The 5 users you meet in hell

Here we present five of the most common user types, gleaned from IT pros in the field, and throw in one of the angelic variety for good measure:

1. The Know-It-All
You know this user. He knows a little HTML, and he defragged his hard drive once, so now he thinks he’s an engineer who knows more than you. He often refuses to follow policies and instructions and has been known to poke his head in the server room “just to see what you’re up to.”
Know-It-Alls often insist on doing things their own way. They change options and settings on their computers just because they can, and they have a tendency to connect devices and download software to their computers that IT does not support.
And, predictably, they’re arrogant enough to think they can’t possibly be wrong about any of this.

2. The Know-Nothing
We’ve all heard the joke about the clueless user who looks in vain for the “any” key when prompted by their computer to “hit any key.” Unfortunately, that’s no joke. Meet the Know-It-All’s polar opposite, the Know-Nothing — i.e., the person who knows so little about technology he requires handholding for even the simplest tasks.
These novice users demand a lot of attention and often require multiple visits for help, managers say. They’re frequently unable to articulate problems on the phone or over e-mail.
Know-Nothings like routine and often appear terrified of change, and once they’ve learned a program or task, they’re hard-pressed to adapt to a new or different way. Also, they get freaked out by things like unfamiliar icons or new tool bars.

3. Mr. Entitlement
Often heard uttering the phrase, “Do you know who I am?” this particular user type comes in a variety of subspecies. It may be the CEO, who (let’s face it) is genuinely entitled, or it may be a peon in marketing who thinks he’s entitled simply because you’re in customer service and he’s, well, not.
The Entitlement twins are always on deadline with a super-important project, which means it’s OK (in their minds, at least) to demand your immediate attention, ask you to skirt established procedures or call when you’ve got one foot out the door on Friday at 6 p.m.

4. The Finger-Pointer
Finger-Pointers never think (or at least, never admit) that they’re in any way to blame for any of their problems — you are.
When their systems are running slow, they assume that IT must have “done something to the server.” Their lost or misplaced documents and forgotten passwords must be the help desk’s fault. And yep, their misdirected print jobs and lost e-mail folders are all part of a vast IT conspiracy to mess up their workdays.
You know you’ve got a Finger-Pointer on your hands when you hear phrases like, “Everything was fine and then my system just blew up. What’d you guys do?”

5. The Twentysomething Whiz Kid
This person has dozens of freeware applications on his computer, along with three IM clients and a passel of unauthorized open-source software, and he knows how to use a proxy Web site to bypass the company firewall.
He’s the Twentysomething Whiz Kid, a cousin to the Know-It-All, except that the Whiz Kid actually does know something about technology. You can engage in technical debates with the Whiz Kid. He has an opinion on whether non-GPL software can be dynamically linked to GPL libraries. In his cubicle, he has a stuffed Tux, the Linux penguin mascot. And he’s highly likely to be a gamer, dude.


1 Comment »

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