trying couple of days.

I'd be curious to know if anyone else can understand my frustrations of being underpaid, underappreciated and yet with the ability and power to bring a company to a grinding hault - dismount mail store? Yes, I think I will.

What is it about this profession that people whole heartedly disrespect. The advantage I have in controlling and routing information gives me a keen insight into the workings of an office and based on the emails I've read and problems I've solved, I'd say that most of the people in my office are severely overpaid, borderline lazy, arrogant and annoying. And yet here I am managing all of these users, maintaining the critical infrastructure of the company and am treated like a second class citizen.

And then I go on Craigslist to look at job openings and see all of these "executive assistant" jobs making 70K plus for "organization, 5 yrs experience, and knowledge of MS office". Are you kidding me? Then I search system administrator and the offerings are maybe 50-60K, "5 yrs experience, must be organized, familiar with TCP/IP, DHCP, DNS, BES, certified and adept in 20+ software vendors, etc. Is it just me or is something fundamentally wrong?

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All Answers

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I have to agree and see your point

by markp24 In reply to Why are we so underapprec ...

I totally understand where your coming from, at my place, they have added additional titles to my job function.
But when i asked about being compensated for the additional roles (since they layed the others off) they tell me, oh thats what IT does. (Im thinking, ok, now im citrix, project manager, email, helpdesk, MS server, windows 7, office, linux, cisco, etc Admin, oh and i forgot, you personal home IT person too when you network and pc have issues), in my case there is no overtime of weekend pay, im just expected to work all hours with no compensation. (We even have to fill out a daily time sheet showing what we worked on (i have yet to work less than 40 hours a week)
I agree, we are expected to know all technologies yet no compensation. And other jobs that have there own caveats, appear to be better compensated for a 9 to 5 job
but when you mention the inappropriate tone used when speaking toyou, you should let them know that you disagree with that. I had to do that a few time and actually got HR involved. In all cases i ensured there were witnesses to what occured.
One of my old coworkers told me there was an "IT union" movement in the late 1990s, to protect the IT workers from overtime abuse and layoff abuse.

Will be interesting to read other comments on this issue.

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Because you don't do anything!

by Kenone In reply to Why are we so underapprec ...

All this technology just works by effen magic. There's nothing to it, anyone can do it!
Anecdotal example; (there are so many)
VP of a major US bank decides that wireless is the way to go for his home connectivity requirements. Purchases a WAP, unplugs his PC from his Cable modem and plugs in the WAP. Shockingly nothing works! After spending way too much time telling me his tale of woe he expects me to drive an hour to his house on Saturday to take a look at it, unpaid of course. So, I ask him if he cloned his MAC address, turned on DHCP, setup security on the WAP, and has a wireless card in his PC. He drools on his desk calendar and says that he doesn't need to know any of that stuff, it's just supposed to work. You know, it's magic!
In the US the educational and retail systems encourage this sort of ignorance.

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I'm glad I'm not the only one

by jm1964 In reply to Why are we so underapprec ...

I get where both of you are coming from. Work late, no overtime and then those side progects like setting up VPN's from the office to an executive's home. You show up at the guys house and you can't even concentrate because his home is the size of the US capitol building. Come on guy, you can't afford to pay me overtime for coming out here on a weekend?

We are intelligent and have formidable skill sets and technical ability. We have to be organized, document servers, switches, firewalls, vpns, support contracts, licenses and maintain 24/7 availability, compliance with banks and outside vendors. All of this is accomplished with shrinking budgets, staff cuts and higher expectations. No executive assistant can do all this. If they could, they would expect more money. But like Mark says, because our role is IT, we are supposed to handle increasing loads but not be compensated for it.

At least I genuinely enjoy the technical aspect and am always learning which not everyone can say. It's the compensation and all the b*llshit that gets to me.

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Easy answer is

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Why are we so underapprec ...

Well you are completely Unimportant till things stop working.

Then when the Brown Stuff Hits the Fan it's your Fault and what the Hell are you sitting on your AR$E for when you should be working to make it work again?

Unless you Edumicate the Executives as to what IT Actually Does and it's Limits you will continue to get crap like this every day and it will get worse when something like the current Blackberry Failure is going on.

