End User Appreciation

Categories: End Users Information

As I was going to lunch yesterday I noticed that a lot of the restaurants were starting to advertise their new/returning fish* items on their menus. This signaled to me that Lent was fast approaching. For those who do not know Lent is a religious season that starts roughly six weeks before Easter. Many of the Christians who observe the Lenten season use it as a time of self-reflection, atonement, penance, and repentance. At this point you are probably wondering where I am going with this and what this has to do with IT.

Copyright UserFriendlyCopyright J.D. Frazer @ userfriendly.org

If you have been in IT for a long time, you probably have come to realize you have become angry, scornful, and downright hateful in some capacity. Unfortunately this anger, scornfulness, and hatefulness may become directed toward the end-user with certain, accompanying “terms of endearment”:

  • ID-10T – Alphanumerical spelling of IDIOT.
  • PEBCAK – Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard
  • BIE – Biological Interface Error
  • OHT – Operator Headspace and Timing Issue
  • Defective Keyboard Controller

We also may develop code names (sometimes sarcastically) for offices who constantly give us problems. The code names can be used when venting and/or communicating with our co-workers. The list goes on. Okay, this is nothing new but what does it have to do with Lent?

Well as we enter into this religious season I would like to take a minute to reflect: what is IT? IT is a service industry, which means we serve the end-users. Even those of us who do not interact with our end-users/clients on a regular basis still serve them. From the CIO/CTO to the intern/student worker, our clients are our end-users. If they are happy, we are happy. Sure most of the time we do not get any recognition for what we do, but that is beside the point. We are working in an industry where praise isn’t commonplace, but when things fail we are the first to be thrown under the bus.


Yet we still (sometimes reluctantly) get up and come to work each day. And while we may curse them, burn effigies of them, and despise them, at the end of the day we are (or should be) glad we are able to help/fix their issues. The satisfaction of solving problems and helpings others is (or should be) our motivation. So keep that in mind next time you come back from dealing with a ID-10T error, because without our end-users, we would all be much happier out of a job.

And to all the end-users out there, while it isn’t required, it is nice to let us know that you appreciate us once in a while. Whether it be in forms of food, custom made giant cards, or a simple Thank You email.


A small sign of appreciation can go a long way.


* Many people fast from eating meat (beef/chicken) and thus eat fish based products during Lent.

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