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IT Workers Face Dangerous Stress

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-need-a-vacation dept.

136

feminazi writes "William Cross, CIO and Ph.D., told the IBM Share conference this week that IT workers often face dangerous levels of stress. In a Q&A with Computerworld.com, he described some of the manifestions: "They tend to be less emotionally stable. They tend to react strongly to small things that they might not react to under other circumstances. A change in schedule may be a crisis if somebody is really stressed." What to do? "Easy things. Exercise ... learn to relax, learn meditation, learn breathing exercises, participate in your religion — all of those things are very effective stress managers."" This story selected and edited by LinuxWorld editor for the day Saied Pinto.

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136 comments

Other methods of relieving stress (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15929980)

Go BOFH on your users.

It's a sure way to de-stress

Hi, my name is Libby Tarian (1, Funny)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930766)

The truth is, American workers are the laziest and unproductive workers in the world. Part of their unproductivity lies in the feeble nature of their bodies.

You don't hear of Chinese or East Indian workers suffering from this kind of stress, do you? That's because they love their work and they're grateful, unlike you lazy union commies. They could be digging a ditch filled with Union Carbide chemical waste and they'd be singing in the acid rain.

It's articles like this that convince me that you IT workers need to be relieved of your stress by laying you off and sending these stressful jobs to East India.

After a few years in poverty I'm sure you'll come crawling back to Corporate America begging for a chance to work 24 hour shifts writing software.

Your health doesn't mean squat; corporate profits are far more important!

[libertarian parody off]

Re:Hi, my name is Libby Tarian (1)

The NPS (899303) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930822)

I was nervous you were serious for a second there ..

Re:Hi, my name is Libby Tarian (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930975)

Nah. I'm so fed up with cheap labor Libertarians, police state neo cons and so forth, that I've started making fun of them. Ever notice how they don't have much to say in favor of their stupid right wing utopian policies anymore?

Re:Hi, my name is Libby Tarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15932768)

Libertarians aren't right wing, you stupid shit. Unless you think that decriminalization of drugs and prostitution is "right wing", dickhead. Don't be such a fucking fuck, you fucking fuck.

Note: The preceding is meant only as constructive criticism, not a personal attack of any kind, and any interpretation to the contrary shows just how much of a moron you really are, asshole.

Re: Hi, my name is Libby Tarian ... BOFH response (3, Funny)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930969)

Perfect. Another "abuser" who so easily gave up her name. Let me go see here... Clickity, click, click, clack... Ahhh, yes. Let me see here. hmmm... looks like all her current programming work is being done out of her home directory. Click, click, clack.... Too bad it just suffered a disk failure. And lets go look for those backup tapes so I can perform the recovery. Lets see here, yes, tape103842. Lets just put it in the specially built "custom" DLT drive (you know the one that I modified the read/write head so that it actually writes the binary converted DC electric sine wave from the power supply to the tape when trying to "restore" a file). That will get things back in order. Let me also go connect my "special network patch cord" in for Libby's computer (the one that connects to the 240V 40Amp plug back here with the other end being her computer's NIC). Bzzzzz... POP! Yes, another satisfied customer.

Not wise to do that if you're American (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931016)

The FBI will relentlessly hunt you down for that.

If you filch my personal info from a data center in India and sell it to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, however, the FBI can't touch you! Identity theft is much more fun than wrecking a computer! And remember, it's easy to get my information... just bribe the data center manager a year's salary... which amounts to your lunch money for a week.

Ah, the joys of offshoring!

[this is a parody, of course]

Libby Tarian is.... (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931413)

Just another word for
Anarcy in a suit.

Anarchy was good enough for me..
Good enough for me and Ayn Rand.

Re:Hi, my name is Libby Tarian (1)

Money for Nothin' (754763) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932470)

Ah, I love the smell of strawman arguments in the morning. It smells like VICTORY!

If I were a better comedian, it'd be easy to make a counter-parody of the socialists that make such libertarian parodies: You don't hear of North Koreans suffering from digging Union Carbide ditches while singing in the acid rain, do you? Of course not; their economic system is too backward to get them to a post-agrarian level in the first place!

I'm sure after a few years living under the gun of Fidel Castro or former Chairman Mao or Kim Jong-Il -- or, at least, after living with the 10% unemployment rate of France, or the nearly-complete reliance on other nations for military defense of the no-longer-raping-and-pillaging Nordic countries -- you'll be happy to come crawling back to your non-coerced 8-10 hour/day jobs here in the U.S..

(Admittedly, I've never been a particularly-funny guy.)

On unions, I will say this:

I'm a philosophical supporter of non-coercive unions (though not a member) -- and libertarian. The costs of unions -- increased healthcare costs, increased wages, the layers of management that goes into building a union (just like any organization), etc. -- are passed-on to the end consumer, like any tax. So unions do, to some extent, cause inflation and act as a hidden tax.

But in a free market, labor and management are necessarily almost always at odds -- one views the other as a necessary expense in the pursuit of increased profit, while the other views the one as a limited, but necessary purchaser of their time and rights. And in order to secure anything resembling a stable, safe work relationship without major government interference, the work relationship requires the presence of a powerful base of unionized labor with significant negotiating ability. But in saying that, I'm basically echoing the (compared to today) free-market views of the original AFL founder...

In short: Corporate management has people who spend their days figuring out how to wring the most out of their employees; why shouldn't employees have people who spend their days figuring out how to wring the most out of their corporate management?

That, along with stronger shareholder power in publicly-traded companies, ought to at least curb the madness that is modern executive compensation, and without resorting to government interference (at least for the most part, depending on how the increase in shareholder power is designed). Not that getting to such a point is as easy as it was for me to type that point though; it never is...

Re:Other methods of relieving stress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15931619)

Go BOFH on your users.

It's a sure way to de-stress

Nice if you can pull it off. But managers today aren't satisfied with you being just user-friendly -- they want you to be fucking user-obsequious. Tell it like it is to a luser and they'll go running to Mommy Manager whimpering, "He was cross with me" and it'll show up in your next evaluation. It will be garbed in words like "not a team player", "negativistic", "unprofessional", etc. Basically it means you demanded the same respect from lusers which you have a right to demand (but not get) from your managers. (Been there.)

