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IT Managers Are Aloof Says Psychologist and Your Co-Workers 378

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-have-people-skills;-I-am-good-at-dealing-with-people dept.
dcblogs writes "IT managers see themselves as 'reigning supreme,' in an organization, and are seen by non-IT workers as difficult to get along with, says organizational psychologist Billie Blair. If IT managers changed their ways, they could have a major impact in an organization. 'So much of their life is hidden under a bushel because they don't discuss things, they don't divulge what they know, and the innovation that comes from that process doesn't happen, therefore, in the organization,' says Blair."
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IT Managers Are Aloof Says Psychologist and Your Co-Workers

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  • by newcastlejon (1483695) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @08:44PM (#38521362)
    "They despise stupidity wherever they see it, and they see it everywhere."
    Kryten 2X4B-523P
  • Not surprised. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by novar21 (1694492) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @08:44PM (#38521370)
    Worked in the IT field for over 30 years. Seen things and learned things about people I REALLY didn't want to know. But the not sharing of information from IT management to direct reports is very common. Even worse in government IT. But gossip does exist in IT. It is just not as useful. Most of the gossip is personal stuff and not what is going on in the organization. But then again, most organizations never share information with IT (maybe distrust?). So IT is the last to know about changes happening.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @08:50PM (#38521442)

    Speaking for myself, when I try to describe IT projects that I find really cool to non-technical people (say 75% of the organization), they're just not interested. Not saying they're too stupid to get it, not saying they're too stupid to understand its significance, but they've been conditioned to think of IT as something that other people do. There is a problem on both sides of the culture divide. I don't know, nor do I particularly care which side "started" it, but to overcome it, IT people are going to have to share, and non-IT people are going to have to be more willing to engage.

    • by decora (1710862) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:37PM (#38521840) Journal

      project. its really , really, cool... you see we take the general account ledger, and we balance it based on the length of time the charge has been on the current report, whereas before we were simply going line by line ,

      im sorry, .. are you ok? it almost looked like you fell asleep there. my brother in law has narcolepsy -- horrible disease. did you know that the first person to discover narcolepsy was sinus grimbald in 1823, when he happened upon a lemur collector in guernsey.. .

    • Do you care about the goings on in other sectors of your company?

    • People worry about their job being automated out from under them.

      If you are going to remove >30% of their daily responsibilities then you'll need to work with leadership to help them understand how it allows the affected group to make the company more money with the same work (which will positively impact their bonuses).

      Still people dislike change or learning new things so some set of people are going to react badly to any change to the current methodology.

      • My first lesson on that topic was when I was around 19, working at a small business that included a print shop. At the time, OCR software was relatively new, so I thought I'd introduce it to the layout department. I sold the idea to management that it could save time scanning in documents instead of having someone type them in, and they loved it. However, one of the ladies that was responsible for entering everything into the typesetter was less than enthusiastic -- she thought this would put her out of

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          The problem is, at most companies these days, if you get automated out of a job, then out the door you go. At a company that actually cared about its employees, and cared about employee loyalty and practiced it as a two-way street, this wouldn't happen: they'd move you to another job that wasn't automated yet, or they'd train you to do some higher-level work (like running the automation) somewhere. But American companies by and large don't give a shit about their employees, as they're just a drag on the b

          • by shentino (1139071)

            Makes you wonder why employees don't give a shit about their companies.

            And since the power is held by bosses almost by definition, they can get away with stuff their underlings can't.

            It's not a level playing field.

      • by artor3 (1344997) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @12:30AM (#38522858)

        If you are going to remove >30% of their daily responsibilities then you'll need to work with leadership to help them understand how it allows the affected group to make the company more money with the same work (which will positively impact their bonuses).

        You're kidding, right? These advances never let "the affected group make more money with the same work". They let the affected group make more money with fewer people and the same work. And the only bonuses that are positively affected are those of the executive staff.

        I understand the need to move technology forward, but until the people at the top start understanding the need to give people a means of living, I see no reason to help them out any more than I'm obligated too.

