• AP (unregistered)

    Frist please! Thank you...

  • WTF (unregistered)

    All lies. Other jobs are scary and terrifying and I think this OP wants to make us retire so he can steal our jobs. Or something.

    I don't know, maybe I just like the abuse. Or I work for an IT company that doesn't treat it's employees like cattle. One or the other.

  • (nodebb)

    I do find it amusing/sad how rude people are to IT professionals. Like, every idiot in sales/accounting/management thinks their problem is the only important thing in the world and needs to be done RIGHT NOW. Clients are worse. It's like.. learn some fucking manners instead of trying to be a bully.

  • Herr Otto Flick (unregistered)

    Like we don't abuse the users as well..

  • Quite (unregistered)

    Never had that problem in the UK. I wonder if it's national.

    As for our "offshore" teams, they are the model of politesse.

    On the other hand, when I spent 3 months in Canada, I found them to be the rudest people I'd ever met. (Mind, the Jordanians soon took their crown and completely redesigned it.)

  • Dave (unregistered)

    The thing about IT is that the career progression, if you're good, is so fast that many people are constantly lacking the confidence they should have, because they feel like they're doing a job they're not quite ready for. That leads to doing things that they'd never dream of agreeing to if they'd been at that level longer.

    The day I decided I was going to pick my clients rather than the other way around was the day everyone started asking me to work for them. You don't lose by acting like a senior professional who can choose his jobs, you get treated as if you have the skills to match your manner.

  • Felipe (unregistered)

    I worked for a while in the financial industry, as a portfolio manager. This sort of abuse is not reserved for IT, but is instead spread fairly equally for everyone. Friends that have worked in retail (again, not in IT capacity) have told me similar stories.

    My current heuristic to guess assholiness is more related to industry than job description.

  • Angus (unregistered)

    Anyone have a link to the article mentioned in the header?

  • Geek (unregistered)

    I think it's an ingrained part of US culture which is being, sadly, exported.

    I wonder if it has something to do with tipping? When you control whether a person will have enough money for groceries on the way home by whether you give a small tip or a large one, maybe you get the feeling that you own the person, at least in part.

    Or maybe it comes from the US having a history of slavery?

    IT may be a more extreme case, possibly because of ignorance on the part of the customers - they believe we can fix all their problems in seconds, and that any failure to fix something instantly is a deliberate affront. Maybe it's partly our fault because we have fixed things in seconds before!

    I have to admit that I'm not that far from retirement myself. Maybe that's why I say please and thank you?

  • Peter Korsten (google)

    Odd. Maybe you worked at the wrong companies, or as others have opined, in the wrong country. There's the occasional ill-m,annered buffoon (and occasionally, that was I), but my experience is that people do make an effort to be polite and understanding. The Indian off-shore team took politeness to a whole new level.

  • Rob Johnson (unregistered)

    The problem with IT seems to be that, in making computers more 'accessible', the users somehow feel the know enough about the system to know what it /should/ do. This disconnection between the end users and those who build/maintain the system is obvious, but I can't say for sure what specifically causes it. But it's absolutely true that end users seem to show appalling respect for these people; I hear endless horror stories coming out of our IT department, such as an infrastructure person (who does not deal with end-user support) being accosted by a sales manager over the phone, demanding a WebEx password (which the poor guy didn't know, nor did he know where to find it), manager would not accept that answer and threatened to report him to the CTO... and then suddenly he remembers the password and instantly hangs up. No apology.

    Snoofle's right on the money that end users feel so /entitled/ to a perfect working system, perhaps because effective marketing of anything computer-related has promised nothing short of magic. Maybe that's the link, that people take an Arthur C. Clarke view. On the other hand, something they can see is a difficult job, such as warehouse work, physical objects, etc. actually makes them think that the employee is hired for a reason. IT, we all seem to be monkeys pushing the 'make work' button, and when it goes wrong, it's cos we haven't pushed the button today.

    The sad fact is that a lot of these idiots are also the ones who bullied geeks back in school. Although chances are a geek now ultimately owns the company they're working for (so those particular people get the last laugh), there's still enough poindexters down the ladder keeping the engines running who don't have enough sway to stop it.

