Why are IT ppl I know so snobby

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by n8236, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. n8236 macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
    Ok...is it me or ppl who work in the IT sector just snobby and know-it-alls??!! I have a few friends whom I've hung out with for years, and like me, they're in the IT sector. In the past, when we talk IT, they would just have an answer to everything, even if it's complete BS that you can smell a mile away. Now that we're actually in the industry, that kind of know-it-all attitude still hasn't settled (though some stuff has had more creditability).

    Yes, I am in IT as well, but I know BS when I smell it because I've either have had more experience than them or can pick apart a lie when I hear it. I just don't get it...why is it so hard to say that you don't know something well enough rather than having to BS or plain lie about something and making yourself look like a total idiot? I've learned early on that if you don't know something, just shrug. It's like.......who are you trying to impress by talking like you know something when you really don't. And when I press my IT friends for answers, they always give the, it's-hard-to-explain or forget-it type of answers like you're too ***** stupid to understand what they're trying to say.

    It just bugs the living Hell out of me. Early on, I've learned to just nod and say ok because there's no point in me trying to prove anything to them and they're always looking for a debate and ends up being an one-sided conversation with them.
  2. puttputt macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2006
    and the IT people you don't know are snobby too. :)
    Why? Only they know.
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    FEAR of ..... Losing one's job perhaps?

    The capability of discovering the correct answer is by far preferential, but hard to find I think. So they lie/BS to try and cover their @sses. For the most part, they probably can fool most non technical people, as they just don't know enough to determine it's BS.

    Just a thought. :p
  4. Tankgunk macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2007
    If I took a guess, I'd say a feeling of superiority is the problem, but I'm sure this answer is "complete BS that you can smell a mile away" :)
  5. lancestraz macrumors 6502a


    Nov 27, 2005
    IT is a thankless job. Maybe acting "snobby" is their way of complementing themselves.
  6. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    IT = magic to normal people. Feel free to use your magical powers to anyone except other IT people.
  7. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    There job is to be a know it all......

    And like someone said, everyone expects them to just wave a wand and fix it fast regardless of the problem. Do you know how often IT's are treated like crap if they cant solve something through no fault of their own (company policies) ?
  8. maestro55 macrumors 68030


    Nov 13, 2005
    Goat Farm in Meridian, TX
    IT Guys fight because often times there are multiple solutions to a problem and each of us feel like we have the right idea. I don't think that I am a snob but I am sure there are times when other IT people think my ideas are complete BS and I have talked to other IT people who I think have complete BS ideas, too.

    I am sure the same it true in many other fields. You and I just happen to know the IT field as that is what we work in.
  9. doubleohseven macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    We're not snobby we just know a lot. :D

    But I have to agree with you, some I.T people think they know everything and you can't tell them otherwise.
  10. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    I was about to come in here and tell you "they're not all like that" and the tale of our college IT technician. But then I remembered our secondary school IT staff, oh dear. Some were jolly enough, especially one chap (who was later sacked for having a relationship with a student. eep).

    But "they're not all like that" :rolleyes: . Our college and uni guy was great. I won't post his name since he's an avid Mac user and caught him browsing this site years back.
    He was the only IT guy in our whole block at college. But we used macs and there was never a problem. During quieter days he'd use computers around us and just chat. Really friendly guy.

    And then me and the girlfriend went to a folk music concert.

    And there he was, playing the guitar under the pseudonym Ace Axe Man! Really good as well. Kept that well hidden :D so that's that. They're not all bad. Some are almost human.
  11. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    Your experience is rare indeed. Working at a university well known for its Mac presence, the IT department here is still PC-based. It's ridiculous the amount of bias, and while I myself can be that way sometimes, being the only Mac IT guy here, it seems I have to be.
  12. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    I actually don't tell people I'm in I.T., when I go to parties, I'm an accountant. Although I have been busted a few times using that. Maybe next time I'll be a mortician :D

    I hate talking about computers in casual conversation. I hate answering questions about software. You cannot possibly know everything there is to know about every application. When you tell people your a programmer and you tell them you build a certain type of software, the first response is "No you don't". WTF is that about? They have no clue, but they know only Microsoft can do that...

    On the other side of the coin...

    How many times have you been asked about something in say Excel, which I never use, and when you tell them you don't know, they get on your case about how you must suck because everyone knows that program! Seriously, manners goes out the window when people are passionate about the software they use.

