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Is it IT's job to babysit or teach?

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Posted (edited)

First, let me start with my definitions.

 

Babysit: Do everything for them, presume they know absolutely nothing. Making little to no effort to be proactive in making sure they know basic functions

Teach: Do the hard stuff for them, expect them to have a common knowledge of how to use their computers (in which they work on everyday). Be proactive in making sure they know how to perform basic functions.

Common Knowledge: Ability to navigate a Windows Machine, such as accessing programs from the start menu, using USB drives, copy and paste, moving files, etc. Also being able to follow directions. 

 

My co-worker and I have a different view on this. I think people should be forced to know the basic functions, he says people don't care and that it's our job to do it for them. 

 

What are your opinions on this overall? 

Edited by jeston
Edited per OP request.
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If you need to use a computer to do your job, you should know how to do your job yourself and know the basics. Now, if something more technical comes along, but all means...ask for assistance. However, I would expect that person to take notes or retain that info for future use. I have my own job...I am not going to do someone elses.

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What are your opinions on this overall? 

 

I've been in a situation where, after having to fix something (the same thing) for a user a number of times, I've offered to show said user the steps.

 

To which said user got mad and I was told, "I don't care, JUST MAKE IT WORK".

 

That's what I get for prompt service.  What I've found is that the longer a user has to wait for someone to show up for a fix, the more they're willing to learn how to fix something themselves.

 

No more Mr. Nice Guy.

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I've found that the more ignorant they are, the more they yell, some people are just jerks

 

 

First, let me start with my definitions.

 

Babysit: Do everything for them, presume they know absolutely nothing. Making little to no effort to be proactive in making sure they know basic functions

Teach: Do the hard stuff for them, expect them to have a common knowledge of how to use their computers (in which they work on everyday). Be proactive in making sure they know how to perform basic functions.

Common Knowledge: Ability to navigate a Windows Machine, such as accessing programs from the start menu, using USB drives, copy and paste, moving files, etc. Also being able to follow directions. 

 

My co-worker and I have a different view on this. I think people should be forced to know the basic functions, he says people don't care and that it's our job to do it for them. 

 

An example. I swapped a computer out last night before I left. Data transferring overnight onto an external. Our computers are imaged the same way, the only differences are a few shortcuts we create. I left a note how to get going in the am. IE. Do this to login. To access your email, open outlook and click continue until you see your mail, and if you need your files before I get in, feel free to grab them off the USB drive sitting on your laptop. So I get yelled at for not doing everything for them because she didn't know the basic functions. 

 

What are your opinions on this overall? 

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That's what I get for prompt service.  What I've found is that the longer a user has to wait for someone to show up for a fix, the more they're willing to learn how to fix something themselves.

I will purposely delay service at times. At least 1/2 the time (give or take), the user will figure it out themselves.

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If you babysit, you'll have the same problems over and over again. If you teach, people will learn how to solve some of their own problems.

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I will purposely delay service at times. At least 1/2 the time (give or take), the user will figure it out themselves.

oh I also use the "scotty" technique (from star trek)... tell people it will take twice as long as you know it takes, then when it's done fast they think your great :p

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Babysitting people is what will burn you out. People need to have some self reliance. It's absolutely unacceptable to have to babysit people through navigating the start menu. With that said, from time to time, I do end up helping with basic stuff like this because the people really are that stupid sometimes.

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oh I also use the "scotty" technique (from star trek)... tell people it will take twice as long as you know it takes, then when it's done fast they think your great :p

I do to, but it also depends. If the person I am helping is cute, I will take a longer time or give them a quicker response to their problem. haha

I always over estimate anyway since sometimes something unexpected happens and you need the extra time.

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Posted

i am not certain of many other places however, i have taken it upon myself at each of the locations i have worked to not just fix problems but educate as to what caused the problem and steps to take to prevent it from happening.

 

Since i have been working at my current company (19 months now) I have been able to create an entire section on SharePoint for self help as well as education on how to do certain tasks. And in conjunction with our training department we have started doing basic how to classes for things once a month.

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. . .Both.

 

That is really their job. . .as a former IT director (IFS - Information Systems) my people were there to do training, help desk, and repairs (covers a large area) along with whatever other task may apply.

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First, let me start with my definitions.

 

Babysit: Do everything for them, presume they know absolutely nothing. Making little to no effort to be proactive in making sure they know basic functions

Teach: Do the hard stuff for them, expect them to have a common knowledge of how to use their computers (in which they work on everyday). Be proactive in making sure they know how to perform basic functions.

