What IT Workers Think, Versus What They Actually Do

October 6, 2016

What's really going on in an IT person's mind when you forget your password... again

The life of an IT worker, particularly an IT help desk worker, can occasionally be… frustrating. The reality is, the vast majority of IT tickets are either user error or the solution is clearly laid out in a help section somewhere.

And yet, despite that, IT pros (mostly) keep it professional. Even for the most outrageous requests, they answer the questions calmly and do their best to solve the problem.

Underneath though, they are thinking something very different.

This article aims to translate that. Here are common situations IT help desk pros face, and what they generally do – as opposed to what they truly are thinking.

  • Scenario 1: My password doesn’t work.

What the IT professional does: "No problem, I’ll reset it for you."

What they are thinking: Mildly annoyed, but no big deal.

  • Scenario 2: My password still doesn’t work.

What the IT professional does: "Let me try resetting it again for you."

What they are thinking: Caps lock. Caps lock. Caps lock.

  • Scenario 3: Seriously, my password doesn’t work.

What the IT professional does: "Okay, I can reset it for you one more time."

What they are thinking: I wonder if I can just sneak out of here and start my life over again…

  • Scenario 4: The Internet is too slow.

What the IT professional does: "Let me look into that."

What they are thinking: While I’m at it, I’ll also ensure it doesn’t rain all week. And we achieve world peace. 

  • Scenario 5: Somebody asks you a question that’s readily available in the help section.

What the IT professional does: Literally reads the page off of the help section.

What they are thinking: This is a fantastic use of my time.

  • Scenario 6: A person is upset over something not working and begins yelling over the phone at the IT professional about how this is ruining their life.

What the IT professional does: Calmly responds to the person’s problems while sympathizing with their plight.

What they are thinking: There’s a 98 percent chance this problem is your fault.

  • Scenario 7: Person says their computer straight up doesn’t work.

What the IT professional does: Troubleshoots the problem until a solution is found.

What they are thinking: Yea, power buttons can be tricky.

  • Scenario 8: You are on the phone with someone and they are having difficulty following any directions or giving you a clear explanation of what’s going on.

What the IT professional does: Tries their best to work with the person until they eventually give up and take over the screen, if possible.

What they are thinking: There’s this thing called computers, they’re pretty popular. You should totally look into them sometime.

  • Scenario 9: A person has a problem and the IT professional handles it swiftly. The person kindly and genuinely thanks the IT pro.

What the IT professional does: "No problem, that’s what I’m here for."

What they are thinking: I actually feel appreciated! Thank you very much. (Disclaimer: scenario not typical).

*Image by Allan Rotgers, Flickr

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