  • Flip Side (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @08:56PM (#38521474)

    Flip Side -- we need to be proactive about communicating with the retards who break our system. How many times have you pushed a patch that breaks something, intentionally? Usually a security threat. You've got the power, send an email to all that explains why you're fixing something, and what liability the company has if it's not fixed. This is called propoganda, and it's good. Also, send out good propaganda when you can. The fucking marketing drones didn't sell anything. Your website sold $300M of product. Make IT look like a profit center, and you look like a god. Make it look like a bunch of dick-bags and you'll be an easy cost center to target.

    • Re:Flip Side (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PvtVoid (1252388) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:57PM (#38521964)

      we need to be proactive about communicating with the retards who break our system.

      Nope. Nobody would ever think somebody who says shit like this is aloof, insular, or difficult to get along with.

      • And if it happen once that you came in on Tuesday of this week to discover that someone thought his office was too warm so he blocked open the door to the R&D building and all the internal doors to get to his office for the entire long weekend what would you say? Now what would you say if it was someone every weekend that did that, or every night? And lets pretend for a moment that management doesn't really get how HVAC works either; I mean, they are just trying to cool thier offices right? Why be so ha

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @08:56PM (#38521482)

    ...with people whose eyes glaze over the second they realize you're talking about computers.

    I don't know anyone who didn't start out as an ever helpful enthusiastic talkative person, and they all become jaded over time. People just don't want to hear about it. They have their job, they expect you to do yours without bothering them about it.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Well ...

      When their eyes glaze over, that's when you get out the nails and hammer. If you stick it to their forehead, they'll never forget. The only annoying part is the screaming, but you get used to it after the first three or four, and people really do remember after the first few examples.

    • People just don't want to hear about it. They have their job, they expect you to do yours without bothering them about it.

      Their eyes also glaze over when the air conditioner repairman starts talking about details of condenser recharging, or whatever. Computers are appliances these days, and appliance repair isn't very interesting.

    • by evilviper (135110) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @12:41AM (#38522902) Journal

      People just don't want to hear about it. They have their job, they expect you to do yours without bothering them about it.

      This is as close to an accurate yet concise description of the problem as I've heard. It just misses one important point, the willful ignorance of non-IT folks.

      Across multiple companies the one immutable truth to IT is that the majority of non-IT folks expect the handful of IT folks to do 90% of their job for them, because a computer happens to be involved. Any attempt to teach them even the most basic technical issues directly related to their jobs results in an arrogant dismissive "You're IT, you fix it, I don't do computers." attitiude, or worse an "I don't care how hard it is to make happen, I put in the request yesterday, so you need to have a new eCommerce site up and running for tomorrow's launch."

      In those cases, being unresponsive is one of the few possible ways to force them to become less incompetent, because then they risk failing at their own job. IT always working like mad to pull rabbits out of hats just gets the pressure turned-up that much more as insane expectations become creeping normalcy.

      And while it may get you off the hook the first time around, blaming IT as you consistently fail is hit-or-miss at best. Of course those that do make a lot of noise complaining about IT may get an all-too-responsive IT team, detailing what a time-sink you've been, how utterly unable to perform your job function you are, and perhaps finally, a not-so subtle hint about the fact that the IT team may very well have a higher salary than you, which you are wasting on trivialites.

  • Sums it all up perfectly. Why the base was hacked, and why the base commanders did not find out until after it was published in Wired.
  • by MarkvW (1037596) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:02PM (#38521542)

    Present a better idea and it doesn't get a fair hearing. Get brain-dead unappealable policy decisions because the system is geared to the lowest common denominator. Being TOLD what the best UI is.

    You end up serving the fucking data, rather than the data serving you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:07PM (#38521596)

    IT Managers Are Aloof Says Psychologist and Your Co-Workers

    The wrong people always get promoted. This is not news for nerds. This is reality.