  • Peter (unregistered)

    Impolite demands usually end up at the bottom of the stack.

    Don't piss off the people who can help you. #1 rule of the workplace, and it's surprising how many people don't understand it. A smile and a polite request, along with a little something at Christmas goes an awful long way, when you're up a creek without a paddle later in the year.

  • George (unregistered)

    Do Wall Street traders patronize the box store much?

  • snoofle (unregistered) in reply to George

    In my personal experience, other than springing for expensive lunches (on the company's nickel), they are notoriously cheap SOBs.

  • operagost (unregistered) in reply to Geek

    Nearly every nation in the world has a history of slavery. And rudeness is not limited to the USA.

    Grow up.

  • Pista (unregistered)

    Might be that the businesses and business areas that invest heavily in IT are the greediest (that's why they invest in IT in the first place, to save on labor costs). Greedy people are callous and will be rude with everybody.

  • Bruce W (unregistered)

    they don't assume "Magic Happens Here"

    This. IT in Corporate America has been long siloed aside leading the business users to assume that IT is akin to Magic. "Throw the problem over the wall to IT - they'll figure it out." This mentality at my current company makes me laugh VERY hard when IT leadership pushes Agile. Agile assumes close integration with the requirements holders. But at my company getting them ("them" meaning the business leaders who actually have the authority to make decisions) to just show up to one meeting per sprint to prioritize users stories is next to impossible.

  • JustSaying (unregistered) in reply to operagost

    You do realize that you're posting in a thread called "Basic Manners", right?

  • CrazyEyes (unregistered) in reply to JustSaying

    Like your passive-aggressive bullshit is any more polite? Hah. Don't go down this path; it's an infinite chain.

  • Kashim (unregistered) in reply to Geek

    Just about every nation in the world has a history of slavery at some point, and not all of them have this problem, so I would suggest that the two are very likely unrelated. Same with tipping.

    I think the core problem is the ignorance (not necessarily intentional) of the clients. A lot of people have very little understanding of what IT actually does, and almost nobody actually understands how we do it. Because of that, two requests that a client may deem equally problematic (ex. "My Mailbox is full, I need more space." and "I'd like to get access to my files from home") the first one has a very easy 5 minute fix, while the second may take hours-weeks of negotiation with higher-powers, ISPs, and then may end up being nearly impossible (Yes, VPN is the solution, and everyone knows it, but there are cases where they are impractical). They see the 5 minute fix on the first problem, and then get annoyed when the second problem isn't solved just as quickly.

    This isn't just in our industry. Ever been annoyed by "Why isn't this road construction done yet?" It's because the road was friggin' concrete, not asphalt, making the whole job 1000 times harder, or because the previous contractor set up the base wrong, but we see road A get fixed in a month, and road B takes 2 years, and we don't understand why, so we get annoyed with the construction people. "Why isn't my food out yet?" at a restaurant? Because the cook is slammed. "But it was out in 10 minutes last time I was here." Because the cook wasn't slammed then.

    The core of the problem: some nations and cultures are more patient than others. The United States is a private-sector, "time-is-money" nation. When people feel like their time is wasted, and they don't understand why, they feel like someone is arbitrarily wasting their money. Nations that don't have this problem are the ones where people are taught patience and empathy from a very young age.

  • Centax (unregistered)

    I'm part of a 2 person team that handles all IT for a small municipal government pop 14000 or so. I interact with users everyday and they are unfailingly kind to me and I return that kindness. They are always apologizing for having to call me over and I always assure them that it's my job to help them. Here's the catch. I doubt I make anywhere close to what some of you are making. But I wouldn't trade my 5 minute commute and wonderful coworkers for double what I make now.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Kashim

    "I think the core problem is the ignorance (not necessarily intentional) of the clients. A lot of people have very little understanding of what IT actually does, and almost nobody actually understands how we do it. Because of that, two requests that a client may deem equally problematic (ex. "My Mailbox is full, I need more space." and "I'd like to get access to my files from home") the first one has a very easy 5 minute fix, while the second may take hours-weeks of negotiation with higher-powers, ISPs, and then may end up being nearly impossible (Yes, VPN is the solution, and everyone knows it, but there are cases where they are impractical). They see the 5 minute fix on the first problem, and then get annoyed when the second problem isn't solved just as quickly."

