Make Friends with your IT department - You'll Need them when You Quit!
- You will understand the enormous benefits of learning how to communicate with and even enjoy the company of the people who run your company's IT
If you're on bad terms with the people who pull the strings and tighten the bolts in your IT department, don't expect any favours when you quit your job and it's time for you to leave. Of course, you might even be departing because of their incompetence during your years at the firm, but now is the time to realise that the people in IT (as lovely and freakish as they are) can do you some favours and even smooth the transition to your new job.
Here are 10 ways that winning the favour of the geeks can make your life easier:
1. You've got 600 Megabytes of mp3s, video files, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets and you want to take them with you. Fortunately, the guys in the computer room have a CD-burner and lots of spare time to help you out.
2. You're expecting lots of email after you leave, but cannot be bothered to inform everyone about your new contact details. Also, you want to continue reading internal emails out of a sense of morbid fascination. You need a friendly systems administrator to keep your email account turning over. But what does a man with such rare skills and technical insight need?
3. You have somewhat exotic tastes in pornography and an unlikely predilection for reading about car wrecks and public executions, but you're trying to kick the habit. Unfortunately, your hard disk is full of dubious files which catalogue your all too human weaknesses. You've tried to delete most of them but you're pretty certain some of them have slipped through the net. Fortunately, because you're on such good terms with the chaps downstairs, you know this will never be a problem. Your boss or the police need never know.
4. Your email and web browsing activities may be being monitored by technology which is supervised by people in your IT department. It's far less likely that incriminating material will make its way into the wrong hands if you're friendly with the guys who have control of the secrecy purse strings.
5. The electronic timesheet - a dull technology designed to make a dull day duller yet. That's why you haven't filled in a single entry for the last three years. Maybe the IT department could say your records have been lost during an upgrade? Only if you tell them about your woes down the pub.
6. Look around the next time you find yourself in the technical department. There will be dozens of computers lining the walls, stacked on shelves and racks; some will have their innards hanging out, while others appear to have their outerparts pushed inwards. There's a constant cacophony of whirling fans and clicking relays; a chaos of wires, keyboards, monitors, motherboards and memory chips. Some of this stuff is probably surplus to requirement. If you could use a cheap computer at home, the perfect machine is probably in among that lot and ultimately yours for a few quid, if you speak to the right person.
7. No-one need ever know that your web site resides somewhere on your old company's servers. Think about it.
8. Software - doesn't come cheap, does it? In fact, it's expensive - hundreds of quid for a cardboard box, a thick manual for ballast and a poxy CD-ROM. Who in their right mind would want to actually pay for such rubbish? Not you. But maybe, just maybe there's a spare copy of the latest version of what you want cluttering up a shelf.
9. You bluffed your way into your new job by claiming that you know how to strip down a router to it's individual components and put it back together, blindfolded, using only the sense of touch in your fingertips (substitute kidney dialysis machine, injection moulder or hydroelectric installation for router where appropriate). Basically, you don't really have the first clue, but Offy Dave back at your old firm is a dab hand. Luckily, he's at the other end of the phone system and can talk you through it.
10. That PC you reclaimed from the technical dump won't shake hands with the software that ended up in your possession. You're tearing your hair out over it. You need some serious help from a dishevelled but omniscient computer genius. Thanks to your good relations over the years, a techie fella agrees to come round and take a look. Within minutes, he's sorted it out and before you realise what is about to pass, your DVD is earmarked for 'improvements' which will let you watch foreign films; soon it lies scattered in lumps across the floor. It seems there is no end to his mad skills...