Having duly read many of the following responses, I see they mostly have to do with how to manage your stress, not your stressor. When managers can meet your complaints with, "See that Indian guy over there? I can get his brother-in-law back home in Pissipoor to do your job for wages that are down in the financial noise", then you have a real problem.

Some years back, the shit-eating Supreme Court decided to declare open season on anyone over 40 (where the real experience lies). Since there were age discrimination laws on the books, they decided that as long as you didn't use the word "age", you could replace a "more expensive" -- wink, wink, nudge, nudge -- worker (i.e. higher salaried, more prone to raise your health insurance costs) with a "less expensive" worker (i.e. willing to work longer hours for less pay and not bitch about it).

Re:Other methods of relieving stress (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15932635)

Things that work well (mostly) with LDAP: Samba, Postfix, that script that tells the router to poison specific arp caches, Proftpd, etc, etc. Things that work poorly with LDAP: Chuck, because I hate him.

Religion? (3, Funny)

Trouvist (958280) | more than 7 years ago | (#15929981)

What happens when our religion is our IT work? Then when we practice it, wouldn't it become a viscious spiral into hell?

Re:Religion? (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930020)

> What happens when our religion is our IT work? Then when we practice it, wouldn't it become a viscious spiral into hell?

You go to the scary devil monastery [faqs.org] , and your spiral into hell starts when you go Down, not Across [wikipedia.org] .

("That's it! I have had it with these muthafuckin' lusers on my muthafuckin' server!")

Appropriate Sacrifice (1)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930470)

> What happens when our religion is our IT work? Then when we practice it, wouldn't it become a viscious spiral into hell?

You go to the scary devil monastery [faqs.org] , and your spiral into hell starts when you go Down, not Across [wikipedia.org] .

This only happens when you have neglected all of the appropriate rites and rituals of the faith. This especially includes the sacrificial white chicken on the Altar of the Keyboard of the Server Almighty. Your input mast be acceptable and perfect in form and function, lest you be pointed out by the flying fickle finger of fate, and your errors are made known to all. Only the most arcane masters may substitute a rubeer chicken, and then only at great peril.

Re:Appropriate Sacrifice (1)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930709)

Heh. My favorite threat was "Fix it! Or I'll have your liver, lights and login on the altar come midnight!"

Note that this was said to me, not by me. I had to invoke the Forgotten Ones (and Zeroes) to save my persistent soul, but it all worked out fine in the end.

Re:Religion? (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930772)

Only when you work in the video game industry. Your pointy-tailed boss will remind that your continual sacrifice to the video game gods is your only path to salvation. I did that for six years before I realized that I could take an IT help desk job to work only 40 hours per work and get paid as if I was working 80 hours in the video game industry. My stress levels went way down after I made the switch.

Take small breaks to do quick exercise (3, Informative)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 7 years ago | (#15929987)

For developers, or those who otherwise sit at the keyboard and monitor for long stretches, don't underestimate the importance of getting up to do a few stretches every once in a while.

Once I sat in front of Visio, concentrating on state diagrams for a loong time. (I was just learning how to use Visio.) When I finally got up, my mouse arm was wracked in pain. I had sat there for hours, sans break, without realizing it.

Re:Take small breaks to do quick exercise (1)

Lusa (153265) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931175)

The lesson I learned from this is to not get up, keep at it and the pain will not be noticed :) Though I have to admit usually at the end of the day I'm so pissed off I have a desire to throttle someone...

Re:Take small breaks to do quick exercise (1)

cswiger2005 (905744) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931352)

This is actually one of the main benefits to being a sysadmin type rather than a developer-- sysadmins generally end up moving around to look at and solve issues on end-user workstations, move servers or monitors around, check or adjust network cabling, etc, etc.

Having to move around on a regular basis rather than spending 4-8 hours in the coding mindset is helpful...

That's us, oversensitive (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15930002)

Those changes in schedule that IT people get worked up about:

"The hardware you wanted won't be available until two days after launch. Is that going to be a problem?"
"Why the hysterics, the manufacturer said they'll have Linux drivers weeks before our new launch date."
"How long after the launch date do you think it will be before you NEED the backup server?"

The little things I get stress over the day before a large scale deployment:

"We just decided we liked your idea. Can we make the database access clustered?"
"For our launch announcement, how long can we claim it will take to have this ported to Windows Mobile too?"
"The RAM you requested didn't arrive because we didn't order it. How many simultaneous users can we support with half the RAM?"
"We can just add the extra disk space to the servers with USB drives right?"

IT guys are sooo damned touchy!

Participate in your religion? Meditation? (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930010)

Well that is interesting. I thought most IT people shun religion and mysticism. Goes along with being scientific-minded.

Re:Participate in your religion? Meditation? (1)

bb5ch39t (786551) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930126)

<flamebait>

Religious believe should not necessarily be incompatable with being scientific-minded. Remember that science cannot explain everything. It is just a methodology for specific purposes. Unless, like many I know, you make science your religion.

</flamebait>

Re:Participate in your religion? Meditation? (1)

MrRuslan (767128) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930303)

Ahmen to that!

Re:Participate in your religion? Meditation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15930491)

"science cannot explain everything."

Yep. That's what religion is for.

Re:Participate in your religion? Meditation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15930562)

I mostly reject your statement that "science cannot explain everything". Presently, science *does not* explain some natural phenomenon. But careful application of scientific principles has continuously revealed new branches of knowledge and understanding. And while our understanding of the world and universe (possible more if string theory is correct) is certainly not complete, there is no basis to say that there isn't any particular problem that the application of scientific principles cannot eventually answer. However, it is my hypothesis that the greater detailed understanding we have of our envrionment and ourselves, scientific endeavors will always reveal more questions than answers. So in a sense, specifically in the sense that you can never reach mathematical limits, it may be possible that "science cannot explain everything", but it will reveal much more than the rejection of scientific studies and principles.

Re:Participate in your religion? Meditation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15931604)

That's a false choice, to recognize that science has some limitations is not to reject it. One problem with people like you who've made science your religion is that the logic center in your brain has stopped functioning.

