I would credit one of my strong points to staying cool under pressure. While I admittedly have many faults, I am proud to say I don’t get rattled that easily. Working in the sports industry, especially in a game presentation role, you just can’t afford to. Where I can start to get a little anxious though and start generating a fast heart beat is when technology starts to falter. I depend on technology a lot. When a computer goes down, a mass storage device doesn’t get recognized, or an expensive piece of equipment decides not to work, I sometimes start to stress.
Luckily we have an amazing IT guy in Grizzly Athletics. His first name is Aaron and his last name might as well be Einstein. Let me tell you, I have seen Aaron pull myself and some of my co-workers out of dire situations. I am talking situations that if went unresolved there would be a stadium full of 26,000 disappointed people. Or 7,000 confused people in an arena. Or various unimpressed large crowds at events such as pep rallies, fundraisers, and student-athlete talent shows. The guy comes in to very tense situations with a lot at stake and with people freaking out and works magic.
Tonight at our Griz basketball game I was at my normal post in what we call the “music corner.” To my right was Aaron who was trying to boot up our extremely expensive video board software. For whatever reason the main interface wouldn’t come up. With Aaron working on the glitch and with 80 minutes before tip off I wasn’t concerned about the issue not getting resolved so while he worked I asked him a question: “Are there ever any situations that stress you out?”
He actually surprised me when he said, “Actually yes, there are. But I am pretty good at keeping it inside.”
As I said at the beginning, Aaron is a very cool customer. Five people will be going nuts and he will come in with an expressionless face and just start typing on the keyboard, clicking the mouse, switching around cords, and running wires. When he is done, the day is saved. To have him tell me that during these situations he actually feels a little bit of the heat provided me with insight that I never really knew before. It made me realize that Aaron actually is human and not some Tech God from a different galaxy. But he also filled me in on why he never lets the pressure overcome him.
“Technology is unpredictable. Many times it is out of our control so we just have to accept it and do what we can.”
So while he explained the reason behind why I never see any look of alarm on his face whatsoever, his answer gave me the impression that there are times where he doesn’t know the exact answer to a problem and that it isn’t the end of the world. Although he said it, I have never seen it.
I need to take Aaron’s approach to dealing with technology, it will probably save me a few years on my life. I mean if the guy who has the buck stop with him on all technical issues can have such an understanding view of the frustrations of technology, the people like me who don’t even possess one percent of the intelligence of Aaron should also be able to adapt to that thinking. Either that or just thank God that we have Aaron working on our side. By the way, he got our video board program up and running just fine. Don’t Blink.