    Give me a story where somebody intelligent and thoughtful gets into management and this would be news. Even on Slashdot, you've got a lot of Managers getting up-moderated [slashdot.org] for basically telling people that they only promote hard working people [slashdot.org] (I think we all know this is a lie). Of course Managers and supervisors think of themselves as fair and intelligent, and as rational as Adam Smith's invisible hand. If only they knew!

    References:
    http://ask.slashdot.org/story/11/12/28/0058250/ask-slashdot-handing-over-personal-work-without-compensation [slashdot.org]
    http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2593454&cid=38510268 [slashdot.org]
    http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2593454&cid=38510098 [slashdot.org]

  • Er, no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:08PM (#38521600)

    Wow, what a ridiculous pile of pseudo science. I've been in IT for 20 years now, and worked with three or four organizations in very different industries. Each time I start out with a really positive attitude, a "this time it will be different" approach. I'm going to be interested, and helpful, and friendly, and communicative. After about a year I can't do it anymore. It's not for lack of interest or trying, it's because the average user approaches the technology they must interact with daily as either a black box or an inconvenience or both. How a person can know the intricacies of double entry bookkeeping but fail to understand why opening every single attachment they receive is verboten is beyond me. Learn a little - just a little - about the tools you need to do your job and then pay attention to what you're doing. Your computer is not that complex to use, and essential to your job. You know the rules for arbitrating a marital dispute in Iowa, but you can't remember not to Save As the document you insist on using as a template?

    If I had wanted to be a cat herder or a kindergarten teacher, I would have pursued those options. I went into a field where I had assumed I would be dealing with adults who even if they didn't understand exactly what they were doing they would at least take responsibility for their actions. You can only endure "I didn't click anything" or "I know you've told me before, but how do I...?" so many times. Eventually you really start feeling like you're not being listened to or appreciated, and then you start wondering why you bother talking at all. Nobody I know in this business wants to keep secrets or appear aloof, but when it becomes apparent that nobody is listening to you when you talk, why bother sharing at all?

    • If one more person rudely interrupts my answer to their question by proclaiming their ignorance for the Nth time, I may just snap.
       
      Many times I've imagined interrupting someone's unwelcome narrative by making this proclamation. Considering it's usually a one-sided broadcast, tuning them out is an easier choice. Choose your battles and all...

      • by shentino (1139071)

        Never slug it out with your boss if you value your job.

        No, your boss being a control freak doesn't count as a valid excuse.

    • by Zerth (26112)

      Interesting. I went into IT after deciding I didn't want to get a masters to teach disinterested children when I could teach disinterested adults with just a bachelors.

      It took me a couple tries, but I've finally found a company where, with vigorous effort, I'm slowly driving spikes of knowledge into my coworkers' skulls.

      It is quite rewarding when the VP finally comes to you with a screenshot of an error message or an account manager realizes that "left click once" doesn't mean click repeatedly until someth

  • ... who ask for utterly stupid things. For example the secretary that called IT for support because she was required to change her password and it wouldn't let her change it to the same one she had been using for the past year. Please, Billie Blair, why is it that WE IT people have to deal with such stupidity.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:09PM (#38521614)

    to that aloofness?"

    In other words, this whole article biatched about IT workers, but never even bothered to look for one moment at the other side of the coin: the users who habitually refuse to change habits, who blame IT for every mistake they make, make demands on the IT guys and girls that are not reasonable, and then wonder why IT sees themselves as beleaguered and under siege.

    Instead, she boasts that she knew how to tame IT when she was a dean by bullying them with her position---exactly the reason why IT people see themselves as abused and reviled.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      to that aloofness?"

      In other words, this whole article biatched about IT workers, but never even bothered to look for one moment at the other side of the coin: the users who habitually refuse to change habits, who blame IT for every mistake they make, make demands on the IT guys and girls that are not reasonable, and then wonder why IT sees themselves as beleaguered and under siege.

      Instead, she boasts that she knew how to tame IT when she was a dean by bullying them with her position---exactly the reason why IT people see themselves as abused and reviled.

