So, I’ve been working at the House (my codename for my employer) for a bit over a month now, and I’m finally getting into the routine of it all.
Last week, I set up my desk. I’m quite please with how it looks. It’s nicely set out, with everything in its place, but easily accessible. I’ve been doing a lot of that sort of thing; sorting things out and putting into ordered places. Initially, it works well to have all the screwdrivers in one box and all the pliers in another, as long as everyone knows where they go. But after a few week, they have a tendency to creep into different boxes, or end up in totally different places all together. That’s what happens when you’ve got so many individuals all working in IT.
The House has actually decided to employ the trainee (who I will refer to as Professor from now on) full time, so he’s around doing whatever needs to be done, and I’m still mostly following him around. I’ve picked up a few tricks, so I know how to fix some of the common printer problems, and the process for diagnosing some of the net/notebook problems. Mostly my job has been answering calls from people needing support, or receiving them when they turn up at our door, and calling up problems to Fell to get fixed. I’m getting better on the phone. I know to wait for a moment before I speak when I pick it up because it takes a second to connect.
I know the procedure for calling Fell, what should be done first, and what to try, what needs to be said and what doesn’t. And I’ve been calling them a lot. Clients have been smashing their screens mostly, but a lot of RAM has been failing on the netbooks too, so we’ve had to get it replaced. We’ve also had a dead hard drive and a few dead touchscreens (the netbooks have touchscreens). That’s not to mention our various iPad problems. We’ve had four smashed so far, one of which was dropped on carpet. We’ve also had charger ports just fail to work in any way, and faulty screens, where the majority of the screen is obscured by a strange coloured pattern or where the backlight has died, which makes using them very hard. It’s not impossible though. Before we send them back, we’ve been trying to back them up, so Mr Chief has become an expert at inputting passcodes into iPads without any visual feedback. Getting them fixed has also been a much more difficult process, because the House has insurance on the laptops through Fell, but the iPads are only covered under warranty. This means before any damage can be repaired, mountains of paperwork must be filled out by the client, slowing the process down. It slow enough as it is with its various hiccups, like when a courier arrived a few days ago, unannounced, early in the morning to pick up an iPad that had only been called in, after hours, the day before. Needless to say, we couldn’t get it packed up in time, before he left frustrated.
With so many of us now in IT, Mr Chief has decided to introduce a help desk system, both physically and virtually. Physically, we’ve created a counter where we can attend to clients and employees needing help. Virtually, a help desk system is a piece of software which each person in the IT department uses to log any help requests or work we do. It’s used to show who did what and how. It also has a client side, for employees and clients to lodge requests for assistance with whatever problems they may be encountering. Mr Chief hasn’t fully set it up yet, but the preliminary steps are done for using Spiceworks, which is a free, open source help desk software. I’m kind of looking forward to it, because it will mean it’s very clear what we should be doing, but it may get a bit tiresome having to log everything we do and could slow us down significantly. That said, the lack of procedure we have at the moment, as we’re in a state of flux, slows things down quite a bit too and, worst of all, makes us look bad.
In the last two weeks, I’ve also started the course that’s part of my traineeship. It’s a certificate III in Information Technology. I chose to do the Networking stream along with a few of the units from the Support stream as electives, because I felt it would give me the most useful mix of knowledge for the future, as well as what I’m doing this year. I also chose to do a unit on website maintenance and one on photography and cameras as electives because I wanted a few units that were quite different (relatively) and more related to my personal interests. I’m really looking forward to them.
P.S. I’m yet to get any suggestions, so if you’ve got any ideas for a better sign off line than “Post again soon,” or “Until next time,” drop me a line, and there will be a prize in it for the one I choose!