I’ve been working in IT for about two years now at my present company but I’m not sure if I qualify as a professional yet. I’m not even sure what qualifies a person to being a professional. I assume that it’s someone who has worked in the industry for a while using the education and skills that they’ve learned in which case I guess I am a professional. But being a professional, I run into issues where I’m not sure what to do or whether I should be doing it at all. But being a good person, I try to help when I can.
I used to work with people who believed that if it’s not your job, you don’t do it. I think that’s a union’s ideology and I’m not really a fan of that because I think it’s a waste of time. I don’t really care if I’m doing someone’s job but if it’s getting something done, I’ll do it. I prefer to do something than waiting for someone else to get the job done. Like the saying goes, “If you want something done right, do it yourself” but in this case, it’s more like, if you want something done at all, do it yourself.
Here’s a scenario that I was faced with. I was told by an ex-coworker that their computer had a virus and that IT was notified but because of their job, they were at the bottom of the ladder and IT would get to whenever they can. It’s been a month and IT has not responded to the virus. From a professional perspective, IT should have been all over that ticket because a virus is pretty serious. And the ivrus was residing on a personal computer but a work computer that is on the network. This virus could potentially propagate through the domain. And if that happens, the company could lose sensitive information.
At my present workplace, if a computer is infected with any virus, we immediately take it off the network to prevent it from infecting any other computers. It’s a preliminary precaution that we take just in case it’s a worm that can easy replicate itself. You don’t know how harmful the virus can get so it’s best to isolate the computer.
The virus that infected this computer was called System Guard 2009, probably a variation of AntiVirus 2009. If you don’t know anything about computer, you would think that this software is doing you some good but it’s not. It pretends to be an application that will scan your computer and protect it from threats but it’s only doing that because it’s trying to get you to buy their software. Once you’re infected, this software will continue to annoy you by pretending to scan your computer and displaying fake warning messages.
This software is hard to remove because it works in conjunction with another. When you try to uninstall it, it will reinstall itself. If you try to delete the folder, something will be copy it backr. You can try to remove it using some other software but there’s a chance that it’ll come back. When I saw that this computer was infected with that, I tried to remove it. I was there and I knew how to solve the problem so I did it.
So here’s where my dilemma comes in. When another employee of that company found out that I was touching the computer, she mentioned that I shouldn’t have done that. I told her that the computer had a virus and I simply removed it. Her argument is that I shouldn’t be touching the computer in the first place. In a way, she’s correct that I shouldn’t be touching that virus but if no one else is going to get rid of it, how long before the virus actually gets removed?
I’m in IT and I believe that it’s my responsibility to stop any virus from spreading any way I can. The average user does not know enough about viruses to stop them from spreading. If all it took was to download a free virus scanner, scan the computer for infections and deleted any known threats, then I’ll do it whether it’s my company’s computer or not.
I’m a little tired of this “it’s not my job” attitude. There seems to be a lot of that in the corporate world as well. Some people won’t do that job because they’re not getting paid any more if they go above and beyond the call of duty. There’s no incentive for them to do anything outside their scope so they chose not to do anything.
On the other side of the spectrum, if a union person sees you doing their job, they’ll complain about it because you’re threatening their job security. They believe that if you’re doing their job now, you might end up doing their job entirely and therefore getting rid of them.
I don’t want to take away anyone’s job and I don’t really care about getting paid more. If the job that I’m doing is going to speed things up a little then I’m going to do it. There are people who likes to sit around and wait for things to happen and they would sit on it until the cows come home (and then they’ll sit on the cows) and they know that they can get it done quicker if they took the initiative to get it started. If it’s my responsibility to get something done then I’ll do on my own time. But if someone wants a part to be shipped and they want it shipped now, well that’s not really part of my job so I’ll take my time on it.
In the end, if it’s not your job to do something and it’s a minor task, what’s the harm in doing it? During certain events, you need to learn to prioritize tasks so that you get your job done because at the end of the day, you are still responsible for getting your job done. If you’re pulled aside to work on solving a problem and you know that you can solve the problem quickly, then by all means, help out. People these days need to start helping out one another without any reasonable cause.