Tip your waitress, thank your IT manager

January 23, 20173 Minute Read

The holiday season is about giving thanks to the people around us. While computer systems hum along, many assume technology simply runs like magic, without ever seeing the IT brainpower behind the well-oiled machine. This is one of many reasons why you should thank your IT manager and encourage the rest of the office to do the same. Largely, their effort can go unnoticed. When employees are busy attending to their own tasks and deadlines, little attention is left to wonder how the tech, software, apps, and beyond work. It can seem almost effortless!

This isn’t exactly true—IT managers have a tough job, spending their days going between technology and users. Here are some things we should be thankful for this holiday season when it comes to our trusty IT team. Without them, tech wouldn’t be as useful as it is—which affects your productivity, efficiency, and more.

Being the Master Chief firefighter takes guts

If you’ve ever taken a 2:00 a.m. tech support call, you know what this is like. While some of us get these phone calls from time to time, IT managers never stop getting them. They’re usually the first ones to hear about problems. And it’s hard to fall into a peaceful sleeping routine when this happens, an all-too-familiar fact for today’s always-connected IT manager.

IT managers spend a lot of time working on the issue once it crops up—which means working to put out that dumpster fire of a problem from start to finish. The ability to manage a team in the throes of a crisis takes gumption and grit, especially in the heat of the moment. But it needs to be done, and IT managers are the fearless leaders that safely lead us out of trouble.

Running the complaints’ department isn’t easy

If you ever feel tired of users complaining about slow internet or bounced emails, imagine what it’s like for IT managers. They hear complaints the majority of their day. It’s constant: When they grab a cup of coffee, sit in meetings, or relax at home after hours, there’s always someone grumbling and sending requests their way. Often, users give underlings a reprieve from constant complaints—IT managers usually aren’t graced with the same mercy.

Planning for the future, IT managers still have to atone for the past from executives and other managers. But what many don’t realize is these managers also protect employees from the endless barrage of complaints. They take on the brunt of grievances and deal with it on their own.

IT managers deal with all the mistakes

Remember the time you accidentally shut down that critical server? How about the time you sent an overly sarcastic email to a nagging user? Working in IT isn’t always a walk in the park. This is especially true when you deal with a wide range of office personalities. Everyone is different—especially those who still spend time printing every single email received (a wonderful use of time and resources).

There is a silver lining here: Despite making mistakes, IT managers know it’s all just part of the job. It’s hard to believe, but IT managers earned their positions after making a generous number of mistakes. What got them moving up the ladder was the willingness to learn and grow from these mistakes. This wisdom is likely being passed on to you, even if you’re not consciously aware of it.

We’re not saying you should invite your IT manager over for Thanksgiving dinner next year—but it may not be that bad of an idea! At the very least, everyone should go out of their way to thank their IT manager. After all, it can occasionally feel like a thankless job. The holiday season is about giving and connecting with others. Why not extend that to the person who magically makes all systems go in the office—day in and day out.

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