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Why are admins difficult

Imo

     
11:16 pm on Feb 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We have has terrible trouble with system admins in the past ranging from personal hygene, no personalities at all, murder(yes our admin was murdered) and ARROGANCE being one of the biggest problems. Out of all the jobs out there, the people that apply for these positions seem to be the biggest pain in the ass.

I cannot stand the way they treat me with contempt because I am ignorant of their area.

Finally we have one is none of the above after 5 years of searching.

3:28 am on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well . . . spend your entire puberty getting turned head-first into trash cans, pants'ed in gym, spurned by the golden-haired sprites dancing around your high school and college, generally being outcast from most of your peers, and now that you're in control it tends to . . . tip the scales a bit. :-D

Bill Gates said it best: Be nice to the nerds. You'll probably wind up working for one someday. (or with them, in this case.)

All kidding aside, you have the gold, you make the rules. If someone's not following policy, out with 'em. I'm pretty fortunate, the admins here are great guys but that's probably because I do the work and often need to come to them for help.

Perhaps that's closer to it: they are still the outsiders and you (in their perception, mind you) don't have clue as to what they do in their jobs. Maybe getting proactively involved in understanding what they do and integrating a team spirit could change things.

If that's too much effort or you don't feel like it should be required, go with option A. Out with 'em. :-)

3:44 am on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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As a system admin, why are all users a pain in the posterior.

Users are parasites, who sole purpose it to consume all availble storage and bandwidth.

By the way, I do shower daily :)

5:25 am on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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By the way, I do shower daily

Yes, but do you understand the concurrent use of soap?

The number one concern I have when picking hosting sites (and yes I visit and interview them on behalf of my clients) is the quality of the admins. As I rarely have to be in the same room with them I could care less about how well they care for themselves, only how well they keep my sites up and running. I want obsessive compulsive admins; one or more also of neurotic and paranoid and socially inept is nirvana!

Also: an admin with BO is less likely to become romantically involved with anything other than the servers which is a good thing!

My gosh man, if you treat them like human beings they will begin to act like the rest of us and civilisation as we know it will fall.

10:25 am on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I remember when going through school my friend had a friend that was an admin at the PUD. I don't even remember his real name because I just called him 'condescending man'. He was the most obnoxious annoying person I have ever met in my life.

Anyway, I used to be an admin, here's some tips I can give you.

Don't offer admins your advice or opinion on something you know nothing about. Would you tell a doctor that you heard it was better to cut up and down when removing your appendix, at least thats what you heard. Doctors don't spend 10 years studying their trade so you can come in and tell them how to do it. It's pretty offensive to them.

Computers are complicated and aren't something you can pick up here and there. You either understand or you don't. I have heard so many people come up with so many insane rumors or theories I couldn't even keep count.

Just a few weeks ago for example. I was at a friends house and his other friend was helping him get his DVD burner working. Neither of them knew I had ungodly amounts of experience with this kinda stuff but in the hope of not getting suckered into fixing this guys computer every time he has a problem I sat quietly and observed. My friend had installed Nero but his buddy told him he needed Roxio but he couldn't install it now because if you have Nero and Roxio on the same computer it will fry it and you will have to take it back to the store. He said he knew this because a computer guy he knew told him.

I think the biggest mistake is people that know nothing about computers thinking that anyone that knows even the slightest about computers is all of a sudden an expert. This is how all the crazy rumors start and these crazy rumors inedivately trickle down onto system admins who must waste valuable time trying to explain something very complicated in lamens terms which is almost impossible to do sometimes.

Even though they might not have the experience you should consider hiring students fresh out of school if not still in school. Many are desperate for work and would kiss your butt instead of insulting you at every turn.

3:10 pm on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Don't forget July 29 is System Admin Appreciation Day.

[sysadminday.safeweb.be ]

5:47 pm on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'd like to add to the list of IT problems. We also had a thief who hacked our payments system.

