When did you come to Wesleyan, and were you always
a computer operations specialist?
I started July 7, 1977 or 7/7/77. A lucky number? I was hired as a computer
operator, and in time my title changed to production manager for
administrative systems. I left Wesleyan in 1982, because at that point in my
career I felt I needed more exposure to ever changing technology. From 1982
to1985 I worked 2nd and 3rd shift jobs for different
employers ranging from a computer operator to a plastics mold injection
operator. During that same time I worked as a daytime temporary employee
for Wesleyan for what was then known as the Computing Center processing and
printing materials at the peak times during the academic and fiscal
calendars. When a permanent job became available in 1985, I was hired
permanently. I had just two requests, that the salary was at least the same and it
was first shift only. The administration agreed, so I came back as a
permanent employee in the role of computer operator.
What does your job title, computer operations specialist, mean exactly?
During the years the responsibilities have changed, but basically I respond
to and resolve requests in the request tracking system operations@wesleyan. I also
support ITS’ desktop support, help desk and technical staff by adding and
removing computer accounts, processing printing requests, restoring files,
solving access issues and creating and adjusting e-mail lists.
What’s a typical day like?
Most of my
time is spent on my computer. I communicate mostly via e-mail and phone. The
only direct contact I have on a regular basis is with ITS staff. On any
given day I could spend a lot of time on unanticipated issues, as well as
routine technical maintenance.
What are typical problems you help people solve?
People contact me with a variety of problems. It can be anything from “my
e-mail isn’t working” to “the Internet is down,” or “Saturn is down.”
“PeopleSoft gives me a blank screen,” “I am getting denied access to these
files,” or “I have lost a couple of files, can you restore them from last
Tuesday?” They’ll also say that MeetingMaker is suddenly asking them for a
password, and that it hasn’t done that in two years, and they want to know
what their password is, or “I am a new faculty calling from California, are
my computer accounts setup yet? How do I access them from here?”
What has been one of your most memorable problems?
One of my most unique calls was from someone saying, “I keep getting denied
dial-in access so I went out and bought a new phone, can you help me?”
you into computer-type work?
After high school in 1974 I worked at Fafnir Bearing in New Britain and my
coworkers, who had been in factory work for many years, all told me that I
should get out of factory work. I have since realized this was very good
advice. I checked out the Computer Processing Institute, CPI, in East
Hartford. It no longer exists, but I went there in 1976, and earned a
diploma in operations. At that time I trained on IBM mainframes 360/370.
What are typical programs or programming languages you use at work?
Visual BASIC is still being used in the programming area somewhat, but now
it’s mostly C++, SQR, Procedural Language/SQL,
Java and COBOL. These are mostly for business applications. There are
different languages for math and statistical and web applications.
Do you prefer PCs or Macs?
prefer PCs. My first computer was a Mac, which I liked, but Macs are mostly
used to start your computer exposure in grade schools or high school, or if
you work in publications or art.
Do people ever use their keyboard trays for coffee mug holders and end up
Of course, haven’t you? I can get an entire lunch just by turning my
keyboard over and shaking. Desktop support specialists deal with this all
At home, are you on a computer much or do you try to stay away?
I do have a computer, a PC. This is where I do personal stuff like emailing
friends and relatives, banking, buying stuff and research. I’m not much of a
computer game player, and don’t spend much time ‘surfing.’ There are times
when I do work-related projects from home, but not often. It’s funny how
different your mindset is when you’re on your computer at work versus
What are some of your hobbies?
My hobbies seem to center around physical activities. I like to play squash
here at Wesleyan, and have met many people in other departments who also
play that otherwise I would not have met. I feel fortunate to work for an
employer that provides opportunity and encourages exercise at lunch time.
Also, I have played racquetball for years at the YMCA in New Britain. I like
to rollerblade, play tennis and lift weights.
Where did you grow up and where are you living now?
was born in Kensington but I have lived in Southington for about 12 years
now. I have four sisters and a brother. Three sisters and their families are
local. One sister and her family lives in Massachusetts. My brother lives in
Cape Coral, Florida.
What do you like best about working at Wesleyan?
To choose something I like best is difficult because I like so much of what
I do. But mostly I enjoy working with a diverse and interesting population.
In a given hour I can speak with students, faculty, alumni, parents, staff
or vendors. I like that each phone call and each e-mail request exposes me
to a different challenge in my work day. I never know what is in store for
me. That’s the beauty!