Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tristan Plummer, The Goof Who Travels With a Moose

*nom nom*
Out of all the IC interviews to come, this will, likely, be the most awkward.  Why? I am both interviewer and interviewee.

You've probably seen me around, I'm the guy that has been hustling Bb support all over campus for almost a year now. If you're not sure who I am, think of the Alfred E. Newman looking guy walking around with a Moose in a tote bag. Yeah, I think SU only has one of those sorts of people...Me.

You can, hopefully, put my name and face with the helpful services that I provide. But, there is more to me than just accessible Bb support.  I'm a human with goals, plans, dreams, likes, dislikes, and a various assortment of other human-like traits. Let's talk about some of those things:

Q: Mind telling us a little about yourself?
A: I'm from the mountains of West Virginia, and yes, I've been trying to grow a sweet mountain-man beard, but it just isn't happening yet.  Like most people, I love to travel.  My love of traveling has lead me to many interesting places, one of which was a year spent in Shanghai, China teaching elementary school. Additionally, in late 2009 I was issued an FAA Private Pilots License after successfully completing my final requirement, a check ride where all of your flying skills are critiqued by an FAA designated flight examiner.

Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: To the dismay of my parents' wallets, I always had a lot of interests and hobbies growing up.  The hobbies that have persisted into my young-adult life are competitive gaming (primarily Dota2), flying, basset hound ear scratching, and other nerdy activities (such as spending hours browsing reddit, and playing free shards of old MMO games like Project1999). Yup, there you have it folks, the guy who does Traveling Bb Support at SU is a little nerdy, go figure.

Q: Do you have any hidden talents?
A: I used to have a hidden talent.  About a decade ago, I could make my stomach make this really awesome horizontal roll. This sweet move impressed lots of my peers, but because of the... outward expansion... of my midsection, my hidden talent has since vanished. 

Q: Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck?
A: Without a doubt, I would rather fight 100 duck sized horses. First of all, 1 horsed sized duck would be a rough adversary for me; I'm not much of a fighter.  Against 100 duck sized horses, I would feel like the main character of those old Chinese kung-fu flicks where you see the star fighting off hordes of bad guys. Though, likely, you would just find me broken and bruised under a pile of curiously small horses as they jump up and down on me. 

Q: Are you an animal lover?
A:  Considering I own this T-Shirt, I'm going to have to go with "Yes."

Q: Most memorable experience at SU thus far?
A: Gabrielle Miller's graduation, without a doubt.  Gabrielle's attitude was so profound and bright that you could universalize it, apply it to the rest of humanity, and our species would be better for it.  She was small, yet in possession of enormousness charisma, and huge ideas that have since been signed into law to benefit other children with similar illnesses. Gabrielle was special, and I am proud of Shenandoah University for allowing her to graduate before her passing.

Q: Let's get into some of the serious stuff, what does a typical work day in your life consist of?
A: Once in the office, I'll start the day by pouring myself some of Ken's special brown-water (a coffee like beverage crafted by IC's own networking master, and turkey hunting extraordinaire), and then I'll check my email for anything that might have come in over night, peer into, and work on, any new or existing work orders to make sure users are getting help in a timely fashion.  What happens next is usually a matter of flexibility, I am potentially working on a project, doing some admin related tasks on our Bb staging server, training somebody with Bb, documenting what assistance I have provided to who, or generating a blog.  After lunch, I'll typically compose additional emails, train users, generate documentation for training, answer phone calls, and make sure that everybody who needs help has been helped. Intermittently, I will tweet to the @techwinkle Bb support twitter so that people can stay in the know about our SU Bb environment in 140 characters or less. That's a summary of what a very simple day would look like; however, almost every day is riddled with some sort of complexity that makes everything more tricky, but it is the same things that make my job complicated that I enjoy most.

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 6 months?
A: My boss would probably be overrun trying to support SU Bb users while simultaneously being the lead person in charge of the Bb application at SU. SU Bb usage could potentially stagnate without somebody training and teaching new features and best practices to end users (I primarily focus on training students and staff). There would be considerably less blog traffic and user contact.

Q: Is there anything else you would like people to know about your labor?
A: Just because you see me does not mean I am the only one associated with the Bb application here at Bb.  We actually have a small team of people that keeps Bb going, and I am actually lowest on the chain.  People have, in the past, credited me for "running Bb" and that couldn't be further from the truth. In IC, we work as a team!

Q: If you could give people one quick protip to making their life easier with regards to the technology you support, what would it be?
A: I think that people should spend some time and get to know the Bb Content Editor within Bb (where you typically enter text in Bb).  This is an incredibly powerful tool that can do way more than people realize. In fact, I think that if people utilized the full capability of the Bb Content Editor, their Bb experience would be far more rich.

If you see me around and you have any Bb related questions, make sure to let me know!  I'll do what I can to get you the assistance you need, be it training or just quick answers, that way you can spend more time doing and less time being stressed! I'm also always available by email at tplummer@su.edu and you can reach me by phone ext. 4415

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