help desk

Hemingway’s Lost Work and the Importance of a Help Desk

“Anything that can go wrong will, and at the worst possible time.” – Murphy’s Law

“Help me if you can, I’m feeling down.
And I do appreciate you being ’round.
Help me get my feet back on the ground.
Won’t you please, please help me?”
– The Beatles, “Help”

In December of 1922, Ernest Hemingway was a correspondent on assignment in Switzerland. He’d yet to have anything published at the time, but he had written quite a bit and was excited to present his work to new friend and writer Lincoln Steffens.

Hemingway’s wife, Hadley, loaded up everything she could find that her husband had written up until that point. She decided to travel from Paris to Switzerland along with an overnight bag stuffed with Hemingway’s entire body of work. She hoped and dreamed that his early work might spark Steffen’s interest.

Hadley boarded the train, excited for her reunion with Hemingway. While waiting for the train to depart at Gare de Leon in Paris, Hadley stepped aside to get some water and left the overnight bag in her compartment. When she returned, the bag, Ernest Hemingway’s earliest work, was gone.

By the time Hadley got to Switzerland and informed Hemingway, there was nothing either of them could do. The work was, and remains, missing.  

Ernest Hemingway, like most of us, experienced an after-hours, work-related disaster.

One thing that would have really helped Papa is an on-call help desk.

Help Desk

We’ve all had an experience where we needed help and there was nobody available on the other end of the line. Maybe you are working late and encounter a network connectivity issue. Or, perhaps you are one of the 72% of organizations permitting bring your own device (BYOD) policies, or planning to do so, and you need support for mobile employees who keep varied hours.

Adding a help desk solution to your managed services solution will keep your business running around the clock, and can either function as your full-time help desk or supplement your current solution during off hours.

Hiring full-time, in-house experts that understand your network costs a lot of money. And hiring extra experts to stick around for atypical hours costs money, too. Even if you are putting in the kind of hours that would make a Japanese businessman blush, chances are that your support staff might not share your overtime enthusiasm.

When you choose to incorporate a help desk solution, you benefit from technical expertise and proficient assistance.

If your network goes down during business hours, it could cost up to $100,000 per hour. The help desk will be there to assist your employees and your customers, and keep your business running. If your employees open a dangerous file and feel like they need to take immediate action, the help desk can remote into the systems and take the appropriate actions to deliver a swift resolution.

Help desk solutions range from part-time to full-time, from supplemental to 24/7, and it’s up to you and your MSP to decide which range fits best for your business needs.

If Ernest Hemingway had a help desk, they would have called the police, shut down the train station, and hopefully retrieved his work.

The bottom line is, when your employees or clients encounter trouble, you want to take care of it ASAP. The last thing you want to see is your life’s work disappear on the last train to Switzerland.


Do you feel like your business could benefit from a managed help desk? Please contact us and we can chat about how we can put one to work for your business.