Most Common Sysadmin Pet Peeves

By Digium Content Marketing Team

Sysadmin Pet Peeves


Every position in every industry of business has a set of common pet peeves, whether they derive from customers, partners, coworkers, or technology. Some of the most common pet peeves across all industries include the “Reply” vs. “Reply All” confusion, not reloading the printer paper (or just the printer, in general) and of course, the break-room-fridge-lunch-stealer. Everyone can relate to these annoyances, and most people are aware of them. However, when you narrow down pet peeves to those of a specific job role, you may be surprised by a few of them- or guilty. I certainly was when I realized my frequent IT request for a password change is pretty high up on the system administrators’ (sysadmins’)  pet peeve list. Whoops.

In an attempt to help “users” (employees) become more aware of their habits around the office, I’ve inquired internet tech forums, the Spiceworks Watercooler, and my own personal LinkedIn pals to discover what else really annoys sysadmins. Here are the top pet peeves I came across:


Last Minute Requests

  • “Coworkers who wait until five minutes before I leave for home to bring up an issue that’s been going on all day and will take an hour to fix”
  • “I am fine with users who need help and come ask for it; that is my job.  What I don’t like are the users who have the ‘I want it now!’ mentality”
  • “Users who say they are having a critical issue that needs to be resolved ASAP.  When you ask them when they first noticed the issue, they say ‘oh it’s been happening for 2 months now!’  Really?  If it was so critical, why’d you wait 2 months???”
  • “People who call in at 4:30PM on Friday with and issue that they knew about all day”



  • “Users who refuse to put in a ticket because it’s a waste of their precious time, but will go yell at my supervisor for 30 minutes about how I never fixed their issue. Odd thing is, I never knew there was an issue!”
  • “User who think you are their personal IT tech and throws everything at you even though they only indicated a single issue in the ticket they raised”
  • “They pick some inane thing that takes two seconds to fix for their ticket, but we both know they’re waiting to get me on the phone so they can ‘oh by the way’ bombard me with a half dozen much larger issues they should have reported a week ago”
  • “When a fellow IT person starts working on a ticket, but doesn’t first accept the ticket. So I grab it to work on it- only to find out they are half way through it. ACCEPT FIRST- then proceed. It’s not that hard”



  • “For me it’s people who don’t update anything and then wonder why everything’s crashing when 5 updates have been released for Acrobat, Java and who knows what else. Oh, you didn’t get that step-by-step email everyone else got that showed you how to run a path that you legit just have to click next 2 times?”
  • “Users who say ‘yeah my antivirus has been going crazy for days but I just ignored it’”
  • “People who insist on calling multiple times a day with stupid updates, usually when I’m in the middle of something like lunch, when a simple TXT would suffice”


All Things Email

  • “People who never read emails from IT, then ask what something is (that we’ve told them about), or how to do something (that we’ve told them how to do), or ask if something’s available (that we’ve told them is, or isn’t)”
  • “Users who use e-mail as file storage”
  • “Digital Hoarders- email and files. I know this one person who carbon copies themselves on every single email so they can ‘easily find it later.’ Years of pointless emails and being apart of every group under the sun have made this the single largest mailbox in the organization”
  • “People who forward me copies of e-mails when they can clearly see that I was a CC: in the original, now I have tons of duplicate e-mails about the same issue, Thanks”


Error Messages

  • “People that call to say, ‘There is an error message on my computer.’ I ask, ‘What does it say?’ They respond, ‘I don’t know, I closed it.’”
  • “Users who call when their computer has ‘been getting a bunch of errors for a few weeks now’ and just decided to call when they finally get a bsod [blue screen of death]”
  • “When a user submits a ticket with no information other than a picture of a generic error message that says ‘error click here for more details,’ and nothing else! And of course, they have already closed the message when you get to their desk”
  • “When a user says ‘it started a few months ago, there is an error message. I don’t believe anyone can print to it anymore, not just me.’ A printer, with an unreported error message, and it started a few months ago… splendid”


Here are a few more peeves I stumbled upon:

  • Requests to fix personal devices
  • Telling IT how to do their job
  • Management requesting modern equipment, without a budget
  • People who don’t peel off the little protective stickers from their new stuff
  • Getting assigned non-IT related tasks
  • Users who don’t say “thank you”


I’ll end this post with an inspiring quote from an understanding sysadmin:

“The more I hear about users complaining the more I think, ‘hey, its our job to help them… they are poor lost babes in the woods and we are the lumberjack, the masters of the forest. We should be guiding them.”

Whether you are a user who just realized you should probably update your software, or an admin who nodded in agreement with each of these pet peeves, it’s important to be aware of how your habits affect others. Users, take the extra time to fill out your support ticket properly, be patient with requests and respectful of your admins’ time, and don’t forget to say “thank you.”


Admins, was your pet peeve left off the list? Add it in the comments below!


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