One Blank Report

One Blank Report

A small, but booming, startup company needed IT temps, and Soda landed the contract for him and Selben. Expensive cars filled the parking lot of a large building, all so new that none had license plates yet. Selben tried to not feel intimidated by the shiny elevators, and glass doors everywhere as they made their way up to the main office.

Speedy the Office Admin filled in Selben and Soda on their jobs. They didn’t need to do anything complicated, just do general IT work and provide support to anyone in the office when needed. It was revealed they had somehow made it to this point without any in house IT support. The closest they had was Rabbit, who had fallen into the role of IT support, since she wasn’t scared to touch the power button on a computer. Many systems had either no password or were poorly optimized—one of the 6000 servers was being used as file storage for five gigabytes of data.


Rabbit noisily chewed on a carrot, ranting about how poorly their last temps had messed up their systems, as Soda pored over documentation left by one of the numerous previous technicians, hunting for login information. It had quickly become clear that the company only brought in techs when something broke. With minimal convincing, Soda persuaded them that wasn’t the most efficient way, and was assigned to find and write down their passwords streamline their access to the systems, enabling Rabbit to be able to reboot a VM and restore document backups.

Selben was in the helpdesk role, with Rabbit being his direct manager. Rabbit would get an email or call and send Selben over to an employee’s desk to deal with simple hardware replacements, software fixes, or to demonstrate how to use company software or sites.

Things were going well, and Selben was glad that they had a stable setup for several months ahead of them, with a high chance of being kept on if Soda kept up his normal smooth talking.

Rabbit: Hey Selben, can you head over to Speedy’s desk? She’s having some issue with the spreadsheet again.

Rabbit took a large bite of a carrot and turned back to stare at her empty ticket queue. Clearly, she was busy.

Selben: Sure!

The spreadsheet in question was a shared excel document containing almost all day to day sales and critical company info. It was very large and would often stop syncing or someone would forget to logout, so most issues had simple fixes. Selben walked over to Speedy’s desk, expecting a quick solution.

Selben: Hey Speedy. I heard you needed help. Have a minute for me to look at that?
Speedy: Sure, I needed to do a store run anyway. Do you want anything? I think we’re low on creamer. Did we make any progress on access to the backup drives yet? Never mind. Okay! I’ll be back in 20 minutes. My password is under my keyboard.

Speedy was out the door before Selben’s head stopped spinning. A few rapid blinks later, and he plopped down at her desk to take a look at the spreadsheet.

After minimizing a few windows that certainly weren’t three different Solitaire games, he found the spreadsheet in question. It was blank, so he closed it without saving. He reopened the spreadsheet and saw it now looked normal. He returned to his desk and sent Speedy an email to let her know how he fixed it.


A week later, Selben was helping Soda reconfigure the company’s servers at the datacenter where they were housed, leaving Rabbit in charge of all office tech support. Things went well. In only a few hours, Soda was able to log into everything and even configure a couple servers that had never been setup. Finished, they stopped by a local barbecue place for some lunch.

Halfway through their pulled pork sandwiches, both of their cell phones started blowing up with calls. A frantic Speedy, speaking impressively fast, needed help immediately. Selben and Soda rushed back to the office to find that the spreadsheet had gone blank for everyone in the office.

Soda was able to pull up the previous days backup and restore the file, after Selben discovered that Rabbit had clicked ‘Yes’ when prompted to save while attempting to fix the spreadsheet.

Unfortunately, a few of the investors had been visiting that day and opted to end the contracts for IT temps after seeing how well the backup system now worked. At least Selben and Soda were paid out the full four-month contract in one lump sum!