Ok, so yeah, it’s another Monday, we’re a guy short, we’ve got fifteen in the call queue, and I’m still fixing customer problems from last week. See, my job started as simple “Product Support Specialist”, but it sort of evolved. Anyone who has worked for a software developer will tell you that there’s usually something of a disconnect between front line tech and developer. Developers just never seem to quite feel the same urgency the people who are dealing with the customer have. In our case, it’s not the norm… our devs are extremely responsive. I’ve escalated a customer issue to the devs, and had them spend several hours jumping through hoops to get the issue resolved. That’s NOT the norm in the software business. As far as that goes, I can’t speak highly enough about our developers.
Where the disconnect comes, in our case, is when we find a problem that’s machine specific. The dev, on his machine, can’t reproduce the problem. And in the dev mindset, that means that the problem is on the customer machine, and therefore, not his problem. That, of course, ignores the fact that, bottom line, things aren’t working correctly. It’s one thing if I can point to a specific problem on the customer machine, and say “you need to have this fixed”. But if the cause is unknown, as far as the customer is concerned, we’re just trying to weasel out of fixing the problem, and furthermore, they are broke. “Can’t reproduce”, in this case, is of absolutely no use to me.
As far as the techs here go, I have it better than most, because I speak Developer, and I’ve done enough development, I know how to look for things that most of the other techs don’t. Further, over the first few months I was here, through a series of coincidences, I got dragged into the area of custom reporting and exporting. When the Prez/CEO found out I had installed Microsof’ts free Express version of Visual Studio on my workstation, he very sternly told me to remove it – and replace it with the Pro version that our company developers use. Little did I know that Tony is one of those guys who believes in matching talent with task, and before I knew it, I was being through custom exporter projects, and then custom reports. Over time, things have further evolved so that most database corruption issues come to me before being escalated to the devs. One of the things that I wistfully hope to get accomplished Some Day is to do some utility programs for the other guys to run to help in diagnosing database issues.
This weekend went well. Friday, I decided that if I’m going to direct raids with my guild, I need to learn all the jobs, so I started working my DK up as a tank. Did a quest in Hellfire to get a trinket, at RG‘s suggestion, then tanked Sethekk Halls for her priest, and Elgar’s pally. It seem to go well. No one died. lol. I’ve got a long way to go, tho’. I have a bad habit in melee of right clicking my mouse for auto-attack, and of course, that makes me jump targets.
Saturday, we got the gang together, and ran H-HoL, taking down Loken after one wipe. More progress. Sunday, Edelestar, and myself got with Innarra, who has done some questing with some of us, and she graciously agreed to tank a random heroic. We got AN, and had little problem until the final boss, where we wiped. She’s never tanked it on heroic, and one of the DPSers started quizzing her about whether she was capped. She’d had some gear upgrades, and no, she hadn’t gotten her enchants on, so no, she wasn’t. He came off with a “no wonder”. Edelestar and I promptly invited him to tank if he’d like, and he said “if he had a toon that could, he would”. He then made some remarks about leaving if we wanted him to, and we corrected him on that: We didn’t ask him to leave, but if he was going to play “whine about the tank” games, we’d happily wave goodbye. He remarked about “how do you expect her to hold aggro?” and I very pointedly said “by the DPS watching their own aggro, and throttling as necessary.” Let me point out, she hadn’t lost aggro to me, and I’m constantly struggling with threat management, so she couldn’t be doing too bad.
I finished up by observing that DPS are a dime a dozen, at which point, he shut up, and I pointed out to Innarra that the trick was to get the Anub turned around, so he couldn’t pound us, and then when he submerged, run for the gate to pick up the adds. She’d missed that the first time, having issues with her camera, but second time around, she snagged them flawlessly, and we had no real problem downing Anub.
After that, we grabbed Booters, and Mysticdemon, and ran a normal, getting Old Kingdoms. It went well. A few deaths here and there, but we made it through fairly easily. After that, we decided to take them down to Upper Blackrock Spire and get the Jenkins title for those who didn’t have it. That turned into a clear of UBRS, and LBRS. Then we took a break, hoping to get on later and do something, but it was not to be… real life finally caught up. Still, it was a good day, and I’m looking forward to getting more of the guildies into the fun.