If I Hear That One More Time, I Swear……

by Onyeka Nchege on May 20, 2014


workstationI’m having a problem with my computer.
Can you fix my computer?
The power button on my computer is stuck.
Can you fix my computer?
Something is going on with the wires on my computer.
Can you fix my fix my computer?
The screen of my computer is blank.
Can you fix my computer?
I can’t connect to the Internet.
Can you fix my computer?
I’m trying to record something on YouTube and it’s not working.

Can you fix my computer? If somebody else asks me that question one more time, I swear I’m going to………

There are many advantages and disadvantages to working in the IT field. One major advantage is when people hear that you work in IT, they automatically assume that you are incredibly intelligent…..and we are! One major disadvantage, and my personal pet peeve, is people also assume you are/can be their personal IT department.

As much as I’ve spoken on this blog about how much I love mentoring and helping people, please don’t take this post as a contradiction to any of that. I, with all honesty, love to mentor and help people as much as it is within my power. My irritation slightly rises though in certain situations like when I’m attending a wedding and the entertainment’s sound system stops working for any myriad of reasons, my family and friends, who know I work in IT, immediately turn to me as if I know the answers to all that is technical.

I know I am not alone in this instance. I know that many of my IT colleagues are also the assumed IT support for most of their family members and friends. I also know that there are some of my IT colleagues who assume the role of IT support for their family and friends with pride and ease, because, for them, those functions are not huge outliers from their day-to-day job functions. However, for example, if you are a Software Quality Assurance Analyst where your main job function is to verify software applications and databases for defects, it may be a stretch to assume this individual can fix your wireless router.

There are a lot of individuals in the field of IT who have never seen the inside of an actual computer, but who are also just as vital to the organizations in which they work. Along with the necessary role of the Software Quality Assurance Analyst in an IT department, there is also a need for Software Developers, Business Analysts, Network and Telecommunications Technicians, Personal Productivity Administrators, Database Administrators, Infrastructure Architects, Project Managers and a host of other roles.

    Software Developers write complex code in various development languages to deliver technical functionality across various platforms.

    Business Analysts build the relationships between business users and technical solutions. They assess the business models and their integration with technology, utilizing that information to analyze and design processes and applications.

    Network and Telecommunication Technicians provide telecommunication service by installing and repairing electronic equipment and components to support telecommunications.

    Personal Productivity Administrators assist users with technology to ensure proper computer operations that allow them to accomplish organizational tasks.

    Database Administrators develop and design database strategies and solutions.

    Infrastructure Architects manage and monitor server performance, backup strategies and operating systems.

    Project Managers develop and manage detailed project plans, lead complex projects to completion, orchestrate collaboration and manage cross-functional milestones and dependencies.

In short, it is a compilation of many roles and job functions that make up a thriving IT department. So the next time you meet an individual and learn they are in IT, please do not make the assumption they can “fix your computer”, router, your phone, and/or that they even have a desire to do so. Please only make the assumption that they are a technology professional and not a “computer fixer” (in my Napoleon Dynamite voice).

Take Action: If you are considering a role in IT, please make the leap today and join the ranks of the many TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS making the world go round and round. I promise, I will not ask you to fix my computer if its not the role you have in the IT department.

Leadership on the GO…..It’s O.N



{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Sekou McHenry May 21, 2014 at 12:12 am

LOL!!!

I’m having a problem with my computer.
Can you fix my computer?
The power button on my computer is stuck.
Can you fix my computer?
Something is going on with the wires on my computer.
Can you fix my fix my computer?
The screen of my computer is blank.
Can you fix my computer?
I can’t connect to the Internet.
Can you fix my computer?
I’m trying to record something on YouTube and it’s not working.

Can you fix my computer? If somebody else asks me that question one more time, I swear I’m going to………

Man! I just had to read that once more. LOL! Whew! I’m literally wiping tears from my eyes…

Reply

avatar Onyeka Nchege May 21, 2014 at 12:31 am

Sekou you are a member of this great profession of ours…..so you know the deal….you have undoubtedly been subjected to “Fix my computer please”. Lol.

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avatar Nnena May 21, 2014 at 8:12 am

Dang, does this mean I have to stop asking you two to help with technical issues at my events??? What’s a girl gonna do???? lol… Good one Onyeka!!!

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avatar Onyeka Nchege May 21, 2014 at 8:18 am

Lol…..Family First Always…..you good.

