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#1 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Not really code, but terribly relevant.

Posted 26 April 2012 - 03:30 PM

One of my clients has brought someone in 'part time'. The idea is to lower the cost they pay to us, but still receive the technical support.

There is a reason why we charge $65 an hour. I have over a decade of experience, & can safely say "I know wtf I'm doing"

So I'm combing over the part timers tickets & there is one that's been open for a week. She's scanned the machine for viruses, cleared the cache, reset IE to factory defaults, installed & uninstalled everything under the hood & available on the network & yet to no solution. I see a note that says she's building a new pc to swap out & I can do it if the user is ready.

I take a look at her problem machine. The symptoms are awkward slowness, especially after lunch. After a reboot it's fine. I already have a good idea what the issue is. There is 1.5gb of memory installed, IE7 (alone) is using 2gb. The machine is simply memory swapping. IE7 eats up available memory & never gives it back. The reboots are just a band-aid, & swapping out the machine will only buy her some time until the issue returns. Plus it will eat hours of productivity as the user has to re-setup anything that is new or was missed.

I upgrade IE7 to IE8, & after 20 minutes that's done, so I install ccleaner & clear the cache & any registry errors from the upgrade. After a reboot & 2 days I check with the user & she says not only is the problem gone, the machine is running much faster. & she had a chance to use the upgrade candidate, & she asks me "Please don't make me use that new machine, half the installed items don't work right!".

I left an update in the ticket to check with the user before making any changes.

25 minutes of work, after a week of her troubleshooting. Nice, part-timer.

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Replies To: Not really code, but terribly relevant.

#2 alias120  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not really code, but terribly relevant.

Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:38 PM

I think there is a mentality among people new to IT, in which they believe it is wrong to ask for help. I don't get it. Given the opportunity to learn from people who have years of training and experience, it is a rookie move to believe that one can fix any problem put in front of them. Something is going to come along that will stump them, it's just going to happen.

I work part time in tech support for a company, just a nice job to pay the bills while going to school. My eventual career won't even be IT. Still, you can be sure that I take what opportunities I can to learn something new from the guys I work with.

I'm curious though, did you correct the part-timers flawed ways? Or were they left to believe you are some silicon wizard?
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#3 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: Not really code, but terribly relevant.

Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:41 PM

The part timer does not work on the same days that I do. The only communication that I have is by updating the assigned tickets. Because I am an outside contractor, I don't have email or voice mail within the company.

I did speak with the user, & she said that nothing was changed & that the machine is still working great.
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#4 alias120  Icon User is offline

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Re: Not really code, but terribly relevant.

Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:04 PM

Do you find contracting is a better or worse position in IT? I imagine that it can be frustrating, especially when dealing with situations like this. On the other hand, I imagine it's nice to not be so directly affected by the shortcomings of some departments.

In regards to people that are new(ish) to IT, I think it can be an awkward situation. In your example, she was probably hoping to prove her worth by taking on this "difficult" problem. That can be a good thing, but I think it's extremely risky as well. A week is far too long to be tearing apart a problem without talking to somebody. That's a good way to make the villagers restless. I prefer to avoid the pitchforks and torches as much as possible.
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#5 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: Not really code, but terribly relevant.

Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:10 PM

View Postalias120, on 02 May 2012 - 12:04 AM, said:

Do you find contracting is a better or worse position in IT?

It's an even balance. The pay is great, but the expectation is that each client is my only client. Like Veruca Salt, they don't care how, they want it now.
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