Today, a member of my team got a rather amusing call from the Tier 1 Desk Monkeys. The Desk Monkeys noticed that there was an outage for a system, and a minor one at that, at one of our local sites, and wanted to know when we would be putting in the outage notification for it.
To put things in perspective, the last few weeks, the Tier 1 Desk Monkeys have been dumping more and more of their work onto us, in an effort to offload a massive amount of criticism that they (justifiably) got for their horrendous, dare I say hilarious, inability to do many things right, and basically trying to set us up to fail, in a vain effort to prove that it wasn’t just them who were royally screwing things up. This includes the outage notifications they were once in charge of. These notifications were only supposed to go out for things such as maintenance on major IT systems, such as network maintenance for a whole site, the EHR database servers, or for when there was a major outage, such as when a major system crashed, or there was a legitimate outage that needed to be fixed as soon as possible. But the Tier 1 Desk Monkeys were issuing these outage notifications for such menial things as 2 or 3 people being unable to print, a single person having trouble connecting to the network, and even one such notification where someone complained that they couldn’t get onto Facebook, and claimed it was critical to patient care that she be able to do so immediately. And when these notifications went out, up until recently at least, the Tier 1 Desk Monkeys were required to convene a conference call, one in which they demanded that my team, the local site’s IT technicians, upper management and others high up the food chain join, often with little or no notice, and sometimes in the middle of the night, with little or no knowledge of what was going on, or even how we were involved. It was then decided that these conference calls were basically a colossal joke and a waste of time, and no longer required, especially after the avalanche of criticism levied against the Desk Monkeys.
But back to today’s events. The Tier 1 Desk Monkeys called us, and gave us the ticket number for the outage. A cursory lookup of the ticket revealed the local site had already fixed the issue and closed the ticked three hours before the Desk Monkeys called us. The Desk Monkeys didn’t even bother to read the ticket, since it would have been pointless to issue an outage notification, and blast it out on email to everyone and their brother, three hours AFTER the issue was already fixed. When one of my coworkers brought it up to the Desk Monkey who called him and asked him to actually read the ticket, the Desk Monkey’s only response was to cite the new policy to call us for all these issues and insist on an outage report being filed by us. My coworker retorted that it would make no sense to issue an outage report AFTER the issue was already fixed, and for them to insist that a team of people who had nothing to do with the issue in the ticket (let alone a team that didn’t even fix it) issue such a report made even less sense, and if anything, the site itself should have issued the report while the issue was being worked on. Since they didn’t, my coworker reasoned (correctly) that it must not have risen to the level of even needing an outage report in the first place. The Desk Monkey had no response to that and just hung up.
I got a similar call earlier in the day. I was notified that several users across a couple sites were experiencing “slowness” on their computers, but couldn’t be more specific than that. I made the obligatory calls, and got nowhere fast, since no one was picking up their phones. While I was doing this, my coworker was getting IM’d constantly by another Tier 1 Desk Monkey, demanding to know why I hadn’t bothered to put an outage report in yet. My coworker asked me about it, and I told her I simply didn’t have the time yet, because I was trying to actually get a hold of a live human being to get more details on the issue, but the Tier 1 Desk Monkey she was talking to didn’t accept that as an answer, and instead of allowing me to actually work on getting some decent information on the issue that the Desk Monkeys failed to get, demanded the Outage Report Number as soon as possible.
If only to shut up the Desk Monkey and get her off my coworker’s back, I finally did the outage report, and sent it along, and got an email string going, where the issue was quickly discovered to be a slow SAN cluster. A reboot of the cluster caused the “slowness” to disappear and all was well. I closed the ticket and the outage report, but apparently, the Tier 1 Desk Monkeys weren’t done with me yet. I got an IM from the same Desk Monkey pestering my coworker earlier that day, demanding to know why I closed the ticket and the Outage notification out. Rather perplexed, I asked why she needed to know this, and told her to look at the ticket and outage notification, since I had updated both with notes prior to closing them, indicating that the problem was fixed. Her only response was, “Oh… nevermind.”
And the sad thing is, this is fairly typical of the Tier 1 Desk Monkeys. Not only do they not even bother to read the very tickets they create, they cause more work than they do, and even then, they insist on having other people do their work for them, either to try and get them into trouble, or to prevent themselves from getting into trouble…