Somehow, many of the people who come into regular contact with IT help desk workers (*cough*can’t-ever-remember-password*cough*) manage to retain a mental image of these professionals as nerdy, and perhaps not terribly adept socially or sartorially. But the reality, of course, is that IT service desk workers are just as varied as the human beings in any other segment of the workforce. They range from shy to outgoing to downright hardcore, as some of these characters demonstrate.
Here, in no particular order, are 5 great fictional IT help desk characters.
1. Nick Burns, Your Company’s Computer Guy
It’s probably safe to say that everyone knows a “Nick Burns,” though he’s not always a tech worker, and he’s not necessarily always a “he.” Here are four and a half minutes of SNL’s Jimmy Fallon serving up every earned or unearned “IT geek” stereotype, with a little help from Billy Bob Thornton.
2. Chloe O’Brian
Played by Mary Lynn Rajskub, the character Chloe O’Brian from the television series 24 was Jack Bauer’s staunchest ally, even when it meant taking serious risks. As an analyst at CTU, O’Brian was even arrested by the feds for refusing to give up Jack’s location. If that’s not going above and beyond the typical IT analyst’s job description, then nothing is. Watch her cope when the FBI shows up at her door:
3. Roy Trenneman
Globophobic and ill-mannered, The IT Crowd’s Roy Trenneman, played by Chris O’Dowd, is an underachiever, a character type you’ll find in just about any corporate department. Coworkers Moss and Jen may dress nicer, but Trenneman’s heart is mostly in the right place. He’s just misunderstood. Here he is “helping” a caller in the premiere episode.
4. Claudia Donovan
Warehouse 13’s Claudia Donovan shows that you can take a woman out of tech, but you can’t take the tech out of a woman. Played by Allison Scagliotti, Claudia is a self-taught tech genius who invents devices most of us have wished we owned at one time or another. Sure, she tried being more “by-the-book” at first, but she eventually realized that her own brand of awesome was what the U.S. Secret Service really needed. Here’s a Claudia montage:
5. Montgomery “Scotty” Scott
Help desk software as we know it didn’t exist in 1966 when Star Trek first aired, nor presumably does it exist in the 23rd century, but Scotty was definitely the Enterprise’s resident miracle worker. As for James Doohan, the Canadian actor who played Scotty, keeping a spaceship in good working order probably seemed like a rather cushy gig, compared to his World War II service during the Normandy invasion. On D-Day, Doohan shot two snipers, led his men through a field of anti-tank mines, and was eventually caught in a “friendly fire” incident in which he was shot six times. Here’s a great montage to Scotty and Doohan, who passed away in 2005.
IT tech workers have some great fictional counterparts, including these five. You may not find yourself cornered by the FBI or inventing 20,000-Volt handcuffs, but with the right ITSM software, you probably perform your own IT miracles just about every day.
Photo Credit: Jeroen van Oostrom / freedigitalphotos.net