Picking up on my Datacenter Journey from the last post. Now came the thrill of starting to work in the IT field as a Helpdesk technician. Information Systems had been my area of study for the past four and a half years in college. Little did I know that much of what I had learned in school wouldn’t benefit me much at the start of my career, but would prove valuable later on. Also, much of my enthusiasm would start to die off after completing my initial training, which took place during the day shift. For those that don’t know gaming is a 24-hour business in Las Vegas and that meant they would need support around the clock. In addition to the local establishments, Boyd Gaming also owned several casinos outside of Las Vegas as well as a race track.

I started working at the corporate office, which used to be located behind where the Stardust Hotel & Casino once stood. I started my first week during the day shift, 8 am to 4 pm. During this time, I got a quick rundown of the systems that I would be using and supporting. I was completely overwhelmed and wasn’t exactly sure what I had gotten myself into. After about two weeks, I moved to my permanent work schedule, which was the graveyard shift, midnight to 8am, along with one other person. The person I was working with, Matt was an excellent teacher. He filled in many of the training gaps that I was missing during my short two-week day shift training. It also gave me the time to really master the processes I had been shown during the day and learn procedures that were done by the night shift.

Apart from learning the technical skills that are required to troubleshoot a users issue to help them resolved their problems, I had to work on my communication skills. For anyone that has ever had a job performing remote tech support, they can confirm that it’s not the easiest thing to do daily. It can prove to be very challenging getting a non-technical person to explain to you the technical issue that they are having over the phone. It didn’t take me long to learn patience, become an active listener, and be able to explain technical procedures in a non-technical manner. All of those skills are ones that have helped me all throughout my career and continue to be something I work on improving today.

I have always been the type of person that needs to be busy and doesn’t like to sit around doing nothing for too long. While the graveyard shift was a perfect place to start and learn how to assist users with remote support, it wasn’t bustling. After about six months, the repetitiveness and lack of new challenges were beginning to take its toll on my enthusiasm. I was starting to get comfortable in my role and began speaking to my co-workers about other duties that I could possibly take on. Those conversations would prove valuable because I was informed that there was going to be an opening for a Systems Operator for the day shift.

This was the ideal opportunity to get off the graveyard shift and hopefully learn some new skills. It was also the perfect way to be able to have my work become more visible to others. I put in my application, and to my surprise, there were no other applicants internally that wanted to take that position. So once the job was officially open and available, I moved into the role and started learning the duties that were required in that position.