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I've constructed a script for my office which needs to be run by every office computer. It works very well for everyone, but one, my manager (of course). The issue (without getting too technical) is that he has deep seeded corruption in his computer. This interferes with how my script runs, and breaks it. (If you want to read more, look here)

The problem isn't that his computer is broken, the problem is that he refuses to accept that it is. I can understand why he's hesitant to call our IT department; our computers are very tightly controlled which is frustrating for those of us who actually know what we're doing. He's worried that if he calls IT, he'll be put back in the "baby pen"

Now, (thanks to the help of Super User) I think I can fix his machine without calling IT, but he won't let me "because it isn't broken"

My question to you, how do I convince him to let me fix the problem (or at the very least diagnose it better)

Some Extra Info:

  • We're engineers and a fairly literate in higher level computer use (though neither of us are computer engineers
  • He must be able to run the script on his computer
  • The script cannot be changed to avoid the issue (and even if it could, it would be a huge hassle)

Thanks in advance

In Response to Roger's Comment

The purpose of the script is to track and record "conditions adverse to quality" (essentially whenever someone breaks procedure. We are required to have a program in place to do this by federal law. The previous system was terrible, and my boss approached me asking if I could update it, my script is that update.

I'm attempting to fix his computer (perform an IT function) to avoid the risk of calling IT and having them revoke his admin privileges. So yes, I'm absolutely going beyond my core responsibilities

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closed as off-topic by Lego Stormtroopr, Unsung, CMW, jcmeloni, Paul Brown Feb 10 at 12:20

  • This question does not appear to be about the workplace within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Why do you care? –  JeffO Feb 5 at 16:53
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Your description doesn't provide enough information to evaluate the question. It's unclear, for example, what your script does and how invasive it may be. It's also unclear why you're attempting to perform what sounds like an IT function when you're not an IT employee. Does your boss feel that you're trying to do something that goes beyond your core responsibilities? –  Roger Feb 5 at 16:58
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WOW, does this ever sound like a red flag!!! When you mentioned 'federal requirement', all bets were off for me. Forget your boss's computer for a moment. If you don't have a well-documented course of whose responsibility it is for implementing this 'script' that you're telling us about, who's going to be the fall guy if you are ever audited? If your boss lets you put this on his computer, it's an acknowledgement of his involvement. Without it on his computer, if something goings wrong, the fingers will point to you and he can absolve himself a bit. Geez, this is classic. –  codenoire Feb 5 at 17:16
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wnnmaw, I got that part. But see, who in the business has performed quality assurance on the script as-is for correctness? Is IT involved in that? Does the upper management know about the script being modified? Because a federal auditor will ask the same questions. –  codenoire Feb 5 at 17:42
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This question appears to be off-topic because we've agreed that questions like this are a bad fit for this site: meta.workplace.stackexchange.com/a/2134/437 –  Jim G. Feb 5 at 18:09
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1 Answer 1

up vote 13 down vote accepted

The problem isn't that his computer is broken, the problem is that he refuses to accept that it is. I can understand why he's hesitant to call our IT department; our computers are very tightly controlled which is frustrating for those of us who actually know what we're doing. He's worried that if he calls IT, he'll be put back in the "baby pen".

This is the root of problem. For whatever reason there seems to be some deep seated mistrust between your workgroup and your sanctioned IT work group. Consequently, it sounds like you or your co-workers are trying to perform the IT groups functions in an unsanctioned manner. As one professional to another, stop doing this. It will end badly for you for reasons that are too numerous to list specifically.

Consider this, lets say you convince your boss to let you perform unsanctioned work on his computer, to get your unsanctioned script to run, while performing unsanctioned job duties.

  • It works! Sweet. You "fixed" something in WMI and now it works. Great. If you are fortunate enough your "fix" does not break something else and you push your IT group further away because "Hey now, instead of calling IT, get @wnnmaw and have him fix it". This is a slippery slope ending with you installing your own Linksys "router" and getting in trouble when it starts handing out DHCP addresses to the rest of your corporate network. Now I have to come by and cleanup your mess and now you have really done some damage to the already rocky relationship between your departments. I now see you as a nuisance at best and an enemy at worst.

  • It works! Sweet. You "fixed" something in WMI and now it works. Great. Fate does not smile upon you today. Your "fix" breaks the Hardware Inventory Policy Cycle in SCCM and I notice. Your boss' machine gets re-imaged. If I happen to figure out that it was because of work you did, either through technical or other means, I'm going to be annoyed. I again have to cleanup your mess. This damages your already rocky relationship between your departments. I now see you as a nuisance at best and an enemy at worst.

  • You call your sanctioned IT group and politely explain what business process you are trying to accomplish. We work together to do this. Maybe we can run your script in a fashion that avoids or circumnavigates the problem. Maybe we do have to re-image his workstation. Maybe you can calmly and politely explain the business reasons local admin is necessary. Maybe your central policy dictates that no matter how good a user's reason is, local admin is never allowed. Sorry. That's corporate policy. Maybe we work together to see if we can get an exception from the security team. Maybe we do, maybe we don't. Who knows. Here's what we do know: We worked together to address your issue. We've done some immeasurable repair to our work groups' relationship. I now see you as an ally and someone who is willing to work with me instead of someone who generates messes and constantly undermines the work I am peforming. Your tickets float to top of my queue. I interrupt projects to take your phone call. (Sorry folks - I know IT is supposed to be impartial but if you have 20 tickets, enough time to do 10 and they are all of equal priority the people that are nice to work with generally float to the top).

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If the reasons are two numerous to list, why not just say "two reasons"? –  Amy Blankenship Feb 5 at 18:46
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Sadly, "deep seated mistrust" between IT and other departments is all too common in larger companies. This is a good answer as to why it's better not to take the easy route of avoiding IT for IT tasks. –  Carson63000 Feb 5 at 23:58
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I am not sure that going over the boss' head to ask IT for support is the proper route to take here. I'm sure it is best for the relationship between the asker and IT, but it may have a significant negative impact on the asker and his boss' relationship. –  jmac Feb 6 at 4:56
    
Perhaps the asker and manager can come to an agreement in which 1) the asker explains (and convinces) that it's necessary, or at least for the best, and 2) it can be presented to IT in a way such that the manager will be showing respect for IT's job function without looking incompetent or being put in the "baby pen." Thoughts, @jmac? –  Trojan Feb 6 at 10:12
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