Saturday, July 30, 2005

Redneck Proofing Your IT Environments

This may seem ironic but in my travels to unravel the hold up in IT from the business consumer side one has to do a considerable amount of preparation and uncover research. Here's what some of my efforts have uncovered.

Most thriving businesses have an obvious characteristic. Appropriately casually dressed employees, smiles, laughter, the occaisional outburst, and of course modern hardware and software.

If this is not a description that accurately describes your work environment I must give you a word of caution: YOU HAVE ONE OR MORE REDNECKS ON YOUR STAFF

Now some of you are:

Laughing
Wondering
Questioning
or
Expressing a Miscellaneous Emotion that could be a combination of the above

Laughing = You know it and don't know what to do about it
Wondering= What is a Redneck and how do you identify him or her
Questioning= I wonder which one of us is a redneck
Misc= I knew, I thought so, or you are one

Now some tell tale signs that you have a REDNECK in your organization are:
One you don't feel comfortable being yourself around certain people
(red necks often don't get the joke and become unnerved when you are having fun)

Two a series of bad business decisions are redirecting your productivity flow

Three morale is slacking

Four money is becoming the biggest reason to argue, overspending, business is good but we cannot afford to hire more staff, cannot afford basic upgrades or improvements problem solving that leads back to a specific employee that is either in a higher position or is always avoiding you, our technology still uses windows 3.1 or worse

Five AD WARE SPYWARE OR VIRUSES are continuing to invade and wreak havoc on your organizations network

Six someone decided to out source when they really needed to increase productivity (rednecks do not like people to look at them rednecks also believe that out sourcing means you don't have to worry about it)

Seven getting angry or frustrated when asked to problem solve or be cooperative (rednecks do not like to have to think)

Eight you're a buying the smallest possible Office Equipment and Hardware (rednecks are easily confused and do not like using little things). The only draw back to this approach is that grown ups do need grown up sized appliances for optimum use. Also we do get older and it becomes difficult to focus on smaller print and key pads.

Nine you're being asked to lie about the businesses vitality (rednecks do not like anyone to know that they made a mistake)

Rednecks can be taught but also like to mimic other behavior that they have seen be more acceptable also sexual comments make rednecks uncomfortable. Another word of caution offending your redneck is only a good idea if your redneck is not bigger than you or very strong. Most are not but do act out violently do not play with this too often or your redneck will snap.

There are seminars to send your red necks too that will teach them to be honest, admit bad judgement, and own up to mistakes but some red necks are more resistant than others.

If this sounds more like your place of business YOU ARE HARBORING REDNECKS. Don't freak out walk but do not run to the next seminar titled "How to deal with difficult people".

You do not want the redneck to know you are on to them, but you do want to minimize the growing number of problems that they are creating before your business is in ruins and you are out of a job.

Some key things to do to limit Redneck Damages are:

Utilize Computer equipment that is harder for a red neck to use I recommend IBM THINK PAD
if the concern is access related. If your red neck is breaking things go with ACER its slighter more expensive but is a hardier piece of hardware and will not easily be destroyed by fits, spasms, or "acting out".

The IBM Think pad deviates from the usual set up but offering 3 separate buttons for control and a red center button for navigation you have to have more developed motor skills to utilize these features. So the user cannot simple run a finger tip across a pad to surf the web or use software.

Do NOT use DELL!!!! I repeat Do NOT use DELL! The reason? Dell manufactures REDNECK friendly hardware. DELL systems are too easy to use for evil.

Next configure their computer to a separate isolated network, dsl, and peripherals. So that they can still play on their computer but they can't hurt anyone but themselves. Upon ruining their own system they will either ask for help or break their hardware but that is ok because at least they are not hurting the business.

Develop a new IT policy for your staff which details financial responsibility for any damage done to business desktops or neworks. This way your redneck will lose interest in playing on the computer.

Do not direct calls or customer complaints to your redneck unless someone specifically requests speaking with them.

Rednecks love money so if they feel that their behavior will personally cost them money, they will be less likely to "experiment"

Keep Marketing and Customer information out of reach of your rednecks.

They may get wierd with it and ruin your developing business relationship.

Slowly, introduce your employee as a redneck so that your colleagues and associates understand that why you are whiling to employ a red neck that you haven't lost your marbles and let your monkeys run the zoo.

Keep a file on your redneck careful to note any activity that was financially damaging, reputation fracturing, or just illegal. You will need to take this documentation to the appropriate persons for the legal removal of your redneck if he or she will not play nicely with others.

Once you have done the above mentioned tasks, you should then be in a position mentally and emotionally to work with the rest of the staff to move the business ahead.

If by some strange roll of the dice the red necks in your organization out number you, do as I have done and cut your losses as soon as possible. Apologize to any offended patrons and of course continue to network to find another more suitable position elsewhere.

Don't over react whatever you do. The signs I have described should match to the tee or you do not have a redneck.

Human Resources - Take it upon yourself to keep current on the tell tale signs of a red neck before highering them this way you can still be EOE but you will not enable damaging the business or your position.

Rednecks are people too they just have special needs and concerns. They make better customers that co-workers but nonetheless everything must be case by case. You do not want to start a witch hunt looking for your rednecks rather let them show you who they are by being patient and kind to them.

Rednecks are afraid of social rejection, they are also afraid of responsibility, they are deeply wounded by assumption, but can also be quite assuming, abrasive, dishonest, manipulative, spiteful, and abusive. Rednecks do not see themselves as people just like you so they will do things to you that they do not like having done to them. If at all possible keep your children away from them and try to avoid having children with them.

Rednecks can be very snazzy dressers but do not like to see others expressing their freedom or creativity. Rednecks like to be in charge and often get higher positions because of their willingness to be in charge.

Of course once they are in charge they do not do anything right. That makes them sad but they usually don't want that to show, so they say nice things to make it ok.

Personally, I am in training to learn to be more tolerant of rednecks. I still firmly believe in more traditional methods of dealing with redneck riddles.

I for one do not think they should be parents, teacher, couselors, clergy, president, or licensed drivers, but I am learning to accept that they are.

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