Use the Ticketing System
It may be called a ticket, a request, a work order, or a task. Whatever your organization calls it, you need to follow the process. You may think it is easier to just stop the IT guy in the hallway and ask him to do something for you, but what are the odds he will remember what you asked him to do when he gets back to his desk? Or more cynically, if he doesn’t want to work on your task he has a built in excuse. If you make a formal request it has visibility. The IT guy’s boss can see it and lean on him if it isn’t done in a timely manner.
Tell the Truth About How Urgent It Is
If you get a reputation for exaggerating how important your request is, it will turn into the Chicken Little syndrome. When you really do have an urgent request, it may very well be treated as less than that.
Use the Help File
Typically, the people who use a program on a day-to-day basis are the subject matter experts, not the IT guy. If you are stuck, try opening the help file (often pressing the F1 key will do this for you). Sometimes there is no recourse but to go through all the steps in your process with the IT guy so he can help resolve a problem. But there is a good chance that if you take a few moments and look it up yourself you will find the answer you are looking for.
The IT Guy Eats Lunch, Too
I don’t know how many times I have been asked to work on someone’s computer at lunchtime because it is convenient for him or her. Please let your IT guy decide if he is willing to delay his lunchtime. If he does volunteer to work on an issue during lunch, could you not eat your lunch in front of him?
Learn How to Take a Screen Shot
It makes life so much easier for everyone if you can capture an error message, rather than trying to remember what the message said and quite possibly leading the IT guy down the wrong path if you misremember.
Don’t Ask the IT Guy to Fix Your Home Computer
Some IT techs do side work on home computers. Most that I know don’t. We spend enough time removing malware at work. We would rather do something fun with computers at home. Plus most people don’t want to pay what it is worth to get their computer fixed. They are hoping to get a deal from their IT guy. And unless you are OK with the IT guy asking you for personal advice about your specialty, don’t expect him to give you free computer advice.
We Are All on the Same Side
We all want the business or organization we work for to succeed. Resolving an IT issue does not have to be confrontational. If you follow these suggestions you will be helping your IT guy to help you, and everybody wins.