Many of us remember Jimmy Fallon’s SNL character, Nick Burns: Your Company’s Computer Guy. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, (I strongly encourage you to watch now…Seriously, I’ll wait) Nick Burns was the ultimate computer nerd with the cocky attitude to match. He even sported the stereotypical geek uniform: greasy hair parted down the side and combed down, giant glasses that covered his entire face, khaki flood water pants that strategically showed off his white gym socks, a thin short sleeve button up shirt, and multiple cell phones attached to his belt. Each Nick Burns episode took place in an office environment with everyday workers experiencing IT problems that were common of the late 1990’s. Once Nick Burns made his appearance in the scene, any and every problem that was presented to him was so easy for him to solve that he felt it necessary to point out how stupid the person was who asked it with a condescending, “MOVE!” Armed with IT lingo and keyboard shortcuts only the pros would know, he tortured his co-workers by bombarding them with insults that they didn’t even really understand. At the end of every sketch he would leave the room and pop his head back in and say, “Oh, by the way, You’re Welcome!!”
While this is a comical, over the top representation of a situation anyone who has ever worked in an office can relate to, the message behind it is all too accurate. How many times have you put off asking your IT guy a question because you didn’t want to sound dumb or you were afraid the answer to said question would only raise more questions? For this reason, many Managed IT Providers, like STL, are making more of a conscious effort to hire a support staff with a personality. Meaning, no longer will you have to deal with computer lingo, acronyms, or attitudes. Providing approachable, easy to understand support has become priority number 1 for many of these companies, and that means a more friendly IT support staff, employees who aren’t afraid to ask questions, and, ultimately, a more efficient work environment.
While Nick Burns was a great, funny character who made us all laugh because of his over the top representation of a familiar situation, it is time to put him to rest. It is time to introduce a new breed of nerd; a geek with people skills. Your IT guy/gal should not be a person you fear, they should be a person to whom you feel comfortable asking questions. They should be a person who can explain complex issues in an easy to understand language. If your current IT support does do either of these things, perhaps it’s time to drop your “Nick Burns” and trade them in for a more 21st century model.
Oh, by the way, You’re Welcome!!!