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A new ticket appeared at the top of the ticket system’s list. High priority! “obscura4 down!” The second-level computer repair technician tasked with managing the queue, Sammohini, read through the ticket details. In the private notes, the first-level technician noted “customer says venkat always fixes this. hes out sick. does we need 2 call him?” She assigned the ticket to herself. ‘No one’s here,’ she thought, ‘and Venkat’s out sick, poor guy… let’s find his notes!’

She walked over to Venkat’s alcove.

Unlike the other generic cubicles in their area, Venkat’s area was located in a former server room that had been retrofitted to be a mini-office with a large oak desk, three large white walls with a handsome painting of a landscape in India, and a stylish rug. ‘OK, let’s not get distracted!’ Sammohini thought as she sat down and looked at the windowed cabinet of obscure technical reading material. There was a note on the window. “Please do not throw away any material. Ask Venkat first.”

“Well, I’m not throwing away anything…”

She opened the cabinet door. Inside, there were books and manuals of all sorts. Guides on systems she didn’t even know still existed. Everything was neatly organized with labels under each section. Books were labeled “BOOKS.” Manuals were labeled “MANUAL.” Binders with print in assorted old school typeface were labeled “TROUBLESHOOTING.” They were alphabetized, so she looked until she found one thin binder labeled “Obscura,” the only one with that label, with no others in sight.

“This must be it!”

She opened the binder to the first page. Everything was listed neatly, first by priority, then alphabetically. “Uhhh… let’s see… Obscura4 is down, so… let’s look for… downtime procedures! Page three. OK, on page three, it says…” “Hey, Superstar! Reading real Qbase, Wunderkammer, to get Obscura 4 back online?” She looked up and saw her boss, Linda, dressed in her usual militaristic uniform: white dress shirt, green skirt, and black heels. “Y-yes, ma’am! I…” “Thanks for being proactive! I have already sent the outage communication. Let’s see if we can bring the poor little server back online!”

The heat of embarrassment quickly subsided.

“Oh, I… forgot to… uhh…” A quick smile. “No problem, Superstar! I appreciate that you go straight into it. No wasted time! You even found the right manual. Do you want to try repairing the server with these instructions? Or should I fix this for you?” Sammohini instinctively clutched the binder. “I’d like to! But, since you’re here, can you help me?” Linda saluted politely. “Everything is in the manual. You can lead this ship, Captain! I will navigate. Let us do this!”

With Sammohini doing the work, they resolved the issue.

Prior to giving the all clear, Linda and Sammohini stopped by the Help Desk area. “Hello team,” she got everyone’s attention. “Obscura4 services seem to work after the server is restarted. Please inquire now with your users to confirm the functionality.”

“I’m getting all clears!” “Same here!” “Clear!”

“Thanks, team. Nice work, Sammohini.”

[Quotes: The private notes of the first-level technician were inspired by many notes I’ve read over the years. Typos there were intended.]
[Sources: My professional experiences. Google Translate – from English to German and back to English for Linda, and from English to Hindi and back to English for Venkat.]
[Inspirations: Partial intentions for the Sammohini Arc are exploring behind the scenes elements of average IT departments, or, allegories for career successes: try hard and get recognition.]
[Related: Somewhere in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.”]
[Written On: July 11th [1 hour]]
[Last Edited: July 15th [15 minutes]]

Sammohini works on a computer issue outside her comfort zone. 
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Submitted on
July 16, 2018