Re:Participate in your religion? Meditation? (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931317)

the problem is not science, the problem is that religion demands acceptance of illogical and unscientific premises

Re:Participate in your religion? Meditation? (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930168)


> Well that is interesting. I thought most IT people shun religion and mysticism.
> Goes along with being scientific-minded.

Newton, Einstein, Kepler, Oppenheimer, and many others were heavily influenced by mysticism.

Here are some Einstein quotes:
"The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion.
Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science.
Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man.
To know that what is impenatrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties - this knowledge, this feeling ... that is the core of the true religious sentiment.
In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself amoung profoundly religious men."

jfs

Re:Participate in your religion? Meditation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15930879)

Here are some more Einstein quotes, yours were quite one-sided indeed. Notice especially the last one:

"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms."

"I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it."

"Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

"a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being."

"I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation."

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

Re:Participate in your religion? Meditation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15930910)

"and lives in a state of fear is a dead man."

He never ceases to amaze me old Einstein, his physics often seems overshadowed by his spot on philosophy.
Working in the patent office clearly left him deeply opposed to intellectual property as a concept too.
Most interesting of all are the letters he exchanged with Freud on the subject of war. It's frightening
how far we've regressed in 70 years.

So, on topic, yes, fear is the mind killer. That has a thousand times more relevance to stress than the nature
of IT as a job. In fact IT is one of the most pleasurable ways to work there is. Only yesterday the Slashdot
fortune was "Why work when you can write computer programs?" What makes IT stressful is the old "Lions led by
donkeys" problem. The corporate environment is staffed with closed minded arrogant, ignorant fucktards whos
only people skills are to control through threats and FUD. That's whay IT can be stressful, not because of
any inherent reason.

Re:Participate in your religion? Meditation? (1)

UNIX_Meister (461634) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930224)

Religion and science, faith and reason, don't necessarily have to be mutually exclusive. [wikipedia.org] While raised Catholic, I tend to be very science oriented (which probably impacted my geekiness) and if I had to pin down my views, would tend towards Deism [wikipedia.org] , not unlike Thomas Jefferson. While many people have trouble reconciling faith and reason, both are welcome at my UU church, and since I started attending and being involved, my stress level has definitely gone down.

Re:Participate in your religion? Meditation? (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931151)

Interesting that you found Unitarian Universalism. My parents are both UU's and I wasn't exactly raised UU, but I'm definitely fimilar with it.

Re:Participate in your religion? Meditation? (5, Interesting)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930489)

You need to experience more of the world. What passes for "religion" in the main stream media (and politics :-( ) in the US is just a stagnant tidal pool among all religions.

I'm reminded of a great quote from the Dalai Lama(iirc, and *) that I saw a few months ago. Some interviewer was asking what it would mean to Buddhism if scientists proved something contrary to our teachings. He looked at the interviewer like he was insane, then said that the teachings would be changed to reflect reality. No fuss, but then again the central premise of Buddhism is to become truly aware of what's going on. (Which is an incredibly scary thing, once you start to get serious about it. You can't hide things from yourself any longer.)

(*) ObDisclosure -- I consider myself a Buddhist in a Tibetean tradition, so strictly speaking the Dalai Lama is our spiritual leader. But it's nothing like what you would see in the Catholic church, for instance. I just thought the statement really caught the way that it's a non-issue.

Re:Participate in your religion? Meditation? (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932295)

I call bull. Notice I say mysticism is just as bad as religion. And I've seen the Dalai Lama speak--he knows very little of math, physics, and technology. And is thus worthless.

Re:Participate in your religion? Meditation? (1)

rgravina (520410) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932461)

And I've seen the Dalai Lama speak--he knows very little of math, physics, and technology. And is thus worthless.

Just because the Dalai Lama can't write proofs, calculate the stress on a I-beam or program in C doesn't mean he wouldn't believe Bhuddism's world view should change if some scientific discovery suggests that it should.

1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15930039)

FP!

Nubs.... (1)

Elyjah (108222) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930067)

"...learn to relax, learn meditation, learn breathing exercises..."

LRN2PLY!

Stress... (5, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930082)

...remind me again, how do we measure it?

I used to believe in stress, but now I've come to realize what I was experiencing was actually exasperation at poor decisions made by people who are paid far more than I. It's not really an illness or disease, as much as a realisation that the criteria applied to who gets the top jobs is utterly useless. Less concentration on shiny suits and bullshit - more on ability to deliver results.

Re:Stress... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15930145)

Except stress is a physiological response that can be measured through serum levels of various substances (e.g., cortisol), so you can
believe in it or not, fact remains it's real and measureable.

Re:Stress... (2, Funny)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930730)

...remind me again, how do we measure it?
LARTs per luser?

Re:Stress... (2, Funny)

NoBozo99 (836289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930791)

Definition: Fighting the desire to strangle some idiot that absolutely deserves it!

Re:Stress... (3, Funny)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931566)

...remind me again, how do we measure it?
Force divided by area.

Re:Stress... (2, Funny)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 7 years ago | (#15933219)

You mean using one's bare hands to squeeze the neck of the clueless manager that missplaned the whole project and then pressured everbody into working 80 hours/weeks for 3 months to get a big fat bonues is actually less stress than wearing army boots and giving that same person a good strong kick in the butt?

Amazing!

No shit!!! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15930090)

WTF! Especially about the part where we over-react to small things - FUCK YOU! WTF are you talking about - cocksucker! I'll kick your fucking teeth in!

Oh wait, my bad! Too much coffee.

Specially IT workers... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15930101)

"Mail is down again! noob!"
"Everything's working fine, so what did you do today, Oh, nothing?"
"It doesn't work, fix it!"

You just described... (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930127)

... the average medical resident, especially the surgical residents. On the other hand, we aren't supposed to be working more than 80 hours a week.

Re:You just described... (1)

intrico (100334) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930199)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe medical residents are typically on their feet moving around a lot. While on the other hand, a (un)healthy percentage of IT workers are relatively stationary, and not making any real attempt to eat healthy.

Re:You just described... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15930953)

... the average medical resident, especially the surgical residents. On the other hand, we aren't supposed to be working more than 80 hours a week.
Nor should they, and more importantly so. Those AMA assholes.

