I am an IT professional, and have been for a few years now. My rant to come is from an article on slashdot detailing how some or most IT professionals are mean.
First thing, it is bad to generalize. Generalization is a poor excuse for an informed opinion, those who do are often not in possession of the facts.
A bit of grounding to the issue. Users, the clients of IT support, expect perfection, and users often interface with IT when some bad has happened. Computer technology is the most complex tool ever placed into a corporate environment. There are so many variables involved with modern computers, that I am surprised they run at all! The developers of Microsoft Windows have such a daunting task in making Windows x86, or x64 compatible, that there are thousands of them involved. (Yet, they still produce a giant piece of crap in Windows XP) Laser printers go through such a technical process in producing output frojm a digital signal, I am amazed each time it works. Take that, and throw in all of the applications, and malware associated with Windows, you have the status quo. Like the electric company, and the telco, IT infrastructures are considered mission-critical. "Our networks cannot go down!" Many IS manager have made that proclamation, but forget it when it comes time to put money behind that statement.
IT professionals are called on to provide instant support for any problem that is technology related. That is a broad statement, but it is very true. I get so many questions regarding home computers that I often forget the scope of my job. I do not do home support, that is not in my job description. Most may read this as being mean or snarky, but in all actuality it is out of "CYA" that I do not provide home advice. The last thing I need is to advise a user, and have them try my advice and hose their system. Guess who would get the blame? Remember we live in an age of reduced responsibility for one's actions. I don't need that hassle, and I suspect many IT folks would agree. If possible, I can suggest the user bring the computer into me, and I can take it from there. That way I can see the problem and properly advise the fellow/fella. Sometimes, the user's depiction of the problem may not be the most accurate and details could be lost in translation. Some of those details are the most crucial and can mean the difference between success and greek tragedy.
Many times the IT pro is called on to resolve an issue that has been resolved previously and many times, resolved with the same user. It is a state of affairs that has the user not attempt to troubleshoot the problem because they know all they have to do is call. Resetting passwords get a bit old after awhile. Passwords, in my opinion, the biggest obstacle for users. For some reason, end-users cannot remember passwords. It is mind-blowing how some people just cannot remember a simple eight character sequence. One more character than their phone number. Other users always preface their questions with, "I am stupid when it comes to this kind of stuff". They said it not me... That statement just tells me that they have no inclination to learn about resolving the problem. I just fix the problem for those users and not bother trying to educate and inform.
Personal computers have been around for more than twenty years. Although the technology progresses faster than anything else in our lives, the progression is left to the details. Knowing how to use a computer in the 21st century is just as important as knowing how to read, last century. The excuse of, "I am not that good with this stuff", doesn't cut it. If one chooses to be computer illiterate, then they will find themself behind the world's curve. I don't expect people to be computer gurus, nor do I expect them to have the same enthusiasm about the subject as I. If everyone was a computer whiz, there would be no need for my position. Every time a user calls on me for help, I silently thank them as I tell them how to set their vacation mail for the third time. I am not snarky, nor am I rude. A proper IT professional must be patient, a great problem solver and savvy to the psychology that end-users just want their systems to work, that's all. End users do not needs comments, snide remarks but to be treated as the they themself would like to be treated.