A lot of folks from work have asked me, "So, where would you like to go after support?"
I haven't really had a good answer for that yet. I am not drawn to monitoring, to the vexation of Benny and a few others, because it demands a very high level of multi-tasking and constant vigilance. Shit goes down, you gotta fix it fast. Security is cool, but I don't have the skills necessary for it, and it would take awhile to cultivate them. Setups isn't something I'm interested in, either. Systems restorations and migrations... possibly, but again - I lack the skills required. Escalations and supervising are actually the two areas I'm most interested in, but both require substantial training.
Escalations is exactly what it sounds like - when other techs can't fix something, or when a high priority customer is having issues, they're the ones that fix it. There are pros and cons, of course. Pro: You don't have to answer the phones nearly as often, therefore you can stay focused on a problem long enough to actually research and solve it. Con: There is no one to whom you can pass a ticket off to if you can't solve it. ;-) I like the idea of remaining in a support position, as it really exposes me to a wide variety of problems and solutions. Plus, there is an element of reward in making people happy. There is also an element of total bullshit when dealing with certain individuals.
Supervising would be both rewarding and discouraging, I'm sure. I've done it before, but my team at Boeing required very little actual Supervising. They were very self-sufficient. Here at LW, I would need to do a lot more hands-on management, which would keep me more interested, I'm sure. I think the people skills I've learned over the last three decades would also come in handy; I am pretty good at adapting my communication style to match someone's needs.
Today, Siena, the shift supervisor came over to my cube with this somewhat official look on his face and asked me if I had a minute. Siena's a big guy, a Viking of a man, and a lot of folks find this intimidating. I find it strangely comforting, and it makes me like him all the more. He's a fantastic manager; he's intelligent, calm, patient and extremely knowledgeable. He is one of those natural leader sorts of people who easily wins respect because he's just generally A Good Guy who's pretty awesome to work for (he also doesn't read this blog, I don't think, so this is not gratuitous ass-kissery.)
Siena gestured me toward the upstairs conference room. I noticed the supervisor for the sys-res team, James, with him, and he had a somber look. I wondered what the heck I'd done, but figured I'd dorked a ticket up and caused sys-res grief. A day or two before, I had snagged a ticket that needed a quick response from him, and wondered, "oh shit; what did I say?" As I walked by James, he shook his head and said, "I sure hope you've got some money set aside somewhere," which pretty much let me know it wasn't a huge deal, but I still figured I was going to get a talking to about something I'd noobed.
As Siena closed the door behind us, I asked, "geez, what'd I do," fully expecting a very patient, big-brotherly "ok, here's what you did wrong, and here's how you don't do it again" talk from him, while James looked on and added his two cents.
"A good job," he said and winked.
They offered me a part-time spot on the sys-res team, which completely and utterly floored me. I am 100% lacking in the necessary skills - I have no hardware expertise, no real script fu... wow. Floored. They're going to be short a man soon, though, and must be pretty desperate to call on me. I expressed my complete surprise and was totally honest with James about being clueless in terms of the knowledge required. He assured me training was no problem. This is mostly going to be a "when we're really screwed, you come help" type of thing.
I'm very flattered they chose me. Did I mention the surprise? I seem to have these people completely fooled into thinking I have a brain, when all I actually do is flounder around and ask a lot of silly questions.
I hound one of the team members, Eugene, a lot for answers to problems, and he completely mocks me in every way possible (but in good spirit, much like Severin) for being such a noob. I assumed he would be appalled by the prospect of me being on his team, but apparently he put in a good word. Another member of sys-res I adore, Kevin, has his Jabber status perpetually set to "Please don't cry; I am restoring your datas." I should probably set mine to, "You should cry now; I am trying to restore your datas." Kevin is who fixed the situation when I accidentally implemented the rm -rf solution.
It will get me off phones on occasion, and teach me some new stuffs. So yeah; unexpected, but cool. :-)