You might only get this joke if you’re an IT pro: To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the IT pro, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be. Maybe it can’t be helped that you see the world and the computer differently than your clients do. But wouldn’t it be nice if people at least understood a few basic realities about the device they’re asking you to fix? We asked the experts what they wished people knew. Here are their responses.

  • “I wish they knew not to open attachments in emails from people they don't know, especially after I've told them a million times.” —Nicholas Roderique, IT Consultant at Information Innovations, Inc.

  • “That rebooting really does fix many, many, many problems.” —Scott Kendall, Outhouse IT.

  • “Google it! 95% of the answers we give you we look up on Google! Do some research, you might be able to find it yourself!” —Martha Ezell, higher education information technology department.

  • “I wish people knew how fast heatsinks can accumulate dust. Every spring/summer there's a huge influx of ‘my computer shuts down/gets really slow when I play games, etc.’ —Nathaniel S., IT Professional.

  • “Please don't use your work computer to look at porn or illegal activity. We're required by company policy and in some cases by law to report it if we find it (and we do find it, even if you delete your browsing history). Plus, it's very awkward for us.” —Brad T., IT Project Consultant.

  • “Yes, the computer does need to have all of the updates and patches for its operating system and the programs it runs installed on it.” —Aryeh Goretsky, ESET Security Research.

  • “The difference between log off and shutdown...” —John Barlow, IT professional in insurance.

  • “Don't just tell me your computer has an error on it. Write down the exact syntax of the error message. Being able to understand what the problem is can be an ordeal, especially when the end user lacks the vocabulary to convey the issue clearly. If there is an error message, write it down, take a picture, something.” —Chris Alford, Information Technology Manager for a call center.

  • “When you say you've ‘restarted two or three times,’ ... we can check. And we know you're lying.” —Ryan St. John, IT consulting/tech support.

  • “I wish people knew that their computer running like crap and taking forever to boot up has nothing to do with the Internet. No, your web browser going opaque, and having a spinning circle doesn't mean your Internet is slow. It means it's time to upgrade from your Windows XP-era dinosaur.” —Eric Sheppard, IT pro for an internet communications company.

  • “Your monitor is not a computer. And your computer is not a hard drive.” —Mat Hanson, IT professional in the mining industry.

  • “Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Clear out your temporary files and caches. And if you're not sure what you should do or how you should do it, your IT professional will be more than thrilled to show you how.” —Brad T., IT Project Consultant.

  • “I really wish folks would understand that their hard drive can die with no warning — that data is extremely vulnerable and backup is so important.” —Michael Kautzman, IT Professional with a managed service provider.


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