I work in IT for a living. It wasn't supposed to end up that way, but the world decided it would pay web developers a lot more than it would reference assistants or lab techs. I think I'm quite good at it...not to a fully professional standard yet, but close enough for academic settings.
The work pays okay, and a lot of the time it's enjoyable. I like creating things, making things work. Giving people what they need to do a job efficiently. However, there are some aspects of it that really, really annoy me.
1) People Never Talk To You
People will complain to the secretary that something isn't working properly. They'll write lengthy emails to their bosses or coworkers about how absolutely critical it is that a title be changed on a certain page. But they will never talk to you. Usually, the issues blown out of proportion will take two seconds to fix. A single line of code altered, and there you go. No drama, no gossip, no forwarding necessary, if they'd just taken the time to walk back and say "hi."
2) IT People Never Talk To You
I don't know why, but I've only had negative experiences with people who were supposedly on the same side as me. The knee-jerk reaction for any inquiry is, "It can't be done," with no explanation or effort offered whatsoever. I'll ask someone in a different department storing our XML documents for shell access to their servers, and they'll think I'm stupid enough to believe that it's impossible because they're Windows servers. I'll ask someone in my very own information science school for a MySQL account to link to my little section of its server, and they'll think I'm stupid enough to believe that the department can't offer one because, well, just because. It's not like MySQL is open-source or anything. And as soon as I point out a way it can be done, I get dead silence on the other end. Unfortunately, people like this may be the reason no one ever wants to talk to me.
3) People Believe Your Work is Done By Somebody Else
Ah, the Big Black Box of Technologiez. Everyone can rip widgets and apps from everyone else nowadays, so who would believe the new application for editing pages was made by me? I have received the following comments on applications I made from design to release, updating everyone involved every step of the way:
-"The program we're using probably isn't sophisticated enough for this, but..."
-"How do we get to the new system that was installed?"
-"I wonder how they did that?" (Actually said to Sweetie by a new coworker about a feature on the website he had developed the previous year)
This isn't just a pride issue, either. People just will not believe that I can make "The Program" do whatever I want it to (within reasonable limits, of course). If they don't like the way it looks, the way it works, or the way a box opens when they click it, I can change it. They don't have to shrink and then mumble about how inadequate it is behind my back (see #1 yet again).
4) People Are Terrified of IT
Whether they're the people who are vocally gung-ho about Twitter or the ones who think the government will steal all their secrets if they turn on the screen, people are terrified of doing anything substantial with technology. My applications sit on the shelf for months because nobody wants to look at them or talk about them. Then, all of a sudden, they want to have a two-hour meeting and change everything, which I'll do in a day just to let it gather dust for another month. Why? Because it has to be 100% perfect before anyone even hints at showing it to the world. Even if they're tools to make staff members' lives easier, they refuse to touch it. Half a year after giving control of part of the website to someone else in the library, I get weekly emails telling me to click the buttons for him.
5) People Don't Want to Learn
Personally, when I'm terrified of something, I prefer to learn about it so I'm not flailing in the dark. Then it's never as scary as before. But the people I've worked with seem to like being terrified, and want it to stay that way. Every time that staff member sends me an email telling me to click his buttons, I send the exact same response with the link and step-by-step instructions on how to do it himself. He says "Thanks" and doesn't bother to look at it. I'll explain to a supervisor how something works, because I'm not going to be around forever, and she'll just tell me to put it all in documentation so someone else with fancy skillz can understand it later. Never have I given a spiffy online present to someone and seen them actively explore it of their own free will.
After I get my degrees, I will probably move on to other kinds of work. I'm setting myself up to manage information, not push out code. So right now I'm just blowing hot air. But I do believe that if I enter a management position, my frustrations on the front lines will help my relations with future underlings and other departments. At the very least, I can ease their frustrations a little bit, so they don't end up blogging about how much they hate their lives and scheming ways to escape.