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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by nustada 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. "

No, if people are being abusive they need to be prosecuted. I dream of the days when it was acceptable for disputes to be ended with duals, but alas. A lot of people, especially the stupid ones, are addicted to emotions and need to get their fix.

However I find if someone is hot tempered most the time it really has nothing to do with me or the tech.

If they are belgerent to make themselve feel more powerful. I remind them they can always go back to paper and pencil, I can get another job anyime I want, and they could hire their nose picking nephew to teach them how to use gmail.

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Reponse To Answer

by Noshmon In reply to No

And this post just describes the negative stereotype that is IT.

"A lot of people, especially the stupid ones, are addicted to emotions"
Sounds like what you're saying is that we IT pro's are emotionless and above everyone else. Something that a lot of people think about "Those guys from IT" is we're socially inept and have some sort of mild narcissism. Maybe they're right in this case.

I understand how frustrating it is when someone is standing at your desk shouting about how they need they a shortcut set up whilst you're working to get a mission critical system back into a working state, but telling them that they can go back to a paper and pencil and that you're able to get any job any time you want isn't the best course of action. They might call your bluff one day.

Personally, I think you should wait for them to have finished shouting and then calmly explain that you'll get on to creating that shortcut but first you want to get the mission critical system running as without it business can't continue. After you've got the system to a working state, go and visit that user at their workstation and simply say "I'm sorry I couldn't have helped you earlier, I just had to get that work done" and carry out the work for them. 99/100 times your calm and helpful manner will embarrass them for being inappropriate, force them to either apologise or look like a tyrant in front of their colleagues and help them to understand that next time you don't do something straight away there's probably a good reason for it.

We do a job. We may seem clever and above others when it comes to IT, but I can guarantee that your customer who is a neurologist would run rings around you when it comes to brain surgery. You're clever in your niche. They're clever in theirs. You are not above your customers. THEY pay your bills.

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Ask your Mom

by Charles Bundy In reply to Why are we so underapprec ...
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A 15+ year veteran's viewpoint

by david786 In reply to Why are we so underapprec ...

THere are plenty of reasons, but I will give you a quick list

a) lack of professional designation. When I graduated from college, my professor told me that most people have Fought against this for years, because they are afraid of the "liabitlity" (lawsuits for screwups). Engineers are paid more, because they have the professional designation, and have INSURANCE to cover liabilities and there are standards....which brings me to ....b)

b) lack of standards. Any yahooo can start tapping on a PC keyboard and eventually get it working, and then call themselves a IT Professional. The industry has thousads upon thousands of these individuals, all competing for the same jobs. Employers for the most part hire the least expensive, not understanding the consequences when their system has grown over time and suddenly it is ready to become Kracatoa! I've made an entire career cleaning up the messes of others, some of whom were PhD and Master degree grads, who got into this because it was "fun"

c) Lack of Self Promotion. IT people for the mostpart are WONKS, and shy away from self promotion and HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO EFFECTIVELY EXPLAIN WHAT THE H*** IT IS THEY ACTUALLY DO. Therefore no one UNDERSTANDS if it IS important or not. Furthermore....90% of you will "sigh" when confronted with a problem, then sit down at a keyboard in front of a user and then with lightning speed, play the keyboard like a jazz pianist fixing the problem as if it were simple magic!

d) most people never know how, or are willing to say NO!!!! I spent 10 years telling my brother to SAY NO NO NO to his managers, who had NO PROBLEM assigning unrelistic projects. Of course they did not know that he was spending the evenings and weekends at work for the mostpart, or logging in from home on the weekends to get the work done.

Many times if they KNEW...they would simply assume that he DID NOT UNDERSTAND what he was doing and thus was INNEFICIENT!!!! Having been at the executinve level for years, I can assure you that when you are not able (ligitimately) to get projects down because they are simply not possible for your resources, IT people are simply seen as working too slow.

e) Lack of Professionalism. Which is tied to all the above. There are far too many IT people who ruin it for the rest of us. They are rude to people, act like nerds in highschool and thus are treated as such. Through the years, when I took over new IT departments, the first thing I did was enforce a dress dress shirt and tie. (of course this all depends on the local environment but you need to look professional if you expect to BE TREATED professional) In addition, I taught them how to answer phones, talk to users, managers, how to explain things, and the need for DOCUMENTATION!!!!!

Anyway, these are my observations from 15 years in the biz, and I would love to hear what you all think of my observations, and if you think that perhaps you might have unwittingly been doing some of the above.

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The more money you make the less work you do

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

There have been studies done anonymously that find people who make more money do less work than the people they manage. That is what management is. America is business oriented. They don't care who does the work as long as business is good. It's backwards and short sighted but this mentality did make many people rich.

We need to shift back to caring about workers and how things are made. Quality products made by well paid people. Respect for IT is tough to ask for when the execs don't even respect the other people upon who their business depends.

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Essentially they don't understand

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

Most of the time the users don't know what goes on and what your job takes. They don't need to know either. And it's not your job to have a go at them. Sure, if they're being rude then try to turn that around in an assertive manner, but if there's a larger issue then it's something your manager should sort out!

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And yet I have many users cheer my name when I fix a problem they have

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

Lots of the time, it does depend on user education, other times, you will be a hero if you can fix something that broke during the previous IT guys watch.

I find assuring users that they may call you if they have a problem can help a lot. Make you seems like less of a problem and more of a solution.

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