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Have You Tried Rebooting Without Saving Your Data?

May 15, 2020

Everyone has become an IT expert in this new normal.

During a meeting today, I was going through the outages that we have experienced this month. There were more than average. My manager wanted to know the details.

Many of them, most in fact, were issues where work at home agents, or WAHA, lost their network connection. And typically it was an issue with their local ISP.

So who is responsible for trying to fix that?

Well, it’s not me. I wish it was. I actually cannot help do anything for an agent, or 19 agents in Florida who cannot get connected to their local internet service provider.

It’s not my desktop engineers. They cannot go to our agents’ homes. They also cannot remotely connect to the agents’ computers. And if the agent has problem connecting to the internet, they couldn’t remotely connect anyway.

That leaves the agents themselves. We don’t hire IT experts to answer the phones. In fact, I cannot do what the our agents do. But, of course they can’t do the IT stuff either.

It presents an interesting dilemma. And it makes doing support really hard.

As the world has pulled in and we’ve retreated to our homes, we’ve also had to become IT experts. Even if it’s not connecting remotely for work, there’s school, there’s movies, there’s Amazon.

I have a Disney Circle device. I like it for the protection it gives me kids. The other day, it wasn’t working. The device sits on my desk. Normally, it has a sold white light indicating it’s connected. If it becomes disconnected, the white light blinks.

I’m an IT expert. I have designed complex systems with lots of moving parts. I’ve flown around the world teaching people how to use computers. I’ve written books and training programs.

And I couldn’t make the white light stop blinking. My wifi router was working, although the Circle device is hardwired via an Ethernet connection. I rebooted my firewall server. And yet nothing worked. Because of how the Circle device works, if it’s offline, everything still works. There is just no filter.

Finally, I did what we all do. I did what I’m sure you do. I did what we tell our agents to do. I rebooted withou saving my data. Well, honestly, there’s no data to save on a Circle device.

But, did I expect the reboot to fix anything? Not really. I hoped it would, of course. But, I had no expectation. I had no idea what rebooting would fix, if anything. But, it’s the last refuge of IT professionals everywhere.

And, of course, my Disney Circle device is now working.

Because of course it is.

Stay safe.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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