Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Tech Support Version of Saint Francis's Prayer*

I hope that one day I will be competent enough that people will say “If you need that done talk to Cantabridgienne-she’ll get it done for you.” Or “Oh if you need help you’d better talk to Cantabridgienne-she's the best person to explain how to do that.” And I hope that when (not if) I get to the point where I’m actually useful enough that people will count on me-not just to get things done but to mentor their Halflings-that I will not be the sort of mentor who can only be called upon once a month or so without getting testy.

I hope that once I am together enough to be a resource that if there are people who need to talk to me daily that I can help them learn what they need to learn-be it “Hit Ctrl –F and search for Insert Term Here” or “right click on your desktop and choose new MS Access database. Open the new database go to ‘Get External Data” Choose…” or simply “You should tell your supervisor to teach you more about X and if s/he won’t come and talk to me.”

I strongly suspect that whatever career path I take after getting done with MBA training will have something to do with tech support because that’s the ocean I swim in. I am not the best technical support person ever. This is not entirely my fault (insufficient mentoring). It’s probably not the career I’m best suited for but it’s the path I fell into.

But, while I will never be the best person ever to sort out the bizarre registry conflict that someone has because they once installed an XYZ printer and now their XYQ printer won’t work (I am not making this up-I’ve seen it) I am a much better person to have around to explain how you can install your printer drivers yourself than the geek who can find the registry issue is.

I would rather explain how to avoid the problem (whatever it is) than simply pat the user on the cheek and say “I fixed it.”

I am surrounded by people who teach for a living and are rather good at it. The idea of teaching a course makes my stomach digest itself. On the other hand, teaching people how to do things-even little ones (like how to rotate a PDF or how to upload a file to our secure client website) is something I find myself comfortable doing. It’s not quite the engineer’s need to explain everything-it’s more a need to show people (particularly women) that they don’t need to be afraid of their computers.

So here is my wish—that I will one day be useful enough that people will consider me a resource and that I will always willing to mentor someone-whether by helping them myself or (if not appropriate) then by pointing them in the right direction.

Yeah, I know. Strong Bad says "Dork Dork Dork."

*Saint Francis's Prayer (in case Google doesn't work where you are)

No comments: