a day in the life of a mac monger

today was an above average day. better than most days, which are “good”, for sure. I tend to do a fair amount of bitching about things from time to time, but ultimately I’d have to say that I’m generally happy with my state of being at this time and place.

it was a good day because I got to talk to a lot of smart *nix people at work today. usually those folks mysteriously gravitate in my direction on the sales floor… and if they don’t, I’ll usually go strike up a conversation with anybody I see mucking around in a terminal on one of the demo machines. It’s always a good feeling to surprise the hell out of some geek who comes in to mess with OS X by providing an intelligent conversation from a unix perspective… for two reasons: 1) nobody ever expects that a sales person at a computer store will know much about the underpinnings of a unix-based OS, and 2) I’m the only person at our store with more than rudimentary *nix abilities… which also means that the other sales people usually toss me the *nix questions, which is always a welcome departure from talking about goddamn printers or some other stupid shit (I really hate printers).

every day is always packed with phone calls and walkins… anything from buying ram to shopping for a new computer to help getting this or that to work. the quality of the day, to me, is determined by the distribution of llamas versus people that aren’t total n00bs…. and even what kind of llama it is…. there are nice llamas and dumb llamas. The nice ones aren’t that technologically literate, but posses an ability to ask questions and assimilate information in a logical fashion, which means that (with the guidance of a skilled problem solver) a solution can often be reached quickly and painlessly, whether it’s a new computer purchase or just tech support. The bad llamas are the ones that ask the same questions in different ways, without really listening to what I say in response. One time I was approached by two young, extremely hyper females (mother and daughter)… the mother asked 3 pretty clueless questions back to back, rapid fire style, and then as I began to answer, she asked a fourth question. I simply walked away. That shit pisses me off, because it’s straight up disrespectful…. although that is definitely the exception rather than the rule.

then sometimes (rarely) I get people that are right on the verge of significant empowerment by all of the wonderful enabling technologies that we offer, but they haven’t quite made all the mental connections. these are usually people that are already familiar with computers as tools for accomplishing specific tasks… what they lack is the understanding that a computer is really just about anything you want it to be, and can do just about anything you want it to do. Even if they don’t get that fact, they usually *can* wrap their heads around the applications of the technology that the creator (usually Apple) has in mind… and usually that’s enough to get the ball rolling. I greatly enjoy those customers, because I feel like I’m giving them a good start into what is for them an exciting new realm of possibilities.

then there are the geeks. just like with everybody else, there are the good geeks and the bad geeks. the bad, snobby geeks are usually kind of fun, because those are exactly the kind of people apt to spout misinformation and general bs, which I have no problem refuting (in a way that’s embarrassing to the customer, if the situation calls for it). the good, fun to talk to geeks are the ones that are curious and excited about all this OS X stuff that they’ve been hearing about. I also greatly enjoy talking to those people and showing them the ins and outs of OS X, and hearing things like “that’s really cool” or “wow” :) Macs have always had a reputation of being very different than anything else out there, but that’s not true anymore in some respects… (unix based and all that)…. so it’s also fun to show a *nix person that on a mac, yes, you really can edit a flat file, HUP a daemon, and see your change take effect…

there is one thing that does nag at me from time to time… and it’s hard to say this without sounding like a dick, but oh well. I’ve always experienced periods of rapid growth when regularly interacting with people a great deal more knowledgeable than myself (coming to seattle, or when I first started work for the school district back in FL, for example)… and for that reason, I sometimes feel like I’m not getting exposed to very much in the way of new ideas / concepts / information…. but it’s balanced out by the fact that I seem to be providing that sort of benefit for those in my workplace, whether they be fellow employees or people that enroll in my classes. still, though, sometimes I long to be back in a small room of geeks, grinding out some smart shit without spending *any* unnecessary time meddling with things that don’t consume enough brainpower to be interesting.

in other news, we’ve got a fairly large convention called the Mac Business Expo coming up. it’s hosted by my company, and is (according to our VP of sales) the third largest mac expo in the US, after macworld and seybold (it’s currently listed on apple’s hot news page, and will soon be on the small business page). since I’m more or less the lead trainer, I’ll be doing three seminars for the expo, each roughly an hour in length, which are essentially snippets of the Mac OS X Admin Basics, Mac OS X Server Essentials, and QuickTime Streaming Server courses…. so, another chance to get up in front of what will probably be at least a few hundred people and do my little song and dance… should be fun :)

anyway… carry on :)

About dre

I like all kinds of food.
This entry was posted in lj. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply