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Welcome (back) for Fall Term 2018!  Thank you so much for attending the scheduling meeting.  For those who could not make it, come to the helpdesk during business hours (8am - 5pm) ASAP to get your schedule sorted out!

In the meantime this is the first weekly update for Fall 2018.  Take a read through and you know what to do (and if you don't, just ask)!

The Schedule is posted!

Author: Kendra Strode

The schedule (as best we could interpret it) is now online. 

Check it out!

The Handbook and Quiz (all CarlTechs)

Author: Kendra Strode

The handbook has been updated to current (from 2016).  You can find a link to it on the Moodle page (ITS Helpdesk) or on the Helpdesk Headquarters page in the wiki.

All CarlTechs are expected to read it and complete the Handbook quiz in Moodle (which is an open-book quiz, as ALL of our quizzes are). 

Go forth and know how to helpdesk!

The Triumvirate → The Tetrad

Author: Kendra Strode

We have a new helpdesk staff member, everybody! Welcome Noel Ponder

A transplant from elsewhere on campus, Noel knows all there is to know about the buildings and rooms on campus that get used by people. Now he knows a lot more about ITS and is learning a lot of the same things as you new Carltechs. Say hello to him when you get the chance and help him learn how to be a helpdesk staff member of the highest caliber!

Also we moved offices, and Noel doesn’t have an official office yet. It’s like musical offices, and Noel didn’t get a chair, but that’s kinda because Kevin and Travis and Kendra cheated by playing the game without him soooooo... welcome Noel better than we did :P

Also also, stay tuned for information on “the Quadrivium” and how we hope to nerdily incorporate that concept into our new four-inspired helpdesk.

Also also also you can reach us now at (please remove triumvirate from your contacts)

Leaving Humanity Behind

Author: Kendra

Those of you who are new Carltech - don’t worry. We aren’t signing you up for an interstellar mission to go try to colonize Mars or anything. Our old checkin system for shifts was called Humanity. It was a silly name and a silly product. It worked, but it had enough issues that we instead wrote our own!

Anirudh Appachar, recent Carltech, current 5th-year intern built this system from the ground up and we are USING IT FOR FALL TERM!!!

Anywhere you see “Humanity” referenced, that is now “Shift System” and it should be pretty great.

Check in for ALL your shifts, request subs, and pick up shifts here:


Bizarre Schedules - Pay Attention!

Author: Kendra Strode

We at Carleton like to welcome people to campus by making the schedule as confusing as possible. Because we want to have a fancy opening convo, we muck up the schedule.

Read Kevin's email to y'all for the details but the summary? Show up for your class times. Add the 5 minutes before or after your shift, just as usual. If you work Convo on Friday, you can choose to work the shift during the Convo slot on Monday but we do encourage you to attend convo if you so choose.

Anywhoo - put these things on your Calendar now. It’ll help.

Training Workshops (ALL Carltechs)

Author: Kendra Strode

We have in-person training workshops to help you brush up on your Helpdesk skillz.

Go to moodle, find the ITS Helpdesk course, and sign up there.  Returners go go the All CarlTechs section, New CarlTechs go to the New CarlTech section!

Each workshop is offered multiple times per week. The scheduler will let you choose a slot that works for you. Since everybody is supposed to read this section, here is your "read things carefully" assignment: as a new CarlTech, comment below with a question you have about work here, or classes, or whatever, so long as it is work appropriate.  Returners, post either (a) an answer to one of those questions or (b) what you wish you'd known as a starting CarlTech or student here.  Some of the slots are capped at a certain number of registrants so sign up early if you want your preferred slots.

These sessions are mandatory. We expect you to talk with coaches or coordinate with your extracurriculars to be able to attend one of the various session times offered. If for some reason that is not possible, you need to let us know BEFORE the sessions begin!

New Password Changing Platform!

Author: Kendra Strode

We used to use a tool called SpecOPS to change passwords. The name was cool, but because Carleton uses Mac, and Windows, and does so in a unique way, the tool was cumbersome for us.

