Remember PEBCAK and you'll be fine!
If you're joining a pre-established team, you'll likely start off dealing with printer toner, IWB's not working and network connectivity. They'll most likely have a system for common problems already in-place, just work on working your way into it and 'getting with the programme'. As a techie that recently completed an apprentice, I can give you the following advice:
All of my laptops can't login! = Billy forgot his password, 2 laptops have the wireless switch set to 'Disabled', and the rest of them are fine.
My computer won't switch on! = Monitor is turned off.
The internet is down! = One website is being slow.
There's no sound! = Volume is muted or headphones are plugged into the microphone port.
Billy's files have gone missing! = Billy deleted his coursework again.
It won't print! = Toner is empty.
Also be prepared for many, many vandalised keyboards (I had one just yesterday where the top row of a laptop had been changed to 'YOURADICK'. Props for creativity, minus points for spelling. C'mon, the E wasn't even in use!) and vandalised mice. Some of our kids like to bend the mouse buttons back and snap the.. 'legs?' underneath them so they don't press down on the button inside. That happens a lot. Forgotten passwords and files going 'missing' are also fairly common but easily resolved provided backups/shadows are enabled.
There are, many 'genuine' problems, granted. We have a few sets of laptops that randomly like to disable their own wireless, so you have to log on as local admin and func+F5 them back into life, we have an ongoing problem with one room failing to get its printers (even though the policy is identical to another room!), laptops get dropped and the hard disks fail so we need to order new ones and such, but realistically your common problems are 90% user error. You'll learn what your staff continuously get wrong pretty quickly.
Remember PEBCAK and you'll be fine!
Which brings me to another point:
The teachers will invariably ask "What was wrong?" - they will not understand you when you try and explain it for them. If they're genuinely trying to learn so they don't keep making mistakes (we have a few of those here, they're a blessing!) then use lots of similies.
haha, being a newbie i haven't heard that before, i love it! PEBCAK
Balance Urgent v Important - learn how to explain to someone that because they've left it until the last minute it is URGENT to them but not necessarily IMPORTANT to you.
Balance priorities - learn how to explain to someone (including SLT) that you will have to resolve the problem with all of the computers in Classroom X not working before you work out why they can't print or why they can't access a particular website to buy a present for their wife, dress, shoes, etc.
Balance previous employment messages - learn how to distinguish between "at my last school" being a genuine attempt to help you by suggesting a solution they've seen previously or being another whine about not having something that the last school they worked at had. This latter example is usually a school that a) had much more money than yours or b) had a system that required a lot of technical knowledge or support to make work and you've already determined is not suitable or too expensive (see point a)
All technical issues pretty much covered - but beware of the user who might notice that you are new and think they can get away with asking you to do stuff outside of your remit ( see Urgent versus Important ^). They may try to intimidate you a bit as well.
Beware of users who ask you to fix something and when you come and show them how to do it, just stand and stare at you, waiting for you to do it for them. OK the first time, but a bit wearing by the 5th!
Never give the users access to anything they don't need, lock everything down.
Always query why a user wants more access...then disagree
Never suggest anything that will make your life harder
Invent a plausible issue that can be rolled out as and when needed..>"It must be the flywheel flange ZIFF socket playing up again"
ALWAYS assume ALL users haven't got a clue.
- This is true! Really awkward when your trying to explain how the reason their work wasn't printing was just because the printer in question wasn't mapped to the computer and you have to go in to detail about what it means to map a printer. You'd think with their whole "mind mapping" thing they'd understand it quite easily.The teachers will invariably ask "What was wrong?" - they will not understand you when you try and explain it
Also 'low flying aircraft' but in our defence, that was legitimate. A weather balloon went overhead, resulting in the RADAR forcing our wireless to renogotiate everything.
Find a happy place you can go to in times of annoyance or pure disbelief. Such as the time "The room smells like pepperoni and it smells likes its coming from a pc.."
"Yeah ok... ill come take a look" ( Mainly out of pure interest)
Kid had bashed through a blanking plate and his cheese and pepperoni pannini was toasting nicely on top of the jam cpu heatsink
That was an interesting one to explain later why the pc was missing
TheScarfedOne (17th April 2013)
PC or panini lol
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