Common Knowledge: Ability to navigate a Windows Machine, such as accessing programs from the start menu, using USB drives, copy and paste, moving files, etc. Also being able to follow directions. 

 

My co-worker and I have a different view on this. I think people should be forced to know the basic functions, he says people don't care and that it's our job to do it for them. 

 

An example. I swapped a computer out last night before I left. Data transferring overnight onto an external. Our computers are imaged the same way, the only differences are a few shortcuts we create. I left a note how to get going in the am. IE. Do this to login. To access your email, open outlook and click continue until you see your mail, and if you need your files before I get in, feel free to grab them off the USB drive sitting on your laptop. So I get yelled at for not doing everything for them because she didn't know the basic functions. 

 

What are your opinions on this overall? 

You must not be in IT very long. IT is the first dept to get people laid off. They see you not doing anything they will lay you off. teaching people how to use programs gets you seen. Which means job security.

 

I got laid off from my very first IT job because I did it so well That I had free time. Instantly laid off .

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I consider being the 'IT guy' a service. I will do as required: Some users are more computer literate than others, so I will explain/teach for some, babysit for others. There is no use forcing someone who just wants to use his/her PC to learn technical details other users will be interested in.

 

tl;dr: Both are an option, depending on who you deal with.

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You must not be in IT very long. IT is the first dept to get people laid off. They see you not doing anything they will lay you off. teaching people how to use programs gets you seen. Which means job security.

 

I got laid off from my very first IT job because I did it so well That I had free time. Instantly laid off .

 

Wait, so are you saying to teach them or not? 

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After reading other replies here, it should be understood that specific job titles and business sizes will differ on this. For a Systems Admin or Network Admin, it is a huge waste of time and resources to have to train idiots on an every day basis. For help desk roles, it will probably be an inevitable part of the job.

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After reading other replies here, it should be understood that specific job titles and business sizes will differ on this. For a Systems Admin or Network Admin, it is a huge waste of time and resources to have to train idiots on an every day basis. For help desk roles, it will probably be an inevitable part of the job.

So people are idiots for not knowing the things that another person is trained/payed to know? I can configure computers/routers/switches....my dad knows a lot about fixing heavy machinery and construction. I wouldnt call either one of us idiots.

And training is part of any IT job. Net/sys admins may have to train other IT staff on new processes/appliances that are put in place. It is inevitable. The only problem is when you constantly have to repeat yourself to the same person and they either dont listen, or get it. I had one guy several years ago ask where some software was on a weekly basis. The location had never changed in years. So that kind if thing is frustrating to say the least.

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So...you do not like helping people and in the IT field.  Sometimes I have to help people with things that are not IT related. 

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You as a IT tech needs to make it as turn key as possible for the end user.  Your job is to make their life a little easier with a computer, their job is to do their job not deal with computer caveats.  Perception is 100% of what keeps you employeed.  I had a user state that her Adobe Pro isn't like their coworkers Adobe Pro, same version, same everything.  I had to instruct the user where to look and how to add shortcuts to their toolbar because others have customized their shortcuts.  Do a few, show them how if you wish...but the difference is that I am a Network Engineer that has bigger fish to fry than deal with piddly stupid crap, if this was one of my techs I would tell them not to leave until it is exactly as the end user wants.  At the end of the day, if the end user complains that you aren't doing your job and if it goes up to upper management it could be your job.  If they are not there, make sure it is exactly as their old computer, if they are there give them the option of learning for themselves and if they still don't get it do it for them.  What may take you seconds or minutes may take them hours and you are paid to support them.

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So people are idiots for not knowing the things that another person is trained/payed to know? I can configure computers/routers/switches....my dad knows a lot about fixing heavy machinery and construction. I wouldnt call either one of us idiots.

And training is part of any IT job. Net/sys admins may have to train other IT staff on new processes/appliances that are put in place. It is inevitable. The only problem is when you constantly have to repeat yourself to the same person and they either dont listen, or get it. I had one guy several years ago ask where some software was on a weekly basis. The location had never changed in years. So that kind if thing is frustrating to say the least.

The OP is talking about babysitting. He even defined what he considers babysitting. I also mentioned guiding someone through the start menu. So, I'm referring to incredibly simple tasks. Yes, a person is an idiot in my book for not knowing how to operate a computer especially if it is a part of their job. It would also be a management oversight to have unskilled people hired to do a job and then have skilled IT professionals train them. If an organization has staff for training, that's one thing, but if they don't and experienced IT people are having to do it, the business may be losing value in their IT.

