You’ve probably noticed it.  I’ve noticed it.  IT personnel have gotten less responsive over the last few years.  They complain more, are harder to deal with, and less motivated than I’ve ever seen.  The cliche of the BOFH (Bastard Operator From Hell) was one thing.  Today it’s totally different.  IT people don’t love their jobs anymore.  Whereas the BOFH of yesteryear truly loved the torment he inflicted on his L-users, today’s LOFH (Lazy Operator From Hell) just doesn’t care.  He really doesn’t.  He doesn’t care if you’re mad, if you yell, if you call him names, tell his boss he sucks, rant and rave up and down the halls. He just doesn’t care. 

He’s not paid enough to care.

And that’s the difference.  Whereas before in the land of mainframes and business automation, highly skilled technical people were paid large fees to make stuff run well.  And for the most part it did.  Because of the power these high priests of the arcane wielded, they tended to be bastards, condescending.  But it was all part of the mystic and mostly everyone was happy.

Enter desktop computing. 

Today’s sys-admin is more than likely the user that sits in front of the computer using email, word processing, spreadsheets, etc.  You, the end user, are your own admin.  Professional sys-admin’s are more than likely just help desk support, and worse than that, relegated to company overhead, while employees with the desktop computers are the bread and butter. 

"Make it work, you worm," you can hear them mutter under their breath whenever there is downtime.

IT guys don’t get paid well, and as a result, they take their compensation in other ways, surfing the net, running side consulting jobs from their employer’s business, screwing around, taking long lunches, being unresponsive, rude, surly.

I’ve seen it all, I work with these people every day, and it’s always the same.  They’re bored, under appreciated, underpaid, and unhappy.

"You wanted to be your own sys-admin?  Now that you’ve got that fancy schmancy WinXP on your desktop so easy to use, so powerful.  You think you don’t need us?  You think this stuff is simple?  Do it your god-damned self."

Desktop computing has gotten so cheap that we labor under the false illusion that business automation is cheap, a commodity, that Information Technology is one step above the toilet paper stocking service.

Next time you have that bean burrito, and you get that after lunch peristaltic action and there’s no TP… bet you wish you had some TP now doncha?