April 24, 2013

Patrick Moody, Helpdesk Specialist, has been at WPI for almost six years. Commonly known as the Mac guy, Moody works on everything from printing to account passwords to software installation to mobile device deployment. He’s also seen on campus giving workshops on how to best utilize your iPhone and iPad every term. We recently took out a Helpdesk ticket in order to quiz him on what a typical (or not so typical) day for a Helpdesk employee is like. C’mon, we know you’re curious to find out, too…



What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?



What’s the average number of Helpdesk tickets opened on an average day at WPI?

That varies wildly. It really depends on what time of the year it is. Yesterday we opened 54 tickets. August is usually the most active, the summer break is,  obviously, the slowest.


What is the last thing you do when you leave work?

I check email and make sure there are no urgent tickets to respond to. And see if there’s any more coffee left.


What is the most popular Helpdesk request you tend to receive?

Email not working properly. Email is the bane of the IT world.


What’s the strangest help desk ticket you’ve ever received?

I once answered a phone call from someone looking for help making bio-fuel for his car.


Who needs more help on average: Faculty, staff, or students? And why?

Every group has different needs, I wouldn’t say one needs more help than the other. The students we have are so savvy and so smart, they can usually fix a lot of their own problems. They tend to need help with problems beyond their control, like access to software, or hardware failures. But their computers are also centers of their personal lives, their hubs of communication, entertainment, and work. So if their computers are failing, the urgency to get them fixed is a more of a priority for them. Staff tend to need help with technology that they depend on for their jobs, like problems with Microsoft Office, access to network shares, or problems with mobile devices. Faculty’s needs are similar to staff (Office and email), but some are quick to embrace new technologies to improve the classroom experience for their students. So we sometimes get an opportunity to contribute to the teaching experience, and that can be very gratifying.


What’s the easy fix to the most common IT problems on campus?

Back up your data!!! It amazes me how many folks don’t save their stuff somewhere else. Storing data on your desktop makes your computer slow and increases the chance that something bad will happen to it. Put it in your “Documents” folder instead. Oh, and toolbars are BAD. Those shopping, weather, and stock toolbars you can add to your browser are just junk food for your computer, they make it slow and unhealthy. Don’t install them! You would be amazed at the things that can be fixed by just restarting your computer.


Are there any misconceptions about the Helpdesk that you’d like to shatter right now?

We are not magicians. I know it looks like magic sometimes, but it’s not. We are normal people—at least to you Muggles, anyway .

If you know a staff or faculty member who you’d like to know more about their Day, email dailyherd@wpi.edu and let us know!