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I have been getting more and more requests to move furniture and today I was asked to organise furniture for a new office fit-out.

How do other handle these requests? Is it often the lot of the sysadmin to get lumped with these requests?

If you have these responsibilities are you compensated in any way?

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What sized company do you work for? It could be that they are not asking you as a sysadmin, they are asking you as a person who has particular skills, eg lifting heavy things. I am often involved in non sysadmin duties - but not because I am a sysadmin. –  Mark Henderson Apr 24 '13 at 5:38

4 Answers 4

up vote 19 down vote accepted

Yes. In small and medium-sized businesses, it is not uncommon for IT departments to be deeply involved in (or even entirely responsible for) furniture.

Why? Because your predecessors demanded it. At some point in the past, an office manager or secretary was tasked with organizing a furniture build-out. When it came time for the new employees to move in, the IT administrator was asked on short notice to install a few dozen computers and phones. But, because he was not consulted when the furniture was installed, there were no network drops, the electrical outlets were in all the wrong places, the desks had "modesty panels" shoved against walls so that nothing could be plugged in without moving 300 pounds of dead weight away from the wall and back. A circuit breaker tripped every time someone tried to use the copier. Extension cords were run "temporarily" across the floor to the pod in the middle of the room, until your boss tripped over it and broke his arm. You get the idea: you are going to have to live with the consequences of furniture planning, so it is essential to get involved early and be an advocate for the "obvious" stuff like power and network connectivity.

Take your responsibility for furniture and run with it. Your job, after all, is to be a steward of function. If there are meaningless aesthetic decisions to be made, delegate them to people who care about such things. If you are responsible for the actual installation of the furniture, make sure you have a budget for someone to get it done. If new network cabling is needed, hire a contractor to install a new patch panel and run cables to the new wall jacks. If you have one 15-amp circuit for 10 new employees, hire an electrician.

But, don't insist that someone else should be in charge. You'll probably regret it.

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+1 Abso-frickin-lutely. This is the only reasonable answer of the bunch. I detest when people pull the "it's not my job" line. Sure, there are limits, but cripes, if you're able, lend a hand. People will like you more for it. :) –  EEAA Apr 24 '13 at 6:12
    
Especialyl given that most of the stuff people do on their desk today is related to computers - and that computer power and network cabling are always tricky thing, and that phones are in the IT area today anyway.... yes, exactly. Good answer. –  TomTom Jun 6 at 13:06

On the one hand, you are being exploited.

On the other hand, you can treat each request as a project, teach yourself project management, and add it to your cv or resume.

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Simple answare : NO! You are working as sysadmin no furnitureadmin, interior decorator, porter etc.

If your employe requires from you tasks that not in your responsibilities(check your job agreement) then you should not do them. Sadly if these task are in your agreemnt then you have to do them... (and find a better job, because gaining experience in moving furnitures is not a goal of any sysadmin)

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read your job description that you were hired for. if it's in there then yes, you are responsible for moving furniture.

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