Stress? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15930149)

I've been a programmer for many years. I have a personality type that thrives on stress. So you know what I do? Consulting. I get brought in on doomed projects. Every month is a working marathon. Right now I've been on a job since February, the original deadline was May, the latest deadline for that May deliver is Sept. I eat stress for breakfast, sure my health starts to go after 14-16 hour days 6 days a week (sometimes 7), but I get paid very well for it and take some time off to recover between jobs.

Well I keep meaning to take some time off between jobs, but the head hunters just throw more ridiculous sums of money at me. I haven't had a proper vacation for years, but after a week of not working I start getting bored. I'm sure things would be different if I had a family waiting for me to get home at night, but considering I'm only 3 years out of college, this is fun. Also the stress on the job pales in comparison to the stress I went through during plebe year at Annapolis. I transfered to UW Madison after that year, but stress does not effect me in the same way it used to.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15932146)

Your life sounds entertaining, and I would like to subscribe to your Web 2.0-enabled newsletter

Re:Stress? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#15933136)

That's not stress. That's called work. Stress is when you have no control over what you're doing, when things change around you for no reason that you have no say over, where your decision is undermined by others who should be supporting you. The issues to your health you described are simply overwork taking its toll, and fixed by taking a break.

The people feeling stress on your projects are the plebs at the bottom, pulled this way and that by their own (probably incompetent project managers). I would hope that you're style of fixing the crap projects are to bring everyone together so they feel part of something that works, that they have input in a constructive way, that they're not treated like they don't count. Then, they'd feel their time spent at the job was worthwhile, they wouldn't be spending more time defensively on politics, they'd be happy doing their jobs.

What Stress? (1)

phiwholigan (898048) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930177)

I work as a Software Engineer / Oracle DBA. I have no stress. I don't like end lusers but i dont stress about them. Stress is for people who dont know the answer and dont know where to look to find it. When you know the answer or know where to look for it life is much easier. Also constant breaks to read Slashdot helps.

Re:What Stress? (5, Interesting)

Synonymous Bosch (957964) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930748)

Stress is when you get given too much work to do in too short a period of time and it can only be completed through your own raw output, not by referencing the work of others - usually as a result of poor resourcing and budgeting by management, and over-commitment to service levels.

one might say people who continue to work for such companies or in such conditions are idiots and just stressing themselves. This is either true (in a lot of cases) or just short-sighted (in many others).

As an example, I work in a high stress position, providing my services cheaper than my peers for a job I genuinely believe in (providing technology to under-privileged children so they can complete school and break out of the poverty cycle). If that's not worth a bit of stress, I don't know what is.

anyone who says they have no stress or don't believe in stress just doesn't have a stressful job. their experiences don't define anyone elses - nor invalidate them.

Re:What Stress? (1)

Black Art (3335) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931275)

one might say people who continue to work for such companies or in such conditions are idiots and just stressing themselves. This is either true (in a lot of cases) or just short-sighted (in many others).

Or they have a mortgage and not enough saved to sit out a couple of weeks while payroll catches up.

I have worked for a couple of companies that worked hard to keep their employees on a close enough financial edge so they could not leave and did not have enough money to hire legal council. I would not be surprised if MBAs are taught to do that on purpose.

Re:What Stress? (1)

ooze (307871) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932896)

Hmmm ... what is it when everybody in a project but one or two run nervously about for the stress they have? What what if those one or two are actually those that need to get the work done? I'd say that those one or two are pretty much resistant to stress.

I don't get stressed by jobs. I'm a contractor, so I don't play any role in internal career plans of others (or have any career plans in the company of myself that could affect my or others thinking). Basically I don't really care wether anyone makes money or not or looks good or not on those projects. All I care about is to get the job done properly. If anyone has unrealistic schedules, then it's not my fault. And in 90% of the cases, is some manager makes an unrealistic schedule, then he usually does some mistakes that are undeniably his own that will pull delay the project more and gives everybody else more time to do their jobs.

I can only remember one time when I was stressed out at work. But the source of that stress was private life, wich was falling apart in a lot of ways then. Obviously that affected my performance, and people noticed. But it didn't last too long.

Everybody stressing out over a job can just blame himself.

That being said, I usually have pretty good project managers.

Re:What Stress? (1)

akuzi (583164) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932926)

> Stress is when you get given too much work to do in too short a period of time...

I think you are correct - the most common IT worker stress is caused by a combination of:
  1. Having to finish tasks too quickly (ie. feeling 'rushed') OR
  2. Having too many tasks to do at once (ie. feeling 'swamped' with tasks)

Both situations immediately put people in a very uncomfortable mental state.

I agree that sometimes this is a management failure, but i think you also have to take some personal responsibility for your own time management (perhaps by implementing a personal task management system such as GTD).

Re:What Stress? (1)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931648)

phiwholigan said:
I have no stress. [...] Also constant breaks to read Slashdot helps.
Here's a clue. If you've got time to read Slashdot then of course your job isn't stressful. If you had a stressful job then you wouldn't have time to read Slashdot once a day, let alone taking "constant breaks" to do so. It has nothing to do with knowing the answers or knowing where to look. Likewise, lounging around the pool all day is usually not stressful.

My excuse is that I'm retired (because of too much stress).

This is old news. (1)

weeboo0104 (644849) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930234)

To deal with stress, breathe, participate in activities outside of work, exercise, set priorities and don't put too many hours in the office. These are all nice suggestions, but look at the conditions many IT workers have to work under.

We are frequently required to carry pagers or phones for 24x7 support. Work can't always be left in the office because of this. On our days off and after hours, phone calls and pages are made to us to fix what other people see as problems. Exercise more? I would love to. I used to go to the gym 3-5 times a week on my way home from work until a manager complained I was only spending 8-9 hours a day working. How about setting priorities? That works fine until someone comes up with the next burning issue (like they want a report with nice pictures they can show their boss that afternoon) that has to be handled ASAP and tells you to put everything else on the back burner.

I think it was funny that this CIO was talking about these things with IBM considering that IBMers in Global Services are REQUIRED(!) to put in at least 15% OT in 2006. (yep, especially the salaried ones).

