Service desk professionals aren’t the easiest people to buy gifts for. Tie clip? Um, no. Newton’s Cradle? Oh please. The best fun gifts for tech pros appeal to their intelligence and their often unorthodox sense of humor. If you don’t want to totally cop out with a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant, be prepared to shop around till you find something a bit out of the ordinary. Something like these five gifts.
Sure, service desk pros aren’t the only ones who “reboot” with strong coffee every morning (and afternoon), but they’ll respect your gift-giving prowess more if they can get their fix with something other than a “World’s Greatest Whatever” mug. ($13.99 from CafePress)
When your favorite tech support worker has to leave his or her desk to help some hapless end user find the on-off switch, diagnose why the server is making that noise, or just see if the vending machine has been re-stocked with Pocky, that desk should be guarded from no-goodniks wanting to check if they forgot to log out of Facebook or if all their Reddit links are purple. The Dr. Who Dalek USB Desk Protector has an infrared motion detector, and when it’s activiated, it says one of six warning phrases and flashes its LED. ($36.37 from NeatoShop).
Do you know a veteran tech support worker or Sys Admin about to celebrate one of those milestone birthdays that prompts people to bring in black Grim Reaper balloons and make mind-crushingly inane old-people jokes? Why not find a different way to make him or her feel old? Like this “Padintosh” iPad case that makes his or her iPad look just like the Mac he or she bought back during the Reagan administration. ($19.99 from ThinkGeek).
The 404 “not found” error message has become somewhat of an art form, as site owners try to sooth the burn of the surfer who has hit an internet dead end. If you know a tech support worker who manages to mysteriously vanish when something painful and complicated is about to go down in the workplace, why not celebrate his or her next big occasion with this 404 error t-shirt? He probably already has a thank you note picked out! ($21.95 from Zazzle)
Is one of your co-workers about to release her very own Version 2.0? You don’t have to celebrate the big event with the typical booties, rattles, and teething rings. Every new parent knows that babies change outfits millions of times each day, and that there’s no such thing as too many onesies. Get the proud new mom or dad the onesie that every tech baby should have: the one proudly bearing baby’s first job title. ($12.99 from ThinkGeek)
Next time the tech worker in your life is the object of a gift-giving occasion, take the time to find something that will be appreciated … or at least get a laugh. Who knows? The leverage could come in handy next time you want to switch “on-call” days.