Dirty IT job No. 6: Help desk zombie
Excellent entry-level opportunity for multitasking individual with low self-esteem. Ability to read from scripts a plus. Potential to move up to bug scraper, password reset technician, or tape rotation coordinator.
Here's the job that every IT professional hates. Bruce Kane, senior consultant at a messaging consultancy in North Carolina, defines a dirty job as "anything where you have to visit or talk to end-users. Help desk, desk side support, etc. Icky! Users have cooties!"
[ For the best in user idiocy, see "More stupider user tricks: IT horror stories redux" ]
Of course, users often feel the same way about support techs, says Kris Domich, principal datacenter consultant at Dimension Data.
"When you contact tech support, a lot of people feel like they're either talking to an idiot or being treated like one," Domich says. "There's a fine line between being courteous and being patronizing, and many techs don't know where that line is."
As more organizations move to 24/7 operations, they may also need the services of the more specialized Graveyard Support Vampire, who shuns the daylight and lives by the glow of the network console.
"Why this person actually wants to forge his or her days for the joy of nocturnal employment is a dark, dark mystery that shall forever span the vast expanse of space and time," says Lawrence Imeish, principal consultant for Dimension Data's Converged Communications Group. "But it's often imperative that IT folks manage their equipment off-hours so as to avoid impact on day-to-day business activities on their networks. System reboots, patch applications, and troubleshooting also typically occur after-hours and could be a cause for system failure in and of themselves if not properly addressed during the evening hours."