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How can you make IT’s life–and thus your own–a little easier?

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in Admin Pro Forum

Question: “I always leave my interactions with the IT department feeling a little foolish about tech, and with the sense I’ve interrupted them with my needs. Since I always have to ask IT’s help for everything from reviving a dead keyboard to getting the network to behave, are there ways I can present my daily problems to them so that both our jobs are made easier?” – Ronald, Mail Coordinator

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Joan December 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I agree with Mere and Dana.
We are not very big but the work load is such that we don’t have the time to do a web search, figure out the terminology, and implement a chosen “fix”. Our IT much prefers to fix it themselves rather than have “amateurs” messing with “their” computers. And a batch of brownies with a note of appreciation now and then is ALWAYS welcomed with smiles!

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Marcia December 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I use the help feature first & if I can’t figure out what the problem is or how to do something, I send an e-mail if the problem isn’t something critical & call IT if it’s something that needs immediate attention. Often they suggest rebooting & I try to do that before I contact IT.
A lot of times, IT can remote into my computer & help fix things that way if necessary.
Our IT department is very good & very patient, especially since we have about 300 employees.

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Nancy November 30, 2012 at 10:26 am

I’m on both sides of the coin – I provide first level support as well as requesting 2nd level support when needed. Most of your IT staff are going to welcome being asked to assist you, and most really do want you to have the tools necessary to do your job. Don’t be afraid to call them when you’re really stuck. When you do call them, be as specific as possible – not “i can’t print” but “I’m getting an error when I send a job to X printer.” and then if you can, tell them what the error said. It saves time and frustration.

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Kris M November 30, 2012 at 8:25 am

You should not feel bad about asking for assistance; the IT department is there to provide support to the company – you are part of the company. The assistance you are requesting helps you do the job you are being paid to do. Just check the very basics first ; all cables are connected securely and then maybe try re-booting your system. It this does not help then you should contact your IT department.

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b November 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I make sure I’ve tried the basics first. (Are my cord connections tight? Did restarting my computer fix it? Is anyone else having this problem? Has anyone else reported it?) Then I go to IT. I’ll send an email explaining the problem, anything I’ve tried, and how soon I need it fixed. (An email seems to be less of an interruption than a phone call or walking into their offices.) Most important of all, I keep a polite and thankful attitude. (The worst thing you can do is to take your frustration out on the IT staff.) Finally, I send a quick thank you email and if appropriate, copy their boss.

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Marty November 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm

If I find hat I have had a long stretch of asking for assistance, I may brng in some cookies or some chocolate. It’s a small way of letting them know they are appreciated.

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Dana Morvak November 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I let IT know that I am “technologically challenged” and need their expertise. I also tell them that I might have to come back to them if I don’t understand what they tell me to do or if I have the same problem. This seems to help build a relationship and keeps things light. One other thing I do is to make sure that I don’t make every issue an emergency. Somethings have a work around and I let them know that also.

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L November 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I try and stay as updated as I can with technology by subscribing to several websites that distribute daily IT updates. Being a baby boomer, I often feel behind the curve but reading the daily tips certainly help. Keep in mind, too, that most IT personnel love what they do and are more than willing to help out.

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Mere November 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm

First, I would ask if client service (you being the client) is part of the IT groups regular responsibilities. If so, then I would not feel bad about asking them to spend time doing what they were hired to do. That said, I always try to “learn” when I have IT helping me out and try to ask questions that will help me prevent the same problem from reoccuring. I know all companies are different, but we have several networks, multiple servers and offsite data centers worldwide, so I am sure our IT folks would rather fix something right themselves, then have to fix something after my “fix” might have made it worse. As with any situation, treat them with respect for the professionals they are and be friendly and generous (especially with your “pleases” and “thank yous”).

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Barbie M November 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Personally, I try to solve many issues on my own by googling my problems first. If I can’t figure out what to do or if I require a network administrator in order to continue problem-solving, then I contact IT. I try to make the Help Desk my last resort.

If searching online seems a little difficult, try at least understanding the terminology IT uses.

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