Jun 09, 2016 in Technology & Business / By Dave Davenport

12 Confessions of An Internal IT Guy


Hallowed as a savant genius by the non-technical, the Internal IT Guy has a persona that may in fact transcend his abilities. May be an exaggeration. Following the adage of some charlatan consultants – just learn a little more than your client – the Internal IT Guy does not have to be an expert to gain this disputable reputation as a technology support god. He merely must know a little bit about a lot of areas and be capable of getting systems running again.

We have tried to divine the real meaning as a means to help with the translation of some of the more common responses made by Internal IT Guy. Here are the 12 most common ones:

1. I can do that cheaper.

I’ll hide behind the fact that you don’t know how I spend my time and will take 4 times as long as a trained pro at installing that technology because I like messing around with new technology.

2. I fixed your problem. Call me if it happens again.

Well, I hope I fixed it but often I am only addressing the symptoms and not the root cause. That requires a level of expertise beyond my abilities. So, maybe you should just plan on calling me again. I’ll act surprised and then “research” the problem. See below.

3. Let’s reboot your computer.

When in doubt, give it a reboot. Microsoft has spent billions to recover operating systems when we reboot. It won’t fix the cause, but it will make it look like I know what I’m doing, and will make you happy to get running again. And I can get back to my pet project.

4. You can’t prevent viruses.

Viruses just happen. There are very smart hackers out bidding their ill-wills upon us innocents. Spam comes from all angles. Users cannot be prevented from being stupid. They click the wrong links.

5. Yea, a lot of people have complained about that.

I cannot fix the root cause so I keep rebooting computers, hoping the problem will just disappear. I find the constant interruptions a little annoying too. What am I supposed to do if I cannot fix the problem? I think it’s an issue with the OS or something…

6. Boss, the user clicked the link to Cryptolocker. You can’t prevent user mistakes!

I am really busy trying to keep everyone happy, and the stupid user clicked a link on an obviously illegitimate email. Now all the servers are locked and we have to pay a ransom or we cannot get our files back. What else am I to do?

7. We just need to buy a new …computer/firewall/wifi/etc.

I don’t really know how to maintain technology properly or plan for when it is a legitimate need for new stuff, so when something goes wrong, I will blame the problem on “old stuff” and suggest we buy a new one.

8. Let me finish with this and I’ll be right over to fix your problem.

I’m swamped and really don’t know when I can get back to you, but I will say this to get you to step away from my desk. Maybe I can get to you today, but maybe not. J

9. I’m still researching that issue.

Well, I still have no idea what’s wrong, but you don’t really expect me to tell you that, do you?! So leave me alone and hope that the problem is not critical. I might get around to trying to figure it out.

10. Let’s try this.

Stumped again. I’m going to experiment on your time and with your computer to see if I can luck into a solution. What do you expect? It’s not like I have any experts to consult about possible solutions.

11. Well, if you’d buy a new computer, you wouldn’t complain about slowness.

I figure if I push a cheapness excuse onto you, I can duck the need to do some real work on preserving these hard earned assets for another year or two. And this argument usually hides poor maintenance practices that require time and expertise under the veil of an unavoidable circumstance out of my control.

12. The Boss won’t spend any money of technology, so you’re stuck with that slow computer/slow internet/old software/virus attacks/etc.

Similar to above, let’s blame the boss for poor maintenance and management problems. Although technology can and will grow old, poor maintenance will greatly overstate the problems with aging technology. And since I am not 100% sure how to keep technology clean and fast, and what I do know takes lots of effort, I’d rather just give this easy response and move on to my pet projects.


Although we gest at times, we find it more common that one person is not capable of delivering an excellent IT experience in all areas of technology, even if they are really conscientious and professional. The task is too large, too complex. And thus, even the best will fail more often than not accordingly. But it isn’t always apparent to the business leaders when these “fails” occur, as they are largely hidden to the business – until it isn’t…

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