By Curtis Bagnall, Solution Engineer at Umbrella Managed Systems, talking about ways the team reduces stress.
The world of IT support is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes we’re trying to resolve an issue quickly, but have to wait on a loading bar that’s been sitting at 99% complete for what seems like an eternity. Other times we’re troubleshooting a printer issue assuming it’s a real technical problem… only to find out the printer is out of paper.
IT support can be stressful. Just ask our owner Heath. He looked in the mirror one day and all his hair had fallen out!
Luckily for the rest of us, we’ve been able to find ways to cope with the day-to-day stresses that allow us to maintain our luscious locks. Here are a few stories from our team on ways they keep the stress levels down throughout the day.
A good break for me is taking time to create something. Recently, I’ve found a creative outlet that includes two of my other favorite pastimes, gaming and competition. Dungeons and Dragons.
D&D has a reputation as being one of the nerdiest of all the nerdy pastimes. But really, it’s a game in which you combine planning and tactics, the chance of a dice roll, and a fair amount of improvisation and role playing. You work with other players to write a shared story, a new chapter every week. It’s always a good break from work to craft the next piece of a story, to discuss last week’s events with friends, and to share and discuss other people’s games online.
I’m not one to usually get stressed about work, but sometimes I need a break after the storm that is Monday morning. Everyone says gardening is peaceful and I would have to agree. But my garden is a little different than most, because I happen to love roller coasters.
As a kid, my parents would always take me to the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the United States. Then a game came out called Roller Coaster Tycoon. As a kid, I never beat it. But on my lunch break, I enjoy the sounds of the screaming guests on creations that I designed. I’m goal motivated and the game objectives keep me engaged. I enjoy creating a little pixel garden amusement park, one peaceful lunch break at a time.
Curtis Bagnall & John King
Working at desks where you sit closest to the owner of the company has its pros and cons. Pro, you can go bug him with all your ideas that will improve the company anytime you want. Con, you are the first one he sees when he needs somebody to implement all the ideas he has that will improve the company, and they come with a deadline.
To handle situations where the pressure is on, John will pick up the Wall Street Journal every morning. We test our mental prowess by tag teaming the crossword puzzles in short 15 minute increments throughout the day. It may seem a little weird to use a crossword puzzle to help refresh your brain with all the technical puzzles we face at work. Crossword puzzles have a surprisingly calming effect. That, and competing with John for the daily title “Who is the Smartest Person to Have Ever Existed Today Championship”. Even if most days he continues to prove its him… consistently… all the time… I really need to practice more at crosswords.
Those are just a few things that some of us do to keep our minds sharp and in “go mode” for when we really need to buckle down and fix the IT issues that come in daily. There are plenty of stories the techs at Umbrella have, but sadly I’ve run out of room in this post.
If you find yourself having an issue you’d like us to solve, and we solve it at lightning fast speeds, ask your tech what their story is on how they manage to stay so awesome at what they do. We would be more than happy to share!