From then to now … difficult days


I was now back as a full time help-desk operator and I’m struggling. I had been more or less thrown in at the deep end. I had explained before I went into hospital, some 4 months previous, that I was going to need to retraining. But when asked again I was told that there was no individual training. The Government cuts to the Councils budget was beginning to hit hard and the only training that was available was the old school “sitting with Nellie!’ Now this would have been fine if so called ‘Nellie’ had any sort of patience. This ‘Nellie’ was the colleague that wanted the job that I got, so you can imagine that there was a little bit of animosity going on.

I plodded on through the next couple of months and managed to let colleagues believe that I knew what I was doing. In reallity, I was bluffing it. There was a few things that I did know, but these were the easy things that I tended to miss. One of my colleagues realised what was happening and began to take me under their wing. She pulled out a lot of training manuals and told me to ask if there was anything I needed. I found out months later, that she had been asked to help me by the service manager. I was still struggling, but it was starting to get easier.

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Then came the Christmas shutdown. That’s when the Council made non-essential office staff take leave from Christmas Eve to January the 2nd. But, just before that holiday, I was told that I was to be working on another project. I was to be part of the Waste Collectors team (bin men). The Council were developing some software to monitor the amount of waste that householder put in their waste bins. I was transferring back to the office where I had been working for years in the Parking Service. I had come home.

The project should last a year and I was back amongst real (sic) friends.

From then to now … all change


Within a few weeks, and a lot quicker than I imagined, I was ‘invited’ to attend an interview. It was one of those interviews where you know you have got the job from the very start. The team I was to be Interviewworking in were basically an IT help-desk for part of the councils Environmental Services department. We were the people that ‘sorted’ the problems that Environmental Health officers had with the software they used. ImprovingI found it difficult as a lot of the problems that cropped up were down to errors in the software, rather than user errors. To fix these, I needed to know the programming side of the software. Although I did know some programming techniques, the ones needed were far more complicated. There were five of us, and although I kept my grade, I was back at the bottom of the pile. I have to admit I struggled for the first couple of months, but gradually I began to gain more knowledge and my confidence increased.

Then it all went wrong again!

The departmental heads still had to save money, and so our little IT support team (as we liked to call Helpdesk teamourselves) were to be merged with a much larger team that supported all of the Environmental service areas and also the councils Housing department. We went from being a team of five to be part of a team of over forty. This was a real help-desk job now. Sat in an office with a laptop, smart-phone and a head-set with a whole range of new software to learn. I knew from the start that it was not the job for me. I spent most of the time trying to understand the new work and really not getting very far.

And then the day of my heart operation arrived (see this thread for more) I was going to be off work for three months while I recovered, which was going to be an ideal time to find something I was more at home with. Or so I thought.

Nearly the weekend


   Well, the eldest did not manage to get up at 07:00 this morning. It was never on the cards really, and I don’t now why we thought he would be. He did not get back in until gone midnight, and was posting messages on facebook at 02:00am. We need to be a bit more forceful when he is here, and try and make sure he is up by 09:00 at the latest. The problem is, that because he has not had to get up for Uni, he sleeps late. It then follows that he is not tired enough at what is a ‘normal’ bedtime. And so, his body clock is completely out of synch. He will have to be up early on Saturday and Sunday though, as both him and his flat mate are working those days.

   Another IT disaster today. This time is was the whole council wide network that had problems. It started around 12:00, when people found they were having problems logging into the network. Those that did manage to log in, were having difficulties accessing certain applications. By 2:00pm most of the council was affected, and the IT help desk, was pushing out a message to the effect, that all the servers needed to be restarted,which would be done tonight. And that is how it was left. Of course, many of my colleagues thought they knew better than me and continued to try and log in. It is getting increasingly difficult to explain to some of these people, that when I say ‘the whole network is down…’ that it also applies to them too, and that they are not a special case.

   Youngest goes on respite tomorrow. Sad though it seems, both Mrs H and me are avidly looking forward to the break. He will be back on Monday, after school, so not too long. It is strange, though. Although we are ready for a short rest, we will miss him when he is not there. When he goes for a week, it seems a lot longer, and we start to look forward to him coming home. Then he kicks off, and we start looking at the calendar for his next respite (joking). I just hope that the current bout of good weather holds out for the weekend. We both need to get of the house for a while. R*** always says a firm ‘No’ to any suggestion that we go out. Even if it is something he enjoys, it is always ‘No’. We do get to have a walk round the village sometimes, but it is a struggle, and often can be painful.

   Right, that will do for now. Wish me luck for work tomorrow.

England – a step closer


   So we qualified !!! About time too. What will happen next, is that we will win the group stage (just), then lose at the quarters, because the player we are banking on the most will have to miss the most important match, due to a sending off ! Job done ! But not to worry, there is always next time. Am I being cynical ???

   Crap morning at work. There were problems with the server, and the client software was not connecting. I could ping the server, but could not logon to it through Enterprise Manager. IT were onto the case, but all the usual people that I would normal contact were off on leave or courses or working from home. You get the picture. D*** had logged the call first thing, but because it was before 08:00, it was the relief team on the ‘help-desk’. The person did just that, logged the call. It was when I tried chasing the call up, at around 08:45, that I found that we had a lack of IT staff. However, someone did call back, and I was able to explain the problem we were having. It took then about half an hour, before they came up with the classic solve all … ‘we are going to turn the server off and then back on again’. This, of course, took another two hours, as the server is located on a different site. By 11:00, all was well again. So not such a bad problem after all. No the ‘crap’ part comes in with the office staff. As usual, they blame the software. The software was working as best it could, without the server. At least the client end opened. I tried explaining to one of them what the problem was, but they just can’t, or don’t want to, understand. ‘Imagine’ I said, ‘that your car has had it’s engine removed. It will not work … is it the car itself, or is it the fact that the engine is missing ?’ This analogy was lost on them.

   A bad episode with the youngest late last night. No apparent trigger. He had been fine. Laughing and joking, and then all change. Extreme to say the least, and it took a good 40 minutes before he calmed down enough for us to go to sleep. And then he was okay today and has been all evening. There just seems to be no rime or reason to it.

Damn computers….


Well I suppose its not the fault of the computers. They are after all only inanimate boxes of switches. No I blame the techies that run the ICT department. They appear to be just a bunch of people that are not quite up to the standard required. Even the help desk advice gave not real advice. It just told us what we already knew.

A walk this evening. It was about 4 miles, and we called in the pub half way round. Very enjoyable. Although eldest lad was winding his mum up a bit. He moves out on Saturday, and he was joking about all the things he is going to get up to. I told him when we came out of the pub, that he was not making it easy for her.

As boring as it sounds, I think that is it for today.