Re:This is old news. (3, Insightful)

cgreuter (82182) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930678)

I used to go to the gym 3-5 times a week on my way home from work until a manager complained I was only spending 8-9 hours a day working.

So you updated your resume and found a job working for sane people, right?

Re:This is old news. (1)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930821)

I used to go to the gym 3-5 times a week on my way home from work until a manager complained I was only spending 8-9 hours a day working.

At which point, you inform him that he either gets you for 10 hours a day or he gets you on the pager/cell phone. Not both. Just because the manager chooses to spend 12 hours a day in the office doesn't mean everyone else has to. Grow a backbone; an unreasonable demand is an unreasonable demand.

If your company can't afford to hire enough IT staff so they make everyone else work double shifts, they're probably not doing so well anyway. There are plenty of employers these days who are willing to let you work a 40 hour week that you shouldn't put up with it unless they're paying you extraordinarily well.

Re:This is old news. (1)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931076)

There are plenty of employers these days who are willing to let you work a 40 hour week


there are? It seems the minimum nowadays is 45+ unless you want to be seen as a slacker. Not to mention the commute. Not to mention only 2 weeks of vacation and 5 sick days a year. Not to mention the 'I know you are tired/burned out but I really need this to be done so can you come in on the w/end' etc. etc. etc.

I would gladly take a 25% pay cut tomorrow if I could work 30 hours a week with 50% remote (to save on the commute), I'd probably work 7 hour Mon-Thu with 8 hour Tue/Wed from home and have Fri-Sun off. I bet that due to the extra spare time I would have available for working out and in general improving myself I'd probably be just as productive as I am now full time (and a lot less stressed/burned out).

Re:This is old news. (1)

fastgood (714723) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931540)

It seems the minimum nowadays is 45+ unless you want to be seen as a slacker.

Tell your boss that you'll give the company 12 hours a day by leaving home for work at 7am, getting home at 7pm, and being available by phone during the commute.

Point out to him that this is 48 hours a week, that he gets you most days of the week (four), and that on these days you spend 75% of your waking hours on this job.

Throw in something about how you do your best thinking while driving to and from work, and remind him he doesn't get you to do this routine on a five days a week basis.

If you've got an 8-5 job in an urban area where you allow an extra 20 minutes to get to work, and stay an hour late ... you are already doing the five-by-12 grind.

Either get yourself the extra day off, or get the boss to compromise that he doesn't get to make you work the four-day-plan hours. Go home by noon at least once a week.

Re:This is old news. (2, Interesting)

detonator (90134) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931962)

I worked for IBM Global Services many years ago. They were trying to pull this kind of mandatory overtime crap when I quit in 1997.

This seems like an attempt to circumvent labor laws. IANAL. In any event, it skirts the mutual understanding between you and your employer when the salary offer is made: the annualized figure is based on a standardized number of work hours per year, which is calculated from a 40-hour work week. Requiring 15% overtime (46 hours per week, or over an hour a day) amounts to a de facto pay cut. Put another way, if any hours worked beyond 8 in one day are worth time and a half, then your paycheck should be 22.5% bigger. IBM, if your pay and benefits aren't 22.5% higher than the competitive benchmark for this position, than you're SOL.

This is such a sneaky, underhanded tactic. Boo!

Cause and effect (4, Insightful)

taustin (171655) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930273)

"They tend to be less emotionally stable."

But is that because they are in IT, or are they in IT because of that?

Re:Cause and effect (1)

dR.fuZZo (187666) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930427)

But is that because they are in IT, or are they in IT because of that?

As someone in IT, I'd like to say: I'd throw a chair at you right now if I could.

Re:Cause and effect (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15932560)

Both and fuck you, I hate you, I hate myself, everything sucks.

It's reports like the above.... (2, Informative)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930335)

..... That make firms with rec rooms, fun company outings, enforced breaks during the workday (to read, improve your IT education, etc.), and subsidized memberships to gyms and the like the ones to work for. I would suspect that those companies have IT staff that are less stressed and they have less retention issues..... Not to mention they lower the risk of some overstressed IT person going postal. More examples can be found here:

http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,20972,00. html [wired.com]
http://self-help.vocaboly.com/archives/495/value-y our-employees-by-offering-company-perks/ [vocaboly.com]

Re:It's reports like the above.... (3, Insightful)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931166)

My company does a lot of what you look for. Here's my take:

Fun company-sponsored outings. What a waste. Just because I work with you, does not mean I'd like to spend my spare time at a picnic with you. In fact, after working hours, I want to get as far away from you all as possible.

Unfortunately, these "fun outings" turn into a political nightmare. Unless you volunteer your own time to help set-up, clean-up, or cook, you are seen as someone who hates the company. Unless you show up and play softball or voleyball, you are seen as having no loyalty. You have to sit with people who fired your best friend or smartest worker and smile and drink beer and talk about their fucking kids and listen to them struggle to remember my fucking kids.

And God help you if you or your wife doesn't bring a good side dish.

Rec rooms are okay, but you are looked down upon if you spend too much time there. There are days when my workload is really light. But, I'm still chained to my desk looking busy. Why? Because I've already used my 15 minutes playing ping-pong.

We don't have enforced breaks, but we do have subsidized education and certification. If you take a class over lunch or at the end of the day, bosses are very understanding and ensure you get there on time. Although, you may have to come back after class and burn the midnight oil.

We also have free memberships for a local gym. Almost no one goes. It really is sad to see how people put their work and family before their own personal health. Never quite understanding that, if you are dead at 40, you do your family no good.

We also do casual fridays every now and again. You usually have to drop $5 in a bucket to participate. The money goes towards the next stupid fucking picnic. If you don't participate (my casual *is* buisness casual), everyone thinks you were too poor to afford the $5.

Re:It's reports like the above.... (1)

jours (663228) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932416)

Did you notice the dateline on that Wired artice about "High-End Tech Company Perks"?

July 31, 1999.

Yeah, that sure was a fun time, wasn't it? See if you can dig up any of the articles between then and now that explain what happened to all the dot-com companies. I've never worked for the big guys mentioned in there, but I'll wager they don't offer all those perks now. They don't have to.