    That's because the client sees both problems as IT problems (and he's right, as it happens), the solution to the first is (mostly)(1) an IT thing, but the solution to the second is (mostly) a human thing.(2)

    (1) There might be policy-related reasons for not granting his request, but once that hurdle is overcome, the actual solution is really simple.

    (2) Well, sort of. Some parts of the pathway from an idealised employee's home to the files are easy to define and create. Others require some sort of work. Still others are entirely human problems. Perhaps the real employee has an ISP that doesn't support VPNs (e.g. applies NAT all over AND blocks access to NAT-T flows and other charming habits) without an upgrade to a business service that doesn't support (insert home-user service of choice). Maybe the employee unexpectedly has an ISP that gives IPv6 access(3) and your VPN server doesn't support it, but the client software won't fall back to IPv4 correctly. Perhaps the company rules require a specially-equipped laptop for access to company files, AND a VPN, and getting the laptop requires nine layers of management approval. Who knows?

    (3) This does happen on some consumer ISPs. I have it at home, and FTTH not provided by Google.

  • P. Volk (unregistered)

    I think a major part of it is regard. IT people generally didn't have a 4-year degree, and by the people who consider themselves the 'talent' (be it sales, trading, or engineering), and also probably (wrongly) considered to be tinkering with the system that worked, and that people got used to. Software is probably worse than most, because of the geek competition factor. But I've learned over the years as a troubleshooter that it pays to be nice to everyone. Or try to. When conversation is easy, you can find out valuable clues, and you make the bigheads look ridiculous without having to say anything.

  • MeRp (unregistered) in reply to Geek

    Pretty much everywhere has a history of slavery, so that probably isn't it.

  • Another Anon (unregistered) in reply to Quite

    I'll admit, the bas-relief of goatse they added to the front of the crown was a nice touch.

  • Herby (unregistered)

    My father told me "Patience is a Virtue". I try to be the patient one. My biggest problem is my wife, who has her own personal IT department (me) and from past experience thinks I can solve ANYTHING. She has no patience (at all) so I have to make up for it. She was trained as an MD, and while I don't know all of a doctor's training, they seem to assume that the have underlings to pick up after them and fix things. Lord knows I've done my share of "fixing" things over the many years of being married. This impatience even comes into play when she is a passenger in my vehicle. She sees the light turn green, and even if we are five card back, she expects to go NOW. If that isn't happening, she reaches over and starts beeping the horn. Yup, impatience. And so it goes. For the most part I can deal with this and having been in "IT" for many many moons, the experience has taught me greatly.

    Yes, patience is a virtue, and manners is part of the total picture. Teddy Rosevelt said it nicely: "Speak softly and carry a big stick". Hopefully you won't need the "big stick" (aka BOFH mode).

    Life goes on.

  • (nodebb)

    No, I think the bigger problem is that in most companies you have someone (usually a manager type) who is spoiled and feels entitled to anything they want, and God help you if they have to wait. So you end up, even if your direct manager or even their direct manager is reasonable, there's always somebody up on the foot chain who refuses to hear the word "no" and throws a fit or starts hurling threats if they don't get their way; literally acting like a spoiled 5-year old whose been told that they can't have a piece of candy so they start knocking things down in the store.

    It's these kind of people who have to be dealt with, because that's the reason for the rudeness. Somebody feels that everyone else is beneath them and therefore an object of contempt and scorn.

  • Ulysses (unregistered)

    Reminds me of Dilbert's Knack. "Can he lead a normal life?" I won't spoil the punchline.

  • wizzleard (unregistered) in reply to Geek

    because of slavery? what the fuck are you smoking? this is like when people try to rationalize an entire generation..."millenials don't care about houses, they want experiences"...or maybe THEY'RE RELATIVELY FUCKING YOUNG. actually, you're right. slavery is also the reason i don't start my sentances with capital letters...wtf...

