Walking in My Shoes…

… But They Aren’t 4″ Heels*

I handle software. Coordinate, explore, test, support and train staff in regards to the software we use here at the Library. Over the past few years I’ve gotten away from working with hardware (when I first worked in IT I would troubleshoot anything computer related). Yesterday I readily agreed to swap out a dying PC for a newly imaged one. Simple – just swap cords, cables, rename computer, make sure the receipt printer works and I’m done, right? WRONG! Well everything went smoothly enough until I got to the part where I needed to plug in the barcode scanner. Ahh, nice new computer has strictly USB ports and scanner is too old so it’s not USB.

Okay, so go rob Peter to pay Paul – I took one of the USB scanners from the back. Perfect! Nice new computer on Customer Service desk now works beautifully. Now back to Peter so that he can work properly. Problem is Peter’s keyboard is USB and scanner has to plug in the old fashioned PS2 keyboard connector. Having the keyboard plugged in a USB port made the mouse and the scanner not work. After finding an old PS2 keyboard and after hunting through a bag of keys – keyboard had the letter N and the ?/ keys missing – I finally got Peter to work as well as Paul.

At one point I realized how much I like my job of sitting at my desk, playing with software, troubleshooting over the phone and not having to struggle with cables, cords, connectors and the like. I have a new found respect for the hardware folks on our IT team. Not that I didn’t think they worked hard before but I certainly don’t want to swap places with them anytime soon. The dust bunnies (allergies still bothering me today), the frustration of cords/cables not being long enough or the placement of the computer not being in the best spot, and figuring out how to make old and new hardware talk to each other is just part of what the hardware folks deal with. My hats off to them.

But it was a learning moment – I will hopefully remember what to do next time if this same problem occurs and I got to get out into a branch and interact with staff instead of via email or phone. So it wasn’t all bad even if my nose is still running from all the dust bunnies.

*Today’s title is take from Depeche Mode’s Walking in My Shoes


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