Companies aren't quite as anxious to overpay for decent talent anymore. All those things you mention end up in the budget right along side of "cost of employee salaries" and "cost of employee benefits". So I'll take whatever they're willing to pay me in cash instead of subsidized gym memberships, thank you very much. It's already hard enough to be faster and more accurate than the other guy (who is also decent, lives overseas, and is cheaper than I am)...I don't need the overall cost of American labor at our firm to be even higher because we're paying for rec rooms and company outings.

Re:It's reports like the above.... (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 7 years ago | (#15933259)

In my experience, those kind of companies are the same that try and make their workers do as many extra (unpaid) work hours as possible. It's the same guys that will arrange for dry-cleaning services to come pickup their workers clothes at work - the point being to reduce the need to go home and to have people (working) in the office as long as possible.

Often company perks of this kind, for example company cars, are not only cheaper to provide than actually paying a industry competitive salary, but also have a secondary purpose to benefict the company (people with company cars are often detached to the offices of the customer, company outtings with the family can be used by management to get a feeling for the moral of the employes and will also, by getting a worker's family used to those outings and the people there, bind them tightelly with the company and make it harder for the worker to quit that job).

They missed another relaxer - Getting Laid (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930431)

No wonder IT workers are still under so much stress!

Re:They missed another relaxer - Getting Laid (1)

kn0tw0rk (773805) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931006)

Hey, this is /.

If I could be, I would be getting some female attention.
And I'd be a lot less stressed.

Its like 'How many ladies would understand that I'm looking for some horizontal DDR?' :-)

Re:They missed another relaxer - Getting Laid (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931662)

It's not easy when you have to repeatedly cancel dates at the last minute or even leave half way through one. Ringing up to ask for pirated software for home or the many other stupid interruptions I have received outside of work hours is unpleasant and frequently makes me a grumpy and unpleasant peson to be with. People have to learn that staff that are on call are to be called for very important things that cannot wait for business hours or for unusual burning smells coming out of the server room. IT staff have to bear the brunt of the poor time management of others and lose the ability to manage their own time in many circumstances.

Are you ready for a revolutionary concept? (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930483)

People work better when they get enough sleep and aren't working extremely long hours! Furthermore, workers who are able to have a life outside of work are happier, get sick less, and are able to spend time with their families!

I find it disheartening that a manager figuring that out would be worthy of an article. I mean, this shouldn't be rocket science. The general idea I've gotten from various managers is that you can get more productivity out of people with a certain amount of overtime for a short period of time, but frequent overtime or extreme "crunch time" will in the end just destroy your work force and with it your work.

Re:Are you ready for a revolutionary concept? (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931191)

Not to mention it's financially unsound. When you work someone 60+ hours a week, you've reached the point where it'd be cheaper just to hire another worker. That is, if workers demanded overtime...

In all honesty, I think companies *want* the workers to fail. They want to be able to show a page of your code after 60+ hours of work along side the code created by a team of Indian programmers. After that, it's just a matter of getting you to quit so that they don't have to announce layoffs.

Re:Are you ready for a revolutionary concept? (1)

DuctTape (101304) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931663)

People work better when they get enough sleep and aren't working extremely long hours! Furthermore, workers who are able to have a life outside of work are happier, get sick less, and are able to spend time with their families!

Um, that's almost besides the point. You neeeeeed to have a measurable metric of effort, and the only one there is, regardless of actual output, is how much time you're spending visibly working. If the product is late, there's pressure from above to increase effort. How do you measure effort? Um, work smarter? Nope. Um, cut out the unnecessary features, or do some sort of triage? Nope. How about putting in more hours? Hmmmm... yes, the bigboss will see people here working long hours, so you must be putting in more effort.

Otherwise how do they know that you know that you're serious about the situation and that you're not taking your burden lightly? After all, it's the developers' fault that the product is late. You should have known in your estimates that you would need to be more flexible and responsive to the customers' needs. You can't hide behind the agreed-to and signed-off requirements. C'mon you've been in the business long enough to know the score. Butch up, and give up your personal life for the company. Remember, there's no I in Team, and we can replace your ass by someone in India that really wants to work. Go Team Go!

DT

Not TOO stressful (1)

BlahMatt (931052) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930501)

While it's true that most of us (speaking from a software dev's and previous support analyst point of view) are stressed. We aren't overly stressed to the point of snapping when the smallest thing goes wrong. I'm used to having things go wrong, unexpected bugs popping up, code just not compiling... etc etc, as I think most developers are. It's a stressful job (particularily close to release date), but so are most. I certainly wouldn't call it "Dangerous levels of stress".

IT Team can help filter stress (2, Insightful)

Vokkyt (739289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930530)

Depending on your coworkers and what happens during the little bits of downtime you get, how the stress affects you (well, me anyways) can change drastically. I work IT at a college, and we're being prepped for the onslaught of the students returning next week. Basically, we're having our shifts broken up, everyone is working, and we are keeping the workers in and out so no one gets fucked by the horde of students who don't know how to take care of spyware. That seems to be a fairly good model, and one that I know is used by the fast food industry, or at least places I've worked at.

On top of that, I think that a lot of the stress that common IT jobs have is from the repetitiveness of what happens all the time. Explaining the same thing not only to customers, but to your boss or to management several times is much more annoying that one would think. Sometimes I get pretty ecstatic when someone comes in with an extremely difficult problem as opposed to an easy one, simply because I get to actually think about what I'm doing instead of just regurgitating the same stuff over and over again. The stress doesn't necessarily have to come from the work load; sometimes it's just a lack of job satisfaction.

Haven't your heard? (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930570)

It's not stress. They've renamed being a stressed out geek. It's now called "Aspergers Syndrome", and you can claim to have it on message boards so that people pay more attention to you. You also can get on the whole "disability" gravy train, even though there's nothing wrong with you. It's really a great advancement for all IT workers.

Asperger's Syndrome != Stress (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931078)

Asperger's Syndrome is a form of autism. It can lead to being a stressed out geek but it is not the same thing.

