Things have taken a strange turn recently.  I have been back on helpdesk duties, assisting my fellow field engineers with the roll out of a new system.  My brief was to stay at home and support the engineers with any teething problems they might have in the early days.  Staying at home to work seems like a good idea — I wouldn’t have to do any work, and I could log into the system via the Web and keep things ticking whilst taking it easy.  

I soon got bored and started to surf the net, bringing up the pages for our local tourist office.  It was whilst idly browsing that I discovered that there was a wireless hot spot at the local tourist office.  Knowing the chap who looks after the town council equipment, I was able to guess what the password would be, so I packed the laptop into the car and drove to the beach.  Parking outside the tourist office, I fired up the laptop and sure enough, I was soon connected.  

A few moments later, my inverter was plugged in and my office was ready.  It isn’t easy to use a computer on the beach — the sunlight makes the screen impossible to view, but it was not a problem to take the calls on the mobile and return to the car should it be necessary to use the system.

 It was thus that I found myself strolling along the beach, chatting away on my Bluetooth headset, whilst bathing my toes in the cold sea and enjoying an ice cream cone.  The caller wasn’t so relaxed, however.  He constantly asked me about the “interference” on the line.  “What interference?” I asked innocently, as yet another wave flopped onto the sand and a seagull cried overhead.

I may have cut a strange figure, shirt and tie, trousers rolled up above my knees, and ice cream in hand, apparently talking to myself in complete gibberish.  The number of calls coming in was minimal — it seemed that the chaps had gotten the hang of it fairly quickly, so I didn’t spend more than a morning in this activity.  I returned to the car and studied the system to see what calls there were in the area and maybe even take ownership of one.  It had to be one of the more pleasant helpdesk shifts I have worked. Oh, and Dell laptops are very hard to use on a beach — I guess that sunshine and TFT screens just don’t mix.