As an IT professional (who rarely feels like a professional) the shift to a ‘Work from Home’ methodology was not as painful as it could have been. I already had the basics set (Surface Pro, check), access to the tools already (MS Teams and VPN, check) and an ever-present willingness to try new things (Hello, comfy couch!). Working as technology manager in the TCC Northwest Library means I’m already familiar with supporting our students and faculty using the technology we provide, be it Chromebook, laptop or Surface Pro.
Now, however, I don’t have the luxury of a quick face-to-face talk to walk them through their technical troubles. These days, it’s a more lengthy phone call (or MS Teams Meeting, Google Hangouts session, Jabber, etc.) to help them diagnose and fix the problem they have come across. Still, this lets me brush the rust off of some old skills (like walking through Windows settings menus from memory) and gaining or sharpening new skills (You’ve gained +1 to your Telepresence Presentation skill!) to help our students and faculty in this quick shift to all digital.
My monthly “driver” for work and meetings, my slightly dented Surface Pro 4 (there is a reason I have a huge case on mine) is now my daily work vehicle. While I long for the big dual monitor setup that lives in my office on campus, I am very “at home” in my new workspace (Sorry, a dad has to make Dad Jokes). I can grab a snack whenever I want, take an exercise break working in the garden when I need to stretch and rock my music as loud as I want while I work.
Or at least until my wife has a meeting with her work team. I’ve been helping them with their technical troubles too as I turn my music down, since she and her team are all TCC employees, at the TCC Trinity River Library. Remember, we are all in this new situation together, very literally in some cases.
Just remember to reach out when you hit a snag in your process or find a hiccup in your setup. Your TCC IT staff members are here for you.
Brandon Wineman is the library technology manager at TCC Northwest. He enjoys entertaining his 2 ½ year-olds, Chase and Victoria, woodworking in his shop, helping his wife, Stephanie in the garden, playing video games and board gaming.