    How many times have you been called out of the blue by a cousin of a friend of your siblings that heard you were in IT and thought you could help... At 2AM... On Sunday... In a Blizzard... Walking uphill... :p

    How many times have you been challenged from some guy who's been building his own PC's since he was 4 on things like driver questions only to realize that he's not looking for your advice, he's looking to prove that he's better than you, so you must suck! LOL

    Does exasperation come across as snobby? Yeah I suck, but at least my PC's still boot! LOL

    I don't know, I've seen a lot of situations where personal pride and a willingness to help do come across as snobby. Some people realize it and correct it, others will never get it, its a personality issue. Social skills are never usually a top priority of these guys. That's why they have Liaisons' that usually bridge the IT folk with the Business folk...
  13. theITGuy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2009
    chasing the ghost in the machine
    I'm with you on both sides...I hate solving random people's computer problems and I hate Excel users with a passion.


  14. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    There's your answer!

    One thing that has always attracted me to computers and programming is that they're very logical, orderly, and well-defined -- despite our tendencies to anthropomorphize them otherwise ("the computer's acting unpredictable!")

    People, on the other hand, are anything but, and I find that as much as I enjoy dealing with people on a personal, friendship-level basis, you see a very different side of people when you're dealing with them on a customer-service level.

    Some people find computers absolutely intuitive (I do, as do most of you, or you wouldn't be here!). Others don't -- their strengths are in other subjects. It is frustrating for me, trying to teach someone to understand a concept that to me is like the back of my hand, and just not seeing them "get it". Sometimes repeatedly, sometimes over a long period of time.

    I also like to understand things from the top down. "How does this work?" I want to understand it from end to end. How does Windows work? Well, it's a set of code... OK, how does that work? Well, a CPU follows instructions. OK, but how? Well, there's registers, and an instruction set, and... OK, but how? Well, a register is a set of flip-flops, and those are composed of transistors, and ... I could, literally, build a computer from the ground up (granted it would very very simple). What this means is I like to have a *deep* understanding of how a technology works, which helps me diagnose problems and understand why I see what I do. It therefore frustrates me greatly when people learn something incorrectly ("Oh, I pressed A, and B happened, therefore A must always cause B... hey, how come it's not working????") and are unable or unwilling to to accept that I may have an explanation that doesn't jive with their thinking.

    That probably made me sound snobbier than I really am. I do like people, really I do! :D I just, like everyone else, get frustrated when I enjoy and understand something and have a very difficult time communicating with someone who doesn't enjoy or understand (and probably doesn't want to). I'm sure a biology or econometrics expert has just as aggravating a time trying to teach me something I need to know but don't particularly have a mind for...
  15. ZachsMacDaddy macrumors 6502


    Dec 24, 2007
    Hmm, lie about my job to avoid stupid questions, that's a pretty good idea.

    I get a kick out of the users who call me and prefix their question/issue with a rambling story about how they build PCs on the side for friends and family and then ask me some really easy question. If they really did what they say, they would never need to call me for the problems they have.

    If I seem snobby when you call me every 60 days about your expiring password problem forgive me, I should be more patient since you obviously just don't get the concept. I get a little annoyed th 5th or 6th time in a row. It's the same thing every time. CHANGE your password when you get the warning about it expiring in x days. If you don't and one day you get a message from Outlook about your password, hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and change your password, just like I had you do the last 5 times!

    How come it's ok to ask me for some free PC help, but I can't get you to change my oil and tune my engine? I'm IT and you're a mechanic. You ask me to do my job for free, why can't I ask you?

    If I walk in and you call me "Nick Burns, the computer guy," (SNL reference for those who don't get it) I have every right to smack you upside your head and walk out.
  16. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Most of the IT people I know don't know $h!t when it comes to other people's jobs.

    Here at my paper a media machine's hard drive went up. I told the idiots to buy a new HDD and I'll reinstall the OS....


    IT insisted on fixing it and instead of STICKING IN THE NEW FREAKING drive like I said they take the scratch disk (with all the raw media) and partition it so it has a 30GB and 450GB partition. Guess where the bastards stuck the OS and system files....? :rolleyes:

    On the 30GB partition...... so where the hell am I gonna stick the 60GB needed for Final Cut Studio 2? An suite of apps that have to be stuck on the system drive? With only 10GB left on the system drive?

    I think certain IT people need to get involved with what their clients actually DO with their machines before hacking them however they see fit.
  17. Gelfin macrumors 68020


    Sep 18, 2001
    Denver, CO
    I'm not an IT guy, but I have friends who are, and so I hear their side. They have very complicated skill sets they need to update constantly just to keep up, and yet in just about every organization they are treated as roughly on the same level as the janitorial staff, because it's all infrastructure.