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After reading other replies here, it should be understood that specific job titles and business sizes will differ on this. For a Systems Admin or Network Admin, it is a huge waste of time and resources to have to train idiots on an every day basis. For help desk roles, it will probably be an inevitable part of the job.

 

Right, and we have four ITs. Manager, Two SysAdmins and one HelpDesk. Though we all play a role in Helpdesk, and we all answer helpdesk tickets. Even our owner just got back to me on setting up tech training. All I know, I wanna do whatever possible to maintain job security. 

You as a IT tech needs to make it as turn key as possible for the end user.  Your job is to make their life a little easier with a computer, their job is to do their job not deal with computer caveats.  Perception is 100% of what keeps you employeed.  I had a user state that her Adobe Pro isn't like their coworkers Adobe Pro, same version, same everything.  I had to instruct the user where to look and how to add shortcuts to their toolbar because others have customized their shortcuts.  Do a few, show them how if you wish...but the difference is that I am a Network Engineer that has bigger fish to fry than deal with piddly stupid crap, if this was one of my techs I would tell them not to leave until it is exactly as the end user wants.  At the end of the day, if the end user complains that you aren't doing your job and if it goes up to upper management it could be your job.  If they are not there, make sure it is exactly as their old computer, if they are there give them the option of learning for themselves and if they still don't get it do it for them.  What may take you seconds or minutes may take them hours and you are paid to support them.

 

Yea, this makes sense, as much of that is more specific. I'm referring to just knowing how to navigate Windows. 

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My opinion after almost a decade in the industry, do everything for the users.  If they want training so they can be more self sufficient, offer it up, but assume people want you to hold their hand and do everything for them.  Better to offer more than what they want and keep them happy than offer less than what they wanted and leave them frustrated.

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Right, and we have four ITs. Manager, Two SysAdmins and one HelpDesk. Though we all play a role in Helpdesk, and we all answer helpdesk tickets. Even our owner just got back to me on setting up tech training. All I know, I wanna do whatever possible to maintain job security. 

 

Yea, this makes sense, as much of that is more specific. I'm referring to just knowing how to navigate Windows. 

understand that you didn't just give navigating windows as a problem:

 

 

To access your email, open outlook and click continue until you see your mail, and if you need your files before I get in, feel free to grab them off the USB drive sitting on your laptop. So I get yelled at for not doing everything for them because she didn't know the basic functions.

 

You need to do everything, show them where their files are at, copy them to where they need to be, etc.  If you are in any sort of helpdesk phase, this is your job.  If you really wanted to make life easy for yourself you would have used windows easy transfer...It is built into windows 7 and above and can be downloaded from microsoft direct.  This would bring over their profile and put everything where it needs to go (as far as the user is concerned), just have the applications installed.

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One time I was doing phone support

 

Me) Ok click on start / control panel ... find X item

 

.as we are trouble shooting she closed the control panel so each time I would say click / start / control panel.

 

This was repeated about 6 times

 

On the 7th time, I left out the word start and said "Open the control panel" .

 

She asked "How do I get to that again"  :laugh:

 

......

 

Now people may defend her and say she's not good with computers, ok.

 

But if i'm talking to someone over the phone to trouble shoot my car, and they say "pull out the stereo and wiggle the green wire", if they tell me to do this 6 times and on the 7th time just say "Wigggle the green wire again" i'm gonna know where the **** it's at.

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If you in End User Support, then yes..

 

It seems that most people think that since someones job uses a computer, they just know how to use it..

 

While this is true to a degree, it is the job of End User support to help and babysit them.. That is what End User Support is.. To support the end user.. 

 

Don't get the attitude that something isn't your job.. Just be nice and friendly and spread your knowledge with a smile on your face.. it will only help you in the long run. 

 

I am not in End User Support anymore, but when I was, I always would go the extra mile and make sure the end user felt comfortable with what they are doing. Even if it is something as emailing a document or saving something to a network drive..

 

Do not let anything become beanthe you.  That will hurt you.. 

 

PS: "You" isn't talking to the OP, but just in general how I think End User Support should be. 

 

To sit back and laugh be like "they don't even know how to do.." and act like you are better.. take a few deep breaths and be friendly..

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I like the scotty technique, tell em this will take a long ass time, and do it in record time, makes one look like a hero

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