Friday, 27 March 2015

A day in the life of Damien Watkin, Second Line Support Engineer at Guestline


Damien Watkin, Second Line Support Engineer

I am currently one of a many Second Line Engineer's here at Guestline. I started the company in 2011 after leaving the Army with 7.5 years’ service. I joined the Army at the age of 16 and did my basic training in Arborfield, followed by the technical training college in Bordon. I was in the R.E.M.E (Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers) - Carl and Paul were also a part of the corps so we always have something to talk about back in the Army days. I worked on various bits of kit, this could be as small as a generator up to a tank. Although I was supposed to be fixing vehicles I used to get involved with IT - I set up wireless broadband for the squaddies that lived in the barracks and I maintained the PC's in the offices so I have always been involved with IT.

Damien Watkin
I am usually office based, but sometimes I do venture off to different parts of the country and do EPoS installations overseas. My daily tasks include dealing with technical issues - these can be Rezlynx based which require access to our datacentres and also interface/ EPoS issues which are done remotely at the hotels. Not all issues can be easily rectified, some calls take longer than others. For instance if a site have a balance fail then this could be a 5 minute job or a 5 hour job. It’s good because it keeps you on your toes and by taking on difficult calls it can increase your confidence tenfold when dealing with the next difficult call. We all work as a team which is great, if you don't know the answer there is always someone here that does.

We rectify the issues that are raised by the hotels - usually if First Line Support are unable to deal with the issue then this is passed up to Second Line Support. When dealing with the issues we try to rectify it there and then unless we need to raise the issue to the Development team if a bug is found. As I understand all of the products well I give guidance and training to the new guys that come into Support (Dan kindly sits all the new guys next to me so I can pass on the knowledge) and I also organise and train First Line Support on our EPoS systems (there are probably some of Support reading this thinking 'I still haven't had my training yet' i.e. Lizo, but bear with me you will get your training!).

Over the last 2 or so years I have had the responsibility of looking after the Langley Group. We have built up a great relationship and we always receive positive feedback. Langley are a group of hotels/resorts around Europe; the main location is in the Alps, but they are also in much hotter places like Corsica and Guadeloupe. I usually maintain their calls, making sure they are dealt with in a timely manner and kept up to date with any outstanding issues. My recent project was in December 2014, where I met their IT manager, Ulf. We travelled through Switzerland to Austria where I completed an EPoS install at Hotel Rendlhof then travelled to the Alps for another install at Hotel Brunerie. After completion, we travelled to Hotel Gustavia where we managed to rectify all their network issues which was causing a nightmare on their dinner and lunch service. Although Anna the Manager wanted me to stay forever (no joke) I had to leave and come back to the UK. Before this project I completed the 2 EPoS installations in Corsica (Napoleon Bonaparte and Mediteranee).

When I’m not working you can usually find me at Bannatyne gym, trying to get that perfect muscular body I have always dreamt of....... I'm still currently dreaming. Although it’s sad to say, I am an eBay geek, I love to find those amazing deals that have 1 minute to go, I buy it, then I find it’s actually cheaper on Amazon! I do like my sports, I like playing football (does Fifa on the Xbox count?) and sometimes I play badminton. I also fix vehicles in my spare time, my mechanical background has not gone to waste as I’m usually maintaining my own car or fixing friends and family's cars saving them lots of money from those dodgy garages.

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