    Then there are the problems. If you're janitorial staff and there are no paper towels in the washroom, somebody can tell you what the problem is in two seconds without inventing an imaginary explanation of what's wrong, how it happened or how the paper towel dispenser works, without blaming you for the sorry state of paper towel dispensers or thinking the dispenser has it in for them personally, and without saying something stupid like, "I don't care if there are no towels! Paper towel dispensers should always just work!"

    Oh, and most corporate IT guys are on call 24/7 for that sort of thing.

    I'm technically savvy, but there's no way in hell I could do an IT guy's job. You couldn't pay me enough. It's brutal, soul-crushing work that slowly twists every Smeagol into a Gollum. Give 'em a break.
  18. No1451 macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2008
    Ottawa, ON
    It's the same as nearly any other situation where one party knows a great deal more than the other.

    Talk to a lot of mechanics when you have no idea how a car works and they will generally treat you like **** and lie to you. I'm not what I would call "tech savvy", I know my way around my machine and I do build/service my own and I still find that IT guys look down on me.

    I went to the IT department for my school because I was having frequent dropouts in a certain building and they kept blaming me, or blaming my machine. Then they proceeded to tell me that I was connected wrong. Yeah, because joining a WPA enterprise network that requires authentication on connection is SO hard, it went straight over my head.

    But at any rate, it's a two-way street, they likely treat people badly because people treat them badly. I see a lot of students who bitch out IT because something isn't working perfectly.
  19. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    I work for a college teaching IT & I'm no snob, *burps & farts* :)
  20. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2005
    Manchester UK
    There seems to be an odd attitude in IT, where people think that nobody can live without them. EDIT: On re-reading my post, it looks like I am tarring everyone with the same brush. I would just like to say that this isn't the case with everyone, just the impression I get with some people.

    I work in software as a consultant. I am quite happy giving people advice and I am happy with the skills I have. However, I am totally lost when it comes to a lot of other things. I have to pay someone to change the bulb in my car headlights. I have no idea how to fix the plumbing in my house. Lord knows how to hang wallpaper.

    I think the problem comes when people think that they know everything about everything and their job is the be all and end all. I don't think this is exclusive to IT though. It takes everyone working together to accomplish anything. Nobody can know how to do everything, we need to work together.
  21. nomar383 macrumors 65816


    Jan 29, 2008
    Rexburg, ID
    I work in technical support and every phone call I get seems to start with "I've been working with computers since Atari and mainframes...."

    And all of the sudden every piece of equipment hooked up to their switch is supported since it is our switch or one of our devices is hooked up to it also.

    Ugh. That doesn't mean you know anything!!!! I'M GONNA RAGE!!!111 lol
  22. n8236 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
    A lot of touched on very good points, especially the one regarding walking the fine line of being willingly helpful and coming off as being snobby.

    I know someone who carries this around. He has this need to ask people if they have technical issues just so he can get it off his chest and proving to himself and to God-knows whoever else that he's capable of fixing things.

    All the IT ppl around me have not graduated from college, but that has nothing to do w/ it. They all have this unwillingness to ask IT ppl around them for help. Yet, they Google for guides and solutions all day long. For me, I just ask, I feel no shame in not knowing something. Whenever IT stuff comes up, they always say it's easy-this easy-that when they've not even gotten real experience.

    But I just ignore it totally. I just sit there, nod my head and say ok to everything. Because I know the second I put something out there, one of my friends will 1UP me and suggest something they feel is superior. Then if I try to fight back, things get personal.
  23. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    this one was my favorite. :)

    i know a lot too... and when they can't fix it, they call me, and i fix it, and then i get to tell them 'otherwise' and then bill them for a crap load of money. long live consulting! :cool:
  24. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    Consulting is the way forward. Charge people for being ignorant and stupid, hell yes :D
  25. steve2112 macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2009
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    OK, I hate using this meme, but...THIS!!

    I've been doing the IT thing for 10+ years, at every level from help desk to my current gig as a network admin. Why are we snobby, bitter, and cynical? Because we have to deal with users. When you get message saying your password will expire in 7 days, we mean 7 days, so don't call on day 8 whining that we didn't warn you your password was going to expire. When we send out multiple warnings that server X will be down Y date at Z time, don't call and whine that nobody told you the server would be down. And then there's the inevitable calls that the ENITRE organization has ground to a halt because the email server is down.

    I've been in a training class this week. My Blackberry has been buzzing like crazy, and I have fired up the VPN back to my home network every night to deal with stuff. There is no escape.

    It's funny you mentioned janitors. I've long said that Network/System admins (not programmers) are kind of like janitors. Nobody knows who we are until their stuff stops flowing, then we are the most important people in the building. ;)

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