      Guy at my last job is your classic IT person. Hates doing support, acts like a jerk to people he deems to not be on his level. But he also manages most of the internal servers, the NAS, backups, what have you, and if something goes down - because he's an ass to everybody when everything's working 99.99999% of the time, they come down hard on him the 0.00001% of the time it doesn't. And it drives him bananas because he doesn't understand that you get what you give. I called the customer service manager f

  • key logging (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dr Max (1696200) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:11PM (#38521634)
    How but they install all the same monitoring and key logging software they install on the worker bee employees computers onto the it managers computer then they will be able to see exactly what he/she does or doesn't do.
  • Or perhaps... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cultiv8 (1660093) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:11PM (#38521642) Homepage
    IT subordinates don't like the business decisions passed down from non-IT workers and non-IT workers don't understand the technical implications of the business decisions they make. The IT Manager sits right in the middle of this clusterfuck.
    • Re:Or perhaps... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by wiedzmin (1269816) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:18PM (#38521708)
      Perhaps, but more often than not the IT manager is not directly involved in either the day-to-day operations of the IT department or the said business decisions. It's all budget planning, vendor relationships and issue escalations for them... and thus the disconnect between the business decision makers and IT grunts having to live with them.
  • Not unique to IT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lieutenant_Dan (583843) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:12PM (#38521652) Homepage Journal

    In a large organization, I see other folks behaving the same or worse as IT managers:
    - Human Resources, ever try to reason with one of them that their policy needs to reviewed or does not help in attracting talent?
    - Finance; yes, once I have the PR, the sole source agreement, the market analysis, I'll get a PO and the invoice will be paid in six months after the vendors berates and tells me that they'll never do business with us again
    - Legal or Privacy department; seriously, never ever try to disagree with them or propose a different point of view
    - Researchers; full of primadonnas; the leadership is even worse ...

    The article is BS; most of the items could apply to any other area or field

  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:14PM (#38521672)

    The IT (in US terms, not technical professions in general) guys are there to enable everyone else to interact. They aren't given much power - only what is minimally needed to give everyone else what they want.

    I can empathize with your typical IT guy attitude - you strive to help every day, and do help a lot of people - but end up seeing the same self-inflicted wounds over and over again. At some point, the only way to meaningfully care for people is to take a zen attitude, point them to resources, and accept that most will refuse to take even the simplest steps towards understanding how things break as they misuse them.

    And you have to rely on humor over time. The net appearance may be 'aloof' - but it's difficult to help the sometimes aggressively and willfully ignorant often looking to place blame and not end up with the eyebrow-raised incredulous look coming up.

    It would be lovely if we could all have a Carl Sagan friendly sage look about us in every difficulty - but we won't. Even Carl Sagan probably looked perturbed and sarcastic at some points along the way - same with Gandhi and Mother Theresa too.

    Better aloof than full on BOFH.

    Ryan Fenton

    • And from time to the users have earned that ALOOF or BOFH response. (not really saying that I would kill anyone or cause major injury). But what I have done is gone to management, with documented proof of violations of policy attached to the policy and asked what action they would like me to take. **I only do that for termination offences. Where I work IT can have someone fired. And I have accomplished that task on more than one occasion. Management knows I will take action "only in defensive measures
  • Phasers on kill (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bogidu (300637) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:22PM (#38521726)

    I am not someone who is offended easily. That said, the author of this article and the 'subject matter expert' that was interviewed have offended me greatly.

    Three pages of stereotype. Here, let me summarize and save you wasting 5 minutes of your life. . . . . . "IT people are not the best communicators." oh, wait, this comment was made by someone with an advanced degree in in psychology, I guess it must be legit.

    Here is the rest of the article in a nutshell -

    IT managers are aloof, technical people with a skillset that an organization cannot do without. They have been 'gifted' since childhood with a technical mindset and they believe that the world is against them. They want people to bow to them as the come into the room (direct quote) and it is difficult to get anything out of them.

    I had to laugh when the sme stated that as a dean she could "force them off their high horse". From experience, when managers "force" technical people to do something or provide something, the end result is a piece of garbage that doesn't work right, upsets the customers, makes the IT department look bad and does the "forcer" get blamed for the poor results? No, the IT department loses credibility in the end.