I personally used to get crap like that all of the time you would walk around telling every Boy and their Dog that you where about to pull the E Mail Server and be ignored but the moment that the E Mail Server got yanked you had everyone complaining that their E Mail was no longer working and to allow the company to not go down the gurgler and loose everything NOW you had to get the E Mail back up and running, like YESTERDAY before it failed.

I just got used to being ignored and did what I liked when I wanted to and they figured out very quickly they they had to live with the Outages that I caused to fix the Computers before they failed by themselves and took hours/days/weeks to fix.

Of course if you are bearing the Brunt of the Blackberry issue at the moment telling people the real explanation of Executive Surinamese like CEO = Chief Embezzlement Officer, CFO = Chief Fraud Officer and so on will help no end and then you can inform them to thank their lucky stars that they are not currently part of "The Cloud" where they currently own the Hardware and can control how it works instead of being stuffed on a 10 Year Old Server which is about to fail and they have no control over who gets their Data.

They tend to stop complaining when they realize that the "Cloud" has bigger problems than they could ever imagine and that if they are involved with "The Cloud" they are completely Stuffed when it goes wrong. :^0

The reality however is that the Current Blackberry issue is on the RIM "Blackberry Cloud" so you should be telling this to these people who complain that you are unnecessary and completely worthless and a waste of company funds this.


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The flip side is just as frustrating.

by seanferd In reply to Why are we so underapprec ...

Those morons someone hired into the IT department who couldn't manage their way out of a wet paper bag, yet they just cruise through their days with impunity. (Look for them in Q&A or support forums anywhere. It scares me when I know more than they do. Really.)

This doesn't make it any easier for professionals who, you know, actually do their jobs well.

If I ever had the pleasure to work with folks like you, every day would be SysAdmin appreciation day for me.

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we in the same world

by gegaoff In reply to Why are we so underapprec ...

and somehow, someday, some time, someone will yell at you why you forcing me to choose either one, but not both. and someone follow your advice, he/she will yell at you said that is not his/her decision, but you. when you try to explain, he/she will say he too busy to explain to you further, leaving you shock by alone.

i totally agree to you especially these 'someone' asking you to go to their house for their own personal stuff, and what made me shock is, some time directly from their wife/husband or even children. hello!!

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Get over it

by dhoneill In reply to Why are we so underapprec ...

Everyone is under appreciated. People with real relevant IT skils are still very employable. That is why an earlier answer mentioned all the morons who populate IT departments - that's all they could find!

If you are good then move on. Find another job or go contracting. I bet most pay rise offers still happen as you put in your resignation letter when they realise that it is gonna cost a whole lot more when you are gone. A month or so later you may even get offers to help them recover at which point your fees will be astronomical (has happened to me before).

If you were not missed then you were not that valuable in your old job anyway so now in your new one you have the opportunity to become so.

As the old proverb goes "you don't know what you have got until it is gone"

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Get used to frustration...

by Chilidog67 In reply to Why are we so underapprec ...

I don't think frustration is unique to IT. But, if you plan on staying in IT and you're compentent, get used to frustration...
Get used to being ignored until something breaks...
Get used to working on personal tech for some muckity muck...
Get used to being called in on weekends to plug in a power cord someone yanked...
Get used to "making things work"...
Get used to cleaning up other people's technology messes...
Get used to getting a budget for a Yugo and having them expect the USS Enterprise...
Never do anything half-assed, fix things when they break, and keep a positive attitude - you're not alone.

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I agree with chilidog but...

by markp24 In reply to Why are we so underapprec ...


I really dont care what job your in, theres never any reason to talk to a worker in a nasty tone, use profanity, or talk down to them. Unfortunitly with HR in companys these days, they really dont defend the worker, so t execs get away with it. Me personally, (i may make alot of people unhappy at that moment) but if anyone comes to me with a hot head and starts being loud with me and especially if profanities start being used. I tell them to come back later when they cool down, if there calling me ill give them 3 warnings, then ill hang up.
Then when im asked why i do that, I tell them, my job does not include being verbally abused. (that ususally ends that issue pretty fast. I have found most people do respect me for doing that, and the really respect me because i never show fustration, and nover user profanities. I always come to work with a smile, try to help everyone out (even if i really dont want to and think their issue is a waste of time). I try to remenber that , not eveyone know what i know, and i dont know everything either, so one day they may be the one helping me with somthing.

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Is it just me?

by danielbrown7777 In reply to Why are we so underapprec ...

I don't care what type of day you're having, always conduct yourself as a professional.

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