Users…pah!

I don’t recall the source, but someone is quoted as saying :

There are only two industries that call their customers users…think about that.

It’s a good point, and one that leads me to think that our users are, in fact, on drugs of some description..

Now, I run a Service Desk. It’s a relatively small team, including me there are six of us. We deal with around 200 phonecalls a day, 250 emails per day and 50 requests that need to be scanned. On top of that we look after walk-ins to our area for password resets and “Urgent” requests. As I run the thing, I am rarely taking calls, unless we are swamped. Generally my guys can handle it without issue… Other times the immortal words “I can pass you to the Team Leader if you want” are spoken, and my ears perk up, ready for the inevitable fight Smile

A fairly standard conversation is thus:

Me: Dave speaking, I am the Service Desk Team Leader, what can I help you with?

User: Hi, yes, I called in a while ago and nobody has been down to fix my printer yet.

Me: Ok, let me check the ticket, do you have the number?

U: Wait, I have it here somewhere….Hang on, I may have deleted the email*

2-5 minutes pass

U: Ok, here it is….(provides number)

Me: Yes, I see, you have logged this approximately 10 minutes ago, is that correct?

U: Yes, well, I did say it was urgent

Me: I can see that, you were advised that if it was urgent, to print to another printer…Checking the system I see that there is one across the other side of the room.

U: But that’s inconvenient, and I am printing confidential documents

Me: Documents so confidential that your colleague, in the same team/department and office as you, would have a chance to read and memorise in the 10 seconds it would take you to walk to the printer?

U: Well, no, but they are for <INSERT IMPORTANT PERSON HERE> and it is vital that they are done in the next 10 minutes, and my colleague is using the printer already.

Me: Ok, let me take a look. Right, I see here that the President of the Company has a scheduled fix for 5 minutes from now. The engineer is on his way, but I can probably stop him. Just let me call you back in a minute.

U: What? Umm… the President of the Company?

Me: Yep, he has been waiting since yesterday, so I guess it is ok for him to wait a little longer, especially as this is so urgent for you.

U: Well, no, I mean, I can wait a little bit if necessary.

Me: No no no, it will just take a quick call to the engineer and then to the President of the Company to let them know about the delay as something more important has come up. I am sure he will understand.

U: No, can’t you schedule me in for just after the President?

Me: Hmm, possibly, but I couldn’t guarantee a time.

U: Well, as soon as the engineer finishes with the President will be fine. What time should that be?

Me: Let me check what other appointments there are… It means bumping some others.

U: Other appointments? No, just put me in after the President.

Me: Ok, only…well, we have other important people too with appointments. I tell you what, we have already established that you are not as important as the President of the Company. Let me get thefull list of users, and we can go through them one by one. Obviously I need to understand who else you are less important than for my planning.

U: …..

Me: Or, you could just wait for the engineer to show up a little later?

U: I’ll do that *click*

Me: You are welcome…

Sometimes…I love my job.

* Seriously…you are phoning about an issue you already logged, how hard is it to realise we will need the ticket number people….come on!

It's Official

So it would appear that, despite all evidence to the contrary, I am in fact Gods Gift.

Also, a vision.   I am not sure if I would have preferred “A visionary gods gift” or “Gods gift to visionarys”, but you gotta admit, it’s pretty damned good.

Unfortunately, this does not mean that I have dropped the Fester look and about 15 kilos Cry but I will take it and use it in personal advertisements – It is already on my CV….

What did I have to do to earn this amazing new reference to myself?   Help someone, that’s it ladies and gentlemen, help someone.   Quite simple really when you think about it.   Get off your arse and help someone when you don’t actually stand to directly benefit yourselves.

Anyway, enough of my innate amazingness….

It is also official that there is a new method to getting things your own way, at the speed you want them, and it no longer requires you to “Speak to your manager about this”.

It is simply the phrase “I insist”

How does this work?   Let me give you an example.

Picture the scene, you are a user of computer systems where you work (easy enough, that’s where you probably are now).   An IT project, that may or may not allow you to work from home, is scheduled to go live…lets say a month ago.

This was the plan, and plans are prone to change.   You apply for access to said project and tell your management that you will be able to work from home from some date the following month.

You take the decision to arrange this with your management with absolutely no feedback from the IT Department.

So far, so normal.

The friendly IT Department send you a mail to explain that, due to factors beyond their control, they are unable to provide the service and that the project is delayed by an, as yet, undeterminable amount of time.

At this point do you :

  1. Contact your management and explain the situation, and lay the blame (rightly) at the door of the IT Department
  2. Write the following email to the IT Department (More specifically the poor Help Desk who are simply passing on the information)

 “Dear Help Desk

  I sent a request for access to the new project to work from home a number of weeks ago, and I still do not have the equipment and access that I need.   I have made a commitment to my management team to begin working from home by the beginning of next month.   I insist that you send me the equipment by close of business Friday”

If you selected option 1, you are not fit to work where I do.

If you selected option 2, you are a winner, the helpful guys on the Help Desk will instantly overturn the decision of the project and provide you will all of the tools necessary for this project to work.

Unfortunately, the kindly (and dare I say it, over-worked) souls on the Help Desk, escalate the situation to their Team Leader (namely me), as they are unable to help.   Now,  I contact you to remind you that we are unable to process the request, and that we don’t know when that will be.   I also suggest that it may be prudent to inform your management that this will not happen soon.

I have heard nothing else, and the “deadline” has passed.

I love people at work….no really.