Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Get Me out of Here; JUST THE JOB

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Get Me out of Here; JUST THE JOB

Article excerpt

Byline: MARGARET COLES

We are driving the IT guys mad, says Margaret Coles, with our constant, inane queries

IN the hectic life of an IT systems troubleshooter, up to 20 hours a month are wasted because of the familiar problem of the IAK - the Idiot At the Keyboard.

Most of our pleas for help an amazing 86 per cent - are for ludicrously simple things that we ought to be able to deal with ourselves. A survey of 500 top IT specialists reports that two-thirds are often called in to repair a "broken" monitor, only to find that it has not been plugged in. More than half are regularly asked to unblock paper jams in printers and to change toner cartridges; and nearly half regularly deal with complaints about shortage of email space from people who never delete old messages.

Any PA will point out that IAK syndrome does not just waste the teccies' time - for which they get paid - but encroaches on your time, too.

If you frequently have cause to point out that you are not the IT Help Desk, the following "top five" demands may be familiar: Why isn't my monitor working?

My printer's jammed: can you make it print properly?

Why can't I send any more emails?

Please could you format this for me?

Why won't it let me save on a floppy disk?

Andrew Chapman, an IT service manager with the Agilon Group, says: "The most common complaint is, 'my monitor doesn't work'. I ask, 'Have you checked the

plug?' and they say 'Oh, no, it's not plugged in'. It happens all the time; it's unbelievable. People just don't think. Someone once sent me a letter in the internal post, saying he had a problem with a CD, and enclosing a photocopy of the actual CD. Someone else called me on a mobile, saying his PC wasn't working - though he knew that the entire building and street were having a power cut. Another call was from someone who was having trouble getting through to another branch. It turned out that she had unplugged the router that connected her branch to the rest of the company the night before, to plug in her hair-drier, and had forgotten to plug it back in again. …

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