by Mo Bhasin ‘15
Waiting for him to clock-off in the Harper Computer lounge, I watch Frank Dutkiewicz, Senior Help Desk Analyst, gently advise a first year to reconsider when he spools a 70 page print job. 8:00 - 8:30 and 13:00 - 13:30, not the best times to be riding the print highway with your oversized load, I learn.
ChiBus sat down with Frank to get a glimpse of what it’s like to manage the IT woes of 600 underslept, over-caffeinated MBA students.
ChiBus [CB] : How long have you been managing IT operations?
Frank Dutkiewicz [FD]: I’ve been doing this line of work for 25 years and I’ve been at Booth for 11 years.
CB: What does a typical day look like and what does an exciting day look like?
FD: A typical day is replying to emails that range from password-resets and “ how do I map to a drive” to “my computer isn’t booting up,” that’s typically the professors and we send out a technician to fix the problem.
An exciting day would be like last week, when we had problems with our print servers and I was running around down here, having everybody email me their stuff. Since I could still print, I was printing stuff for as many people as I could handle, while the printers were being fixed, so that I could minimize the impact on students as much as possible.
CB: How do you think about your customers and what’s your goal when dealing with them
FD: My goal is to educate. I’m trying to help people understand computers a little bit more so that it helps them do their work more efficiently or find better ways to do it. For example: getting people to print their documents the way they want - multiple pages per sheet, stapling - using the facilities we make available to them, achieving this makes me feel like I’ve done my job.
CB: What’s the one thing you wish more students knew about?
FD: That everyone knew that the secure printers could staple and hole punch. I see students printing dozens of handouts and lining up to staple and hole punch their documents, I’d like to make it easier on them. Hole punching can get quite monotonous.
CB: What’s the favorite part of your day?
FB: When a student really appreciates what I do. When I get a thank-you. Or when it’s before class and a student is having a problem printing and instead of wasting time to troubleshoot it, I go, “here let me print it for you, drop by with your computer later and we can fix it” and the student appreciates this.
CB: How can student’s show their appreciation besides giving thanks.
FD: Don’t take it personal when I ask you to put your drink on the floor. Technically the lab is a drink and food free zone, but I try to be lenient. You can drink, I don’t mind that, just keep it away from the computer.
CB: I’m going to give you a series of phrases, tell me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear it.
Food in the computer lounge
FD: Don’t do it. Because it makes me hungry.
FD: Sometimes too much: 70 page jobs 15 minutes before class.
FD: Awesome! GMail is solid, it’s reliable, and the fact that you keep 30GB for life, provided you graduate. Earlier you had to set up forwarding and what not, now it’ll just keep working no changes needed.
CB: What’s the most agonizing part about your job?
FD: When someone runs out of their print quota and there is nothing I can do to help them.
CB: Tell me about Frank outside of work.
FD: I play games, mostly MMOs like Wild Star and Star Trek Online. I’m a big Star Trek fan.
CB: Yeah? Who is your favorite characters?
FD: It’s a toss up between Kirk and Picard.
Mo Bhasin, manages ChiBus’ IT operations and loves teaching people how to create contact groups in GMail and pinch and zoom in Google Maps with one finger.