Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dana Lambert: Support Extraordinaire

The fabulous Dana Ranger
Dana has, in my experience, always been pleasant to deal with. I have no doubt that many people wish that their technology would break, just so they can have a perfect excuse to go to the Help Desk to hang out with her. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but you know what I'm saying. Dana is cool.  How cool?  Go grab some frozen vegetables out of your freezer and hold onto it for a few minutes. That cool. Not only is she cool, but she's extremely helpful; in fact, if Dana's support capabilities were any more versatile, the Swiss would be trying to make her pocket sized.

When I was trying to locate Dana to get an interview, I found her outside with some biology professors relocating a baby snapping turtle that managed to find itself just outside of the door of Howe Hall. Saving baby turtles is a Dana thing to do, right? Right.

Q:Would you mind telling me a little bit about yourself?
A: My name is Dana Marie Lambert, the name was passed down through the family. I like to play volleyball, and participate in a car group. I'm from Hedgesville, WV.  I was born and raised there.

Q: What is a car group?
A: Everybody gets together with different types of cars: old cars, new cars, slow cars, fast cars. We talk about past, present, and future projects with our cars.  I leave my car alone though because it gets me from point A to B without any problems. But, I have learned a lot and I enjoy talking about cars.

Q: How did you get to SU?

A: My father, Ken Lambert, has been working here for 19 or 20 years, and I got started with the IC Help Desk when he told me there was a summer position open before my senior year of high school.

Q:How long have you been working at SU?
A: I'm going on five years now.  I actually started working at the Help Desk the summer before my senior year of high school. I started working there when it was a small area over in the Smith Library.

Q: Do you have any hobbies besides the car group?
A: Volleyball and photography. Any chance I get, I play volleyball.  Actually, I play at least three or four times a week.

Q: Do you have any hidden talents.

A: I have a double-jointed thumb, it's kind of gross. Does that count?

Q:What is your favorite type of music?
A:With music, it depends on what mood I'm in. I pretty much listen to anything, as long as I'm int he mood for it.

Q: Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses, or 1 horse sized ducks?
A: I think I'd fight the 100 duck sized horses because I feel like they would be easier to manage than one giant duck pecking at me. I'd rather have one hundred very small problems than one massive problem, I guess.

Q:Do you have any special dance moves?
A: In highschool I created a dance called the pin-ball machine.  Basically, you pull back your arm, and then shake out all your stress to get loose.

Q:Do you have any super-hero nicknames?
A:One day I put on Kevin's bike suit and got nicknamed "Dana Ranger." I guess it stuck a little.

Q:Are you an animal lover?
A: I love animals.  I've worked on a farm with llamas, chickens, alpacas, percherons, and I loved all of them.  I also really like cats and dogs.  Right now, I have a dalmatian/German shepherd mix, and she's adorable.

Q: What's your most memorable experience at SU thus far?
A: Probably the down times. It's awesome to get to know the student workers.  It's actually really great around here when there is a few moments to enjoy the company of my coworkers.

Q: Do you have a celebrity look alike that you're aware of?
A: Sarah Chalke from Scrubs.

Q: What does a typical day in your work life look like?
A: I come in early, usually around 7am. Since it is the summer, I've been working on a lot of projects, primarily Bootcamp images. I also work on all sorts of work orders and I have created a small-parts inventory.

Q: If you describe it simply, how does your labor impact SU end users?
A: Basically, we try to keep them happy by making sure their technology is working properly. If their technology is functional, then they can get their tasks done on time and as efficiently as possible. We are here to help them!

Q: If you disappeared into an extra-dimensional pocket for an extended period of time, and nobody took over your job responsibilities, what would happen after a six month period?
A: I have no idea. Honestly, anything I have done or learned over the last five years, everybody else that works in the Help Desk has touched or worked on at some point.  If I was gone, I think everybody would collaborate and make sure everybody was supported properly. Of course, everybody would have a little extra work to do, but I think the Help Desk team would make it until I returned from the extra-dimensional pocket.

Q: Is there anything else you would like end users to know about your labor?
A: I guess, I want people to know that I will do whatever I can to make sure the job is done right. If I can't get to something right now, or do not know right now, I'm going to find the answer and help you as soon as I can.

Q: If you could give end users one quick pro-tip regarding technology that you support, what would it be?
A: Be patient, don't panic, and avoid getting overwhelmed. If it is your computer you are having problems with, before you call us, try restarting your computer first and see if you are still experiencing the problem. You'd be surprised how often a restart is the solution to an issue. Oh, and always back up your data!

Like she mentioned, if she does not know the answer offhand, she is going to find out, and then resolve your issue ASAP.  With an attitude like that, is there any problem she can't solve?  After only three months of full-time employment in the IC Help Desk, Dana has proved herself to be an invaluable asset to the IC department and the campus community as a whole.  With any luck, Dana will serve the SU community for years to come.

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