    This person doesn't get that most of the reasons IT folks "don't communicate" with those outside of IT is for a very basic reason . . . . . we start talking and we get BLANK STARES as a response!

    I love her definition of 'c-level' folks.

    The final straw in this article is the last paragraph. Steve Jobs was a BUSINESS MANAGER, not an IT professional. He ran a company and and 'forced' the technical people to dance for him.

    • If his comments are based on research, then he's talking in tendencies, in statistical averages, not saying each and every IT manager is a dick.

    • Re:Phasers on kill (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dhalka226 (559740) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @10:30PM (#38522210)

      Three pages of stereotype. Here, let me summarize and save you wasting 5 minutes of your life. . . . . . "IT people are not the best communicators." [. . .] From experience, when managers "force" technical people to do something or provide something, the end result is a piece of garbage [. . .] This person doesn't get that most of the reasons IT folks "don't communicate" with those outside of IT is for a very basic reason . . . . . we start talking and we get BLANK STARES

      Isn't this a perfect example of the problem?

      Not all stereotypes are accurate, and they are certainly unfair to just blanket apply to all members of a particular group, virtually guaranteeing whatever accuracy they may have had has been diluted to nothing. At the same time, they do not tend to appear out of the ether. A stereotype exists for a reason.

      Take your response as an example, an attempt to deny and refute the article. Let me do the same to your quotes above as you did to the article: "IT people do not communicate with others because when they do the others don't understand and every time somebody else tries to get involved they fuck it up and produce garbage!" Isn't that exactly the attitude the article you're dismissing refers to? "This is my fiefdom and I don't want you involved because you clearly can't do it right" is a pretty damn strong case for saying that IT managers are aloof and poor communicators.

      Let me give you the perspective of the dean and other upper-level management folks: If you try to talk to them and you get blank stares in return, you are doing it wrong. If an IT manager is a highly technically competent person, that is an amazing advantage -- but they are, first and foremost, a manager. If their primary function was getting into the nuts and bolts, their position would not exist or at best would be called a "team leader." This person is a manager, and part of that is the ability to talk to those above them in terms that they understand. They do not need a boatload of technical details, they need a business case for what you are proposing. Why do we have to spend more on System A than System B? If it is physical interoperability, just say so. They do not need the specifics, and they will certainly understand "we need this set of features to talk to the systems we already have in place." Understand that they are not technical people, that is why they hired you, but that that does not mean they are not capable or should not be kept involved in the process. They like fancy charts and powerpoint presentations, not technical specification sheets.

      If the IT managers are not willing or capable of filling that role as a go-between between upper level management and ground-level workers, they are in the wrong position. That happens a lot, particularly since a lot of organizations see a managerial position as something you promote a good worker into as a reward for that work. That does not make them good managers, not by a long shot. Luckily, it also does not take a lot of effort to figure out how to talk to non-technical people such that they understand what is going on and are involved in the process. A lot of IT workers want IT to remain a mysterious black hole that nobody quite understands in some attempt at job security, but the reality is that if they do not see the value in what you do you're going to be the first ones out the door if times get tough. Possibly to their great detriment, but that is of small consolation to a swath of suddenly unemployed workers.

      A great IT manager is a good manager and a good technical person, able to liason between those two groups. A good IT manager is a good manager who isn't great with IT -- somebody able to keep upper management happy and, more importantly, off his workers' backs but who might not be technical enough to avoid his staff putting one over on him. A bad IT manager is somebody who can't manage worth a shit but is good with technology; they just end up micromanaging and getting in the way of the people actually hired to do the work, helping neither side at all.

    • First I will say that I have met a couple (and I mean two) IT department heads who were normal and ran their IT world well. But...
      I would say that the lines you disagree with are perfect descriptions of nearly all the IT heads that I have ever met and I have a good test. In all the straight-laced companies where you know their head(s) of IT how many had a "unique" style? That is long hair in a company full of crew cuts. (Or worse long hair on a receding hair line) Or were morbidly obese in a company where
  • by bertok (226922) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:23PM (#38521732)

    It might help to understand where the "typical IT manager" goes wrong by seeing how it can be done right.

