Well, everybody probably has a computer support person who doesn't really like the support part of the job. The first answer out of their mouths is always no. I have seen a bit more of this since coming to the UK to study. It seems like all around the University, anyone in a position to help has a natural inclination to say no to any request. Now, not everyone is like this, and when you find a great person willing to help you, it seems like you have just met Mother Theresa, but by and large people are not as helpful here as they are back the US.
Well, Tim is one of these people. He isn't officially our computer support person anymore, but he was previously, and he can't quite give up the position. So, he still has root password on all the machines, and he periodically checks on people's disks and processes to make sure people aren't doing what he doesn't want them to. So, it was not unreasonable to ask him to help get IDL on a machine, and his knee jerk reaction is "No." What a prat.