No company can be better than its staff. At OneCall we’re proud to have put together a great team and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Recently we got the chance to spend some time with Information Technology Engineer Mason Osborne to talk living in Dunedin, working at OneCall, and chasing the perfect landscape photo.
Born and raised in Dunedin, Mason has spent time living elsewhere but sees his hometown as a well-kept secret – a main centre with a homely feel, where he enjoys being able to quickly and easily get out amongst the surf, the mountains, and the bush while still having access to all the advantages of city living.
Dunedin’s unique situation makes it easy for him to pursue his twin hobbies of Landscape Photography and 4-Wheel Driving – which, when you think about it, go hand in hand: being a solo operator with his own truck and photography gear, Mason gets the chance to seek out new and remote places to capture on film – “I can often be found up in the middle of nowhere in a truck, with a camera in one hand” – and it’s definitely hard to think of another city where you can so easily be in the office one day and in the back of beyond the next.
“I can often be found up in the middle of nowhere in a truck, with a camera in one hand”
Mason joined the team relatively recently, and like many of our support workers he could be described as a Swiss Army Knife – IT support is a broad subject, and for our Engineers, no two days are the same. He sees this aspect of the job as a definite bonus – “You never wake up in the morning thinking, ‘Oh no, this again’ – you’re always doing something different”. The role is a lot more than just coming in and fixing a glitch – day-to-day work could be as simple as plugging in a new suite of PCs, providing remote support, deciphering error messages, and meeting a wide range of client needs, both in the field and at the OneCall offices.
He has always worked in Support, having decided early that this was his preferred niche in the world of IT – the opportunities for continual learning and the flexibility of the work were major pull factors. Working in support also means using your communication skills alongside your technical savvy – support workers need to leave their clients feeling equipped to deal with similar issues if they come up next time: “You can know everything under the sun, but if you can’t relay that to the customer in a way that they can understand, then you may as well be speaking another language to them!” This can create issues in an area where many clients hold off asking for help because they worry that help will be delivered in a way they can’t understand or use. Mason describes passing on knowledge as a big part of real customer support – explaining a problem and breaking it down so the customer can grasp what’s really gone wrong can be one of the most satisfying parts of the job.
“You can know everything under the sun, but if you can’t relay that to the customer in a way that they can understand, then you may as well be speaking another language to them!”
When asked about some of the bigger challenges he’d taken on during his time at OneCall, he recalls a customer who took over an existing business and inherited an email system that was basically dysfunctional – resources were split over different platforms, users and admins didn’t know what was being stored where, it was unclear if sent emails were even being received, and the company was losing business as a result. Mason and the OneCall team took a slow and methodical approach and managed to get to the bottom of multiple overlapping issues, eventually managing to get all emails onto one platform, streamlining the process and giving the customer the exact outcome they wanted. His advice for support workers is never to make assumptions: “Look at every fact you’ve got and check it – you might have the wrong information,” and approaching each new challenge with an open mind will guard against blind spots and dead ends.
Mason’s take on the advantages of working at OneCall is that it’s a place with a reputation for sound processes: a common issue in in many IT companies is overloading, with support workers taking on multiple and sometimes conflicting roles, leading to a dip in the quality of support. By contrast, in his experience of OneCall, “There’s people here to take care of the customers – the customers don’t go without; there’s someone to handle everything, which means that techs don’t get overloaded”. He’s also impressed by the staff, citing them as among the best things about working for OneCall:
“Knowing that I’m working in a very positive workplace, surrounded by colleagues who are knowledgeable and always willing to help”.
We’re just as pleased to have Mason as part of our team! If you’re interested in Tech Support delivered by committed professionals who understand the human side of Information Technology, get in touch with us for a free consultation.