Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Billy Reuben was a jaundiced soul

In the last couple of weeks, I've become the de facto desktop support guy at the office. Not that I volunteered for the job. And not that I'm real technical. (Sorry Jordana) In fact, I'm one of those guys who only knows enough to be really dangereous. But over the years I have picked a couple of things up. And I have a cardinal rule I never break (anymore): Don't do something you can't undo.

We had a guy that did the desktop support stuff, but he got fired a couple of months back and we haven't replaced him. The other IT guys we have are okay, but desktop stuff is not their thing. Plus they are not always what you'd call the most approachable and/or available folks around. That's where I come in.

I have done some mildly technical things like removing some mal-ware (I get really nervous poking around and making changes with regedit)and hacking (well, not HACKING technically, just bogarting the sysadmin id and password) into the mail server to reset a password.

But most things are much simpler. Some are just stupid. Like the frantic call I got yesterday morning from one of the admins up front. "I just turned my computer on and the keyboard isn't working." I wander up front to find this person's haunches sticking out from under their desk. "Let's take a look," I say. (At the PC, not the haunches) They back out and I reach down to pull the PC out a little further. No go. The wires are routed such that there's no give whatsoever. So, I get down on the floor and worm my way to the back of the computer. The plugs are color coded. The purple keyboard plug is in the green mouse port. "Try that," I say. "Oh, it's working now." Naturally, she has no idea what could've happened to the plug.

This is the same woman I sent an email to last week. Not trusting her "skilz", I walked up front to follow up with her. First she had to open Outlook. Which, to me doesn't inspire confidence, especially for an admin. I mean, wouldn't you NEED to have your email up and running all day? You know, to like, SUPPORT the people you're an admin to? So, Outlook starts and then she says, "Well, I hope I can find it. It used to be that all the new emails showed up at the top and now they just are wherever." And after glancing at her inbox to see everything sorted alphabetically by sender, I say, "Well, if you'll click right here (pointing to the date column), that should fix the problem."

And I'm not sure she's the worst of the lot. The other day, I showed her and another person how to get to the address book by clicking on the "To:" button. "You can do that?" I showed another person how to sort "To do's" by categories. "See this right here that says 'Sort by:'?" Another person I showed how to create more than one calendar in Outlook by using the "Copy" command. And then I had to show someone how to stop the Startup Task Pane from opening every time they got in to Word or Excel. Nothing terribly difficult, but some that are worrysome. Hopefully these folks are bringing other skills to the table.

If I were a gambling man, I'd bet on the the under.

  • |