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Making the most of your IT department - Podcast

1. When IT say they're coming right over, log out and go for coffee. It's no problem for them to remember 700 network passwords.

2. When you call them to have your computer moved, be sure to leave it buried under half a ton of postcards, baby pictures, stuffed animals, dried flowers, bowling trophies and children's art. They don't have a life, and find it deeply moving to catch a fleeting glimpse of yours.

3. When you bring them your own no-brand home PC to repair for free at the office, tell them how urgently they need to fix it so your son can get back to playing DOOM. They'll get right on it because they have so much free time at the office.

4. When an IT professional is eating lunch at his or her desk, walk right in and spill your guts out and expect them to respond immediately. They exist only to serve and are always ready to think about fixing computers.

5. When an IT professional is at the water cooler or outside having a smoke, ask a computer question. The only reason why they drink water or smoke at all is to ferret out all those users who don't have email or a telephone line.

6. Send urgent email ALL IN UPPERCASE. The mail server picks it up and flags it as a rush delivery.

7. When you call a helpdesk engineer's direct line rather than the helpdesk number, press 5 to skip the greeting that says they're on holiday for a week, record your message, and wait exactly 24 hours before you send an email straight to the director because no one ever returned your call. You're entitled to common courtesy.

8. When the photocopier or fax machine doesn't work, call computer support. There's electronics in it, right?

9. When you're getting a NO DIAL TONE or BUSY SIGNAL message at home, call the helpdesk. They can even fix telephone problems.

10. When something's wrong with your home PC, dump it on a chair in IT. Leave no name, no phone number, and no description of the problem. They love a good mystery.


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11. When you have a helpdesk engineer on the phone walking you through changing a setting; read the paper. They don't actually mean for you to DO anything; They just love to hear themselves talk.

12. When they offer you training on the upcoming upgrade, don't bother. They'll be there to hold your hand after it is done.

13. When the printer won't print, re-send the job at least 20 times. Print jobs frequently just disappear into the cosmos for no reason.

14. When the printer still won't print after 20 tries, send the job to all 68 printers in the office. One of them is bound to work.

15. Don't use online help. Online help is for wimps.

16. If you're taking evening classes in computing, feel free to go around and update the network drivers for yourself and your co-workers. IT are grateful for the overtime when they have to stay until 2:30am fixing them.

17. When you have an IT person fixing your computer at a quarter to one, eat your lunch in their face. They function better when slightly dizzy .

18. Don't ever thank them. They love this AND get paid for it!

19. When a helpdesk engineer asks you whether you've installed any new software on your computer, lie. It's nobody's business what you've got on your computer.

20. If the mouse cable keeps knocking down the framed picture of your dog, lift the computer and stuff the cable under it. Mouse cables were designed to have 45 lbs. of computer sitting on top of them.


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21. If the space bar on your keyboard doesn't work, blame it on the network/mail upgrade. Keyboards work much better with half a pound of muffin crumbs, nail clippings, and big sticky drops of Coke under the keys.

22. When you get the message saying "Are you sure?" click on that 'Yes' button as fast as you can. Hell, if you weren't sure, you wouldn't be doing it, would you?

23. Feel perfectly free to say things like "I don't know nothing about that computer crap". It never bothers them to hear their area of professional expertise referred to as crap.

24. When you need to change the toner cartridge, call the helpdesk. Changing a toner cartridge is an extremely complex task, and Hewlett-Packard recommends that it be performed only by a professional engineer with a master's degree in nuclear physics.

25. When something's the matter with your computer, ask your secretary to call the help desk. They enjoy the challenge of having to deal with a third party who doesn't know anything about the problem.

26. When you receive a 30-meg movie file, send it to everyone as a high-priority mail attachment. There's plenty of disk space and processor capacity on that mail server.

27. Don't even think of breaking large print jobs down into smaller chunks. God forbid somebody else might get a chance to squeeze into the queue.

28. When you bump into an IT person in the supermarket on a Saturday, ask a computer question. They work 24/7, even while at the supermarket on weekends.

29. If your son is a student in computer science, have him come in on the weekends and do his projects on your office computer. IT'll be there for you when his illegal copy of Visual Basic 6.0 makes your Access database flip out.

30. When IT send you an e-mail with high importance, delete it at once. They're probably just testing out the public groups.


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31. When it's 5 minutes past their shift and you see them with their coats on ready to leave, feel free to ask your questions. They don't mind working for free, nor do they have families to go home to. All they really want to do is work on computers 24/7/52.

32. When you are trying to listen to radio stations off the internet bother them when they come in choppy or skipping, they have nothing better to do. There might be a server down somewhere but your listening pleasure is their goal.

33. Your monitor is not your computer! There is a difference.

34. You do not save files on your monitor. When something happens to your monitor and they have to exchange it, don't ask them if you are going to lose any important files. The only thing lost will be their sanity.

35. The official title of someone in IT is Support Specialist or Network administrator, not computer geek or nerd. They don't refer to the janitors as the toilet swabbers.

36. Yours is not the most important problem in the world, You'll be able to check your email again in 5 minutes. Emails don't have legs, they won't walk away, and they are very patient.

37. Also when you have a problem, feel free to call and email every tech in the building. When someone does come and fix it, don't tell the other techs it's all fixed. Make them rush through things and blow off other things, because they have a million things to get to. Besides they love that feeling of relief when they realize it's done. That's their fault though you should've been their first priority the whole time.

38. It's ok to page them at home with your own problems, heaven forbid they would get to eat dinner or watch the news.

39. Go to them with flyers from the newspaper and ask if the latest Gateway / Dell is a good deal. Even though you have no intention of buying it anyway, they love explaining everything to you and taking their time to carefully go over everything even though you don't want to buy anything, that's their job.

40. You do not know more about computers than them. End of statement.


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