ServersDealing with Difficult Users Page 6

Dealing with Difficult Users Page 6

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Deb Shinder

Dora Discourteous

Dora, like all the other problem user types, actually comes in both genders.
Her (or his) distinguishing characteristic is blatant and sometimes almost
unbelievable lack of consideration for everyone else. Although she can
definitely be demanding, she differs from Demetrius in that most often, she’s
not angry – she just completely fails to comprehend why her selfish behavior
isn’t acceptable.

Dora doesn’t understand that participating on a network (or simply using
company computer equipment) involves activities that impact others, and that
others have needs that may conflict with her own. Dora may be a disk hog, who
feels it’s her prerogative to use up 19GB of the 20GB of disk space allocated on
the server for the entire department’s user data. She may be a Distraction
Master, who sees nothing wrong with setting the volume on her system to high and
playing loud “training session” .avi files that boom throughout the
office and prevent those near her from getting any work done. She may be a
Bandwidth Backbreaker, who clogs the network by sending enormous, unzipped files
or downloading half the Internet during the busiest time of the day.

Dealing with Dora requires a bit of psychology on your part. Appealing to her
humanitarian side doesn’t work because she doesn’t have one. She’s like a
spoiled child who’s used to getting (or taking) whatever she wants, and she is
genuinely bewildered that her activities would cause a problem. After all, she’s
just trying to do a better job and be more productive in her work, and she will
assure you that she needs the disk space, high volume or network

Logic and reasoning don’t work with Dora. Even if she promises to be more
considerate and restrict her activities, that promise won’t be kept for long.
She’s simply incapable of considering others’ needs, and she’ll be this way in
all her dealings with her co-workers, not just those related to IT.

The best solution if you have a Dora on the network is to implement
administrative controls that will prevent her from hogging the disk space or
bandwidth or disrupting her co-workers. Impose disk quotas, restrict her
Internet access, even take drastic measures such as removing her sound card or
moving her to an isolated area. Of course, some of these responses may require
the approval of those higher up in the organization. The key is to make them
understand that while Dora may indeed be a competent, productive employee, she
is having a negative affect on the productivity of others, and since she can’t
control herself, it’s imperative that someone else take steps to curb her
disruptive activities.

At least Dora probably won’t blame you for her problems (since she doesn’t
even know she has a problem). Unlike our next, and last unruly user, Fred

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