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IT Confessional Series: Overheard By the SMB Water Cooler

By: Andy the Angry IT Guy

Editor’s note: This is the ninth in a series of posts we’ll be running from “Andy,” an anonymous IT administrator working for a mid-sized organization located somewhere in the American Midwest. In his previous post, Andy unloaded an epic rant on why passwords are not secure enough in today enterprise IT environment – and why organizations need to broadly adopt passphrases instead.

Today, Andy shares some feedback on how the new version of VMware Go Pro has affected overall IT operations – via employee conversations that Andy has “overheard” at the company water cooler over the past few weeks. Andy assures us that he obtained all of these quotes legally, but we have our doubts—he’s a dedicated fan of the X-Files and we have our suspicions that he toes the line of legality in his never-ending quest for the “truth”. In any event, here they are…

Hello everybody! Summer sure is flying by, huh! Before we know it, it’s going to be fall again and I’ll no longer be able to slather inordinate amounts of sunscreen on my nose at the local swimming hole while conveniently forgetting the rest of my face and torso. Ah, summer, how I love thee!

At this point, you may be wondering to yourself, “Why is Andy so uncharacteristically enthusiastic and happy? Doesn’t that go against the basic ethos of this blog? And why is he now speaking in the third-person—doesn’t he realize that that trend peaked with Arthur Fonzarelli some 30-something years ago?”

You’re totally justified in asking all of those questions; I’d be doing the same if I were you (though I respectfully disagree on the Fonzie argument – third-person dialogue will make a comeback in this lifetime!). Anyway, the reason for my buoyant mood is simple: by and large, people have stopped yelling at me. Not only that, they’ve actually been slightly… nice to me!

My theory for this sudden shift?

Ever since installing the new version of VMware Go Pro, “IT distractions” have been virtually nonexistent. I haven’t had to interrupt people’s workdays to check on a given patch update (thanks to the new and improved patch deployment summaries); no systems have automatically rebooted after a patch update (gotta love the safe reboot feature); overall patch installations have gone a lot more smoothly (I can’t even fathom what I’d do without the new patch deployment wizard now that I’ve been using it regularly)—the list goes on!

Rather than sit here and rattle some of the feedback off myself, though (I’ve never really been one with words), I figured I’d share a smattering of the conversations that I’ve overheard by our company water cooler in recent days:

Sal, Senior Sales Associate:

“I used to have a dartboard in my basement with Andy’s face on it. I would play nearly every day when I got home from the office – he drove me crazy with his constant need to get on my computer and make sure every little update was properly installed. He interrupted several intense games of Minesweeper to do this over the past year, and I hated him for it. Lately, though, I’ve barely seen or heard from Andy—yet it appears my computer is still up to date with all of the latest software I need. What’s more, I’ve since replaced his face on my dartboard with a picture of the cast of ‘The Big Bang Theory’. I can’t stand that show.”

Maria, Front Desk Receptionist

“Is it just me, or has it been a long time since our computers automatically restarted in the middle of the day? One time, I downloaded an update for Adobe Reader as I was simultaneously updating my OKCupid profile. In the middle of it, my computer suddenly restarted before I could save the changes to my profile! I had written the funniest anecdote about my cat, but it was forever lost. I was so mad at Andy that day! That was ages ago, though – I can’t remember the last time my computer automatically restarted after a software update. Plus, I’ve since come up with a much funnier anecdote about one of my other cats. About a month ago, a guy messaged me to tell me how funny my OKCupid profile was, and I’ve been seeing him ever since. I think he might be the one!”

Jennifer, Chief Marketing Officer

“Listen, I am about two things, and two things only: lead-gen and building out this brand! I will stop at nothing in doing so, and I will bull through anyone or anything that stands in my way! To ensure maximum levels of synergy, we need to be firing on all cylinders! We can’t have any downtime during working hours! Luckily for us, it seems like IT has clued into this – none of our servers have been ‘down for maintenance’ during working hours in a long time. I’ll let the CEO know that Andy should keep his job. For now.”

…And here’s my personal favorite (as well as the real catalyst for my jovial mood):

Liz from Accounting

 “I always knew that IT was complicated, but I never realized how intense their work really was! The other day, I happened to walk by Andy’s computer, and he had a heat map up on the screen! I was impressed by his mastery of such advanced technology – the likes of which I had previously assumed to be confined to top-secret government agencies and the upper reaches of Fortune 100 companies. Andy told me that the heat map was helping him to better manage software updates to make sure our computer ran smoothly and with no interruptions. He’s really starting to grow on me, that Andy.”

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go prance through a grassy meadow and proclaim my love for Liz from Accounting to the high heavens.

Until next time!

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