    One of the first IT jobs I ever had was working for an IT manager of a ~150 user organisation. He was relatively new himself, which wasn't unusual because all of his predecessors were fired one after another. They just couldn't get along with management, couldn't make their needs understood, etc...

    This new guy is still there, over a decade later. Why? Because he talked to managers in their own language. Instead of turning up to monthly board meetings in jeans and saying some buzzword-laden crap, he'd turn up in an expensive suit, put on a gorgeous powerpoint presentation which very clearly showed simple charts and graphs of things like "this is going to hit zero in a month, and that's bad because it'll stop our business". Half the time, he didn't even explain that it was disk-space he was talking about, or put numbers on the graph axes. Every month, he'd turn up with nice consistent reports full of simple charts printed in colour onto glossy paper, ending with a simple multiple-choice business decisions with dollar figures and pros and cons.

    In the eyes of senior management, he turned IT from a dark pit where money is burned into a clearly separated set of projects and ongoing expenses that made sense to them. Yes, we have twice as many people now, so we're going to need twice as much storage. Obvious if stated right, not so obvious to someone who doesn't even know what "storage" really represents, why it runs out, and who uses it for what.

    Here's the thing though: He couldn't solve a computer problem to save his life. That didn't matter, because he just hired competent underlings to do that work.

    • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @10:01PM (#38522002)

      One of the first IT jobs I ever had was working for an IT manager ... He couldn't solve a computer problem to save his life. That didn't matter, because he just hired competent underlings to do that work.

      And that is the EXACT purpose of a manager. One of my recent managers was very similar to this guy - and probably the best manager I have ever worked for. He didn't know didly squat about the technologies we use, couldn't write a SQL statement to select 1 from dual, but he freely admitted to it on day one. He went to all the senior management meetings as prepared as he could be. If he didn't have an answer, he asked us after the meeting and then followed up with our recommendations. The senior management team loved his work because they were getting real answers and our team worked very efficiently. We enjoyed working within his team because he was always on top of things, had a well organized plan for our work - but most of all because he interjected himself between any business user and us when they came bearing work or requests.

      Our teams profile rose greatly because we were able to provide a LOT more work to the rest of them due to this single manager. Sadly for us though, he has moved on to bigger and better things (though good for him) and our team is now being led by three managers who combined are no-where near as good as him. Shame really.

      • by dbc (135354)

        One of the first IT jobs I ever had was working for an IT manager ... He couldn't solve a computer problem to save his life. That didn't matter, because he just hired competent underlings to do that work.

        If he didn't have an answer, he asked us after the meeting and then followed up with our recommendations.

        Yes, this. I found in my time as a pointy-hair type (not IT management, engineering management) that the most powerful question I could ask of one of my staff is: "What do you recommend?" -- Hell, their is no way I could keep up with all the technology. I expected my staff to teach me how it worked (enough of it anyway) that I could make sensible plans. Another powerful question is: "What do you need in order to make it happen?" This question only works if you actually pay attention to the answer and act

    • Great post.

    • by donaldm (919619)
      There is more to being an IT manager than just presenting pretty graphs.

      Any professional IT manager should be capable of understanding technical matters raised by his colleagues (the word "underlings" is not something you should use in an IT environment) and how to present that information to non technical people in words or graphs that they can understand. In fact the IT manager must have a firm grasp on IT related matters which actually includes software, hardware, networks as well as being aware what e
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:32PM (#38521814)
    If more women would sleep with us, we'd be nicer people!
  • I used to work in IT back before I went to college. Without fail, every single coworker I ever had had some sort of weird fetish with being "in charge" of everyone else's data. Regular venting is normal of course, but I found myself constantly having to remind people that we existed only as janitors to support and digitally clean up after everyone else. It seemed to just be some huge inferiority complex.
    • High tech janitors. Or if you prefer, acting as the motor oil to keep the engine (company) running smoothly and efficiently. There is nothing wrong with performing a supportive role that benefits an organization for the greater good.

