This report is brought to you by Vize Magazine.
It’s dark, wherever we are. I can hardly see my hand in front of my face, let alone where I’m going. As I cautiously shuffle one foot in front of the other, I’m spurred forward only by the thought that I might actually get to see, with my own eyes, something few others can claim to have laid eyes on: the Student Technology Service Desk.
Once located in Cox Hall, then moved to the Woodruff Library, the elusive help desk has vamoosed again, this time to a top secret bunker somewhere in Burkina Faso. Finally, the dark, dank tunnel ends, and we go through a metal door into the light. Here, in this room, we are patted down by guards. Guards with guns. Big guns. They inspect our cameras and determine that we will not be allowed to take them in with us. Finally, they let us go to the bottom floor after we answer all their riddles.
Legend has it that on this floor, through an elaborate vault door, is The Desk. It is here, and only here, that students can bring their laptops when Emory Unplugged goes down and complain angrily. That is, if they can find it. I spot a young woman in a purple shirt, the uniform of The Desk’s computer wizards, cowering behind a trash can.
“Hey,” I say. “Are you alright? What’s going on?” As soon as I’m within arm’s reach, she grabs my wrist and doesn’t let go. “Where am I? No one will tell me what’s going on!” she cries, tears streaming down her face. “Can you bring a message to my family? Wait, come back! Take me with you!”
I extract myself from the vise-like grip of this pathetic wizard, obviously driven mad by the fickle nature of a certain wireless network, as the guards drag her off and I go looking for whoever’s in charge. In a puff of smoke and a tangle of wires, a man appears before me with the promise of answers to my many questions. I open with the obvious:
“So what’s the help desk doing in Burkina Faso?” He takes a deep breath, sighs, breathes deeply again, coughs, wipes the spittle from his glasses, continues breathing, adjusts his belt, and speaks.
“None of us knows for sure. Apparently, too many students were able to find us and receive answers to their questions. All we were told is that the orders came from higher up to move here. Some guy called ‘The Compromiser’. Sometimes I think this is a bad dream, but when I pinch myself the nightmare just gets more and more real.” Wiping a single tear from his cheek, he looks away from me and stares pensively into the light of an incandescent bulb behind me.
“Hey,” I say helpfully, “you’ll hurt your eyes. What’s it like to work here anyway?”
At this, the poor wizard-manager becomes agitated. “To work here?” he sputters, shifting his weight back and forth and tugging at his collar as more beads of sweat appear on his already sweaty brow. “Oh, it’s great. Lots of fun. Thursday is movie night! That’s it. I have to go back to work now.” Another puff of smoke, and he’s gone.
Now I’m suspicious. Everyone knows Monday is movie night! It just didn’t add up, so I did a little more digging. And when I say digging, I mean I asked another purple-shirt what was up with movie night. Unused to verbal communication, she stole into the deep darkness behind the desk, and returned bearing a piece of official Emory stationary. On it were the words, “Movie night is Monday. Stop asking questions.”
Satisfied that I had fulfilled my journalistic duty to leave no stone unturned, my crew and I made haste for the airport so we could escape Burkina Faso and return to America, home of the brave. In conclusion, the technology help desk is doing just fine. It’s a bit far from main campus, but other than that, everything is completely normal.
Written by Emory VIZE reporter Daz Dangerman ’19