A survey released today reveals people are becoming increasingly frustrated by technology -- and taking it out on their computers.
The study -- Rage against the Machine -- was conducted by MORI on behalf of Compaq. More than 1,250 workers were questioned on whether IT was a burden or an asset and nearly half felt frustrated or stressed by the amount of time it takes to solve IT problems.
According to the survey PCs are often the victim of this frustration. Three quarters admitted to swearing at their PCs, while a quarter of under-25 year olds claimed they had resorted to kicking their machines. A similar number confessed they had damaged their computer by deliberately pulling out the plug.
More seriously the survey found nearly a quarter of respondents were interrupted daily by crashes and faults, with two in five claiming they had missed deadlines as a result. Few had faith in IT departments -- three quarters claimed their IT manager could not sort out the problem and 22 percent saying that the IT department solved the symptoms but not the underlying cause of the fault. One in ten admit to bullying their IT manager when things go wrong.
Vesey Crichton, marketing director at Compaq said he was shocked by the findings: "We wanted to find out how bad the relationship was between us and our computers and things appear to be far worse than we thought." Crichton sympathised with all the put-upon IT departments, "IT professionals are in a no win situation and are only ever noticed when things go wrong.
He said it is up to the industry to focus on ease of use to improve our relationship with the machines we rely on. He cited fingerprint logins and hard drives which automatically back up data as two ways frustrations can be relieved. "Thirdly I would remind everyone; backup, backup, backup," he said.
Of course there is a bright side to the unreliability of PCs -- the high tech equivalent to the dog ate my homework. More than one in six believed that their colleagues used IT to cover up their mistakes, although only half of this figure admitted to doing it themselves.
We believe them, of course.
Ever bullied your IT manager? Tell us about it