Re:Haven't your heard? (1)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931652)

First, as others have pointed out there's no connection between stress and Asperger's.

Second, the fact that 99% of the people with the disease du jour from a short checklist in Reader's Digest or Slashdot or whatever does not mean that the other 1% are also just fooling themselves. Dismissing them is as unacceptable as dismissing anyone else with a "hidden" illness. E.g., my girlfriend has fibromyagia (only she can spell it). She looks fine, we can go on short hikes, but I would never say that she's just lazy if she doesn't want to go on longer or more intense hikes.

BTW I have AS, and it took an autism specialist, a long questionaire and an hour+ interview focused heavily on my childhood and teen years to make that diagnosis. Like most adults (it seems) my main reaction during the interview was "uh, oh, that makes sense now!", and the main benefit is having a context when doing the hard work with clinical psychologists. The people who want to use a (self-)diagnosis as a "get out of a jail free card" disgust me, and I suspect everyone else who has AS and is working hard to work around it.

What do I mean by 'hard work'? E.g., my natural response is a conversation is extremely 'flat', something people interpret as being uninterested or even aloof. I've learned how to 'act' to give the right social signals (nodding, 'uh huh', etc.) so it's no longer a problem in casual conversation, but it came across as false and manipulative for years. Even today I'll slip if I'm tired.

Re:Haven't your heard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15931877)

Do you even know what Aspergers is? If anything it's poor social skills. It has nothing to do with stress. Maybe you should actually take a minute and learn about the subject before you start ranting.

Yah, it's the IT works fault. (1)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930828)

Of course it's the fault of the workers. I mean, why should anyone get stressed working 12 hr days 6-7 days a week on some death march. Seriously people, just go for a jog. That'll fix everything.

Re:Yah, it's the IT works fault. (1)

prurientknave (820507) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930890)

mod this guy up please.

It's is about time for a union (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#15930937)

people in other Industries when though the same things long hours, no over time pay, on call all the time, bosses who want stuff done now even know that takes longer then they give you the time for and other things.

Re:It's is about time for a union (1)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931111)

How about setting reasonable expectations and growing a spine? Demand compensation time for significant amounts of overtime worked, don't be on-call for the little stuff, and tell your boss that the project is X number of man-hours worth of work which won't fit in Y weeks worth of man-hours. I get the same problem here but I let my boss know what the deal is and deliver on a sane time schedule. Just because marketing promised a customer a totally new revision of the system with a completely rebuilt architecture in two weeks doesn't mean they're going to get it. If your boss doesn't recognize this, it's either time to renegotiate your contract to make the stress/overtime worth it or find a company that knows what project planning is. Don't get me wrong, I work overtime on a regular basis but my boss knows that I will take comp time when things settle down and I won't run 20 hour days because of an arbitrary deadline set by a brainless boob in an overpromising department.

The Answer = Taoism? (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931193)

"Easy things. Exercise ... learn to relax, learn meditation, learn breathing exercises, participate in your religion -- all of those things are very effective stress managers.""

Lets see... Taoist based kung fu

Exercise - Check

Relax - Got tai chi? - Check

Meditation - Check

Breathing Exercises - Check

Participate in your religion - Check

Maybe I am on the right path afterall. This computer stuff is for the birds. It wrecks the body (got carpal tunnel) and stresses you out. After spending too much time in front of a computer, Taoism is a great balance. Now if I could only get RealWorldExp (tm) transfered into my WoW character for all the time I spend at the temple. Maybe something where every gate opened = 1 talent point. =)

Zen master says... (3, Funny)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#15933163)

I was going to write a comment about why you're on a narrow-focussed path of self-destruction, but I think I'll just hit you with a stick instead. :-)

Does exercising really reduce stress? (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931495)

Exercising is a stressful activity. It stresses you physically. If you're already overstressed how will this do anything other than make you more stressed?

I'm asking this as a serious question. I work out and exercise all the time but when I'm really stressed from work or whatever I have to cut back on the physical exercise or I really start to flip out with anxiety attacks, panic attacks, etc. It just adds to the emotional instability. Again, it's not like I'm a computer using couch potatoe, I exercise all the time doing 7 days/wk stretching, 3 days/wk light aerobic, 3 days/wk weights. I just have to cut back when I get stressed. Work doesn't stress me a whole lot though. I love what I do as a programmer even with tight deadlines... it's the social stuff that's emotionally stressful.

Am I the only one like this?

Re:Does exercising really reduce stress? (1)

brumby (93242) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931971)

Exercising is a stressful activity. It stresses you physically. If you're already overstressed how will this do anything other than make you more stressed?

Organised exercise stresses me out. Suddenly there's goals, performance standards, if it's a team sport I've got to live up to the others expectations, and so on.

Instead, these days, I just go for a walk. I live in a nice enough city that it's fairly easy for me to just find a creek with a jogging/cycling path beside it, or a sequence of parks with paths linking them up, or if I have more time, to go down to the beach. No structure, no pressure, and I leave my phone behind so no one can get to me until I come back. I don't set any goals beyond just walking until it's time to come back. Sure I'm not as fit as I would be if I was forcing myself into properly organized exercise, but in my lifestyle, I don't need that kind of strength, I just need to counter the effects of that take-away junk I had to eat when I was working late yet again.

And another effect of that, I'm fairly close to the stereotypical programmer with no social ability, I can be polite to people, but anything more than that is getting into foreign territory for me. When I'm out walking on weekends, after half an hour or so, I find that if some stranger walking their dog or whatever wants to stop me and chat for 10 minutes, I can do it without getting stressed about having to interact with a stranger.

Re:Does exercising really reduce stress? (1)

Money for Nothin' (754763) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932493)

I don't have any science to back up my suspicion, but I suspect that whether somebody *feels* less-stressed depends on the person.

I don't feel less-stressed when I'm done working out at the gym or done running, for instance. But when I'm done doing martial arts? Yeah, definitely!

I also feel less-stressed when I get enough sleep...

The definition of stress... (1)

rocker_wannabe (673157) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931872)


Only people that are diligent and take pride in their work get stressed, which applies to most of the IT people that I've met. People that don't care don't get stressed.

