Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm Not Angry ... I'm Amused ...

I work in the IT field. I'm no Bill Gates ... hell, I'm not even Kevin Mitnick. I'm just a drone ... but a talented drone who is more than happy to help out friends and family whenever I can.

Having said that ... I just want to give a heads up here on behalf of my geek brethren ...

When someone in the IT field offers you help ... off the clock on their own time ... please try to be gracious. Usually when I and those of my ilk are trying our best to fix whatever issues you're having, it's not in the best of circumstances.

Just like plumbers or doctors or car mechanics, we have busy, hectic lives and do our best to balance what must be done with what we want to be doing. In fact, we bought a brand new 1 Tb external drive about a month ago that we're going to use as a backup/archive on our home network ... but guess what? I don't have time to install it because I'm too busy working on other projects. I'll give you an example ...

This weekend I missed part of a movie as I walked someone through the steps of establishing their broadband connection after their (paid) installer left mid-way through the job. That problem was solved long-distance over the phone. I also restored and optimized a laptop after a family member got a virus ... most of which I did Sunday morning as I was cooking breakfast for my family.

Those two family members were more than gracious ... they were kind and enthusiastically thankful. Then again, I fixed their problems. They walked away (or hung up the phone) with the optimal desired outcome. Unfortunately, however, that isn't always the case.

Occasionally, I can't fix a problem. While I promise you, there has never been a situation where I didn't want to fix a problem ... sometimes I either don't have the hardware or don't have the software or, on a rare occasion, simply don't have the training.

Then there are those odd, uncommon moments ... when the problem is such that it can't be fixed. I find that people react worse to that particular scenario. They don't want to hear that their round peg simply will not fit in that square hole. And, while I'm talented, as Scotty would say, "I cannot change the laws of physics."

And so, if you are one of the small percentile whom I couldn't help recently ... here is my half-assed apology. Enjoy it. It's the only one you'll get ...

I'm looking through you, where did you go
I thought I knew you, what did I know
You don't look different, but you have changed
I'm looking through you, you're not the same

Beatles - I'm Looking Through You


  1. Preach to the choir, sister!! I was lucky enough that I was born into a family of IT geeks. Even grandpa is up with the times, but needs help from time to time.

    Now the in-laws, that's a different story. I will admit that I shy away from tech talk during the holidays only to avoid wasting a Sunday afternoon on someone's poorly maintained computer. But they've been good to me by dropping a few $20's in my pocket.

    But totally understand where you're coming from. Tonight I spent my evening coding up a site for a non-profit (owed someone a favor), only to come home to do a release for real work which will take up another hour of my evening.

    So, yes, by the end of the day I am sick of computers too.

    Hope they learn to appreciate you when "You've got mail" stops working.

  2. I feel the same way. I started an IT job and that same week a fellow employee asked me to help him set up his wireless router. I was amused and helped out, but still, shouldnt he know how to do this?