bynkii (bynkii) wrote,

For new Sysadmins/IT Types

It occurs to me that many of you are sometimes surprised or dismayed when you discover that rather than being a respected tech worker, doing smart, hard things that few others can, that you're really treated like some kind of mutant cop/janitor/slaughterhouse cleaner lovechild.

"Why? Why do all the other people hate me?"

They don't.

But the only way to explain it is via allegory. Pay attention, because I am about to explain the secret to the IT version of Life, The Universe, and Everything, and you wouldn't want to fuck it all up.

When I was in my first IT job, fresh out of the Air Force, I had a...dismaying encounter with a user, who, upon realizing that I would actually need more than zero time to fix her computer, said, as kind as could be:
Perhaps you should find someone who knows what they're doing

I of course was a bit taken aback by this, and asked my boss, Jack, what the hell was that all about.

He chuckled, in that fucking annoying "Oh, you young lads, how funny you are" way that our elders have, and said:

"Being in IT is kind of like being a doctor with a patient who complains that "It hurts when I stick a fork in my eye."

We, of course, being the logical sort, reply back, in all sincerity and earnestness, "Well, you should stop sticking a fork in your eye then."

The user, or patient will then look at us like we really are the idiots they believe us to be and say: "No, you don't understand...I want you to make it stop hurting.""

I looked at Jack for a minute, like he was fucking crazy, until he said, "The whole problem with IT is that some days, we just can't make the fork not hurt, and that's always going to be our fault. It's why so many IT people drink like fish."

See, you're never going to get them to stop sticking the fork in their eyes. Never. Stop trying, it's fantasy. Along those lines, they're never going to treat you like more than a glorified janicopter, where your only useful function is to STFU and bail them out of that jail they worked so hard to get themselves into.


So, all you can do is minimize their pain, and most days, you'll fail at that too.

My advice—start drinking. It won't make the stupid go away, but it blunts the pain until you can build your +5 Armor of Cynicism, and your Vorpal Sword of Withering Sarcasm.

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