9 Reasons Your IT Person Is a Super Hero

by Carrie Kirby on 29 September 2015 (0 comments)

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Most help desk staff or other IT professional don’t wear a cape to the office. That’s just for, you know, formal occasions. On an average Thursday, they may sport a Clark Kent-esq “Bazinga!” -shirt. Or something.

But that’s just their secret identity. The truth is, when it comes down to it, every IT pro is a super hero. If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ve probably called upon your IT guy or gal to display one of the following 9 heroic acts.

1. They can save your bacon. That is, your data.

Every day, an IT professional somewhere is heroically extracting an annual report, an important thesis, or hundreds of precious family photos from the hard drives of dead computers.

When Markos Moulitsas, author of the blog The Daily Kos, called an IT pro named Carlos to his home because his wife’s computer died, Carlos not only rescued photos of Markos’ children from the PC, he also helped him appreciate what it means to be free. All in a day’s work.

2. They can teach you how to protect your own data.

Ryan Dube remembers all too well the anguished face of the graduate student who didn’t back up his thesis, and lost it all. Even superheroes can’t save every victim from his own foolishness.

“If there is anything I learned during those early years of working with computers (and the people that use them), it was how critical it is to not only save important stuff, but also to save it in different places,” Ryan writes. Ask your IT pro to teach you how to best back up your files. Then do it.

3. They can field a stupid request without giggling.

From requests to change the weather, to users who don’t know where to find their computer’s restart button, IT guys put up with a lot of ridiculous requests with -- mostly -- straight faces. That kind of patience has got to be a super power.

4. Unlike a doctor, they can cure a virus.

Viruses can cause a host of problems, the least of which is loss of user data and productivity. The main consequence of not removing viruses is the spread of even more viruses. If a virus goes unchecked, it can infect an entire corporation in seconds, essentially shutting down the business.

Wisconsin IT professional Brad T. has delighted and amazed dozens of clients by getting a virus off a computer and making it seem like it was never there. Brad recounts, “I had one user lose his entire email box, approximately 10 years of work, because his PC was infected and broadcasting spam across the internet, causing the email provider to permanently delete his email account to protect their systems.”

"I am rarely able to save 100% of the user’s information each time I fixed an infected PC, but computer guys know tricks to get the raw data back and recover it in time for a deadline,” Brad says with a modest smile.

5. They can be real-life heroes.

Winston Chen was the head IT pro at his company -- well, as the Chief Technical Officer, he was the head of everything tech -- before he quit to develop an app that turned a disabled child’s life around. In fact, according to the child’s mother, Winston’s Voice Dream reader app has made life better for many blind and dyslexic people.

6. They can translate the stuff you say into real computer terminology.

By patiently asking questions, a good IT pro can figure out that the “thing” that disappeared from your desktop was your browser, and that when you say your computer is “kaput,” you actually mean it froze (and probably just needs to be restarted).

But why not help him or her out by learning the real words for the parts of your computer? Calling the operating system by name is the IT equivalent of bringing in doughnuts -- although the doughnuts wouldn’t hurt either.

7. They help despite being heaped with abuse.

Picture Lois Lane pummeling Superman with her fists as he carries her, flying, through the air. This should give you a pretty good picture of what it’s like to help people who are a little resistant..

“Computers are not easy to fix. Even for me,” writes Rick Castellini on HelpMeRick.com. Fixing them doesn’t get any easier if the client is complaining about how long it takes, refusing to pay attention to instructions, or asking for free service.

8. They help when you when you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing.

You thought your laptop was dead when really the screen was set to dim? Spent hours every week doing a task manually that your spreadsheet software could automatically execute in minutes? Your IT professional can set you straight.

9. They can help you start to know what you’re doing.

Do you know these 10 basic things required to be considered computer literate? If you don’t, ask your IT Pro a few questions next time he or she comes to fix your computer. Maybe next time you can fix the problem yourself!

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