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The Stories We Don’t Tell

May 16, 2019

What’s the greatest accomplishment you ever achieved at work? No doubt, you have things that you’re proud of.

I’ve spent some time thinking about it. The fact is, in IT often our greatest accomplishments are the ones we can’t talk about. Or at least not for years afterward.

IT is a very boring job. I mean, at times, It can be very dull. We work with computers. We watch dull scripts stream across monitors. We get excited when the install bar shows 10 seconds left. Of course, it typically shows 10 seconds left for 3-4 minutes.

But, occasionally, we do really interesting, even exciting work. We make miracles happen. We have work through the night to meet impossible deadlines and then complete them with the client walking in the front door.

I’ve done projects like that. And in those cases, we talk. Most IT guys are geeks and nerds. We aren’t terribly good at singing our own praises. At least not when we aren’t around other geeks and nerds. When we choose to we chug Mountain Dews and spin stories of servers and networks, viruses and updates.

But, we have another set of stories that we don’t brag about over Mountain Dews. They are stories that we don’t post on blogs. Stories that we only share in private one on one conversations.

Because when things go very, very wrong, when the system is compromised, we are the ones that get called on to fix it. We don’t talk to people outside IT. Communication is tight. Depending on the issue, we even avoid email and text.

We are the foot soldiers who dive in and dig out the sickness in the network and servers. We work for companies large and small. We resolve the issues that keep those companies from making money. And, we keep our mouths shut. Because, it’s one thing to stop a virus on a network. It’s a totally different thing to hear about a virus on a network, especially one that you do business with.

I’m not saying we hide things. Not at all. But, the IT guys are not hired to make speeches to the client or the press. We come in when no one else can help. We clean up the mess. Kill the viruses. Rebuild servers. And then we pick up our empty Moutain Dew cans and go home and sleep. . .or play Halo. There’s always more Mountain Dew to keep us going.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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