IT Fun-And-Mental

angrycomputerI freely admit not all days are comical in the IT world.

There are days, like today, where the computer screen is your closest companion, and a query your confidant. It is these days which cause you to question your sanity….repeatedly. They also afford you the time to work on your four letter vocabulary. As of an hour ago, I do believe I have hit every four letter, foul intended word today. Not exactly the goal I set for myself this morning.

So, as a respite from my unintentional goal, I thought I’d share a few IT fundamentals:

 

  1. Coders have been known to flip off their computers. It doesn’t accomplish anything, but it sure makes you feel better.
  2. Error messages when queries fail are not always helpful. Example: Msg 2714, Level 16, State 3, Procedure X_ScrewedUpQuery412, Line 4 [Batch Start Line 9] 
  3. We may be quietly staring at our computer monitor but, in our heads we’re cursing like an old sailor.
  4. Damn-It dolls are a good investment.
  5. Stress balls are only good for throwing at other people.
  6. If we are scowling, and mumbling, place a caffeinated beverage on our desk and quietly back away.
  7. We tend to keep toys at our desk. Momentary mental distractions can save the life of our current project….and the person who requested it.
  8. We are actually very polite, interesting, ‘normal’ people. Unless, things are blowing up, failing, malfunctioning, or not functioning.
  9. We have a verbal filter when professionalism is called for, however, when surrounded by other IT personnel the filter is disabled. This can, occasionally, be a bad thing. More often then not, it is greatly appreciated.
  10. We understand end users do not speak geek. We attempt to speak non-geek, but even our non-geek can be too geeky. We’re just hard-wired that way.
  11. We really do enjoy helping you. We thrive on problems and challenges.  We just really like when you follow the process for reporting issues, and take the time to do basic troubleshooting.
  12. We don’t all live on hot pockets and caffeine but, we can make a valid argument for their inclusion in daily life.
  13. We do have different levels of geekiness. Some of those levels include nerdiness. And yes, there is a difference!

And last, but not least….

IT people are either dearly loved, or severely hated, depending on what is, or is not functioning.

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Observations from the Desk of…

Observation from the Desk of the Fitfully Frustrated:

 

The answer is always simple. Once you’ve incomprehensibly complicated things for a multitude of days.

hairpulling

Cat-astrophic Cat-astrophe

Part of our job entails working with field technicians. Those valiant warriors who traverse the land assisting those in need. They provide your water, gas and often our laughter. It is in the spirit of that laughter I share this Cat Quandary:

Cats are interesting creatures. A bit persnickety, if one really must know.

One minute you’re King, or Queen, the next it is their world and you’re just taking up space. Some would say a cat’s intelligence is measured by the swishing of a tail. When two identical cats are involved, it can only be measured by quizzically comical questions. white

Take for instance Wayne, a Rochester tech, who discovered just how comical carbon copy cats can be. Wayne is your average tech; married, two grown children, hobbies ranging from hunting and fishing to motorcycles and snowmobiles. You might even catch him at Red Lobster enjoying the “catch” of the day.

However, Wayne recanted a tail of a tale where the catch of the day could be the wrong catch. The catch in question? A Cat, of course.

On a randomly routine service call, a cat loving customer requested her curious cat remain confined within her home. Wayne considered this a reasonable request. He completed his call keeping the customer’s previous polite petition in mind.

Upon leaving the customers domain, Wayne did not doubt the frisky feline resided safely in his abode. Returning to his vehicle though, he discovered the customer’s curious cat awaiting his return. He carefully caught the clever critter placing him securely back in his home.

Unfortunately, the newly caught cat was not so graciously greeted by …… the customer’s cat! The chase of chases quickly ensued leaving Wayne in a quandary of just what to do!?! The customer was gone and the cats were identical; each resembling the other. The question crossing Wayne ’s quizzical mind—”Which cat do I put back outside!?!?!”

Now, with this tale of tails I have to ask you, what in the world would you do?

What a Catastrophe!

I can only imagine the scene between those two cats!

cats

Telepathically Typical Days

A typical day in the life of an Analyst.

