For those who work in the IT services industry the job is often a mixture of the humorous and the frustrating. Humorous when clients find solutions to problems that make you do nothing else but laugh, and frustrating when you simply cannot get your point across to the befuddled computer user on the other end of the line. Without IT services however many of us would be pulling our hair out at a complete loss how to fix those troublesome error messages.
Those in larger companies normally have IT services that are in house. Subsequently for employees, IT services do not come at a premium and hence the problems they feel the need to hassle the IT workers with are the most inconsequential of problems. One instance of this happening was when a worker phoned the IT services department demanding a new monitor immediately. After some investigation the technician saw the user's computer was full of desktop items and he certainly didn't need a new monitor, just a desktop clean-up tool.
Drives although seemingly obvious to most computer users can confuse some greatly; thankfully the IT services are there to help when things go completely wrong. A story I heard from an IT worker a few years actually brought out a chuckle when he told me. On being called out to find a computer with a broken CD Rom drive the technician had to remove the drive and replace it. When he got the drive back to his office and took it apart he found that the user had jammed a floppy disk into it, completely stopping it from working.
Working in the IT services industry does however require you to admit your own mistakes at times. A few times now during my career it has been the case that after spending a considerable amount of time explaining the solution to the user I have found that the reason my advice was not being carried out properly was due to the fact the user was left instead of right handed.
One of the major concerns that IT services have to deal with are the viruses that inadvertently infect computers from time to time. Seemingly however users are utterly terrified of the computer falling ill, something that the IT services recognise, but thankfully approach more logically. Some users have called services claiming that there computer has been infected when they changed the power supply or even when they have used their machine to play a DVD. The hysteria that sounds viruses does make me laugh but after recognising their potential dangers some of the fear of users can be considered slightly over the top.
Other than viruses, printers seem to the next biggest bode of contention with users. The confusion caused by these little devices seems to bemuse people immensely; thankfully those in IT services normally have the solution to most problems. Some of these problems are easier to resolve than others however; a story I once heard from the industry was of a man who was claiming the printer was constantly smudging his work. After he had checked the printer settings he found nothing wrong, he asked the man to show how he was printing his documents. Low and behold at the time of printing the man was yanking the paper out before it had been completely printed; the rather frustrated IT worker politely told the man to be more patient with his printer in the future.
While these stories make the IT services seem somewhat simplistic, not every problem they are called out to resolve is as simple as these examples. Some problems are extremely complicated and trouble even the most knowledgeable and experienced IT support worker. That said, without the help of IT services many of us would be at a complete loss with how to fix our computers, it is thanks to them that many users' computers are still running.
Industry expert Thomas Pretty looks into some stories from the IT services industry and the invaluable assistance they offer.