Expect the Unexpected
Among the many required readings in our pre-assignment training was a piece about the qualities of a good CSC participant. And high on the list was adaptability and flexibility. And I’m sure I’m gonna find a lot more about that during the course of this trip. But already my trip has had a few wrinkles.
The plan was to leave on Saturday, spend 4 days in a Miami resort with my girlfriend enjoying the beach and ocean while adjusting to (almost) Brazil time and then fly the next leg to São Paulo on Thursday. Sunday was a beautiful sunny day in Margaritaville enjoying the beach and pools, but when I woke up on Monday, my luck changed for the worst. I had a sore throat and knew then that I had probably caught whatever the woman next to me on the plane had. Then that day there was a tropical storm. In California I am not used to torrential downpours and thunder that sounds like an explosion all around you that sets off car alarms. Beaches and pools were evacuated and a flash flood warning was issued.
So I decided to use my computer a bit to catch up on my emails and discovered that my computer would not turn on! I knew then that I must address this immediately because I couldn’t go to Brazil with no working computer. I worked several channels simultaneously. I contacted our IBM CSC operations coordinator Jamie on Facebook and she replied immediately with contacts for a guy in New York who could overnight me a loaner and a guy in Brazil who also might be able to loan me a machine there. Then the third option was to call ibm support. After an hour on the phone I got an expedited request for abservice technician to come to my hotel the next day and try to fix my machine. He replaced the motherboard but it did not fix the problem so he suspectedit might be a problem with the display. So I called Jamie’s contact and he overnighted me a machine from New York. It arrived the next morning at my hotel and I sent my broken machine back with my girlfriend who was flying back to California. I unboxed the loaner and confirmed that I could connect to the IBM network. Problem solved and in miraculous time! It is wonderful to feel the support of IBM and to be able to solve what could have been a disastrous problem with a quick turn around time. The next day the weather had improved and I was feeling a bit better from my cold, enough to enjoy the pool at the resort.
I’m sure there will be more challenges on this trip but for now I am glad to have been able to surmount the first few and to have the support of IBM.