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Only you could have done this

Nothing puts me in a good mood first thing on a Monday like having to traipse over to another building in the pouring rain because a teacher forgot that YouTube has its own mute, and that they pressed it last time they watched a video.

Beep Beepity Beep

The telephone rings.

“Angry Technician, please state the nature of the IT emergency.”

“BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP I think there’s something wrong with my computer BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP it’s making some kind of alarm noise BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP I was just rebooting it and BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP”

Let’s back up a little.

Years ago I attended a call where the user had reported that every time they clicked on a menu – any menu – it flashed up for a fraction of a second and then vanished. When I arrived and sat down at the workstation, the problem was gone.

It took a few moments for me to realise that when I had sat down, I had almost unconsciously cleared the clutter on the desk from around the keyboard, and in doing so, had removed a binder that had been resting on the Esc key.

I never fail to be astonished by how often this sort of thing happens.

“BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP”

“Sounds like you’ve got something resting on the keyboard to me.”

“BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP Oh, hang on, maybe I have BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BE-“

Silence.

“Yep, that was it.”

The Fixer

I was in our Reception classrooms earlier this week looking at an audio problem; turned out to be as simple as one of the children having sneakily switched the audio input from AUX to CD. I have yet to fathom why the morons at Promethean thought it would be a good idea to supply amplifiers for classrooms with 4 discrete inputs, but we’ve got almost a dozen of them. We had more until the capacitors started going pop.

As I was leaving, a little girl asked me “Are you a fixer?”

“Yes,” I replied. “I’m an underworld fixer.”

I’ve since been told that not all 5-year-olds understand my humour.

Unsecured

I walked into an unlocked classroom yesterday to diagnose a reported printer problem, and sat for 15 minutes at a teacher’s unattended, logged-in workstation, with their car keys and iPhone 5 sitting cheerfully on the desk next to the mouse.

Now, last time I encountered this level of wilful ignorance of security, I emailed the Head from their account to resign, drove their car out to the nearest clifftop, and left it there with the door open and engine running after sending a text to their spouse reading “GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD”. However, my parole officer has been discouraging me from this sort of behaviour, so this time I just locked their workstation and left them a post-it note.

I think I might be going soft in my old age.

Diplomatic Immunity

Recently I wrote some code for our Intranet that issues somewhat blunt reminders to teachers who don’t have their attendance registers done on time (or in some cases, at all).

This has historically been a problem for us, and despite marked improvement in the last year since we changed our electronic registration system, I was keen to finally eradicate the problem forever. However, aware that my usual tone does not always meet with universal approval, I consulted senior management as to whether I should word the reminders more… diplomatically.

Their response could best be summarised as: “f*** diplomacy”.

I’m thinking of having the email framed.

Click-and-Run

A Click-and-Run is where somebody who has a problem specific to their account fills in a support ticket on the helpdesk, then immediately logs off and flees the area as soon as they have clicked Submit, thus confounding any attempt to diagnose or fix the issue.

This behaviour is considered only marginally better than not filling in a ticket at all.

WE NEVER CLOSE

While diagnosing a sound problem in one of our classrooms, the teacher mentioned to me that her computer (less than a year old) was “a bit slow sometimes”.

When I checked it, she had 39 PowerPoints, 61 Word documents, and 28 browser tabs open.

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