The mark of any successful clique is its mystery.
There’s a stereotype for just about every portion of a company.
- Someone from accounting will always be able to divvy up the lunch tab and add a tip—without using the calculator on their smartphone.
- If you need anybody for an athletic event, head for the sales department, because a lot of them are ex-jocks.
- If it’s drizzling out, somebody from the marketing department will tell you it’s time to start building an ark.
- And those IT workers just might burst into flame if direct sunlight were to touch their skin.
The thing about stereotypes is that there’s usually some grain of truth to them. Let’s be clear about this: The stereotype itself is hardly ever appropriate or correct, but you can find what contributed to the stereotype’s creation if you dig just a bit. That’s certainly true with what we hold to be stereotypically true about IT professionals.
The typical IT guy (or gal) is …
Amplified by television and the movies, it’s easy to envision your average IT expert. They’re fairly young and socially awkward. They don’t wear white shirts with pocket protectors anymore, but they do tend to favor black T-shirts. They have little to say, other than a deadpan no to your request for a software upgrade; but they can enthuse among themselves for hours about Apple vs. PC and World of Warcraft. And they subsist on a diet of nothing more than energy drinks and convenience food.
Are any of these things really true about people in the IT department? The irony is that although many of these things could be far from the truth, as a group, IT people do take a bit of pride in knowing how deeply misjudged they are. The mark of any successful clique is its mystery.
And that’s the thing about technology and IT. Does the sales department need to know or even care why a datacenter needs to stay at a cool 65 degrees? Would the marketing department want to know the logic behind how the storage arrays are organized? Are the complexities of software betas, upgrades, compatibilities, and patches really of interest to HR?
So, it’s easy to see how and why the psychological mote gets drawn around typical IT personnel. They have to care about things that many portions of an organization just expect to work. Like magic. They have to make sure your world runs without glitches, but when was the last time you expressed any interest in theirs?
Food for thought.
They just might be more passionate than you
It’s easy to pigeonhole people in the IT department. They’re all a bunch of geeks. Wait a minute … that’s a stereotype in and of itself. Have you ever stopped to think about what motivates any “geek?” Is there a topic that you can discuss to the point of exhaustion—the way that the people in the IT department can go on about technology?
What you’re witnessing is passion. You’re seeing people who are honest about what they enjoy. You’re hearing topics discussed in scope and depth. It may not be interesting to you, but it’s liberating to them. And, don’t you have a group of friends or co-workers with whom you can have discussions very much like that?
“Have you tried turning it off and on again?”
The stereotypes are going to remain as long as we continue to look at IT guys and gals as mysteriously knowledgeable, quirky people who prefer the company of computers. Your ability to succeed is partly because of their passion for the things you take for granted. These occasionally misunderstood men and women are diligent professionals who are responsible for our transformation to an information economy. They’re strategic enablers of innovation.
Some of them just happen to like wearing black T-shirts. And sure, caffeine does come in handy.
Network Computer Pros is a full-service Managed IT Service provider for South Florida businesses. We offer reliable, cost effective computer support for which you pay a fixed price with no extra charges for onsite visits or hardware changes. To learn more about our services and to set up a free consultation, reach out to us today at 954-880-0388.