Once upon a time, before I was a manager in GoDaddy’s (now sadly defunct) Advanced Hosting Support department, I was a Lead and then a Supervisor for the entirety of its third shift — the graveyard/overnight shift. It was a pretty great job. Third shift was significantly less formal than any other, and it was populated with workers who had either just joined the department or those who for whatever reason refused to face a typical daytime shift (the extra couple of bucks an hour in shift differential no doubt served as a motivator in many cases)!

Like most, I too had started my career in AHS on graveyards, but had bounced around the department while climbing the ranks. Once my chance at leadership came, I ended up back on third and it was like coming home. I could tell all sorts of stories about my time on third shift (and some of those stories are already on this very blog). Despite the stereotype of overnight shifts being the social rejects, a huge portion of my philosophy about customer service comes from my time with those fine folk.

But the point to this post is not about that. Instead, it’s to share with you a video.

While the video below had existed long before I became a Lead, it was during my tenure in that position it became required viewing for any new AHS representative on their very first day on the job. Everyone thought it was a laugh and we would all gather around and watch it again; but the truth is that there are so many teachable moments in this video, and the reason why I encouraged it was because the more folks watched it, the more those lessons would sink in.

It’s about 10 minutes long. Give it a watch. Go ahead. I’ll wait, then we can talk.

Go on.

Oh. Um. THIS IS DEFINITELY NSFW (LANGUAGE). 

You’ve been warned.

Funny, right?

So now just off the top of my head (and not having watched it in . . . wow. Several  years), I present my list of:

5 Lessons “The Website is Down” Teaches Every IT Professional:

  1. Read (and follow) emails from admins/management. Sure, a lot of them might be frustrating. Worthless, even. But every once in a while there’s something vitally important that WILL impact your ability to do your job. And don’t be a d-bag and delete them off of the exchange server! 😛
  2. When working with a user, try to multi-task as little as possible. Though if you’re messing around, I suppose there are worse things in the world to be doing than playing old skool Halo.
  3. Listen to what the user means and not what they are saying. The devil is always in the details. Our world is filled with jargon which we have come to use as second nature. In the video, the Sales Guy mistook “website” for . . . well, we never found out. Something else. But clearly he was out of his depth and the Web Dude should have asked some questions to find out what he really meant.
  4. Just because the user is asking for it, that doesn’t mean it’s what is best for them and indeed the entire network. Exercise best judgement. The guy who had the mayor of Arvada breathing down his neck may have been annoying, but he didn’t do anything wrong.
  5. This ties is with number 3 above, but we are here to troubleshoot, not to be an automated restart-bot. The video took it to an extreme (where something was working and the tech restarted it anyway), but even if it wasn’t working quite right, don’t restart it. Dig in to logs and find out what is going wrong and fix that. Only restart over the course of troubleshooting efforts! — Of course this applies almost entirely to troubleshooting issues with servers . . . problems with a PC? Go the IT Crowd route and restart that thing right off. 😉

And a bonus 6th: Always remember that there is no “Arrange Icon by Penis.”

I’m sure there are other lessons to be taken away, but that’s what I can remember from this distance.

Given the number of tech-folk who I know read this site, I thought I’d share!

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