Home > Life or something like it > Entry 04/14/2007 11:03:54 AM – Mentat 326

Entry 04/14/2007 11:03:54 AM – Mentat 326

     I’ve survived my first week at the new place.  Not too bad, and from what I can tell — they pay well for the position (significantly better than Brooks/Eckerd) with a tenth less responsibilities.  I’m sort of surprised at the level of knowledge they need to know in order to better coordinate technicians and analysts getting to the right place, but don’t need the necessary know-how to get a proper first call resolution without paging a technician to the scene.  Hell, I found myself sitting there sort of surprised that they had paged an analyst for a MacAfee McShield runaway process.  God, those used to be a dime a dozen on the laptops at Providence college, and are extremely easy to fix.  I tried to suggest one of the two ways that would fix the problem, but they said that it wasn’t their responsibility and that the analyst would probably be mad if the fixed it and the fix wasn’t the proper one. 
     Uh, yeah…  All right.  I’ll keep that in mind when I start paging technicians at 2 in the morning for something that I should be able to fix in the first place.  *shrugging* Of course, my experience has been that the folk on second and third shifts, if they know how to fix it, will probably go ahead and fix it rather than page out a technician or software analyst to investigate in the middle of the night. 
     Also figured that I was well ahead of the rest of the Help Desk when in the middle of the week, one of the middle managers had a two hour demonstration/lecture (of sorts) involving Wi-Fi/802.11 and intrusion into wireless networks, and I was the only one out of the lot of them that got more than ½ the jokes that he had made.  Hell; I got most of them, and the rest of the folk were sitting there either doe-eyed, slack-jawed, or didn’t even remotely find anything that he had said humorous.  And when he was stressing the ease of intrusion into a wireless network and demonstrated a relatively simple Denial of Service Attack — they had been positively scared of some of the things that he had demonstrated. 
     Of course, what made it interesting is the manner which they had applied it personally to their home networks which more than six of them had admitted at the meeting that they had wireless networks in the house.  A couple of them had said that they had relatively low security on their home networks, and assumed the worst when it comes to hackers and the world trying to infiltrate their home networks.  Larry had sort of glazed over the hacker mentality towards the end and explained that hackers take the path of least resistance.  But what wasn’t really explained is that more often times than naught — unless they attract some serious attention online — most of the type of intrusions these people at the Helpdesk would attract are usually slackers trying to use someone else’s WiFi Connections.  People like Larry, for example, who has his own Podcast or goes to Defcons or Black Hat Conventions will usually attract people that would like to perform a DoS on them.  I might occasionally attract a DoS — but most of the time — I don’t rank for that sort of attack because of the manner I keep my head low… 
     During the meeting, I had commented during the presentation that one of the programs that was being used by the presenter on how to grab a Mac Address on a WiFi was one of my personal favorite programs: Ethereal.  After the presentation, Larry presented a book to me to read through on Wireshark (http://www.wireshark.org) stating that the programmer of Ethereal had moved on from the project and that he had used the Ethereal engine that he had designed to make the next version.  Took a look through the book, realized that it had added a couple of features that Ethereal didn’t have, downloaded and installed it.  Pretty…  I like the way that it can monitor in a better graphic format traffic on the network.
     All right…  So…  Getting back to it….  To give you an idea, they had worked out a training schedule to something like four weeks of studying, then a ½ week to full week at the helm of the systems to get a feel of it, followed by another ½ week to week of going live to phones before going live based on the last person that had worked nights and some of the other people that had come through (and left) days.  Got through the four weeks of training in the first week, with the exclusion of two procedures which they seem to describe as long, complex and arduous.  However, one of them I should have no problem with given that I’m used to the hoops that are associated to it.  The other seems basic troubleshooting that they don’t think that I’ll be seeing too much of in the middle of the night (maybe early morning towards the end of the shift).
     Next week, I’m looking forward to driving through the systems, (which I’ve already started cutting my teeth on), and probably by the end of the week, I’ll be looking to answering the calls without a guide.  Apparently, I’m well ahead of the schedule than I thought I would be pacing. 
     There are only two slight problems that I can foresee with this particular contract.  Working evenings, and the dress code.  Because of the busing system — it’s fairly easy for me to get there for mornings, and nights — but evenings it could get a little dicey given that the last bus from the area is well after the bus that I would catch to get to home.  I might have to convince them to be a little bit more flexible about the scheduling considering that it hadn’t exactly been totally explained to me the need for total flexibility. 
     The other is the dress code…  Not so much a problem as it’s more a bother…  Seems that they don’t have a casual Friday there at all.  Ugh.  I hate having to be business casual most of the time, given that most of the time Helpdesk is usually only phone support.  Not sure how that’ll apply to third shift — but I’m sure given that it’s nights — they probably have the same attitudes on business attire.  UGH. 
     Oh, one last tidbit of news.  Fortunately for me, I’m not quite so "token" this time ’round.  At least one other within the immediate department seems to be "family", and another not too far away…  Rather nice, even if from what I’ve been able to tell — one of the two of them is rather discrete about it because I get the impression he hasn’t worked out all the finer details of Gaydar yet.  No doubt more on that soon enough… 

