Dirty IT job No. 4: Data crisis counselor
When disaster strikes and critical data goes down the memory hole, it can generate a gamut of unpleasant emotions: tears, depression, guilt, hopelessness, and rage.
Kelly Chessen has had to listen to it all. As a crisis counselor for a data recovery firm, Chessen received calls from sobbing adults who've lost images or videos of their recently deceased parents. She talked to dentists who were frantic because their systems went down and they had no idea what services their patients needed. She logged hours with IT managers who lost entire Microsoft Exchange servers because they thought they knew how to implement RAID 5 but really didn't.
"I would talk to one IT guy one day and another IT guy from the same company the next day because the first guy had been fired," adds Chessen.
Though she has an undergraduate degree in psychology, it was Chessen's five years on a suicide prevention line that best prepared her for her current position.
"Not everybody can do what I do for living," she says. "You need the skills, the background, and the patience. It's a dirty job, but it's also very rewarding."
And on those rare instances when her firm wasn't able to recover someone's data? "I do grief counseling," she says.