Why is managing an IT support department so hard? Possibly because managing anything is pretty hard, but most of the guys trying to manage IT support have never been in the trenches themselves, and quite possibly pride themselves on not knowing much about computers. If one of the bullet points on your resume is "knows nothing about computers", then you're probably applying for jobs in Bizarro World.
That oddity aside, IT support is hard to do, but it's pretty easy to measure. You keep track of problems that come in with a ticket system, you give everyone a login, then you hand out raises, bonuses and praise based on who closes the most tickets. Not who talks to you the most, or who you recognise socially, because those are likely to be the worst IT support employees who coast along doing as little as possible, leaving the bulk of the work to the real workers. You hardly ever see those ones. They're too busy. Give them the tools to do their jobs and the training they need, and you're basically done. The only thing you have to worry about, really, are long-standing tickets and employees who game the system. Because when bonuses depend on closed tickets, and your employees are also responsible for creating those tickets, someone is bound to put two and two together.
Mokalus of Borg
PS - Still, it's a bit better than the alternative.
PPS - Which is little more than wishing really hard.