Editor’s note: If you are a regular reader of our blog, you are familiar Agent Derek Meister’s work. Agent Derek has been a regular contributor to the blog, using his Geek Squad experience, electronic repair prowess and near-obsessive interest in all things tech to help the rest of us keep our equipment up-to-date and in good working order. Recently Derek had a conversation with the folks at Best Buy Public Relations about what it has beem like to be a Geek Squad Agent. Which led him to put his reflections in words. Here are those words.
I recently celebrated my 10th anniversary as a Geek Squad Agent.
It seems almost a lifetime of tech changes have occurred in that time.
The day I was hired, April 23, 2005, was the same day the first video was uploaded to a new website called YouTube.
Apple OS X 10.4 Tiger would be released six days later.
Windows XP was 4 years old, and Windows Vista was still two years away.
Most tech blogs in 2005 were talking about whether the desktop market was dead, to be taken over by laptops. By 2008, it had happened.
Desktop computers still came with heavy CRT monitors (I had a 21” Viewsonic monitor weighing 58 pounds).
Most computers came with 256 MB to 512MB of memory, and 60GB to 250GB of hard drive space. These days, standard computer memory is measured in gigabytes and storage in terabytes.
I started out as an in-store Counter Intelligence Agent at the local Best Buy. By the end of the year, I was cruising the neighborhoods in my Geekmobile, providing on-site assistance as a Double Agent.
After five years in the field, I moved into the virtual world of online support, helping clients with their technology as a Covert Agent Dispatcher, Fulfillment, Partnership and Quality Assurance Agent.
The focus of our work changed almost as quickly as the technology.Moore’s Law, which turned 50 this year, is an oft-quoted observation about transistors that highlights the exponential rate of growth and improvement in technological infrastructure. As an Agent, Moore’s law has always been exciting because it means more than just cheaper processors, more computer memory or smaller camera sensors. It anticipates the new and unexpected ways this increased capacity can be used.
Geek Squad Agents have progressed from fixing primarilty heavy desktop computers, to working on laptops and notebooks, tiny netbooks, smartphones, tablets and TVs. Today, I’m just as likely to help a client with a question about getting their smart watch to talk to their connected thermostat as I am to help them clean up temp files on their laptop.
Along my journey I’ve faced plenty of challenges in my roles, but also an amazing number of opportunities to stretch my skills. In addition to providing remote assistance to clients, I have been a media spokesperson for the company, helped provide support for our clients through social media and been a member of our Agent of Justice team.
Three things have consistently helped me over these 10 years: curiosity about how technology works, passion for talking technology with our clients and pride in the culture behind this 20-year-old organization of Agents known as Geek Squad.