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what the voices in my head tell me to write

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Time for a rant 

I was reading that piece about some git in a suit saying linux will never catch on as the people who promote it are "not dressed for success".

This is so typical of the sort of attitude that managers / sales people etc in some companies have. Not ingenta thankfully. OK I admit I am in the scruffy herbert camp myself. My normal attire is combats and an old rugby shirt plus shorts in the summer. I only shave once a week when I go to visit my parents or Rae makes me. On the other hand I cant stand the sight of some 25 year old in his first proper suit and tie looking at me like I am a piece of scum in the street.

A while ago I was going to our Oxford office and took the train. I was sat working away on my laptop and initially had 4 seats plus the table to myself. Two sales guys got on at Salsbury and sat opposite me. They were around 30 and done up in nice shiny suits, crombie coats the lot. They get out their laptops and start working / chatting. After about 20 minutes one was having problems with Excel (these people only use Excel and Word and Outlook, I wouldn't install anything else on their PCs if I was their IT guy) He turned round and said, and I quote. "Your obviously in IT, can you fix my computer for me".

As I was stunned and trying to remain polite I asked what the problem was. He couldn't get Excel to format some columns how he wanted them. I explained that I don't do that sort of thing and he probably knew more about Excel than me (I have always hated spreadsheets but at least I can lay them out nicely). Again I quote. "Typical bloody IT" and they carried on and ignored me.

If thats how these people treat strangers on a train I am soooo glad I don't work for their company. Its symptomatic of the attitudes of "professional" people towards IT on the whole though. They are the Eloi and we are the Molochs. To quote the IT crowd from Channel 4, "We don't do much work, we have long lunches, affairs and look good. IT makes things happen for us". Of course we re-inforce that sterotype most of the time. I have done just that in some of this piece. I dont think the blame lies with IT though. We didn't start this. If you go back right to the start of the computer age 60+ years ago the same attitudes prevailed then. (I used to know someone who worked at Bletchley Park on Colossus and he told me so there).

So whats the cure. I could put on a suit I guess. Or the people wearing suits could change their ways. Or I could be more helpful. None of them are likley to happen.

Permanent link and Comments posted by Rob Cornelius @ Thursday, April 06, 2006

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