They are indispensable on campus: cleaners, caretakers, caterers, gardeners, receptionists – the list is long. Resource seeks out these key people. This time, meet Fonzy Kwarten (24), ServicePoint IT worker in the Forum.
‘People should feel welcome to approach us. I’ll have a chat, make a joke, offer them a cup of coffee. It’s always nice when someone goes off with a smile on their face, even if you couldn’t solve their problem. Angry people are the part of my job I like least. I understand their frustration but being grumpy about it doesn’t help anyone.
When I tilted the laptop, his entire breakfast of milk and chocolate cornflakes fell out onto my desk.
‘We provide support for WUR laptops and smartphones and make sure that people receive their devices on time. We also help students when they have issues with their accounts and laptops. I work with people from lots of different cultures and with lots of different IT problems with all sorts of laptops and technologies—the university has as many as 900 software packages. So you do have to be flexible to work in IT. You also have to be able to keep up with the latest IT developments, otherwise you’ll run into trouble quite quickly.
I always used to play around with computers: taking out components, replacing them, looking things up, doing research. But it wasn’t till I was seventeen that I realized I wanted to work in IT. Thankfully IT always keeps running, even during the coronavirus crisis, so I don’t worry too much about getting enough work. I just keep at it.
We get different questions now people are working from home. More people come back with broken laptops, for example. Recently someone came by who really had no idea why his laptop wasn’t working. When I tilted it, his entire breakfast of milk and chocolate cornflakes fell out onto my desk. A bit gross, yes, but in cases like that I just put on my gloves and get to work with cleaning foam.
We try to work as safely as possible. It’s important that ServicePoint stays up and running so that people can keep working from home. And I don’t want to take the virus home with me because I’ve got a four-month-old son. Yes, I’ve got a pandemic kid. It was very busy at the service point when Elijah was born because people wanted to upgrade or replace their laptops before a potential lockdown. My colleagues stepped in for me and even offered to help out at home, haha. Yup, we’re a very close-knit team.