On a lighter note, we sent a different admin a note telling him politley that bathing daily might improve his social life and he thanked us for it :)

The arrogant ones are more difficult to deal with because they believe they live in an alternate universe where their mental capacity far exceeds that of the fools in their vicinity.

The most positive benefit of this anti-social behaviour however, is you can always get them on messenger any time of day or night.

6:23 pm on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yeha thats pretty true, never really looked at it before.

I caught a sys admin talking to himself once not just chatter but a full blown argument, called ito see what was going on.

he wasnt a bit embarrassed by it, everyone else knew he did this and took no notice.

No he wasnt married either

8:22 pm on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Probably shouldn't worry too much about finding a good admin. As soon as an admin takes the time to learn a little about business they won't need you anymore anyway and will probably create a business like yours but without the overhead of hiring admins. Maybe the admin will be nice enough to get you a job cleaning his bathroom ,once he crushes your business, so he can finally have time to take those showers. I wonder how many of the Forbes 500 richest people this year are computer nerds that learned a little business skill on the side.
9:55 pm on Feb 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

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if you have Nero and Roxio on the same computer it will fry it and you will have to take it back to the store.

ROFLMAO hahahaha . . . (and tell them you want your money back because you're incompetent to operate this device. :-) )

. . . people that know nothing about computers thinking that anyone that knows even the slightest about computers is all of a sudden an expert.

Amen to this one, at every friends's blue screen, page hijack, or viral infestation I have to explain "I'm a web guy, not a 'computer' guy."

"But it's the 'same difference' isn't it? Gotta love that, "same difference."

6:07 am on Feb 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I caught a sys admin talking to himself once not just chatter but a full blown argument, called ito see what was going on.

That's awesome ;-) Heh, I have a great friend who's a physics guy and everytime he gets drunk by the end of the night he's off in some corner scribbling formulas on a napkin and bantering with himself. F&*%^ng hilarious.

1:57 pm on Feb 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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People are great arent they?
11:06 pm on Feb 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You better steal those napkins. They might contain the formula for cold fusion...
5:48 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We have a salesperson who keeps referring "vapor-locking" his computer. I wanna strangle the person who taught him that one cause you know that he's said that to more than one customer. "Don't do that or else it'll vapor-lock!" Oy!

We actually have a GREAT admin now. We had a condescending one beforehand, one that EVERYONE wanted a chance to plop his eyes out with a hot metal spoon. Everything the guy said, whether or not it was about computers, made you feel like an idiot. HATE those sorta people...

6:23 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You guys have got to read some of the BOFH (*** Operator from Hell) stories up on The Register, they're funny as hell IMHO.

[edited by: eelixduppy at 9:58 pm (utc) on Feb. 18, 2009]

6:45 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"vapor-locking" - whats that?
7:07 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Vapor-locking is what happens when you rub Vicks Vapo-Rub on your computer in a vain attempt to break-up congestion caused by a slow processor... :)
7:17 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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rofl
9:12 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My PC is fuel-injected and not prone to vapor lock.

Remember when cars had carburetors? During hot weather sometimes the gasoline would boil in the carb causing "vapor lock".

9:56 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My biggest problem is with hosting companies whose entire technical support is Indian or Asian. They hardly speak English and I speak Southern which practically isn't English. Even on my best effort they still can't make it out.
5:01 am on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Being a network admin is a crappy job. Constant damage control, BOFH says most of it. The people who are smart enough to be good and not arrogant generally are making a lot of money, or are working for major networking jobs like running corporate security, google datacenters, network backbones, financial datacenters etc, you would be lucky to meet them in the first place, let alone be in a position where they would have any interest in working for you. If you find a good one treat them very well, you may not find another one for a while. Most of the smarter computer types drift to programming etc, but some are drawn into hard core networking stuff, not many though. A network admin who only knows windows is probably not a very good network admin, tcp/ip, what's that? True story.

