Tag Archives: workplace

How ‘IT’ Staff Make us Look Good

In this post, I’m going to give some kudos and appreciation to people who work in IT. I think that so many of them work behind the scenes, dealing with a lot of stuff “under the hood”, while we the users end up looking good and getting the accolades. It’s time to give these accolades back to where they belong.

When we complain about a computer problem, printing issue, connectivity issue, all kinds of issues, we often think that we are the only ones with the problem at that time, and that our problem is the most urgent. When we phone or email IT, we probably don’t realize that on the other side, the IT person is probably in the midst of putting out many fires at once, dealing with other people who all have the most  urgent problems in the world! I think we need to consider this the next time we mutter under our breath about why something is taking longer than expected.

Many of the IT staff have set the bar very high for themselves. By being so available, if not by phone, then by email, if not by email, then via some online conference route, if not that then a ‘contact us’ form on the Internet, and usually they reply in such quick fashion. Because of this, we are spoiled and unrealistically expect this service every time.

At our workplace, there are often computer/network printer connectivity issues, in that maybe during peak times, a patron’s print command may not register and then the printing gets paused, or not even initiated. We usually tell patrons to do the time consuming process of saving their work, closing everything, logging off, then retyping user name/password to log on again, reopen previous document, and finally executing the print command once more.

When notified of this, our IT person came up with a short-cut fix and set up something where the patron can click a folder, and then run something called “Printer Fix.” And then the printing will work. Magic? Apparently, clicking the icon acts to reset or refresh the connections without need to log off. I don’t know how it works, how it is set up, what was done behind the scenes, but I do know that patrons are happier for such a simplistic, time saving fix. And they end up thanking us for helping them and giving us their appreciation, while Mr. IT is somewhere else putting out another fire.

Isn’t that often the story of IT? Fixing things during times of stress, but not around to receive praises when things are running smoothly. Indeed, we don’t think about IT much when things are going smoothly, which is most of the time!

I know they often face many complaints, so just wanted to make a post in appreciation and to say: “Things are running great today!”

-Patrick Law

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Filed under Working

How Laziness Caused An Environmentally-Friendly Accident

At work, posted on the wall, is a list of reminders of what to do each day before leaving for home too quickly. These are so mandatory, regardless of any twists and turns, that they must be done routinely and a check mark should be placed in a box beside the task.

This morning was the first day back after a 3 day long weekend, meaning our workplace was closed during that period. Therefore, the columns and tasks for Saturday and Sunday still had open and unmarked check boxes. Normally, at the start of each week, we replace the sheet with a new blank one, which is practically spotless, as if to remind us that we have done nothing yet this week.

I didn’t replace it. When asked, I presented my justification in this way. There were still two open days left, Saturday and Sunday, since we were closed. Today is Tuesday. Why don’t I substitute Saturday and Sunday with Tuesday and Wednesday? Or even draw lines in the middle of the squares to make one square become two? Then I can add a couple more days?

When onlookers tried to grapple with the congested mess I had made, I came up with a scorcher of a closing argument. I wanted to save paper – be environmentally friendly. Sounds good, doesn’t it? It must have, as people stopped bothering me and seemed to accept my reasoning. If so, why am I still dwelling on this well into the night? Normally, using such short cuts are meant to be a humorous release. Unfortunately, in this case, I am worried that I have sullied the environmental cause and borrowed their paradigm for my selfishness.

I was, in fact, lazy to print another task sheet of daily procedures with check boxes. I took a short cut and drew some in, made some substitutions, and saved some time in order to have more time to procrastinate at work and come up with this story. I often end up protecting the environment in round-about, indirect ways, but I am not a card carrying environmentalist. If my approach to religion is similar, would I make it to heaven?

-Patrick Law

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Filed under Short Cuts