Capitalist Morons in IT

Published at 22:04 on 6 December 2011

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is just how absolutely moronically most IT departments make decisions.

We’re not talking about anything the least bit utopian or radical here; we’re just talking about the sort of stuff that any capitalist business should logically be expected to jump on and implement immediately, presuming capitalism is about profit maximization. Because any of this stuff will obviously help maximize profits by making one’s workers work more efficiently.

But no: politely and respectfully suggest that you would, for example, like a Mac on your desk because you work more efficiently with Macs, and odds are the typical IT manager will bite your head off: either there’s a “standard” (and Macs aren’t it), or Macs are “too expensive” (not by very much, particularly when you compare hardware costs to IT labor costs), or some other rationale that is quite frankly absolute horseshit.

Ditto for things like simple requests to be moved to a more quiet or dark (screen glare can be nasty) part of the office which nobody else is currently using.

Really, now: you’re hiring IT professionals because you don’t have the time or the skills to do the IT work yourself, then you turn around and ignore what they tell you in their best judgement as IT professionals will improve their productivity? It just doesn’t make sense.

So choice of computer hardware is one of the questions I try to ask on interviews, because it helps screen out the morons I don’t want to work for. Because thankfully not all managers are abject morons. Some even have adopted the common-sense approach of simply giving each IT worker a budget to spend as s/he chooses on a workstation.

What astounds me is how rare (relatively speaking) that approach is. It all goes to show how capitalism is about more than just making money. Hierarchy and control, and the desire for authoritarian personalities to exercise it over others, figures very big in the equation.

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