The department or team within a company or institution whose job it is to prevent you talking to anybody who knows anything about technology.
Technical support departments are usually organised according to a strict hierarchy:
1st Line: The first people the end ‘user’ will have to talk to. Primary responsibility is to prevent anybody from having to speak to 2nd Line technical support people. 1st Line technical support people are usually unqualified, and capable only of making suggestions like “Did you plug it in”, or “Re-start it and call again if the problem comes back”.
2nd Line: These people provide support for questions or issues that the 1st line cannot cope with (i.e. everything). Their qualification will be having possibly having once owned a computer. Their primary responsibility is to prevent issues from being referred up to the 3rd line of technical support.
3rd Line: The elite forces of the IT department should in theory combine years of experience with problem solving skills and management acumen. 3rd line IT support staff will almost certainly own a computer (e.g. an Xbox). Many companies promote, the 3rd operatives from the 1st and 2nd lines who were most able to wear a suit. Their primary responsibility is to prevent issues from being referred up to the departmental managers. Strategies to accomplish this include:
- Erasing the job-requests from the whiteboard (it’s as if they never happened).
- Referring the issue on to an external supplier or technician who only comes in once a fortnight.
Management: Overseeing the mighty IT department are a handful of senior managers, chosen usually for their complete antipathy towards information or technology. Qualifications will usually include owning a wardrobe of suits, and having once attended a conference on Exchange Server. Their primary responsibility is to prevent issues from being referred up to the Operations Director who recruited them last month whilst playing golf.