January 15th, 2008

graduation, MA in English

The Ultimate IT call.

As part of my role as Board Support's Systems Administrator, I'm the Troubleshooter for the Board Room's communications apparatus, which includes an integrated phone conference system, three projection screens, a center monitor for the people in front of the room facing away from the main screen, TV/VCR/DVD capability, and, of course, a laptop display hookup. While I always thought my control of the room odd, as my branch of the company doesn't own the room (or the building, for that matter), I nonetheless take it in stride when I get calls during the day asking me to "make the room go."

This morning, I got a call from IT. There was a meeting in progress, and the attendees were unable to get the presentations on their laptop to display on the projection screen. Usually, such a call comes directly from the attendees, but apparantly they called IT, who was also unable to figure out the cause of the problem, and contacted me.

I go down and look at the screen, which has been lowered, but blank. So the screen's alright, but there's no image. I look at the projector, and see that it is dark. In jest, I asked IT a variation on the classic joke, "Have you tried turning the projector on?"

Yes, dear readers, IT had neglected to turn on the projector, and were confused as to why the images weren't showing up on the screen. After admitting, red-faced, that they hadn't thought of that, IT then said they didn't know how to turn it on. Noting that their laptop wasn't at the lectern, I told them to meet me there with it. I plugged the monitor cable at the lectern into the laptop, and the center monitor flickered to life, displaying the computer's presentation. "How did you do that?" they ask. I respond, "I plugged it in." I turn on the projector using the lectern's control console (that they had to use to turn on the system and lower the screen, so it's not like they didn't know about it) and in a minute it has warmed up and is displaying the presentation perfectly.

I decided to be kind and not ask them if they were having any trouble with their cup holders. Seriously, I had to tell IT to plug in one of their own machines, and to turn a machine obviously integral to their needs on, and that was the end-all be-all of their problem. WTF?
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