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avatar Brandon Pierce May 21, 2014 at 8:57 am

….”in certain situations like when I’m attending a wedding and the entertainment’s sound system stops working for any myriad of reasons, my family and friends, who know I work in IT, immediately turn to me as if I know the answers to all that is technical.”

Oh my how can I relate! It use to drive me crazy to the point where I had to stop my family friends from introducing me to new people as an “I.T guy”. In my field we actually *do* fix computers, but I can’t tell you how many family and friends just expected me to be the designated personal IT guy. It has its pros and cons. I love to help people, but at some point I have to make sure I don’t overexert myself.

I also love how you broke down the different IT roles. I got to see the “big/whole” picture of ISS.

Thanks

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avatar Onyeka Nchege May 21, 2014 at 9:19 am

Thx Brandon. I feel your pain. Lol.

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avatar bryan franklin May 21, 2014 at 8:58 am

So, when you spend the first hour of a meeting trying to connect your surface to the network, i should just let you work it out on your own? 🙂

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avatar Onyeka Nchege May 21, 2014 at 9:18 am

BFrank!!

I knew it was not your lane so I didn’t ask you to help me “fix my computer”. See….I get it. Lol

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avatar Felecia May 21, 2014 at 9:41 am

I was once asked how to hook up the cable tv in a second bedroom. Lucky for me there was already an outlet there and I looked like a superstar!! HAHA!!

Now, I am IT support for my family…its all good. But I sure do wish I could charge by the hour for those calls sometimes.

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avatar Onyeka Nchege May 21, 2014 at 9:44 am

Superstar status is always good. Enjoy IT!!

Thx for sharing.

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avatar Steve Singleton May 21, 2014 at 10:38 am

Great blog Onyeka. I almost fell out of my chair in laughter when reading this. It is so true especially when after your child has dropped and broken their laptop, your wife then gives you the look of “Why can’t you fix this aren’t you an IT guy”. My response “But I’m an IT Business Analyst”.

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avatar Onyeka Nchege May 21, 2014 at 10:45 am

Now that’s funny Steve. Thanks for sharing. I will be laughing about this all day.

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avatar Kerry Johnson May 21, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Sooooo true. Like medicine, law, sports and many other professions there is a lot of specialization. There are very few generalists who can do it all well in any field. I do occasionally stay in a Holiday Inn Express but you wouldn’t want me performing brain surgery on your goldfish!

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avatar Onyeka Nchege May 21, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Great point Kerry. That is exactly the intent of this post to recognize that they are many more roles in the technology field.

By the way I definitely would not have you perform brain surgery but I would absolutely have you cover the Ts & Cs and negotiate the contract for the surgeon that will perform the brain surgery. That way I know the goldfish is absolutely covered in case of any mishaps. Haha

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avatar Mia May 21, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Now that’s a message worth sharing. Tweeted it!

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avatar Onyeka Nchege May 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Thanks for the tweet. Glad I finally got one right.

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avatar Chinny May 22, 2014 at 6:48 am

Great article. As usual you have hit one out of the park!!! We still have a laptop down at the house….ijs!!
Chi

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avatar Onyeka Nchege May 22, 2014 at 7:28 am

Yep….i had you in mind when I wrote this one…..Lol…..jk

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avatar Andy Cheek May 22, 2014 at 8:59 am

O (freggin) MG!! I don’t even bother telling people I’m in IT anymore because I’m so tired of this, but let’s face reality. Don’t most of us IT geeks have some of our own self-worth wrapped up in people needing us? Doesn’t it feed our egos to know that others can’t do without us? The problem with that is that the world around us is becoming more technical every day and those simple tech reasoning skills are going to be critical to anyone that intends to influence the world of tomorrow. No industry or job role will be exempt. If we are truly investing in folks, should we not focus more on “teaching a man to fish?” I know I learn more through struggle. Consider allowing others to do the same. (Except in my house where my wife and daughters will threaten to kill me.)

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avatar Onyeka Nchege May 22, 2014 at 9:16 am

Too funny Andy. Spoken like only Mr. Cheek can do.

Definitely agree….we gotta teach others to fish.

Also we have to help our brethren know that you can’t get so wrapped up in our ego that we run in a lane otherwise reserved for those better suited/equipped and trained to execute in that space.

“Stay in your lane”

Thanks for sharing Andy.

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