      As a sysadmin myself, feel free to call me a janitor. I'll wear that as a badge of honor.

  • by hawks5999 (588198) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @09:49PM (#38521906)
    ...what our co-workers think.
  • It's called scope creep. IT isn't all that much smarter than most of the workers in an organization, they're just a lot smarter than management. Management, for some odd reason, are the stupidest people in most companies. I think it must take a special kind of idiot to "go along" with upper management, so the best idiots get the best management positions. You mention to an idiot that it's "possible" to get their most favorite software onto a smartphone and the next thing you know you're the project lead on
  • by ferrisoxide.com (1935296) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @10:10PM (#38522052) Homepage
    Research confirms what IT managers have long suspected, organisational psychologists are perceived as "manipulative" and "self serving".

    "I really don't like talking to them," says 20-year IT veteran Charles ("Heap Space") Edwards. "They always seem to have some agenda on their mind, but they can never tell you what it is short of wooly motherhood statements. I want precision, but I've never seen a decent spec come out of the OrgPsy team".

    According to the report, 9 out of 10 IT managers "wouldn't piss on an organisational psychologists if their keyboard was on fire".
    • by bmo (77928)

      Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

      --
      BMO

  • A badly structured IT department will end up being a bad IT department. A typical scenario is that nobody knows what exactly the IT department does and ignores it until it explodes. Then they rain fire upon the heads of IT. How many IT people have done the heroic all night'er putting out some huge fire because the company was basically non functional while some system was down. These IT departments then become highly risk adverse and become the "Department-Of-NO!!!" This is a reasonable reaction to this str
  • As a former IT type: (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hartree (191324) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @10:37PM (#38522278)

    I'm not aloof. I'm just an asshole. Get it right!

    And get the frack out of my office!

  • What does it mean to 'reign supreme'? It means whatever you say is gospel, and whatever you say that needs to be done is carried out by whomever, your superiors and your subordinates. There aren't many hurdles to what you want to do and what you expect to do.

    If this is what she believes "reign supreme" means - then yes, IT departments reign supreme. If this is not desirable, why does the rest of the business allow this to happen?

    Because the answers to IT questions, much like other engineering related prof

  • They don't divulge what they know because it would most likely be a security breach if they do so. Why do the user community in a company feel that they need to know the details of how the corporate IT infrastructure operates?
  • by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @11:13PM (#38522476) Homepage Journal

    The only hard-nosed "dictator" manager I ever had was actually my shop-floor customer in one of my early jobs working at Northern Telecom. But it turned out it was just how he measured people's skills and knowledge -- if you weren't willing to defend your ideas against his "attack", he felt you hadn't thought things through and needed to go back to the drawing board.

    Once you earned his respect by arguing your ideas successfully a few times, he became a real joy to work with because he respected your opinion without you having to prove you were willing to defend it again.

    Maybe if more IT staff took and applied their courses in logical discourse and philosophical arguments, they'd be better prepared for dealing with such management styles. Too many of my co-workers over the years were lousy speakers and presenters, and couldn't convince anyone they were right about anything, so they were always frustrated and claiming that everyone was against them.

    Try Toastmasters or sign up for some philosophy courses at your local university. If you need the practice at presenting an argument, it's invaluable and a lot of fun.

    Don't blame people for "not understanding" if you don't know how to express yourself.

  • by herojig (1625143) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @11:32PM (#38522594) Homepage
    As a retired IT manager of 25 years... albeit I was a dino even a decade ago, I don't agree with this assessment. 1) I was never aloof, always super friendly to all, and made my mark by being open with non-IT folks, going the entire 9 yards to explain and communicate - YET- 2) I don't think I was all that successful. I am not sure non-IT folks ever understood (or could) no matter what the effort, and 3) this gained me no respect within the IT community, which would have rather had me keep my mouth shut and spend my time helping them get ahead instead. It was a rough situation.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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