CXO

Support diary: Anonymous (Tuesday)

Here's the second installment of our help desk/support diary from our guest contributor, an MCSE who provides help desk, network engineering, server admin, and break/fix services for a Fortune 500 company.


Despite the blizzard, our guest contributor keeps knocking out the Help Desk call tickets.

Read Monday’s entry .

7:35 A.M.
The morning news anchors are already calling it the Blizzard of 2000. I’m still in Manhattan, walking from the hotel to Grand Central Station. It started snowing some time before dawn. There’s at least 2 inches on the ground with no sign of letting up. Today’s plan was for me to take a train to New Rochelle. Isn’t that where Rob and Laura Petrie lived?

My NYC counterpart (referred to as NYC in the remaining text) will pick me up at the train station. The office we are scheduled to work at today is about 15 miles from there. Just when it starts to occur to me that my coworker might not be able to make it to the station, my PCS phone rings. It’s NYC calling to see if we want to make a change in plans. We decide the snow could be a bit of luck for us. His vehicle is great for snow, and since the weather will keep most of the users away we might be able to get more work done. I trudge on for two more blocks to the station.

Not a problem
The weather slows us down, but we make it to the office at around 9. It’s a ghost town. We immediately print all the outstanding tickets. There’s one for a user who works out of his home. He wants his modem replaced because dial-up often doesn’t work. I call and we discuss it. This user has a 56K modem and it works fine for everything except the dial-up for the company network (doesn’t get the handshake about 1/3 of the time).

Turns out this user is still dialing up through our old system. He hasn’t loaded the software that came out last summer. I explain the procedure for loading the software. He seems happy with this and will call if he needs help.

The second ticket is for a user who says that Microsoft Word has disappeared from her computer. The Help Desk tried to help her find it, but all the office applications seem to be gone. I find her desk. She is not in, but her laptop is in the overhead. If Office was ever missing, someone reloaded it for her. I double check by double-clicking the Word Shortcut icon on her desktop. Word launches perfectly. The ticket was opened yesterday morning while we were in Manhattan. Maybe an industrious co-worker fixed it, or maybe there was never anything wrong. Ticket closed.

10:10 A.M.
NYC and I work together to install and image three new systems. We can’t transfer the data because the users have taken their old laptops home for the day. We leave them messages to let us know when we can do the data transfer and close the tickets.

11:30 A.M.
One of the administrative assistants ordered a new 13-gig hard drive to replace the 2-gig that came with her two-year-old computer. NYC and I feel this is another great use for ghost. We run ghost server on one of the new computers we just set up. We make an image of the AA’s old drive and then install the replacement. Next, we put the image of the old drive on the new drive. We get a little worried when ghost seems to think the new drive is only 8 gigs. But we figure it will be okay. The image is going to take about 30 minutes to load, so at 12:30 we go to lunch

2:00 P.M.
The image worked perfectly. Disk admin shows another 5-gig not yet partitioned. We decide to leave it that way for now. Later we’ll decide whether to add it to the C drive or create another partition, depending on the user’s needs.

We spend the next three hours going through the tickets. There’s a memory upgrade, three more new installs, and a printer problem. We can’t fix the printer. It’s generating a service 50 message. Neither of us knows what that is, so we check the manual. All it tells us is to call for service. The printer is about 6 years old, and the company won’t pay for service or parts on one that age. Fortunately for the user, NYC has a couple of old ones like it stored at the Manhattan office. I make myself a note to ship one out to her when I’m back at the Manhattan office tomorrow.

5:10 P.M.
We’ve closed every open ticket. It’s been an awesome day. It’s still snowing, but a quick check on the metro’s Web site shows the metro train is running. NYC drives me to the train station. It’s still snowing pretty hard, and I hear LaGuardia is closed. The plows have been through, and there is little traffic. I’m back at the Hotel by 6:15 P.M. What a great day!
Do you have days like our guest contributor's? To comment on this diary entry, please post a comment below or follow this link to send a note.

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