Sure, pass the buck

My team today got an email from $localCIO neeping that nurses in a single area were experiencing an issue in which, when they scanned a barcode, $barcodeProgram would close out on them. It was only happening to one shift of nurses in one single ward, and after sitting on the ticket for two whole days, $localTech arbitrarily declared it a $patientDB issue. There was quite literally no other troubleshooting information on the ticket, just a simple declaration: “$patientDB ISSUE. $localCIO CONTACTING THE MATRIX”.

There was one flaw with this logic. It if truly was a $patientDB issue, then why was it affecting only this one shift of nurses in this one ward, and not… let’s say… EVERY SINGLE NURSE IN EVERY SINGLE WARD. This is because this barcode program is quite literally used by all the nurses on all the wards, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and only this shift of nurses on one ward experienced a problem. So if it was $patientDB problem, then all medical staff would be screaming.

So I replied back, since I had seen this problem before at other local sites. The issue took place when the nurses moved $mobilePC to an area within a wireless dead zone after having launched all the programs. As soon as a barcode was scanned while in $deadZone, $barcodeProgram would try to access the network, only to find there was no network and close itself out. So I replied back, asking if there was any attempt at all to see if they could replicate the issue in different areas, with different PC’s, to which $localCIO reiterated that this was limited to $ward and to the nurses on $shift, and to check the wireless AP’s in $ward for signal strength.

At that point, $supervisor chimed in on the group IM and asked if anyone had gotten any calls from $site regarding this very issue from $localCIO. I replied that I had and had just replied to the email $localFCIO had sent with my request to actually try to troubleshoot the ticket and what to look for. $supervisor said the starfish was so upset that nothing got done for two days on it, that she decided to call her close personal friend, $regionalDirector. $regionalDirector then called down the line, trying to figure out what was going on, etc., and it made its way down to $supervisor, who read the ticket, then my email, heartily agreeing with my assessment that $localSite needed to do a lot more with the ticket, and not just dump it on us.

Also around that time $localCIO replied back that this ward had just been renovated, had all new everything, and despite the renovation, never did a wireless survey, despite an SOP saying that for any such renovations, a wireless survey was required. $localCIO claimed ignorance, saying she was unaware a survey was needed for renovation, and wasn’t sure if anyone checked the wireless. $supervisor and I both laughed, since $localCIO basically confirmed she was trying to cover her (and her minions’) tracks, so $supervisor forwarded her email up to $regionalDirector with my suggestions and his own notes.

There were several more emails back and forth, essentially doing basic troubleshooting which should have been done two days ago, when my shift ended. So I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what if anything comes of it, because from my experiences with $regionalDirector, when she wants information, she wants it right there and then 🙂

Sure, I’ll do your job, if it means I get your paycheck as well!

Today, I got not one, but two calls from the Tier 1 Desk Monkeys, asking me to do their jobs FOR them.

The first one was regarding a supposed outage reported six hours earlier, and which my team in The Matrix had heard nothing about, until this phone call. The Desk Monkey was insistent I give him the latest information on this outage, despite twice telling him neither I nor my team had any information on it, seeing as the first moment anyone of us even heard of the existence of this problem was that very phone call. I tried to give him the contact number for the site, but he wouldn’t have it. He wanted ME, despite being several states away from the local site, to contact them and get an update on it.

So I called the local CIO for the site, and he was just as surprised as I was. Nobody had contacted his or his team regarding the issue, which was six hours old, and was a legit issue actually involving patient care issues for a change. On a hunch, he dialed the number in question (the one the luser claimed wasn’t working) and he got right in with no problem from his personal cell. He had his people look into it, and sure enough all was OK. He and I were both in agreement as to why the Tier 1 Desk Monkeys would a) fail to contact us at The Matrix or anyone at his site until six hours into the issue b) wait six hours for a status update in the first place c) abjectly refuse to call him, and contact us instead to do their work FOR them.

The best part of this first one… while I was still on the phone with $CIO, one of my coworkers IM’d me saying the Desk Monkey who called me was upset that I hadn’t gotten back to them, despite the VERY diplomatically worded email, in which I very tactfully said the Desk Monkey not only failed to notify anyone of the existence of the problem, he refused to even contact the very site having the issue, or verify it was still an issue six hours after the problem was initially reported to him, a problem which, by the way, if he had bothered to call anyone at the site, would have told him it was fixed, and all was well.


The second one involved an eerily similar issue, but for a different site. Another Tier 1 Desk Monkey with a southern drawl so heavy, I could only just barely make out every third or fourth word, called and asked me for a status update on the telephones of a clinic, more than two hours after the last status update, in which this very same Desk Monkey sent out an email saying $localTelecom found an issue, but was being cagy on what that issue was exactly. He wanted us to contact the site, and ask for the latest info, if any, because they weren’t picking up their phones. So in other words, this second Desk Monkey wanted me to contact the local site FOR him, ask what the latest was, and go back to his group with this information, so they could disseminate it BACK to us, and give US an update on it… when the local site is refusing to pick up any and all phone calls, whether it be from the Desk Monkeys, us at the Matrix, or anywhere else for that matter.

And yet the Tier 1 Desk Monkeys wonder why we think they’re completely and utterly useless?

Two related diseases…

I’m of course referring to the “Oh By The Way” virus and the infamous “While You’re Here” syndrome…

These two have effectively identical symptoms, in that when you’re convinced to do one seemingly simple task, the luser will try to rope you into doing many other tasks that they have piled up. So when you finish updating their Windows to Windows 10, they then expect you to replace their mouse with one they haven’t even bought yet, install a $2500 65″ 4K HDTV by yourself on their wall with no tools or wall mount (and them constantly changing their minds about where they want to put it) when they were too cheap to spring for the $40 professional installation, setting up and teaching them how to use their “new-fangled” iPhone their grandkids got for them, figuring out why their 15 year old laptop with Windows 98 is “so darn slow”, the one they haven’t turned on in 2 years, and explaining the concept that even though their laptop is wireless, their printer isn’t and needs to be plugged in for them to print that recipe they wanted printed out 18 months ago.

And these people wonder why we get so burned out, why we charge so damn much, and why we simply walk away after being there 6 hours longer than planned.