You start the day with making it into the office. Sounds simple enough, but imagine if you will, Lilliputians. Everywhere you look, Lilliputians. You move…they break…you fix…Lilliputians. That’s a little morbid. Let’s try this…

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At any moment your phone can ring. There can be an issue with the system. Users can’t access it. It’s throwing an error. A batch is held up. It isn’t working as expected. This call can come at 3 p.m. or 3 a.m. And you’re on this call until it is resolved. Five minutes, five hours, doesn’t matter.

Not surprisingly a large majority of these calls come at 1 a.m. It’s like the system KNOWS! “Sshhhh, she’s sleeping soundly. Looks like a great dream! Let’s break! She won’t mind…”

If you’re lucky, the issue takes 15 minutes to resolve. Then you’re off and running. You get your shower. You get your breakfast. You make it into the office. Life is good!

Once in the office you have to make it to your desk. No problem! Well….if you sneak in the back way you’re pretty safe. Walk through one of the departments though and WHAM! You’re caught!

It’s not a huge deal. They’re either going to catch you, or submit a ticket. Either way, you are going to work on their issue. Now, it can be a big deal if the system broke between leaving the house and reaching the office door. It happens. Dang gremlins in the system. They know! They plot, and plan. Evil little things!

You’ve made it to the office! Congratulations, your award is work!

It takes a few minutes to boot up your system, open all of your programs and glance at the never-ending stream of emails. Email is a trap! The oubliette of electronic communication. The place of forgetting.

You either forget to read your email. Read it and forget to reply. Forget to hit send on your reply. Forget what the email said…and read it twelve more times, or simply forget there was life before email. I forget to hit send on emails. I have wonderfully written, well phrased, magnificent novels still waiting on my desktop for me to hit send. It’s a curse. Plus send is so overrated these days. Telepathy, now I can get behind that thought!

So, we’ve made it into the office. We’ve booted our machines, and avoided our email. We’re now ready for the day….to end.

Tomorrow… we’ll talk coffee!

 

Totally Toileted!

Today’s conversation… Toilets. images

Specifically, how to shop for a new toilet.

No, this is not work related, but hey, when the boss asks…you answer. The conversation went something like this…

Boss-type-lady: “Has anyone done any bathroom remodeling? How do you shop for a toilet?”

First responses were: “Why? What happened?”, “Are you remodeling your bathroom?”, “Oh! Let’s go to Menard’s and go shopping!”

We’re not shop-a-holics, but you’ll find shopping is a recurring theme in many of our conversations.

It quickly went from fairly logical questions to: “Squat, we’ll measure from the ground to your butt.”, “I want one of those ones that squirts water at your butt, then dries it.”

Then it went off to heights and colors, and fixing your own, and tools, and tape, and…

Let me stop here and say….this is not the weirdest conversation we’ve had.

 

Welcome to Work

In the Beginning, there were Analysts…

The average day at work consists of stress. Lots and lots of stress. It also consists of some wonderful people. People who I’ve, unknown to them, secretly put in the friends and family category. My life would be very boring without their wacky weirdness. Work would also be….well, work.

I hesitate to tell them this because I wouldn’t want them to realize their potential at stardom. Their comedic talents rival those of the greats. Maybe not Robin Williams’s great, but more Russell Brandish.

A daily conversation can go from query to sex swing in point zero seconds. How we arrive there, sometimes, is a question the bravest psychologist couldn’t…wouldn’t… really shouldn’t answer. I’m sure the insanity plea would be within easy reach. If we ever needed it.

You have to admire a group of people who can go from atmospheric to antediluvian in the same breath. It is a talent really. Vulcan mind melding, without touching (of course), occurs spontaneously and often. It is the only explanation I have for certain sentence structures, or thought strings. Depending on your perspective, it could be both.

We weave a web of absurdities Freud would find awe inspiring. And, as I write this, I hear the faint sound of Star Trek theme music. You are about to go where no man has gone before… into the work day realm of The Analysts!

Be afraid…. be very, very afraid!