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 :)

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!

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