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Dealing with Difficult Users Page 5

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Deb Shinder

Demanding Demetrius

Demanding Demetrius is the user who always insists that his (or her)
computer/network problems take precedence over everything else. If his sound
card goes out, it must be fixed, and it must be fixed right now. Never
mind that the entire accounting department is without connectivity.

Demetrius is often a middle level manager, who is impressed with his own
self-importance. He is usually the excitable type, and rant and rave and
threaten to “have your job” if you don’t make his problem your first
priority. The most important factor in dealing with Demetrius is to stay calm,
and not let him provoke you. The more agitated he gets, the calmer you should
become. Explain politely that you are following policy and/or instructions from
upper management in prioritizing the order in which you address IT problems.
Refer him to someone above him in the organization if he has a complaint.
Maintain a completely professional demeanor in the face of his tantrums.

It’s unlikely that Demetrius will ever reform, and even if he goes away there
always seems to be another Demetrius to take his place. But you can protect
yourself against his crazy-making behavior by ensuring that clearcut written
policies are in place establishing your job priorities, and by not getting drawn
into his maelstrom of upset. That is, don’t take it personally. Deep down,
Demetrius is probably really raging against his own private inner frustrations
with his job and his life – things that have nothing to do with you or the
computer/network. You’re just the closest handy target. Wear a bullet-proof
smile and attend to your business. The Demetriuses of the world deserve more
pity than anger.

Aside from his poorly concealed rage, Demetrius has a lot in common with the
next user type on our list,Dora Discourteous.

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