     Sometime during the weekend (last weekend) and week, I had it out with Nick…  again…  Not so much a knock-down/drag-out with him, but more the sort of thing that happens when you need to seriously slap someone upside their head and say, "dude, what the hell is the matter with you?!"  I decided to once again revisit the plain and simple fact that he’s acting like a "closet case" because of the manner that at his age, he seems hellfire and determined not to grow up, the fact that sexuality with him is definitely suppressed, that socially he’s plateaued in his intercommunications skills, and the manner which he isn’t comfortable around men or women — has not only continued to convince me that he’s got serious issues, but if he is in fact heterosexual — most women will most probably think that he’s gay and therefore wouldn’t want to try to strike up a date with him. 
     And just like the last time I propositioned him (this time I confronted him) — he practically had a short circuit and an emotional implosion when I told him that he acts like a closet case and just to come the hell out of the closet.  I started to try to get him to talk about this — but because of how tired I was from the day’s cramming, I didn’t have the patience or the emotional stability to want to go into this fear of his whenever I tell him he acts like a closet case, because he got all defensive and said, "I don’t know why…" when asked.  But I started the ball rolling to get him to soul-search just a little bit more than he has.  Now I just need to make sure that I keep following through because knowing his slack-ass, he’s going to go back to old habits for a while and happily screw things up more and more. 
     The primary reason why I went at him at this angle has to do with the fact that he’s just slacking his way through school, through his website, through life in general and that what he needs to learn that he really hasn’t is the finer points of intimate relationships to better help him understand personal boundaries…  The very thing he seems to totally lose track of in his dealings with people in general — myself included.
     Frankly — I’m really, really beginning to think that I’m onto something with him given the way his thought processes totally screw up when I confronted him on it again.  We’re not talking the kind of quick shutdown that happens for a few seconds from being embarrassed or taken off-guard; we’re talking the kind that causes haywires and short circuits through most cognitive functions of the brain for a good quarter hour.  And it doesn’t help matters any that the instant that it was brought up again — he went into wanting children.  Wanting a son of your own?  Please!  Queerfolk are having children in this day and age; either through invitro and surrogate, or through the actual act (whether or not there’s marriage involved is non sequitur); having children is no longer exclusive to heterosexuality anymore..  And I dropped all that on him, of which he didn’t really respond but then the subject was changed by him again because I apparently was treading someplace he didn’t feel comfortable in…  But like I said — I wasn’t grounded, and particularly tired from the cramming, but didn’t push too hard or pursue. 
     There will definitely be more on this in the near future, as I plan on following through this time, instead of allowing it to slack off like I did the last couple of times I’ve confronted him on it.  

     Not too much else to talk about at the moment.  Couple of dreams have been rather memorable — but not in the mood to be dissecting them, so I’ll cut out here.  Until the next time. 

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