The Bitter  Network Administrator

                                                A Website Dedicated to Computer Professional...and some not so Professional

The Computer Department is All Knowing and All Seeing 
by Doug Chick

Computer people are the drones that monitor e-mails, observe the temperament of the accounting department and we know how many people are let go each week. Because we administrate the machines that operate the company, we are literally the backbone of the corporate body, and sometimes the liver and spleen. So when the company that we work for makes a public announcement that they had a record breaking quarterly earnings, we immediately begin making redundant backups of the accounting departments data just in case of a fire. The computer department knows. 

Even if it's not your company, many computer people are confused by reports from such companies like Microsoft that claim to have record earnings from software sales. In a bad economy with many companies having to lay off staff and freeze IS Department spending, we ask, just who is Microsoft selling all of the record-breaking software to? Certainly the IT department would know whether or not they are buying huge amounts of software. Microsoft must be selling all of this software to another country that is larger then the US that we don't know the name of. About the only thing I am hearing about Microsoft from other network managers and IT directors are complaints about license trickery and a stack of security holes higher than the testicles of a giraffe. (According to my own estimates from watching Animal Planet, on an adult male giraffe that would be about six feet high.) I'm not singling Microsoft out; I was just using them as an example because of their reported questionable business practices and as an easy target. 

In every company, in every country that has a computer network, the computer people always know in which direction their company is heading before anyone else. They know the pulse of a company and where the skeletons are most likely hidden. Someone quoted from the US Department of Justice as saying; "In no other time in history has as many people incriminated themselves as they have with e-mail". Computer people are like watchers. They watch, listen and learn. If the government really wanted to know what Enron was up to, they would have consulted the IT Department, but I don't think they ever do. 

Computer people learn to be more than computer techs, they learn about human behavior and end-user psychology. We learn about economics and stock options. And we can tell the financial health of a company by the temperament and turnover of the accounting department. And remarkably, no one ever thinks to ask us about anything more than, "Is the network down." Because their cap locks are on. 

We are a culture of people that share a unique perspective of the world that cannot easily be lied to, because we know. And we back it up to tape every night.