Thundering hooves of a thousand stampeding computers

This week:

  • Half of the company relocated into the never-been-used wing, freshly remodeled
  • 2/3 of the company came to work Monday to brand-new computers I set up over the weekend
  • 2/3 of the company discovered they now had MS Office 2007 and panicked
  • Daylight savings time took place
  • Quickbooks updated until it couldn’t talk to the check writing software anymore
  • MS Exchange Server filled up our server’s harddrive with log files. Without room, the server crashed
  • All the normal “My computer scares me because I didn’t pay attention” issues
  • The sky fell

I spent time over the weekend setting up and playtesting computers. I stole everyone’s documents, recent documents, Outlook settings, desktop shortcuts, and applied them to the new computers, so they wouldn’t be entirely in alien environments. I clawed a gig of space on the HD, and Monday morning had discovered the solution to removing the log files; it required downtime, so I manufactured a way to log into the server after hours, and cleaned it up overnight. I found, downloaded, set up, playtested, and instructed the use of new check writing software. I wrote three procedures for future crises. I discovered two catastrophes waiting to happen, defanged them, and wrote another procedure.

The stampede of crisis is still thundering on, and I am standing on the back of the lead mare, pulling on her mane to steer her and baring my teeth into the wind. I have never been so on top of my game without having a clue about what I am doing — beyond an understanding of the computer users, allowing me to anticipate the panicks, and an understanding of the computer consultants, allowing me to anticipate the lazy thinking.

*thunders off*

EDIT: I have been asked twice about my “I seem to be able to do the job” comment. I’ve had what Kirby calls “Impostor Syndrome”; I know real IT people, and they can perform amazing feats and know astonishing things and can probably reprogram by telepathy. I ain’t one of those. All I brought to this job was a hatful of confidence, office experience with computers, and what Aberdeen would enjoy me calling “a knowledge of the psychology of the individual”.

I guess that I’m just astonished that those are all it takes to be successful at this job, at this level.

6 thoughts on “Thundering hooves of a thousand stampeding computers”

  1. That Kirby, he’s one smart cookie.

    After you fake it for long enough, though, you’ll find that you actually have a large number of the skills too. Sort of Aristotilean virtue, applied.

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