By Nabeel Jaitapker, M.A.
Alan Barron woke up one day to find a leaky shower in his house.
“At first I didn’t think it was a big deal since it was only a small drip,” he said. “But you don’t realize how much water you lose if it keeps going for a month. And then you get the bill. And it’s not a small problem anymore.”
Barron said that instead of calling a plumber, he watched a quick YouTube video on replacing shower cartridges and decided to fix the problem himself.
“I went down to the local store and found that you could get a cartridge puller for around $30,” he said. “I just had a hard time paying that amount for something I’d probably only use once. So, I decided to build my own by getting the right size sockets and bolts to thread.”
Upon completion of the project, he realized that he had learned a new skill.
“My daughter said I should be a plumber,” he laughed. “I’m just glad that working at Bell and Howell has taught me not to be intimidated by a piece of equipment, regardless of what kind it is. You take your time and you do your research, and you then just approach it from a purely technical standpoint.”
Alan Barron has been with Bell and Howell since 2000. He still geeks out when he gets his hands on software, and considers himself a big kid.
Now a technical support engineer at Bell and Howell, Barron has been with the company since 2000. He was recruited right out of college and started working as a technician on machines. He saw the opportunity to move into a more software-dominant role since that was something he always enjoyed.
“From a support perspective, it’s nice that you can simulate software in a virtual environment," he said. “I can test things and keep breaking stuff and it doesn’t cost anything. All I have to do is restore the software back up and I’m right back to where I was.”
Barron added that the flexibility of what he does makes it fun to come to work every day.
“Learning is fun for me,” he said. “And Bell and Howell gives you plenty of excuses to learn. They really give you the opportunity to dig deeper into things that interest you.”
He added that by the time he even talks to a customer, their equipment is already broken.
“The nice thing about providing technical support is that you can’t break anything since it is already broken,” he said. “The only thing I’m going to do is maybe fix it or not fix it at all. So, it eliminates the intimidation.”