So, work is changing for me. I began working in technology as a K-12 educator, specifically 4th and 5th grade. I was always the guy who people came to in order to “fix the printer,” or some other item that they were using. Eventually, I left the classroom and took a position as a Technology Coordinator at the private school where I was teaching and continued to do that for two years.
I went back to school and ended up moving into higher education as a person who helps faculty use technology in their teaching and research. This led me to my current place, the College of Design at the University of Oregon and into my current role as the manager of our service desk. In this role we fix computers, set up new ones, apply licenses to our software and help faculty, staff and students navigate the systems that are set up for access to servers, wireless, and other technology related services. I also help instructors use our online learning management system and work in classrooms with technology. There’s a lot of variety and the work is quite fulfilling.
At the College of Design we also have a large-format print shop, in which there are 4 large-format printers. This space is known as the Output Room and gets used by a variety of people to print their large drawings, posters, and the like. Two weeks ago the person who runs that shop took a new job across campus and I have now been placed in charge of the Output Room along with our Technology Service Desk. So it’s more responsibility and it’s more learning for me in an area where I know only a little. The past two weeks have been a time of training for me to gain knowledge of how this place operates.
Fortunately I am inheriting 8 student employees who work in the Output Room. This will bring a total of 16 student employees that I supervise on a daily basis. It is this aspect of my work that I enjoy the most as I get to educate and work with some wonderful young adults. I can’t say enough about them, really. We have a variety of students majoring in different subjects, from architecture to human physiology, to economics to digital arts. All of them are open to learning and do a very good job at understanding the computer systems we support and how to interact with our customers. There are times when I must remind myself that they’ve only been on the planet for 18, 19, 20 or 21 years, which isn’t all that long. Still, helping them understand technology, customer relationships, how to communicate clearly and work as a team is something I greatly enjoy.
As for the Output Room student employees, I will be leaning on them to teach me the ropes starting on Monday. They know the workflows and the demands of the place and it is time for me to watch, observe, take notes, help out and learn. There is new software to understand and new hardware, too. There’ll be new scheduling to be done and eventually new student employees to hire as these all graduate and move on in their lives.
I’m fortunate to really enjoy coming to work each day and this will only make it that much better. There’ll be a learning curve for me, and some bumps along this road, but I trust that I can do this and make it happen.