What the %&% is wrong with this machine? Why won’t this ##$##$#$@ thing work?

Without a doubt, equipment breakdowns and technical issues are one of the biggest headaches of office work. It’s understandably frustrating when your plans are derailed by non-cooperating equipment and you have to call in the IT help squad. At times, we’ve all wanted to emulate the workers in the movie “Office Space” and smash that printer with a sledgehammer.

But the reality is we need to get the equipment working again. There are many ways these calls and visits from the IT guy or gal can go, but there’s a lot to be said for avoiding any dramatics or anger in these communications.

IT folks are there to help

With very rare exceptions, IT staff are highly qualified for the job and are doing their best to get your systems up and running as quickly as they can. Going through details of your issue with them calmly and in great detail is the best way to achieve the quickest resolution.

Also, keep your ears open for tips the IT staff may be able to provide on how to prevent the issue from happening again. If you’re having the same issue over and over, it may mean you need to adjust the way you are approaching the work. A simple adjustment based of their advice can save you many future calls to the IT department.

Keeping emotions in check
When technology fails or has a hiccup, it’s generally not the fault of the person who you are calling to get the issue resolved. And if it is, it’s unlikely they did it on purpose.

We’ve all had our moments where we’ve let emotions take over and been not too kind to the people on the other end of the line in these situations. But think back to all the times over the years that you’ve had those types of interactions. Did acting that way actually help move the conversation forward and solve the problem? Or did it just put everyone in an foul mood.

Most likely, it was the latter. And all that time spent venting is time you could have been discussing the issue to find a solution. Not to mention that your blood pressure rate won’t suffer as much if you take it down a notch.

Getting on their good side
It’s a common joke for IT staff who work on site to be careful where you walk, as you may get peppered with random technology questions and help requests from staff members, outside of the usual channels for reporting them.

But here’s how I like to think of it. The better a worker’s relationship is with the IT staff when they are trying to solve serious IT problems, the more likely the IT staff are to make time to work with those people when help is needed at other times.

So next time you come across your company’s IT staff members, take the time to say hello and thank them for their work. It’ll definitely be appreciated.

Kelly Siegel is CEO of National Technology Management (NTM), 30400 Telegraph Road, Suite 116, in Bingham Farms. He has been in the IT consulting business for 21 years and saved businesses millions of dollars by streamlining their technology systems.NTM can be reached at 248-658-0829, and Siegel can be reachedvia email at ksiegel@trustntm.com.