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Old 01-30-2013, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
10,896 posts, read 12,936,868 times
Reputation: 7113

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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Stop thinking you're special because you're not. Almost every professional has the same story to tell from medical diagnoses to legal advice to education counseling.
This ^^^

"Oh, you're an attorney, let me ask you...."
"Oh, you're a doctor... let me ask you..."

It happens to a LOT of people. Even the mailroom people...
"Oh you work the mailroom at a law firm? I want to sue someone can you ...."

Being in IT I have the same "problem". I don't consider it a problem, though.
I am proud of what I do and don't mind the occasional question. But if I am at a party and someone says "hey can you look at my kids laptop?"
"No, I am sorry, I don't work on computers on the side"
"Do you know someone I can take it too?"
"Nope." Never recommend anyone. Because if they have a bad experience there, guess what: it's your fault.
Simple really.
Set boundaries or you will get taken advantage of.

6 Reasons The Guy Who's Fixing Your Computer Hates You | Cracked.com

I used to help people all the time. I got tired of spending my time doing it. ESPECIALLY for the "friend" I haven't spoken to in a year. True story: girl I used to work with calls me a YEAR after she was let go: "Can you come over tonight and look at my computer..." Tonight. Really? Haven't talked to you in a YEAR and you expect me to come running? Some people....

So I started setting boundaries.
First it was: you want me to look at your computer? You WILL bring it to my house. I will not come to your house and spend 5 hours while I wait for things to run. No ifs/ands/buts.
My 2nd rule was the 4 year rule:
"Can you look at my computer?"
Always the first question I ask: "How old is your computer?"
More then 4 years (sometimes even 3)?
Go buy a new one.
Now the rule is: I only work on my very best friends systems. I mean very very best. And my in-laws.
Last rule: if I can't find the problem in less then 2 hours, or if it is going to take days of scanning and searching and reloading and cleaning... we wipe and reload. Period.

That's it. Oh, and I will work on my bosses computers at their homes ONLY DURING BUSINESS HOURS. And I am religious about that to the point that if it is 5PM and I am not done.... "I'll be back tomorrow..."

Last edited by Peregrine; 01-30-2013 at 09:29 AM..
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:32 AM
 
1,453 posts, read 1,786,241 times
Reputation: 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Stop thinking you're special because you're not. Almost every professional has the same story to tell from medical diagnoses to legal advice to education counseling.
Yep. As a nurse, I am asked every question known to man about health related issues, including diagnosis' and so forth. It's just about any profession. Not to mention the old " Can you get me medications ?" When I tell them I'm not a doctor, therefore I cannot diagnose or prescribe meds, some tend to ignore that and insist anyway.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:00 AM
 
Location: In a cave
946 posts, read 794,046 times
Reputation: 716
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentatonic View Post
Nothing is worse than going to a party, family gathering or just visiting a friend and having to work on a computer, printer, tablet or portable gaming system.

I'm here to have a good time like everyone else idiots. I didn't come here to work! I don't understand why when someone finds out you work in IT they wet their pants and come up with something for me to work on.

This situation never fails! I told a couple of my friends to not mention my profession to anyone anymore.

Does this happen to any of you?
Yes it happens. The lucky part is my friends and family will usually attempt to compensate me which I almost always refuse in lieu of a favor if needed down the road. Just the attempt to pay me even if its a quick fix is enough that they respect and appreciate the assistance.

If you have a family that takes this for granted, then I would have no problem telling them no. I think this is definitely a case by case basis. Amount of work, the setting, the person and their track record.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:09 AM
 
Location: SoCal
5,926 posts, read 9,102,244 times
Reputation: 5456
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentatonic View Post
Nothing is worse than going to a party, family gathering or just visiting a friend and having to work on a computer, printer, tablet or portable gaming system.

I'm here to have a good time like everyone else idiots. I didn't come here to work! I don't understand why when someone finds out you work in IT they wet their pants and come up with something for me to work on.

This situation never fails! I told a couple of my friends to not mention my profession to anyone anymore.

Does this happen to any of you?

I'd guess if you reply to these requests, for what is in fact a request for free service, with some amount of dollars per hour that you charge for services and advice, that'd get them off your back.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:12 AM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,136 posts, read 21,211,563 times
Reputation: 23168
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentatonic View Post
Nothing is worse than going to a party, family gathering or just visiting a friend and having to work on a computer, printer, tablet or portable gaming system.

I'm here to have a good time like everyone else idiots. I didn't come here to work! I don't understand why when someone finds out you work in IT they wet their pants and come up with something for me to work on.

This situation never fails! I told a couple of my friends to not mention my profession to anyone anymore.

Does this happen to any of you?
It could have if my husband's company had not had the rule that he could not use his skills, many of which were learned from company workshops, on any equipment except theirs. You might want to adopt that theme. I started to say that you don't know how many times we were thankful for that rule; but you do, don't you?
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:21 PM
 
69 posts, read 71,731 times
Reputation: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
IT is such a vast field that you can play it off pretty easily. Tell them that you're an SAP Software Engineer or Cisco Engineer and not a helpdesk peasant (or network technician) that fixes computers. You can say that you're not familiar with fixing Windows or Mac systems because that's not what you do at work. Unless they have knowledge of IT, they won't know what to say next.

This works for me. I say that "the whole technology field is so big now!" and they agree and let me be. Oh, plus it's true. Just because I can write some SQL doesn't mean I can fix a printer.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,505 posts, read 6,461,993 times
Reputation: 9470
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentatonic View Post
Nothing is worse than going to a party, family gathering or just visiting a friend and having to work on a computer, printer, tablet or portable gaming system.

I'm here to have a good time like everyone else idiots. I didn't come here to work! I don't understand why when someone finds out you work in IT they wet their pants and come up with something for me to work on.

This situation never fails! I told a couple of my friends to not mention my profession to anyone anymore.

Does this happen to any of you?
If it's family/in-laws/good friends, I help them...and I don't ask for anything in return. I'm happy to help them, and glad that they asked me to.

And, more often than not, that attitude has paid me back in many ways, much more than I could have or would have asked for if I'd been a @$^&#$%^ about it.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:57 PM
 
27,068 posts, read 38,310,511 times
Reputation: 35030
I tell them I'm retired and no longer work with computers. If they press I tell them I've not kept up with the new technology and can't help them.

Works great.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:14 PM
 
15,924 posts, read 16,922,839 times
Reputation: 7627
What I love is when some people find out I can fix computers they ask me to take a look at their stereo or TV....
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,914 posts, read 8,946,118 times
Reputation: 2464
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentatonic View Post
Nothing is worse than going to a party, family gathering or just visiting a friend and having to work on a computer, printer, tablet or portable gaming system.
I just tell them I work on a really obscure system and I don't know anything about printers and such
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