Midweek Geekiness: Technical Support

*Sigh*

I never get tired of that picture:

screen shot

The computer at the learning commons help desk, the technical department I work at twice a week, switched out their towers. The new CPU has Windows 8.1, but I save my work on a stick, attached to my lanyard around my neck. My office computer, a laptop really, has a slide show between Thorin and Hawkeye. I share an office with a fellow fangirl…er…woman. Funko Groot smiles benevolently over her desk. I set Funko Agent Coulson and Tyrion Lannister to guard the filing cabinet.

Downstairs, John Proctor stares intently as if to say, “Did they perhaps download something they shouldn’t?” Most of the time it’s changing passwords, or setting up wireless on tablets, laptops, and smartphones. It’s not like at home as certain things get checked, unchecked, and sequenced on a laptop, while Android and Apple devices have their own quirks to set up a network.

And I try to learn it all.

Lesson one, folks, is never call the computer tower the ‘CPU’. The CPU is a small chip, the tower houses it and all the other important stuff. Hard drives now go into computers very easily, just slide and attach the cords. Laptops have integrated systems. If one thing goes, the works may need replacing. Again, take the hard drive out for easy transfer and attachment.

I am more of a software gal. I cross my fingers my ‘Intro to Web Design’ course will have room. I filled out the paperwork to have the Staff Development fund sponsor me, but I have to wait until students register, then I can go in. I will learn two days before the start of the course on April 9th. I have some basic coding skills, but I need a refresher. I also want to build on them. I want to learn CSS. I want to apply my skills to this blog. The possibilities are endless.

It amazes me the ‘digital native’ have no idea how to even switch printers. “I got this printer called Microsoft Onenote 2013,” commented one student, my mind beginning to formulate a reply. I had students create spreadsheets without thinking how they can realistically look as a print out. The same goes for reports on Word 2013. I have brushing up to do on those programs as well. When I took Business Computing in 2007, we had tests called ‘labs’ and my brain already had so many things thrown it, causing my own internal hard drive to malfunction on occasion. In keeping with who started us off, here’s a representation of me on lab day in Business Computing:

tumblr_n8afpb60jk1qik4d9o1_r1_1280
Inwardly, I am a 6.2 bloke from Huncote

The key to good technical support? D’uh people skills. I dealt with my share of very intelligent, IT professionals with not a clue about people. Not.One. Libraries and Technical Support work hand in glove, and sometimes they fit like a pair that’s the wrong size. Luck seems on my side in my experience. I dealt with some cool people in IT, and picked up a few things like what &nbsp means from library folk. (Otherwise known as the bane of existence from time to time, and what to press to get another line.)

Trying to do Apple support..don’t get me started.  Luckily, I have someone whose brain I access about things like getting documents to not print double sided. (There is a process for something billing itself as ‘user friendly’.) Plus their ports drive me nuts, and also make me NOT buy their product. Every Time Apple unveils something new, the ports change, and that means the accessories change. In other instances, all the accessories, like tablet keyboards, are sold for the iPad. Samsung users like me are out of luck. (In my case I found one for my Galaxy 10.1 tablet.)

When dealing with stress-out students, always visualize something positive. In this case, always be sure if the positive visualization has a photograph highlighting his intense blue eyes. That’s my secret.

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