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Help Desk Confessionals

I'm a systems administrator who provides tech support, data analysis, and report generation for about 300 users. No support staff. No other help. Just me.

Eating in my office

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

This one boss in my office loves to eat. Ever since I moved into this office last year, we have not stopped eating. Potlucks, lunches, cakes, donuts, snacks for any occasion - birthdays, anniversaries, someone starting, someone leaving, holidays, etc - any reason he can think of. It's very common to walk into the office and see a big box of donuts on the receptionist counter.

So this morning I came in and was just about starting to work. My boss came by and signaled me to the break area. Voila! Tamales, frijoles, rice, salsa, pastries, cookies...but the best part was when I asked what the occasion was. "Wednesday."
posted by Carl from L.A., 8:59 AM | link | 0 comments |

What a Difference a Day Makes

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Yesterday was a big day. My wife Lori saw her obstetrician - the old (good) one. She had gone to see a new one close to our house referred to by one of our our neighbors, thinking that it would save her a lot of time driving. Big mistake. The new guy laid a bunch of B.S. on her so much so that she thought she was losing our baby. I told her to go back to her old one - it's a 45 minute drive, but they (it was a medical group) were so good that if something was going to go wrong, she would at least be told by someone she trusts.

So yesterday was the big day. I tried to be the calm, rational one of us - no need for both of us to stress out. Not that I expect anything was wrong - Lori is in very good shape and has not shown any signs of irregularity, and I knew that new obstetrician was suspect, just from what Lori told me. Still in the back of my mind I worried - what if...?

Lori came out of the clinic with a big smile on her face. Everything was fine. I told her "See? I knew it all along!" but deep down within me, a big sigh of relief.
posted by Carl from L.A., 8:45 AM | link | 0 comments |

Turn Around Time

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Barbara is a department user. She has a bad habit of calling me to request data that she needs on THAT day. She's got some nerves. One: She is not my supervisor, she is not even from my department. We provide data as a service, but I do not work for her. Two: There are other projects ahead of hers, and of course everyone's requests are "urgent". Take a number. Three: Even if work is slow and I'm bored out of my skull, she still would not get what she wants when she wants. They are like kids - you can't spoil them.
posted by Carl from L.A., 4:15 PM | link | 0 comments |

Running on Empty

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Ok, so Sylvia called me today. She is a claims data entry person. She needs to clear this payment which is sitting in pending because of "insufficient reserves". I checked the reserves - there is nothing left. So I told her "Look, to clear this you MUST increase the reserves." She said the examiner is trying to not raise the reserves. So let's see, you want to drive somewhere, but you don't want to put any gas in your car. Right.
posted by Carl from L.A., 8:38 AM | link | 0 comments |

Perfect Day

Thursday, August 12, 2004

A perfect day at the help desk: phone not ringing, people not "visiting", good music playing, your work appreciated. I hope it goes this way the rest of the day. No. Forever.

Yesterday was a messy day: messes that needed me to clean up (try deleting hundred some payments because the system mysteriously genereted duplicates), my own messes because Mess#1 messed up my entire schedule. I didn't even get around to make entries in my log book. I'll have to do it from memory today. Yikes.
posted by Carl from L.A., 9:38 AM | link | 0 comments |

A Big Sigh of Relief

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Been dreading all day about a looooong half-day meeting scheduled for tomorrow....

It's been cancelled.
posted by Carl from L.A., 2:34 PM | link | 0 comments |

Do they know what they want?

Monday, August 09, 2004

As the resident number cruncher, I get asked to run all kinds of reports, data, numbers, etc. Most of the time people don't really know what they want, but they ask you to run it anyway. I'm finally (yes, after 15 years at this) getting annoyed. I told poor Tammy this morning straight out that it would be a waste of my time if she doesn't know what she wants. The heck with it.
posted by Carl from L.A., 8:36 AM | link | 0 comments |

Thought it was going to be a slow day

Thursday, August 05, 2004

...and then, a crisis (well, mildly) - a mess, a spill, and I have to mop it up. Eight hundred payments went into the system. Twice. I guess this is when I earn my pay.
posted by Carl from L.A., 1:37 PM | link | 0 comments |

Web Mail Messages

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Got this e-mail from my ISP, looks very much like the monthly invoice e-mail I get from them. I was alarmed when I saw that the credit card charges were rejected and click on the link to the site. Then suddenly a moment of awakening hit me and I reread the e-mail. Phish. The best one I've seen yet. It got me to click on the link. Damn they are getting better and better at this.
posted by Carl from L.A., 5:15 PM | link | 0 comments |


Jackie is a new manager. She is trying very hard to learn everything, but she has a lot to learn. She called today to tell me that she ran all the month-end reports without having to bother me at all. That's a milestone.
posted by Carl from L.A., 4:47 PM | link | 0 comments |

That's kinda how I'm feeling right now...
Posted by Hello
posted by Carl from L.A., 10:46 AM | link | 0 comments |

Hole Up in My Cube

Since I was out on the road almost all day yesterday (Irvine/Downey), I've determined to stay in the office all day today, no matter what. So far so good. Hopefully I can nurse myself out of my sore throat.
posted by Carl from L.A., 9:04 AM | link | 0 comments |

Quiz: Does Your Weblog Own You?

31.25 %

My weblog owns 31.25 % of me.
Does your weblog own you?

hmmm...I guess blogging is a bigger part of my life than I thought, not that I have that much to share.
posted by Carl from L.A., 8:27 AM | link | 0 comments |

First Post

Monday, August 02, 2004

My first blog entry. In the midst of phone calls, bill release requests, software re-installs, etc. And e-mails. I'm surprised I have time for this.
posted by Carl from L.A., 4:14 PM | link