We are now using a new system called SSPR (Self-Service Password Reset). Right now there is nothing self-service about it… but there will be eventually!

In the meantime it should be MUCH easier to change passwords.

Anywhere you see “SpecOPS” referenced, it should be “SSPR.”



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  1. Merry Carletonmas and a Happy Academic New Year to you. Here's to Week 1.

  2. As a Carltech, I wish I knew that we got paid for stuff like the training workshops. (I believe this is still true, idk).

    1. Kendra Strode AUTHOR

      It is still true - and for those of you who had questions about how to enter these hours, ask during your first few shifts (big grin)

  3. As a wee li'l CarlTech, I wish I had known that logging quicktickets brings eternal happiness to the Triumvirate - err, the Tetrad - no wait, the Quadrivium...?

  4. as lil carl tech, I wish I'd known that google would become my best and most reliable friend when it came to tech questions 

    1. It's impossible to know everything.  Knowing how and where to find the solution to a problem is all part of being a good tech, and conveniently, Google has made that much easier than flipping through manuals.

    2. AND, if you're able to get the precise language of an error message, plugging that into Google can reveal many many wonderful solutions.

  5. As a new tech I wish I would have known that going a little bit out of the way to do a bit more work could be very rewarding

  6. as a new tech, I wish I'd known Kevin and Travis are supportive and approachable, not just Large Men with Lots of Technical Power

    1. Sigh. Guess it's back to the food plan...


  7. As a freshman, I was worried about "bothering" people with whatever problem I was having. I also thought that asking for help would reflect poorly on me, and I would expose myself as being, like, something less than perfect.

    So I wish I could go back and tell my freshman self to chill out. No one is judging you, little Lizzy! Asking questions is how you learn and grow. These days I would rather learn from other people than try to impress them.  

    1. "I would rather learn from other people than try to impress them" might be my favourite response ever!

  8. Pretty much no one is as scary as you think they are. We were technically told this, but I wish I had known that it really is ok to ask either the Tetrad or other students about anything that may confuse you. 

  9. As a new tech I wish I had learnt how to use Bomgar better. I mean I still don't really know how to use it...

  10. As a new tech, I wish I had figured out how to scan and send a lot sooner than I actually did

  11. As a freshman, I wish I knew how helpful stalkernet is. By looking them up on the directory, you can find out their phone number or office. 

  12. As a new tech, I wish I was more talkative to the other techs during my shifts. 

  13. I was a new CarlTech last year, and one thing I wished I did was ask an older CarlTech in fall term questions I had about the job. I also should have gone on more shadowing trips when they would solve an on-campus problem.

  14. I wish that I had spent more time as a new tech putting down time at the desk into homework or something productive, rather than just wasting time on reddit etc.  There is a fair bit of down time, especially on some shifts.  One of the nice things about this job is that we also have the freedom to do our own work/play, as long as we've taken care of all the actual work that needs to be done.  Not that I'm any better in being productive now though.


  15. As a new CarlTech I wished I knew how much work I'd have to do as HelpDesk Overlord, I'm grateful for the power it affords me, but the responsibility is massive.

  16. This is Martin posting on Anders account because I don't have access to this page yet. My question is how should I spend my time when the desk is slow.  

    1. Welcome to the team, Martin! You can always ask a member of the Tetrad if there is anything that needs to be done. You can also work on homework, as long as you still pay attention to your surroundings and the phones. You can even just browse the internet.

  17. As new tech, one thing I wish I knew was that the 'real adults' at ITS aren't scary. You should talk to them, they're knowledgable and good people all around.

    (Also talk to the other techs too)

  18. As a new tech I would've like to know that one of the most helpful skill to have is reassuring clients that everything will be okay

  19. As a New Tech I wish I would have gotten to know the other awesome IT people not just the Triumvirate 

  20. As a new carltech, I wish I'd taken the opportunity more often to learn from other techs on my shifts, especially on trips for issues away from the helpdesk.

  21. As a lil carltech I wish I had known to trust my gut more! If you don't know answer to someone's question, it's probably not because you're stupid but because you haven't been trained on it yet or it's just one of the many random bits of info that is only learned with time spent at Carleton / at the HelpDesk. So ASK another carltech or the tetrad!