  • JustMe (unregistered)

    I think it's more related to industry or region, or both. As a software engineer in New England, I've rarely run into people who are rude as described to IT people. Having said that, one time our IT person was dealing with an issue near my cubicle and I said Hi. He looked up, expecting me to make a request. I said I'm not having any problems at all, and thank you. He looked like he was about to cry for a moment, then he composed himself. It was a little embarrassing. Even if most people in a company are considerate, it only takes one to spoil it.

  • Lerch98 (unregistered) in reply to wizzleard

    Way to go. Excellent reponse to geek.

  • Toby J (unregistered) in reply to Dave

    Couldn't agree more. Sadly, I've seen many colleagues make their own bed of not valuing themselves or their time, then they get frustrated when they're treated poorly.

    If you're constantly checking your email all night and weekend long, replying to non-essential requests on your own time, etc., that's what people will come to expect of you.

  • Lerch98 (unregistered)

    I used to be an auto mechanic back in the eighties. Most people are nice, but once in a while the customer would be a total skank or MF Asshole. Usually these types fell into two groups; 1)Bitch ass women, or 2) some guy who thinks he knows everything about cars. As for #2, I would say to them, if you know every thing about cars, why did you bring your car in to have an idiot work on it, and as for the first group, I would say, I was as stupid as you say I would have fucked up your car and not gave a damn. In these situations, I would usually pull the car off the hoist and park it out back and give the bitch her keys, and she would say some thing like; I'm going to get the manager and he'll fix your wagon" (I'm being nice here). I remember one time, this bitch (that's a nice term for her) was mouthin' off and yelling at me telling me I'm stupid and in competent. I pulled her car out and parked it, gave her keys back as she is having a hissy fit. Meanwhile this guy comes in with a problem and is very polite and nice. I started working on his car, in fact he was so nice I welded up his exhaust system for free. Morale of the story, be nice to your auto mechanic.

  • Barf 4Eva (unregistered) in reply to CrazyEyes

    spoken like a true asshole! ahhh shit, infinite cycle... and I am just a tooth on a gear...


  • HorusKol (unregistered)

    Definitely an industry/organisation based thing:

    I've jumped through different industries and setups - my career started doing IT support and HVAC software development and support in the construction industry. Contract managers and project clients behaved pretty much like financial types - lots of shouting, lots of swearing, and lots of abuse. I jumped over into web development for clients, and found the clients there were about 50/50 (some clients even had donuts delivered to us as a thank you). Now working for an in-house development team - and everyone in the organisation behave politely and just like people at the box store.

  • Quite (unregistered) in reply to operagost

    Goodness, how rude. You must be American.

  • ichbinkeinroboter (unregistered) in reply to P. Volk

    Er, I have the 4-year degree, and many others that I know in the industry (UK). I thought that was the norm but I'm old and out of date - no doubt, it isn't true nowadays.

    Interestingly, here in Germany, If I understand correctly it takes a 2-3 year "apprenticeship" just to work as a shop assistant / sales(wo)man, jobs we consider in the UK to need minimal training. Germans seem to think even these jobs require you to know a bit about your business...

    I don't know if it makes Germans politer to their shop sales staff, but the sales staff are the very opposite of servile! (but helpful, and do generally know what they are talking about to a detailed level)

  • Quite (unregistered) in reply to Lerch98

    This is good in all situations.

    "I am so sorry that our level of service has not met your expectations. We are devastated to have caused you disappointment. We deeply regret that we have been unable to satisfy you, and wish to take every possible measure to ensure that we never again provide you a service with which you are disappointed. In order to achieve this aim, we have a foolproof strategy: that you are no longer subject to our humble and substandard service. Hence it is with regret that we will no longer be able to serve you. Please beware of the automatic closing mechanism on our egress door -- it has been known to be a little fierce, and the possibility of it making contact with your posterior as you depart is non-vanishing."

