‘This is really meaningful work’
Connie Chan is providing IT support through the pandemic
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re bringing you stories of our employees who continue to work on the front lines. Connie Chan is based in Dartmouth, N.S. She supports IT projects and troubleshoots problems in three Maritime locations.
As an IT specialist in the field my job has a lot of variety. I help roll out national IT projects, keep our equipment in good working order and troubleshoot problems for employees. We have a national helpline, but employees often need someone onsite to look at their computer, phone or printer.
Yes, it’s true that when people come to me they are sometimes frustrated and upset, but I don’t mind. I know it’s because they have important work to do and they need a solution. The other way to look at it is that once you fix the problem they are really happy!
I’m based in Dartmouth, N.S. but I also support our donor centres in Halifax and Charlottetown. I haven’t needed to travel to those other sites yet during the pandemic, but I will go if needed. I am still coming into the office in Dartmouth. Employees working from home make appointments to come see me when they need help. Because of COVID-19, we sit a few metres apart from each other in a boardroom. I wear gloves to examine their equipment and take care to clean it before I give it back to them.
‘There is somebody at the other end’
I also provide IT support to the production site in this building in Dartmouth, where blood donations are processed into components. I’ve been at Canadian Blood Services for nearly 20 years, so I’m really proud to have been part of the project team that set up this production site. I learned a lot during that time.
This is really meaningful work for me. When I was training here many years ago, the trainer said to me that you need to always remember there is somebody at the other end receiving a product that saves their life. That’s something I remember every day. Although I don’t touch the blood donations, my work does help patients. My father-in-law received blood when he had surgery a few years ago, and when I visited him afterward he told me how much he appreciated it.
‘Right now I have more connection with my kids’
During the pandemic my two daughters are both home with us. They are both in their 20s. One just finished her second year of university and is looking for a job, and the other is working from home.
Right now I have more connection with my kids than usual and I’m enjoying it. We can have dinner together, and spend more time talking afterward because they are not in a rush to go anywhere. And on the weekends we can go hiking together as a family. In the future I think I will miss that time together.