Confessions of the IT Guys
If you were to put the best and brightest accountants, real estate agents, bankers, lawyers and doctors in one room, they still wouldn’t be able to figure out many of the tech issues IT personnel deal with on an daily, if not more frequently, basis.
IT is a foreign language to most of us. While skill sets among us vary, from the “Where is the power button located again?,” to the “I need to know how to reset my Email password,” it’s all the same: we need IT help.
The world of IT is interesting and we thought we would delve into it. Give them the chance to vent if necessary. After all, clients gripe to IT when things aren’t working correctly – because it just has to be the IT company’s fault that the monitor is blank (Did you push the power button?), or that your voicemail isn’t working (Did you set it up?). Essentially the IT company’s job is to work with you when something is going wrong.
We interviewed three local IT companies and asked about the most pressing client problems they are faced with. We got some interesting answers.
According to F2OnSite President/Founder Donny F. Lauderback, clients have issues with consistency of the level of skills of the IT personnel and being able to communicate with one of these guys who are massively smarter than the rest of us.
“Sometimes the best and brightest IT guys don’t appear as they truly are,” Lauderback said. “They have never had a mentor explain to them what it takes to look, act and even smell professional. That may sound rudimentary, but a lot of techie guys are true geniuses, but still need someone from the business world to help them adapt and take them to the next level of their career in a more professional setting.”
CEO of Paranet Solutions David S. Boone said many of their corporate clients do not understand why their network crashed.
“When we investigate we usually find equipment that is several generations past its useful life and software that has not been updated or patched for years,” Boone said. “Also, many people try to install hardware or software themselves. Sometimes that is okay because it is relatively straight forward. However, it usually takes four times as long and is never as efficient as if you had let an expert do the installing for you. They have experience with various systems and configuration, and they know how to set up networks, servers, and PCs optimally for your needs.”
Disappearing files seem to plague many clients, said Daren R. Boozer, CEO of NCC Data.
“What we find after a few minutes of looking through their cloud stored backups is they have inadvertently either moved the file to another folder or deleted the file entirely.”
And then there is the old password problem. No matter how easy, or unique a password is, it can be forgotten.
“One of the most common issues we encounter is users forgetting a password or typing too quickly and entering it wrong,” said HBR Technologies CEO Jeff Romick. “This issue leads to very creative solutions. Many people type their passwords in their phones; if you do, always have your phone locked and add additional digits or letters to the password so it is not easily guessed by others. Often, we find passwords under a user’s keyboard or even taped to the front of their monitor. Some of the most common passwords are pets names, 12345678, password and the user’s name.”
In addition to common client problems, the CEOs had a few funny stories to share as well. From telling a fib or two, to just plain misunderstandings, these quips will have you smiling.
“Perhaps the most outlandish thing I ever hear is when people have a serious virus on their machine and claim they have now idea where it came from,” Boone said. “Often, the browser history reflects frequent visits to unsavory websites.”
According to Romick, customers at times can get very confused when it comes to the basic operation of their hardware.
“We asked a user to reboot their computer because it had locked up on them and they couldn’t do anything on the system,” Romick said. “He was instructed to turn off the system wait a few seconds and turn it back on. After completing this task he reported that it looked the same and it was still locked up. He was asked to repeat the process and he experienced the same results. It was determined that he was turning off the monitor not the actual computer. After the reboot of his system, everything came back up and he was able to resume his work day.”
Lauderback said sometimes lack of knowledge can be a dangerous thing in the hands of customers.
“The craziest issue we have had with a consumer is a person who had a computer that had been under warranty, but upon our visit the computer was then out of warranty,” Lauderback said. “After explaining that the manufacturer would not cover the repair and our deepest apologies, the customer said ‘Fine, then it’s worthless’ and carried the laptop outside and threw it into his swimming pool.”