Saturday, October 27, 2007

Does everybody really need their own printer?

I was travelling most of the day yesterday to visit family out of state for the weekend. While driving I carried on an ongoing email dialog on my Treo with an associate who was helping to troubleshoot a printer issue in one of our offices with a large open floor of employees. We have two network printers there and you would think that the employees in that office would have no problem getting up from their desks and walking a few feet to the printer when they need their documents.

As he was carrying a replacement printer to the office he was stopped by employees in another department asking if he had any spare personal printers that they could use in their office. Now these employees also have a couple of network printers less than ten steps from any desk in the office. What is it with these people? Is it so hard to get up to get your printout? At what point is a personal printer justified in a small office environment?

Of course the right answer to these kinds of request is, "Of course you may have your own personal printer. Just shoot me an email request and I'll get your boss to sign off on it. Once she approves it we'll forward to the CEO for final authorization." Almost always the employee will respond, "never mind." The same response works well for requests for larger monitors - do you really need a 23" monitor - and for a yet another faster computer.

Managing those pesky users is a major part of the job for an IT Manager.

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