Since managing a group of computers running Windows is a hopelessly impossible task to do perfectly, because it's a moving target, it creates great stress for those diligent people.

I would suggest that because the vast majority of IT people are managing MS Windows that the real culprit is Windows itself, and not IT intrinsically. Until IT people refuse to manage MS Windows they get what they deserve; a good salary and a lot of stress!

"You can make some of the people happy all of the time and you can make all of the people happy some of the time but nobody cares if the IT people are ever happy."

The definition of stress... (1)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932363)

The definition of stress is STUPID END USERS.

How many times have you had to tell the same dumba$$ "Don't do X", yet they go and do it, and then whine to the boss that it's got to be fixed "right now" for the 47th time?

Our example. We'll call her Melinda to protect the stupid. In the three years that Melinda worked for us, her workstation managed to contract every single virus that came through. Melinda would uninstall her antivirus software "because it made her computer slow". When we disabled her access, she went and bought a windows CD so taht she could reinstall the OS, sans patches and sans AV. Each time her computer crashed, which was frequent, someone had to rebuild it and of course Melinda was breathing down their necks the whole time. I think we were probably the happiest people in the building when we got email about Melinda's going away party.

How many times have you had some end user who did something incredibly stupid (C:\> format c: ) blow up at the IT staff, acting like it's their fault?

This is an actual conversation:

User: I got an email that said to type in format c:
Admin: Do you have the email?
User: No, it's on my computer and my computer crashed
Admin: Well, we can reinstall all your software, but I think your files are gone.
User: (expletives deleted) Why can't I have my files back
Admin: You can but you'll have to give us an account number
User: Why?
Admin: Because we'll have to send the drive out and see if anything can be recovered off it
User: How much does that costs?
Admin: $125/hr + some other fees per GB for the data
User: Why is it so much?
Admin: Because you took the drive apart to "fix" it

How about users who just totally disregard anything that the IT staff has to say? Yet this too magically is our fault. Lemme see, I email you once maybe twice a year - yeah, that's the one you wanna skip. Gee, it sure is easier to get the new system to work if you read the instructions we wrote for it and you check your email to get your user name and password.

Prime example of this. We recently had to move about 200 users to a new server. As we moved each one, we sent them an email with their account information as well as all the information necessary for them to access the new machine. It uses a simple web based interface to upload files for intranet distribution. Do you think they read it? No...maybe 10-12 of them read it. The rest of the started calling, complaining that they couldn't get back into the old server. They threatened our manager and our director if their access wasn't restored. When it was pointed out to them that they got an email from us, they still had the nerve to huff and puff and pretend it was "those IT people's fault." Well, I'm really freakin' sorry you're too freakin' stupid to read your email. Why our management doesn't make reading email mandatory is beyond me, but it isn't. We have to send out a memo (ON PAPER) the next time we do something that requires "a change in the user's behavior to complete a process." I guess the memo is so that we can wipe their a$$ for them too?

Farmer flextime (1)

texaport (600120) | more than 7 years ago | (#15931878)

If you already work 45-50 hours a week and don't punch a clock, the big problem is the "would you look at this?" at the end of the day that makes you miss dinner. If you have no spine, at least let it be known that your new flex hours will devote your entire existence to the company between sunrise and sunset, every workday of the year.

Start by printing out a free chart [navy.mil] for your area. You get on the train/bike/bus/car at the crack of dawn, arrive at work an hour later, and similarly step off that train/bike/bus/car at sundown. Tell them you are a vampire. Every moment of daylight belongs to the company, but not one minute more.

Using the printout for Miami as an example, you'd be at work from 8:01a to 4:33p on December 17th (worst case from a company standpoint) and from 7:30a to 7:15p on June 28th (worst case for you) which may not be much different than what you already are doing.

At least during the equinoxes [navy.mil] you are at work exactly ten hours, and then it averages out just plus or minus the same amount of minutes for the surrounding days on either side. Depressing, but nobody steals your nights and weekends if they already own every moment of every day.

Heres a way (1)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932206)

Wana relieve stress? Well as a computer guy you can have alot of fun screwing with others...for instance one guy at my office I felt like pranking...I took a screen shot of his desktop...moved all his icons and put them in a hidden folder...then applied that picture as a background...hah he restarrted that damn pc more times that i have fingers. Took him about 30 mins to figure out what was up...That sure is a stress reliever.

How I Cope (1)

Ragnar Bocephus (323806) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932354)

I self medicate ... if you know what I mean. It would be nice if I could take a vacation without getting support calls. So far I have averaged 1 day of vacation per year since I joined the IT department.

One more suggestion (1)

TLouden (677335) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932409)

Frag. Seriously. I use FPS games to relax. When something isn't working or somebody is causing trouble I frag. During periods of time when I'm not stressed I don't game (haven't played an FPS in two months).

Not really (1)

Shook18 (878947) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932564)

"They tend to be less emotionally stable. They tend to react strongly to small things that they might not react to under other circumstances. A change in schedule may be a crisis if somebody is really stressed." Just sounds like it is describing anyone who ever ends up entering INTO the IT field!

stress and users (1)

smash (1351) | more than 7 years ago | (#15932594)

Stress less. How?

Do not take responsibility for things that are not your fault.

User does something dumb, loses their work or whatever, and has a go at you about it. Is this your problem? No - so don't take any shit for it. *Politely* inform them of the options, and schedule work when you can fit it in. If it's going to take more time for you to fix it than it will take for them to start-over, then too bad for them. No, an emergency for them is not an emergency for you - unless it truly is more important to the production of the company as a whole than what you're currently doing (in which case they need to provide justification as to why you should be working for them instead of for the company).

In my years in the industry (11 so far), i've come to the conclusion that it often attracts "shy" or easily intimidated people who simply don't like dealing with people (they get along better with hardware - that's WHY they're in the industry) and when they actually have to deal with users, they're easily intimidated. Hence, they roll over and "take it".... and then time management becomes a problem because they're spending too much time on the unimportant (in the scheme of things) tasks.

If you're truly stressed because you do not have enough staff, raise the issue with management before people start complaining about it. Just do your homework before doing so, and have available details of what sort of tasks and timeframes you have to deal with.

Just my 2c...

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