What an IT support techie's holiday looks like

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This article appeared in the February 2019 issue of CRN magazine.

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What an IT support techie's holiday looks like

COMMENT  |  It’s a longstanding tradition in Australia, that almost everything shuts down for the Christmas holidays. The only things still open are hospitality businesses. And they sure let you know, with surcharges to cover their inconvenience and payroll.

But there’s another service industry that hardly gets a holiday break, and of course it’s IT support. Unless your client base consists only of businesses that close for the holidays, somebody has to be on call while everyone else is at the beach or the pub.

You can try and wing it, with an iPad Pro or a Surface in the back seat of the minivan, and hope there’s a signal wherever you’re going. But there’s always the risk that an issue arises that can’t be fixed unless you’re actually sitting in front of the problem. And sudden airfares home from Cairns can put a big dent in any service contract, and an even bigger dent in your relationship with spouse and kids.

However, one emergency call out from far afield can solve all your problems come tax time. No profit, no tax.

Of course, if you’re part of a huge service organisation, then rostering saves the day and only some of the worker bees need to be on call. But the unfortunate few are not going to be happy having to stay home and mind the shop, especially if they have school-age children who’d desperately rather not be at home for the holidays. Hope you’ve got some childless workaholics on the payroll.

Smaller IT shops, with only a few – okay, one – IT support person aren’t going to be rostering anything. They’re going to be staying at home for the holidays. Oh, wait. They’re going to be staying home all year. If that’s you, it’s a sure bet you’re working extra hard to convince your clients to move everything to the cloud, so you can manage things from the yacht in the Whitsundays. Aren’t you?

And then there’s Murphy’s Law, which always seems to go into overdrive when there are no resources available. Clients you’d forgotten you had, due to the reliability of the systems you set up for them, will call during the holidays. And just to make it interesting, they’ve probably got casuals working to cover the regular staff, who are all … on holidays. Good luck with that. Hope your chosen remote access platform delivers. And your patience paradigm is fully operational.

Rabid Reseller managed to have a decent holiday, because all our clients are self-sufficient. They almost never call, holidays or not. We pride ourselves in supplying fully-self-healing systems. It also helps that we no longer actually have any clients. The systems we installed are so damn reliable that nothing ever breaks, so they just stopped paying for the service.

It’s also possible that they switched to another IT services provider, but we’re still not convinced that’s what happened. They’re just unfounded rumours put out by our competitors.

Gotta go! Martinis running low! 

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