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Kashim

    "Just about every nation in the world has a history of slavery at some point, and not all of them have this problem, so I would suggest that the two are very likely unrelated. Same with tipping."

    You might be surprised. A country's relationship with slavery can inform current culture. Just as an example, you will be hard-pressed to find anyone in the Caribbean - an area, not a country, natch - who will take pride in any kind of customer service role, precisely because it's seen as servility of the kind that was forced on the majority of the population in the era of slavery.

    Given how much the US job market is undoubtedly distorted by the legacies of slavery, its not in any way an unreasonable proposition - although it was badly framed by the OP.

  • Bob (unregistered) in reply to Dave

    "Given how much the US job market is undoubtedly distorted by the legacies of slavery"

    Oh...there's plenty of doubt about that non-sequitur.

  • Hannes (unregistered)

    Well, I only have a few years (not even a decade) of work experience under my belt, and I only worked for three companies so far, but I've never experienced any abuse whatsover. People don't know what I do (developing software) so they don't come in pretending to know everything better and they don't expect me to work crazy hours. Oh, and I've never been called in the middle of the night. That's the benefit of being a SD instead of being an admin, I guess.

  • LzzrdBorth (unregistered) in reply to Quite

    On the other hand, when I spent 3 months in Canada, I found them to be the rudest people I'd ever met That wasn't Quebec, was it?

  • Dave (unregistered)

    I've noticed problems with certain individuals and if those individuals are in a position of responsibility then their underlings have a tendency to mimic that behaviour.

    I find that if someone is being rude to me when they want a service from me it tends to be because they are stressed out and frustrated with something prior to reaching me. It helps to bear that in mind. Very few people fail to say thank you after I have dealt with them. Personally I find telephone call systems and poorly thought out customer service processes coupled with "that's somebody else's problem" attitudes put me in a frame of mind when I am not as polite as I should be.

    I notice certain nationalities have higher expectations of what service levels should be and are somewhat more assertive when they perceive the service to be below par.

  • (nodebb)

    Congratulations, snoofle, on finding yourself a comfortable home, as it were! Like a lot of folks here, I was bummed to lose your great WTF's when you left the industry, but I knew it would be better for you. I'm glad you get to do fun stuff without all of the headaches.

  • Some Guy in Oz (unregistered)

    I think it totally depends on where you are. I've worked for complete SoB's whose customers were wonderful, and vice versa. I worked support for one megacorp where the one time someone was rude they rang back the next day and apologised. I was somewhat surprised to have some VP in charge of Important State ring up and explain that he was very sorry and should not have taken his bad day out on me. He wasn't even American level rude, just "I don't give a s!!t about the process, get me another fing laptop that fking works I am over this s!!!t" type venting. Which, per procedure, I hung up on him and got my team leader to handle it.

    I find that the combination of listening and being responsive, avoiding jobs where the job description includes "a-hole", and a good solid look of disbelief works wonders. Oh, and being able to afford to walk away, and having people know it. The latter one only the SoBs will care about, but they will care. Possibly eventually.

  • airdrummer (unregistered) in reply to Herr Otto Flick

    yeah, techies r not ones to complain about manners or arrogance:-} otoh, it's hard 2 contain one's sarcasm when trying to coach the typical microserf: "it's too hard to re-type the website[url] you emailed me" "just cut&paste it" "how do i do that?" "u know how to cut&paste in word, right?" "yes, but how do i get it into the internet[browser]?" [me trying not to explode]

  • MitchG (unregistered)

    Late to the party, but I wanted to add my 2 cents. I guess because this is an issue that most people in IT face, it resonates. I think it all boils down to the way that computers and software have been treated culturally. For whatever reason they've been portrayed as something you either get entirely ("programmers know everything about computers"), or do not get at all. Because many people feel they cannot understand if they tried, they don't bother to understand at all. This creates feelings of inferiority, or even superiority over IT people. Inferiority for those that feel stupid for not understanding. Superiority for those that have felt better about not understanding by dismissing techies as socially-derelict nerds. Both situations create hostility when they need something. It doesn't help when the nerds are perceived to be arrogant (whether fairly or not).

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