How an IT guy is like a Park Ranger

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Sometimes my nerdy friends and I come up with funny analogies. Recently I decided that your IT person should be thought of as a park ranger. Don’t get mad at them when things aren’t going well, be glad they came around when they did! The more I laughed at the analogy, the more I started to like it.

I like to think of it this way: if you were being eaten by a bear, and a park ranger came by to help you – would you curse him out because the bear is eating you? Or would you just be glad that someone came by to rescue you? Your IT guy is watching over a large forest, there are lots of things going on at any one time, many of them untamed and wild – even if they do appear innocuous 90% of the time. It’s the IT person’s job to keep a watchful eye over everything, and spring in to action to quickly resolve problems. It is impossible to prevent everything, sooner or later an innocent hiker is going to step off the beaten path and upset the natural order of things. Now, when your computer crashes (or, you’re being eaten by a bear) you shouldn’t point fingers and blame the IT staff for letting this happen. You should be glad they are there to step in and take the corrective measures necessary to get you out of a nasty predicament.

Now, your IT staffer (see: park ranger) can’t just run in and scoop you out away from the bear. No, we need to try diversion tactics like playing dead, or Safe Mode. You might be wounded and need a first aid kit, or antivirus. No, you might not be 100% within minutes, but the park ranger is going to take care of you. You can ask over and over why the bear attacked you, but sometimes there isn’t an answer. The park ranger isn’t going to tell you that “you provoked the bear” – but in actuality, you probably did. You may have gone to the wrong place, or pushed it just a little more than it could stand. It’s hard to explain the breaking point of a bear – sometimes they just want to be left alone. They don’t tell us everything, but whatever the problem is, remember we’re on your side. It doesn’t do any good to yell at us, we didn’t make the bear, we weren’t there to see what happened when the bear attacked – but we’re here to help, now.

So, the next time your computer acts up and you need help, don’t just blame the IT guy. Just take solace in the thought that the problems will be over soon and you can get back to what you were doing. Someone has come to save the day! And although they prefer the peace and quiet, and they keep to themselves, and they may not have the answer to “why” – it’s not going to stop them from doing their duty to help you out whenever things suddenly take a turn for the worse.