Diary of an IT Professional

November 1997

Dear Diary,
I just got my first job as an IT professional. It’s at a big box electronics retailer. I quit the music store and started work with an earning potential at nearly twice the minimum wage. True they make me wear a skin tight blue shirt and tan pants, but that is a small price to pay for finally earning my first paycheck from my computing skills. Who knew all those hours of playing video games would finally pay off. I’m so excited!

December 1997

Dear Diary,
I had yet another bad day. An old man brought his computer in. He screamed at me and told me that I was stupid. The other techs said not to worry and that it happens all the time. The old man had the computer because his son didn’t want to write letters anymore. He wanted his dad to get on-line so he could send emails instead. The old man could fly a fighter jet in the war but couldn't find the 'On' button for the computer. We showed him the ‘On’ button. Everyone left happy. He apologized to me for being such a bitter old codger. It was great to see him leave happy.

July 1998

Dear Diary,
I hate retail. I’ve learned to hate all the customers, my boss, and my attire. The other techs said this was a milestone. They called it my new retail skin and assured me this was how everyone in the store felt. I fixed twelve computers today and my manager was so happy he asked me to cover Johns shift on Saturday. I can't imagine doing this for much longer.

December 1998

Dear Diary;
I just got a new job at a medical device manufacturer. I’m one of three techs for all the two thousand employees. Its great. The CEO and gardener both know my first name. I'm just beginning to learn the ropes of corporate life, it is quite different. The goal in corporate IT seems to be control. The objective is to give the users as little access and few rights as possible. It’s a delicate balance and lot of people call and complain. My boss says “As long as they call and complain we all have jobs.”

August 1999

Dear Diary,
I just had my first paid coffee break. I’m never going back. I can’t imagine stopping work for ten minutes in retail and getting away with it. I have also noticed that the secretaries have an unusual amount of power. Whatever they say goes. I find when I do what they want my life is much easier. I don’t have time to fix everyones computer. I need another coffee break.

March 2000

Dear Diary,
I just got a job at a startup. It came with something call ‘stock options.’ I don’t know what they are, but everyone wants them so, I do too! I work long hours for less pay, and I haven't shaved in a week. I'm never at home and I've slept a my desk a couple of times. My boss is a jerk and even the coffee here tastes bitter. I met the lead Engineer. He’s very smart. I think. He mumbles a lot and is terribly anti-social. I can see I’m going to need to decline my communication skills if I want to get ahead in this company.

June 2002

Dear Diary,
I just got laid-off. I feel like this is just another leg of the journey in my path of IT professional. I always felt left out at the water cooler when the other guys would talk about all their hard times. I'm not bitter, it's just part of the business. I have a map to the CEO's home, a sackful of Molotov Cocktails and good pair of running shoes.

June 2005

Dear Diary,
I am now the lead Engineer. Yes it’s working fine. No I didn’t change anything. Your wrong, and it isn’t my problem.

18 comments:

Ando said...

The December 1998 entry reveals something I have suspected about IT people for a long time.

kludge said...

Ando-

It's funny because its true. We IT folks view users with contempt. We know your just smart enough to sit in your cube and drool on your keyboard, and you only have a computer because the boss made us give you one.

J Crew said...

You are guys are a different breed that I probably will never be able to relate to, but it's cool. I have never been one for brains... or braun for that matter.

kludge said...

J Crew-

The IT field is a strange career path, your probably better off not being able to relate. :)

Anyone who aces a greek exams can't claim limited cranial capacity. I can see right through your cheap facade mister!

SJ said...

Yes, I get irritated at that limited access thing - - - drives me nuts!!!!

kludge said...

Sj;

I assure you, that is the whole point.

Brendan said...

Funny because I actually feel exactly the opposite... I give users system administrator access to their computers. This way whenever they call with a request, I can simply state "Why are you calling me? You have access to that..." and hang up. Furthermore, when something legitimately breaks and they call me to get it fixed, I can respond with "So you broke your computer huh? You really shouldn't have been that careless... I'll try and help you, but it may be several days before I have time..."

kludge said...

Brendan -

LOL. Welcome back from across the sea!

I've worked with a lot of folks with that philosophy. I fine that managers rarely feel that way. There's just something about managing that requires you to be a control type person.

Additionally I think your very brave. I don't have the inheirent user trust that full access requires.

Maybe I'll do a post someday with all the tech personality types I've worked with.

SJ said...

I do have to say I have been happier since I was blessed to gain an administrator password - but Matt still holds all the priveleges!

kludge said...

SJ-

Matt is a total power grabber... you can tell him I said so. :)

Brendan said...

Its not brave exactly... they have full access to their systems, but not the domain... my standard "fix all" is to just wipe their system and start fresh. The smart ones have figured this out and try and avoid calling me for fear of losing everything...


bottom line, I'm as anti-people as anyone else in IT... just in a more lazy/vindictive way.. :-)

Anomie-Atlanta said...

Hilarious! Just one more reason why the first friend you make at a new company should be the IT person.

Ando said...

You are all bad men.

kludge said...

Brendan-

Good points!

1.) anti-people
2.) lazy/vindictive

These are guiding forced in IT that shoud never be instilled in all techs. There should be an A+ exam for that!

kludge said...

Anomie-

Agreed.

Ando-

Agreed.

Roberta said...

Whenever I started work at a new office, the IT guys were always the first people I actually had a conversation with. For starters, I'm always the youngest person in the building, so they feel comfortable around me because they're finally older than someone. Secondly, I'm no dope; you get all sorts of computer perks when you bring baked goods to the IT office! (New speakers and a sound drive; score!)

Brendan said...

Roberta, true story:

We had a guy upstairs bring us a white chocolate cheese cake... he had a new flat screen monitor less then 15 minutes later.

tony from finland said...

Hey! How come nobody tries to bribe me with anything?! :(

Bastards. Perhaps I'll write a script that forces a reboot to every computer in the domain once an hour and then we'll see if something happens about the lack of cookies! (Also, single malt scotch is acceptable. And ammo. Never can have too much cookies, whisky or ammo.)