[Front Page] Article: The Helpdesk Rivalries


Oct 1, 2004
So it's #ThrowbackThursday. Time for some more voices of the UF past. Much <3 goes out to FatBurger. -fly

This is the ongoing tale of the struggle between myself and the one other helpdesk monkey to gain raises, the respect and admiration of our peers, and of course the ladies...all the while fooling the other into thinking he's my friend.

Part 1

This morning was the quarterly IT department breakfast. Though it was difficult to get myself out of bed an hour and a half early, Mr "I work the 6am shift" of course had no problems. For him, it was half an hour after he started working. I arrived to the unusually despicable sight of my 20 coworkers. Unix gurus who have misplaced their suspenders, network admins with Microsoft support on speed dial, web guys who are still using Front Page...they were all here. But one person wasn't; my archnemesis Skye. I smugly sat down and ordered, confident that I had started out the day one point ahead.

"Why isn't Skye here?", I hear the CIO ask.
"He volunteered to stay at the office to watch the helpdesk", our manager replied.
The CIO was obviously impressed, "He didn't have to do that".


Damn him, slyly volunteering for a job that could make the Fonz lose his cool. I sat quietly and ate my ham and cheese omlette, picturing myself later removing the battery from his wireless headset, laughing silently to myself at the thought of him unable to answer the phone as it rang unceasingly, seeing the frustration mount in precious Skye's-

"How are the new server setups coming, Tony?"

Aha, the CIO has directed his attention to me. And not only that, but he has brought up an area in which I am clearly superior to Skye. My greater knowledge and seniority has given me the more important projects, while he is stuck with Office upgrades and mousepad inventory.

"It's going great, I'm just waiting on some information from Abe."

In one sentence I have both proclaimed my ability to easily fulfill critical duties, and pointed out the ineptness of Abe, the worthless network admin. The CIO looks down the table at Abe, making a mental note to inquire later.

Back at the office, I glare at the back of Skye's head as I sit down. He's started the day ahead, but I'm determined not to let it continue. Looking at my email, I see a forwarded email from Skye to the department. Humorous helpdesk calls? I'm sure I've seen them all be- wait, these are new! I can hear the snickers spreading around the cube farm as people sit down and read the email.


Two points down already, and it's only 8am, when I'm normally just starting work.

I see a glimmer of hope as there's an unread email message in the help desk box. Is Skye slipping? Might he have let an important email fall through his grasp? No, it's merely an automated email informing that a little-used SQL service has crashed.

"Here Skye, I brought these back for you since you missed breakfast."

I look over to see Sam, the resident brown noser, handing Skye a box of cinnamon rolls from the restaurant we'd had breakfast at.


Today is not going well.

The phone rings, and Skye answers. I listen in on the call. Apparently it's someone having trouble with our website, and Skye can't figure it out: "Let me pass you on to someone who's been here a bit longer."

Hah, the call is too complicated for poor Skye, he needs to pass it on to me. I accept the transfer and listen to the problem. A simple fix, it's merely corrupted temporary internet files. I lean back in my chair as I walk the customer through the steps to clear them. As I do, a paper clip screams by my head, narrowly missing me and embedding itself in the fabric wall of my cubicle. I look over and catch Skye putting his rubber band launcher back in a drawer. I grab a nearby floppy disk and return the barrage, hitting him in the back of the head as he turns away.

"Take that, bitch!"
"...excuse me?"

My face goes white as I realize I had forgotten to mute my phone first, and the customer heard my war cry. Skye, realizing what happened, is doubled over in laughter.

"Let me talk to your supervisor."


Today is going to be a long day.

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