Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Microsoft Repairman

I guess I might be called the IT Administrator for our household. This is not a well paying position. In fact, here's the job description.

Household IT Administrator
Starting wage: $0.00

Overview: A voluntary, no pay position is now available for an enthusiastic technology geek over fifty years old. This position is a full time, permanent position with no opportunity for advancement or any sort of pay or benefit increase. Annual reviews will not be conducted, however if you should inadvertently cause someone a  technological inconvenience, (i.e. rebooting, conducting a diagnostic test, or slowing down the internet, since evidently its speed is dictated by you) you will be verbally flogged and harumphed.

Qualifications: Candidate must work full time on computers at work and enjoy coming home to do the same on an as needed basis. The work may include: software installation and removal, software updates, scanning and removal of malware and network troubleshooting which includes cursing at the router, squinting to see the tiny password on the bottom of it and pulling out cords from the power strip until something happens.

IT Administrator must keep a joyful spirit, be willing to work around others' schedules, take the fall for any sort of internet pipleline blips, and be able to explain to users why a windows update sometimes is worse than no update and can cause system instability. Candidate must be patient, kind and think twice before spewing techno-speak on innocents, children, and aging users. Examples of this include calmly explaining that Windows Explorer is not the same thing as Internet Explorer. Other examples include describing that Google Chrome is just like Internet Explorer, only better and that by downloading it and installing it, I am not deleting their pictures, their programs or the whole internet (Though I am capable of the last item).

Administrator must have a broad understanding of a myriad of softwares, operating systems, hardwares, external and wireless devices and the thought patterns of women and teenagers. Experience speed reading the blue screen of death and automatically digesting the 2 million random characters and determining the problem before the reboot is done is required. Said administrator must also be able to decrypt glyphs and octets thrown as errors such as:

"0xE34:^I42KE10 error! Notify your system administrator"

and surmise the quickest solution so that the user can get back to surfing, gaming and facebooking as quickly as possible.

Finally Administrator must be able to contort his/her body in bad yoga postures in order to plug/unplug desktops, hard drives, monitors or printers from overloaded power strips. This includes dealing with large dust bunnies, low or inadequate lighting conditions, spiders, non-grounded outlets, orphan plugs that lead to long dead devices and, not least of all, wire tangles that could not possibly have gotten that way on their own. It is a bonus if the administrator has ever had back problems or is over 6'3". Hair is not necessary for the position as it tends to impede the bandage application when the administrator bumps his noggin on the way up from pulling network cables.

Education: Preferably the candidate will have a BA in Anthropology and Geography and be really good at making maps. Creative writing is not necessary but will consider in the final decision. He must like fishing, camping and canoeing unless any of said interests conflict with his duties as IT Administrator.

Benefits: None, though applicant must show ability to shrug off heavy sighs, scornful looks and stair stomping as part of the job. In the event of a work accident, users insurance from his/her day job will cover bits and pieces of the medical costs. The rest will come directly from the administrators wallet.

Home IT Adminstrator is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


***Note that the author (me) knows that a very similar job description can be written for any stay at home mother in the world as well. It was written in complete jest. I love being a techie around our house. It just occurred to me today as I am installing 24 driver updates on my laptop and 4 on Sarah's that I spend a lot of time just fixing/updating computers. I just wish Windows wouldn't make my job so neverending, so I could spend more time using it and less maintaining it.***

Blogging off...

1 comment:

Phatty Patty said...

This is great, Jim!! I got a taste of this position while at Mom's this summer. For example, I like to use Firefox as my browser so I downloaded it and suggested to mom that she should also use it and she just about had a stroke! I left Explorer as the default so she wouldn't melt down if Firefox came up. So every time she had some perceived problem with an application or couldn't log into something, she blamed it on me, saying all the "crap" I downloaded screwed everything up! All because I wanted to use Firefox! So I'd have Mike come over to look at her computer and he'd find all this useless, memory hogging nonsense that she didn't need, in addition to the various viruses she picks up by using Explorer! AAARRGH! I wanted to pull my hair out - I certainly don't have the qualities your IT position description calls for!