Now before I get into this angsty bit of prose, it's important that you know I am not an IT person. I have two home computers, a Mac which I have no idea to use as it's ClareBear's Design Machine and a cheap as chips 5 year old Dell which is now considered an antique but serves my bloggy purposes for the moment. My skill is influencing and communication according to a barage of psychometric tests I've endured over my many careers. I am considered a 'creative' with the ability to communicate complex issues with abject simplicity. I think that means so that a moron will understand. I think this is why I've always been nominated to 'deal' with IT types. I have patience, ask the right questions and I'm not afraid to have a go at the simpler troubleshooting.
However, I returned to work today amid chaos and collusion. The planned server upgrade for the weekend, orchestrated by our lovely little IT Geekybyte failed over the weekend. An issue with our industry database and some data integration instructions not being available. OK that sounds like I know what I'm talking about but basically it means that Geekybyte wasn't well supported and had to halt proceedings - all would be completed next weekend.
Despite an email I had sent to all staff saying that if the new servers weren't fully implemented this weekend, they would be next weekend, absolutely everyone assumed they would roll in on Monday to a bigger, brighter, better, faster (Gawd, sounds like a Daft Punk lyric) operating system. Obviously, disappointed they began to fume. Whilst I was standing next to Arky at an Automatic teller in Federation Square, all hell was breaking loose at work. Outlook had stalled, people couldn't log in, Word was freezing, Excel was crashing . . . only the very cool Argentinian had nothing to say about the matter. I was contacted by Charmers to troubleshoot the Outlook issue and thanks to Arky was able to resolve that particular problem over the phone but today . . . ahh today . . .
Every man and his dog reported problems. The message I got was, Geekybyte will be in on Friday to resolve them. Now that's not in his contract, he's supposed to offer support within 4 hours! Apparently Charmers had fought with Geekybyte who had been arrogant in response. Thommo had clashed with Geekybyte and the hairs on her arms were still raised with angry static. TheMostAnnoyingParaplannerInTheWorld (TMAPITW) signed incessantly at the slowness of her computer and the odd surprise pop up. TheBoss retained his Sgt Schultz demeanour. Sgt Bilko seemed unaware that anything untoward was going on. TheReceptionist was all a flutter and TheMauritian managed to delete a whole Excel Worksheet and blame it on server malfunction.
Fine, fine, fine . . the Bitch is back with her battle gear on so Geekybyte was emailed, frostily I might add. Aspersions about his ability and perhaps having bitten off more than he could chew were made. I also called his mobile but to no avail. Even I became a little hot under the collar, flung the 'F' word about in relation to IT people having crap communication skills, vented via MSN to Ark and aroused as much sympathy as a shrew deserves by the way, they stick together you know. By three I even shouted at a Tree Hugging Hippie volunteer manning the phones at the Wilderness Society because he couldn't operate a telephone . . poor mite, wasn't his fault.
So you get the picture. The workplace is a festering viper pit. Men pretty calm. Women like a rampaging rut of pre-menstrual monsters all ready to lynch this 8 stone, kid with skin that's never seen sunlight because their computers were . . well . . .SLOW?
Poor little lamb must have got a fright from the catty email. Departed his conference in Canberra and turned up on the doorstep at 4:30 to 'explain' what had happened. All was plausible. Most of the issues very simple to resolve and the slowness . . . well that will just have to wait until next weekend when the new servers are up and running. The whole thing was a lack of communication and for the most part a misunderstanding.
Now, herein lies the rub. Non computery types don't want to know how to use computers, they want someone there, 24/7 to pander to their whims and solve their problems . Geekybyte types want to solve their problems but in this case are outsourced and have a 4 hour telephone response time and a 12 hour on-site response time. Clearly something had been lost in the communication. Umm, that would be my fault.
He said: She was rude and snapped at me and wanted an immediate on site response
She said: he was arrogant and took an hour to call me back
He said: These problems won't exist next week
She said: it's all your fault I can't log on
He said: well maybe but you just have to change "Administrator" to "Parkside"
She said: Well it shouldn't have been changed to "Administrator" in the first place
He said: Point taken, sorry about that
She said: My excel spreadsheet is empty
He said: well you've deleted data
She said: but this didn't ever happen before you came along
Get the drift? Add another 20 lines and you see my afternoon with absolute clarity (I was not the 'she' saying these things by the way - they are a composite of complaints)
So, tomorrow I will have to call a meeting of the minds. Explain the 'arrangement' we have with our outsourcer and lower service expectations. Some smartass will try to change the subject completely and ask for a new screen. Another will then demand that we get someone who is capable of answering our every beck and call but for $150 an hour. (Tell 'em they're dreamin') Then, I'll have to go to Geekybyte and ask him not to be 'arrogant' and 'patronising' which are actually euphemisms for knowledgeable and technically minded.
I don't mind him. OK he says funny words like, 'offline' and 'hung applications' and 'go to start run'. But for some reason, my workplace wants his head on a platter more desperately than Herod wanted John the Baptist. Who's gonna protect him whilst I'm gone? Some of my best friends are geeks of the highest order. TheBenchwarmer isn't rude or arrogant, Arky certainly isn't rude or arrogant and I really don't think GeekyByte is either, just a little lacking in communication skills but in my experience, they make world class macchiatos, damn good tour guides and delicious barbecued beef. Not to mention a natural ability to play Guitar Hero Where would we be without their geeky little bones? They'd just say "Meh" and rule the world anyway . . .