Work has computers. Work has a lot of computers. Since work has been around for several years, work has a corporate-type computer replacement policy in effect. Meaning, there are computers that have been there since Enki was in diapers (or whatever it was the Sumerians used). Captain Kirk (a teammate) declares that some of them are "eight hour" computers -- the sort that you're supposed to be able to use all workday long, then turn off overnight and come back to a perky and smiling and cool machine. They're smaller boxen, and don't have much in the way of ventilation or airflow space.
One of them had what is called a "thermal event" the other day (that's what it said on the screen) and shut down in haste. (Who do you invite to a thermal event? Robert Drake? Amara Aquilla? Aisling Fisher?) Many of them make the alarming sort of fan-sounds that mean that while the fan doesn't beg and beg to be replaced, it certainly is begging to be augmented, as one of them isn't capable of keeping the whole box cool enough, and you swear that the machine is going to lift up off the desktop, it is blowing so hard. (Sucking so hard?)
In keeping with sanity, the newer computers are not only generally upgraded, but also bulkier, more robust, and far less likely to catch on fire, but the old ones are still around until they reach the end of their effective lifecycle. Since lifecycles in IT cycle so fast, we on the floor are convinced that they are good for light websurfing or maybe Tetris, but not the sort of heavy internal websurfing that we are required by the nature of our jobs to do. (Exterior-facing helpdesk means that we have no fewer than 5,000 pages of RTFM open at all times.)
All of this means that the good seats get taken early, and by those with the most seniority. My buddy the future Red Cube Badge Guy (he's just waiting on a position open in his schedule, unlike the people who come in, say they're destined for Red Cube Badge-hood, but ... don't make the grade) had his (older) machine fail to boot properly. Three times in a row. So he had to move to another workstation. At which point he discovered that his roaming profile was hosed in such a fashion that he did not have the internal IM client functioning on it.
A nonfunctional internal IM client is not a huge deal on the call floor. The primary focus on the call floor is being on the phone for customers as needed ... in real, human time. They can get up and talk to a supervisor. They can walk over to a red cube badge guy. However, the external-facing helpdesk has to be getting questions solved as fast as humanly possible. There is not time for a leisurely stroll to a red cube badge guy. There is a whole heck of a lot of IM action going on, and most of it is actually highly task-focused.
Last night, I was relaying messages from my buddy to the appropriate people -- team leaders like Captain Kirk and Captain Picard, the 2nd shift supervisor, and an assortment of red cube badge guys. Hello, whiteboard. I don't take dictation well when what's needed is detail and technical nuance, and not summary and emotional nuance, not from this guy. :(
Good times, though. Good times.