Confessions of a benefits manager: The IT crowd

Computer problems compel Candid to enter the strange world of the new technology department, now appropriately named GIT

I have had a rather peculiar email from the IT department. Well, considering it is from IT, who are the embodiment of peculiar, I guess it is not all that odd. It tells me they have transferred my network account from the RRE to CMW container, as well as my PC from AWS to CMW container. How nice. But what does it all mean? I reply to the email to find out, but my message is returned; their mailbox does not accept replies. I wish mine was like that. I look for a name on the email, but it is anonymous. Ah well, there isn’t really time to worry about such things today, so I forget all about it and get on with my work.

Then, next morning, I can’t log in to the system. Access denied. I look over worriedly at Big Bad Boss. He hasn’t made me redundant and forgotten to tell me, has he? I know that seems paranoid, but it happened to a girl in marketing. She turned up to work one day and found they had deleted her from the system. Her boss had been supposed to tell her she was leaving, but with all the extra work, it had ‘escaped his attention’. Well, unless it involves a golf ball, plenty escapes the attention of Big Bad Boss, so I have been looking over my shoulder ever since.

Calming myself down, I decide to ring IT. Mind you, it is not called IT any more; the new technology function is now called GIT, which sounds much more appropriate, although no one knows what the ‘G’ stands for. Gross, possibly?

One of our GITs answers the phone and asks for my network ID. Politely, but firmly, he tells me that the ID does not exist and I must be mistaken. I cough and confirm that I have been using that ID for the past 10 years, so that is impossible. The GIT, who sounds about 12, says he will raise a trouble ticket. I don’t want a trouble ticket, I want to access the system. Well, if it is that urgent, he tells me, I need to send an email explaining why. I can’t send an email because I can’t access the system, I reply through gritted teeth. Well, perhaps I can get my manager to send one, he suggests. My manager has now disappeared, no doubt for a spot of golf before lunch. I don’t
expect to see him for hours. I can almost hear the GIT shrugging. There is music in the background, the sort you get in certain computer games. I know I am not exactly top of his list of priorities. Well, let me know when your manager gets back, hesays, sounding quite unworried.

Not the end of the world

It is upsetting to know that I can’t do any work this morning, but it is not the end of the world. For once, no one is sweating for any particular piece of work from me, so it is a perfect opportunity to practise detachment. I decide to take an early lunch myself. I’ll just nip over and try on that lovely pair of shoes I saw in a shop window. Back in the office, loaded down with shopping bags, there is still no sign of Big Bad Boss. I try calling GIT again. I can still hear music, but it has changed tone. He has obviously made it to the next level in the game. He says he can’t do anything to escalate his trouble ticket without an email from my manager. I look over at Big Bad Boss’s desk. His computer is on and unlocked. It is so tempting to wander over there and send one from him myself, but I dare not in case I get caught. In this hire-and-fire world, you don’t want to hand over the gun.

So, instead, I keep myself occupied. I reorganise my stationery drawer. I clear out my handbag. I make a few phone calls to long-lost friends. I would fiddle about with Facebook, but those GITs have it set up so you can’t do anything without logging on first so they know your every move.

I decide to wander over to see if I can have any more luck face to face. There is a snazzy new sign to tell me that the GIT department is on the second floor. I wouldn’t need it, though. I could have told you from the corridor. The guys are all either very thin and pasty with heavy glasses, or they are chubby, hairy and sweatshirty. It is like looking into a pen of muppets. I don’t know what possessed me to walk in here. They all stop surfing the internet, or whatever it is they do, and stare at me.

I pick on the nearest GIT. A mere boy. He looks at his shoes. He is one of those that don’t really like human contact at all if they can avoid it. Especially with girls. Unless they are animated, of course. I am animated, but not in a way he likes; I am jolly cross, actually. He waves me over to his manager. Even the manager would have trouble buying lager without ID. But, I have to say, he is rather cute. Suddenly I wish I looked a bit more like Lara Croft. I suck in my stomach and push everything else out. I brush his sleeve with my hand. I really need his help on a crucial mission. My computer has let me down, and I need a man who is not afraid of network protocols to get me working again. Can he possibly help me? I look at him adoringly from under my lashes.

You know what, I am back on the system in less than 10 minutes.

Next time…Candid looks again at cars.


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