Stupid bosses who make IT decisions that can take years to repair, the ones that think they know something about computers are the worst. And how about the VP in charge of something deciding to switch all the unix servers to windows just because an MS sales rep got hold of his ear?

Users are the number one problem, by far and away... oh, that porn, do you think it has anything to do with my computer slowing down a lot [translation: your network is severely compromised by backdoors, trojans etc, all introduced when they clicked that 'install porn viewer' button. True story again, any network admin can tell you a hundred more just like it, like the priest working for a major divinity school who called the IT people to see why his system wasn't working, wasn't working because it was full of porn, no joke..]

Network users should be very restricted, but windows makes that almost impossible to do on a practical level.

"do you understand the concurrent use of soap?"

what's soap? Isn't that some kind of protocol or something?

11:39 am on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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[google.com...]
3:02 pm on Feb 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Crush,
Not ALL sys admins are as you described, at my previous job, I was a sys admin, and everyone really enjoyed working with me, they would come in and visit in my office, and they knew that when they had a problem, I would be the one to fix them up. So please keep an open mind, there are some nice guys (and gals) left in the computer room ;)
5:47 pm on Feb 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think the biggest mistake is people that know nothing about computers thinking that anyone that knows even the slightest about computers is all of a sudden an expert.

This is one of the biggest things that causes friction between marketing and IT departments.

11:02 pm on Feb 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"they would come in and visit in my office"

That's how my last networking job was too, it was fairly pleasant, pretty good people. I was sad to leave it.

When you find good admins treat them well, follow their advice as much as possible.

As to soap, I'm still not clear why I'd want to rub a simple object access protocol or gamma hydroxybutyrate all over my body.

11:53 am on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Then maybe "money offered as a bribe" is more down your alley?
3:22 pm on Feb 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Another former sys admin here. I was a "social" sys admin - people used to drop by my desk and chat all the time too, but I've worked with my share of the others.

A lot of (but not all of us!) sys admins prefer hardware to humans - have a lack of social skills and no interest in developing any.

Twist makes a good point comparing sysadmins to doctors - like a surgeon, in a crisis you need self-confidence, and the willingness to make decisions and act on them quickly. The same things that can make someone a good sysadmin can cross the line to arrogance.

Then there's the burnout factor. In certain industries, it's a major high-stress job! Oncall 24x7, taking calls at all hours (often for things which turn out to be someone else's problem), sleep deprived, unable to spend a day out with your family ... sysadmins tend to be ignored for what they do right and become the scapegoat when something goes wrong. After 5 years of that, many fantasize of giving it all up to open a small ice cream stand or similar low-pressure business.

The rest get hostile.

If you have a good sys admin please appreciate them and treat them nicely!

3:12 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My biggest problem is with hosting companies whose entire technical support is Indian or Asian. They hardly speak English and I speak Southern which practically isn't English. Even on my best effort they still can't make it out.

hey, everyone wanted 7.95/month hosting. and that's what it takes to deliver it. sorry, had to be said.

9:03 am on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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<< Oncall 24x7, taking calls at all hours (often for things which turn out to be someone else's problem) >>

It took me several months to get one client to understand that calling me at midnight was not alright. Even though it was 9 am in Europe for them... and so on.

<< My biggest problem is with hosting companies whose entire technical support is Indian or Asian >>

Why is that a problem? Use real hosting companies and you won't have that problem. When I call mine I'm talking to a genuine american geek, it's very pleasant, and it doesn't cost me that much money. Doesn't hurt that it's a top rated hosting company, so I almost never have to call anyway.

6:24 pm on Feb 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I almost never have to call anyway

I went through 2 less than $10 a/month hosts and spent as much time dealing with downtime and support problems as I did actually working on my website. Now I pay almost $30 for a host with a package that offers less than the sub $10 hosts but has had less downtime in 6 months than the other hosts had in a typical day. I have never had to contact them so I have no idea what language their technical support speaks in, but i'll bet it's english.

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