  22. As a new CarlTech, I wish I'd known that answering the phones gets better (though sometimes I'm still nervous when I hear it ring). 

    1. If it makes you feel better, after doing this professionally for a fair bit more than 20 years, there are still times when I'm nervous when I hear the phone ring.  The anticipation is almost always worse than the actual event, though.

    2. I'm going to echo Austin on this. I pretty much ignore our home phone whenever I can because it makes me twitch just a little when I hear it ring. It's gotten better since the ring tone on the work phones changed to something less similar to my home phone (smile)

  23. As a new Carltech, I wish I had shadowed people on their jobs more often.

  24. As a senior Carltech, I wish people would ask me more questions about the Help Desk and what we do.

  25. What is the best part about working at ITS?

    1. My honest answer is the camaraderie within the department. It's a very strongly supportive department; we're all willing to help each other however and whenever we can. And even when things are particularly intense, the sense(s) of humor are great. My colleagues all /care/ about their jobs, which is a huge win for a department our size, because it also means that most of us really enjoy our jobs as well. I mean, no-one ever enjoys every aspect of their job all the time, but the percentages that we don't are smaller than any other place I've worked in <COUGH> years.

      More generally, what I like about working in IT is that the landscape is constantly changing. This is true for technology in general, but we have the added component that 500 of our 2,600 customers change every year. You'll be amazed at the differences between first years and seniors, not just personally, but in their attitude towards technology and how they use it. All this means that the job never really gets boring, as there's always something new. 

  26. How often do clients get angry on the phone?

    1. That depends on what you consider angry, really.  I've talked to plenty of people upset about a situation, or emotionally invested in a particular issue, but they've never even raised their voice over the phone.  It's important to remember that nobody who calls in is actually upset with you; they're upset about technology.  You will certainly hear frustration over the phone, but I would say the angry calls are very rare.  Also, if you ever have any problems with clients being rude on the phone, either pass the call off to one of the Quad, or if it's after hours, send us an email and let us know!

      While we have a few.... challenging faculty/staff to work with, the vast majority of our clients at Carleton are wonderful people to work with, and are just looking for help.  

    2. Heh. Not that often, really. It does happen, but the good news is that, if that's the case, you pass 'em on to the professional staff :-)

      Honestly, the thing to remember is that most people call us when something's broken, so most are starting the conversation with their frustration level set above baseline. That's one of the reasons why a cheerful, standard introduction is important, because it helps to set the actual tone. And the formality or pattern of your first few questions help to get both you AND the customers into a problem solving mindset. At its most clinical, a tech support call is data gathering and analysis, something that many folks on campus can relate to.

      It's also important to realize and remember that they're not frustrated with us or you, just their computer. Or printer. Or life. So even if there is a twinge of frustration i their voice, it's not because you answered the phone; that's actually their first step to eliminating the frustration.

      Our customers are generally pretty great to work with. 

    3. Oh hey look, Travis and I can say the same thing in two separate comments! :-)

  27. sunday, while located at the end of the scheduling board, loops back to monday. this should be considered when registering for shifts

  28. I wish I had learned how to do loaner laptops sooner

  29. Wish I knew to read all the weekly update, but thoroughly.

  30. Wish I was more attentive

  31. What do you call a three-humped camel?

  32. What are some useful resources on campus? 

    1. Academic Support Center (Math Skills, Writing Center, Time Mgmt, Speech Coaching, etc.)

      Reference & Instruction, Language Center, PEPS, IdeaLab, GIS Lab, Disability Services,


      Honestly, though, one of my favourites is the Rec Center, 'cuz Mikki Showers runs an amazing facility, programs, etc.

      Oh, and the Weitz Cafe, because Cherrie makes the best coffee on campus.

  33. Hahah! I found you, missing assignment. I wish I had read all the weekly updates when they came out. 

  34. As a new Carltech I wish I had paid more attention to the weekly updates. 

  35.  I wish I had learned the advantages of using Bomgar sooner.