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I got what amounted to a slight reprimand, in private e-mail from the Dave Matthews Band Fan Geek to Stressy College Chick: there is really no need for me to write an essay in my booths out memos. No need to replicate troubleshooting.

At the same time, I am getting "OMG you are so totally the geek who keeps everything around here running!" propz from the phone goons, which I so totally do not deserve. This is because I can do simple things like use the override password to get people who typoed back into the phone system, adjust monitor settings so the image isn't warped, plug keyboards and mice back in, regain focus to the window, close the cascade of fifty billion windows that they opened by clicking fifty billion times, use the program to remove excess logins from the system, explain what happens when their box is forcibly disconnected from the network (display turns red, all is lost, alas), change the screen colors back to what they're supposed to be on the telnet if it is connected, reset the chairs, and explain what's going on in relatively simple terms so everyone can follow along.

The Windows boxes have a standard login. All you need to do is remember the login name. This is largely to separate out the phone goon box-is-locked-down login from supervisor login (Power User, IIRC) and Administrator. If it weren't for the need to log in as supervisor or administrator, they probably would auto-login as locked-down phone goon. Security is largely physical, as there is a Security Door guarding the phone center.

The telnet has a personalized login with a Standard Password; it is simple enough for people who are Not Computer Geeks to remember; it rarely changes. If someone does reset it away from Standard for one person's account, Bad Things Happen. It happened to me, once, and the supervisors were very surprised to see that my password was not $STANDARD.

The timeclock system that just got pastede on top of the old system handles breaks and stuff. The login is still the Old Stuff, but that passes control to the New Stuff, which confirms that you are the user you think you are (by virtue of "Are you $FNAME $LNAME? y/n?") and logs the time you come in to the system, what job you are assigned to dial, any job briefing time, any system downtime where you can still be logged in to the computer, and other little things like that. Once it's time for you to dial, it passes over control to the Old System, and the Old System is the same as it was when it got installed X many years ago when I was first there.

When you log out from the Old System, the New Stuff takes control again, and logs the time you came back in.

If you get disconnected when you're in the Old System, the New Stuff doesn't log any of that time you spent working from the last time you touched the New Stuff. So if you get a redscreen (disconnected from the network) while you're on the new break menu, you're probably OK so long as you get reconnected quickly enough; no huge amount of time will be lost. If you get a redscreen five minutes after going into the interviewing system and you're on the phones, that five minutes will be lost. If you logged in at the beginning of the day and stayed in your seat and didn't get up to do anything and stayed on the phones and then you get a redscreen right before you're about to be sent on break... all your interviewing time is L.O.S.T.-lost, and you will have to fill out a god damn New Stuff Correction Form, because the computer will be all "Huh?" at the end of the day, because according to the timeclock system, you came in at the beginning of the shift, then disappeared, then came back after lunchtime and worked the rest of the day.

When you go to a screen in the New Stuff where you're stepping away from your desk for any reason (supervisor chewing you out or helping you improve, on break, briefing, et cetera) you're required to put in a password to lock your screen. This one is *not* standard. We encourage people to put in their ID number or $STANDARD; but it will take *any password* ... and you've got to remember what you put in. Since it will take any password, and people typo and forget -- there is a Super-Sekrit Supervisor Override Password (that is listed on the documentation for the New Stuff, and is available to anyone who Rs the FM). I happen to have RTFM, and therefore I am a Great Geek Goddess amongst mortals.

But as far as actually fixing broken computers and solving real programming issues, I haven't the foggiest and will have to call in for backup.

I noticed with amusement that yesterday morning, when I was monitoring and the Check-In Princess was at the Check-In Desk (and running a job too), Rev. Not-So-Nice Super came all the way from the bullpen back to the monitoring rooms with a dude who came in a little late, telling me, "I need you to find a booth for this dude. He says he was briefed on Dendarii Brewing yesterday."

"You should probably ask the Princess," I said, "because she's check-in today."

It's hard to miss the check-in at the check-in desk in the bullpen. Somehow the good Rev. missed it. (There are three ULC-ordained ministers in the bullpen: me, Rev. NSN-Super, and Comic Pirate Super.) I think I'm definitely Part of the Team in a way that the Princess isn't. (Somehow I got to be More Popular, which is kind of scary, given that at the beginning there was a lot of "You're not as awesome as she is, but that's OK, I guess.")
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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